Daily Archives: November 25, 2012

Mattie Lennon Irish Author- The Irish Santa Clause

The Irish Santa Clause

by Mattie Lennon

At this time of year we think of people who made the world a beter place. One such was Thurles man, Seamus Maguire.
Seamus Maguire was born in Thurles in 1950: the only child of James and Eileen Maguire.

He completed his education in 1969 and subsequently worked as a Busdriver, Prisom Officer and Social Worker in Tipperary and Cork.

In 1979, The International Year Of The Child, he founded Youth-In-Need. It was meant to be a one off project to help three young people for six months. Seamus went on to pioneer many projects to help young and old at home and abroad. Over the years he was the recipient of many prestigious awards and commendations.

He headed an organisation, which operated a soup-run in London.

While he and his volunteers were distributing distributing soup, sandwiches and blankets to the Irish homeless Seamus felt that the marginalized exiles needed more.

In December 1979 when Jingle Bells was blaring from loudspeakers in cities around the world and Ireland was coming to terms with the buzz bright about by the cub-Celtic Tiger. Seamus was busy.

The unsung hero from Tipperary was approaching the homeless in the English Capital offering them the chance to ” go home for Christmas”. Because of ******shame or a total rejection of their homeland a minority refused.

Those who availed of his offer were taken to a hostel and given accommodation.

Proper food far a few days and fresh clothes meant that many who had abandoned all hope of a homecoming would be able to met their loved ones looking “fairly respectable”.

Amid all the hardship, Seamus and his crew experienced the odd humorous incident.

A volunteer worker, John Cassidy from County Donegal; told the following story to me;

“In early 1992 we arrived in Hammersmith with a forty- foot lorry loaded with food and blankets for the homeless centres. As we were unloading on a road that was restricted to vehicles under three tons a policeman insisted we move or he would have us arrested and the lorry impounded.

After a few moments of heated discussion Seamus produced a document bearing the seal of both the Irish and British Governments and warned the policeman that it would cause a diplomatic incident if he continued harassing us.

The policeman reached for the document that Seamus was holding hesitated, looked at Seamus and said; “you have four hours to unload and get the truck out of here”.

Thankfully the policeman did not insist on checking the paper that Seamus was holding; it was a customs clearance certificate.”

I penned the following ballad about Seamus Maguire; it was put to music by John Hoban

By Mattie Lennon

The soup-runs of well meaning people
Could not heal the souls or hurt pride
Of the Irish in alien doorways
With no one but God on their side.
Through decades of drink and misfortune
Returning was out the frame;
The streets and the hills of their homeland
Were but specks on an ocean of shame.

Despondency fed by resentment
Ran loose like an unbroken colt,
‘Til a hero, unsung, from Tipp’rary
Gave the conscience of Ireland a jolt.
“We’ll bring some of them home for next Christmas,
Who haven’t seen loves ones for years.
All we need is the will and the courage”
He blasted at pessimist ears.

Dreams dreamt, under cardboard in Camden,
Of a whin-bush, round tower or turf fire
Were realised beyond expectation;
We were brought home by Seamus Maguire.

The captains of business he badgered
While his care-workers beavered away,
Collecting the cash and resources,
And then came the memorable day
When the “rescue coach” left Dublin’s quayside
In December of seventy nine,
Taking fifty glad hearts to the country
With their loved ones once more to entwine.

For the next twenty years every Christmas
Maguire and his team would ensure
That the birth of the Saviour was special
For those He called “Bless’ed”; the poor.
Any many a parent died happy
Resigned to their ultimate fate
With the son or the daughter they cherished
United before ’twas too late.

The date on a gravestone in Thurles
Proclaims ninety-nine as the year
That God gave to Seamus Maguire
The reward for his mission down here.
And his name in more permanent fashion
Is forever inscribed in that tome;
The hearts of our destitute exiles
Who once had no hope of going home.

(c) Mattie Lennon 2004.

Mattie Lennon mattielennon@gmail.com

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by Lynn Rush

The voice is a powerful thing …

Russell Leonard is a centuries-old Guardian who has lost faith in his purpose. So when he’s charged with procuring the first female Guardian in over two centuries, he can only hope it’s the red-headed beauty who has been haunting his dreams for months. And if it is, he intends to claim her as his. But when he finds his dream woman, Annabelle is mute and bears no Guardian’s mark.

He soon realizes she’s been tainted by an ancient evil. Russell must somehow release the secrets trapped within this delicate soul to help her tap into the only weapon powerful enough to silence a millennia-old demon … HER VOICE.

AWAITED is Lynn Rush’s second book of the trilogy. WASTELAND has received rave reviews.

“WASTELAND is a fast paced, sexy, romantic tale with characters who instantly capture your attention … and your heart. The hero is honorable and darkly tormented, while the heroine is idealistic and strong. Lynn Rush has created a world of good and evil … where nothing is quite as it seems. I lost myself in the story and truly enjoyed every minute of it.”- Rebecca Zanetti author of FATED


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by Mary Ann Hutchison

A young man’s manic need to avenge the murder of his family is aided by an Apache woman warrior who becomes both teacher and lover. Murderers become prey …

Website: http://www.bloomincane.com

Other Books and Stories by Mary Ann Hutchison


Friendship and a shared dream are nearly destroyed when a new boy moves to MOOchi’s town. The desert yields its secrets to those who want to believe.

