Apologies to any of my regular readers for the lack of posts over the last week or so, been out of the country at my Grandmother's funeral in Ireland.

The Irish poet SEAMUS HEANEY once described my Grandmother as "the Madonna of the Manuscripts", an accurate description for a woman who devoted most of her life to the promotion of new Irish writers and artists.

At the height of World War II with little money around for luxuries like books, my Grandmother and Grandad opened a bookshop in 1940, which went on to become one of the world’s great independent bookshops. In 1968 they took another risk and opened the first art gallery in the West of Ireland. The first exhibition was by Irish artist Sean Keating and the gallery has hosted several hundred since.

My Grandparents passion for books, art and culture will be carried on by their six children, 21 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. My Grandmother was an amazing woman and may she rest in peace.