A WELL known local writer is looking forward to launching his debut poetry collection.
“The Breed Of Me” is the first poetry collection from Donegal/Fermanagh journalist Gerry McLaughlin.
The launch will be held in the Rockfield Community Hall, Ballyshannon on Friday April 29 at 7.30 pm.
The event will be hosted by two of Gerry’s friends ex Galway captain Joe Connolly and a fiery poet from Connemara called Sean O’Coistealbha while another hurling friend called Conor Hayes will also be a special guest.
There are over 60 poems in the collection and many of them are tributes to those who have passed on, to Gerry’s family, friends, neighbours and figures in the GAA who made a big impression on him growing up on the Donegal/Fermanagh border in the 1960s and 1970s.
Other poems are inspired by his GAA playing career which did not end until he was 45 in 2003 when he lined out for Naomh Eoin hurlers in Sligo. Gerry started to write poems as a way of coping with grief at the loss of his parents Rose and Willie McLaughlin who died in 2017 and 2018 within nine months of each other. Gerry said the poems are rooted in history about ordinary real people who had an extraordinary effect on me.
“I suppose you could call it folk poetry.
“I did not spend hours agonising over a word but I think some of them must have come to me when the moon was in a dangerous position.
“I began to think about my parents and the qualities they gave us, our own people, “The Breed Of Me.”
“My father Willie who filled my world with songs, stories and tales of GAA giants he played with and he was a great actor too.
“My mother was a queen of the land of books but had to work from a very young age and she gave me a love of words, and she was wise and witty but above all-kind.
“The GAA has always been a huge part of my life and I am including one called “Song Of the Hurler” which just came to me one bright May evening, an anthem to all my hurling heroes.
“But most of all, many of these poems are in memory of people who deserve to be remembered, my heroes of home-my eternal legends who should never be forgotten and may their songs always be sung under mellow moons,” said Gerry.
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