Available in print from OPEN BOOKS PRESS and ebook on Amazon.


Courthouse workers must find ways to shut out what they see and hear during an especially nasty case …

Available in print from Anaphpora Literary Press


Mary Ann contributes short stories in this anthology of tales composed by the “Differently Expertised” authors known as Gecko Gals Inc.


“A St. Nicholas Christmas” is included in this anthology of holiday treats compiled by Dixon Hearne.
Available in print from AWOC.COM publishing and on Amazon.com


“Me and the Duke” – A charming memoir recounts how she met the Hollywood star of her dreams as one of the love stories in this delightful book.

Available in ebooks formats from Whiskey Creek Press.


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Sandra Leesmith Author- CURRENT OF LOVE


by Sandra Leesmith

Award winning author and multiple contest winner, Sandra Leesmith writes exciting romance with characters looking for the promised happily ever after.

Available December 11, 2012

Pre-Order now on Amazon.com


by Sandra Leesmith

Available in Paperback and ebook at Amazon.com

Go to sandraleesmith.com

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Peggy and Randy Ford Authors- FOUND OUR WAY 14th Installment

38. I was quite busy with drama. I produced two one-act plays at a private girl’s college, and the result was quite rewarding. Peggy thought it was the best production she’d seen in Manila, but I had a rough time with the cast and Mother Superior during rehearsals. They asked me to direct a major production there the following spring, but I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do it or not.

I was instead more excited about another group (Philippine Education Theater Association PETA), which was just forming. They were all people I had worked with before and who could work together well. I was going to direct three of them in another one-act play (THE CHAIRS in the dungeons of Fort Santiago), but I also wanted to become part of the group. Though I would see less of Peggy, I was very happy about getting involved. One of the first things I helped with was to put up lights for a new show at Fort Santiago. Since this was the first time an outside crew wasn’t hired, there was a lot of extra work… beginning with putting up pipe to hang lights from. It took three solid nights (plus many daylight hours) of working, but I enjoyed working hard to get the job done properly.

39. For a year we had another volunteer, Lew Burkley, living with us. Then in the middle of October a friend of Lew’s, Bill Brightman, joined us and then two weeks later Ray Hubener appeared. Ray had been my best friend and writing-buddy at Baylor University. I hadn’t communicated with him in over five years when out-of-the-blue he knocked on our door in Manila. He came from Hong Kong, where he worked as a journalist. I’m not sure how he found us in Manila, but it was a start of something amazing. For the next several years Ray’s and our paths crisscrossed in several places around the world. Somehow we found our way and kept running into each other.

This time Ray stayed with us from May until December before he left for Indonesia. I remember he told us at the airport that he guessed we wouldn’t see each other ever again. When Bill left, he returned to the States, and soon afterward Lew moved to live with a new volunteer, a blind man, who had nobody else to live with him. So our family shrank from 6 to 3 and it happened within a few days. We were sorry to see them leave, but we enjoyed increased privacy. But Linda (our maid) thought it was about the end of the world. She was very fond of Lew. According to her, our house was going to be as lonely as it was when we were all on vacation.

40. For a Christmas present Peggy sent one of her sisters a doll wearing a Maria Clarissa skirt, which was worn to many local dances. Maria Clarissa was a girlfriend of Jose Rizal, a national hero.

41. A chance of a lifetime. Peggy got a chance of a lifetime to be the Virgin Mary on national television. It was for a weekly show in Tagalog, but she had no speaking lines. She was a statue that came alive to show that it was pleased with a priest who did a juggling act because he had no other offering … or something like that. Peggy was not too enthusiastic, but Lino Brocka and I wanted her to do it. Besides she was sure that she wouldn’t get another chance to be the Virgin Mary on television. I thought she made a beautiful Mary, and members of the cast did too.

42. For a summer project Peggy requested to work in one of the neighborhood centers that was being established by the Social Welfare Administration. She really didn’t have an idea what she would be doing, but she wanted to work with nursery-school-age children. Since these children would probably speak no English, she took formal Tagalog lesson in an effort to learn enough to be able to communicate in Tagalog.

I was asked by the Philippine Education Theater Association, or PETA (the drama group I was working with right along), to stay through August. (Our termination date was scheduled for late June.) We decided to stay if Peace Corps would give us an extension. Peggy hoped that she would get involved enough in her summer project to want to spend two more months doing similar work.

I was then running lights for the latest PETA production. PETA had a way of making big plans that didn’t always pan out; but it looked as if I would get to direct three shows before we left Manila. The first production was to be two plays by the French playwright Ionesto, the next THE VISIT, a very powerful play by the contemporary German playwright Durrenmatt. And the last was supposed to be the Greek play TROJAN WOMEN, with an American actress … Mildred Dunock (sp?) … playing the lead. This coming after my successful production of THE CHAIRS in the dungeons of Fort Santiago, but it all depended on a Peace Corps extension.

Peggy and Randy Ford

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