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27 Main Street Paperback

27 Main Street

Tom Wood

Red Hen Publishing 

27 Main Street tells the story of an Irish missionary priest born in the small market town of Cashel in county Tipperary in 1918 and brought up, one of a family of seven boys and twin girls, under the shadow of the famous Rock of Cashel. Never one to deny the fact that they ‘went through the mill’ and were reduced to poverty during the 1920s and 1930s, a visit home from New Zealand in 1972 enabled Father Bill Wood to think back over forty years, remembering earlier incidents, social gatherings, old friends and rediscovering his own family and how varied their lives had become.

Father Bill’s last visit to Cashel was in 2004. Finding the old family home at 27 Main Street getting yet another lease of life excited him and he posed the question, ‘Maybe the book will be written some day?’ There was a story to tell and, after reading hundreds of letters (family correspondence covering nearly a century), diaries, and school exercise copies, Father Bill’s nephew, Tom Wood, took on the challenge.

The resultant book, 27 Main Street, namechecks so many of the streets, lanes, shops and people of Cashel that the reader can imagine a fully inhabited town, dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. Intimate and detailed descriptions of people, places and a type of life now past allow the reader to virtually walk around Cashel and its townlands with Fr Bill and his companions as he re-visits people and places on his much-loved trips home from New Zealand.

His letters to sisters Jose and Kit, resident at 27 Main Street, reflect a love for home that never dimmed through his many decades as a missionary priest in New Zealand. For many generations now, the Wood family has been closely connected with the town of Cashel and its environs and Fr Bill’s appetite for news from home ensured that his letters read like a social history of the town and its inhabitants.

During his trips home, he notes the changes in the town, as he visits family, friends and neighbours, the local infirmary and the county home. He compares developments in Ireland with those in New Zealand and draws the differences and similarities between the two countries.

Ultimately 27 Main Street is a paen to home, to community, to neighbours, and, of course, to the magnificent Rock of Cashel. It reflects the wry, unsentimental humour of Fr Bill, and his interactions with local Cashel people are marked with the sense of caring, fun and humour that have long been a feature of the Irish character. 

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 16 November, 2010.
Cuireadh an t-earra seo lenár gcatalóg ar an Máirt 16 Samhain, 2010

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