Did you read 'Angela's Ashes'? How many years ago? What did you think? The book, while widely lionized, had a fair share of critics, who questioned, among other things, its accuracy. What, in fact, do you consider the greatest Irish memoir of all time? [Read our interview, in either Irish or English, with Pádraig Breathnach, the translator of 'Angela's Ashes' as Gaeilge, published in 2011 by Limerick Writers Centre.]

Tags: Angela's Ashes, Antrim, Arts, Baile Átha Cliath, Books, Dublin, Frank McCourt, Gaeilge, Gaelscoileanna, Galway, More…Limerick, Literature, Moycullen, Toome

Views: 1786

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I, also, read Angela's Ashes, as well & I must say, a comment from me personally, was I cried a great deal reading it!  For me it was very moving, & believable as well.  It may have had some embellishment's here and t here, but over all the story line was one of clear observation!  Ireland, while under the British rule, was one of horrible cruelty for the Irish residents.  Why then, did the famine occur, which in itself made many of our dear Irish relatives immigrate to the US, Canada, or Australia?  One does not leave their country, unless one's existence is so adversely affected that they must leave or die?  Yet, for all the suffering the Irish has had, never, do they proclaim it to the world!   Instead they persevere with the intent of using their God given skills to better themselves.  A great many of them have done so in the US, yet they were belittled when they first arrived.  There were many signs through out the larger cities in the Northeast stating, "Irish need not apply!"  How degrading is that??  They had their rights, land, dealt with beatings from their overseers, denied any schooling, not allowed to dance, and the list goes on, and on!!!  Yet look at our dear Irish people now!  A great many of them have become very wealthy through their hard gained knowledge whether in school or on the job!  I believe in our Celtic history, which is the basis of who and what we are!  The term, "The Fighting Irish" is a true statement indeed!!  We don't cry and become an entitlement society, where the government pays our way in all aspects of life.  People who have done that in this country will never be able to stand on their own feet and be able to live!  I am proud of our silent Irish people for all that they have achieved, as I am one of the them!  I know all of you who read this won't agree with me, but then not every one here thought a lot for Frank's book, did they?

Louise, are you Irish born? I must say I liked Frank's book a great deal, and never got sidetracked on its accuracy. It certainly had the ring of authenticity. If not, where did those details emerge? I have to admire an imagination as rich as that, in any event.

We are now discussing a wide span of cultural differences and histories. Where you are born no longer connotes a particular culture. The topics from Louise are huge. Referring to the Famine and it's "root" cause and genocide, you have so much more to read and then understand the many issues. Rural life, absentee landlordism, laws created to discourage a flourishing economy of an opposing Irish culture, etc. In a word, the cause of the famine was "indifference", and not due to a blight. In the USA, the Irish not only had the freedom to maintain their culture (music, work, language, religion, etc), but the Irish were able to flourish through education and a banking system that first allowed catholics to obtain a home-ownership mortgage or business loan.  People in Ireland are internationally more diverse now than in the USA now, and in the time period of the book. (circa Post 1932 World Depression?) I studied Irish Architecture while staying in the UCD dorm shared with a chinese woman learning English. One of my points: A Chinese or Turk may have children born in Ireland today, and may call themselves "Irish", yet maintain none of the ancient culture.   Where were you born, Gerry, and what is your cultural heritage?  

Gerry Regan said:

Louise, are you Irish born? I must say I liked Frank's book a great deal, and never got sidetracked on its accuracy. It certainly had the ring of authenticity. If not, where did those details emerge? I have to admire an imagination as rich as that, in any event.

Maire, I was born in Manhattan, to a then-single Irish-American woman and a Jewish-American father. My mother relinquished me through Catholic Charities, and I was adopted at 3 months of age by my parents, an Irish-American father (Jerry Regan) and Alsatian-Polish New York City-born mother (Evelyn Belinski). I was raised on Long Island, middle-class, comfortable, and attended Catholic schools. I attended Duke University, spending my third undergraduate year at Trinity College Dublin, where I derive my passion for Irish history and culture.



Gerry Regan said: 

Gerry, are you responding to me, Louise, as the previous message was from me, Louise?  If so, let me know, If I have intervened into a conversation you had going with Marie, I am very sorry!  If you are directing it to me, Louise, then I would have more to converse with you?  Slante'  Louise 

Maire, I was born in Manhattan, to a then-single Irish-American woman and a Jewish-American father. My mother relinquished me through Catholic Charities, and I was adopted at 3 months of age by my parents, an Irish-American father (Jerry Regan) and Alsatian-Polish New York City-born mother (Evelyn Belinski). I was raised on Long Island, middle-class, comfortable, and attended Catholic schools. I attended Duke University, spending my third undergraduate year at Trinity College Dublin, where I derive my passion for Irish history and culture.

