Maurice Desmond hasn't had an exhibition since 2005 so it was good to see him back in the saddle at the Vangard Gallery in Macroom. The show is based on his reaction to visits to The Somme and Ypres and features his characteristic expressionist landscapes, only darker and more brooding. The gallery is an impressive space above Quinlan's classy craft shop on the Killarney road. Sales were modest for an artist that usually sells out - sign of the times. Although the show's sombre theme may not have helped.
The crowd was thin, but old familiar faces from Cork were in evidence. The unfailingly amiable Ricky Lynch (keeping his hat on as always) and his son Reuben, Rory Kelleher psychiatrist, art lover and property magnate, a couple of notable rat-bags, and various family and friends. Peter Murray did a fine opening speech, even throwing in a little Gerard Manley Hopkins to add further grace to the proceedings.
Afterwards we headed for Golden's, opposite the Castle Hotel, as fine an old pub as you'll find in all of Munster. Good beer, good banter, and the most amiable of barmaids. I tried a pint of Murphy's, then a pint of Guinness, and finally a pint of Beamish. All perfect. The local Bakers (the Lynches) were in attendance, art lovers all. We'll be back.