Peter Duffy – Some reasons why Trilogy is of significance and importance

Started Trilogy – “The State of Us” last monday in Smock Alley with The Great Hunger – The Grand Inquisitor and The Murders at Wilgoose lodge,Carleton, and Me, to follow.

Covered in The Irishman’s Diary ITimes on Nov 9th and interview on RTE 1’s art show Arena @7pm nov 15th, also has been covered in social media and other radio stations.

Each piece is available at

Some reasons why Trilogy is of significance and importance.

  1. All three works are of great literary value from three great writers (even William Carleton’s Wildgoose lodge if to a lesser extent).
  2. The three works span a history of over 100 yrs ie from early 19th C.Ireland (1816 in particular), late 19th C.Russia to 1930’s Ireland and over 200 yrs to the present.
  3. The two Irish works originated in the South Monaghan area (WGL on border with Co Louth), where I also originally came from, if not in the immediate area.
  4. Théodore Géricault’s (1791–1824) painting The Wreck of the Medusa (see attach) has inspired me, in particular in relation to “The Murders at Wildgoose Lodge, Carleton , and Me” (written by myself ) and the idea of presenting a Trilogy. Both the event in 1816 and the painting has had significant political and artistic reverberations down to the present.
  5. It may be just complete co-incidence or it may reflect something in the ether that both Fintan O Toole ( I.T. series of articles aug 2117) and myself choose the same sub-title “The State of Us” for our work and it would seem entirely separately. I suppose one can believe everything is connected and for a reason or not !
  6. The Great Hunger was included in Ireland – 100 Modern Artworks (RIA 2016).
  7. It is Patrick Kavanagh’s (PK) 50th anniversary on the 30th of November and just after the Trilogy (including The Great Hunger) has finished performance in Smock Alley Theatre.
  8. I understand that The G.H. was the first PK poem Seamus Heaney read and which was a great influence on him and his poetic development.
  9. I was knocked off my Bike, un-conscious and injured in Sept 214, spent a night on a Trolley in ST James Hospital not allowed to move and kept reciting The G.H. to “pass the time”. In the morning when I was being taken to a ward, we passed the “The Patrick Kavanagh Ward” – it gave me a badly needed lift. When I started to get better I went in search of the P.K. ward but could not find it. It had been changed while I was there. Over the next few years I lobbied (registered my interest) to get another ward named after him and in late 2016 or early 2017 a new ward in Mercer’s Institute For Successful Ageing (MISA) was named after him !
  10. An artist Fergus Ryan came to the performance of the G.H. and as a result painted Maguire’s October (see image in landscape images at
  11. Wildgoose was the worst atrocity of the 19th C. more people executed than 1916, at least half deemed to be innocent, yet few people know anything about it. Why ?
  12. The Year of No Summer (1816) was part of the worst climate crisis of the 19th C.
  13. I wrote the version of the G.I. used in The Trilogy based on Madame Blavatsky’s translation, an extraordinary woman who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875, met WB Yeats n was known all over the world in the 19th C.
  14. Wildgoose Lodge by William Carleton is a great example of a 19th century gothic story – wild stormy weather, intimations of the supernatural, secret societies, late night secret church meeting combining oath taking and alcohol drinking, a horrific revenge burning, all written in dark foreboding language.
  15. Peter Brook (the revered English theatre director) directed a production of The GI in 2006 which was staged in Dublin as part of the Dublin Theatre festival.
  16. All three shows will be performed on Sat November 25 at 2pm (G.H.), 5pm (G.I.) and 8pm (WGL).

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