This is a transcription of Gabriel’s talk with host Des Lally at the Clifden Arts Festival in Ireland, which ran September 15 – 23, 2021. They spoke via Zoom.
A Note from Stella:
Thanks to the Clifden Art Festival’s Sean Mulkerrin, I had a subtitle file with which to work and that made this go faster. After making corrections to that original file, I then watched the video and added more corrections and some explanatory notes regarding authors and quotes. Feel free to copy this text and run it through your favorite translator.
Hello, I’m Des Lally and you’re welcome to the 44th Clifden Arts Festival.
It was a privilege and an honor to talk to the renowned actor and author Gabriel Byrne about his new memoir, Walking With Ghosts, which has become a bestseller. In our conversation, Gabriel reflects on his early life in Dublin and also on some aspects of his work in America. I think you’ll find it a very insightful and illuminating talk. And as Gabriel is no stranger to Connemara, he speaks very fondly of his visits here as well. So I hope you enjoy this conversation with Gabriel Byrne.
Des Lally: So Gabriel, you and your wife come to Clifden Arts Festival, and this is our 44th year, Clifden Arts Festival, and we’re very privileged to have you here. We prefer to have you in person, my friend. But you can maybe join us at some stage in the future. It’s lovely to speak to you. And really, why we’re speaking to you today, Gabriel, is about your book, Walking With Ghosts. The reviews have been fantastic. The Irish Times, The Independent and The Guardian. The response to the book has been amazing and it is flying off the shelves of the Clifden bookshop.
And so I just wanted to ask you: In reading Walking With Ghosts, I found myself really drawn into the world. Not so much of the film world and the Hollywood world, but really into the world of Paganini and Ned and the relationship you had with them. In the book, you start off paragraphs with “And this is the street where Paganini lived. This is Ned’s house.” And so you’re bringing us really into the streets where you grew up and that were important for you. Can you bring us back to those streets for a moment, Gabriel, and tell us why you chose these figures? Ghosts from your past and of many people that you would have known?
Gabriel Byrne: Yeah, well, the first thing, as you said there, Des, it’s not a book about Hollywood or films or acting, only tangentially in how they relate, how that world might relate now and then to the world that I was trying to depict, which was essentially a world that’s gone. The theme behind the book, it’s called Walking With Ghosts, because it’s about the ghosts of people who have gone, the landscapes that have changed. It’s about memory and it’s about the past and the characters that I drew on.
You see, the thing is, when you’re grown up, you don’t realize that these people are multifaceted, unique people, “characters,” they’re called, but when you’re grown up, you don’t really notice what they do. They just are part of your landscape. What my father used to call “the theater of the street,” and he maintained that, you know, all the people that lived in the street and in the streets around us were like characters in the novel. And it was a throwaway remark that he made many, many years ago. And it came back to me and I realized that no matter where you go, every town, every village, every housing estate, has its own characters. It has its own invisible novel going on all the time. If we just choose to look at it that way. And Paganini, he was a plumber, a man who worked 14 hours a day all his life. He would come home in the evening and his wife would have the dinner ready for him and put a glass of milk out for him. And then he would go into what they called the good room, the sitting room, and he would take down his violin and he would start to play. And in summertime, he’d leave the window open. So we’d be playing football outside and you’d hear his music coming out through the window. And he played all kinds of things, you know, like little waltzes. But he also had a go at Bruckner, you know, the famous violin concerto [Note from Stella: probably Bruch, not Bruckner].
