Two Norries feature in new book ‘Ionbhá’

Timmy Long said it meant a lot to them to be asked to contribute to the book.
Two Norries feature in new book ‘Ionbhá’

Two Norries podcasters James Leonard and Timmy Long with copies of “Ionbhá: The Empathy Book for Ireland” in Dubray Books, Cork. Picture: Donal O'Keeffe

The Irish word for empathy is “Ionbhá”, and that is the name of a new book which sees Cork’s favourite podcasters The Two Norries sharing their insights on empathy alongside the likes of President Michael D Higgins, Tolü Makay, Hozier, Rory O’Neill, Imelda May, The Edge, and Mary Coughlan.

“Ionbhá: The Empathy Book for Ireland” is a new collection edited by Cork-born actor Cillian Murphy. It features essays and thoughts on the subject of empathy from 72 contributors, among them Hollyhill natives James Leonard and Timmy Long, who overcame addiction and imprisonment to rebuild their lives, later enjoying success with their series The Two Norries.

Other contributors with Cork connections include writer Louise O’Neill, broadcaster and journalist Brendan O’Connor, journalist Joanne O’Riordan, and Irish Examiner contributors Clodagh Finn and Michelle Darmody. 

Signing copies of the book in Dubray Books on Patrick’s Street, the podcasters said they were honoured to be included in the book. “I’m not a man for poetry, but I wrote a little poem on empathy and it’s in this book, and it’s very humbling to be in such a brilliant collection of literature and poetry alongside some of my peers and role models,” James Leonard told The Echo.

“I’m very thankful to have been given this opportunity, and I look forward to talking to Cillian Murphy on the podcast, hopefully very soon.” Timmy Long said it meant a lot to them to be asked to contribute to the book.

“I feel blessed to be amongst a lot of the great people of Ireland in this book, and their exploration of empathy, which was a word I really only understood four years into my recovery from addiction,” he said.

Other contributors to the book include Fr Peter McVerry, Fiona Prine, Paul McGrath, Rachael Blackmore, and Blindboy Boatclub.

“Ionbhá: The Empathy Book for Ireland” is in bookshops now, with 100% of all proceeds going directly to delivering the Activating Social Empathy programme in Irish schools and youth work organisations.

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