In the News

Irish News (Nov 2004) Peadar O Ruairc

Loughgall farmer Jimmy Rafferty beat 14 other hopefuls to be crowned Bard of Armagh 2004 at Armagh City Hotel  and went home £500 richer.

It was just reward for the pint-sized  versifier  who came close to taking the coveted prize for hunorous verse on several occasions and in winning he beat two former bards.

Jimmy’s winning poem in the festival of humorous verse was entitledForeign Feedin’ and it was a surefire winner with the packed audience and judges headed by  broadcaster George Galligan.

The winning poem dealt with family outings to some restaurents with hilarious consequences and the difficulty Jimmy had in deciphering what the different menus had to offer. For instance he thought a la carte was something he could eat and his one bright spot on another menu was @Escargot he remembered as a horse in the Grand National. However, Jimmy’s final verses related the downside of Vindaloo which had disastrous consequences for him.  ……

Bard of Armagh

The Bard mantle has at last landed on the firm shoulders of Jimmy Rafferty from Loughgall. Before a packed house at the Armagh City Hotel, it was a case of chickens coming home to roost, as Jimmy had been so agonisingly close to winning the competition over the last couple of years. The audience of 1000 rose to Jimmy at the end of his presentation, in full approval of a true classic.

His poem ‘Foreign Feedin’ is one of the most outstanding pieces in the entire history of the Bard competition and it created such an energy that even the busy hotel staff felt compelled to desert their duties to take stock of what was happening.

Only Jimmy could conjure up such a cocktail of humorous verse by taking the theme of dining out and looking at it from totally different prospectives. Both the content and delivery were supreme and Jimmy has every right to be totally proud of his great achievement.

Ulster Gazette

(Article about the Launch of the Bard of Armagh in the Armagh City Hotel)

Old favourites such as Matt McAteer, Phyllis Murphy, Joan Gaffney and Peter Carragher kept up a plentiful supply of hilarity but the evening belonged to Jimmy Rafferty who had the audience in absolute raptures with is cleverly composed and superbly presented pieces.

Bard of Armagh

Jimmy Rafferty became Bard of Armagh for an unprecedented fourth time at a packed Armagh City Hotel last night 19 November 2010. He narrowly pipped fierce rival Liam McNally in the closest contest for years. Even before Jimmy took to the lecturn he had the audience in stitches with his regal attire to suit his poem, ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’. A chorus of ‘Good Queen Bess’ resounded in the background.

It was another mesmerising evening of hilarity with themes varying from the recession to being politically correct, from dieting to overeating and from wedding invitations to shopping. Newcomer Colleen Downham took the inaugural Rosemary Twohig trophy with a superb performance ‘Lady GAA GAA’. Donal McKenna’s ‘Cock a Doodle Do’ was his best performance yet and at over eighty years of age he just gets better and better.