‘Bantry Bay’ was broadcast as a Lyric Feature on RTÉ lyric fm on Sunday 16 September 2018 at 6 pm.
The programme is a dramatized reading, with music and sound effects, of a sequence of poems by poet Mick Delap which tells stories of Bantry Bay from 1796 to the present day. The story and legacy of the attempted French and Irish landing of 1796 is told in the voices of those who were there at the time, at sea with the French, and on land, in Bantry House. We also hear about the salt-stained hydrographers who made the first reliable charts of Bantry Bay in the 19th century, and come right up to date to hear about the 21st century musicians of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival who have continued to adorn the elegant rooms of Bantry House. Woven in and out of this sequence is the story of the one Frenchman who made it ashore in 1796, Lieutenant Proteau. Proteau’s elegant ship’s gig, now know as the Bantry Long Boat, survives today as a prize exhibit in Dublin’s National Museum at Collins Barracks and is now the oldest surviving vessel of the French Navy.
The readers are Mick Delap, Theo Dorgan, Paddy Bushe and Doireann Ní Bhriain.