Brian Grehan at Aillmore Dance Hall, which inspired one of the short stories in his book, ‘The Well Travelled Road’.?Pic Conor McKeown
Middle East meets west Mayo
‘The Well Travelled Road’ is a collection of short stories and poems suitable for any person’s coffee table. It brings human nature and family issues alongside geographical locations from Arabia to Dun Laoghaire to Louisburgh. Author Brian Grehan’s easy, unpretentious style of writing makes his fictional pursuits enjoyable reading while goading the reader to visit his or her own sometimes difficult life decisions.
After living in the Middle East for nine years during the ’90s, Grehan, now a semi-retired accountant, came home to Ireland and bought a house at Aillmore, near Louisburgh, where he remains a regular visitor. Some entries in this collection are set in west Mayo, including ‘Decision’, a short story set in Aillmore Dance Hall in the 1940s which explores the themes of emigration and family loyalty. Peoms set in the locale include ‘Famine Grave’, ‘Easter 2005’, ‘Altar’, and ‘The Holy Mountain’.
Grehan decided to take up the pen after his wife suggested he would enjoy a class in creative writing, and he joined a group of creative writers in Stillorgan. Altough in his 60s, Grehan took confidence from the fact that many authors, such as Anna Proulx (‘Brokeback Mountain’), started writing later in life. That said, he didn’t go into writing with the intention of getting published – it was purely for enjoyment.
Then he heard that the UK Arts Council was offering to fund the publishing of 5,000 writers who had never before been published. Buoyed by positive feedback from the group, Grehan applied, and was successful.
Grehan’s love of the West started when he and his wife, Deirdre, spent their honeymoon in Leenane.
They were instantly drawn to the area, and years later they purchased a holiday home in Aillmore. They love to spend as much time as possible in their western home.
This attachment to the west may inspire the author to pen another work. “I love the West of Ireland dearly. It is what I know. Walking on Cross Beach with the sun setting, the mind opens to ideas. Yes, I am working on a book with a working title of ‘The Leenane Inspector’. I want it to be reality based.”
When will this new book be out? “I write for enjoyment. I don’t put pressure on myself to write.” Seems this new author has found the time-keeping in the West suits his new passion.
‘The Well Travelled Road’, by Brian Grehan, is available in Seamus Duffy’s Bookshop, Bridge Street, Westport. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to Sightsavers, a charity that helps prevent children from losing their sight due to a lack of vitamin B.