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Seamus Heaney Quotes - BrainyQuote

This month's three topics for our 30-3-30 competition are

1) 'I wish'      2) Mental health      3) Nostalgic Memories   (30 words;3 topics; £30 winner prize)

Submisssions to be in by Friday June 23rd midnight. Results announced at our Open Mic on 30th in Abbey Lane Theatre, Armagh.

Contact details in body of email. Titled poem in attachment with no personal details. Title of work not included in 30 words. Word doc etc no PDF’s

RULES:  Judge’s decisions are final. Winner takes all. £30 star prize and Highly commendable certificates for runners up.

*One poem per submission on one subject. Submitting for each topic is allowed on separate attachments.

 *Original unpublished work.    Format open.

*Winner announced at next Open Mic (last Friday of month), also 2 Highly Commended certificates presented.

 *Reading by author on the night, when possible, and cash prize presented.

  *Winning work showcased on our website (copyright remains with the author).

Our guest artist Sinead McKenna got the night off to a brilliant start showing all of her musical and singing talents to another packed Abbey Lane last Friday.

Such a hard act to follow but Sandra McDonnell-Hill leapt at the opportunity to point out the irritating 

lean towards pomposity some 'famous' poets persist on expressing through their work. Well said Sandra.

Once again we had a wonderful mix of acts throughout the evening poets, storytellers, musicians, singers comics and 'poems and poise' presented by Thomas Healy at the evenings end.

They were Jacqui Ruddell,Mark Brownlee, Matthew Toner, John Henderson and Jay Rafferty all poets. Peter McAnespie,Steven Butler, Theo Sinton all singer songwriter musicians. John McAndrew storyteller, Matt McCullough stand-up comic and lastly possibly a new genre Thomas with his drawings and odes. 

Along with our fabulous raffle and poetry competition presentation a great night was had and all for £5! Next month's ,June 30th and a new guest artist awaits.

Comic Matt McCullough

We are delighted to announce the results of our In House poetry competition for May.

Winner of the prize money was Jay Rafferty and Highhly Commended Jacqui Ruddell. Absent for the presentation and also

recipients of certificates Mollie Maguire and Stephen McStravick. Many congratulations to all who participated 

June's 3 topics are;  1) 'I Wish'      2) Mental Health   3) Nostalgic Memories.

All the usual rules apply, 30 words, 3 topic and £30 prize money. Send entrants to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your titled submissions on attachments. Pick one topic or all three and submissions must be in by Friday 23rd June midnight.

All finalists work posted on our website and Social media pages remains the writers property.



Snobbery by Jay Rafferty


A stain glass snout snorts

wet over the town. Contemptuous,

holier than thou, a pedigree of mortar

and sandstone. Like its clear glassed

siblings weren’t hewn in the same quarry.


Hello by Jacqui Ruddell

“Hello mum,

It’s late, I cannot sleep, 

My heart feels numb

I’ve tried counting sheep

Now you are gone

I message your phone;

‘Wish you knew

I sorely miss you’” 


  • 1) HOME ;   by Mollie Maguire

Just Getting Home

Aroma of Sunday roast fills the air.

Laughter bellowing throughout the house.

Witnessing smiles released from faces.

Rapidly wrapped in loving arms.

Scrumptious flavours enrapture my taste buds.

I’m home. 


GOOD AND EVIL.  by Stephen McStravick









It was a miracle that such a mountain of stones moved at all as the crowds that gathered at Abbey Lane last evening  for the ceremony could barely move themselves. 

A feeling of disbelief and doubt was evident as the first bucket of stones strained sinews and forced sweat drips before it had reached its destination 10 meters away.

This task was then repeated for the next 2 hours as a gentle breeze cooled our brows. Even an unexpected shower was welcomed

as shovels scraped and dragged filling the galvanised buckets to the beat of a chain gang melody. 

The mountain of granite chippings sunk to a hill, then a mound, spirits rose and energies were  renewed as the completion of our task neared. 

Then a call from the 'coalface' 10mtrs away, ''we need more stones! It won't be finished tonight''

A cry rang out of the crowd.

''I have piles at home.....( we looked at each other thinking -Don't we all?).....of stones I mean''

A true miracle, our saviour among us and he is offering us FREE stones to complete the ceremony.

And we did and all lived very sore ever after.

Time running out for submissions to be entered for May . Submissions will be accepted up to midnight tomorrow Fri 19th.
This month's topics for our 30/3/30 competition  are;
1)HOME ...what it means to you; coming home; moving home; homelessness etc . 
 2) GOOD and EVIL's temptations; conflicts; pressures etc .
3)  'Hello'.....start of your day; an expected visitor or phone call; meeting a stranger; greetings etc.
30 words, 3 topics, £30 to win and highly commended certificates presented .  pick one or all 3 topics email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and send titled in an attachment without your name ...just the poem. Winner presented at our Open Mic on 26th May. Submissions to be in by Friday midnight 19th May.
Highly commended for April was LtoR Dymphna Ferran and Ellen McKenna with April's winner of our competition John McAdrew who penned the following three to lift the £30 prize Presentation by Byddi Lee MC.

INSTINCTS by John McAndrew

I have two ,

killer and creative.

