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Limerick man Mike Kelly tells his life story ‘Pulling Back the Clouds’ 



Mike Kelly (second from left) is pictured above at the launch of the book at the Shannon Airport Aviation Gallery with Mary Considine, CEO, The Shannon Airport Group, Dominic Taylor from the Limerick Writers’ Centre, publisher of the book entitled ‘ Pulling Back the Clouds’, and the book’s author, Kieran Beville.

Mike’s book was written by author Kieran Beville and published by the Limerick Writers’ Centre

Mike pictured in 2018 cutting the ribbon on Shannon Airport’s Aviation Gallery with Rose Hynes, Chairman Shannon Group. Picture: Arthur Ellis.

Mike Kelly, aviation enthusiast and curator of the Shannon Airport Aviation Gallery at the airport, finally launched his long-awaited memoir, Pulling Back the Clouds, on Tuesday, September 27 at the airport departure lounge.

At the showcase event was CEO of The Shannon Airport Group, Mary Considine, who said, “Back in July 2018 we had the pleasure of officially launching Mike’s amazing collection of more than 1,500 die-cast model aircraft at Shannon Airport, the largest public display of its type in the world.  




“Since the launch of our Aviation Gallery, Mike has been here regularly lovingly tending it and growing the exhibits. His love of the collection is infectious, and his personal touch really adds to the visitor experience in our airport.  

“He is generous with his time in maintaining and curating it. His wonderful storytelling has engaged many a passenger, the famous and VIPs alike. Nearly every day passengers tell us how much they have enjoyed the display and for this, we are most grateful. I would like to congratulate Mike, author Kieran Beville and publisher Dominic Taylor and wish them every success with the book,” said Ms Considine.

A large group of well-wishers and staff of Shannon Airport attended the event. Mike’s book, which was written by author Kieran Beville and published by the Limerick Writers’ Centre, tells the story of how he first was bitten by the aviation bug, when as a small boy his father took him, to what was then Rihanna, to view the airplanes. He began collecting die-cast models of the world’s airlines and has spent over a quarter of a million Euro on them to date. The culmination of his life-long obsession was the opening of the Aviation Gallery in 2018.

Pulling Back the Clouds not only tells Mike’s story, but it also details a time when aviation was in its infancy in Ireland.  Dominic Taylor, from the Limerick Writers’ Centre said that, “Readers of Mike’s book are treated to a fascinating insight into the historic importance of the golden age of aviation in Shannon and Ireland.”

Since the opening of the Gallery in the departure lounge of the airport, Mike has had great interest from mainstream media, including RTE’s nationwide, and decided that his life story was worthy of a book.  Author Kieran Beville was delighted to take on the task of putting Mike’s life onto the printed page and said, “Mike Kelly is a remarkable man It is gratifying to know that my book about Mike Kelly has been received so well.”

In an emotional address to the large crowd of his supporters, Mike thanked the Shannon Airport Group for making his dream come through when the Aviation Gallery was established in 2018 and now seeing his life story in print and song was an overwhelming experience.

The book also spawned an album of songs based on Mike’s story, also called appropriately enough Pulling Back the Clouds.

For more info on Limerick Writers’ Centre, go HERE

For more stories on Books go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.