Jamie's Blog

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Books My mum recently told me about the new book …

Books
My mum recently told me about the new book by John McCarthy. John was imprisoned in Beirut for 5 years but that is not what his latest book is about. In fact, it centers on Inch, a small village on the west of Ireland where John’s family originated from. The book is a casual, conversation-style narrative about John’s stay in this beautiful area of the world and his various discussions with the local characters. Coincidentally, my mother’s family have had a house in Inch for a long time and my grandmother is even mentioned in the book:(my notes/comments in italics)

Page 117

When I’d been here in 1980 with my parents and Terence we’d met a young man, a solicitor, in the hotel who had told us the Jame’s estate was still being fought over.
“His name was Peter something, but he wasn’t local as far as I can remember,‘ I tell Maureen.
"That would have been Peter Callaghan. The white house just above the hotel was his mother, Ann Callaghan’s. That house was built on land sold by old Justin (James of Inch’s father, I quickly remind myself). Mrs. Callaghan died a year or so ago and had her ashes spread on the beach. She loved Inch.”

This is factually incorrect: Peter Callaghan is my uncle but he’s not a solicitor although his father/my grandfather was. My grandmother was Kathleen Callaghan (but went by the name, Nora). But he’s right, she did love Inch!

Page 235
Bridey stops for tea [Bridey Flynn is a neighbour]. When I’d come to Inch with my family in 1980 we’d visited a woman called Bridey McKenna McCarthy who’d worked with James, but I couldn’t remember where she lived.
“Over at Cromane”, advise Bridey. “We were very good friends, she worked with James for twenty years”
Fidelus asks if she is still alive.
“I haven’t been to her wake!” replies Bridey giving the younger woman a look as if to say, “are you mad?”

Somewhat ironically, Bridey McKenna McCarthy passed away in the last month.

John is signing copies of his new book at Eason’s, O'Connell St., Dublin at 12:20 on 9th November.