Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh takes you on a journey – a pilgrimage even – from his early childhood to his mature years in Donegal as an Irish speaker, painter, musician & writer.
The Irish Language played a pivotal role during the course of this voyage of self-awareness beginning, serendipitously, with the discovery of a little red Gaelic poetry book belonging to his older brother that brought Seoirse, 40 years later, to Vienna and a joint celebration of Gaelic /Austrian culture in the Schubertkirche where the composer Franz Schubert once worked as a schoolmaster. An unlikely outcome to a magical mystery tour!
The “stations” on this “turas” explore Irish culture and identity. Personal icons inspire him along the way: Seán Ó Riada, Micheál Mac Liammóir, Tomás Ó Fiaich, Caitlín Maude, Clannad. The journey is presented in a fusion of audio-visual images culminating in a painting and a song: the great universal Gaeltacht sean-nós song, “An Draighneán Donn” (The Blackthorn Bush) – a song that speaks to us about its own special journey.
This talk has been given widely including both in the Cultúrlann and in the Tower Museum in Derry.