Duais Oireachtais 2009
Brian and Lise are the presenters of a new television adventure series in the making. Twenty-somethings, athletic, good-looking, they have all the combined talents to engage in the rigorous challenges of the outdoors and present them to a television audience.
Brian is at home in the air and on land, while Lise is a water-woman. The series presents challenges to both in their boundaried adventures. Marcas, the director is the manipulator, seemingly calling the shots.
Both up-close and panoramic, Ar muir is ar sliabh is both a dialogue with the landscape and seascape of Ireland, and the growth of trust, perhaps even of intimacy, between two characters. But they are also pursued, even stalked, by the indoor ghosts of their past.
In an underwater cave off the coast of Clare, they have to come to terms, urgently, with their own fault-lines for survival.
Laoise Ní Chléirigh, Inis, Earrach 2010
Ar Muir is ar Sliabh by Dermot Somers is a modern and interesting novel. We are introduced to Brian and Lise, young, twenty-something, attractive television presenters. They are adept at presenting in the outdoors whilst dealing with the forces of nature around them. Brian is confident and capable on land and in the air, whereas Lise is an expert in the water. The two presenters are managed by the authoritative director Marcus. As the adventures unfold, fantastic imagery of the landscape and seascape of Ireland are revealed to the reader. Additionally, we are given insight into the personal problems of both of the characters. At times, the plot meanders a little and, there is more emphasis on Brian than on Lise. However, it is clear that Somers has significant experience in outdoor pursuits and provides the reader with a rich vocabulary, some of which is included in the small glossary as an additional support. This is an eloquently written piece of fiction that older teenage/young adult readers (those with the appropriate standard of Irish) would enjoy, particularly if they have an interest in mountaineering, scuba-diving, abseiling, and the flora and fauna of Ireland. The story concludes with a very impressive and dramatic underwater cave scene, further highlighting the merits of this book.