**"Joe McNamara is famous in Dublin for his adept handling of Cement Mixers and of miscellaneous plant in Kildare Street. However he is best known in his native Achill as a hotelier and piper and to pilgrims to Croagh Patrick as the perennial lone piper who pipes them onto the summit every Reek Sunday.
Joe has attracted controversy for his mysterious ‘Achill Henge’ structure, a circle of carefully proportioned blocks around 100m in circumference in Achill. The structure, sponsored by the Local Authority under the Mayo County Council public arts program, is carefully designed to channel sunlight at dawn during both the summer and winter solstices.
However the structure also has Acoustic Mimicry properties. It is deliberately designed that it will emit a second order harmonic tone to the Tenor Drone base frequency on the Píob Mór, Joes own personal instrument. In certain wind conditions, namely when a wind of precisely 45 Knots blows consistently as happens around 8 times a year in Achill, the structure will sing. As Joe describes it “The whole of Achill will be suffused by the pristine tonality of an eternal Drone”.
German Acoustic expert and designer Hansi Kapellarsch commented that “Achill will become a tourist magnet, not only for British Tourists who are naturally attracted to a Henge structure but also to European tourists who adore the sound of the warpipes”
While Joe has permission to install the structure itself because Sculptures and Installations are exempt developments, Mayo County Council who sponsored this project have injuncted Joe from building a road to the area which is not an exempt development.
Negotiations are continuing betweem Joe and Mayo County Planning Officials over the removal of the current temporary road when the structure is completed later this week."**
I love it. And I’m interested to see how he’d finish it. It gives me goosebumps - how beautiful it is in its concrete dourness in the half-light! And that it will sing? Magic. Joe McNamara has a fascinating soul.
**b]The Joe show is a smokescreen into Who the Joe is. In speaking with locals, they believe Joe would benifit the local area in a far better way if HE FILLED IN THE BIG HOLE HE DUG IN THE GROUND IN KEEL LESS THAN A MILE FROM HIS HENGE WHICH HE BUILT ON COMMON LAND. The hole was once know as THE VILLAGE INN PUB, KEEL ACHILL. It is now an absolute EYE-SORE… **
So The council paid for it, agreed it was a sculpture (since they funded it as such) and thus planning exempt, let it get built and now want it taken down because the council (eg themselves) did not grant planning permission.
What am I missing here? The council paid for it to be built and are now spending more taxpayers cash in legal wrangles to get it taken down again?
The utter stupidity of the Irish planning system. A few years ago they would have have approved a skyscraper with a hospital balanced on top of it on top of that mountain, now they dont want anyone to build anything, even if they gave to money to build that something. Either that or the cheque in the brown paper envelope bounced.
Thanks for the tip-off … Did not know whether to laugh or cry … the ‘Acousto-Archeology’ bit was
strange, very strange!
But d’ye know sometin’ … ? I’d go see it, I would!
Shame about his ghost pub foundations back in the village though - not much archeo-acoustical there!