green are the hills far away by mary monaghanKathleen O’Toole and Paddy O’Connell, both from Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, married in 1947. Kathleen’s childhood as “the red one on the hill” had earned her countless beatings from her teacher-nuns and her widowed mother; but her spirit survived undaunted. With Paddy, Kathleen found genuine happiness—and against the medical odds, gave birth to Kathryn and Mary.

A few months before her death in 1988, Kathleen wrote a short memoir. It painted a vivid picture of Ballinrobe in the 1920s; the Irish experience in England during WWII; and life as an RAF wife, including two postings to Cyprus. The memoir, which she called Green Are the Hills Far Away, took the form of a letter to her daughters. This book is an unabashed account of a bold, spirited life lived to the full.

Download the first chapter of 'Green are the Hills Far Away'

Download 'Poem to Mother'

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Tanya

“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand”

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