Saturday 21 September 2019

Wexford's Frank Sinnott shows no sign of slowing down

Frank Sinnott.
Frank Sinnott.

By Esther Hayden

One of Wexford's best known characters is celebrating his 50th anniversary as a writer this month.

Frank Sinnott published his first poem when he was just 14 years old. Entitled 'An Ode to Bifra' the poem was published in the Evening Herald.

Frank was a student in Wexford's CBS at the time and seeing his poem in print for the first time affirmed his love of writing.

The keen student used to walk into his English class which was taught by Sean Byrne with a new poem on an almost daily basis and the poem was then read out to the rest of the class.

Now aged 64 Frank's memory is as sharp as a tack and he recalls winning an writing competition for all Wexford schools when he was 15 years old. For his prize he was presented with a fiver from the then Mayor of Wexford.

Also at the age of 15 Frank established Wexford's first ever school newspaper, The Boker Gazette, writing the lion's share of the articles himself. He printed, edited and distributed the newspaper himself to the student body of the CBS.

In 1982 he set up Wexford's first free sheet, The Boker. He was also writing occasional articles for papers such as the Sunday Tribute, the Irish Times and Hot Press.

On the day he first had a piece published in the Irish Times he was heading into the labour exchange to sign on. Pleased as punch with his success he walked into the office with the paper under his arm.

Frank has also interviewed many of Wexford's leading creatives including playwright Billy Roche and musician Pierce Turner.

'I did an interview with Billy for the Sunday Tribune before most people knew his name. I think at the time he was either writing or just after writing Tumbling Down. I also did an interview with Pierce for Hot Press long before his career took off.'

The Boker free sheet ran for about six or seven years before it was bought by People Newspapers for £15,000. In addition to the cash Frank also secured a job in the company although this arrangement was later severed.

In the late 80s Frank set up a new free sheet, The New Wexford Gazette, pulling in a significant revenue. However in 1992 Frank became too ill to run the publication and it folded.

In addition to this Frank has also written three books, View from a Bridge, View from a Bridge Volume 2 and Frank Sinnott's Book of Jokes.

During all this time he was also working as a music promoter and is responsible for establishing the first ever Wexford Festival of Living Music in the town as well as bringing several musicians to the town.

Although at an age when many would be considering resting on their laurels Frank is showing no signs of slowing down although if you spy him sipping a coffee outside one of town's cafes you may think he is enjoying a more leisurely pace of life. However he is still writing away and perhaps there may be another book to be enjoyed in the future.

Wexford People

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