By Peg Prendeville

What a lovely night of fun, humour, poetry, music and laughter we had on Sunday night at the very successful launch of the book Connections in Carrigkerry Community Hall on Sunday night. Author and photographer, Bridie Murphy of Glenastar, organised this collection into a beautiful hardcover, colour book during the Covid 19 pandemic. The MC Gerard Liston did a great job and introduced us to Bridie’s son Steve who read a very humorous poem written for the occasion by his brother Kevin, who, sadly, could not be present on the night. This was followed by entertainer Frances Kenrick, book producer Jeremy Murphy Listowel, Bridie herself and the biggest surprise of all was when Gerard announced that the well known Seamus O’Rourke of “Standing in Gaps” fame was to launch the book. Seamus read two of his own pieces bringing some of us to tears at his rendition of “The Drawer”,  as well as reading one from Bridie’s book. Bridie herself thanked many people for their help in bringing this book to fruition and read some more. As Seamus O’Rourke said, this is a wonderful book, written from the heart in simple style and containing some wonderful photographs. The book will be on sale in local shops @ €20. Profits go to Temple Street Hospital and Air Ambulance. Well done Bridie!

As if that was not enough in our family Bridie’s sister Ger White in East Grinstead UK has also put together a selection “Newspapers on the floor” which is being sold though Check it out. This too contains some lovely poems, some of local interest.

In spite of all that excitement it was a sad weekend for those of us who love poetry as on the same day, October 17th, we learned that two of Ireland’s most well known and loved poets had died. The wonderful smile and silky voice of Brendan Kennelly will be heard no more as Brendan died aged 85. I had the pleasure of hearing and meeting him many times and just loved his voice. The other great figure was Máire Mac an tSaoi aged 99, who also had a lovely reading voice and composed in English and Irish. Two great talents gone in one day but as always new talent born. And so life goes on.

Meanwhile the Abha Bhán Players are getting stuck into The Buds of Ballybunion which is hoped to be staged in March 2022.