Author Jimmy Saunders pictured with Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Andrew McGuinness
A memoir recalling growing up in a coalmining family in Castlecomer was recently published and is getting great reviews locally.
From The Outside In, by James Gerrard Saunders, is a story of a woman who was born in 1929 and has witnessed every life-changing events that happened since the day she was born to the present day.
The most heartbreaking element was sending her sons to work from the age of 14, even if it meant tearing a family apart to survive.
The accounts witnessed by her last son James breaks free of his memories as a child and shows how he has never forgotten his mother’s love and how she protected him from the harsh world of a forgotten era which he recalls in a beautifully illustrated account.
The book tells the story from a child’s perspective of what it was like growing up in Castlecomer from 1967 to 1981.
Those memories had a grip on his attention to detail of a loving family and the everlasting loyalty for the town that gave him a strong start to a gripping future.
Although James only writes of his memory as a boy, his yesterday years live on through a mother’s loyalty dedication and least of all love for family.
“It must be said that for many years I was haunted in a very strange way with regards a quite simple purpose as to tell a story about my wonderful life being brought up singlehanded by my mother,” he said. “Although the struggles that were not documented in the book as requested by my mother, I just had to write just some of the wonderful things that happened on the way of those amazing years before we left to our new destination.
“The message that comes from the heart of the book is a simple one,” Jimmy told the Kilkenny People. “What we had was everything from nothing and we never once lost faith in our mother as she never lost faith in us. Family is everything.”
The book is available to buy in a number of local bookshops including Khan’s, Bargain Books and the Kilkenny Book Centre and is available at james-saunders-
Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness, commended the North Kilkenny author on his success.
“Jimmy Saunders is a great family man and has put a lot of time and effort into documenting his family history, particularly the connection to Castlecomer coalmining,” he said. “His book has fantastic stories in that regard.
“His mother is a fantastic woman and features greatly in the book. The book itself is dedicated to his brother Martin who sadly passed last year.
“I want to commend Jimmy for his great work and wish him well with his book,” he added. “I know it has been a big hit in Castlecomer and rightly so. It’s a brilliant read and I recommend it.”