Open Call – Street Line Critics & The Prequel Programme Collaboration

Street Line Critics & The Prequel Programme Collaboration

Submission Deadline:  25th April 2014, 12am.

Street Line Critics and The Prequel Programme are delighted to announce an open call for an upcoming collaboration happening in May this year.   We would like to invite you to send in written/text based submissions relating to Ormston House (9-10-11 Patrick Street) for a collaboration which allows everyone to share their thoughts on the legacy of this building and on the fabric of Limerick life over the years. The submission can take any format, whether it is a word, sentence, fact, experience, poem, story, memory, piece of history, research, or even a snippet of conversation which you remember having- As long as it is some way related to the building, even if it happened outside or near it.

All submissions will be written in chalk marker and chalk on the large windows of Ormston House Gallery and the street/foot path outside for the duration of 2 weeks in May.

Each submission will be credited to the person who wrote it, written in quote format on the windows and on the street.

The project will be documented and shared across the Prequel Project and Street Line Critics website platforms as well as all individual submissions being posted on the Street Line Critics website and Facebook.

For further information or to get involved, please send your submission and/or query to  with ‘Ormston House’ in the subject field.  You will receive confirmation of your submission.  We look forward to hearing from you.

About the collaborating parties:

The Prequel Programme

The Prequel Programme is a research project and active archive which was founded to celebrate the history contained within the walls of 9-10-11 Patrick Street (9-10 being Ormston House) and revive these past events in the minds of Limerick’s inhabitants though a series of historically-based contemporary events.

For more information, please visit:

Street Line Critics

’Street Line Critics’ is a network of writers who share their thoughts, experiences and insights about particular places and routes in Limerick city using words of chalk as their medium. They offer alternative perspectives of how we see and use our public places. Opening up our streets through their musings and observations as a canvas to start a critical conversation with and about the city. By providing these impermanent monuments to the everyday, they are drawing attention to these spaces which belong to all of us and are engaging in a process of mapping out, through words, how Limerick is lived, walked, worked and used.

For more information visit:





Brendan Hayes – Reflections on Street Line Critics

Brendan Hayes  – Reflections on Street Line Critics


Rain pelleting the front window; the lonesome wail of the midday Angelus bell

Monday; I don’t know what to say–I think of wet slippery streets that cannot be scrawled with chalk.

I want to get down and dirty by the river of no return; with the tear-less heartbreak and the crooked-necked swans, who splatter green shit like scared sick infants.
And be there… to stop the next lost ‘children of Lir’ become exiled to the dark riddle that is the Shannon. Forever.

Last night I was told a senior colleague had died- it was swift for he had been unwell, but previously had survived a bout of cancer. And then it insidiously returned.

Thinking of my departed friend and how  he once described me-but that’s another story.  I remember the subject of my Final Year Project back then and how puzzled he was by my topic: a 6000 word literature review on the subject: “Self-Induced Water Intoxication–a nursing perspective”, as it was eventually titled. He may have chuckled.

I could not have made that up: why were men in mental hospitals drowning from the inside out; their swollen brains leached of ions and  electrolytes, like batteries strewn and submerged on the river-bed.
How was that research going to save lives? I wanted to tell their stories: of the man I last saw, manic, toxic and drowning, collapsing at my feet
Finally overcome by  water overload..

I like what I do with the little tube of white chalk; watching Lotte neatly scrawl the temporary words. Of enduring feelings.
The light of a million moons…is captured in  chalk, too; now released by little scribbles on the blue-grey pavements.

“I shall atone…by writing on a stone”; I cannot find my Soul inside a bone- or any bone. Hollow like eye-sockets on graveyard skulls, the same fabric of calcium where the millions of squid are crushed into chalk by the weight of the world, and. And the suffering… to then have this once happening chance to release a little light from my crushed heart; to let my knuckle bleed… nursing the powdered detritus of millennia to life. Life, however brief.”

.. Humbling, but not ‘showing-off’, either.. In a parable Jesus said; ‘let he who is without Sin throw the first stone’. My take on that is: ‘Let he(me) who has sinned, write on the stone–not that I’ve “sinned”–but that I’ve not Loved enough; squandered talent and time in wilful fantasising ; avoided enriching my life–and the lives of others. And that the day of Reckoning has come… by the Humbling River!
“I may never have a blue plaque on a wall; yet the pleasure of chalk-dust by your feet may Forgive all,”

And I still had to do the research; Saturday afternoons; a can of cider propped on the window-sill. It was then I realised-and relished the calm, collecting power of cheap booze.  The randomness and boredom of internet-searching; cutting and splicing. Cut and paste. What a waste! All that plagiarism…citing references as primary sources.  And a life saved. Saving lives was the outcome; the managers accepted that- after I presented them with the international evidence.

– Brendan Hayes