Derry grandmother's story included in Pope's new book

Derry grandmother, Margaret O'Reilly's story has been included in a new book by Pope Francis which was launched in the Vatican yesterday.
Seamus McKinney

WORDS of wisdom from a Derry grandmother have been included in a new book by Pope Francis.

The book, Sharing the Wisdom of Time, offers a collection of stories and wisdom from older people from 30 countries and from every walk of life.

The 175-page book fleshes out what Pope Francis said he feels “the Lord wants me to say: that there should be an alliance between the young and old people.”

Among to those to contribute are Hollywood film director and producer Martin Scorsese who attended the launch at the Vatican yesterday.

However the book includes the stories of ordinary people including 77 year-old Derry pensioner, Margaret O’Reilly.

A retired teaching assistant, Mrs O’Reilly is one of three Irish people to contribute to the book, along with Dublin Jesuit priest, Des O’Grady and Connemara artist, 90 year-old Margaret Irwin West.

Mrs O’Reilly, who was born in the Bogside, worked as a classroom and nursing assistant at Foyleview school, now Belmont School, in Derry.

In her account, Mrs O’Reilly recalls an incident from her childhood where she should have “stuck to the truth.”

“The truth will set you free. Lies are like a rock in a big chain around you, and it just gets tighter and tighter. It’s very easy to lie, but it’s also destructive. When we’re lying, we don’t realise just how far the lie is going to go," she says.

Cecilia West of Messenger Publications, said the book offered “the gift of wisdom” gained by the older generation.

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