I must follow one but not the other,

However tempting to kill my brother,

I shall, instead, continue to murder

my mother tongue. 


In life, love, work, and play

nobody gets a second chance

where first impressions count.

But when that quota’s  filled,

they look below the surface

older,  better informed, wiser.

NEIGHBOURS by John McAndrew

Do hermits want neighbours?

Recluses, friends?

Or citizens in solitary confinement , visitors?

If not in this life then in the next,

neighbours in  Hell above,  or Hell below.
NEIGHBOURS by Dymphna Ferran 


Mum, did you hear those neighbours next door?

Screaming, yelling, and thumping the floor.

But wait, a thought has come to the fore.

I was once those neighbours next door! 

A Second Chance

I am lucky to have a second chance.

As a cancer survivor I seize each day,

Try new adventures, push boundaries,

Appreciate the world around me,

And I am thankful.
Well done to all our entrants in April. Each of you made it a very hard decision to pick a 1,2,3, and no reflection on your writing as we all know its the participation and not the number. 
Thank you all , Armagh Theatre Group.

No. It has nothing to do with the rock group but we could play 'Brown Sugar' as we perform.

To finish off our latest Abbey Lane improvements we need as many members (as is able) to help form a bucket chain removing stones from the yard to behind our Green Room.

A tight corner restricts normal wheelbarrows to go round so your help is needed this Thursday evening 18th,  7pm.

We'll crack a few beers, coffee biscuits etc, bit of music have a laugh and have the ceremony over in an hour. BYOB.

#The picture below vagely represents what we are tackling but a much smaller amount.

This needs down asap to clear the Green room for the cast of our coming performances of 'BLEAK EXPECTIONS'

Thank you once again for volunterring for this vital exercise.



Stone Aggregates in Nottinghamshire | Steve Hart Haulage Ltd

Saturday morning, 4am, and among some 500 people who gathered to support PIPS fund raiser walk at Navan Vistor Centre Armagh were ATG committee members Rachel, Aisling and Malachi. The 5k walk around this ancient neighbourhood was rewarded by seeing the first rays of daylight, the hope that brings and the dawn chorus rising in unison.

Suicide and Self Harm Prevention Charities PIPS and Pieta House benefit from this vital fund raiser and ATG are proud to support their efforts.

PS Hope & Support outreach its services across the Southern Trust, NMDDC and Upper Bann areas, and anyone requiring help or information can telephone the PIPS Hope & Support office on 02830266195. As a Protect Life Resource Centre we have numerous booklets that are available (free) on all kinds of issues ranging from Panic, Depression, Sleep Problems, Stress, Anxiety, Controlling Anger, Post Natal Depression and many many more.

In addition to this the charity also provide a PIPS Hope & Support Suicide Bereavement pack, this pack has, included in it, information that families bereaved through suicide will find helpful. 

It is our belief that the continued commitment of partners in delivering suicide prevention skills, to help those who are emotionally vulnerable or at risk will contribute towards reducing inequalities and prevent suicides in the Northern Ireland.



A group of enthusiastic writers of poetry, some beginners and others more experienced, gathered in Abbey Lane on Wed night for the first session of 'A Creative Life' poetry worshop facilitated by Colin Hassard and Seonaid Murray.

Over two hours Colin delivered a very informative class in his relaxed approachable manner exploding some of the myths and perceived rules to writing good poetry.

All who attended felt it was well worth the effort to journey to the ecclesiastical capital and listen to a true master of the art.

The range of writings were only surpassed by the range of biscuits at the coffee break and it was agreed to have a second session in the near future to critique the  work and finish the biscuits. 

Big thanks to Seonaid and Colin for all their work and to all the attendeees.

New faces, new talent and Abbey Lane's  Open Mic still enticing big crowds at the monthly gathering.

We must give a big thank you to all who travelled once again to our venue and make it such a success.

It's all down to you.

This month's contributors where from all arts and parts and gave an eclectic mix of material which offered

our audience at times, a robust variety of prose and humour. Song writers and musicians of the highest order and 

poets, storytellers and singers as good as any in the county.

Those were Adam Trotter; Fionnuala Cassidy; Stevie C; John McAndrew; Kate Mc Loughlin; Malachi Kelly;Theo Sinton; Annie McLaughlin;

Jenny Murray;Joe McCool; Ellen McKenna; Bridie Donaghy; Terry Conlon ; John Henderson; Ciaran Kelly; and the one and only Dymphna Ferran.

This month's poetry competition was won by John Mc Andrew and certificates were presented to Ellen Mc Kenna and Dymphna 

Much appreciated help on the night especially Byddi Lee for taking over MC duties after the break and to all who helped with selling raffle tickets, door duties and tidying up after.  Next date 26th May, see you there.  Thank you. 


1) Poet Annie McLaughlin; 2)  Blues singer Theo Sinton;  3) Jenny Murray poet; 4) Stevie C songwriter ;


Next Open Mic 26th MAY (which is not a bank holiday)

Wonderful day at this informative exhibition in the picturesque village of Inniskeen. Big thanks to the manager Darragh and our guide Shaun for making it such a memorable day for Armagh Theatre Group members.
Also homely food and welcome from all the ladies in Raglan Road Tea room, especially the coffee and buns!

Great day out and well worth the journey.