Growing Up So High by Sean O’Connor | Book Reviews | Memoir

By Ann Field

Travel on a journey through the perceptive eyes of Seán O’Connor as he brings us through his childhood.

Set against the backdrop of The Liberties in Dublin, around the 1930’s and 40’s, this little boy allows us to look at his family, his surroundings and his friends.
Starting school in Baby Infants, Seán begins his journey along the old well-worn streets of old Dublin. Past the shops with their colourful owners selling their wares to meeting the nuns and priests who influenced society and their old churches and convents.

Coming from a large family , we also meet his extended family and their traditions. The cocoon of familiarity that comes with living in an area enriched with a strong community spirit where everyone knows their neighbours.

The outings with pals, fishing for pinkeens, watching birds and playing age-old games. From the rhymes and songs of children to the sing-songs at family gatherings, from searching for bargains in the markets to making do with what was available. We glimpse Seán’s happy outlook as he goes through his childhood with his friends, family and neighbours.

Most of the ways of life in this book are long forgotten and lost to folklore but thankfully some nuggets are timeless and readers can relate to the surviving traditions. Places mentioned are still there if you look for them. The people of The Liberties have survived and that spirit will always be around.

Readers of all ages will enjoy growing up with Seán O’Connor in this interesting, uplifting insight into a time gone by. You may even recognise yourself in a tale or two.

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