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Thursday 28 August 2014

Ex-Loreto teacher writes debut novel

mary fogarty

Published 02/10/2013 | 05:22

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Patrick Connolly flicks through his novel 'The Priests Wife' which is hot off the presses and only arrived this morning at his home in Crinken, Shankill

A former teacher at Loreto Bray has just brought out his first novel at the mature age of 76.

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A former teacher at Loreto Bray has just brought out his first novel at the mature age of 76.

Pat Connolly will be remembered by many as the counsellor who guided the career paths of Loreto girls over a period of almost 30 years.

He is now enjoying his retirement with his wife Joan at their Shankill home.

'The Priest's Wife', published recently by American ebook publisher, Wings ePress, is expected to cause ripples as word of its racy themes begins to spread beyond the confines of Bray and Wicklow.

The novel is set in Rocky Valley, in the shadow of the Sugarloaf which acquires a mystical role as this human drama plays out to its grim conclusion.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," said Pat, on penning his first novel. "Being retired gave me the time I needed to realise that dream."

In the novel, an ex-nun marries a priest, finds herself faced with an incredible dilemma and comes up with a solution which many if not most women in her situation would have found utterly unthinkable.

Pat retired at 60 and realised it was time to give himself some sound career advice. The author actually trained as a priest in his youth, however he pulled out after eight years when he realised that life was not for him.

"I'd always wanted to be a writer and already many of the various themes that emerge in 'The Priest's Wife' had begun to suggest themselves to me. It was to take many more years of writing and rewriting before the finished novel emerged in its present controversial form."

Pat refers to the explosive mix of religion, betrayal, psychosis, scandal and ultimately tragedy as "controversial". "I'd be surprised if some eyebrows are not raised just a little," he said.

'The Priest's Wife' is available from Amazon for download to Kindle or in paperback from the website of Wings ePress.

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