A Poem For Cathal Ó Searcaigh

 Posted by on March 12, 2008  Add comments
Mar 122008

I watched the programme last night, and one particular part struck me. It was when Cathal was reading a clever haiku to his Nepalese boys, most of whom had only halting English. Despite the language gap, they were so eager to please Cathal that they laughed at any old shit he read to them and I had an idea. What a nice thing it would be, I thought, if I wrote a haiku of my own. A poem especially for Cathal!

Sorry now. I’ve never written a haiku before, so I might be doing it wrong, but here we go anyway:-

The village boys laugh

too hard at Cathal’s haiku.

Shamed, I turn away.



Cathal Ó Searcaigh’s Statement

Cathal O Searcaigh




Most Sincerely, Folks

Disillusioned Lefty

JC Skinner

  27 Responses to “A Poem For Cathal Ó Searcaigh”

Comments (27)

    Bock there was too many look away moments in the film,I though it was very well done as the unease of the film maker was paced perfectly with what the viewer was realising..
    That child in the Ice Cream parlour( he was a child i dont give a fuck what Cathal thinks) looked like he wanted to be anywhere else.
    I dont suppose any of his supporters watched the program,probably not,but if they did and they arent asking questions after that then they are obviously as dillusional as Cathal..


    Thanks Bock, learning is no load and found a new word today thanks to you, “Haiku”. Had to check. Japanese verse from “hai”, amusement and “ku”, verse. Also thanks to Collins 21st Century dictionary, always to hand. I salute your effort though the topic is very much not amusing. Red Mist


    Perhaps he said “Laugh or I wont use lube”?


    Courtesy of Laurie Anderson…
    “Sharkey says: I turn around, it’s fear. I turn around again, and it’s love. Nobody knows me. Nobody knows my name. You know?”


    Sorry that was tasteless in retrospect (albeit possibly accurate)


    Nicely done, Bock.

    What’s happening with the school curriculum thing?


    It made for really uneasy viewing. While the boys were above the age of consent, there was definitely something very manipulative going on, and certainly an exploitation of power.


    Sam: I’m not sure what happened about the school curriculum thing, but I wouldn’t agree with censoring his poetry.


    All these people who are trying to defend this man should imagine that they are the poor parents of a 16 year old boy who comes home one morning after being out all night, pushing a brand new bike and unable to sit down…. wouldn’t you want to know what had happened?


    Yeah, it was uncomfortable viewing.

    I wonder if anythings going to come of this “alternative” interviews footage, wherein (I believe) half the guys from last night change their story. Its very odd.


    the “alternative interview” included a guy named Ram who disavowed the things that Ram had said in the film, only trouble is it is not the same Ram


    Senoj: One of the boys in the hotel reminded me of my own son.

    Roosta: Are you saying they might have been persuaded to change their point of view?

    Don: I heard that. Disturbing.


    Just read this from my Irish Times email update:

    “THE work of poet Cathal Ó Searcaigh is to remain on the Leaving Cert curriculum. Last night, an advisory body to Minister for Education Mary Hanafin decided not to remove the poetry after a two-hour discussion on the issue”


    Cathal visited my school in 2000 accompanied by a young Nepalese boy, we thought it strange. I was a fan of him until I watched this program


    Are you saying they might have been persuaded to change their point of view?

    I don’t know, but its the first thing that came to mind. Its odd. For people to say one thing, then when a storm brews up, to go say another. Something’s not right.


    I don’t believe that his poetry should be censored, either, Bock. I don’t like censoring.
    I don’t believe that my teenage children should be studying his poetry for the L Cert though – not when other 16-18 year olds are being, if not “abused” then at the very least “used” by him. Mary H, of course, is being completely predictable by sitting on the fence.
    By the way, my heart went out to that producer, Neasa. She never expected what she saw, she didn’t want to tell that story, but she had the guts to do it. She has been pretty much villified over the past few weeks for having those guts.
    Maybe I’m totally naieve, he’s a saint and she’s out to make a name for herself??


    Mairéad: I hope nobody’s being vilified here. Cathal is doing a good enough job of vilifying himself and Neasa is just making a picture.

    Anyway, why should we be cutting artists out of the curriculum for perceived degeneracy? If we did that, nobody would be allowed to read Oscar Wilde. Nobody could study Verlaine or Rimbaud. The Rolling Stones would be a mystery to us. Lou Reed. Jimi Hendrix. James Joyce.

    Why stop there? Why not ban people with unacceptable political views? Eliot. Pound. Orwell. Steinbeck. Solzhenitsyn.

    Where do we stop?


    Byron (probably) slept with his sister, Brendan Behan was an alcoholic … rumours abound that Padraig Pearse was gay …


    Well, as long as he slept, I suppose it’s all right.


    Strange that you , and so many others on this page seem to exact such self righteous pleasure from the misery of others – O searcaigh included. WHy the need to do so ? Why the need to constantly affirm yourself by way of condenming another ?

    What your head posting especially, and so many of the other entries on this page reveal in starkest terms, is something very ugly. (And the defense that O’ Searcaigh is the culprit in all of this, and you are not the ones who exploited teenagers in Nepal stands as the worse of justifications)

    After yourl little poem you go on to effortlessly tell Mairead :
    “Mairéad: I hope nobody’s being vilified here. Cathal is doing a good enough job of vilifying himself and Neasa is just making a picture”

    You should read again your postings, your poem, and many of the others on this page and ask yourself – what purpose do they serve ? What do they convey ? Who benefits ? (Old fashioned, unsophisitcated and boring questions I grant you, but please do try to avoid using the demon O’ Searcaigh, and your duty towards the innocents of nepal when answering)


    JJ: Actually, my postings were all about the kind of denial and diversionary tactics evident in your comment.


    I’m not in denial at all about O’Searcaigh. The logic you’re using is if I criticise you I’m in denial or supportive of O Searcaigh. That is so stupid.

    Im criticicising you. I’m drawing attention to your motives – because they’re ugly. Your postings and your motives stand apart and are independent of O Searcaigh.

    Can’t you critique yourself without recourse to what O’Searcaigh has done ?


    jj, what kind of shite is that? Critique my arse! If you’ll pardon the expression.


    What are you saying, jj? That we shouldn’t criticise a man who seems to have no idea of what he has done wrong? He and his pals in aosdana including others seem to have no problems execrating over Neasa Ni Chianan, the person who pointed out that his charitable work did not seem to meet our expectations to say the least…


    JJ: You know nothing about my motives. Don’t make an idiot of yourself.


    There was an old poet from DunNaGall
    Who went on a trip to Nepal
    that’s where he was seen
    To be hypocritically keen
    on boys in his room till dawn


    Bock, you’ll give the whole country mange.

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