APTLY, a local book launch was a truly cosmopolitan occasion at the appropriately named Paris Texas Bar and Restaurant.
Over 200 packed in to support journalist Jimmy Rhatigan’s second book, Treasure Lost, Treasure Found, described as a memoir of sorts with lashings of wacky and wonderful stories of Kilkenny characters and their neighbours.
The launch was by Jimmy’s son James Rhatigan who flew from Florida in the USA, Jimmy’s son-in-law Michael Comerford, with Andrea and Michael’s son, Jimmy’s grandson MJ saying the magic words ‘I declare grandad’s book launched’.
From Portugal came Jimmy’s friend Jim Cranwell, a Dub who, with his wife Kay fell in love with Kilkenny when he came here to do business in 1984.
Jimmy’s uncle John Petherwick, a native of Holland flew from London for the launch.
Another guest was Latvia-born Sylvia Dmitrijevs, foot care specialist of Garden Row, Kilkenny
From Belfast and Clare respectively came Jimmy Rhatigan’s former workmates Gerry Loughran and Sean Fitzmaurice who did Trojan work on the design of the book.
Thanks went to a team of friends who helped the author with preparations and running of the first ever book launch at Paris, a brilliant venue for a community event
The main focus of the book is on the Rhatigan family of 24 Fatima Place who lost dad Jimmy who died suddenly in 1953, leaving his wife Maureen, aged 28, sons, Jimmy, aged 3 and Joe, aged 12 days.
Far from being a story of doom and gloom, the tale relates how a young family survived without its patriarch but with the fantastic support of two sets of grandparents, uncles, aunts and kind neighbours in Fatima and Emmet Street.
The book is now on sale at Khansbooks, James’s Street, Kilkenny City, in the shadow of St Mary’s Cathedral.