We have been personally involved in the production of the last four St. Conleth’s ‘quinquennials’, our every-five-years collection of Conlethian memories, tributes and polemics; and we have enjoyed the reading and editing of these diverse collections, with contributions coming from all over the globe, from all types of personalities (albeit, all quirky Conlethians) and a wide range of writing styles; however, of all the contributors, two stand out in terms of sheer writing talent: Peter Gallagher, Principal Emeritus and deity of generations of History Boys, and Dr. Chris Luke (Class of 1976 c.), retired head of multiple A & E Departments and respected commentator and negotiator of the minefield that is public medicine. With both these contributors, we could sit back as mere spectators and simply enjoy the show, as their instinctive power of insight and command of English made their memories come alive: not a pen mark was made, not a character was deleted.
We are sure Chris would be thrilled to be linked with one of his teacher heroes, and likewise for Peter, as he takes pride in a protégée who may have taken the STEM highway towards his career, but obviously also kept faithful to the paths of literacy and culture, so valued at St. Conleth’s. Dr. Luke is all over the news lately because of the publication of his memoir ‘A Life in Trauma’, a very personal recounting of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of his high-profile medical career, but also his own life journey, including the years at No. 28, Clyde Road. We have yet to get our hands on a copy, but it currently sits atop the Irish Nonfiction Chart and is earning rave reviews. If Chris’s article in our last Quinquennial (p.8-9) is anything by which to judge, Dr. Luke is as skilled a wordsmith as he is a surgeon!