Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 15th December 2012
Beginner’s Pluck Patrick Semple .
Patrick didn’t start writing until his mid forties. A Church of Ireland rector, he wrote a short story which was published in Ireland’s Own. Since then he has written poetry, and two memoirs. Having served in Laois, West Wicklow, and as staff of a theological college, he ended his career at a parish in the centre of Dublin. His main work there, was in Mountjoy, and in Hospital Chaplaincy. Patrick has now retired.
Who is Patrick Semple?
Date of birth: 18th November 1939, in Wexford Town.
Education: The King’s Hospital, Dublin; Trinity College Dublin, (Theology and Philosophy.) Post Graduate at the University of Chicago.
Home: Monkstown, County Dublin.
Family: Wife Hilary. Two adult children and four grandchildren.
The Day Job: Retired. I write and fill the dishwasher. And I teach creative writing in Maynooth.
Interests: History. And I’m passionate about cricket. I watch it, and Rugby on television.
Favourite Writers: Paul Durcan: Robert Frost: John Betjeman, and for prose, I love Joyce’s Dubliners.
Next Book: Curious Cargo. This describes various cargo voyages Hilary and I went on.
Top Writing Tip: Don’t worry what people will think of it. Keep writing.
Web: www.patricksemple.ie Twitter: no.
The Debut: Transient Beings. Code Green Publishing. (Print on Demand.) €9.25. Kindle: Not available.
Based in the mid 1970’s this novel shows the struggles of an Irish country rector, as he goes about his duties, whilst having serious doubts about his faith. Meanwhile, his wife spends more and more time in the local pub. How can he convince her to admit she has a drink problem and go for help?
“I wrote it because I had a vast experience of the Rural church of Ireland, and of alcoholism, which I encountered in parishes. I got some insights into what it was about. The two themes are of alcoholism, and of belief and doubt. I went through huge doubt myself, and am now an atheist.”
The Verdict: An interesting and enlightening account of life as a Church of Ireland Rector.
© Sue Leonard. 2012