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   Mweelahorna, Ring, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Tel : (058) 46205   Mobile : (086) 813 4597  
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Joan Clancy Gallery presents Greta Hellstrom - John Betjeman Tribute

Honouring the centenary of the poet's birth.

31st May 2007

Greta Hellstrom-John Betjeman Tribute group show at Joan Clancy Gallery in the Ring Gaeltacht, which is set to open on June 25th, will once again focus attention on a gallery lauded by The Irish Times as "one of the highlights of Waterford City and County which can be enjoyed for free."

The artists participating are Blawnin Clancy, Sinéad Ní Chionaola, Rayleen Clancy, Michael Mulcahy, Arthur Maderson, Andrea Jameson, Olive Watkins, Wishy Martin, Eileen Healy, Suzy O'Mullane, Rita O'Connell, Katarzyna Gajewska, John Cullinan and others.

The small but vibrant gallery will host Greta Hellstrom-John Betjeman Tribute to mark the centenary of the birth of the late poet laureate Sir John Betjeman who used to visit the Yellow House (then owned by the Villiers-Stuarts) on Helvick Head on the tip of the Ring peninsula in the County Waterford Gaeltacht where Joan Clancy Gallery is situated. His poem The Irish Unionist's Farewell to Greta Hellstrom in 1922 has the refrain "...Dungarvan in the rain" at the end of each stanza, and Greta the object of the poet's affections has remained a mystery until now.

Running from Monday June 25th until Monday July 16th, Joan Clancy Gallery will be open from 11 to 5pm each day. It is well worth a drive to this gem of a gallery in the Ring Gaeltacht overlooking the stunning Co Waterford coastline and the Comeraghs and Knockmealdowns.

Located between Coláiste na Rinne (the Irish Language College) and the Cunnigar Beach, Greta Hellstrom-John Betjeman Tribute is running in Joan Clancy Gallery from Monday June 25th until Monday July 16th. The gallery will be open from 11 to 5pm each day.

More Information: on 086 813 4597 info@joanclancygallery.com.

Dánlann Joan Clancy Maoil a' Chóirne, An Rinn, Co Phort Láirge

The Irish Unionist's Farewell to Greta Hellstrom in 1922

Golden haired and golden hearted
I would ever have you be,
As you were when last we parted
Smiling slow and sad at me.
Oh! The fighting down of passion!
Oh! The century-seeming pain-
Parting in this off-hand fashion
In Dungarvan in the rain.

Slanting eyes of blue, unweeping,
Stands my Swedish beauty where
Gusts of Irish rain are sweeping
Round the statue in the square;
Corner boys against the walling
Watch us furtively in vain,
And the Angelus is calling
Through Dungarvan in the rain.

Gales along the Comeragh Mountains,
Beating sleet on creaking signs,
Iron gutters turned to fountains,
And the windscreen laced with lines,
And the evening getting later,
And the ache-increased again,
As the distance grows the greater
From Dungarvan in the rain.

There is no one now to wonder
What eccentric sits in state
While the beech trees rock and thunder
Round his gate-lodge and his gate.
Gone-the ornamental plaster,
Gone-the overgrown demesne
And the car goes fast, and faster,
From Dungarvan in the rain.

Had I kissed and drawn you to me,
Had you yielded warm for cold,
What a power had pounded through me
As I stroked your streaming gold!
You were right to keep us parted:
Bound and parted we remain,
Aching, if unbroken hearted-
Oh! Dungarvan in the rain!

JOHN BETJEMAN
John Betjeman Society

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