I remember that it was only two years later that I thought that’s what he was playing when I heard it properly, you know, when I got older. But occasionally, unpredictably, the music would go silent. And everybody knew that Paganini was being followed by the black dog and his step would lose its jauntiness. He wouldn’t smile. And looking back on it, he was a man who suffered from periodic depression. That’s really what it was. And then just as inexplicably, three weeks or a month or two months later, the music would start again. And I remembered him as somebody who was probably suffering, though nobody actually realized what it was that he was suffering from. So I began to look at all the characters and I realized that they all had their own identity. They had their complexity. They cast a kind of spell. I think it was maybe it was Blake who said, I could be wrong, but he said that, you know, the universe is contained in a grain of sand. [Note from Stella: Here are the first four lines of William Blake’s poem “Auguries of Innocence:” To see a World in a Grain of Sand/ And a Heaven in a Wild Flower/ Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/ And Eternity in an hour]
And I realized that the local is the universe. It’s what Kavanagh did beautifully [Note from Stella: Patrick Kavanagh, 1904 – 1967, Irish poet and novelist]. He even has a line where he talked about, out of such a paraphrased narrative, such mundane things, Ulysses was made. So, the world is around us, and the characters that we might look for in a novel and find exotic are all there. And so when I went looking for those characters, they just tumbled out, one after the other, and I had to put a stop to it and say, I can’t have all these people clamoring to be in the book. They’re going to have to wait in line. And I’m just going to pick the first, you know, five or six. But the idea of ghosts–walking with ghosts–it’s the people who have gone, who walk with you in terms of memory, what they said, what kind of lives they lived. And there’s nobody mentioned in the book, except maybe one or two small references to anybody who’s alive, because I wanted to examine the way our memories work in relation to the past, and that is that we jump from the present to the past without even noticing. And the past intrudes more and more in our lives, I think, as we get older. And it begins to take on significance and it comes to juxtapose the present in a very meaningful way. So I wanted to look at all those things that are gone in the past and see what way they connected to the present and what way those people and those events influenced the kind of person that I became. It’s not a walk down memory lane. It’s not a sentimental, you know, nostalgic trip to the Ireland that actually never existed that we all sometimes sing about. I tried to make it as honest and as truthful as I possibly could.
And in a memoir, which is very different to a novel, as you know, in a novel you have freedom, your have great freedom to wander and you can give various characters various things to say. But in the memoir, on every page, you’re confronted with the idea: Is this the truth? And if it is the truth, do I say it? And if I do say it, am I prepared to take the consequences for saying it? So I was very much aware all the way through that I didn’t want to let anything into it that I couldn’t stand over and say “That is the truth and that happened.”
Des Lally: Gabriel, your style of writing, the way you actually wrote the book, it draws the reader in and drew me in to the point that the ghosts in the book were made so real to me, I could actually see that act of, I suppose of revolution that [garbled] the gaslight in his house that he moves into. And I could see that light and I could feel his courage in doing that, to revolt against bureaucracy. And likewise, like the Greasemonkey, you know, she really sprang out to me as such a vibrant, full of life figure. And it’s the way you wrote it and you gave voice, Gabriel, again, different voices. It’s almost Joycean in the sense that you had the adolescent voice, you have the childhood voice that speaks so clearly to the reader. If I never knew Gabriel Byrne, and if I never knew Gabriel Byrne, the actor, I would see this book, and I see this book, as a very revelatory work. And the question I’d ask you is, what writers, or any writers, influenced you in the style of your writing? Because that gift really springs out from the book as of Gabriel Byrne, the writer.
Gabriel Byrne: Well, thank you, Des, that’s a great question. Well, I suppose, like a lot of people, my forays into reading began when I was a teenager. There weren’t that many references around to guide you on the road to life, if you like. So I looked in literature for myself. I suppose it’s a kind of an adolescent narcissistic thing to do, to say, where am I in this. Not my exact person, but how could I identify with these characters that would throw light on the world that I was living in?
And I started off with the Irish writers because I felt that they were close to me. I began with Brian Moore and then Ben Kiely. And Sean O’Faolain, Frank O’Connor, Liam O’Flaherty, all the great Irish writers, and then I moved on to the English writers, the kitchen sink guys in the early ’60s, like Alan Sillitoe and Stan Barstow and John Braine.
But they also spoke in a way that says, and I don’t mean this in any derogatory way, but that posh middle class Kingsley Amis type literature just didn’t speak to me. And I remember in Dublin, the first one to do that was Lee Dunne, who wrote Goodbye to the Hill. And it was just, you know, a couple of streets away from where we lived. And I thought, here’s a guy writing about Dublin and he mentioned places in Dublin that I knew. And then I moved on to various other writers, and I now read indiscriminately all over the place. But they say that a writer is a reader who tries to emulate. And I think there’s a great deal of truth in that, because when I tried to start writing much earlier, when I was younger, and I did a couple of things for radio and so forth, I was trying to imitate a writer that I admired. Whereas the objective should be to find your own authentic voice. And that requires a great deal, I think, of missteps and trial and error. But I’ve come to admire in literature exactly what you’ve just said. And I’m flattered that you would think that simplicity, no ornamentation, no desire to be, you know, cycling down the hill without your hands on the handlebars, you know, just unadorned, simple prose.
