Tara, Emma, Jude, Joe and Daniel Flynn with Baylee Hutchinson at the launch of Jude's Fireside Tales No 16 in Longford County Library last year. PICTURE: MICHELLE GHEE
As we get closer and closer to Christmas, we start to look forward to all of the annual events and traditions that happen around the county.
One event that has been a tradition in Longford for the last 17 years is the launch of Fireside Tales, edited and compiled by well-known local historian, Jude Flynn.
What makes this particular launch so nostalgicl, though, is that Fireside Tales No. 17 will the last edition of the hugely popular annual.
On Friday, November 28, 2003, in the Longford Arms Hotel, Bishop Colm O’Reilly launched the very first issue of Fireside Tales and, in Longford County Library this Thursday, November 28, he will launch the last.
In a very topical foreword, Jude speaks out on false insurance claims, suggesting that fraud in the industry is rife, leading to a rise in insurance premiums, which, of course, affects us all.
“Here in Longford, the huge financial payouts made in the past 30 months by the IPA Insurance company alone, reaching almost 2 million euros (approximately €60,000 a month), begs the question, what can be done to halt the ‘compo culture’, which, unfortunatley seems to be on the rise?” he asks.
“What ever happened to personal responsibility? Not very long ago, if a person fell, they would clean the wound and put a dressing on it. Now, it seems the solicitor is visited long before the doctor.”
Fireside Tales has been a labour of love for Jude over the past 17 years and among the stories that adorn the pages of the 17th edition, which retails at €20, are; From Smear, Aughnacliffe, to Wisconsin, USA; The Sandpit at Toome, Ballymahon; Memories of Granard in the 1940s; Lanesboro - the Post Office Blown Up, and many more.
Fireside Tales No. 17 will be launched in Longford County Library this Thursday, November 28, at 8pm. All are welcome.