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Patricia’s Blog

 

Maria and another US Presidential Transition

Nov 17, 2016 |

On a hot August evening in 1974, I hauled my case up a cobbled street of uneven red brick in Pittsburgh, USA. Exhausted after my trip by greyhound bus from New York via Philadelphia, it was a relief to finally reach the neat three-storey house with its covered porch and white rocking chair on the…

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Centurian

Apr 26, 2016 |

It is a century since my mother’s birth – she would have been as old as the nation. Over the decade since her death, I have jotted down these vignettes / memories of a life well lived. Village She cycled into the village in 1947 with her new husband by the light of a flash-lamp…

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Easter Chocolates and Oranges

Mar 16, 2016 | Comments Off on Easter Chocolates and Oranges

Oranges and chocolate were exotic extravagances in my childhood; pointers to a future when these would become normal daily purchases and not occasional luminous luxuries. In our 1950s childhood home in East Mayo, an orange was a sporadic treat; the fruit was carefully peeled, divided in four, the white pith discarded and each succulent segment…

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Like a rock in the sea, islanded by fields…..

Oct 27, 2015 | Comments Off on Like a rock in the sea, islanded by fields…..

Reading Mary Lavin’s story ‘In the Middle of the Fields’ in the recent anthology of Irish Women Writers The Long Gaze Back, I was reminded of a visit to East Walpole on the outskirts of Boston several years ago. I had travelled along Washington Street which seemed to extend forever in straight lines south-east of the…

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What is it about walking?

Sep 23, 2015 | Comments Off on What is it about walking?

Concord, Massachusetts, the birth place of Henry David Thoreau, is a very civilised place these days. When I travelled there from Boston, I had to go to the nearby Walden Pond, the place Thoreau made famous and where he lived the simple life in a cabin for two years. His essay, Walking (1862), is one of…

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All In The Cooking 70 Years On

Sep 18, 2015 | Comments Off on All In The Cooking 70 Years On

Anna Browne is 97 years old. She was one of the compilers of the Cathal Brugha Street publication All In The Cooking for the college’s Domestic Science students almost 70 years ago. Anna writes the Foreword to the delightful reissue of the book by O’Brien Press. Could this be Ireland’s very first cookery book? And not…

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Brendan Behan, Mayo Football and Jones’ Road

Sep 7, 2015 | Comments Off on Brendan Behan, Mayo Football and Jones’ Road

Some weeks ago, before the most recent heartbreak for the Mayo football team, I reminisced on Jones’ Road, Drumcondra. As I crossed Binn’s Bridge, Brendan Behan was leaning towards me on the metal bench, seemingly watching my every movement. But it was the blackbird perched beside him on the Royal Canal seat that engaged his…

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Women and the Achill Mission Colony

Sep 7, 2015 | Comments Off on Women and the Achill Mission Colony

Earlier this year I was back in Achill for my favourite arts festival, the Heinrich Boll Memorial Weekend where one of the themes was the Achill Mission Colony and I was delighted to give a talk on the role of women at the Colony. A version of this paper has now been published in the online publication…

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Time Lines

Sep 24, 2013 | Comments Off on Time Lines

In the Stepping Stones interviews Seamus Heaney spoke to Dennis O’Driscoll about the ‘power of a dividing line’: the line of the first ploughed furrow; the laying of a house foundation; the marking out of a football pitch; the place of sanctuary behind the altar rails; the space between graveyard and road. Lines mark out spaces that…

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Graves Apart

Sep 10, 2013 | Comments Off on Graves Apart

Graves Apart The controversial evangelist Edward Nangle died 130 years ago this week and is buried in Deansgrange Cemetery, Dublin. Almost two hundred miles away, the remains of his first wife Eliza and five of their children are interred on the slopes of Slievemore Mountain, Achill Island; the Achill Mission project of the mid-nineteenth century…

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