Gene’s jokes at book launch

Jokes by Gene Fitzpatrick and a mother’s home baking were just some of the ingredients in a successful book launch for Banbridge author Michael Wallace.

Michael’s new book ‘Every Sayin’ Under the Sun’ examines over 2000 different sayings and was launched in the Parish Centre Banbridge on Sunday November 24.

A friend of Michael’s and well-known author Doreen McBride introduced the night, speaking about the language we use in Northern Ireland and how it differs to anywhere else in the world. Doreen has written many books about slang and it was one of her books which gave Michael his inspiration.

Congratulating Michael she said: “it is great to see such a young person taking an interest in writing and his local area”.

Music was provided by Barney Green and local singing sensation Maeve Farrell. Maeve, a neighbour of Michael’s and a country music singer, is set to release a new single early next year.

Tea was served and home baking provided by Michael’s mother proved ‘extremely popular’.

Special guest was local comedian Gene Fitzpatrick, who entertained the crowd with his jokes about people from around Annaclone and Banbridge and interviewed Michael about his new book.

Explaining why he wrote the book and where he found the material, Michael said: “I got my inspiration from Doreen’s book ‘Spakin’ Norn Iron’ and I’ve been gathering the information for four to five years from different people I spoke to”.

Michael then went around the room informing some of the unsuspecting crowd of the sayings he had got from them.

The main thing Michael found from his research was the number of insults there are in Northern Ireland, and also the fact we tend to take things lightly and not too seriously.

“The one thing about people in Ireland is they know how to have ‘craic’ more so than anywhere else in the UK”, said Michael.

Pleased that first impressions of his book have been positive and that people have enjoyed the illustrations by Judith Henning from Banbridge, Michael says his book will make a great Christmas stocking filler. They are priced at £9.99 and are available from the Hall Town Banbridge, The FE McWilliam centre, Super Value or contact Michael on 07808 800909.