Limerick’s new book ‘The Stories of Bruff’ is born out of Covid

THE EARLY months of Covid may only be a year and a half ago, but they seem like a distant, dark memory.

Coronavirus has dominated our lives and with nothing but daily case counts, we were all longing for something to distract us from the virus. This is where Pat Hayes’ journey to “The Histories of Bruff” Friday night book launch began.

“The book wouldn’t have seen the light of day without Covid,” said Pat, who took over to entertain the people of South Limerick forced to self-isolate in their own homes.

While running the Bruff-based Thomas Fitzgerald Centre’s Facebook page, interest exploded as his delightfully told stories of the past and present resonated with young and old and everyone in between.

Colaiste Chiarain’s English and history teacher helped fill the void.

“People looked back during Covid when life was better and they were freer. The stories fueled this nostalgia. It got people going. I was thrilled with the response,” Pat said.

The proud man from Bruff says a book was never planned but due to the popularity of his tales it was the next logical step. The Facebook page had over 50,000 Facebook likes. This has led to 600 pre-orders of “The Histories of Bruff” and Pat has already restocked the shelves three times.

“Told in the form of ninety stories that cover the forgotten heroes, villains, histories and escapades of the South Limerick region, this book has something for everyone,” Pat said.

A large crowd attended the Friday night launch which was held as it should be at the Thomas Fitzgerald Center where it all began virtually. Each person had to show a vaccination certificate to be allowed entry. Among the guests were Limerick Mayor Daniel Butler, fellow councilors and Bruff’s own modern hero, Sean Finn.

“Les Histoires de Bruff”, priced at €20, is currently available at Eurospar in Nagle and at the post office in Bruff; Beechinor service stations in Kilmallock and Holycross, and Broderick’s Spar in Croom.

“He’s going to O’Mahony’s in town next week. People have been great supporters. It will probably also become an eBook. It is sent all over the world,” Tom said. With Bruff’s famous ancestral connection to JFK, some copies will surely go to the United States. And it’s all due to Covid-19.

For more information, please visit the Thomas Fitzgerald Center Facebook page.

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