On track to Macken’s Connemara
Sir, – Eamon Maher’s evocation of Walter Macken’s Connemara (An Irishman’s Diary, August 20th), transported me immediately to another time.
I encountered Macken’s books as an Ulster Presbyterian teenager in the late 1960s. I was entranced. My love affair with his words and his captivating atmospheres was intense and overwhelming. I just couldn’t get enough. I smelt the porter. I felt the icy waters of the loughs. I heard the screaming seagulls. The lashing rain soaked me. The rocks of the mountains pierced my shoes. I tasted the passions. Above all, was the forbidding attractiveness of the main character – Connemara itself.
I have since holidayed often and enjoyably in the west. And each time I remember Macken fondly. Eamon Maher is right. Macken gets too little attention.
I must seek out from the box in which I know they are slumbering – Quench the Moon, The Bogman, Brown Lord of the Mountain. – Yours, etc,
Cookstown, Co Tyrone.