Festivalfit After an intense weekend of wit, wisdom and wet whistles, Mark Graham opts to take a gangster nap
t’s no good trying to analyse a Kerryman, because if you corner a Kerryman, he’ll change his gait in order to generate confusion. You’ve as much chance of getting a straight answer from a Kerryman as you have of gettin’ a goose egg from an Arctic tern.”
John B Keane knew his neighbours. Kerry folk don’t just have a wonderfully earthy and engaging lilt, they’re capable of twisting and distorting language into something as confounding as it can be comforting. Possibly the only place in the world where calling a fella a hoor is actually a compliment.
The Ballyheige brand of hoorism can come in many different flavours – cute hoors, contrary hoors, almighty hoors, thunderin’ hoors, fierce hoors, awful hoors, thorny auld hoors and two-ended hoors. But it’s creative and clever hoors who populate Listowel for the duration of Writers’ Week.
Other literary festivals can boast a more impressive line-up, but none of them comes close to capturing the atmosphere, camaraderie and craic that flows so smoothly by the Feale.