WARM memories of childhood in rural north Kerry of the 1950s are rekindled in a new book by Clounmacon native Dick Carmody, who returned to his old schoolhouse on Friday night where Gabriel Fitzmaurice launched 'In the Shadow of the School'.
If the initial response at its launch in the Clounmacon Community Centre is anything to go by, it's set to be a Christmas favourite in the Listowel area. All the proceeds, meanwhile, go towards the Kerry Emigrant Support group.
For a slim tome its reach is amazingly comprehensive, covering everything from education to life on the farm and farming methods as well as the ways in which people worshipped, and much, much more. It isn't so much about the writer's own specific memories as the creation of an overview of life in rural north Kerry in the 1950s.
"The book is a small window into the past, documenting people and events in a local community in a time of great change," Dick explained. "The arrival of electricity, motorised transport and farm mechanisation were but some of the events that would make such an impact on an already vibrant and viable local community," he added.
"People were enterprising and resourceful, families were relatively self-contained and self-sufficient while the spirit of sharing and co-operation provided that extra support and re-assurance to allow people to become part of a wider community."