Nenagh Heritage Exhibition by Toomevara Author

Brendan Lynch

Books and photographs inscribed by famous writers to Toomevara author Brendan Lynch will be the subject of an exhibition which will open at Nenagh Heritage Centre on Tuesday night, July 5.
The writers range from Brendan Behan and Maeve Binchy to Seamus Heaney, Norman Mailer and John Le Carre. The photographs include Sir Michael Caine and Michael Palin; snooker star Steve Davis and adventurer Steve Fossett, whom Brendan also interviewed.
There are also signed photographs of such motorsport personalities as legendary constructor,Enzo Ferrari, Sir Stirling Moss and World Champions Graham Hill  and Jenson Button, and racer and Great Train Robber, Roy James, and Portumna record-breaker, Sir Henry Segrave, first to drive at 200mph.

Brendan says; “All are welcome to the Tuesday evening reception to launch the exhibition. I hope I may be reunited with the schoolmates I have not seen since 1955!”

There will be items signed by Charles Jarrott and Selwyn Edge, participants in Britain’s first motor race, the 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup, which took place in Ireland, and Toomevara-born David McClelland, a multiple British Championship race winner in the 1970s, and youngest-ever Grand Prix driver, Mike Thackwell, who once resided in Dromineer.
Also the signatures of pioneer aviators, Arthur Whitten Brown, first to fly the Atlantic non-stop; George Herbert Scott, who made first return Atlantic flight also in 1919; New Zealand-born record-breaker Jean Batten; and Dublin-born Battle of Britain flier, Paddy Barthropp.
And a letter from Nenagh’s Willie Heaney, who first encouraged Brendan to write.

Born in 1937, Brendan Lynch is from Toomevara, the son of late Garda Sergeant Patrick Lynch and former schoolteacher, Siobhan Lynch. After a year in St. Flannan’s College, Brendan studied at Nenagh CBS, where his teachers Bill Small and Rodney Bent inculcated a love of literature and the written word.
Cycling the 14-miles round trip each day enabled the leg muscles which propelled Brendan to cycling success. He won his first race at the age of 17 and went on to represent Tipperary in inter-county and stage races. His biggest win was the 1956 100-kilometres Cooper Cup race in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

Brendan’s first job was in CIE’s Thurles office. Encourged by former Tipperary Star columnist Willie Heaney, Brendan wrote his earliest stories for Ireland’s Own, before emigrating to London in 1961. Here, he became a disciple of the pacifist philosopher Bertrand Russell and was imprisoned in 1963 for his Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament activities.

After ten years of office work, Brendan decided to concentrate full-time on writing. With a limited budget, he also realised his motor racing dreams, returning to race in Ireland and winning one event at Mondello Park. Early racing stories for his local Fulham Chronicle led to Grand Prix reporting for Irish media and such UK papers as The Observer and The Daily Mail. He interviewed many World Champions including Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, John Surtees and Ayrton Senna.
On his return to Ireland in 1985, Brendan contributed general features to Dublin media, including a series of Irishmans Diaries for The Irish Times. He interviewed many leading literary and artistic personalities including J P Donleavy and Ciaran MacMathuna. He published his first book in 1988, the award-winning GREEN DUST history of Irish motor racing. He also travelled extensively in Asia, where he met his wife, Margie, whom he married in 1997.

Brendan followed ‘Green Dust’ with four other books, the last of which was published in 2009, ‘Yesterday We Were in America’, the story of Alcock and Brown’s first Atlantic flight from America to Ireland in 1919. Foreword-writer Len Deighton said; “Yesterday is a very fine book. I wish I had written it.”

Brendan Lynch is a member of the Irish Writers Union and PEN. A consultant editor for The Encyclopedia of Ireland, he has contributed to RTE, BBC, LBC London radio and Lyric FM. Also to over 60 media worldwide from The Nenagh Guardian and most Irish nationals to international magazines and papers such as The European and The Times of London.
His book, ‘There Might Be a Drop of Rain Yet’ was the subject of an RTE television documentary. His next book, ‘Prodigals and Geniuses, a  history of literary Dublin, will be published in September, 2011.

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