How Donegal’s win in 1992 inspired an Urris woman to take up the pen

Urris author Patricia Doherty.  (0710JB03)
Urris author Patricia Doherty. (0710JB03)

After completing a trilogy of books since she began writing when Donegal won the All Ireland in 1992, a Clonmany author is on the look out for more inspiration.

75 year-old Patricia Doherty from Urris was inspired when her beloved GAA team won the Sam Maguire trophy in 1992.

“Well it took Donegal 100 years to win Sam so I didn’t want to hang about any longer thinking I would have 100 years to write a book,” laughed the Clonmany woman. “But now look at me - I have three!”

However when she first started to write she was forced to keep it under wraps as she says she was from a generation who thought writing was a bit of an “odd ball thing to do” .

A former shopkeeper, Patricia didn’t take well to retirement and found herself restless and itching for something to fill her days.

“I used to be obsessed with getting the shop exactly how I wanted, but when that finally happened, I lost interested. Writing took over that obsession for me. Before I had nothing to drive me but writing and poetry began to drive me. It fulfilled something for me, and I enjoy every minute of it.”

Selflessly Patricia has dedicated the sales of all her books to specific charities which are close to her heart.

“I’m 75 years-old, I can’t run a marathon or do a bungee jump so this is my way of doing my bit. This book is in aid of iCARE and Downs Syndrome where as others have been for cancer research and sudden infant death syndrome. With all the cutbacks in the country these days I thought they were good charities and so I want to help those who need it the most.

“My daughter is a special needs assistant and you can’t understand how important they are and how the children need them. Also I heard someone from iCARE talking on the radio one day and they really opened my eyes to the good work they do in a voluntary capacity.”

A true Inishowen woman, Patricia has found much of her inspiration for her books in the beautiful surrounding of Clonmany and Donegal. However, as for many other writers, inspiration can come from anywhere. Poems such as Eight Inishowen Men, Jedward, Bail Out and more recently the Significant Seven have focused on key news items at the time.

“I love Donegal, it’s the best place to live. When I was 12 years-old I made the decision not the leave and I’ve been here in Urris ever since. I look at the mountain there and that can be very inspiring at times.”

Unlike her two other books, the Clonmany grandmother’s book contains 19 short fairy tales, each with a different plot and a modern twist.

“When we were younger around Urris we were always told tales about fairies. I sort of built on from this except I’ve made it more positive and good.”

With the help of Trudy from ICRfm, Patricia has recorded a CD to accompany the book and she can be heard every Wednesday at 10.40am on the community radio station.

Patricia’s book launch takes place on Friday 28th October in the Strand Hotel Ballyliffin at 8.30pm featuring Charlie Doherty from ICR. Everyone is welcome to join in on the “fairy” fun on the night!