The story has been told before but deserves another airing. One evening, close on 30 years ago for us, herself and myself were in the Galway Arms, a good hostelry at the top of Dominick Street, Galway. There were a few other drinkers at various tables there scattered throughout the pub keeping themselves very much to themselves.

The door opened and a thin, slightly edgy young man walked in carrying a basket of books, one copy of which he left on each occupied table. My first reaction was that he was of a marginal religious or political persuasion and trying to spread the gospel. My second was that it was a question of a charitable donation – probably for himself, God knows he looked like he needed it – and it was best left alone. However my bookseller curiosity got the better of me and I was perusing when he returned.

“Did you write this?”


“I did.”

“Can you call in and see me in the morning?”

“And who the fuck are you?”

“Des Kenny.”

“Jaysus, I’ll be there at ten in the morning”.

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