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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Garrett Keogh, Mary Fleming, Eamonn Nolan and the Gap Arts Festival Committee. Katherine Byrne, Anne-Marie Stafford and all the staff at Ballythomas National School. Ffion Scott Davies & Dolores Davies. Rory & Stephen Doonan. Maggie & Basim in Loggan. The Gap Pub, G.A.R.A. & Patrick Stack. Kilanerin Community Centre, Kilanerin Men’s Shed and Peter O’Connor. Fr. Denis Browne & ...
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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

Carmel Kinsella lives in Toberpatrick. She came to the area when she married Laurence Kinsella in April 1967. Carmel enjoys baking and worked in Institutional Catering in public schools. This is her first time giving Creative Writing a go. Avae Sweeney lives in North Wexford. She was born in October 2007. As well as telling stories, Avae loves to go on adventures and to swim. Alex Swe...
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FOREWORD

When i go into the school at Ballythomas, for a meeting of the Board of Management, or when we’re setting up the stage for the Gap Arts Festival, or for one of the Festival’s workshops, I’m fascinated by the drawings and paintings, the model-making, and the stories and poems and projects that line the walls. We didn’t do painting or drawing when I was in school. I remember one day in Primary,...
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INTRODUCTION

The idea of an Intergenerational Creative Writing Project came to me as I was walking in the woods, at the foot of Annagh Hill. I had worked with children many times in Coolfancy and Tinahely, as well as when I was researching my plays The Thaw and Hunting the Strawberry Tree. Over the years, I had worked with groups of adults umpteen times: Traveller groups in Wicklow and Wexford, older peop...
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THE GHOST IN THE KITCHEN

BY BRENDA BARRY When, one summer, Ma, Da, little brother and I were on holiday in my grandparents’ house, I saw a ghost. I didn’t know at the time that I was looking at a ghost. I was about four years old and terrified of the dark. My grandparents’ house was a Victorian redbrick on the South Circular Road in Dublin. My impression of Victorian houses is that they were always dark. And it was a...
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THE DEN

BY RUA DE FAOITE It wasn’t my idea.I wish it had been because it was my garden. But no, my friend came up with the idea. A den. A base. Our secret hideout, where we could escape to whenever we wanted. There is a row of trees at the front of my garden. Some small, some tall and a gigantic Sycamore tree, right at the centre, two or three times the height of my house. Myself, my friend and my yo...
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MELTING MOMENTS

BY BRIGID KINSELLA “Answer that bell,” commands Susan, the night sister in a busy London hospital. It’s three a.m. Beth started training to be a nurse in 1970. This is her first time on night duty. The ward has full glass panels from ceiling to floor, with no blinds. It was previously used for patients getting treatment for tuberculosis. Beth hides behind the sluice room door, pee...
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ILL GOT, ILL GONE

BY CARMEL KINSELLA In Tipperary, where I come from, they say the Devil’s children have the Devil’s luck...When I was growing up in Portroe, my home was in the townland of Ballingeer, and there was always a few of us coming home together after school. I was the eldest at that time because my older sisters and brothers had moved on. Well this day, a few of my sisters and my brother were with me...
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THE BABYSITTING NIGHTMARE

BY CAOIMHE MCGONIGLE ‘Stop pushing me!’ Róisín screamed. ‘I’m not even touching you,’ I cried. ‘Now you’re pushing me!’ Aoife shrieked. ‘Get out! We’re here now and I don’t want to hear you for another second!’ Mam snapped. We froze but started to crawl out of the car eventually. Mam was quite surprised at how we quietened down so quickly, but tried to keep a firm face. Once we we...
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