|About the Book|
It is the spring of 1952, Mick Joyce, Tom Sullivan and Kate Collins are leaving Ireland with a youthful exuberance in the hope of making their fortune. England is still in economic turmoil after the war but still fares much better than the EmeraldMoreIt is the spring of 1952, Mick Joyce, Tom Sullivan and Kate Collins are leaving Ireland with a youthful exuberance in the hope of making their fortune. England is still in economic turmoil after the war but still fares much better than the Emerald Isle. In the Ireland of the nineteen fifties the cottages are still thatched and if there is money in the house it is slated. As a compromise between the rich and the not so rich you might see a corrugated iron roof. Either way Ireland is an empire a few centuries behind our closest neighbour. So it is common place to see the ferry boat the St. David full of Irish, after Christmas, heading to England to earn the King’s shilling. The tears flow each time Ireland’s sons and daughters depart. Hearts are heavy but this is Ireland of the nineteen fifties. The mothers and wives are left behind to keep the nest together from season to season with an ancient sadness that they never really spoke of.Over the next ten years their lives would intertwine intermittently. The story that ensues is one of love, laughter, drink, hard work and loss. The book also tells of their encounters with other emigrants, Irish, African, West Indians, a Russian woman who could fill a cement mixer faster than any Irish navvy and a Pole who little by little created a life for himself and his Irish lady from nothing. It was in one of London’s dingy bed sits that Tom and Mick first settled into. They grubbed hard, drank by the imperial gallon, fought in the pubs and on the streets of London as if re-enacting their modern version of the Irish War of Independence on foreign soil. By night they tore London asunder and were on site the next morning at 8a.m. to rebuild it from the ground up.This is the story of the life of Tom Sullivan now in his senior years having returned to his home town of Tralee. A man of wisdom self educated in the ways of the world, he tells his story with a wit and honesty that will bring both tears of laughter and sadness to the reader.