This Saturday, November 10 Felicity Hayes-McCoy will be signing copies of her book, The House on an Irish Hillside (Hodder & Stoughton UK), in Easons, Clonmel, at 3.30.
The House on an Irish Hillside is the story of the author’s life and her love affair with the Dingle peninsula, the westernmost point in Europe, described by the National Geographic Traveller Magazine as “the most beautiful place on earth.”
Felicity’s mother was from Wexford and her father from Galway. Raised in Dublin, she first visited and fell in love with Corca Dhuibhne, the West Kerry Gaeltacht, at the age of seventeen. After university she moved to London in the 1970s and became a successful actress and writer. But she always knew she’d be back.
Thirty years later she and her husband Wilf found a stone house there, called Tí Neillí Mhuiris. It had always been a house where the neighbours gathered for music, dancing, to play cards and tell stories. Now, with the internet as the virtual space that makes it possible, Wilf and Felicity live and work both in a flat in Bermondsey, in inner-city London, and in Tí Neillí Mhuiris, back west of Dingle, where the music and storytelling continue.
The people of Corca Dhuibhne still share Ireland’s traditional oral culture which allows an unbroken stream of knowledge, values and wisdom to flow from generation to generation in story, poems and songs informed by an intense awareness of nature. Called ‘a lovely read’ by Mary Kennedy on RTÉ’s Nationwide, and ‘writing to relish’ by playwright Frank McGuinness, The House on an Irish Hillside, continues this tradition, sharing the author’s memories of her own Enniscorthy and Galway roots and her experience of a life where values and rhythms are different and enough is plenty.