There is nothing like a good book launch. That's what Jim Maher organised in the Ormonde Hotel (www.kilkennyormonde.com), Kilkenny for the publication of his latest book: The Oath is Dead and Gone. The book is perfectly edited and beautifully published by Jo O'Donoghue's Londubh Books (www.londubh.ie).
This is Jim's third historical treatise, all eminently readable. His first book on the period of the War of Independence was The Flying Column: West Kilkenny and East Tipperary (1987). Harry Boland: A Biography (1998) told the story of the big-hearted patriot and friend of Michael Collins.
The Oath, as it's being affectionately called, concerns the clause in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 which obliged elected representatives in the Free State to swear allegiance to the British Monarch. This was the major cause of the Civil War of 1922.
The Kilkenny people and those from far and wide throughout Ireland turned out in their droves for the occasion, some 300 in all. The Oath was formally launched by Senator Labhras O Murchu, Ard-Stiurthoir of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and Chairman of the Pearse Foundation. Speakers included: David Fitzgerald, mayor of Kilkenny; Paul Cuddihy, chairman of Kilkenny Co Council; Seamus Pattison, former Labour TD amd Ceann Comhairle of Dail Eireann for five years, as well as Nora Comiskey, President of the 1916-1921 Club, currently promoting the Save Moore Street Campaign.
The musical interlude was provided by harpist Mary Kelly who plays in the Aras and Nora Butler a traditional singer from Nenagh.