Hilary McCarthy, Polish Ambassador to Ireland His Excellency Marcin Nawrot, Pauline Cotter, Ursula Nawrot and Maurice Seezer at the launch. Pic: John Walsh

by Eddie Goggin

“Nearly There”, the new interactive book app for iPad, was launched at Grove House, in Schull, West Cork, on one of the rare sunny afternoons recently.

An audience of  more than 300 people, adults and children alike, greatly enjoyed and interacted with the story of Budley and Bishop on the road to “Nearly There”.

Authors of Nearly There Johanna Connor & Gabrielle Byrne with Brian Lalor. Pic: John Walsh

This new production, with its exquisite drawings, lively music, and exciting narration, “Nearly There” takes you on a really unforgettable journey with two neglected horses, Budley and Bishop, who escape their owners one stormy night, and go on a journey of discovery.

On their trek they meet other animals who were also unhappy with their lot, all of whom joined up with our two heroes on their epic journey towards the fulfilment of their dreams.

Along their meandering way, the group enjoyed some music and song, which eased their troubles on the eventful road to their cherished land of happiness.

This colourful publication is aimed strictly at children, and features some unique illustrations, plus the storytelling talents of Johanna and Gabrielle, all of which serve to hold one’s attention.

The music played throughout the story is totally original, composed by Seezer and O’Farrell, and really reinforces the story’s central message of friendship and discovery. All in all, an impressive venture.

Special Guests at the project launch were the Polish Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Marcin Nawrot, and his wife Ursula, Brian Lalor, Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Ireland, who gave a special address on the book, Authors Johanna O’Connor and Gabrielle O’Byrne, composers Maurice Seezer and Fergus O’Farrell, and Colin Vearncombe, who was the wonderful narrator.

The whole enjoyable afternoon was organised under the umbrella and mantle of the irrepressible Hilary McCarthy, who left not a single stone unturned.


For I-Tunes click HERE