Tuesday 19 November 2019

Giant losses

• Two literary giants died last week -- and will leave a tremendous void in our lives. Maeve Binchy and Con Houlihan.

It was only in May that Celine Naughton interviewed Maeve Binchy and wrote about it in the Irish Independent. She said that Maeve Binchy told her she had just turned 72 but that it was just a number as she thought of herself as being in her mid-20s and felt that her future was still ahead of her.

Maeve had three concerns about growing old: a lack of energy, less time ahead and the fact that so many of her friends had died.

But on the plus side she said: "I am now so much nicer a person, not self-obsessed. It's such a relief to realise that nobody is really interested in you . . . when you are young you think people are talking about you all the time or looking at you, but in reality they're more interested in themselves." So Maeve not only was growing old gracefully, she had gained great wisdom.

The other great writer who has died was Con Houlihan.

I used to love reading his articles in the 'Evening Press'.

He wrote brilliant articles on sport. The football or hurling ball would almost come through the page, such was the excitement his words could generate.

To me his appearance was that of a weather-beaten fisherman and his hair was not unlike that of an absent- minded professor, but boy, could that Kerryman write so well.

Maeve and Con, two giants of the written word, should be the toast of the country, having given so many people great joy through their writings.

Instead, RTE talked about those boring, truthless bankers who have left us penniless and focused on troublesome areas in the world rife with war. Stop this nonsense RTE, and give us the news of our great Irish dead first and show interest in the people who made us happy and who deserve to be first on the news.

TV3 had a great journalistic and moving report in the beginning of their news bulletins and did not leave coverage of those important writers until last.

Ms Terry Healy
Green Kill, Co Kildare

Irish Independent

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