‘Soul Journey’ raises funds for hospice

A new volume of poetry entitled ‘Soul Journey’ was launched at an event in O’Roarke’s Bar in Creggs on Sunday afternoon last. The launch was very well attended by friends, family, schoolmates and former teachers of the poet, Marian Neary Burke, who now lives in Dublin. MC for the occasion was Tommy Murray from Roscommon, who represented Cynthia Clampett, CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice. He began by reading a number of poems from the new volume, which he described as a ‘selection of poems of life, love and nature’. He noted that many poems referred to Marian’s native Creggs and said that it would make an excellent Christmas present. Among the poems ready by Mr. Murray were ‘Poverty’, written in memory of an old man in Dublin that Marian used to visit as part of her work with the Alone organisation. Another, ‘Christmas Long Ago’ was written for her sister Josephine in 1979, while ‘Curraghreevagh Road’ was familiar to many of Marian’s neighbours and friends. ‘It’s funny when I hear it read by somebody else, they’re totally different,’ said Marian Neary Burke. She told guests that she started writing in 1971 and kept adding to her collection. Her brother Seamus read a poem in praise of Marian, which had been composed by family members.  It was appropriate that the launch be held in Roarke’s, said Marian, who recalled coming to the shop in her youth for mutton and getting a bar of chocolate from Mick Roarke to keep her going on the way home.  Oliver McGuinness, Chairperson of Roscommon Mayo Hospice, thanked Marian for giving the proceeds of her book to Mayo Roscommon Hospice and spoke of the work of the hospice organisation in providing palliative care services in the county. He also thanked the people of Creggs and the Harris family for their support of the hospice through the annual Barrie Harris Walk. The volume of poetry is dedicated to Marian’s late brother Tony, who died some years ago and Marian said that it was appropriate that it was launched in November, a time traditionally associated with memory and remembering people. ‘Tony’s illness that spurred me on. When he used to have to come to Dublin to Luke’s, I didn’t realise that the people in the west had to come to Dublin for cancer treatment.’ Sponsorship has covered the printing costs, so all of the proceeds raised from the book go to Mayo Roscommon Hospice. The volume is now on sale at O’Roarke’s Spar in Creggs and Donnie Keaveney’s in Glenamaddy, priced at €10. It is also available from the office of Mayo Roscommon Hospice in Knock, priced at €12, which includes post and packaging.