The competitors in the 2014 Bard of Armagh Festival of Humorous Verse finals have been named as they prepare for what promises to be the hottest competition in the history of the event. Among the sixteen Bards performing on Friday 21 November, are six newcomers, three former bard winners, and five runners-up. New energies, new themes, new accents and the presentation of a set of new odes will be foremost on the menu of jollification and hilarity at the much awaited feast of bardic revelry in the Armagh City Hotel.
Flying the flag for Louth is Dundalk man Paul McArdle. His poem ‘Minnie the Hare’ is reckoned to be amongst the favourites. Paul impressed in the competition last year and he has a purposeful and competent style of delivery which counts for so much at the keenly fought finals.
Jimmy Rafferty from Loughall, Armagh continues to create the most witty of odes and his entry this year is certain to have the audience rolling in laughter with his ‘take’ on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Fasten the seatbelts! This year Jimmy is the worthy recipient of the ‘Hall of Fame’ award.
Last year, Patsy McDermott from Virgina put on a storming display last year to come in a close second. His poem, ‘Drunken Dream’ was in fact composed by 2012 Bard winner, Sean McCormack from Kells but Sean had to cry off at the last minute and Patsy kindly stood in. This year both men are in the final shake-up with Patsy performing ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ and Sean doing ‘I got you’.