Barack Obama: The Road from Moneygall

Posted in Barack Obama, Biography, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2012-01-24 23:37Z by Steven

Barack Obama: The Road from Moneygall

Brandon Books
June 2010
288 pages
ISBN: 9780863224065 (hb); 9780863224133 (pb)

Steve MacDonogh (1949-2010), Editorial Director

A unique exploration of the president’s Irish ancestral origins.

In his presidential election acceptance speech, Barack Obama evoked a story of great change in America, and an America made up of many strands. In this book it is the strand of his own Irish background and ancestry that tells a story of emigration to escape hunger and of the struggle to build new lives in the land of opportunity.

“Our family’s story is one that spans miles and generations; races and realities,” Barack Obama has said. “It’s the story of farmers and soldiers; city workers and single moms. It takes place in small towns and good schools, in Kansas and Kenya, on the shores of Hawaii and the streets of Chicago. It’s a varied and unlikely journey, but one that’s held together by the same simple dream. And that is why it’s American.”

But it is an Irish story, too. Falmouth Kearney, Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather, was born in Moneygall, County Offaly in 1831, lived as a child through the apocalyptic famine years, and left a decimated, devastated country for America in 1850, aged 19. Here we learn for the first time the story of the Kearney family, of the Ireland they came from and the state of County Offaly in the dreadful famine years.

We learn, too, of how two students met in 1960 and married and had a child: Ann Dunham from Wichita, Kansas, a direct descendant of Falmouth Kearney, and Barack Obama, Sr., a Kenyan from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province.

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My Eyes Only Look Out

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Europe, Media Archive, Monographs on 2012-01-24 23:21Z by Steven

My Eyes Only Look Out

Brandon Books
October 2001
236 pages
ISBN: 9780863222849

Margaret McCarthy

Irish people describe the realities of being of mixed race in a mostly white society In the first book of its kind, Irish people describe, in a series of compelling interviews, the realities of being of mixed race in a mostly white society which is only now trying to adjust to the beginnings of the creation of a multicultural society.

Amongst those featured are:

  • Andrew: “I’m blessed to be a mixed-race boy.” Son of a South African mother and English father, he grew up in Galway and now lives in Handsworth, Birmingham.
  • Teresa: “I am still an outsider, but now it feels OK.” Daughter of a German mother and a Nigerian father, Teresa moved as a child to a mainly white area of London, where she was ostracised because of her colour. Now she lives in rural Ireland.
  • Lorna: “If you are mixed race, whether it is a quarter of you or whatever, you are black.” Reared in Ireland, she left for London in her teens, but she always yearned for America, and in her mid-thirties she moved to Miami.
  • Curtis: “A black Irishman, that’s me. Nobody can take that away from me.” A professional footballer with a passion for the game and a deep loyalty to his old clubs and mentors as well as to his present club.
  • Sean: “I rarely, if ever, had any trouble on the pitch.” A Gaelic football and hurling star, he is a graduate in Finance through Irish.
  • Lisa: “In my mind I was always Lisa the dancer.” A bright and popular shop assistant, Lisa’s adoptive parents and natural mother are dead, and she knows little about her natural father, whom she believes was Ghanaian.
  • Ian: “Celebrated as “the first coloured policeman in Ireland”, Ian experiences confusion about his identity.
  • Luzveminda: “I had an ordinary kind of childhood.” A science graduate, she was crowned Rose of Tralee and launched Trí³caire’s African campaign.
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