Poet Paul Durcan and the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar

“The Days of Surprise”

An Irish Sign Language interpreted Poetry Reading and engagement programme at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar. Poet Paul Durcan and Irish sign language interpreter Mairéad Hegarty facilitated 11 workshops to 13 students from transition year at St Joseph’s Secondary School and nine Irish Sign Language users from around the region culminating in a sign language interpreted poetry reading to an audience of 139 on 3rd December 2015.



“The members of the deaf community who engaged with the project really committed to it, and turned up to all the practice sessions, rehearsals and performance. None were familiar with Paul Durcan’s poetry and this was a whole new experience for them”. (Orla Henihan, Linenhall Arts Centre)


“I reckon I have been giving public readings for 52 years but Thursday night was something else – something new and amazing to me and so long as I have a memory I will cherish every minute of it and indeed of the entire 4-day trip.  Working with Orla, Maura and you was special and as for Mairéad well – if the night was extra special it was Mairéad who made it so. I was astonished on Wednesday to realise how much research she had done on each poem and on Thursday night stunned by the beauty and feeling of her performance – she was in every way the star of the night”. (Paul Durcan, poet)