30 March 2006

John McGahern died today

The woman behind the counter in a shop in Carrick-on-Shannon wiped her tears. We had just heard the news, a text on my mobile. "I'd never met him," she said, "but he was a wonderful man." He'll be laid to rest in Aughawillan on Saturday.
The newscaster on RTE tonight broke with journalistic "objectivity" when she uttered "May God rest his soul" in Irish before moving on to the next item. Wouldn't see that on CNN.


Blogger the convex mirror said...

lovely post, alice. Leitrim and beyond is the poorer for today.

12:51 a.m.  
Blogger Alice Lyons said...

The outpouring of feeling for him as a writer and as a person is beyond anything I've seen. RTE replayed Pat Collins's documentary about McGahern last night. What struck me this time was the sense that here was a man who, by his own rights, had mastered himself. Everything he said was felt, considered and framed by hard-won wisdom.

10:02 a.m.  

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