FOR more than 40 years, the people of Bantry have been kept abreast of local births, deaths and marriages, by local correspondent Ann Creedon.
Ann also put her weekly column in The Southern Star to very good use by keeping people updated about community gatherings, celebrations and events.
The kind of tenacity it takes to produce interesting, literate copy week-in-week-out is just one of the reasons Ann’s reign has lasted so long.
As an outgoing personality, she also had the ‘drop’ on what was happening socially. Ann knew instinctively what was of interest to her readers and that is why The Southern Star is happy to celebrate her 40-year contribution – not just to this newspaper, but her community.
The only daughter of the late Jerome and Kay Creedon, Ann was given every opportunity in life and special attention was given to her education.
In her autobiography A Miscellany of Memories, which was published late last year, Ann recounted her delightful first day at the Convent of Mercy National School.
Ann, who has a BA and an MA, qualifying in Spanish from UCC, went on to become a language teacher of great repute.
Many parents will swear that the polyglot’s French classes were instrumental in their children’s good grades.
Ann’s love for all things Spanish – which extends to spending as much time in Mallorca, Andalucía and the Canaries as possible – has, over the last 50 years, been passed on to countless students who learned to appreciate the language through her expert tuition.
Ann even formed a Spanish Circle which met every Friday night at Ma Murphy’s beer garden in Bantry.
It wasn’t just an opportunity for people to speak the lingo, but to share a genuine love of Spanish culture, too.
Ann actually speaks five languages – English, Irish, French, Spanish and Dutch.
Last September, a large crowd turned out at the Mariner for the launch of her book. It was a lively event with MC Gearoid O’Leary leading a Q&A interview.
Ann told the audience she felt lucky to have had such a good life in Bantry. But she admitted she had ‘a secret yen for the Balearic island of Mallorca’ and hopes to retire there.
Writer and journalist Alison O’Connor, another Bantry woman, was the guest of honour on the night.
‘For over 40 years,’ Alison said, ‘Ann has recorded the history of the town and one day when historians look back on it, they will see the dedication and consistency of over 40 years’ worth of work that she has done.’
A Miscellany of Memories is dedicated to Ann’s parents and to her friend and mentor, the late Dr Denis Cotter.
Among the many tributes paid to Ann on her retirement, Eileen O’Shea, chairperson of the Bantry Development and Tourism Association said: ‘I would like to wish Ann a happy and healthy retirement after 40 years reporting the Bantry news for The Southern Star.
‘She reported the good news and some very sad events. I hope this new chapter in life will enable her to enjoy her family and friends.
‘I would also like to compliment Ann for her contribution to the many local, volunteer groups in Bantry.’