Lost Landmarks and Thresholds ll

Lost Landmarks and Thresholds ll

Lost Landmarks and Thresholds ll, is an anthology of writing inspired by memories.   The workshop process from which the anthology was created was facilitated by the Older People’s Council and Anthony J Quinn.  The anthology was created during the Covid 19 Pandemic through online creative writing workshops in 2021.   The book was launched at an evening of readings at Bailieborough Library, Bailieborough, Co Cavan on 31 May 2022.  

The event was attended by the writers, their family and friends and the local heritage group.   Fiona Burke, Librarian welcomed the audience that included Cllr. Clifford Kelly, Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council and Cllr. Paddy McDonald, Carmel O’Callaghan, one of the visual artists whose work is included and Deirdre Donnelly, Social Inclusion, Danielle McDermott and Catriona O’Reilly from Cavan Arts.  The Anthology was launched by Emma Clancy, Creative Ireland Coordinator and County Librarian.  

In his introduction to Lost Landmarks and Thresholds ll, editor and crime writer Anthony J Quinn described the book as “a prose map of Ireland and an elegy for those who are gone.”  The contributors shared stories and poetry evoking times past and people loved and remembered.  

Evelyn Brady read from her short story “The Revellers Stole Off Into The Night….” Recalling a ceilí when the dancers cycled to the Clubhouse Ceilí, the story in the book is accompanied by a photo of the author’s mother Honny with her friends in New Jersey in 1930. 

Veronica Pidgeon painted in words a human map of Crumlin in the 50s and 60s with shops and characters remembered including the rag and bone man with his catch cry “Any Aul Rags for Delph?”

In his memory piece entitled “We Hired a Morris Minor and Moved House” Eugene Smith recollects when his family moved to Stradone and the pride his mother had in her new home with the Waterford Dover, a tap in the scullery and the emerald-green hard gloss paint she chose for the bottom half of the living room walls.  

The editor’s mother Marie Quinn, from County Tyrone shared her recollections of a local ceiling house entitled, “Paddy’s Front Room: Stories Would be Told in a Whisper” describing the layout, interior and exterior of the home in intimate detail. 

In “Snow Days” Olga Maughan recalls a snow fall of 60 years ago when she and her friends stole into the Golf Links and using some corrugated iron had fun on the forbidden fairways. 

Ann O’Donoghue shares an intimate family memory in photograph and written form in her story that captures the often-miserable swimming weather endured during the Irish summer in her recollections of “A Trip to Dollymount Strand”.  

“In Search of Alicia” is accompanied by a striking photo of Alicia O’Reilly in an elaborate hat with her penetrating gaze.   The story written by Deirdre Tighe provides insight into the life of her great grandmother who emigrated to America in 1909 at the age of sixty-five.

Brian McDermott brings us to the Manchester Art Gallery with his poem inspired by The Old Reaper a painting by Sir George Clausen, (1852 – 1944).   Clausen was nostalgic for an idealised agricultural past.

“Your helper bends his back and binds with bands

Sheaves of grain with both bare hands”

                                                                        Brian McDermott

“She Slipped Away as Noiselessly as She Arrived”, written by Nollaig Byrne remembers five-year-old Anne Reilly “a fair skinned, blue eyed and timorous little girl” who died from influenza meningitis on 21 February 1956.   Anne was pre-deceased by her mother and is buried in Coronea cemetery.


Charlotte Browne’s story “The Roads were Rough and Stony” recalls the start of primary school in Cloone, County Leitrim and her delight at being elevated to Naoináin Sinsir, Senior Infants on account of her home schooling in literacy, numeracy and the Irish language.


In Bob Gilbert’s story “Strangers on the Mass Path” the writer paints in words the often-remembered landscape of his childhood.  He recalls characters from his birthplace including an encounter that he and his grandfather had with Gravelly Hills, an itinerant worker who travelled the countryside for work.

“The blessings of God be upon old man and gorsoon this fine morning, and what is it that brings ye out rambling so early in the morning?”

This lyrical blessing from a long dead travelling jobber captures the drama and storytelling from the talented collective who contributed to Lost Landmarks and Thresholds ll.   As described by editor Anthony J Quinn “Most of all the stories and artworks in this collection are maps through which we can find our own place in the world, and upon which we can project our own memories, loves and fears.”

Anthology Writers include:   Evelyn Brady, Veronica Pidgeon, Eugene Smith, Marie Quinn, Olga Maughan, Ann O'Donoghue, Deirdre Tighe, Brian McDermott, Nollaig Byrne, Charlotte Browne, John Rafferty, Jim McElgunn, Teresa Sullivan Cahill and Bob Gilbert.

Anthology Artists include:   Ruth McDonnell, Freda Young, Martin Fullen, Jim Fee, Carmel O'Callaghan, Rosaleen Howard, Maria Bagnoli, Jim McPartlin and Lorraine Teevan.

The project was organised by Cavan County Council Arts Office and the Social Inclusion Unit and funded by the Creative Cavan programme.



10 Jun 2022