‘Keep ‘Er Lit’ set for Derry launch

Barry McElduff, West Tyrone. Photo: Joe McDonagh.
Barry McElduff, West Tyrone. Photo: Joe McDonagh.

Colourful West Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff will be in Derry on Thursday for the local launch of his latest book, ‘Keep ‘er Lit.’

Mr McElduff has described the book, a collection of 92 stories, as a mixture of anecdotes and observations on two of the main interests in his life; gaelic games and politics.

Speaking ahead of the launch, which will be held in the Sinn Féin Rath Mor constituency office at 7:30pm on Thursday, Mr McElduff mixes humour with a behind the scenes look at life at Stormont.

“I look at it as a way of demystifying politics,” he said.

“It has a lot of humour in it but there is also a serious side to it. My mother and father died within the last three years and I pay tribute to them in the book.

“I look at it as explaining the twin tracks of my life, my love of gaelic games and my strong stand on the national question,” he explained.

Despite the fact that many of the stories are rooted in his upbringing in rural Tyrone, Mr McElduff said there is plenty of material for Derry audiences. “I share my experiences of playing gaelic football at Queens University with Henry Downey and Don Mulholland and other Derry men.

“I also address the question of why Derry people seem to answer a question with another question. I asked Martin McGuinness why that was the case and he replied ‘Who told you that?’” he said.

The MLA also said he is considering changing the name of his book to suit local audiences.

“Keep ‘er Lit is a rural phrase so I may have to change it to ‘Sustain the Flame’ for a sophisticated big city audience like Derry. They might not be able to handle such unsophisticated country language!” he said.