Mary O’Rourke made what she called ‘’a plea for the written word’’ at the launch of a new book about her late nephew, Brian Lenihan, in the National Library last week.
The book, ‘Brian Lenihan: In Calm and Crisis’ features twenty essays about the late Minister for Finance. Included in the book is an essay about the early days of the subject’s life growing up in Athlone. Brian Lenihan was born in Athlone, and the family left to live in Dublin when he was twelve years old.
‘’There is such wonderful writing in the book, and I dip into it all the time,’’ said Mary O’Rourke. ‘’I would like to make a plea for the written word, because there are great publishers who keep on publishing, and marvellous brave booksellers, male and female all over the place and I salute every one of them.’’
The former politician said that while people talk of taking their kindles on holiday, she prefers a book in its original form.
‘’A book is shiny and lovely, and the promise of the written word is enormous and it should be encouraged, and people should buy books and newspapers in their local shops,’’ she said. ‘’There is a delight in buying an unopened newspaper, and seeing the skill that went into making that newspaper. Please do buy books and newspapers and be encouraged to buy them.
The new Brian Lenihan book was launched at the National Library, Dublin by RTE broadcaster John Bowman. The former presenter of ‘Questions and Answers’ talked about the death of Brian Lenihan at a young age, and included it with a mention of the death of his own son, Jonathan Philbin Bowman, at age thirty two years.
‘’The book is exceptional and interesting and about a remarkable politician, and I knew him mainly through broadcasting, but he was always a politician with great courtesy,’’ said John Bowman. ‘’My own son died far too young, and I now find that Brian who lived years longer than Jonathan – was also far too young. It’s a great credit to him that so many people are here tonight.’’
Bowman said that the contributions in the book are authored alphabetically, and he highlighted the story of Brian Lenihan’s boyhood in Athlone,
‘’What one would have given to see a book of this quality about figures like Noel Browne or Sean McEntee,’’ he said.
The proceeds of the new book are going to the Irish Cancer Society.