Tribute to Local Writer

anne skellyMany writers inspire through the power of their writing. A lesser number have a gift for teaching. Fewer still have a passion to stimulate and nurture those around them. Our friend and colleague Anne Skelly, who passed away in March this year after a long struggle with cancer, was one of those.

We in Ballymahon Writers Group know only too well how important she was to local writing. She undertook many of the often-thankless organisational tasks that keep writing groups alive and vibrant. She admonished us, educated us, shared her work with us, and delighted with us when our writing received wider acknowledgment.

Just how highly she was regarded within the County – and beyond – was clear at the launch of her debut novel ‘Foolish Pride’ in 2011, when Longford Library was packed beyond capacity by those who she had inspired and supported over the years, and who had turned out to help her celebrate that momentous achievement.

Her passing is keenly-felt. But her legacy is that is that we remember what she brought to us and draw inspiration and encouragement from that memory.

Out of the Shadows’ is a testament to that.  Inspired by Anne’s account of her struggle with cancer, ‘Out of the Shadows’ is a collection of sixteen searching, sharp-eyed stories and poems on the themes of love and loss, resilience and hope. The collection has been produced by the Ballymahon Writers Group, and includes contributions from Brian Leyden, Noel Monahan, and writers groups across Counties Longford and Westmeath. The collection will be launched in Ballymahon Library, Co Longford, on Friday, October 10th, by well-known author Brian Leyden.  All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the South Westmeath Hospice, Athlone, in recognition and with heart-felt thanks for their care of our friend Anne.

All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the South Westmeath Hospice, Athlone, in recognition and with heart-felt thanks for their care of our friend Anne.