Clogher resident Tony Lynott is generously donating all of the proceeds from the sale of his book to the Wild Atlantic Words literary festival. Anyone who would like to support the annual Castlebar-based festival can now do so by purchasing a copy of The Chronicles of Máistir James Ronane (€24.99) in Castle Bookshop, Castlebar or online at MayoBooks.ie.
Tony said, “Since moving to Ireland almost ten years ago, I embarked on a love relationship with many of Ireland’s 19th century writers. Their prose was powerful, they wrote tenderly about their country, and were blessed with a sublime insight into the human condition. They were truly an inspiration for my own writings. I have made the decision that the proceeds of my book will go into WAW’s coffers to support their future growth in furthering the writings of emerging authors. And I am, therefore, asking for your consideration for the purchase of my book that will assist in those endeavours. I am told it is a good read, but I will leave that to your good judgement!”
Tony’s novel, The Chronicles of Máistir James Ronane, is a wide canvas where he represents the life of a western Irish community in the nineteenth century. Through the figure of Máistir James Ronane, a retired hedge-school master, the author tells the story of Aengus and Mary Burke and their family, as they work their farm, raise their children, and deal with life’s challenges. Their world as upright tenant farmers in the Mayo townland of Rosserk is set against the backdrop of wider society, with the pressures and challenges Ireland faced, especially the Great Famine of the 1840s.
Born in update New York, Tony grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. Following his college studies, he served a two-year stint in the United States Army, including a tour during the Vietnam conflict with the 34th Engineer Battalion. After his discharge, he embarked on a lengthy career in the commercial banking sector. After a number of visits to Ireland with his son, and with the onset of retirement, he moved to Mayo, the birthplace of his grandfather; this facilitated his attainment of Irish citizenship. And it was here, while taking up Irish Heritage Studies at GMIT, that he began a sustained commitment to writing.
This Wild Atlantic Words festival will take place in Castlebar in October, will the full line-up of events due to be revealed soon. The deadline for the festival’s annual short story competition, sponsored by Bridge St bar, is Saturday, July 31 at 5pm – so there’s still time to get your entry in! This year’s judge is Galway writer JP McHugh. Entry forms, along with a full list of competition rules and regulations, are available on the festival’s website, www.wildatlanticwords.ie.