A series of podcasts created by Ballina Fringe Festival, an annual arts festival in North Mayo, shining a light on art and creativity along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Presented in association with Ballina Community Radio BCRFM.
Eipeasóid 8 - Eibhlín Ní Chonghaile agus Manchán Magan (i nGaeilge)
Journalist Eibhlín Ní Chonghaile, who has spent over 20 years working in news, current affairs and entertainment. She’s produced both radio and television documentaries for Raidió na Gaeltachta, TG4, RTÉ and Sky News Ireland and is currently working on Cleas Act on TG4. Eibhlín was born in and grew in the Connemara Gaeltacht, and is now a happy resident of Ballina.
Manchán Magan is a TV and radio presenter and tv programme maker, author, and one of those incredibly interesting people who can seemingly turn their hands to anything. He’s made made over 30 travel documentaries, and a documentary series, called No Béarla, about travelling around Ireland speaking only Irish. Most recently, he’s written a book Thirty Two Words for Field: Lost Words of the Irish Landscape, an, archaeological and anthropological exploration of the lyricism, mystery and oddities of the Irish language.
The book has been a surprise hit, something Manchán feels is probably a result of our newfound appreciation of nature and heritage which was renewed during lockdown. Manchán also presents a radio and podcast series called the Almanac of Ireland which investigates the quirks, conundrums and wonders of Ireland
We hope you enjoy this conversation i nGaeilge between two beautiful Irish speakers.
Episode 7 - Correspondences: Giving Voice to Direct Provision
Correspondences - An Anthology to Call for an End to Direct Provision was published in 2019.
Edited by poet Jessica Traynor and actor Stephen Rea, Correspondences pairs writers, photographers and visual artists in the direct provision system in Ireland with Irish artists and writers, and today, Jessica is talking to poets Annemarie Ní Churreáin and Evgeny Schtorn, whose work features in the book.
The stories, poems, images and essays in Correspondences reflect the desperation that leads to migration, the hope carried through war and devastation, and the meaningful parallels between the Irish experience of famine and emigration and the experience of asylum seekers in Ireland today.
Join Jessica, Evgeny and Annemarie for some readings and a conversation about the Correspondences, the artists' current work, the political system and the Direct Provision system in Ireland at present.
Episode 6 - Waking the Dead
As part of our festival programme earlier in the week, we live-streamed this fascinating conversation between author Kevin Toolis and funeral director, David McGowan.
Kevin Toolis is a filmmaker and author of ‘My Father’s Wake’, and ‘Nine Rules to Conquer Death’, just newly released this week. For twenty years, he hunted death in famine, war and plague across the world before finding the answer to his quest on the island of his forebears.
In My Father’s Wake, he gives an intimate, eye-witness account of the death and wake of his father, and explores the wider history of the Irish Wake. With an uplifting, positive message at its heart, My Father’s Wake celebrates the spiritual depth of the Irish Wake and shows how we too can find a better way to deal with our mortality, by living and loving in the acceptance of death.
Easkey native David McGowan is a pioneering funeral director who has been in the funeral business for over 30 years. He operates funeral homes in Ballina and Sligo, and a state-of-the-art embalming facility in Collooney. David strives to ‘protect the living and maintain the dignity of the deceased’ during the Covid-19 crisis, and was recently the subject of a compelling documentary for RTE by produced by Gillian Marsh for RTÉ called ‘The Funeral Director’.
You can hear Gillian in conversation with Eibhlín ní Chonghaile in episode 3 of Pure Ballina, released earlier this week.
This conversation is a raw, thoughtful and sensitive examination of death and how we deal with it, and how our uniquely Irish customs influence our own reaction to death and dying.
Episide 5 - So You Want to be a Writer? With Mike McCormack and Morag Prunty
Episode 5 is all about writing, and how to write, and features best-selling authors Mike McCormack, and Morag Prunty (who you’ll probably know better as Kate Kerrigan).
Mike McCormack is an Irish novelist and short-story writer, and has published two collections of short stories and three novels. In May 2016, Dublin publisher Tramp Press, published his novel Solar Bones which went on to win the Goldsmiths Prize and the largest literary prize in the world, the Dublin Literary Prize.
Morag worked for many years as a magazine journalist and editor, until she turned to writing fiction. Her works as Kate Kerrigan include Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, which was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year, and her Ellis Island Trilogy, featuring feisty heroine Ellie Hogan, that made her a New York Times bestseller.
For aspiring writers, Covid-19 and pandemic times present an opportunity to devote time to exploring the desire to create and to write.
Last Monday evening, Morag and Mike joined us for a Zoom workshop and shared with us their insights, both from their perspectives as writers and as educators and mentors with NUI Galway's Creative Writing Programmes. We hope you find it as interesting as we did.
Episode 4: Johnny Boyle in conversation with Tom Gilligan
Today in Episode 4, we welcome along another guest presenter and special guest.
Many locals will know Tom Gilligan as a Director of Services with Mayo County Council, with responsibility for the Ballina Municipal District. Tom was centrally involved in the hosting of the Other Voices festival in Ballina in 2018 and 2020. But apart from his work and family, Tom’s real passion is music and more specifically, drumming.
He is the creator of Irishdrummers.com, the first web portal dedicated to Irish drummers, and is the author of ‘Irish Drummers, Volume 1’ a book featuring interviews, conversations and insights with some of Ireland’s most successful and influential drummers.
Today, Tom is chatting with drummer Johnny Boyle, who has been playing drums since the age of 12. Johnny joined his first band when he was just 14. Since then, over the course of an incredible career, he’s played, recorded and toured with artists including Andy White, The Frames, Marianne Faithful, Mundy, Damien Rice, Neil Hannon and Finbar Furey, has played on a number of movie and he’s also made TV appearances with artists including Elton John, Ronan Keating, Westlife, and Sophie Ellis Bextor.
Episode 3 - Eibhlín Ní Chonghaile and Gillian Marsh
In episode 3 of Pure Ballina, we’re delighted to welcome both a special guest presenter and a special guest!
Our interviewer today is Eibhlín Ní Chonghaile, an award-winning broadcaster and journalist who has spent over 20 years working in news, current affairs and entertainment and has produced both radio and television documentaries for Raidió na Gaeltachta, TG4, RTÉ and Sky News Ireland. She’s is currently working on Cleas Act on TG4 with Tyrone Productions. Eibhlín was born and brought up in the Connemara Gaeltacht but now happily resides with us here in Ballina.
Eibhlín will be chatting to Mayo based documentary maker, Gillian Marsh, who has enjoyed a highly successful career in television spanning over 20 years. In 1997 Gillian established GMARSHTV, and since then the company has grown to become one of Ireland’s leading production companies, specialising in factual and observational documentary-making, and capturing the extraordinary in ordinary rural lives.
Gillian has directed and produced series and documentaries for RTE including Seahorseman, Vets on Call, Five Star, Living the Wildlife and The Funeral Director, featuring David McGowan, who also features in our festival programme this year. Gillian’s latest work, a documentary with artist Seán Hillen, has just won this year’s Irish Film Institute International Festival audience award for Best Feature and will be shown on RTÉ in the coming weeks.