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Down by the Liffeyside Reviews

Down by the Liffeyside by Colbert Kearney

Down by the Liffeyside: A Dublin Memoir

Colbert Kearney

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Somerville Press
Publisher: Somerville Press
Publication date: 29 May 2019
ISBN: 9781999997069
3 stars out of 5
22 Aug 2019

"Kearney’s memoir does not convince"

“Misery memoir” has unfortunately become the standard genre for personal histories. Frank McCourt has a lot to answer for. Colbert Kearney’s affectionate account of his family background should, therefore come as a relief, for it is a “happiness memoir”... Colbert Kearney clearly set out to honour his parents, yet the reader is continually drawn in another direction: the tension between the “cult” (as he calls it) of Peadar Kearney as a nationalist hero and the reality, a mismatch between Con’s unquestioning reverence for Peadar Kearney and insistence on his “absolute independence of mind”... From a literary and historical point of view, the 40-page appendix, A Soldier’s Songs, describing Peadar Kearney’s career, is the most valuable part of the book... As a private conversation with himself, Colbert Kearney’s memoir does not convince. As a footnote to Irish republican and nationalist history, it has considerable merit.

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