Several Open Books

Recently Published

By Colmcille Press


The John Crossan Story

By Richie Kelly

As a teenager in the 1950s, this dogged warrior was thrown out of British and Irish football – FOR LIFE.

John Crossan’s ‘crime’ was to demand payment for his labour – a proper percentage of his transfer fee when he was due to move from Derry City to Sunderland.

When the ban was eventually lifted the Brandywell man carved out a remarkable career. He captained one of England’s great clubs, Manchester City, scored a hat-trick in a World Cup qualifier, and played in a European Cup semi-final against the mighty Real Madrid team of Di Stefano and Puskas.

This is the story of a passionate football man whose career was intriguing, controversial and never without incident.

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By Áine Downey

East Belfast in the 1940s and 1950s was an unlikely place to find a family of Irish-speakers, but bilingual-from-birth Áine Morton was oblivious. Her concerns were learning to dance, saving souls from purgatory, fighting with her hair and taking care of an escapologist guide dog.
In this gentle and nostalgic memoir, the Morton family experience evacuation to Donegal, confront their father’s impending blindness, sweep the boards at the Belfast Féis, and try to keep up with their much holier – and much wealthier – Tyrone cousins.
As a slice of Irish life before the troubled years, it is flawless.

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From Aftergrass to Yellow Boots: A Glossary of Seamus Heaney Hearth Language

Maura Johnston

‘Hearth language is the language we learn, and use, at first within the family and then, as our horizons widen, within the local community. In these places we are secure, at home and understood.’

For generations, the English spoken in Seamus Heaney’s South Derry homeland has been uniquely influenced by Irish, Scots Gaelic, Lowland Scots, Anglo Saxon and Elizabethan English.

 In this timely and enlightening new glossary, poetess Maura Johnston examines and explains the hearth language used by Seamus Heaney in his poetry and plays - from 'aftergrass' to 'yellow boots'.

This book hopes to enrich the reading experience of both new and seasoned students of Seamus Heaney’s work and to help preserve a wondrous dialect.