Launch of the 2015 Fermanagh Miscellany in Fermanagh County Library
Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the launch of the ninth volume in the
annual Fermanagh Miscellany series which showcases writing by members
of the Fermanagh Authors’ Association. The Association was founded in
2005 to promote and showcase local writers and their work; authors
native to Fermanagh or writing about Fermanagh and exploring the
diverse facets of local life, history and heritage.
The book includes short stories, reminiscences, historical articles and
poems all showing the diversity and vitality of the literary talent and
traditions in Fermanagh. The cover features Michael Donnelly’s subtle
watercolour of Callowhill Mill which is one of the paintings that
illustrate his article on mill houses in the county. This year’s volume
reflects on the onset and early years of the Great War and our
dedication this year is to the men and women who gave their lives
during that war – supposedly to end all wars as it was said and a
poignant poem by Irish war poet, Tom Kettle, is included in tribute to
Among the articles this year Miscellany 2015 contains stories of two
Fermanagh Unionist newspaper editors warring in print by John
Cunningham; a light-hearted look at William Carleton, the man and his
writings by Bryan Gallagher; Dianne Trimble’s short story about
Fermanagh’s most famous ghost - the Coonian ghost; a project about
making prayer flags that don’t create division by Florence Creighton;
reminiscences of a donkey derby champion and family pet known as Life
Indeed on the track but back in his own field was simply known as Paddy
by Linda Swindle; John Reade, a Fermanagh native from near Pettigo who
achieved fame as a Irish Canadian poet; Fermanagh from the newspapers
of a century ago and an aristocratic Fermanagh lady Monica de
Witchfield nee Massy-Beresford who fought in the Danish Resistance in
WW2 – both by Dermot Maguire; in and out of Prison Cells but only as a
Prison Visitor by Tony Brady; Frank McHugh’s account of a project
entitled Connection and Division involving Fermanagh Grammar School
pupils; Sean McElgunn’s Hidden Histories of the Carmelite Order in New
York and Vicky Herbert’s recording of 85 year old Robert Ryan growing
up on the Crom estate in East Fermanagh just after WW1. There are also
poems by Seamas Mac Annaidh on the theme of Fermanagh castles and also
his annual and invaluable collating of Fermanagh related books in 2012
and 2013 while Winston Graydon pens his poetic remembrance of the Brown
Haired girl and the thrills of going to Bundoran.
The book goes on sale in the Fermanagh County Museum, Fermanagh Tourist
Office and shops up and down Fermanagh. It will be on sale for the very
modest price £4.99 and will make a very attractive Christmas gift for
both Fermanagh people living locally, for those living away from home
and visitors to the county. When the turkey is gone and the pudding a
distant memory your gift of a Christmas book will be a cherished memory
for little more than the price of a fancy Christmas card today.
Fermanagh Miscellany 2015 features work by Sēamas Mac Annaidh, John B.
Cunningham, Bryan Gallagher, Dermot Maguire, Vicky Herbert, Frank
McHugh, Dianne Trimble, Michael Donnelly, Sean McElgunn, Anthony Brady,
Florence Creighton, Winston Graydon and Linda Swindle.
Dianne Trimble and myself are joint editor’s this year and on behalf of
all the membership of the Fermanagh Author’s Association I would like
to pay tribute to Dianne our wonderful secretary and the person who
bore the brunt of editing and bringing this book together.
Thank you all for coming here today.
John Cunningham 10-11-2014.
John Cunningham, Erne Heritage Tours.