St Brigid’s Day on 1st February has always been a special day as here in Ireland we celebrate the first day of spring and new life and fertility and creativity. I usually try to follow tradition and get my hands on some rushes or reeds to make a simple St Brigid’s cross, our national emblem. However St Brigid’s Day and the coming days will have special focus with the launch of HERSTORY, as all across Ireland from Dublin to Derry, Wexford to Kerry as buildings and monuments will be illuminated over the weekend with portraits of inspirational Irish women, who have left their mark in history, along with a wide variety of events all across the country.
Marita with Caroilin Callery
Attending the launch of HERSTORY in Dublin’s Epic Museum it did my heart good to hear about this fantastic new creative project founded by Melanie Lynch of HERSTORY and RTE, Dublin’s Epic Museum and Underground Films, all of them coming together to finally bring recognition of brave intelligent women from all strands of life, science, art, dance, aviation, medicine who have made an invaluable but often over looked contribution to the world.
Melanie Lynch, Jessica Traynor, Dee Forde and Dr Norah Patten
This is all part of an exciting new project which is spearheaded with the launch of RTE Television’s HERSTORY , a six part documentary about incredible Irish women , many who have been forgotten which starts on Monday 3d February. RTE Junior will also show six animated films for younger viewers about inspiring Irish women. ‘Blazing a Trail’ an exhibition about many of these amazing heroines is running at Epic.
Pat Donlon, Marita and Fiona Murphy of Transworld Ireland
Exciting times with the launch of my new book The Hungry Road at Eason’s book shop in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin on Thursday. It was great to see so many friends and family brave the elements to come along to celebrate with me on this very special night. My agent, Caroline Sheldon came all the way from London to cheer me on.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my wonderful publisher Fiona Murphy of Transworld Ireland who encouraged me every step of the way with this epic novel about The Great Hunger. My friend Pat Donlon, former director of The National Library of Ireland kindly agreed to launch ‘The Hungry Road’ for me. I felt it was serendipity as she has played such a big part in my writing career and was the one who launched my first book ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’.
Thank you to Eason’s who looked after the large crowd really well. They have always been so kind and so supportive to me over all my years of writing and publishing.
The launch party continued as the merry crew made our way to Davy Byrne’s to mark the occasion of the publication of The Hungry Road. A heartfelt thanks to everyone for helping to make it such a memorable book launch.
Caroline Sheldon, Pat Donlon, Marita and Fiona Murphy. P.L. Lynch and Marita
What a great way to start the New Year with the publication of my big new book ‘The Hungry Road.’
Inspired by true Irish heroes the book is set during the Great Irish Famine and took me almost three years to write and research and to put flesh on the bones of such an epic story. It tells of of great courage, the kindness of good people, and the strength of the human spirit. At times I found it heart-breaking to read accounts of the times that I was writing about. But finally my book is done and hopefully ‘The Hungry Road’ will find its way into the hands, hearts and minds of my readers.
There will be a lovely launch in Dublin and also in Skibbereen in West Cork, which I am really looking forward to later on this month.
‘Ireland’s hopes for freedom are dashed with the arrival of a deadly potato blight strikes terror in the heart of Irish people
- Seamstress Mary Sullivan’s dreams of a better future are shattered as she looks out over their ruined crop. Refusing to give in to despair, she must use every ounce of courage and strength to protect her family as they fight to survive
Dr Dan Donovan is medical officer to the Skibbereen Union. The arrival of ‘The Hunger’ soon brings starving men, women and children crowding into the town and the workhouse desperate for assistance.
Parish Priest Rev John Fitzpatrick’s faith is tested by the suffering that surrounds him as the town’s pleas for help to the authorities fall on deaf ears.’
‘The Hungry Road’ by Marita Conlon- McKenna