Johnny Murphy Forever

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I am obliged to you. Ah, pardon, it’s I am obliged to you. Its we who are obliged to each other. 

 

Johnny Murphy was an extraordinary talented Dublin artist. He once told me he discovered his talent for performing in the Don Bosco in Crumlin, but I remember seeing Johnny in the many many great productions that the late Deirdre O Connell did at the Focus Theatre. They were the great European classics, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov. Huge talent on a tiny stage, in a tiny place, bursting at the seams. The passion, the commitment, the drive, the humanity that emanated from Johnny Murphy’s performance was something that I carry to this day. Those days, that stage, that place were shared with other greats, Gabriel Byrne, Ena May, Tom Hickey. These people created a whole new energy which was later harnessed into the Project Arts Centre under the baton of the Sheridan brothers, Jim and Peter who assembled a dynamic bunch of individuals that, in my view, changed the course of Irish acting, Irish performance, Irish playwriting, Irish stage writing and dramatic energy.

Johnny Murphy was a vital part, an essential ingredient, a navigator in all of that.

From Yeats’ work to Beckett’s work to Jim and Peter’s own works, the whole collaboration of the Project Arts Centre all boiled down to one ingredient – the performance of the artist and actors. Johnny Murphy was a star attraction. Not just on that stage, but in people’s lives. He was a very generous, no bullshit person who could cut to the chase. I had some fantastic times with Johnny during my time at the Project and in the many plays and tours that we all did as a company.

I deeply respected and appreciated his guidance, his consideration, his understanding and his generous love and what a funny guy. He was blessed with a marvelous wit and a comic genius. He could hold a stage and an audience anywhere. He could mesmerize with a look.

Nobody, that I know of, has ever forgotten a Johnny Murphy performance. Throughout the last number of years of his life he was as active as you possibly could be, particularly after giving what I believe was one of the most definitive performances in the history of Waiting for Godot, when he played the tragic, fabulous Estragon alongside Barry Mc Govern’s Vladimir at the Gate Theatre.  It was way back in the Project Arts Centre’s production of Waiting for Godot that Johnny first unleashed that performance and interpretation of Estragon to packed houses.

Drimnagh and Dublin are proud of Johnny Murphy.  An artist, a father, a brother and a son. Many of us who also loved Johnny, and I mean loved Johnny Murphy, will grieve and miss him. But we will always be reminded of Johnny as we pass his many haunts, his many theatres, and when his many friends gather in different groups, both now and into the future, to talk and remember.   It was Samuel Beckett who coined the phrase ‘we are born astride the grave, the light gleams for an instant, and then it is night once more’.  John Murphy’s light gleamed brightly in our hearts and in the limelight of the stage forever.  We are obliged to you Mr Murphy.

My deep condolences to his daughter, his family, his many friends and his many audiences.

Johnny, your cue. You’re on.”

 

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Busking bylaws. The facts.

                          Street performance and Dublin City Council bylaws

There is a group of individuals who claim they represent all buskers who have been putting out  misinformation, not just about Dublin City Council, but about me in an unjust and inaccurate attempt to demonise and label me as anti-busking and anti-culture. This is not true.

Firstly, nobody, is attempting or has suggested banning busking or street performance.  At present, there is a document in the public domain seeking observations and suggestions with regards how we manage the public domain in relation to street performance. This is part of the democratic process of enshrining the rights of street performers while on the other hand maintaining a balance in the public domain which is also the workplace and home for thousands of people.

Over the years many residents and workers have complained to Dublin City Council and public representatives about the unbearable noise levels at certain locations in the city – mainly Grafton Street, Temple Bar, Henry Street and the GPO.

Having tried a voluntary code of conduct with regards performers’ noise levels, the City Council  decided it was appropriate to create a series of bylaws to help to manage the public domain more effectively.  These bylaws were enacted into law a year ago with a review period that would fix any blaring omissions or further complaints. 

The concerns at present mainly relate to amplification and noise levels and a general wish by many residents and workers to ban amplification which, as well as being a nuisance, drowns out acoustic buskers.  I am not against busking, but, like the residents and workers in the city centre, I  support this ban on amplification. 

This whole process has been democratic, open and transparent where everyone gets heard – unlike on Grafton Street or Temple Bar sometimes when you can only hear the noise that is so loud your head hurts. Anybody interested can read a copy of the new bylaws under consideration before they are voted upon and the voting process itself can be viewed by all when they are discussed at length in Dublin City Council at the Arts Strategic Policy Committee which is webcast live and available online to view after the meeting also.

