Frank Marshall shines a light on his life and times as boy and man

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Frank Marshall, who was born in Clonmel and grew up in Queen Street, returns to his home town for the launch of his memoir, Grandad, Youre Not Painting Between The Lines at the library on Friday night, May 8.
A Clonmelman who left his Queen Street home in 1957 for a job in the civil service in Dublin is returning to the town next week to launch his memoir.

A Clonmelman who left his Queen Street home in 1957 for a job in the civil service in Dublin is returning to the town next week to launch his memoir.

‘Grandad, You’re Not Painting Between The Lines’, written by Frank Marshall, will have its Clonmel launch at the library on Friday evening, May 8.

In the words of the book’s editor Brendan O’Brien “Frank, with acute observation, shares poignant and joyful stories that are witty, conversational and insightful, a mosaic of short chapters complemented by many photographs - a fascinating read”.

Frank Marshall spent several years in Dublin, where he worked in many areas of Revenue, including with the British Customs service in Northern Ireland and Britain before succumbing to what he describes as “the faded glory of the Excise Man” in Kilkenny, where he now lives.

In the book, which he describes as “a memoir of sorts”, he shines a light on some of the major and minor events of his life as boy and man. He discusses growing up in Clonmel, living and working in Dublin and his visits to Britain and the United States.

He writes with great affection for the community in which he was raised and how it was blighted by the scourge of emigration. His mother Peggy ran a small shop at the family home at 2 Queen Street until the late 1940s while his father Davy worked all his life in the post office.

Frank worked for what he describes as “seven glorious months in The Nationalist newspaper as a proof reader with the late, lamented Peggy Hickey, which was a formative experience”. Writing short sports pieces for the paper, his love of writing was nurtured.

He travelled widely in the United States, where his two sons lived and where he encountered some famous people (including the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer) and describes being snowbound in a Native American Indian Reservation.

The title of the book came from his granddaughter Heather, who as a 4 year-old admonished him while he was labouring over her colouring book.