We had a very successful launch on Saturday 31st May at Listowel Writers Week. The sun shone, everyone was in good humour and the crowds turned up to the Hall at the Boy’s National School in their scores. We had a full house with an overflow.
Michael Lynch, Kerry County Archivist, on behalf of Writers Week, was the polished and efficient MC. Jimmy Moloney, who was performing his last duty as Mayor of Listowel, indeed the last duty of any Mayor of Listowel as the position has ended, was the first speaker. It was entirely coincidental that Jimmy would officiate at this last event which just happened to be the launch of his aunt’s book. Minister Deenihan then spoke and spoke very eloquently on his work with the National Famine Commemoration Committee and in particular he mentioned his visit to Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney last August for the International Famine Commemoration, where the Earl Grey Girls were honoured and where he met a number of their descendants.
I thanked the large audience for coming to the launch. I would like to think that they did not arrive just to hear me personally, but rather to remember and honour the 117 girls from County Kerry who were victims of the Famine, but who were never given any recognition of even their very existence until this day. I am happy that the Brenda Woulfe sold out her book stock within an hour, now the Kerry Girl’s and the stories of their lives will live on. Again if you live outside Ireland, the best way to get hold of a copy of The Kerry Girls: Emigration & The Earl Grey Scheme is through The History Press Ireland.