But to try to create essentially the world–the sights, the sounds, the smells of that world–that was very important to me. And I think that’s probably the most important thing to me, to try and make that world as believable and as real as possible, and only using words that would illuminate that. I originally wrote it–believe it or not, Des–I originally wrote the whole thing in verse. And my editor said: You’ll sell two copies, one for yourself and then one to keep to give as a Christmas present.
So I went back and I read it. But what remained from that exercise was the rhythm of the sentences. And so exactly what you said. I knew that I had a story, but it wasn’t like the most amazing, amazing story of all time. What was going to keep it afloat was the language and the writing. Otherwise there was no point in doing it. And so I was nervous about putting it out there because, you know, I revere great writing and I revere writers more than I do actors, to be honest. I think that what I set out to do was not what I achieved. I know that sounds daft, but you can have an idea that you want to do something and you’re totally convinced this is it. And then it turns out to be something completely different. But I found that a lot in life. I found it in cinema and on the stage and so forth. You have to have some place that you’re headed towards. How you get there is what’s important, not the actual getting there. And if you ever think about people who climb mountains, you know, they don’t spend a great deal of time on the top of the mountain, walking round the flag. They get up there, they plant the flag, and then they’re on the way back down again. For them, it’s the journey upward. And getting there is an achievement. Planting the flag is the achievement, but that’s it. And so the next mountain awaits.
And I thought it was going to be a pretty simple thing. I looked at the mountain and I thought, that’s climbable. And then I was halfway up and I thought, I can’t even see the top now. I need to go back down again. I’m making heavy weather of this metaphor, but it taught me a great deal about myself and it taught me a great deal about how difficult it actually is to put anything, whether it’s a performance or whether it’s a painting, a poem or a memoir or a novel together, how difficult it actually is. And I wanted to make it look like it wasn’t that difficult, if you know what I mean. I wanted to make it look like it was simple.
Des Lally: Yeah. There’s a marvelous musicality in the memoir, Gabriel. You referred to songs, you know, I’m thinking of South of the border. El Paso. Kevin Carey. And “hear the wind blow” and sounds like that, that kind of musicality. But you are tough on yourself, Gabriel, in the memoir. You say, I felt a failure. A failed plumber, a failed priest. And also, Gabriel, you question in the memoir your own betrayals. And I just like to ask you about that you know, whether it be guilt or whatever. I particularly think of the owl episode in the novel and, of course, the Greasemonkey. And that seems to prey on you. So I got a sense that it preyed on you. And yet, at the end of that Greasemonkey section, you give a great sense of hope. The two of you are driving on a road trip in America. And so there’s this sense of failure and your own guilt and betrayal. Does that worry you still?
Gabriel Byrne: I think that, again, going back to what I feel the essential truth of what I was trying to do is that I wanted to be honest about myself. I think we all carry with us these ghosts, if you like, the ghosts of guilt, regret, shame, a dishonesty, betrayal. We carry those things with us. Do you find resolution in admitting to them? I don’t know. I don’t blame myself for that stuff anymore. I realize that I’m just human. But, yes, I regret that I betrayed two people. Because it’s not that difficult to move from betraying other people in small ways to betraying yourself in ways. And I think the fact that people recognize betrayal and say, yeah, I know what that feels like, that to me validates the reason for doing it. In regard to shame and guilt and regret and so forth: There are things that I think I carry from my childhood and I think I carry them from my education. There are some people who went through the Irish education system and it didn’t bother them, and they’re very happy with how it went down, but not me. I think if you were a sensitive creature, which I was, being beaten and humiliated every day was something that remained with me for my life. And I remember a teacher saying to me, you’ll never be anything. You’ll never be any good for anything except a pick and shovel. And I always remember that phrase. And any time I passed guys that were digging on the road, I think to myself, look at the way those guys are working and how hard those guys are. Actually the sheer hard work that those guys have to do, it was such an insult to those people, but he was saying it to me as a derogatory thing because I wasn’t going to be any good at it. Those things stay. They stick inside you. And even when success or, you know, perceived success comes along, that part of you is still there. And it’s not like, you know, we have this vision of other people’s lives where they’re all totally happy and dancing around the place because they’ve achieved everything in life. That’s a delusion, that’s illusory thinking. Nobody gets through this life without suffering. And the reason I wanted to be honest about all that stuff was because I wanted people to say: “Yes, I recognize those things, I have those things, too.” And if somebody can speak them out, it makes them less of a burden to carry through life.
