‘An incredible portal to our past’ The Sunday Times
On 7 January 1922, Ireland became a free state. Born into that era of turbulence and hope were the twenty-six women and men whose stories and memories of a lifetime are captured by cherished Irish journalist Valerie Cox.
From recollections of the big snow of 1932, to Éamon de Valera speaking to crowds in a rural town square, to the dawning of electricity, these evocative pieces reflect both a simpler time and a tougher one, where childhood was short and the world of work beckoned from an early age.
In living memory are tales of ‘rambling houses’ – where each night neighbours would walk over the fields to sit around the fire, drink tea and tell stories – raising a family in an earlier era, the scourge of TB, hiding out in Santry Woods when the Black and Tans raided, and pride in a father who was interned in Frongach after the
Easter Rising. Also explored are thoughts on the good and bad of how life has transformed over a century.
Growing Up With Ireland is a compelling portrait of an Ireland in some ways warmly familiar, and in others changed beyond recognition, from those who were there at the beginning.