Éamon Ó Cuív has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway West constituency since 1992 and was previously a member of Seanad Éireann. He has had several ministerial portfolios in this time, including Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Minister for Social Protection. He was briefly Minister for Defence and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government alongside the Ministry for Social Protection portfolio in early 2011.
Croagh Patrick and Me a book that puts St Patrick’s achievement into perspective
By Éamon Ó Cuív
This Book is Published by Tir na nOg, Tully, Renvyle, Co.Galway, Printed by Clodoiri CL
Croagh Patrick and Me is fourth book published by Daniel Sammon. This book is a mixture of personal musings on current affairs, including politics, planning and people to snippets of history both Irish and world history and an account of a personal pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick from which the book takes its name.Above all the book is an expression of Daniel’s values system and personal beliefs. Unusually for today’s world Daniel is full of the blessings that have been bestowed on him and is full of gratitude for the life he has had and continues to have. It is fair to say since the Walk to the GPO, Daniel’s life has taken a new turn with education and writing very much to the fore as the cares of rearing and providing for a family recede.The centre point of the book it is the night on Croagh Patrick and despite the availability of modern sleeping bags etc. It is clear it was not without its challenges. Daniel’s description really puts St Patrick’s achievement into perspective. Of course he mentions Mamean which Patrick visited after Croagh Patrick. This is as far west as Patrick went, blessing west of there. “Beannaim sair uaim sibh”. This is the same thing he said from the mountain in West Limerick from where he blessed Kerry.
There are so many topics in the book that I cannot touch on them all. He names the twelve Ben or Pins. An tAthair Eddie Bheartlai – An da bhin deag coming from Beann so the Pin of the Twelve Pins is just a corruption of the world Beann.
I always think that if Daniel had lived in another time he would have made a great Seanchai with an infinite store of wisdom and knowledge.
He even composed his own new Seanfhocal for the book.
“He, who thinks l’m a fool; is a fool”
Be sure Daniel, none of us would be that foolish.
Both for the native and visitor alike, the book is an easy read which notwithstanding that would leave to well informed about Irish folklore, history and myth. Many saints and places associated with them are mentioned as are many incidents in Irish history. There is a good sprinkling of Daniel’s thoughts on politics which I know he is being a keen student of being active politically over the years.
Of course who could write a book about this part of the world without mentioning the two Graces – both incredible women in their own right- Grace O Malley and Princes Grace.
I cannot let go without mentioning Maureen O Hara and John Ford. Maureen was from Dublin and John Ford’s parents were Feeneys from Speidal.
He also has a very detailed account of Maud Gonne, Major John McBride and their son Sean McBride. What Daniel might not be aware of is, that there is quite a close relationship by marriage between me and Seân McBride.
Details: Sean McBride’s daughter Anna who died a few short years ago was married to my mother’s first cousin Declan White. Declan is the-son of a sister of Sinead de Valera and is still alive. He was a veterinary surgeon and for that reason when my daughter qualified as a vet and Anna attended a small family dinner for my daughter after the conferring.
I hope many people buy the book and read and enjoy it. I am sure with the 100th anniversary of the Rising coming up in 2016 we can look forward to an interesting and provocative offering from Daniel again next year!