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Tag Archives: book

O’Malley has plenty to say in autobiography

A MINISTER for Justice who slept with a gun under his pillow, the very nemesis of Charles Haughey and the founder of a political party that exercised influence way beyond its size throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Des O’Malley wasn’t struggling for material for his book Conduct Unbecoming: A Memoir. Much of O’Malley’s career was defined by his enmity with a certain former taoiseach, an era that was revisited in the recent RTÉ mini-series, Haughey. O’Malley feels it was a relatively fair exploration of the time. “You have to take it as a drama, rather than a factual documentary, but a great deal of it is factual. It is of course based on fact but, for dramatic purposes, certain things are written into it and the chronology of some of the things changes, they happened in a different order. But I thought it was a fair enough representation of the atmosphere at the time, the atmosphere of fear and intimidation.” …

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Humour sees Siobhan through trials of life

THE day Siobhan Mungovan started walking was the day her father, Noel almost keeled over. Aged three and diagnosed with Spina Bifida, walking wasn’t on the list of what was expected of the now 28-year-old Connolly girl, who, these days, works in the planning department of Clare County Council. Siobhan, who along with Clare Champion journalist, Carol Byrne, has written Me and My Backbone, My Journey with Spina Bifida detailing her life with Spina Bifida, clearly recalls the circumstances surrounding her first, albeit unsteady, steps. “Dad roared out to Mam, ‘where are my fags, Ger?’ Mam didn’t take a blind bit of notice because he’s always roaring for something. Lo and behold, out of nowhere, Siobhan gets up with a wobble and takes herself across the floor to get the fags,” Siobhan recalled, ahead of the book launch on November 7. “He was shocked, obviously, that I walked but he was more shocked that I knew what fags were,” she …

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Philomena author for Ennis Book Club Festival

MARTIN Sixsmith, the journalist and author, whose book inspired the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated film Philomena, will appear at the Ennis Book Club Festival just days after the Academy Awards ceremony. He is just one of many well known authors and personalities who will visit the town in March for the popular festival. Ciana Campbell of the Ennis Book Club Festival voluntary committee said they are delighted to welcome Sixsmith to Ennis, along with the other participants. “It’s all taken off for him; it’s been brilliant so we are looking forward to welcoming him. In fact he seems very enthusiastic about coming here. He will be here just after the Oscars ceremony, but Oscar or no Oscar the success has been phenomenal for him,” she outlined. In 2009 Sixsmith wrote The Lost Child of Philomena Lee about the forcible separation of a Limerick mother and child by the nuns of an Irish convent during the 1950s, and the subsequent …

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Pat’s love of radio and GAA comes together

To this day, Pat Guthrie vividly remembers the summer of 1954.  His father purchased a battery radio for the princely sum of £16. It was also the year he listened to his first All-Ireland hurling final radio commentary, leading 60 years later to his book which chronicles the careers of RTE’s radio sports commentators. IT was the first weekend in September and John Guthrie headed the few miles down the road from his thatched home in Commons North to Corofin village, to Pat Reidy’s bicycle repair shop on Church Street. It was a chore he was growing accustomed to, having the recently-purchased wet and dry radio battery charged and at the ready. That weekend was particularly special for the Guthrie family, as they tuned into their first All-Ireland hurling final radio broadcast. It was a final that elevated Ring to legendary status as he won his eighth All-Ireland medal, eclipsing the record shared in hurling by Kilkenny’s Sim Walton, Dick …

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Kevin Weathers His Imperfect Storm

KEVIN Haugh hails from Doonaha and was involved with a running club back in Kilkee during the 1980s. Almost 10 years ago, he was asked back by the club to participate in a running event. When he decided to participate, he was on a high and was feeling great after training. “When I came back from the training I said I’m feeling great and I said I think I’ll keep it up,” he said. However, after showering, he noticed there was a little lump on his neck. He thought nothing too much of it at the time. When he went to his GP, he thought it would be a simple procedure, like removing a mole. “I thought this was going to be an ‘I’ll do that next week’ situation. He put his hand on the telephone and made an appointment with a specialist and I heard him say ‘no I want to see him immediately’. He said to me, ‘I …

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Kevin rides out An Imperfect Storm

KEVIN Haugh, the West Clare-born author of An Imperfect Storm, is a cancer survivor. His book is compelling reading for anyone but particularly those who have had a cancer diagnosis or are close to someone who has suffered from cancer. Kevin’s book is not a medical text book, neither does it proclaim to be a self-help tome or an advisory text on “how to live with cancer”. It is an honest account of Kevin’s life before, during and after he was unexpectedly diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The book portrays the changes that diagnosis imposed on his family, brought to his home and inflicted on his relationships. Kevin was a man at war with cancer. It is this fighting spirit and his inherent will to defeat the disease that stand out most in the book. At his oncologist’s suggestion, he began to keep a diary to help him focus and that diary became his book. A retired principal of Galvone National …

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