In submitting this collection of stories to a wider public audience, I am not unconscious of my literary limitations. The natural misgivings which come to every tyro in this field of effort are keenly experienced by me. I have yielded, however, to the wishes of my friends in 'Beara Historical Society', and, encouraged by them, venture to offer my effusions in a collective form.
Many of these stories and poems have appeared at different intervals in the 'Southern Star' and other periodicals. Many were written during the busy days of my working life, when there was little leisure to bestow mature thought and labour upon them.
Local history is, thankfully, no longer the preserve of a few enthusiasts. Neither is it a retreat from present reality for those of a nostalgic disposition. Just as there is an interest in family history to find out who we are and where we have come from, so a local community is helped in establishing its identity by understanding its past. In the fast moving, ever changing, world in which we live our history helps us find our bearings.
Events and people who may or may not have significance on the wider canvas of national history are nonetheless of profound significance in shaping the developing character of a local area. Their stories provide another important dimension for understanding our community. Our own story in the present is only a short paragraph in the thick annals of the history of Beara. We who have the privilege of living here now need to be aware of our history that is past and also that we are creating our own history. What, for instance, will a local history published in fifty years’ time make of this area at the turn of the twenty-first century?
Gerard D. Harrington
OTHER TITLES BY THE SAME AUTHOR
In the Path of Heroes (2000)
Beara - History and Stories Tales from the Peninsula (2005)
Beara - Down Memory Lane (2007)
The Name is Harrington & Heritage of the Graveyard (2009)