Newstalk’s Ivan Yates interviews Bob Geldof’s about his programme on Yeats and 1916?

We have had weeks of wall to wall 1916 coverage with children reenacting executions in schools and St Patrick’s Day parades doing likewise. Last night we had RTE people dressed up in military uniform on the Late, Late Show on the day we should have been moving away from 1916 and remembering the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 which provides the way forward to resolve historic differences.



When one seeks information about his TV appearance there is just a Sinn Fein reaction.

No newspaper reviews. This appeared before the programme.

Last week the Sun had a piece on it.

Suddenly an mp3 arrived in my inbox today, so felt it should be published



A Fanatic Heart: Geldof on Yeats

Bob Geldof

Geldof traces W.B. Yeats’ life, from his earliest family trips to Rosses’ Point in Sligo – which awakened a lifelong love of fairy tales and folklore – via international fame as the poet laureate of an emerging Ireland, to his Nobel Prize and role as Senator in the new Free State.

Controversially, he contends that Yeats deserves a place ahead of the martyrs of 1916 – because, he argues, rather than sacrifice his life for Ireland, Yeats stayed alive to fight for a secular, just and truly inclusive Ireland.

Through performances of some of Yeats’ most iconic poems by leading Irish and British cultural figures, Geldof reveals how Yeats and others built the scaffolding of a new independent Ireland decades before the Rising – but how Yeats’ vision for a modern, pluralist, inclusive Ireland was pushed aside by the narrow-minded Catholic élite of the new Free State: the “Banana Republic” that Geldof in turn rebelled against half a century later.

A Fanatic Heart is a captivating tale of mythology, nation-building, insurgency and disillusion – and how one man dreamed an entire country out of the ravages of famine and into a new dawn.

With performances of Yeats’ poems by Sting, Noel Gallagher, Edna O’Brien, Bono, Van Morrison, Olivia O’Leary, Liam Neeson, Stephen Fry, Dominic West, Richard E. Grant, Bill Nighy, Anne Enright, Colin Farrell, Ardal O’Hanlon, Shane MacGowan and more.

2 Responses

  1. Yes indeed. Apparently, it is on the Newstalk site, but very hard to access. Will edit it soon.


  2. The people who were responsible for putting on this programme about Yeats were engaged in an act of stunning imagination.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: