“It would be a question of the utmost public concern if an undercover officer were effectively permitted to operate without justification, authorisation or oversight in Ireland.”
When you mention Rossport to people in Ireland, responses range from the polemical to the apathetical. Rossport remains one of the most scandalous political and social injustices occurring on on this island.
It seems that a global corporation blatantly bought outright either the silence or support our politicians, police force, the bishops, the GAA, planning services and the mass media.
Ireland’s artists, musicians, and poets have however not been bought. Glór Na hAoise. is a collection of music, poetry, spoken prose and theatre that celebrates the long campaign to have the Corrib Gas project, Shell’s experimental gas pump and refinery, relocated to a safer location.
If the campaign against the project had been fought on the Cultural front alone, Shell wouldn’t have stood a chance. There were rallies and concerts attended by thousands of vocal opponents of the project included Christy Moore, Seamus Heaney, Anne Enright, Paula Meehan and Sinead O Connor.
Glór Na hAoise is three years in the making and has been pulled together by Donal Finn, Eamon de Staic, Lisa B and Roisin Ni Fhaolain. It’s no easy feat to pull together sixty different artists. Glór Na hAoise mushroomed from a chat round the campfire into a triple CD of hear- breaking and soul-searching poetry and song.
Glór na hAoise is simply stunning. From Francis Black’s rendition of “Legal Illegal” by Ewen McColl, Conquisitors Of Gas by Jinx Lennon, The Giveaway by Mick Blake, Jesus, Mary and Joe Duffy by Julie Goo and An Galar Dub to the only 54 recorded seconds left of the Ogoni National Anthem, the album moves effortlessly through traditional music, sean nós song, satire, comedy, poetry and theatre.
Other artists on the album include Damien Dempsey, John Spillane, Fintan Vallely, Sarah Clancy, Liam O Maonlaí, Finbar Cafferkey, Louis DePaor, Rita Ann Higgins, Leo Moran and Padraigh Stevens of the Saw Doctors, Ronan O Snodaigh and Dermot Healy.
It stands alone as a historical document. A testament to the people who are fighting against one of the most ruthless corporations the earth has ever spawned. In a world where history is written by the victors, Glór na hAoise is the perfect gift this year for the socially aware or even unaware person in your life. There are lessons and truths to be had on every track. Beauty, anger and relevance shines through, where the spirit of a community confronts corruption and greed head on. Make it your Christmas number one this year. Available from Charlie Byrne’s book shop in Galway or see songsofsolidarity.com.