Paddy Finlay is delighted to announce the launch of his first publication, On Mature Recollection, at the Offaly History Centre, Bury Quay, Tullamore on Friday 14th December at 7:30pm.
Paddy’s book is a collection of short stories, poems, letters and photos, capturing life in rural Ireland from the 1940s right up to modern times. Set against the backdrop of a young nation finding its place in the world are stories that evoke laughter and emotion. Growing up on the family farm with six brothers in Bracklin, just outside Tullamore, Paddy draws us in to his childhood world of play and antics mixed together with hardship and survival.
In this book, Paddy has tried to relay from memory the language, as spoken in the local dialect of the time. He compiles stories from a time that has since passed; before automation on farms, when shoes weren’t worn and the supply of food was scarce. Throughout the book, words, turns of phrase, ways of life, place names and people are recalled, lest they be forgotten. From the animals that featured in his youth to the sporting heroes of the county, Paddy evokes humour tinged with jolts of reality.
An excerpt from the short story, Down on the Farm:
“Everyone would find a job that they were familiar with and my father would show them where the straw rick was to go and the size of it, when an eye of the hayshed was done first. There were jobs for everyone: corn pitchers, straw carriers, straw rick builders, bag men, chaff men, etc. The mill would start up and the whine of the mill could be heard a mile away, especially before the drum was muffed by the feeding of the corn into it. The sound of a mill was a very melodious and inviting sound, which helped the latecomers to make tracks to Joe Finlay’s haggard.”
Paddy was motivated to recall and tell these stories by a desire to archive the daily life of his time. He draws inspiration from the great characters he has met and the drastic changes he has witnessed.