Bishop speaks at Ballymahon book launch

Philip Murrell presents Bishop Francis Duffy with a copy of 'Tell Me Sean O'Farrell' at last week's launch. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Bishop Francis Duffy made his first official visit to Ballymahon last week when he attended the launch of a new book in the town.

Bishop Francis Duffy made his first official visit to Ballymahon last week when he attended the launch of a new book in the town.

‘Ballymahon - A Journey Back in Time’, was launched in Cooney’s Hotel last Friday to a packed out crowd, and rumour has it that the publication has been selling like hotcakes in the picturesque south Longford town ever since.

The book, which details the social and economic history of Ballymahon and its environs from 1578 right up to present day was edited by Ann Browne and Mary Carey.

It was produced by the Leo Casey History Group which is based in Ballymahon and costs €20 in store.

“This is a wonderful publication,” Chairman of the Leo Casey History Group Paddy Egan told the Leader.

“It documents the ordinary lives of ordinary people over that period of time and some of the photographs are marvelous to see,” he added.

“The reaction to the book has been brilliant and everyone was very enthusiastic about it on launch night.”

Mr Egan went on to say that Bishop Duffy was also warmly received in Ballymahon on the night and parishioners were delighted with the opportunity to meet the new bishop face to face.

“Certainly the presence of our new bishop on the night contributed to the large crowd that came out,” Mr Egan continued.

“He mixed with everyone, and people were happy to meet and chat with him. There are also hundreds of photos in the publication covering maybe 4,000 or 5,000 faces - now that is a lot of people!

It is a must read for anyone interested in rural Irish life, the agricultural industry and the ordinary lives of ordinary people.

There are a number of beautiful photos detailing old shop fronts - many of those shops don’t even exist anymore.

It is just a fantastic publication, suitbale for all ages.”

This latest publication in Ballymahon combines an effort by a group of 14 people who have already got one successful book behind them, and details the social and commercial history of Ballymahon from the 1500’s right up to present day.

With 260 pages and over 1,000 photographs between its covers, ‘Ballymahon - A Journey Back in Time’ is one book that is sure to bring a smile to faces - both at home and overseas - this festive season.

Check local stores for details.

More photos from the book launch in the Community Notes Section of this week’s Longford Leader.