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I Would Walk These Fields Again

John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan in I Would Walk These Fields by An Grianán Theatre Productions

I Would Walk These Fields Again
by Guy Le Jeune
Based on the life of Canon James McDyer of Glencolmcille.

October 2015
Beltaine Tour, May 2016

Featuring John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan

Father James McDyer was born in Glenties in 1910. Ordained in Maynooth, he spent ten years in London during the Second World War, tending to the needs of the emigrant Irish population. He returned to Ireland, spending four years on Tory Island before being sent to the parish of Glencolmcille in South-West Donegal, in 1951. From then until his death in 1987 he worked tirelessly against what he termed “the curse of emigration”.

He encouraged new enterprises, set up a cooperative, persuaded government ministers and their departments to support his ideas and inspired the community to help themselves, rather than rely on handouts from the State. In his own words, he described himself as a “Christian Communist”, taking his inspiration from the political turmoil and radical ideas of the early twentieth century. He was man of great energy, humour and conviction. Drawing from interviews, archive material and Father McDyer’s own writings, I Would Walk These Fields Again, is a celebration of McDyer’s life, his work and his legacy.

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