Rest assured that Street performance and busking will always be a feature on Dublin and Irish streets and Irish culture is the richer for it.

I hope this clarifies some of the issues, even if it doesn’t stop the devious few who want to undermine me and who last year smashed the window of my former studio on Ormond Quay and graffitied disgusting comments all over the building.

Long live busking. Long live street performance. Long live a safe and healthy work place for all.

Devious Poster Theft

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It appears that there is a group of individuals going around in a white van with high-vis jackets on removing our posters.

We received a call last night to say that someone had seen them in broad daylight taking the posters. We were at the DCC Rathmines depot this morning and they had only one of our posters taken in. We have taken a look around the city and a lot of our posters are missing from the poles they were placed on.
This is anti democratic and completely wrong. We ask whoever is doing this to stop.
I’d also ask the members of the public to be vigilant. The Dublin City Council litter wardens will have DCC ID on them and the DCC logo on the back of their jackets.
To those taking down the posters, be assured, we will be replacing them over the next 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

Poster Removal by DCC

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Beware Dublin City Council are removing posters that they deem in breach of protocol. They are failing to inform the candidates or their crews that they are doing this which is leading to great confusion on the ground.

For those who are missing posters check with DCC litter management and retrieve your posters.  The posters for the Dublin Bay South candidates are being stored in Rathmines.

And again we are not being informed about this. The state of the city with the guts ripped out of it from the Luas construction, delapidated buildings and boarded up flats and here are DCC using staff resources to pull down election posters.  The breath taking arrogance of this that they can go around willy nilly.  I’m surprised they haven’t franchised it out to Greyhound.

Its unfair on the major effort that is being made by all the candidates and their crews in atrocious weather conditions to try and create a public platform for themselves in this forthcoming election.  Especially for Independent candidates who are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with  main parties and the financial resources they have not to mention the monopolized media coverage that they get.

I don’t want to see any poster causing a hazard or danger to anybody and if I got the opportunity I’d ban them outright and create a different system.  I did put a motion to ask for the banning of posters after the Giro Italia but it didn’t get passed with fellow councillors so we are left, for now,  with the present situation. And I agree, it is a visual pollutant and its over the top.

But Independents don’t have any other choice in the matter right now as well as that its a very expensive process to print posters, cable ties, ladders, insurance etc.

No candidate goes out there to litter. No candidate goes out there to cause obstruction or hindrance or danger when postering. But if I was to stick a big banner across one of the buildings in Dublin advertising Lucozade there would be nobody for DCC trying to tear it down. There would be the usual hocus pocus letter writing, weeks would go by before the offending massive banner was taken down. Yet, when it comes to us and our posters, they become ultra efficient in taking them down and not even bothering to inform us that we can get them back.

I’m on my way up to Rathmines now to get my posters back.  I do wish the Council would have told me without me having to go through this unnecessary rigmarole.

 

Voting Register Closes Feb 9th 5pm

Are you registered to vote?

 SUPPLEMENTARY REGISTER CLOSES ON TUESDAY 9TH FEB AT 5PM (Dublin City Council)

Dublin City Council is asking voters to check immediately if they are registered to vote on the Register of Electors, so that they can be sure of having their say and vote in the forthcoming general election.

 The Register of Electors 2016-2017 was published on the 1st February 2016 and is on display at Dublin City Council offices, Garda Stations, Libraries, Post Offices and online at www.checktheregister.ie . If you are aged 18 or over, check that your name, address and details are correct on the Register.

Mr. Vincent Norton, Executive Manager, Dublin City Council says, “I would strongly advise people to make sure they are registered now to avoid disappointment as past experience has shown that many eligible people lost their chance to vote by simply not checking the register. I would encourage all who are eligible to vote to check the website immediately and to register with your local authority, to be included on the

Supplementary Register.  Postal applications must be received by 5pm Friday, 5thFebruary 2016 and the Supplementary Register will close on Tuesday 9th February 2016, 5pm deadline”.

 To be eligible to vote in this election one must be an Irish citizen or a British citizen resident in Ireland.

 Forms are available to download directly from the Dublin City Council website

www.dublincity.ie/YourCouncil/VotingandElections  or you can contact the Franchise Section Tel 222 5010.