Good Morning to ye, Gerry,  I have to admit that I was not born in Ireland, but was born by a marvelous full Irish Mum in PA.  She is still alive today, & will turn 93 next month!!! All that you say below, I feel is so true!  From my perspective, if one did not live in the manner that Frank describe, how could he conger up such horrible scenes in their living conditions!  I feel that was the reason the Irish became so dependent on drinking, as a way to take them in to a more pleasant way of living in their minds!   Didn't Frank's mother have that tendency?  I feel for my Irish kin, & will do all I can to help them gain their ultimate goals.  Me husband and I will be going to Erin on 25Jun, arrive in Dublin on 26Jun.  We will be staying their for a most 2 months. We are doing this as a test to see if we can adapt to living in Erin, which I so hope we will!  We both have advanced teaching degrees, & have obviously advanced ourselves as second generation Irish!  I hope, while in Ireland to help children, though teaching, at no cost to the entity we will be working with!  I have contacted Leona at St. Barnodo's in Belfast, or near there?  Sorry for the delay in sending this, as I had something to look up, & it took a bit longer?   Slante'  Louise

Louise, are you Irish born? I must say I liked Frank's book a great deal, and never got sidetracked on its accuracy. It certainly had the ring of authenticity. If not, where did those details emerge? I have to admire an imagination as rich as that, in any event.

Louise, tell us a bit about your Irish ancestry -- your mom, for example. Where was she from in Ireland? How did she come to emigrate?

Gerry,  Thank you for your interest in me & me mum.  Her father Patrick James Murray, immigrated to Philadelphia in 1916.  His family lived in the area of Moneymore, N.I. He married Mary Agnes McCabe from Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, N.I. and she immigrated to New York in 1914.  They met in Philadelphia & married in 1919.  My grandmum's name was Mary Agnes, & her first child was my mother, born in 1920. Her name was the same as her mother's.  Grandmum had 3  more children, after Mama.   She passed in trying to give birth to her fourth child.  My granddad, Patrick, owned a small grocery store in Philadelphia. He place Mama, Aunt Evelyn, & Uncle Jimmy in the  home of a close friend who lived near  him. They were there for 1 year, as he remarried another Irish lady whose name was Minerva, & I called her Grandmom Murray.  She had one child with Patrick, my Uncle Johnny, who was also my Godfather!  My Granddad was a heavy drinker, and had a violent temper.  Mama grew up under some harsh conditions.  He passed from a severe heart attack on Christmas Day in 1938,  What a shock it was to the whole family.  Of course, this all transpired long before I was born.  I always had a pull to Ireland, which became apparent to me when I was a  young adult.  At that time I had moved to Virginia, became a flight attendant.  Then I started to explore my roots! 

Any comments on my story so far, Gerry?

Thank you for your interest in my past.  I am please to share it with you.
 
Gerry Regan said:

Louise, tell us a bit about your Irish ancestry -- your mom, for example. Where was she from in Ireland? How did she come to emigrate?

Louise, might you write about this most interesting and detailed family history here on WG, using your Members' Blog (which we all have and use, even we staffers)? Is Moneymore in Tyrone? And what story are you referring to above? Ger



Gerry Regan said:

Louise, might you write about this most interesting and detailed family history here on WG, using your Members' Blog (which we all have and use, even we staffers)? Is Moneymore in Tyrone? And what story are you referring to above? Ger

I liked Nualoa O'Faolain's Are you Somebody  and My Left Foot by Christy Brown.  I visited the Frank McCourt Museum in Limerick City.  Enjoyed Angel'as Ashes as it takes place in County Limerick where my own Irish roots lie.

Maire, great point about irish diversity. In Part V of the video on The Story of Ireland, it was reported that 10 percent of the people in the Republic are foreign-born. That number astounded me. Who is Irish and what does "being Irish" mean??

RSS

The Wild Geese Shop

Get your Wild Geese merch here ... shirts, hats, sweatshirts, mugs, and more at The Wild Geese Shop.

Irish Heritage Partnership

Adverts

Extend your reach with The Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partnership.

Congrats to Our Winners

© 2022   Created by Gerry Regan.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service