-- authors comments on Dearbhail's Lament -->
Ireland is a magical land whose origins are lost in the mists of
mythology but nevertheless is still intertwined with it even today.
There are fairies and leprechauns still to be found walking along the
boreens at night or hiding in hazel thickets and ring forts by
day if you know where to look. And the wise man knows to leave a jar
of poitín out for the little folk. While they are shy, they can
be mischievous if not placated.
Ireland is indeed a heroic land, where
great warriors once roamed the verdant green hills doing battle with
invaders intent on despoiling the land. And even today, there are
seanchaithe telling the legends of Cú Chulainn, Lugh Lámthota and
Fionn mac Cumhaill around the turf fires in the west of Ireland.
Sadly, Ireland is also a tragic land, too much of it
self-inflicted. 'Tis a land of tears and sorrow, of lost love and
unfulfilled potential. And even today, this tragedy continues as two
irreconcilable forces clash against each other, mindlessly destroying
all that they touch.
This last point was driven home most brutally when in late
November, 1998, I walked along Lower Market Street in Omagh, County
Tyrone and viewed the devastation caused by a car bomb that on 15
August had killed 29 totally innocent people and injured hundreds of
What struck me most was not the shattered buildings or the large
hole in the street that the bomb had caused, but the total lack of
Christmas decorations. It was Yuletide in Ireland, and while all the
rest of the land was festooned in Christmas decorations and lights,
there were none at all in Omagh. I felt sorriest for the children for
the time of year that should have been filled with happiness and joy
had been stolen away from them by a mindless act.
Although it would be several years before I could express my
feelings, one day while working on Dearbháils Song I realized
that she could help me to finally do so. And so I began Dearbháil's
Lament. Set in 1924 just at the end of the first Troubles, this is
a story of two young lovers, caught between those opposing forces, but
still in Ireland, a land of mythology, heroes and tragedy.
-- end authors comments on Dearbhail's Lament -->