Last night saw Breda’s pilgrimage in Muff village, Co. Donegal! Breda Larkin is currently on a tour of Ireland with her one woman show, ‘The Word of Breda’. The show is taking her to every county in the country where she chooses one small town/village to perform. Muff was her chosen village in Donegal.
Breda and her twin sister Ella arrived in Muff on Monday night. Just over a week ago I had never heard of Breda Larkin, but on hearing of her impending visit I decided to make contact...we met on Monday night and had a lovely walk in Muff and the surrounding area. I got to know this young lady on our venture and she explained her reasoning for putting this show together. Larkin grew up in the countryside of Co. Galway on a farm. From a young age she knew she was different, but could never understand how. It wasn't until later years that she accepted this difference as her being ‘gay’. Breda was raised a Catholic and found it difficult in accepting and understanding her sexuality. But by her own admission, and many flawless efforts at meeting girls, she is now completely comfortable and happy in her own skin. She loves herself for who she is and what she is. On meeting Breda Larkin you can’t help but like her and admire her for taking this tour on board.
Travelling with Breda is her statue of the Virgin Mary. Mary is Larkin’s very own ‘moving statue’....she is moving with her all around Ireland. Although Larkin does not approve of the male hierarchy in the Catholic Church, she is clearly very fond of Our Lady, and never leaves home without her! The statue has been in her care since childhood.
Yesterday, Larkin spent the day in Muff village after travelling to Moville and Greencastle. She visited a number of the local businesses and talked to them about her show and her life. She is seeking how other gay people are living in small rural communities in Ireland.
I found Breda Larkin to be a very down to earth, confident person. Someone who believes in using her voice and standing up for what she believes in. Someone who found it difficult to ‘come out’ in Catholic Ireland. Someone who has fought with herself to be herself. And someone who is evidently content within herself.
Last night shortly after 10pm, ‘The Word of Breda’ got underway in the Squealing Pig lounge. The show was just under one hour long, and it was Breda’s story from birth to ‘coming out’. She told of her childhood and her wanting to be a boy. Her adolescence and not realising or understanding her sexuality. Her awakening into the world of being a lesbian, and her family and community reaction to such a revelation. The show was extremely funny, entertaining, moving and in many ways, very humbling. Breda used comedy, music, song and storytelling to relate her life story. We laughed, we listened, we wrote words (to which Breda sang later), and most of all we all learned a valuable lesson! This show is about Breda and her acknowledging and accepting her sexuality. But it’s also about so very much more. It’s about being who you are...who you want to be....and allowing yourself to be you. Society sometimes encourages us to be someone we’re not. Someone who must ‘fit in’. But life is for living and there’s only one shot at it. Breda Larkin’s story is about so much more than being GAY. Breda Larkin and her show ‘The Word of Breda’ tells us that we really are allowed to be ourselves. No one else can live our lives for us. So make the most of this time. BE YOU!
Larkin left Muff earlier today and is taking the show across the border in Northern Ireland over the coming days. If you are fortunate to be nearby, do pop along and see it. You won’t be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t!