From Mountmellick to Manchester with love - book of condolences opened

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

From Mountmellick to Manchester 'le grá' -  book of condolences opened

The handcrafted book now open for the public to sign in Mountmellick

A Laois town with strong links to Manchester has opened a special book of condolences

A book of condolences has been opened in Mountmellick in Laois, to mark the recent bombing in Manchester.

The book is available for the public to sign, in the porch of the Hare's Corner restaurant at the MDA, opposite the town's park.

With handcrafted wool 'forget-me-not' flowers on its cover, the book marks the shared industrial and craft history between both places, with Mountmellick once called the 'Manchester of Ireland', such was the amount of industries there.

It moreso marks the many friends and family that the community has in Manchester, long a destination for Irish emigrants.

Local craft enthusiast Nina Horan and her lifelong friend Hillary Donnolly (nee Riordan) who is now settled in Manchester, are behind the thoughtful gesture.

Hillary will present the signed book to Manchester Town Hall. Her young daughter had attended a Bruno Mars concert in the same arena just a fortnight before the bombing.

"Many people in the community of Mountmellick have relatives & friends in Manchester.  While we understand that every terrorist attack, no matter where it occurs, is a crime of unspeakable hatred, Manchester is close to many of our hearts. We would really appreciate you just popping in to sign it," said Nina, thanking her friend Dolores McRedmond for the handmade flowers and heart that decorate the book. 

The suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena on May 22, killed 23 adults and children, and wounding 116 more, at a concert by young pop star Ariana Grande. She returns to headline a star studded fundraising gig at the arena this Sunday.

Mountmellick's book will be available to sign until June 7.