The long and the short of it is rural Galway vernacular for everything you need to know. 

For example, I met a neighbour on the boreen, on the way home from the bog with a trailer load of turf. I pulled into a gate to let the tractor pass, let the window down, leaned out and congratulated the man on the bountiful harvest, as you do.  

I got the long and the short of it: 

        -It’s all very fine talking about the turf ses he, and I on the way home with it in the middle of June, but did I ever tell you about the years of misery I had? 

        -You did, came my redundant interjection.    

        -The year I turned and footed it in the peltin’ rain, how it pelted down on me back, inside the collar of me shirt, how it seeped down the length of me, filled up me wellingtons it did, did I tell you that?

        -You did  

        -And then the following year hadn’t I it saved in under two weeks, from the laying out in the bog to the laying it on the open fire on me solemn oath. But did I ever tell you about the year I missed the Galway races or the two hurling finals and Galway playing two years in a row, two years in a row, did I tell you that?

        -You did 

        -Ah but I’ve good quality turf this year, great comfort in it, the quality depends on a lot of things, did I ever tell you that?

        -You did

        -The quality depends on a lot of things, the mood of the machine driver, the swerve of the cut, the depth of the high bank and the bleddy weather, there you have it in a nutshell 

        -And is it worth it, cost-wise, is it more economical than...

        -Cheaper than oil or gas is it, well now that depends...

        -so much depends on a red wheelbarrow, my mind wanders

        -It depends on the price of the hopper

        -Of course, and how much would a hopper be, roughly speaking?

        -Well that’s the million dollar question, you see there’s no one can tell me exactly what size a hopper is, if I had that I’d be in clover, they’re all different you see, but no matter, anyway you were asking about the turf and didn’t I answer you the best I could, isn’t that the long and the short of it?


Anne Marie Kennedy is a Galway based writer who returned to formal education in her mid-forties. She achieved a First Class Honours BA in English Literature and Celtic Civilization and a President’s Scholarship.  A year later she graduated with a First Class Honours Masters in Writing from NUI Galway. Her fiction has been widely published, lauded and awarded. A radio play brought fleeting success and two gold medals. Familiar themes in her work are rural isolation, working class, the voiceless and marginalised. Her non-fiction is truthful and humorous; her poetry highly rated for performance.  

That’s the short of it. 

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Anne Marie Kennedy, B.A. (1st) English & Celtic Civilization, Masters in Writing, (1st), from NUI Galway. 

Her non-fiction was selected for Best American Essays 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen. She is the winner of the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2014 and her play, ‘A Matter of Modesty,’ was awarded second place in the P.J.O’Connor Radio Drama Award 2016. The work was broadcast on RTE Radio 1on July 10thwith Eamon Morrissey in the lead, supported by Bryan Murray, Enda Oates and Frank O’Sullivan. The play took two GOLDS at the New York Festivals, International Radio Awards 2017: Best Scheduled Radio Drama and Best Actor for Eamon Morrissey. 

 Kennedy’s fiction was shortlisted for, Short Story of the Year 2015. Her prose and poetry has been published in ROPES, Blackheart Magazine, the Colony, theManchesterReview, Irish Times, the SHOp, Boyne Berries, the Galway Review, Irish Central, North West Words and various others in Ireland and the UK. 

Anne Marie Kennedy has performed at Boyle Arts FestivalYeats Society Sligo, InisWritersGalway Fringe Festival, Shorelines Arts Festival, Baffle Poetry Festival, Cúirt Internal Festival of Literature, Yeats’ 150th anniversary at Thoor Ballylee, Electric Picnic 2015, O’Bhéal Poetry Series, Cork and in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.  

As a freelance journalist, she writes for Irish Music Magazine, the Connacht Tribune, Irish Times and RTE Radio.  

Anne Marie facilitates creative writing workshops across the genres, teaching fiction, memoir, play writing and poetry.     

Her spoken word CD Is That A Galway Accent? comprises the author’s voice reciting previously awarded, broadcast and published essays, prose poems and performance pieces.