Tipperary author Brendan Lynch publishes updated memoir of growing up in Toomevara
North Tipperary in the 1940s and 1950s is the launch pad of Toomevara author Brendan Lynch’s expanded and revised memoir, There Might Be a Drop of Rain Yet.
Characters and townlands are affectionately detailed, and a pre-television way of life, now history, in which people made their own amusements is brought to life.
The memoir chronicles the author’s growing up in Toomevara, where his father, Patrick, was Garda sergeant.
Eccentric teachers and early school are recalled, as well as the arrival of the annual summer travelling shows, with their swingboats, dramatics and magicians.
Halloween brings barmbrack and snap-apple; winter Christmas toys in Tierney’s window and skating on the icy street in the lights from it and the other shops. And, each election time, argument and occasional punch-ups between opposing civil war factions.
The author also describes his years in Nenagh CBS and his pals, Malachy Cardiff, Seamus Cleary and Michael Gilmartin, as well as his seven-mile daily ride to school and his introduction by teachers Bill Small and Rodney Bent to Irish and English literature, which first sparked his interest in writing.
His first job in Thurles beet factory and his cycle racing, including successes in Clonmel, Templemore, Tipperary Town and the 100-kilometres 1958 Cooper Cup at Dublin’s Phoenix Park are also remembered.
The cover of Brendan Lynch's updated memoir from a painting by Bob O'Cathail
But all this is but the background to the book’s main theme, the conflict between a growing curious boy and his religious and nationalistic mother.
He eventually escapes to a more liberal England, where he finds the freedom to read Edna O’Brien, Brendan Behan and other authors banned in his own country. And in London he achieves his dreams of writing, travel and motorsport.
Poised to voyage further afield, he returns after 25 years to help his newly-widowed mother.
A bond is established between them, he finally learns the violent origin of her antipathy to all things British. Her first boyfriend had been shot in 1920.
A voyage of discovery and personal development, first published in 2006, the Irish Times described There Might Be a Drop of Rain Yet as “tender, thoughtful and beautifully written”.
Lynch’s tenth work, it follows another book based in his native village, The Old Gunner and his Medals.
The new book’s cover features As I Roved Out, a painting by Bob O’Cathail, while the rear cover boasts a photograph of Toomevara in the late 1930s.
Priced €14.95, the book will be on sale in Nenagh Bookshop, Casey’s Supermarket, Toomevara and Bookworm, Parnell Street, Thurles.
Signed copies of the book may be obtained from the publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org
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