We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sidebar

23
Mon, Sep

Tools
Typography

An American Son And  His Irish Father Find Each Other …An Ocean Apart
        By Sabina Clarke
My Father Left Me Ireland
By Michael Brendan Dougherty
Penguin Random House
New York, New York, $24.00
  Buy Book Here!
This  raw beautifully written heartfelt memoir narrated in the form of a long letter to his father Brendan  is packed with  emotion and  dedicated to his  unmarried single working  mother Maryellen who raised him  alone  with the  support of her  family at a time when unmarried single working mothers were often frowned upon.
    
The author’s happy childhood is overcast by the absence of his father who lived across the ocean in Ireland---a father who visited a few times over the years, sporadic visits that left a young boy with even more longing and confusion.
    
His memories from his boyhood through adulthood are unraveled and examined up-close and will resonate with anyone who has experienced any kind of loss—“the way one discovers having missed an entire way of life when it is too late.”
    
Traveling to Europe in the 1970’s, his adventurous mom Maryellen met his father Brendan through her best friend, an Irish Londoner. For his father, it was just a summer romance. For his mother, it was something  more. She informed him of their son’s birth by letter and nursed a deep hurt caused by unrequited love.
    
What makes this  more than a  personal memoir is the author’s search for his Irish heritage kindled  by his mother at a very  early age when she would read him children’s stories in  Irish and every night put him to bed saying good night in Irish- “ Oiche mhaith.”  
    
Interwoven with personal memories is Irish history and stories about The Rising and iconic heroes such as James Connolly and Padraic Pearse and Roger Casement—with chapters that open with lyrical lines from the great Irish poets such as W.B. Yeat’s, “Come away. O human child! To the waters and the wild with a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.” (from ‘The Stolen Child’)
    
And in telling the history   the author  offers his own thoughts of that time  suffused with his unmistakable  delight in connecting to his  roots –his own history his birthright –his Ireland— that he inherited from his father and that he has now finally  reclaimed while reclaiming   his lost  father and his  Irish step-brother and  two Irish step-sisters .
    
All now embraced in a circle of love with the author, his wife Marissa and their two children four year-old Eleanor and two-year-old Owen.
    
The very sad note is that his mother Maryellen who did it all did not live to read her son’s grateful homage to her. She died 7 years ago at the age of fifty-six.
    A tale well told—parts of which made me cry.
    
About the author: Michael Brendan Dougherty senior editor at National Review and formerly an editor at The Week is a graduate of Fordham University where he majored in history. This is his first book.

Subscribe to our Print Edition!

Select one

Phil Coulter: One Show Only!

iBAM! Eleven October 18-19

Advertisers

Paying For
Instructions

Freedom Walk

September Online Edition

Irish Book Club

Michael Hogan iBAM! 2019 Headliner

Advertising Rates 2019

Shop Irish!

ARTIST
Liam Goarke
ASSISTED LIVING
Homecare Angels

ATTORNEY
Joyce Stevens
Murphy & Smith Ltd
Dwyer and Coogan
Healy Law

BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BAKERY
Doughs Guys Bakery
BANKS

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS
Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing

CATERERS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
IrishCommunityServicest
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
COTTAGE RENTAL
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Andy Cooney
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS

Chicalba Bagpiping

Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FUNERAL HOMES

Blake-Lamb

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
GROCERIES/MEAT

O'Connor's Market

Winston's
HEARING SPECIALIST
Mel Dermody
HOTELS

The Irish Cottage 1 866 CU-IRISH
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

IrishCommunityServices
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee
Riordan Insurance
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MORTGAGE LENDING
Linda DeRoeck

MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURING
Memoirs for Me
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Corcorans
Emerald Loop
Fifth Province
Fiddler's Hearth
The Galway Arms
James Joyce Irish Pub
Lizzie McNeill's
Mickey Finn's Brewery
Nine Irish Brothers
Peggy Kinnanes
R
ed Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS

Koenig & Strey
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
Tony & Tina's Wedding
TOURIST ATTRACTION
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
TRAVEL /TOURS
BestIrishTours.com
Gadabout Travel
TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Dingle Cottage
Cork - Cottage from $450 weekly
Don at 608-274-1180
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group