Sliabh Aughty Ramble: Musings on the folklore, history, landscape and literature of the Sliabh Aughty Region

Ger Madden's latest publication the Sliabh Aughty Ramble provides a much needed publication on this geographical region. The Sliabh Aughty covers over 250 square miles, and is one of the largest mountain ranges in Ireland, but 'one of the least known'. (Madden, 2010). This wonderful book provides much needed views of this hidden landscape with historical entries arranged in calendar form for each day of the year. The necklaces of small villages such as 'Woodford, Whitegate, Mountshannon, Scariff, Tuamgraney, Bodyke, Tulla, Crusheed, Ballinruan, Shanaglish, Gort, Kilbeacanty, Peterswell, Kilchreest, Killeenadeema, Duniry and Ballinakill, Feakle, Caher, Flagmount, Killanena and Derrybrien are all featured in accounts within the publication. Featuring over 169 illustrations, and a unique Map of the regions by Alfie O'Brien, the publication provides anecdotes, primary sources, poetry and local lore with superb accounts of interest.

For example March 14 references a teacher from Portumna who showed great initiative and creativity in translating Humpty Dumpty into Irish.

Bhí Humpty Dumpty thuas ar an bjfalla
Do shéid an ghaoth is do thit sé go talamh
Bhí sé briosc, briseadh a chro
Cé go raibh sé bán, anois tá sé bui,
Thaining amach an tseanbhean liath
Is d'fhéach sí ar Humpty ina luí
Ní fhéadfadh méid capall is fearaibh an rí
Humpty chur le chéile mar a bhí (RECITED BY NICHOLAS TREACY, PORTUMNA)

I believe this to be Ger's best publication to date and it was a great privilege for me to be part of the launch on Saturday April 3 at Mountshannon. The book is dedicated to the memory of Ger Madden's brother, Michael Madden who died in May 2009 and to Ger's wife, Olive O'Grady who died on October 2, 2009.


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