“On Being in Prison” and “On Flying” 2 short poems written by local poet Mairead Manton and read by Mairead Dempsey.
Mairead Dempsey lives in Portrane and is a member of The Bleeding Pig Cultural Festival.
Mairéad Manton (1959 – 2018) On International Women’s Day we celebrate local poet and disability activist, Mairéad Manton.
Burrow resident Mairéad was born with cerebral palsy and attended a residential school in St Mary’s in Baldoyle, Co Dublin, where she completed her Inter Cert. She left school after that and moved to the Cara Cheshire Home in Phoenix Park.
From a young age, Mairéad wrote poetry, initially using her alphabet board. Later she embraced the emergence of assistive technology through the use of a Lightwriter: a portable keyboard with a built-in speech synthesiser.
She moved into an apartment in Sandymount and a few years later moved into a flat in the well-known Herbert Simms-designed Dublin City Council housing known as Mercer Street…
Just a stone’s throw from St Stephen’s Green and her beloved Grafton Street, Mairéad embraced this new-found independence with gusto and became a permanent fixture of city life.
Mairéad had her health issues, but rarely did she allow these to curb her enthusiasm for Dublin’s vibrant social city life. She self-published a volume of poetry annually, and her 2018 volume, What’s Another Year? arrived from the publishers on the morning of her funeral.
Abridged extract from Mairéad Manton’s obituary The Irish Times