Noel King pays tribute to our valued Writers in Schools friend and colleague Tommy Frank O’Connor.
The death has occurred on 19 October 2016 of poet and esteemed member of our writers-in-schools programme, Tommy Frank O’Connor. Frank studied Philosophy, Psychology, Logic and Theology in All Hallows College, Dublin and St. Patrick’s College, Thurles, before going to London to study and qualify as an accountant. He retired from accountancy in 2000 to concentrate on writing.
His first poetry collection, Attic Warpipes, was published by Bradshaw in 2005. Doghouse Books published, Pulse – Writings from Sliabh Luachra in 2006, and another full collection of poetry, Meeting Mona Lisa, in 2011. Since 1997 he was Clan File of the O’Connor, Kerry clan and was regularly called upon to compose poems for important occasions. Tommy Frank represented Ireland in the 2005/2006 Away with Words International Literary Exchange, visiting England, France & Belgium.
In other genres he was also accomplished, publishing a novel for adults with Marino, a novel for children with Wnykn deWorde and a collection of short stories with Doghouse. In 2015, Purple Pumpkin Publishing brought out Moments, a collection of his Thoughts for the Day broadcast on Radio Kerry for more than a decade. His stage pageant, Bréanainn, was commissioned, and performed at Siamsa Tire – the National Folk Theatre in 1996. In sport he also excelled, winning a gold medal in weightlifting for Ireland at the Celtic Nations Championships in Edinburgh in 1979. RIP.