Darlughdach’s song

Darlughdach's song 01Feb

St Brigid’s Day marks the start of Imbolc (spring).

St Brigid, also known as Brigid of Kildare, is a symbol of female empowerment and equality. Her story tells us of a life lived in harmony with others, by sharing art, education and spirituality. Taken in a contemporary sense, we believe this is what arts and culture do and so we celebrate St Brigid’s day to advance our In:Visible Women programme and engage artists in intersectional programmes and work.

The Irish Government’s creative community fund allowed us to create a series of commissions, which we have mounted in honour of St Brigid’s Day, and this commission is no different. Having worked with Ciara Ní É two years hence -and understanding how much work has vanished for artists due to Coronavirus- we appraoched Ciara to see what she would like to create in honour of the occasion, given the opportunity. Known for her spoken word work and ability to combine Gaelic and English in her practice, Ciara created a poem and worked with Aoife Ní Mhórdha to develop the following film, presented as part of the Festival’s St Brigid’s Day In:Visible Women programme.

Darlughdach’s Song for St. Bridget

Poem/song lyircs – reproduced courtesey of Ciara Ní É.

Colainn gan cheann
neach gan anamchara
Colainn gan cheann
neach gan anamchara

I died today
February 1st I took my final rest
Last year today
Death called upon my love

As winter melts, she’s on your lips
Naomh Bríd Chill Dara
Woman, priestess, goddess, saint,
my soul friend, m’anamchara

I whispered her a deathbed pledge
To stay on earth twelve months
I died today
To reunite above

In death we share our feast day
As in life we shared our bed
Woman, priestess, goddess, saint,
my soul friend once said:

“One without a soul friend
Is a body without a head
One without a soul friend
Is a body without a head

Colainn gan cheann
neach gan anamchara
Colainn gan cheann
neach gan anamchara”.

To find out more about the story of St Brigid and Darlughdach, we recommend this piece.

 Ciara Ní É

Dubliner Ciara Ní É (sounds like KNEE YAY) is the founder of REIC, a monthly multilingual spoken word and open mic night that features poetry, music, storytelling and rap. She has performed in New York, London, Sweden, and across Ireland including festivals like ours (Visible Women, 2019), Electric Picnic, Body and Soul, and IMRAM. Published in a variety of journals including Icarus and Comhar, Ciara was chosen for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions series 2017. In 2018 she released a series of four poetry videos in partnership with the Irish Writers Centre. Ciara’s commissions include RTÉ 1 TV; UNESCO Dublin City of Literature; and her poem for Seó Beo Pheil na mBan on TG4, which received more than 300,000 views online.

Ciara’s work was commissioned with creative community funding, awarded by the Irish Government through its Emigrant Support Programme.


Since the onset of Covid-19, cultural organisations and artists have suffered a lack of creative opportunities because of restrictions on arts venues and engagements. #CreativeCommunity is a once-off initiative by the Embassy of Ireland to Great Britain, the Consulate General of Ireland (Cardiff), and the Consulate General of Ireland (Edinburgh) that provided creative opportunities for Irish artists living in Britain to produce cultural content, shared online. Through Creative Community, the Embassy of Ireland in London and the Consulates General in Edinburgh and Cardiff have supported arts and culture-focused projects with eight organisations, directly engaging with at least 40 Irish creatives across Britain to produce and show their work.

The artists Liverpool Irish Festival has commissioned using this programme, include: Cathy Carter / Andrew ConnallyEdy Fung (via Art Arcadia)Alison Little / Maz O’ConnorCiara Ní ÉThe Sound Agents. The links will take you to the individual commissions.

Image credit: Hannah McGlynn

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1 February 2021