Des Lally: Yeah. Because those sections of the book as I said moved me in many ways, Gabriel. I just want to ask you about, having met you on a couple of occasions, it struck me that silence, solitude, and quietness seemed very necessary to you. And how did you find that? I know maybe in the present circumstances it’s not difficult to find… Silence, solitude, and quietness in the world you live in, or I should say the world you work in. You find it difficult to leave it, leave aside that time for Gabriel Byrne, “just me time”?
Gabriel Byrne: Oh, I think that’s tremendously important, no matter where you are, what you do. But without sounding pedantic about it, I think that you have to nourish the soul. That’s really what it is. Quietness, silence is essential to me. And I will find it wherever I am. I’ll find it the middle of New York walking down the street, I’ll find it. Just like somebody said, OK, just because you live in a city like New York doesn’t mean you can’t still be connected to important things. And I’d be walking down the street when I’d see growing out of a crack in the wall, I’d see a wildflower. And I say, there it is. It’s there. It’s all around. And silence. Like, I’m not religious by nature anymore. Spiritual, yes, but not religious. But I love to go into a church and just sit down, because a church captures silence in a way that few places can. And you don’t have to be going in to pray. But the act of just sitting down in silence is to me a kind of prayer. And I always come out refreshed. And that could be an Episcopalian or Methodist or Catholic Church. And just sitting in silence restores me, revitalizes me. And that’s why, you know, out in Connemara, I would go for walks like for miles and miles and and forget where I was.
So I’ve always sought that out. And I’m introverted by nature. I’m not an extrovert. I’m not a party person. In fact, I find being in the middle of a crowded party very difficult. I never quite know how to react. I’m much better one one. My ideal thing is sitting by a fire, talking to one other person, or two or three people and, you know, being able to listen and being able to contribute and talk and then be out, like Wordsworth was, out in nature and being revitalized by, you know, the wind and the rain–and some people will say “Ah, stop romanticizing!” But I found that everywhere I’ve gone, I seek it out.
Des Lally: Gabriel, would you read a small passage from the book for us, just give us your voice, reading your work?
Gabriel Byrne: OK, I’ll try, Des. This is the beginning of the book, the very opening of the book, where I went back a few years ago to the road where I was born and reared in Dublin. And at that time, where our road ended, the countryside began and there were farms and fields of barley and wheat and orchards and so forth. And so a couple of steps and you were in the countryside. When I went back to that place, it had now become–that hill where I used to go as a child was now a parking panoramic vista for cars. And there was a motorway going through those fields and all those farms had gone. And I stood there looking out over it, and I realized that we take our landscapes for granted, you know. The landscape does not belong to us and it’s, you know, even if it appears not to be changing, it’s changing. And when I looked that day, I saw — I was reminded of my father and myself one day going out for a walk. And we were caught under the trees with the rain.
Reading from his book:
“And look up there, where the houses of the new estates are now, the road to the countryside once began. Farms on either side, orchards, fields of barley and corn.
I remember my father teaching me to ride a bicycle in the laneways among the high hedges. I wobbled and tumbled into the ditch, and he made me get up again and soon I was speeding down the hill, the wind in my face, and one day I reached the bottom without falling and I let out a whoop of joy and soon I was riding down with my feet on the handlebars. And I wished everyone would see me, especially Mary Foley, and be full of admiration for me being so brave and heedless of danger. My father taught me how to read simple things: the bundling of clouds or the seconds between thunder and lightning . . . How to smell snow in the wind and know by the night sky if frost will come.
He taught me the names of trees, wildflowers, birds. I remember a day, standing beneath the trees to take shelter from the rain, my father and I watched a field being plowed. The horses plodding through the black turned earth, backs slick with rain, a man walking behind them. HIKE, he said, when he wanted them to stop and GUP, when he wanted them to go on. Crows and gulls circled and shrieked, grub-greedy on the air behind. Beyond the field, a rain curtain covered the mountain.
The man turned the beasts at the end of the field, the blade catching the light and flashing.
A sudden wind came up, making leaves flap like the wings of insects, and just as suddenly the sun came out and then the last drops, like when you pop your lips together, and the hills were clear again. A rainbow appeared in the blue black sky.
