This is a story about Joe Collins, the author’s great-uncle,
from Lismore, County Waterford in Ireland. The author recorded Joe talking
about his memories just before he died in 1982. That visit led Gerard on to a
journey to Lismore where he discovered the impact of the Black and Tans and the
famine on his family. This story begins in Joe’s own words with his
recollections of his part in Ireland’s War of Independence, his memory of a
personal tragedy, and his last wish.
Sadly, Joe’s last wish was not honoured. To put right this
travesty Gerard must follow a quest in Lismore and the Knockmealdown mountains,
where myths and spirits conspire to assist in the granting of Joe’s wish.
History, reality, and the spirit world merge seamlessly in
this story, in the same way that the sadness mixes with the humour.
“This is a beautifully illustrated exploration of a family and its antecedents. The illustrations are almost more evocative than the words.”- Donald Brady, author and retired County Librarian for Co. Waterford. Essays from Lismore
“This book is an imaginative recreation of Joe Collins’s fight for Irish freedom, a family-Lismore saga where history and memory meet. Gez has done a gaisce*.” - Eugene Dennis - author of Images of Lismore. ( *a wonder (work), great deed.)
“I loved it. I laughed, I cried and to a great degree it has stayed with me since then - almost haunting me.” - Audrey Leigh Nevins- designer, DSGN, New York
"I finished reading your book yesterday, and it is a really
beautiful piece of work, I loved it! You have a fine eye and
a fine ear for capturing the essence of magic and myth. It
was a great read and a great journey too, so personal but
also universal." Jude Merrill MBE, Artistic Producer, Travelling Light Theatre Co.