A BIRTHDAY gift has been put to good use by a Sixmilebridge woman who has just donated €1,000 to Pieta House.
Angie Togher, a native of Limerick, but living in the ‘Bridge for the last 38 years, fulfilled a lifetime ambition of writing a novel, after she retired from the health services.
The book was set aside for some time and Angie thought no more about it until her family organised its publication as a birthday surprise.
“They asked Dominic Taylor form the Limerick Writers’ Centre to look after the printing, but kept it all a complete secret until my birthday when they told me that publication was underway,” Angie said.
“I was just delighted and got to pick the typeface and the cover before the book was printed.”
‘Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things’ tells the story of Hugh who is struggling to cope with childhood trauma and the death of his wife.
He travels to Scotland, his wife’s native country, where a mystery unfolds.
An avid reader, Angie’s first novel won’t be her last as she is currently in the middle of another work.
“I’m figuring out the ending of this one,” she said.
While Angie took some writing workshops online during lockdown, the first novel was more or less complete at that stage.
“The libraries in Shannon and Sixmilebridge are great for organising writing workshops and book clubs,” she said.
“I had pretty much finished the book when I took the workshops, but it was great to get the views of other writers. Up to now, I hadn’t written a full novel, but I had won a couple of short story competitions.”
The birthday surprise, organised by Angie’s husband Pat (better known as Junior) and her sons Liam and Paul, went down well at home and further afield.
“We were going to order 200, but when we realised how many people were interested, we ordered 400 and sold them all,” Angie said.
“We’ve had another 100 printed and those are still available.”
Once the cost of printing was covered, Angie donated the proceeds to Pieta House.
“The organisation means a lot of so many people,” she said.
“My first cousin Johnny works there and arranged for us to go in make a socially-distanced presentation.”
Angie is very grateful to everyone who has supported the book locally. “People have been just great,” she said.
“I’m so thankful for their support and for the support of the businesses who stocked the book. It has meant an awful lot.”
‘Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things by Angie Togher’ is available in a number of shops in Sixmilebridge and in Easons in Ennis, Shannon and The Parkway Shopping Centre.