The horses put their heads together and made a noise like a sneeze. The man held the shaft of the plow, straining this way and that, cutting into the black earth. Once, they made a mistake and he pulled them back; they stomped their heavy hooves and started again. One had a white stripe on his face, as if painted there, the other had white socks. The long strips of cut earth narrowed the field with each turn, and the man stopped to light a cigarette out of the wind’s way as the animals munched from nosebags, having their dinner and a rest.
He is the last of his kind, my father said. I carry that day like a photograph in my heart. I had never felt so close to him as in that silence.”
Des Lally: Thank you Gabriel. [Garbled] I want to ask you: In the memoir, you’re very honest about your own struggles with alcohol and and probably the most disturbing, one of the most disturbing portions of the book was your encounters when you were in seminary. And your writing skills–again, I keep going back to this–you make it so, so real and so horrible, where the reader wants to scream at you through the book, to run, to run, to run. I felt that when the priest is in his dressing gown and you were in the room and you just sensed your terrifying vulnerability, and his power and manipulation. And I’d like to ask you: if you were meeting someone who is struggling with an addiction or who has struggled with memories of abuse, how or what would you say to them to bring them through that darkness? Or to help them through your own experience?
Gabriel Byrne: Well, in relation to addiction, my feeling about that is that it’s a prison. It’s a dark prison out of which there seems no escape. And yet, it is only by admitting to oneself that there’s a problem. There’s great hope. There’s help. There are people who have been through the same struggle and you can get out of it. It’s not a moral failing. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It means you’re allergic to a substance called alcohol or you’re allergic to drugs and you’ve become addicted. That is not your fault. Addiction is a major worldwide plague. And it’s as relevant in Australia, America, Canada, Norway, Ireland, it doesn’t matter. Addiction is part of the world that we live in. But, you can get out of that dark prison by confiding in somebody, by finding the courage inside yourself to say: Look, I have a problem. How can how can you help me? The Beatles had a great song. You know, it’s amazing to think that at 23 and 24, they were writing such profoundly wise things. A song like Help. “Help, help me if you can, I’m feeling down, and I do appreciate you being around. Won’t you please help me?” To reach out, to have the courage to say: I’m going to push through my shame, I’m going to push through what people think about me or say about me, and I want to be free, because when you’re the victim of an addiction, you are not free in your soul. You just are not, you are beholden to that addiction when you wake up, when you go to sleep at night-time. But you can break out of it a day at a time. And that is liberation. It is freedom for the soul in a way that you can’t even imagine. I stopped because I got sick to death of hangovers. I got sick to death of not being in control of my life, of everything being about, you know, drinking and then being around people who drank and so forth. And it’s a very, very, very lonely place to be, despite the fact that you are surrounded by people who all look like they’re having a great time. There’s too many people who have become, who are dead because they couldn’t stop. Who died as a result. People who were killed in car crashes, domestic abuse, all those things. It is a prison. But courage is the key to get out of the prison and not to blame yourself.
The second thing I would say in relation to abuse is more or less the same thing. It’s not a moral failing. You have nothing to be ashamed of. As long as you keep that within yourself, that perpetrator wins, because he’s making you suffer inside. Because the key to the prison, again, is removing shame, secrecy and silence from your world and saying, I am not ashamed of who I am. I didn’t do anything wrong. And I want, I want to be free. I want to be in touch with who I am, who my essential self is. And abuse, whether it’s domestic abuse or sexual abuse or emotional abuse, they rob you of that, and they’ve taken your freedom, and alcohol and drugs take your freedom, so. Courage to admit it to yourself and then the courage to say to one other person that you love and trust: I’ve got to get help for this. I’ve got to help myself in both cases. And you will not believe in a week or two weeks or three weeks, you say, my God, I never thought I could do that. And the world becomes a very, very different place. And you get back in contact with who you are, who you’re meant to be. Because, you know, again, without sounding pedantic about this, the soul is a garden and you have to keep it watered . . . And if you don’t, it’s just as Shakespeare said, it turns to seed. It turns to weeds. And so no shame, no secrecy, no self blame. We’re not to blame for addiction and we’re not to blame for abuse. So I pray that, I say pray in the sense I wish, that I wish for people who are suffering like that, that they find the courage to take the first step, which is to say to themselves: I’m sick of being on the couch, I’m sick of hangovers, I need somebody to help me with this.
