Michael Pattwell was born in April, 1945 in Clonakilty in West Cork. Having worked at various jobs he finally took up the study of law as a mature student, graduating in 1974 with a BCL. in 1976 Michael qualified as a solicitor acquiring a small practise that year in his native Clonakilty. He was appointed a Judge of the District Court in 1990 in the North and East Cork District.
Michael acquired a love for poetry whilst still in the primary school but didn’t write until into his late teens. He married in 1967 at age 22 and in 1968 the first of eight children was born. “That soon put paid to my time for writing,” Michael says. He didn’t start writing again until January 1993 following the death of his father, when he wrote “The Clothesline”. He is a member of the “Making Words Work” group in Ballincollig. “Membership of the Ballincollig group”, says Michael, “is very important to me because it drives me on the produce some work on a fairly regular basis”.
Many of Michael’s poems are inspired by his wide life experiences including his involvement with his family as well as an interest in nature and mythology. Several of the poems in his recently published book, “Flaghopping”, are about his relationship with his father, his caring for his mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease in the last years of her life and about his children, including one for a grandchild who died as a result of a cot death at seven weeks. He says he didn’t think he would ever publish but a cancer operation in July 2010 brought him face to face with the possibility of death and that changed his mind about a number of things. The operation was totally successful and Michael is back doing all the things he likes doing best.
As well as writing poetry, Michael likes to write short stories too and says that his next book, if there should be one, is likely to be a mixture of poems and short stories. His other interests are wood-turning and gardening.
For more information visit Michael Pattwell.com.
Read Maria Herlihy’s article in The Corkman.
‘Padlock Pattwell’ returns to Kanturk Courthouse
Retired District Court Judge Michael Pattwell jokes that he knew that he was known as ‘Padlock Pattwell’ during his time sitting in North Cork.