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Saturday, 26th September 2020

Little boy gets jelly bean stuck in his ear, inspires his gran to write poetry

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Sean Clarke reading the book he inspired with his Nana Marian who wrote it. Photo: Andy Spearman.

Four years ago, when Sean Clarke from Meadow View was only four, his parents brought him to the doctor for a check-up. Everything was going fine until the doctor looked in his ear.

“What’s this blue thing in here?” the doctor asked and sent him straight to the Lourdes Hospital.

It turned out that the blue thing in Sean’s ear was a jelly baby but it was lodged so deep the hospital couldn't get it out so he was sent to Temple Street where a specialist Jelly bean removal team had it out in no time.

Sean’s Nana is Marian Clarke who is a member of the Drogheda Creative Writers and the experience of the jelly in the ear inspired her to put pen to paper and write a book of poetry for children.

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‘Sean’s Billy Bear’ is beautifully illustrated by the very talented Will Guppy who is the head receptionist at Scholars Townhouse Hotel.

All going well and if we’re not all back in lockdown by then, Marian plans to launch the book at The Barbican on October 10th at 2pm.  

In keeping with COVID 19 guidelines, and to ensure social distancing, the number of people invited has had to be limited to 40 and that quota has already been reached.

Marian’s book is selling for €10 and she is donating half of the profits to the children’s charity hospice Laura Lynn which she was inspired to do so by the Magician Simon Ryan who will be her guest at the launch. A treat for us all in these strange and stressful times.

Drogheda Life spoke to both Marian and Sean yesterday and the bond of love between the pair is remarkable.

Sean, told me he is in Miss Anderson’s first class in St. Mary’s Parish NS and loves maths and reading, but he can’t remember putting the jelly bean in his ear or how long it was in there.

When the people in Temple Street asked him how it got there he told them it must have walked in! 

He can’t remember much about the hospital either but he said the best bit was going to Smyths Toyshop with his Nana on the way home.

When asked what happened to the Jelly bean when it was finally removed from his ear Sean said that the hospital gave it back to him in a jar and he still has it.

“They took it out with special Jelly tweezers” he said.

Because she has not been able to invite the numbers she would have liked to the book launch Marian is asking anyone who would like to support her in her fundraising for Laura Lynn to contact her through her Facebook page or Email

Alternatively you can buy the book in Waterstones in the first week in October or in the Artisan Café in Stockwell Street.

This article was written by Andy Spearman

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