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Brave young women

bantry linen

Bantry Linen

70x50cm Oil on canvas Framed €1950

 

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USA & Worldwide – Dec 10th
UK – Dec 15th
Ireland – Dec 19th

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Brave young women

brooklyn

I went to see Brooklyn last night and I can’t get it out of my head. Always a good sign in a movie.

‘BROOKLYN, written by Colm Toibin, tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America and pushed by lack of a future, Eilis leaves Ireland, the comfort of home and love of her mother and sister for the shores of New York City. The initial pain of homesickness eventually diminishes and a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.’

Saoirse Ronan as Eilis and Emory Cohen as Tony in BROOKLYN

Saoirse Ronan as Eilis and Emory Cohen as Tony in BROOKLYN

Like most Irish people the story resonates greatly in my family.

My (handsome) Dad, pictured below with a girlfriend, was one of 10 brothers and sisters. Half of them emigrated around the late 50’s early 60’s.

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My eldest uncle John pictured below (top left) on the day before he emigrated to America. He went to live and work in New Jersey and afterward brought out three of his younger sisters one after another (two of them pictured standing in front of him) to work and live and eventually marry and have families of their own in the States.

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My Auntie Marjorie (Marge) pictured just months after arriving in New Jersey.

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And my aunts Pauline and Josephine, I think this was also taken in the states.

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There’s a book in each of their stories.

Brooklyn brought to life something of what it must have been like for these women to leave Ireland at that time. How far away America was then, the homesickness, the culture shock. How they navigated it all and built their lives.

How brave those young women were.

 

Thanks to my Auntie Marge for most of the photos.

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