A Midnight Court Sitting: ten and eleven, 2016 

The intention for 2016 was to hold A Midnight Court Sitting that set and juxtaposed the dialogue between male and female in relation to power and gender as expressed in Cúirt an Mhean Oíche / The Midnight Court poem, and to reimagine the 1916 proclamation. It summoned the citizens of two groups of teenagers during Teen Week at Clare Library, to participate in this democratic art process.

A discussion on culture, women and proclamation within contemporary Irish society followed. Through a reworking of an adapted version of this poem a conversation emerged with an enquiry with teenage participants covering  gender relations especially in relation to coverage of women in sport on the state T.V., paternity leave for Irish Fathers, the division and value of domestic labour in the home and equal pay for women. 

IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom. We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.

This Sitting took the form of two multi disciplinary socially engaged events, in Ennis and Scarriff Libaries during Teen Week, that combined performative action, laughter, conversation, song, language with teenage participation to explore Ireland’s position as feminine principal, taken from Poblacht na hÉireann. Ireland, the woman, took the guise of Brian Merriman’s Giant Hag as Queen Aoibheal, in the Aisling poem Cúirt an Mhean Oíche.