MARY SHEERIN marks the sixth anniversary of the iconic writer’s
death on July 30th, 2012.
Last week, I was in the waiting room of my GP’s surgery. A young woman sat beside me. On her knee lay a paperback copy of Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy. It looked new; as though she had just bought it or someone had gifted it to her. It had a white shiny cover with red lettering.
When I came home, I took down my own copy of Whitethorn Woods. It was hardback with a green cover given to me by Maeve and I looked fondly at the large, generous handwriting of her inscription: “With love to my friend Mary Sheerin. I hope you’ll like the story. All the very best. Maeve Binchy xx.
And as I leafed through the pages of the book, a voice on the radio informed us that Minding Frankie – an adaptation of one of Maeve’s books – was being staged at the Gaiety Theatre shortly.
As I said in the heading above: Maeve lives on …
Acres of newsprint have been written about Maeve; hundreds of radio and television interviews have been aired. And if one googles her name on the internet – well you would spend the rest of your life reading all about her!
She wasn’t just a national treasure for Ireland; she was an international treasure for the world. She wasn’t just admired as a writer; she was loved as a person.
Some might ask why was Maeve Binchy held in such affection?
Well, my own view is that Maeve’s personality and nature were almost unique.
She was uproariously funny, she had a warm, sunny nature and she treated people, be they friends or unknown fans, with the utmost respect. She was loyal .. loyal to her beliefs, her values, her family and her friends. And indeed to her cats too! She was also wise and was a great person from whom to seek advice.
And she had a fund of anecdotes that could not be surpassed! And this came across in her writing; in the characters peopled in her prolific books, as she wove through the fabric of a changing Ireland.