|St Patrick's Day Cool: the VERY cool Aaron Adeboye!|
Yet for me, the highlight this year wasn't the Parade. I say this from a point of complete selfishness. For yesterday evening, 19 March, I got to be an event as part of Manchester Irish Festival. Manchester Irish Writers, who meet regularly at the Irish World Heritage Centre and of which I a member, offered me the chance to host an evening promoting my novel, The Fifth Knight. That was pretty special but Rose Morris, who is the Cultural Director at the centre, had a surprise up her sleeve. Well, actually, in a safe. Rose knew that the Irish revolutionary leader, Michael Collins, was my grandfather's uncle.
But the surprise for me came when we were setting the room out for my evening. The IWHC holds a number of precious objects. And one of them is the Irish Tricolour flag that was put on Collins' coffin. To say I was gobsmacked is not even close. Rose brought it out, encased in layers of special tissue and unrolled it in front of me. History whispered right in my ear. However much you read about something, see it on TV, to have an actual object right in front of you is genuinely astonishing. It's not a big flag. The linen is thin, with holes and tears, the colours surprisingly vivid. I asked if I could touch it. It's not usually allowed, but I was allowed to.
So when I did my talk about The Fifth Knight last night, telling a lovely audience all about my journey to publication, Collins' flag was beside me. It rested on a white linen tablecloth that had belonged to my grandfather, Collins' nephew.
|Hubby Jon captures me, Angela & the Collins Tricolour|
The Fifth Knight is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
The Irish Cancer Society has been fighting cancer for 50 years. Daffodil Day is on 22 March 2013