Dermot Somers – Rince ar na Ballaí (2002) 30 May 2010
Rince ar na Ballaí, published by Cois Life, 2002.
Words © Dermot Somers, photography in this video © Robbie Fenlon, John Murray and Dermot Somers, video music © Cois Life.
Rince ar na Ballaí, is an account of Somers’ mountaineering expeditions from the Alps to the Himalayas, and of his journeying with a camel train in the Sahara, which follows an ancient traditional route to sell salt. Dermot Somers is already a published author in English but Rince ar na Ballaí is his first book in Irish. Rince ar na Ballaí is a thoughtful, searching memoir, written with rigour and wry humour, in a crafted and textured style. It mirrors his physical terrains. It is as much a discovery of new landscapes as of language pushed beyond familiar boundaries. Self-effacing, Somers has an eagle’s eye for detail, making the strange familiar and recognisable. He is a natural storyteller and raconteur, and describes the highly technical craft of mountaineering and climbing with great ease in Irish. He brings his characters and companions to life. We breathe their air.