Mayor pays trib­ute to scholar Séa­mus

GREY­STONES FAREWELL TO ‘REAL MAN OF LET­TERS’

Bray People - - What's On Guide - Mary FOG­A­RTY

MAYOR OF GREY­STONES, Cllr. Ge­orge Jones, has paid trib­ute to the late Séa­mus Ó Saotharí, ar­chiv­ist, his­to­rian and jour­nal­ist, who has died at the age of 81.

Sea­mus played an ac­tive role in the com­mu­nity, said Mayor Jones, hav­ing been one of the first to sit on the La Touche Legacy Com­mit­tee and con­tribut­ing to many ar­ti­cles and pam­phlets re­gard­ing the his­tory of the area. He also wrote the his­tory of the Pres­by­te­rian Church in Grey­stones.

‘Be­sides be­ing of a schol­arly na­ture, Séa­mus was above all a gen­tle­man,’ said Cllr. Jones, be­fore ex­press­ing his sym­pa­thy to his wife Minella and their fam­ily.

Séa­mus wrote a num­ber of books, in­clud­ing a study of the women of the 1798 re­bel­lion, and a bi­og­ra­phy of the Ir­ish-speak­ing Pres­by­te­rian min­is­ter and scholar William Neil­son. He had a vast knowl­ege of his­tory and was par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in the his­tory of late 18th-cen­tury Ul­ster.

A singer of some renown, he ad­ju­di­cated at an an­nual bal­lad cope­ti­tion in North­ern Ire­land, thereby adding many songs to his ex­ten­sive reper­toire.

A na­tive of West­meath, be­fore set­tling in Grey­stones with his fam­ily, he at­tended school at St. Mary’s in Mullingar. He worked in a hard­ware store in Dublin be­fore join­ing the army dur­ing WWII. He later worked for the Glún na Buaidhe weekly, In­niu, then as a li­brar­ian and pub­lisher for the Depart­ment of Ed­uca- tion. He was also reg­is­trar of the Na­tional Gallery of Ire­land for a time.

In the early 1960s he took up jour­nal­ism, work­ing for Ra­dio Tele­fís Éire­ann. He was based in Con­nemara while Raidió na Gaeltachta was be­ing set up in 1972. He wore many hats over the years, in the worlds of jour­nal­ism and his­tory.

He was ‘a real man of let­ters and a scholar whose eru­di­tion didn’t be­long to an ivory tower but among the or­di­nary peo­ple among whom he lived and about whom he wrote’, said Rev. David Mont­gomery at his fu­neral.

Seery lived with his fam­ily in Grey­stones, Co Wick­low, and took a deep in­ter­est in the his­tory of the lo­cal­ity. He was a life pres­i­dent of the Friends of His­toric Rath­down and was as­so­ci­ated with the an­nual La Touche Legacy sem­i­nars.

Those who knew the pop­u­lar lo­cal re­mem­ber him as full of charm, fun and a great speaker of Ir­ish.

He is sur­vived by his wife Minella, daugh­ters Ita, Dympna and Gráinne and sons Hugh, Con­all and Gar­ret.

The late James Seery.

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