Recent books in brief

Recent books in brief
Kimmage Manor: 100 Years of Service

By Patrick J. Ryan CSSP (Columba Press, €16.99 / £14.00)

Fr Ryan has divided his life’s work between Africa and teaching in Kimmage Manor. He has also served, the times being what they are, as a parish priest. In this history he recounts the foundation of the mission house of the Holy Ghost, now the Spiritan Order. Drawing on archival sources, interviews and his own experiences, he charts the changes from the confidence of its foundation through a century of changing times in Ireland and Africa. Both places have seen many certainties, many hopes, swept away. And yet the ideal of mission, to aid, to comfort, to inspire with the grace of God, continues. Times may change, but the essential task remains the same. This is a fine addition to the growing volume of books about Ireland’s missionary vocation.


On My Honour: One Man’s Lifelong Struggle to Clear His Name

By Brendon K. Colvert (Mercier Memoir, €12.99 / £10.00)

This is the history of an unsettling episode in Irish history. Back in the troubled 1920s, William Geary was a member of the new Irish police posted to Kilrush. Local life, with its petty offences, was getting back to normal, yet tensions from the Civil War still affected the police and the IRA. In 1928, Geary, after being framed by local Republicans, was dismissed from the force. This is the story of how, from his exile in the US, he struggled for 70 years to restore his good name. He lived on to 105, the last survivor of the original draft of guards. A chilling story, but even more chilling is the incidental light cast on how things were done then at all levels of society.


Extremely Entertaining Short Stories

By Stacy Aumonier (Phaeton Publishing, €24.00 / £19.50)

These days short stories are almost a lost art. There are no outlets for them, and those that are written are often self-consciously literary. Stacy Aumonier, who died young in 1928, belonged to the inter-war era when the popular short story was at its peak. From those times perhaps only Somerset Maugham and P. G. Wodehouse, at either end of the scale, are still read today. However, I suspect there will be many readers, young and old, who will warmly welcome this collection by an accomplished writer bent only on entertainment. They make a refreshing change and are an ideal length for reading in bed.


Santa Saves Easter and other poems

By Ann McLoughlin (Published in aid of Enable Ireland Meath Early Services, €5.00 / £4.10 approx.; contact )

Though it might seem too late for Christmas and too early for Easter, this little collection of verse by Dunshaughlin writer Ann McLoughlin is not really tied to any season. Her poems are both amusing and witty, and are sold in aid of a worthy cause. One of the best, ‘Smelly Skunk’, catches the off-beat note that delights kids. They will amuse other children as much as little Diarmuid who heard them first.