The author Sheila Forsey from Kilmuckridge launched her first historical novel 'Kilbride House' at a reception in The Book Centre, Wexford.
The well-attended launch was carried out by Caroline Busher, fellow author and writer-in-residence with the County Wexford library service.
The author and lecturer Shane Dunphy, who is also a musician, performed a beautiful rendition of 'The Lakes of Pontchartrain', while Richard Devereux, a man is well known on the drama circuit, gave a poignant reading of the prologue of the novel.
'Kilbride House' is set in 1954 against the backdrop of the majestic Dingle Peninsula. Sheila said she was inspired to write the novel from hearing sad stories of the many people who left Ireland's shores in the 1950s.
She was especially struck by the emigrants who never found their way back to their native country again.
Sheila said she felt compelled to base her book in the 1950s after researching the forgotten Irish who lost themselves on the streets of London and New York.
They still called Ireland home, although that home had often become a house embedded with briars, dog roses, thistles and the ghosts of the past.
Sheila thanked her family, her husband Shane and her three children, and the many other people who have helped her along the way in her writing career, including her agent in America, publisher Poolbeg Press and The Book Centre.
She also gave a special mention to Wexford County Council and Artlinks for awarding her a bursary this year to help with her work as an historical fiction novelist.
Chris Sherry, editor of the 'Ulster Tatler' ,described Kilbride House as follows: 'Sheila Forsey's stunning novel 'Kilbride House' vividly evokes 1950s Ireland. Comparisons to Colin Toibin's masterpiece 'Brooklyn' are inevitable and justified. I urge you to pick up a copy.'
Kilbride House is published by Poolbeg and is available nationwide and on Amazon.