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Welcome to the Cathach

A New Place

Welcome to the first issue of The Cathach.

Our aim has been to create a new place for writing and painting, a kind of virtual Reading Room or Annexe off Sligo County Library where readers can come to find new work from writers both familiar and unfamiliar.  In the same way as the browsing of a library shelf provides surprise encounters, this issue of The Cathach brings together fiction and non-fiction, poetry and drama, as well as a pictorial essay in portraiture. It includes both Irish and international writers, prize-winning authors alongside some whose work is being published for the first time.
    
The name The Cathach derives from ‘The Battle of the Book.’ Colmcille, during a visit to Abbot Finian’s monastery copied a very beautiful psalter. Finian claimed the copy as well as the book, but Colmcille refused. The dispute was brought to Dermott, High King of Ireland who decided in favour of Finian with the words: ’To every cow its calf and to every book its copy.’ In consequence, in 561 AD, the High King and Colmcille engaged in battle on the slopes of Benbulben. Aided by an angel, Colmcille won. Thousands of men were slain and the King forced to concede the copy of the psalter to Colmcille. But immediately afterward, as a penance, Colmcille left Ireland and went into self-imposed exile in Scotland, hoping to convert as many people as he had caused to die. 
 
As a further, twenty-first century chapter in this story perhaps, all of the authors included in The Cathach have given their work freely. It has been our aim to present it here in a way that complements that generosity, and with the hope that it will lead you to further reading of their work.This journal is part of the continuing support for Literature of Sligo County Library, without which it would not exist. 

Finally, we thank you for coming to The Cathach. You are welcome, and we hope that you enjoy your visit.

The Editors

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