Heaney reflections brought to book in fond memoirs

Lissan author Seamus McRory and his wife Olive.
Lissan author Seamus McRory and his wife Olive.

A LISSAN man and founder member of the SDLP has penned a new book ‘The Dove of Peace - A Memoir of Poetic Reflections.’

The collection of 40 narratives by Seamus McRory includes a poignant trilogy of poems directly inspired by Bloody Sunday.

For the past 30 years, Seamus, a retired primary school principal, has contributed many articles and poems to various publications. He is also the author of ‘The Voice from the Sideline: Famous GAA Managers’ (1997), ‘The Road to Croke Park: Great GAA Personalities’ (1999), ‘The All-Ireland Dream’ (2005), and ‘James McCartan, The King of Down Football’ (2010).

This collection is a personal memoir of Irish political, sporting and historical events. In addition his selection of personalities such as John Hume, Mary McAleese, David Ervine, George Mitchell and his former English lecturer, well-known poet and Nobel prize winner the late Seamus Heaney reflect his regard for different types of greatness.

Seamus explained: “I had been in his first class and one day he came in and told us that he had written a few poems and put them into a book. He then gave us each a copy of ‘Death of a Naturalist’. A few months ago I actually sent to Seamus Heaney what I had written about him, and he wrote back a lovely letter thanking me for remembering that famous day.”

With ease and a close affinity with his various themes, Seamus McRory also reflects on what life was like growing up in rural South Derry, boarding school in Armagh and college in Belfast. And his traditional, encyclopaedic memory of Gaelic Games is reproduced in poetic tributes to the late Cormac McAnallen.

The book was launched last week in L’Derry.