Stuart Townsend and the Hill of Tara

I interviewed the actor/director Stuart Townsend last Sunday beside the Hill of Tara and I also interviewed his pal Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I didn’t feel like I was meeting ‘celebrities’. I felt I was meeting men who can care deeply about issues that are much bigger than themselves…and that is the kind of ‘celebrity’ I really like to meet! They were involved in an amazing project. Stuart had asked his pal, aerial artist John Quigley, to do some aerial art at Tara. Vast numbers of people turned up to form themselves into the shape of a harp and the words ‘Save Tara Valley’. It was a message to the skies, but it was also a message that was photographed from a helicopter and published around the world. In the aerial art people became ‘art’. What an amazing and wonderful way to gather folks together. And it was fun! I’d love to interview John Quigley himself one day. He’s done similar projects in the Amazon, the Arctic, Miami and many other places. He seems to know how to gather people together in a way that isn’t divisive but wondrous.

I recently read Anne Tyler’s lovely book Digging To America. Her books are elusive and true. Grounded in ordinary life and love but also extraordinary. And wise.

Love and light,


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2 Responses

  1. Trish says:

    Hi there Grace,

    Just found your blog and read your lovely description. I was there with a crew of volunteer filmmakers, working alongside John Quigley’s videography team (a not-for-profit company called Mofilms). Stuart was lovely to work with, although we never did find Jonathan Rhys-Myers in the crowd! You can find out more about John on his website

    I’ve kept in touch with John since he returned to Los Angeles… well, not so much ‘returned’, which implies that he’s still there, but rather returned to the base from which he plans his next aerial art project! He’s currently in Bali for the UN conference on climate, having come straight from a project to save three species of migrating whale from Japanese whalers in the antarctic! John is planning to return to Ireland next summer, so hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to meet him then.

    With best wishes,


  2. Grace says:

    Hi Trish,

    Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Yes, that was a great day with John and hundreds of others on Tara. The aerial photographs of it are magnificent.

    I interviewed Stuart for a radio documentary called Tara: Land, Legend, Legacy and the documentary will be broadcast on NEWSTALK on January 6th at 7 a.m. and repeated at 9 p.m. Their documentary slot is called ‘Different Voices’. Hope you can listen in to it.

    Yes, I would love to meet John Quigley again sometime. He is doing really wonderful work.

    Warm wishes and gratitude,


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