Padraig releases new 'Yarns and Rhymes'
A FORMER Louth teacher has released a new edition of his writing which has featured many times of RTE Radio One's Sunday Miscellany show.
Padraig McGinn, who was an English and History teacher at VEC schools in Louth, including Ardee and Dunleer, has been 'spinning yarns' all his life but it wasn't until a decade ago that he was persuaded to bring all his stories together, first to record them, then to publish them.
The result is the second, updated, version of 'Yarns and Rhymes', which contains all the great stories that have become synonymous with not only the Sunday Miscellany show but also his appearances in the Bard of Oriel and Bard of Armagh competitions.
Back in Dundalk from his home in Carrick-on-Shannon to promote the book, Padraig, whose wife Angela also contributed to the publication with around 11 stories of her own, said he was delighted with the reception 'Yarns and Rhymes' is receiving.
He first came to Dundalk from his hometown of Castleblayney to work in the ESB, living in Ard Easmuinn and Mount Avenue. Angela, (nee Daly), who is also from the county Monaghan town, is a former nurse at the Louth County Hospital and later in her career, at St Oliver's.
Padraig said: 'There is plenty in the book that people from this area would be very familiar with and the book is bang up to date with the very first story of around 40 is about the Celtic Tiger. Many of these would have been my party pieces over the years.
'About ten years ago, I was doing a bit of story-telling in a pub and a friend asked me if I had written any of these down. Some were on a computer hard drive somewhere, others were on scraps of paper and many were just in my head.
'So I decided to write them down and when I had them all in one place, I decided to put them into book form. There was a great reaction to the first edition around seven years ago, but this one has been updated and there is plenty more to enjoy'.
The stories, yarns, rhymes and musings are highly entertaining and many are in what could be called the JB Keane Ulster style, using the same quick wit, combined with a beautiful use of language and mixed, sometimes, with some risque highlights.
What makes the book all the more remarkable is the fact that Padraig, a former vice-principal of Ardee Community School, is 83 years old. He continues to thoroughly enjoy the buzz from being a wonderful raconteur.
'Yarns and Rhymes' is published by Conabry Press and is priced €10. It is available at the following outlets: Carrolls book store, Park Street, Dundalk Library, Danny Hughes and Mark Quinn, Blackrock; McEvoys Newsagents, Clanbrassil Sreet, Carrolls Newsagents, Long Walk Shopping Centre, Carlingford Post Office and the Station House, Lordship.