Brightening Over Dillon’s by Liam Nevin
- 1960’s semi-rural Ireland and a schoolboy’s view of life growing up there -
posted 2 Nov 2016, 00:36
Brightening Over Dillon's by Liam Nevin is the just published volume of memoirs that offers an authentic, first-hand account of life growing up in Ireland during the decade of the 1960s. In telling this story, the author has drawn upon his own experiences and those of others too. What we get is a coming of age tale framed within the setting of a country that was also in transition, embracing modernity, rising to the challenges and opportunities that this brings in its wake.
"Conditions weren't always easy: the houses were often overcrowded, with not many facilities such as running water and central heating. School could be quite difficult, with corporal punishment a major issue. It was believed by many teachers that education could be 'beaten' into pupils. But life was happy and there was little pressure on children to have this, that and the other."
Compared to today, families didn't have much but children could play safely outdoors, making up their own games, exploring fields and woods around them, inventing adventures that filled the void. Television was only just becoming a feature in people's lives. Its introduction was generally welcomed but not without some reservation and even a certain amount of unease – a circumstance alluded in the remarks of President Éamonn de Valera, on the occasion of the launch of Telefís Éireann on New Year's Eve, 1961.
Published in the year that marks the centenary of the Easter Rising, the book recalls how the 50th anniversary was marked and observed by that generation of Irishmen and Irishwomen. Events surrounding the visit of US President John F. Kennedy to his ancestral home, in 1963, are also recorded, along with other events of the era.
The picture that is painted captures the atmosphere of that time and the hopes and aspirations of those who lived through it: a period in Irish life that might now appear remote but not so far removed that it has slipped entirely from living memory.
Brightening Over Dillon's by Liam Nevin is published by The Manuscript Publisher. It is on sale now, in print and e-book editions. RRP €12.95 (print edition) plus P&P. The e-book is available in Kindle edition from Amazon and in all common e-book formats from Smashwords, as well as other online retailers.
Liam Nevin is a native of County Kildare but now lives in Shepperton, England, with his wife Marlene. He is also the author of The Tobacco Fields of Meath, the widely acclaimed, fascinating account of tobacco growing in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. It is based, in part, on private papers left behind by his grandfather, John Nevin, who was very much at the heart of the experiment. This book is also on sale and available to buy online, in print and e-book editions.