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Presidential seal of approval for local bard

Maureen Cronin received President McAleese's approval for her poem We neever thought 'twould happen, which was published in The Clare Champion. Photograph by Declan MonaghanPOET Maureen Cronin, well known to readers of The Clare Champion for her witty verses, which often feature in letters’ page, has been given the presidential seal of approval for her writing.
A copy of one of Maureen’s recent poems, We never thought ‘twould happen which featured in the June 17 edition of The ’Champion, managed to make its way to Áras an Uachtaráin.
President Mary McAleese was so impressed with the work, that she asked her secretariat to personally write to Maureen.
The poem recalled the visits of both Queen Elizabeth and President Barack Obama to Ireland, along with the royal wedding. In the poem, Maureen described how President McAleese and her husband helped the visiting dignitaries to “mix and mingle”.
On Friday, Maureen received a letter from the Office of the Secretary General to the President outlining that the President wanted to convey “her sincere thanks for your kind words of appreciation and for your poem”. A signed copy of the President’s speech at the State dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth in Dublin Castle was also sent as a memento. The letter also pointed out, “The President was very moved by the wonderful demonstration of public support, which helped to make both occasions so memorable.”
Maureen, who moved to Ennis from her native Kerry, said she was surprised to receive the letter. “Somebody in the Áras must be getting The Clare Champion and showed it to her. I was very surprised when the letter arrived, I thought it was a bill and I nearly threw it away,” she laughed.
Maureen said that she is an admirer of President McAleese, calling her “terrific”. However, this isn’t her first brush with the country’s first lady as she has met her four times before.
The retired teacher has published eight books of poetry, having been an avid writer since a young age. She says she gets her ideas by observing all around her and keeping up to date with the news on television, the national papers and of course her local Clare Champion.  “I come from Kerry originally where we have the gift of the gab and I’ve been writing for years ever since. I write on anything, any bit of spare paper I can find. Everything in my house is written on except the wall paper. Sometimes, ideas come to me at two in the morning, so I keep bits of card and biros to hand to scribble something down,” she said.


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