Author recalls Curragh childhood in new book

'Gerry Sweeney's Mammy' out now

Niamh O'Donoghue

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Niamh O'Donoghue

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niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Author recalls Curragh childhood in new book

Author, Donall Dempsey

This month sees the release of a collection of 100 poems by Kildare poet Donall Dempsey, entitled “Gerry Sweeney’s Mammy”.

The book is packed with memories of the author’s childhood growing up in the Curragh Camp where his father was stationed for forty years and where Dónall himself served in the Irish Defence Force for six years as a young man.

His poems also recall holidays in Co. Cork, where his father’s family come from, and range beyond memory to deal with every aspect of family.

“I write about my own childhood and the childhood of others….the death of childhood and of death. Now a man of a certain age, I have begun to lose the people who were the warp and weft of my life….the people who gave my life meaning. I have had to face up to losing them and somehow break on through to the other side…feel the heft of that reality,” he said.

Dónall was Ireland’s first Poet in Residence in a secondary school (in Bray) and has appeared on RTE.

This is his fourth collection and his poems have also been published in numerous anthologies and journals.

An accomplished performer of his work, he has appeared in literary festivals in Cork, France and India. He now lives in Guildford, Surrey, in the UK.