Des Lally: I should know that those words are very helpful. And Gabriel, too, and I know it will be helpful to a lot of people and particularly hearing them from yourself. And I finish up, Gabriel, by just saying to you, and you’re no stranger to Connemara, thankfully. What do you feel when you drive past Maam Cross and you’re coming out here into Connemara and I know you’ve been here on many occasions? And what does Connemara say to you, to Gabriel Byrne?
Gabriel Byrne: Better, better minds than I have described Connemara and other people have tried to. I do believe that landscape has a spirituality to it. I believe it has a soul and when I go to Connemara, I’m aware of many things. I’m aware of time, how ancient that landscape is.
And how complex at the same time it is. And that although it looks as if it’s this beautiful, unchanging place, it is changing, and the people are changing and the 21st century has come to Connemara. It’s no longer this mythical, mystical place that people romanticized and they probably always romanticized Connemara because of the landscape. It seems to me that it’s got that beauty, which we all know, but it’s also dealing with the realities of the 21st century. And I can see the changes, the huge changes. The last time I was there was last year, I think. Connemara people themselves are exceptional. They’re not like people from anywhere else in Ireland. And I find peace when I get there, and I like to just wander around it, and whether I go into Clifden for a bit of a break from the landscape, there’s no part of it that I don’t–You know, when Wordsworth wrote “Tintern Abbey,” he talked about looking at his younger self, and his younger self, he said, bounded like a doe over the landscape, he couldn’t rest, he wanted to be doing–there’s that, there’s this–that’s the way I used to be with Connemara. I couldn’t get enough of it. But I was running from here to there. Restless. And now, like Wordsworth over Tintern Abbey, I’m happy to sit and be in a few places and absorb into me in a tranquil way what the place is about. Anybody who wants to get an understanding of Connemara should read Tim Robinson’s book on Connemara. He said it so much better than I could. I’m just talking about my particular feelings when I get there. I feel at home in the place and I hate leaving it. But that’s the way it is. I have to live. And I think they’re so lucky to be living there. And they say, oh, Jesus, no, you wouldn’t want to be here on a Wednesday afternoon in February when the rain is lashing you out of it and the wind is coming in. That’s the reality with them in winter.
Des Lally: But Gabriel, thank you so much for joining us for the the 2021 Clifden Arts Festival and there’s a standing invitation to you to come over at any time and join us during the festival. But particularly, I want to thank you for the gift of your book to so many readers throughout Ireland and the world, who have been moved by it like myself, who have moved into the book almost and be touched by so many of the ghosts you write about. And to me, there no longer ghosts, they are very, very much alive. And they’re very much real to me. And that was made really evident to the skill of your writing. Gabriel Byrne, writer, author. I think it’s very important to recognize that. And so, Gabriel, thank you very much. And we hope to see you soon.
Gabriel Byrne: Thank you, Des, and I’m really looking forward to being there in person. Zooms are fine, but it’s not the same thing as sitting across the table from somebody. And thank you so much for inviting me. Des, it’s an honor to talk to you. And I really hope that this year the festival–it would be fantastic to have it with real people sitting opposite each other and fantastic that it’s been going so long and it’s such a success. And it’s a wonderful thing to put into the world.
Des Lally: Well, you know, the arts–you spoke there about Connemara– and we feel so strongly about the arts. Whether it’s the fellow playing a tin whistle or whether it’s a concert orchestra or there is an internationally known author or whatever. To give voice to the arts in rural Ireland and in Connemara. And we’re so lucky to be supported by so many good and close friends. And on the back of your book, I see Colum McCann has written something. He mentions Frank McCourt. He mentions Nuala O’Faolain. He mentions Edna O’Brien, all of whom have been to Clifden, and also Richard Ford was here as a guest. And the connections are there for them, as Heaney said, it’s like a wicker basket weaves in webs of friendship reach far, and even on Zoom, they reach far. So, Gabriel, we give our love to you, Hannah, and to your family and God bless.
Gabriel Byrne: Thank you so much. Des, it was a pleasure. Thank you indeed.
Des Lally: Thank you so much. And we’d like to encourage all our audiences and participants to go out to your local bookshop and purchase these books and also to support your local bookshops. And we are so fortunate in Clifden to have the Clifden Bookshop, which is a beacon for literature and the arts in Connemara.