Thursday 18 October 2018

Poetry collection published 28 years after author died

John Wyse Jackson with Fiontan Ó Súilleabháin with copies of the new book, Cosa Gréine
John Wyse Jackson with Fiontan Ó Súilleabháin with copies of the new book, Cosa Gréine

A COLLECTION of poetry written by a Gorey man received its official launch recently, 28 years after his death. 'Cosa Gréine' by Gorey writer Diarmaid Ó Súilleabháin received an official launch in Dublin recently, as well as at the book cafe in Gorey.

Ó Suilleabháin was widely regarded by his contemporaries as a literary giant and one of the most innovative Irish-language authors to emerge in the 1960s. For many fans of the genre, when Máirtín Ó Cadhain died in 1970, the mantle of the greatest writer of Irish prose fell on the shoulders of Diarmaid Ó Súilleabháin, who was a native of Bearra, West Cork, but who adopted Gorey as his homeplace and worked as a primary teacher in the CBS.

Ó Súilleabháin was closely associated with internationally acclaimed artist Paul Funge, founder of the Gorey Arts Centre, and his house was always known as a meeting place for artists and writers. He has an extensive collection of publications, some of which have won international awards. His novels include works like Ciontach, Dianmhuilte Dé, Súil le muir, An Uain Bheo, Maeldún, Lá Breá Gréine Buí, Aistear and Caoin Tú Féin, and he was also well known for his dramatic works Bior, Macalla and Ontos and a short story collection, Muintir.

Impressively, Ó Súilleabháin managed to win more literary prizes than any other living Irish author. He was also a prominent republican and a member of Sinn Féin's ruling body, specialising in the area of publicity in the republican struggle.

Gorey Library will be stocking Cosa Gréine and Zozimus Bookshop at The Book Café on Gorey's Main Street is one of the few bookshops in the country where it is on sale. Proprietor John Wyse Jackson has also gathered up some of Diarmaid Ó Súilleabháin's works in his second-hand collection, which are by now rare collector's items.

Gorey Guardian