01 Jul 2022

Then & Now: Making new ‘Connections’ post-covid

Then & Now: Making new ‘Connections’ post-covid

Bridie Murphy pictured signing a book for her granddaughter Lia at the launch of her book 'Connections', a collection of photographs and poems at the Community Centre, Carrigkerry Picture: Marie Keati

BRIDIE MURPHY from Glenastar Ardagh launched her first book ‘Connections’ photographs and poems at Carrigkerry Community Centre on Sunday, October 17, before a very appreciative attendance.

Bridie a retired teacher is known far and wide for her photography and now this talented lady has used her time during Covid to compile a selection of her poems, prose and photographs in book form.

Gerard Liston was MC and he read one of the poems from the book and told a funny story about the glitter ball, mineral bar, from the old dance hall days.

Traditional music was provided by Donal O’Sullivan, Diarmuid O’Brien and Mike Murphy. Frances Kennedy, a noted lady of comedy, told some funny stories about Bridie and Stephen in her own humorous way.

Jeremy Murphy from the publishing company paid tribute to Bridie and looked forward to working with her again.

Bridie’s son Stephen read out a poem ‘Finally’ by her other son Kevin who was unable to attend telling the family story of the progress of the book, (which took over all their lives in a negative way) and it was very well received.

Seamus O’Rourke, Leitrim, author of ‘Standing In Gaps’ and many funny rural stories came all the way to perform the launch. He told two of his own stories including the drawer and paid tribute to Bridie’s work before declaring it launched.

Bridie read two of her poems (There's no Place like Home and Sisters) and thanked all people who helped to bring it to fruition.
The book contains 138 pages, with 55 individual items and 51 of her own colour photographs.

Bridie is a first time author and her biography notes read as follows: Bridie Murphy is a wife, mother and grandmother who loves to write. A retired teacher and busy photographer, she lives with her husband in the countryside in West Limerick.

Following retirement, she discovered she had a flair for writing inspired by her late father, who was a popular and successful poet and author, and encouraged by family members, Bridie began developing her hidden gift.

As grandchildren arrived, she was inspired to write about her experiences with them. Her articles and poems have been published in newspapers and journals, including the Limerick Leader.

It is difficult to pick out one poem from the collection above the others as all have their merits. I settled for A Dad in a Million.

In nineteen sixty-two at age thirty seven
Our beautiful mother was taken to Heaven
Leaving five little girls aged from nine down to two
And a heartbroken husband who didn't know what to do.

That he picked up the pieces and kept us together
Is something we admire and will appreciate forever
But outside of that dreadful and challenging test
I'm happy to say in our lives we've been blessed.

Mom had chosen a man like no other
Who had to become both father and mother
He could have despaired and lost heart but did not
We were so lucky with the dad that we got.

When he was called home just a few years ago
We knew why his face had that radiant glow
No doubt she was waiting and had it all planned
To be first to be embrace him in that faraway land.

So, as we try to live out the example, they taught us
Rest in peace Mom and Dad from your five darling daughters.

The book is an intimate collection of the events that took place in the lives of people close to her. Her talents as a writer and a photographer combine to produce a book that is easy reading as it captures personal fleeting moments in everyday events.

The book is available €20 from the following shops: Sonas Health Shop, Tony Hayes Newsagents, Special Occasions and O'Connor's Londis, all in Newcastle West, Riordan's Chemist Athea, Roche's Mace Shanagolden, Moloney's Daybreak Carrigkerry, Greaney's Butchers Ardagh and directly from Bridie at 086-8833277 or email and is an ideal read.

The proceeds from the book will go to Temple Street Children's Hospital and the Irish Air Ambulance.
The delayed launch (due to Covid) of 'In Loving Memory' by Mary Kury was held at Cahermoyle House Ardagh on Thursday October 14.

It was an ideal location and about fifty people were present and enjoyed their tour of the ground floor and courtyard. The new owners are renovating at present and have plans for holding events there in the future.

Cahermoyle House Manager Niamh Mc Namara welcomed everybody and gave a brief history of the house and grounds, and paid tribute to Mary for providing so much history of the place.

Ger Greaney in his introduction spoke of the importance of the contents for future researchers, as the local information included between the covers cannot be found on any social media page.

Mary gave a brief summary of the contents, and of individual family headstones from the four graveyards: Clonagh, Coolcappa, Kilscannell and Rathronan. Mary signed copies of her book and light refreshments were served.

A further launch was held at Rathkeale Tourist Office/The Old Court House on Thursday October 28.

This is a follow-on book for Mary who published a previous book on Ardagh Graveyards and Ardagh Cemetery in 2015. It has 146 pages, and an aerial photo of Clonagh Graveyard is on the front cover and a photo of Kilscannell Graveyard 1974 on the back cover.

All the headstones’ names and details are recorded with photos and additional details from research for the four graveyards.

The book also contains Index lists and maps and Cillíní are discussed, and their locations are listed. Mary includes entries that refer to graveyards, burial customs, holy wells from the Schools Folklore Commission 1937-1939.

She also presents a list of the Coolcappa Boy's School Register covering the years 1863 to 1907. A list of stonemasons is also included.

Mary is very interested in graveyards and the history that unfolds during her research. She is fascinated by the iconography on headstones, as they reflect the culture of the time, and many are works of art.

It was a time consuming task undertaken by Mary and the details included are of great importance to all who have connections within the area covered.

The book is available for sale €20 from Mary Kury Ardagh by post or Order online at or by text at 0879282462.

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