Life

Local signings for Skibbereen journalist’s new book

November 26th, 2021 3:00 PM

Flor’s book, her first, was shortlisted for the best Irish published book of the year in this year’s An Post book awards.

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WELL-known former RTÉ reporter Flor McCarthy will be in her home town of Skibbereen this weekend to sign copies of her new book. 

Flor will be at Skibbereen Heritage Centre to sign The Presidents’ Letters – An Unexpected History of Ireland on Friday, November 26th  from 1-5pm, and in Field’s SuperValu, Skibbereen, on Saturday the 27th from 12-2pm.

Featuring over 350 letters, memos, cards, telegrams, drawings, notes and photographs, the book reveals a personal and unexpected story of Ireland since the inauguration of our first president, Douglas Hyde. Most have never been published before and many never seen by the public and Flor says the book was ‘written out of curiosity.’ 

There are letters of congratulations, of resignation, of sympathy – a handwritten note from a president to a queen, a message sent to the moon, a fond farewell from a poet. From Princess Caroline to the Clintons, there are letters of joy and loss, begging letters and threatening ones, sent from palaces, parliaments and prisons, from war zones, refugee camps and homeless shelters.

The full-colour title features 10 thematic chapters introduced by well-known contributors, such as David McCullough on politics, Caitriona Crowe on women, author Joseph O’Connor on the arts, Paul Rouse on sport and Lise Hand on the many visitors to the Aras. 

The earliest entry here dates from just before President Hyde took office in 1938; the most recent is a message to Bob Dylan from President Higgins marking their eightieth birthdays in April/May 2021.

Meticulously researched for several years, Flor agonised over the final selections for this unique book, choosing correspondence that brings to life our presidents, Áras an Uachtaráin and all those who have passed through its doors.

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