I Would Walk These Fields Again

towerMCDYER:         I think, in retrospect that we wagered against the tide of governments and departments. That time was disappointing to all of us.

ACCOUNTANT:     It’s like this Father, the cooperative does not have the funds to cover the outstanding debts. Your only option is to liquidate the assets. If not, the whole thing will be bankrupt.

MCDYER:         It was a gamble that might have paid off, and it was very difficult to ascertain what went wrong.

MAIREAD:        And what did go wrong?

MCDYER:         We had intended to dispose of the assets over a period of time. We were always a non-profit making organisation, we had intended all the proceeds to go to the people of Glencolmcille but somewhere or another…

MAIREAD:        (Looking at her notes) So sorry, let me get this right, all that was left was the knitting factory, the craft shop and the folk village

MCDYER:         And a lump sum of money. We set up a trust, from the sale of our assets.

MAIREAD:        But not as much as you had hoped for?

MCDYER:         No indeed, there was less money than we had anticipated.

MAIREAD:        And the community? What did they think?

MCDYER:         There will always be criticism if one tries to do something different. My motto was… Better to light ten candles even though nine of them are extinguished.

MAIREAD:        I’ve heard you weren’t good with… money or you should have stayed out of the management of the co-operatives.

MCDYER:         Maybe, in hindsight, but that is a wonderful bloody thing and none of us are blessed with that ability.

MAIREAD:        We are where we are. We’re living beyond our means. Isn’t that what the Taoiseach said?

MCDYER:         What I say to the Taoiseach is this, when one’s means are so meagre, one cannot but live beyond them.

MAIREAD:        I’d be with you there Father.

MCDYER:         At least the trust fund was there, established to provide capital to any community enterprise whatsoever, but not private enterprise, I was and am too much of a communist for that.

MAIREAD:        A communist? That must be difficult to square with your beliefs

MCDYER:         Not it wasn’t. In my own mind, the teachings of Christ favour cooperation and socialism. His enemies were those that abused their power. (Angry) I see those same enemies today in the money lenders and the bloody self-interested politicians. I cannot and will not cease, the sword of justice is never dulled… I am sorry, Mairead. I am want to carried away still.

MAIREAD:        No Father, you’ve no need to apologise to me.

MCDYER:         Thank you.

MAIREAD:        I suppose I have to ask, was it worthwhile? Would you do it all again?

MCDYER:         To the first question I would answer, look around. Look at what we achieved, what I achieved. My legacy…

MAIREAD:        Your legacy?

MCDYER:         Our legacy, for it was the people of Glen who made all this happen. A textile industry, the fish processing factory, a hill farming scheme, the holiday village, in private ownership, but thriving, the park and Halle Muire.

MAIREAD:        And the folk village?

MCDYER:         Ah yes, I almost forgot, the folk village. But these are just the physical vestiges of our endeavours. More than that, we have left a community standing on its own two feet. Three generations of Glen people have experienced employment. But, there is more than bricks and mortar that we’ve left. The valley of Glencolmcille is a changed place. I hope that I have answered your questions Mairead?

Review from Donegal Democrat

…an entertaining and compelling evening of theatre…

Walk These Fields