RTÉ Radio 1 Drama On One

In My Grandfather's Mansion

by John Montague

Poet John Montague’s mastery of the long form -or, more precisely, his expertise in the art of the classical epyllion, a thematic constellation of lyric poems amounting to a unified epic work- is found most fluently in The Rough Field and The Dead Kingdom; but In My Grandfather’s Mansion, a shorter recent sequence, demonstrates his continuing artistic authority into late life.

Now in his ninth decade, Montague considers the patriarch of his own name and remote infancy in partitioned Tyrone, a Victorian Justice of the Peace who presided over petty sessions in nineteenth century Imperial Ireland. The startling clarity of the portrait resurrects a worthy ancestor of the writer whose literary service has brought its own measure of justice and peace to a conflicted province.

In My Grandfather's Mansion is performed by Gerard McSorley, himself a Tyrone man. Kevin Flood and his real-life wife Róisín Donaghy play the poet’s grandparents.