Tich looks back on life


Bray People - - NEWS -

AN eclec­tic life full of twists and turns even­tu­ally brought David ‘ Tich' Ennis to the beau­ti­ful Vale of Avoca, and it proved the ideal set­ting for him to write.

Last week he launched his first ever book, ‘Pub Talk – Laugh and Cry and Won­der Why’, at Bridge Street Books in Wick­low town, no mean feat at the age of 73 years.

Orig­i­nally from Gle­nageary in Dublin, David and his brother Ge­orge moved to Avoca in 1992. They had lived to­gether in their fam­ily home un­til then but de­cided to sell up. Hav­ing looked at sev­eral op­tions the duo bought the ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed house at auc­tion. ‘We didn't ex­pect to get it, we thought it would go too high but we man­aged to se­cure it. We had looked at other places and would have pre­ferred to live where we grew up but it was too ex­pen­sive. Houses were half the price down here.'

Now, how­ever, David said he wouldn't move from Avoca, hav­ing taken to ru­ral life with gusto.

David has a num­ber of strings to his bow and worked at ev­ery­thing from a jour­nal­ist and so­lic­i­tor’s clerk to a fish­er­man and a busi­ness­man.

David took a job in the South­ern Star news­pa­per in West Cork when he was in his early 20s af­ter a friend of his was work­ing there got an­other job.

‘He asked me did I want the job and so I moved down there for a cou­ple of years, cov­er­ing court cases and coun­cil meet­ings. I never in­ter­viewed any­one though and now I find it strange be­ing in­ter­viewed about my book.

‘Af­ter I left there, I did noth­ing for a while and moved back home and went to a lot of par­i­ties. I be­came as­so­ci­ated then with Fo­cus Ire­land Theatre Group in Dublin which was be­ing run by Ir­ish Amer­i­can Deirdre O'Con­nell. She was mar­ried to Luke Kelly of the Dublin­ers.

‘It was a 70-seat theatre and my­self and my brother de­signed scenery for it in the early 60s for a while. Then my brother and I started a met­al­work busi­ness which we kept un­til 1980, when the re­ces­sion hit. I've done a lot of lit­tle jobs – most of which I've for­got­ten!'

David had a great in­ter­est in pop mu­sic and amassed an im­pres­sive collection, which he still has to­day al­though he rarely plays the vinyl records. How­ever he dis­misses any sug­ges­tion his collection might be worth a pretty penny.

‘ They are not valu­able at all. I asked a man in the Ark­low record shop. He said people think vinyl records are worth some­thing but they aren't un­less they are very rare and un­for­tu­nately mine aren't. I rarely play them now.'

As a boy, David was small in stature and picked up the nick­name Tich, a nick­name he still goes by to­day.

‘When I was younger, people called me Tich af­ter the fa­mous mu­sic hall co­me­dian Tich Lit­tle. When I was look­ing into get­ting my book pub­lished I came across a book by Cather­ine Ryan Howard. She said you need a unique name as a writer. She had taken her mother's maiden name and added it to her own so I de­cided to start us­ing Tich. There's only one David Tich Ennis,' he chuck­led.

David took up writ­ing about five years ago af­ter he mis­heard his brother say some­thing and David thought, ‘you could make some­thing out of that', and so his first poem, A Metaphor, was born.

‘Af­ter that I just kept writ­ing and the more you write, the bet­ter you get. I write the way I speak. I never stud­ied it but there has to be a rhythm and a nat­u­ral feel to it.'

David finds in­spi­ra­tion every­where and doesn't have any set rou­tine.

‘I write when I feel like it. I have no set time. I write wher­ever I am, in a pub, a ho­tel, the car, any­where. I write what­ever I'm feel­ing. I sup­pose it's art. In jour­nal­ism you have to stick to the facts and write in the style of the paper you are work­ing for. In cre­ative writ­ing, you don't have to stick to a style. You use a style nat­u­ral to yourself.

‘You have to be yourself so it's re­veal­ing.'

David was un­daunted by the thought of self- pub­lish­ing his book when he couldn’t find a pub­lisher. ‘I sub­mit­ted it to sev­eral people but doors were slammed in my face so I self-pub­lished. I only got 250 printed. When you self­pub­lish you have to do ev­ery­thing yourself, be your own agent and lawyer ev­ery­thing. Pub­lish­ing is not some­thing I want to be do­ing. I'd rather be writ­ing than or­gan­is­ing.'

David laments the po­lite­ness of the past when people re­sponded to letters. ‘I've writ­ten to people look­ing for sup­port but of­ten you don't hear back. It's like when young people are job hunt­ing. In the past you'd get a let­ter back. Now the only way you know you didn't get a job is when you don't hear back.

‘People used to re­ply. People are much ruder now. In the past people had time for each other. They would visit each other. Nowa­days you nearly need an ap­point­ment to visit people. I like the in­for­mal­ity of things.'

Al­though he trav­elled in the past David has no plans to leave Ire­land.

‘I don't like be­ing cooped up. I like to sit around and talk to people. There's noth­ing I can do on hol­i­days that I can't do here.'

David's book, which con­tains pho­to­graphs by Michael Mi­ley, is on sale for €10 from var­i­ous shops around Ark­low, Avoca and Wood­en­bridge and also from Bridge Street Books in Wick­low.

David Tich Ennis with Mag­dalena Kur­dziej, whose pic­ture ap­pears on the cover of Pub Talk, and Lau­rence O'Bryan, writer of The Is­tan­bul Puzzle, who edited Pub Talk.

David aged 17 (above left) and (above right) sib­lings (l-r) Ge­orge, He­lena, David and Brian with their aunt Kathleen on O’Con­nell Street in Dublin.

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