Local author wins prestigious literary award

A poem celebrating the life of a former hospital seamstress in Athy has been won the prestigious Hennessy Literary Award. The late Kitty O’Meara worked in St Vincent’s Hospital for many years and would have been known to many in Athy, according to her great-grandniece Niamh Boyce who wrote the poem Kitty in her memory.

A poem celebrating the life of a former hospital seamstress in Athy has been won the prestigious Hennessy Literary Award. The late Kitty O’Meara worked in St Vincent’s Hospital for many years and would have been known to many in Athy, according to her great-grandniece Niamh Boyce who wrote the poem Kitty in her memory.

Kitty was a seamstress and she worked in the hospital in Athy for many years. She was a genuine and loving person but because she wasn’t married and had no family she is the kind of person who could easily be forgotten, Niamh explained. She wrote the poem initially to keep her memory alive for herself.

Niamh, who is a librarian in Ballylinan is an Athy native. She grew up in the South Kildare town and attended St Mary’s Secondary School and St Michael’s Primary School. Her parents are Anne and Francis Boyce.

The nomination for this year’s Hennessy Awards is not Niamh’s first nomination. In 2009 she was nominated for a short story called Steps on the Stairs. Her novel The Herbalist was one of the winners of this year’s Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair.

Meanwhile Naas woman Aisling Keogh was nominated for her short story ‘How To Save a Life’. As well as maintaining a small private practice in adult and child psychotherapy in Naas, she also enjoys writing and has recently had short stories published in the Irish Independent as a part of their New Irish Writing feature and by Crannog Literary Magazine.