By Jimmy Rhatigan
IT WAS so different, that, dare, we say it, it was unique.
The latter word is used far too freely with little respect for a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing called unique.
Our belief is that a family event in Kilkenny in mid-week did indeed warrant the description that set it apart from all other.
It was a book launch.
Nothing whatsoever unique about that, we can hear Reporter readers echo.
And, in their wisdom, the latter would be wholly correct.
But, it was primarily a celebration of a beautiful young life that was tragically ended at the age of six.
In that respect it was the commemoration of a tragedy, the passing of a local boy called Jake Brennan in a road accident near his family home.
I rest my case, may have been the remark of any judge of whether or not the city community gathering warranted special status.
It was an exceptional event, hosted by loving parents to mark the cherished years of their eldest sibling.
The Langton House Hotel party was so precious in fact that it warranted Item 1 on any agenda of importance.
So highly though of was the occasion that political prejudices were thrown to one side.
The podium was shared by a friend of the late Jake Brennan’s family, Andrew McGuinness and Mary Lou McDonald who normally fly the flags of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin respectively.
On stage too for a round table discussion on road accidents that cause death or serious injury, an enlightening session conducted by journalist Eimear Ní Bhraonáin, was Ciara Malley from Belfast whose son died in an accident on the day before Jack was fatally injured.
Ciara and Jake Brennan’s parents, Roseann and Chris had met only on the Facebook Page Jake’s Legacy.
There too was hurling king, Henry Shefflin whose son was injured in an accident, Ann Marie Cullen whose little girl also died in a housing estate accident and Rita Malone, whose son, Oran, now 12, was seriously injured in an accident which left his family traumatised.
“Our little discussion reminded that it is not only my family and my friends who are hit by road accidents. These happen all over the world and should be highlighted and positive actions taken to reduce in a bid to reduce the loss of valuable lives,” Roseann Brennan told The Reporter.
“I am delighted that these wonderful people were with us for a memorable occasion and my great wish is that everyone who was there will have taken home something positive from the event.”
The book launched was Mammy, I Don’t Want to Die, Jake’s final words, a publication dedicated to a young boy who oozed love and brought so much joy and happiness to so many.
For those who wish to purchase the book online, the message is to go to Jake’s Legacy Facebook Page, click on ‘buy now’ button which will go straight to eprint. The book will be delivered to your door.
As a lover of bookshops in preference to online shopping, Roseann is recommending Khan’s Bookshop, James’s Street, Dubray Books, Market Cross, Eason’s, MacDonagh Junction and the Book Centre, High Street where, as with the online edition, the book is available for €15.99.
Book sales or any profits are not the targets but the Brennan family is anxious to get Jake’s message across to families who may take positives from a sad story that encompasses precious family love.