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Westmeath County Library

Bookclub reminder : Castlepollard Library Bookclub

For October Castlepollard Bookclub will be reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (check the library :

Tuesday, 14th October at 6.45, all are welcome. For more information contact Castlepollard Library : 044 9332199 /


No matter the quality of your prose, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. In a 2005 study on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.

By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma. Participants ultimately spent less time in the hospital, enjoyed lower blood pressure and had better liver functionality than their counterparts.


Poem for Ireland

Between now and 14th November , RTE are asking you to tell them what poems you think are the stand-out Irish poems of the past 100 years – and why.

It doesn’t matter if you nominate happy, sentimental or sad poems, poems about places or people, poems about politics, emigration, history, life, death or or love. As long as it’s an Irish poem, published in the past 100 years and you love it, then tell us, and tell us why you love it. The closing date for nominations is 5pm on Friday 14th November 2014.
Simply click on the “Nominate A Poem” link here to tell us what Irish poem(s) of the past century you love the most, and why. For relatives or friends not connected by internet, An Post are generously offering a Freepost address. You can drop into any Post Office nationwide and post your nomination free of charge to RTÉ A Poem For Ireland, PO Box 12575, Freepost F5087, Dublin 4.

Who cares for the carers? We do!

A free seminar promoting self care for family carers - Thursday 9th October, 10am - 4 pm, Annebrook Hotel, Mullingar.

Admission Free - All are welcome

Booking essential, contact Denise Nolan (086 0403481) or Finola Colgan (086 8353387).

A map depicting birth surnames in Westmeath from an 1890 census. It uses label size to represent relative birth counts. - See more at:

via Genealogical Society of Ireland’s Facebook


There is a fury to Terry Pratchett’s writing. It’s the fury that was the engine that powered Discworld, and you will discover it in A Slip of the Keyboard: it’s the anger at the headmaster who would decide that six-year-old Terry Pratchett would never be smart enough for the 11- plus; anger at pompous critics, and at those who think that serious is the opposite of funny; anger at his early American publishers who could not bring his books out successfully.

The anger is always there, an engine that drives. By the time A Slip of the Keyboard enters its final act, and Terry learns he has a rare, early onset form of Alzheimer’s, the targets of his fury change: now he is angry with his brain and his genetics and, more than these, furious at a country that will not permit him (or others in a similarly intolerable situation) to choose the manner and the time of their passing.

And that anger, it seems to me, is about Terry’s underlying sense of what is fair and what is not.


- Neil Gaiman writes about Terry Pratchett in the Waterstones Blog


The Soldier’s Song by Alan Monaghan

(check the library :

Dublin, 1914. As Ireland stands on the brink of political crisis, Europe plunges headlong into war. Among the thousands of Irishmen who volunteer to fight for the British Army is Stephen Ryan, a gifted young maths scholar whose working class background has marked him out as a misfit among his wealthy fellow students.

It’s a love story that so rings true it is beyond belief. It is about family in conflict during war. It is about stress and trauma on the battlefield. It is about ‘bravery’ whatever that actually is. It is about social class.

This book was a brilliant book. It was compelling to read as well as easy to read. (from Our Book Reviews Online : )


Beezneez Theatre Company presents “An Ordinary Man” Sat 27th Sept 8.30pm €15/12 Written and directed by John McDwyer, features Gerry Farrell in the lead role, playing a myriad of characters from missionary priests to cynical teachers to mad football trainers in a journey of delicious delight. Funny and heart-breaking in equal measures: “An Ordinary Man” takes us on the life journey of a simple sawyer through births, deaths and marriages with a bit of football and ballroom dancing thrown in just for craic until, ultimately, we realise that while there may be an ordinary man, there is no such thing as an ordinary life. A must see! Bookings / Enquiries: 090 6482042. E-mail:

The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker

check the library :

1917, Scotland. At Craiglockhart War Hospital, army psychiatrist William Rivers treats shell-shocked soldiers before sending them back to the front. In his care are poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, and Billy Prior, who is only able to communicate by means of pencil and paper…

In Regeneration, soldier and poet Siegfried Sassoon is undergoing treatment at Craiglockhart, a military hospital in Scotland.  Sassoon took a public stance against the war by writing A Soldier’s Declaration, and was deemed unfit for service.  Instead of court-martial, he was sent to Craiglockhart to be treated for shell-shock.  He developed a strong bond with his psychiatrist, Rivers.  He also befriended another war poet, Wilfred Owen.

While Sassoon and Rivers are the central characters of this novel, their story is simply a device to convey a more important message about the horrific impact of war on those who spent time at the front. (from Musings )

Storytime reminder : Mullingar Parent & Toddler storytime

Mums, Dads, Childminders- why not bring your toddlers to Mullingar Library on the first Monday of every month. Meet other parents, listen to stories, join in the rhymes or just share a book with your toddler.

Join us on the 6th October for our next session. For further information, contact Mullingar Library on 044 9332199 or email :

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