By Dan Walsh
Maria Nolan’s second novel The Shadow of Freedom was officially launched at a pleasant ceremony held in the Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy tonight (Wednesday) in the presence of published writers, members of her family and loyal readers and supporters. Her latest work continues a theme and tells the story of the War of Independence and Civil War in Enniscorthy.
“It is great to see such a crowd and I am delighted and humbled to be here,” said Maria who went on to recall how her interest in writing evolved and in March 2021 her first novel, The Shadow of the Hill, was published without a public launch due to the pandemic lockdown.
Larry Dunne, who is five years working for the Presentation Arts Centre and Wexford Arts Centre, embraced Maria’s work and is responsible for designing the front cover of both of her books and the families were once next-door neighbours in Enniscorthy. “Even the pandemic could not stop creativity,” he stated.
Chairman of the Wexford Literary Festival, Richie Cotter, told the attendance “We are surrounded by storytellers”. He paid an outstanding tribute to Maria and having made favourable mention of both publications indicated that he saw “a trilogy on the cards?”
Mr Cotter spoke of Maria’s “energy, enthusiasm and enterprise” and claimed; “every town in Ireland should have a Maria Nolan” and he wished the Enniscorthy-born author, as Gaeilge, “Good luck with this lovely book.”
Awards Administrator with the Wexford Literary Festival Anne Gilpin, who edited the book, said “Maria Nolan loves Enniscorthy. Enniscorthy runs through her blood.”
Author Caroline Busher also struck with the “Maria Nolan loves her town” theme and said her work was “so whimsical and beautiful” and reflected that “the historical town and ancestral voice can be heard through the town,” and suggested that Maria’s book could succeed Brooklyn as the next Enniscorthy-based Hollywood film?
Kilmuckridge author Sheila Forsey read an apology from Carmel Harrington, who was unable to attend, but she sent her best wishes. Ms Forsey described the book as “haunting and beautiful”.
In conclusion, Maria Nolan thanked Ray Murphy and the Enniscorthy Re-enactors, Edel Kelly for her confectionary delights, her husband Jim, Lisa and Larry from the Presentation Centre staff, Minister James Browne, Johnny Mythen TD, Cllrs Aidan Browne and Kathleen Codd-Nolan, “who are always supportive of the arts” and all in attendance.