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Festschrift for Tadhg Foley

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Maureen O'Connor

This Festschrift for Professor Tadhg Foley of the National University of Ireland, Galway, who retired in 2009, gathers together international contributors in the fields of poetry, politics and academia to honour this great man’s life and work. Professor Foley has not only been central in the development of Irish Studies and Colonial/Postcolonial Studies in Ireland and in the United States, but he has also enjoyed a long career as convivial host in his thatched cottage in Salthill, Galway. He remains one of the most popular and beloved figures in Irish academia. Among the eminent scholars included in the volume are Terry Eagleton, Robert Young, Penny Boumelha, David Lloyd, Luke Gibbons, Joep Leerssen and Maud Ellmann. The book is further enriched by poets Bernard O’Donoghue, Louis de Paor, Rita Ann Higgins, Michael D. Higgins and Tom Duddy. This collection is a rare and distinctive gathering of true and resonant voices, offering a unique portrait of late twentieth-century Irish literary and academic culture and its interplay with the United States.

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Mere Planter and Fíor-Ghael Bernard O’Donoghue 283

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Mere Planter and Fíor-Ghael Bernard O’Donoghue For Tadhg Foley in veneration Jack Sweeney had been wounded at Verdun and revered British virtues. My father said he’d turn up the volume on Housewives’ Choice if ever ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ coincided with Jack walking past to work at Mac’s. Jer Mac wanted the Germans to win the war, grunting assent to Lord Haw Haw’s taunts. But Jack revered Jer too, a tasty farmer who planted rows of sycamore and ash along the passage to his yard. Every May, Jack and Phil Micheál marched out with pikes over their shoulders to trim the long hedge with slashers, shaping an avenue that would have graced the drive to any big house. Now overrun by fern and foxglove. You think of a public servant with an Irish name, who died in a lonely copse-edge near Abingdon.

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