Hugh Doherty called to the house yesterday, bringing a gift of the third book in the History Links project, 'Forging Friendships'. Although I have many books waiting in the 'to read' pile, this went instantly to the top and I finished it in one sitting.
I am so grateful to Hugh, because I enjoyed the book enormously and recommend it to anyone with an interest in Donegal and the North-West, and the way of life lived here during the mid-20th century.
In short, evocative chapters, the people who lived through these times remember, recall and recreate their past..their work, their education, their beliefs, their adventures. It is full of lovely photographs as well. Hugh himself contributes a chapter about the gardening work he did at Drumhalla House, Rathmullan when Lady Margaret Stewart owned the property. My aunt worked there for the previous owner, General Bush. (I wrote 'Shadows of the Big House' about this for RTE's Sunday Miscellany; see the section of this blog that links to our work online.)
Donegal is full of stories. As writers and readers, we are privileged to listen to each other and celebrate lives such as these. Hugh was attentive to my 93-year-old father's story, spending a happy afternoon at home with us last year. He was a patient and appreciative listener. It is a comforting memory, as my father died only months later. Hugh celebrates and cherishes the history of his own family, known to all around here as the Bankers, on his website http://www.dohertybanker.com/ It is well worth a look if you have connections with the Rathmullan area, as he covers a lot of historical and geographical ground.
You can read more about the History Links project on their website here