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Tue, Aug

The Last of the Fenians

Historical Fiction
Typography

 Synopsis

 Ireland of the early 1900's is not the Ireland portrayed in the Quiet Man. Buy the Book

To fully understand the malevolence that exists in Ireland to this very day, this is the novel you need to read. PJ Sleavin, who earned his living as a boxer while searching Belfast for his boyhood sweetheart, Fiona, became involved with the Irish Republican Brotherhood.  Because of this involvement, he was blackmailed into enlisting in the British Army for the duration.
    The owners of Wolf Shipyard, father and son, reveal in their discussions the reasons why England went to war.  This includes Churchill's blunder when he refused to deliver two warships to Turkey, forcing Turkey to take up the Axis cause.
    Following the war, the two Donegal lads supported Collins in his efforts to free Ireland from England.  The bitterness between the pro- and anti-treaty forces radiate during the Irish Civil War. 

 Author

The grandson of Big John Meehan from Sligo, Mary Ellen McLaughlin-Keane from Galway, Bridget Munnelly from Mayo, and Matthew Smith from Cavan ended up with the least recognized Irish name of them all. I can’t begin to tell you how many times, I’ve been asked, “Smith, huh! English … right?” When I meet up with my ancestor Mac an Gabhann—the one who anglicized our family name to Smith—he and I are going to have words. Even my wife, Elizabeth McCarthy McGinty Smith, would’ve retained her maiden name if such a thing were fashionable when we were wed.
  Before I continue on to the little I’ve accomplished in life, there are a few items from my family history that need emphasizing. The Smith homestead in Beagh Upper, Parish of Upper Killenkere, was “situate” within 200 yards of where General Phil Sheridan was born. And since, my uncles have stated that their grandmother was a Sheridan, well … you do the math. If you have an issue with that, there’s no sense going into the story Big John Meehan told of my Galway-born grandmother being related to a member of Columbus’s crew.
    When I began writing narrative-history, I didn’t plan to write the complete Irish-American Story, it just happened, or it will happen when later this year I add, The Revolutionary War Irish to the series.

    An interest in the Druids and ancient Celts formed into a book when I learned the Celts invaded Rome in circa 500 BCE. This was followed by The Life and Times of Liam O’Donnell: which began as a tale of growing up Irish-Catholic in Philadelphia, then grew to an epic, including the major battles and events of WWII. Since the Liam book needed a companion, I wrote its sequel, Rory O’Donnell and the Kennedys to add the Korean War, Civil Rights, and Vietnam. The Last of the Fenians began as a whimsical tale about the Irish Republican Brotherhood stealing the Titanic’s sister ship; until, I stumbled across the fact that the first-formed Irish Division (the 10th)  fought in Gallipoli. The book then took off on a path of its own through WWI, the Anglo-Irish War, The Treaty, Ulster, ending with Michael Collins’ assassination in the Irish Civil War. As an aside, both my father and my Grandfather Smith were in Ireland during that period. Now I couldn’t let my likely cousin, Phil Sheridan, off easily, therefore; he became one of the main characters in The Civil War’s Valiant Irish. That’s when I realized I wasn’t just writing individual books, but the complete series about Irish-American accomplishments.