Thursday, November 18, 2010
Death of Publisher Steve MacDonogh
This blog is deeply saddened and shocked by the death of my friend and publisher Steve MacDonogh.
My thoughts are with his family, particularly Meryem and their baby Lilya, his mother Barbara, sister Deirdre, and brother Terry, and the extended MacDonogh family. Condolences also to Máire and all who work at Brandon.
Steve was a well loved and very decent Irish man. He ran a hugely
successful, pioneering and progressive publishing business, Brandon from
Daingean, Co. Kerry.
Steve was deeply committed to free speech and against censorship, he
campaigned in support of Salman Rushdie on the one hand and against the
secrecy of the British state on the other.
He breached the repressive ethic on this island at the time when he first
published my writing in the early 1980’s.
This blog learned a lot from him in the years since then and he has published
twelve of my books.Brandon authors include Alice Taylor, whose “To School
Through the Fields” sold more than any other book in Ireland.Steve also
published Neil Jordan, Ken Breun, and many other authors who went on to win international recognition.
He relaunched Walter Mackin, Patrick McGill and JB Keane.
He was a fine writer himself and a very good poet. He had just finished a
book on U.S. President Barack Obama’s Irish roots.
Like President Obama, Steve’s roots were in the south east and the Church
of Ireland and his latest book is a well researched examination of the
Protestant exodus to, and influence in, the USA.
Steve was a lover of Irish music and culture, a keen photographer and a
champion of the unique community and culture of the Dingle peninsula. He
was an enthusiastic mummer. Steve cared deeply for the west of Ireland and
made a link between that community and west Belfast. He was a friend of
Féile an Phobail. He was a friend of the people of Morocco, particularly
the Berber people and was returning from there when he became ill.
His contribution to Ireland, the Arts, and to the world of publishing and
free speech was immense and he will be sadly missed. I hope it is some
comfort to his family that their grief and loss is being shared by many
throughout Ireland and globally.
Go ndéanfaidh Dia trócaire ar a anan dílis.” Crioch