Celebrating the Life of Fermanaghs Hardy

Article excerpt

Byline: ANNE PALMER

FERMANAGH author Shan Bullock, hailed as the Thomas Hardy of Fermanagh, is to feature in a special appreciation day at Crom Estate.

Shan Bullock was born in Bridge Cottage on the estate in 1865 and, although baptised John William Bullock, he preferred to be called Shan.

He was raised on Crom Estate which skirts the shores of Upper Lough Erne near Newtownbutler.

Shan wrote about life around the lough and charted the changes that took place at the end of the 19th century.

The prolific novelist and poet has received international literary recognition, but has been all but forgotten in his home county.

Vicky Herbert, local historian is to give an introductory talk which will be followed by a walk of the estate in the footsteps of Shan Bullock.

The walk takes in many landmarks Bullock wrote about, such as the boat house the original base for the Erne Yacht Club the old castle ruins, the summer house and Gad Tower.

For the first time, visitors will be allowed access to the pretty Bridge Cottage or Inisherk Island where Shan Bullock, the son of the estate steward, was born and lived.

Participants will be entertained with some music, readings and reminiscences of the area. It promises to be an afternoon of literature, culture, sight- seeing and convivial company, said a spokesman.

Bullock left Crom Estate in 1883 at the age of 18 but regularly visited it throughout his lifetime.

It is said that he disappointed his father by not going into farming, becoming a civil servant in London instead and, at the age of 24, married and had a son and a daughter. He returned to Crom at the age of 62.

Bullocks poems show great depth of feeling and emotion, particularly after the loss of his wife. …