independent

Monday 22 September 2014

The write stuff

SHEILA FITZGERALD

Published 22/05/2014 | 05:26

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IN Boherbue, they're used to winning All Ireland titles, and the parish is home to several authors. Now Limanaugh lady Noreen O'Connell has combined both feats by scooping the ICA All Ireland Short Story Competition for 2014 by writing 1000 words on this year's theme ... 'Meanwhile Down On The Farm'.

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While it is her first foray into creative writing, Noreen has produced the Boherbue Parish Newsletter for the past 17 years. She told the Corkman how this year's competition theme really struck a chord with her.

"I was born on a farm, married a farmer, and worked at Boherbue Co-Op for 26 years, so I know plenty about the farming way of life," she said.

"When I was working at the creamery there were over 200 suppliers coming in every morning. They met, talked and socialised, and when the bulk collections began all that came to an end, and some of them did not meet from one end of the week to the other".

Noreen's winning entry focused on the subsequent isolation suffered by farmers. "I wrote the story in half a day", she continued, "then I was amazed when I got a call from the Head Office telling me it had been short listed to 20".

As Boherbue also fielded a team in the question time competition, of which Noreen is also a member, she had plenty support when she read out her story before a large audience at the ICA headquarters at An Grianán, Co. Louth. "They called out seven who were awarded special merit, then came the third, and the second. I could not believe my ears when it was announced that I was the overall winner," she said.

The Corkman was wondering if this might be the first chapter in a book from a brand new author in the locality, and Noreen, with a twinkle in her eye said, "Well, we'll have to wait and see"!

Corkman

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