A capacity crowd filled the Backstage Theatre for the recent launch of the debut novel Solas, by the latest writer to emerge from Longford, Belinda McKeon. The night was an enjoyable combination of classical music provided by the Windsong Classical Harp Ensemble from Lanesborough, an in-depth interview by award winning poet and dramatist Noel Monahan from Granard and a reading by the author. The night’s proceedings were smoothly orchestrated by Adrian Duncan a musicologist from Ballymahon.

There was a tremendous atmosphere of affection and pride for the author on the night, due in no small part, to the huge numbers of past teachers, old schools friends and extended family members who were present on the night.

The novel was particularly well received as it was by a local writer but also because it was based partly, in rural Longford and the majority of the cast of characters were also Longford people. It is felt that the success of this novel and its close association with County Longford will provide invaluable encouragement to the myriad of aspiring writers in Longford and Belinda has now added her name to the many writes who have emerged from County Longford in modern times, writers such as; Noel Monahan, Vona Groarke, Breda Sullivan, Anne Skelly, Margaret Nohilly and Mary Melvin Geoghegan.