Cllr Maurice Shortall with Seamus Walsh and Michael Conway during the launch of the book 'Coal in the Blood'
The launch of “Coal in the Blood” proved a terrific success in a night filled with nostalgia with the Castlecomer Community Hall filled to capacity.
MC Tommy O’Neill opened proceedings by welcoming Castlecomer Male Voice Choir conducted by Claire McHugh. The Choir set the tone superbly with "The Water is Wild" and Oh Shenandoah."
Tommy O’Neill recalled how it had been a short 19 years since Seamus Walsh penned “In the Shadow of the Mines” and noted how both works fossilised his passion for the preservation of our rich mining heritage.
First up to speak was the man himself with a hush descending on the hall.
“My name is Seamus Walsh,” he said. “I was a coalminer.
“I do not consider myself a historian, an archaeologist, a geologist - if anything I just wish to be the emotional custodian for a group of people who I consider unique and who partook in a unique occupation - coalmining.”
This was followed by speeches from Joe O’Neill (editor), Margaret McGrath and Fr Ian Doyle. The launch was performed by Dr Michael Conway.
“Castlecomer now sits on a global stage as a result the book and the previous publication in 1999,” said Dr Conway.
“The detail in the print will allow genes to carry on and children can dip into the initiative and vision so deep within the bowels of the Deerpark Mine.”
The evening concluded with refreshments, chat and banter while the busiest person in the Hall was Seamus Walsh with a queue for his autograph on “Coal in the Blood”.
The book is available from Eamon Holohan’s, the Post Office, David O’Rourke’s, Farrells Gala Store and the Discovery Park.