by Sinead McCoole
One week in May 1916, seven Irish women became widows. When they had married their husbands they had embarked on very different lives. They married men of the establishment; one married a lecturer, two others married soldiers, another a civil servant. These women all knew each other and their lives became intertwined.
For the seven women whose stories are told in Easter Widows, their husbands’ interest in Irish culture, citizenship and rights became a fight for independence which at Easter 1916 took the form of military action against the British. These men were among the leaders who formed a provisional government of the Irish Republic and issued a proclamation of Irish Independence.
But the Rising was defeated, and the leaders were arrested and hastily executed. Some of the widows broke under the strain of their experiences and this story tells of miscarriage and tragedy. Yet for another of the women, the execution of her husband allowed her to return from self-imposed exile, freed from the fear that her son would be taken from her by her estranged husband.
This is also a story of women of power and success – some of the widows emerged from the shadows to become leaders themselves. It is a human story told against the backdrop of the years of conflict in Ireland 1916-1923 - the Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War.
Easter Widows introduces all the characters separately through the romances of these seven women – Lillie, Maud, Kathleen, Aine, Agnes, Grace, Muriel – before bringing their stories together in a cohesive narrative. These interlinking stories are clearly embedded in an authentic historical account.
Echoes of Memory
by John O'Donohue
In this powerful, evocative collection, master storyteller John O'Donohue explores themes of love and loss, beginnings and endings. Inspired by the ancient wisdom of the Celtic tradition and the rugged, majestic landscape of his birth, the west of Ireland, here he also creates a unique vision of a place and time, and the echo of a memory that will never fade.
Fields of Fire: The Inside Story of Hurling's Great Renaissance
by Damian Lawlor
These are exceptional times for the game of hurling. The skill, speed and summer long edge of the seat drama of recent All Ireland championships has led many to conclude that something very special is happening in the ancient game.
The Kilkenny team of the last decade has undoubtedly been the greatest in the history of hurling. Their extraordinary record speaks for itself. But has a chink finally begun to appear in Kilkenny’s armour? Or is it that the challengers have begun to catch up, at last recognising the immense effort required to compete at the highest level?
Fields Of Fire tells the story of Kilkenny’s phenomenal success and explores how the Cats became an almost indomitable force. But it also looks at the profound challenge which their supremacy presented to other counties, revealing how the struggle for competitiveness has positively transformed the game. Old rivals have adapted and learned. But new powers too have emerged – from Clare and from Limerick, from Dublin and from Waterford - young bloods who do not fear the Kings of the Game.
Drawing on exclusive interviews with dozens of current and former legends, among them Eddie Brennan, Cha Fitzpatrick, Brendan Cummins, John Mullane, Davy Fitzgerald, Damien Hayes, Liam Dunne, DJ Carey and Ger Cunningham, award-winning journalist Damian Lawlor offers a unique and compelling insight into hurling’s spectacular renaissance.
Forgive and Forget
by Patricia Scanlan
There's nothing like a good wedding...to start world war three!
And that's exactly what's going to happen if Connie Adams, the mother of the bride, can't smooth things over between Debbie and her dad.
He's hell bent on bringing his stuck-up second wife and their sulky teenage daughter to the big day, but Debbie would rather walk up the aisle of a supermarket than have them at her wedding.
It's the last thing Debbie needs right now - her boss is making her life hell and she's starting to suspect that her fiance's getting cold feet...
So will they all live happily ever after, or are the whole family heading for divorce?
Founded on Fear
by Peter Tyrrell
I warn society against the child who has been hurt
A tormented childhood in Letterfrack industrial school with the Christian Brothers left an enduring mark on Peter Tyrrell. Ignored by the authorities and distressed by his memories, he later burned himself to death on Hampstead Heath in London. His story of horrific abuse is told with childlike simplicity, penned in a series of letters to Senator Owen Sheehy Skeffington. Bringing to life, with touching sincerity, a shocking reality where beatings of children as young as five were commonplace, this startling account may have gone unpublished if not for its chance discovery amongst Skeffington's papers. At last, Peter Tyrrell has been given a voice.
Tyrrell never recovered from the abuse that he suffered, yet was determined that his story should be heard. His memoir makes for harrowing yet extraordinarily compelling reading. It is impossible not to be touched.