Kilkenny man’s new book launch in Callan

Kilkenny native Joe Kearney will launch his new book, The Beekeeper and the River in Callan on Friday evening 27th January. Picture shows Joe with PJ Cunningham , Ballpoint Press editor

Kilkenny native Joe Kearney will launch his new book, The Beekeeper and the River in Callan on Friday evening 27th January.

Frank McKenna, retired school principal and historian, will formally launch the collection of short stories at Kevin Keogh’s pub in Mill Street Callan at 9.00pm.

The book is published by Ballpoint Press and is distributed by Argosy which means it will be available at independent books shops around the country and especially around Kilkenny.

“This is one of the finest collections of stories detailing the ‘ordinary plenty’ of a local area such as Callan during the sixties and seventies,” said Ballpoint Editor PJ Cunningham.

“The sharp eye of the observer and the excellence of the writing combine to make this book a gem of its kind and one that will endure for the ages.”

The stories are drawn together and entangled in the town’s river in an ingenious way that makes the collection as satisfyingly crafted as a novel.

The river both introduces and bookends the torrent of happenings that flow through a local place in a set period of history.

In ’The Beekeeper And The River’, Kearney uses the river as the provider of boundaries while its waters is the solemn witness to the destructive passion, murderous secrets, heartbreaking love and complex revenge enacting around and within it.

The revelations shine a light into the darkness concealing everyday lives and into the thoughts and actions of folk as they go about their habitual chores.

Callan-born Joe Kearney’s voice is already familiar nationally through his regular contributions to RTE’s Sunday Miscellany and from his award winning documentaries made for RTE’s Doc on One series.

A doctor of literature from UCD, Joe has written extensively about Callan and his associations with the town over the years. His recollections and experiences growing up there have offered inspiration for many of his stories, radio essays and documentaries.

His documentary on the late traditional fiddle player, Micky Finn, a Callan native, No Cure for Micky Finn was an award winner at the New York Radio Festival. He has recently broadcast and published essays on the Callan artist, Tony O’Malley.

In 2022, he was proud to be asked to return to his alma mater and launch the collation of tributes and memories captured in the book Colaiste Eamann Ris, celebrating 154 years of the Callan CBS.

Joe now lives in Wicklow and has also co-authored a number of best-selling books over the past decade, including ‘Then There Was Light’ (the story of rural electrification) and ‘From The Candy Store To the Galtymore’ (The history told in story form of Ireland’s transition from Ceili culture to the Showband era of the swinging sixties.)

For further information on ‘The Beekeeper And The River’ email or phone 086-8217631 or 087-2633041


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