The Mother’s Story
The author is the mother of Irish singers Margo and Daniel O’Donnell, and this is her story of growing up on the island of Owey. The people were poor, the children went barefoot in summer, and worked hard on the small farmsteads as soon as they were old enough. In their teens they spent months away from home picking potatoes and gutting fish.
Julia married and settled on the mainland, but her husband Francie continued to work away in Scotland until he died, and Julia was left to bring up five children. When first Margo, and then Daniel, won fame as singers her life changed dramatically and she began to mingle with celebrities, including royalty.
This is a vivid account of the hardship endured by the island folk in the first half of the 20th century, but there is no resentment at fate. The people just got on with doing whatever was necessary to survive, and they played as hard as they worked, creating enjoyment with simple pleasures. It is a story full of warmth and laughter, and the love Julia bore her parents and children shines through.