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February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter


The Inside Story of

Ireland’s Industrial Schools

Mary Raftery and Eoin O’Sullivan

Ireland has been seemingly shocked out of its senses so many times in the last three decades that the word scandal seems to have been profoundly devalued. But the scandal of Ireland’s industrial schools, when first fully exposed in an RTE television documentary series in 1999, did not just touch a raw nerve in Irish society, it also rekindled childhood nightmares in hundreds of people who had come of age in institutions that, while established to nurture and protect the children of families who could not afford to care for them, turned out in many cases to be cradles of abuse and abject cruelty. With hitherto unrevealed information culled from Irish government files, Raftery, an award-winning journalist, and Dr. Eoin O’Sullivan of Trinity College Dublin have written a book that will be as uncomfortable to read as it is vital. Continuum International Publishing Group, New York. 424 pp. $29.95.


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One Man’s Journey Around

Ireland by Sea Kayak

Chris Duff

As the cover of this book, now out in paperback, shows, a Kayak gets you right down there with the waves. This is Ireland from almost a fish’s eye view and Duff’s efforts have been duly rewarded. His book recently won the Literature category in the National Outdoor Book Awards sponsored by Idaho State University. So the man can write as well as paddle. The judges decided that Duff’s book was more than an adventure story. It was also a tale of "haunting beauty, ancient history and spiritual renewal found along the storm-lashed coasts of an enchanting land." by St. Martin’s Griffin. 270 pp. $13.95.


Peter King

Before Rep. Peter King’s second novel hits the bookstores, his debut work is making a return in paperback form. With a simpler, brighter cover to attract the eye, "Terrible Beauty" is the story of a Belfast housewife, Bernadette Hanlon, who strives to keep her family out of harm’s way in the especially troubled time and place that was Belfast in the early 1980s. That, of course, proves to be an impossible task and Bernadette is drawn inexorably into a world she has long dreaded. Roberts Rinehart (National Book Network 1 [800] 462-6420).

320 pp. $16.95.


Sharon Shannon

Once more with feeling, and why not? Sharon Shannon, "the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion," catapulted herself to the top of the Irish traditional music scene a decade ago with her debut album, now re-released in the U.S. The album, featuring an array of leading Irish musician’s, from U2’s Adam Clayton to Mike Scott and Donal Lunny, is built around a series of live sessions recorded in Kinvara, Co. Galway. Fifteen tracks are included, among them "Glentown," "Anto’s Cajun Cousins" and "The Munster Hop." Compass Records, 117 30th Ave. South, Nashville, Tenn. 37212.

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