The Arnolds Hotel in Dunfanaghy, well known to thousands of guests across Northern Ireland, celebrates its centenary this weekend with the publication of a new book by the Dunfanaghy Writers Circle.
Titled The Jacaranda Tree, it contains a selection of poems and prose by writers from across the North who attended the weekend workshops at the hotel in Dunfanaghy under the guidance of the well-known Belfast Telegraph author and journalist , Alf McCreary, who produced the publication. in collaboration with famed Holywood book designer Wendy Dunbar.
He says: “These workshops have been going on for almost 25 years and I am delighted that our new book is being published to coincide with Arnolds centenary. This is the fourth book in our series, and I’m happy that our workshops have taken up nearly a quarter of the hotel’s 100-year history.
“I am also happy that so many people from all walks of life have participated over the years, and I am constantly amazed by the hidden talents of ordinary people who have never written before but whose work is now included in a book of creative writing. It gives them great fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment, and I am happy to be able to help them bring their ideas to life. Different people have attended the workshops in different years, but we all have the same motivation to develop their skills in writing and becoming published authors.
Writers included in the latest book include two former barristers, a former primary school deputy headmaster, a former bookseller, a career nurse, a poet and a former deputy mayor of Coleraine who currently sits on Causeway Coast and Glens Council.
Alderman Yvonne Boyle, whose poems have given the title to the group’s last three books, says: “I am delighted to be in another Dunfanaghy Circle anthology with my fellow writers and appreciate the skills of Alf McCreary. to encourage and edit new writing in such a special environment. ”
In 1922 William Arnold bought a house in Dunfanaghy with just £850, and today it is one of Donegal’s best-known hotels which is hugely popular with visitors from Northern Ireland. Over the years he has adapted to the many changes in the hospitality industry, and he remains a mainstay in the village of Dunfanaghy and the region,
Aisling Arnold, representing the third generation of the family to run the hotel, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Dunfanaghy Writers Circle back for our special centenary and congratulate them on the publication of their fourth book this weekend. . It is truly an outstanding achievement.
The hotel has attracted many celebrities over the years, including Olivia Newton John who stayed there a few years ago to record a BBC television travel show and died last August.
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