My lovely writing group, Manchester Irish Writers, have been scribbling away for the last few months on pieces for an event to commemorate the centenary of The Easter Rising as part of Manchester Irish Festival. We’ve written a variety of pieces which cover different aspects of the period. There’s live drama as well as poetry that reminisces and stories about the women who played their part and the children that got caught up in one of Ireland’s most important historical events. There are also true stories about some of the writers’ friends and relatives who had links with people who were there at the time. We’d love you to come along.
My own piece, Dev and Miss Talty, takes the form a monologue set in Manchester in 1919 and it’s going to be performed on the night. I thoroughly enjoyed writing and researching it. It’s connected to the story of Eamonn De Valera, one of the leaders of The Rising and later President of Ireland, who spent a week hiding in the city after escaping from Lincoln jail with the help of Michael Collins and others. The monologue is told from the point of view of Kathleen Talty, a courageous County Clare woman and member of Cumann na mBan who lived in Fallowfield at the time and who helped in the escape.
It is my first attempt at historical fiction and I have to say it was hard work but I loved it. My findings took me to County Clare and back and I had lots of help with my research from some great people over there. It’s going to to post up a recording of the story here at some point.