McCourt exposed enduring poverty

PUBLISHED: 13:25 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 10 June 2010

Hollywood Ireland is a myth, but the raw reality of McCourt s best selling book, Angela s Ashes, reveals Ireland for what it was in the Hungry Thirties - Daily Mail, July 21, 2009.

Hollywood Ireland is a myth, but the raw reality of McCourt's best selling book, Angela's Ashes, reveals Ireland for what it was in the Hungry Thirties - Daily Mail, July 21, 2009.

His words strike a chord of memory in an ageing few. They recall a blighted land, scarred by a succession of wars and revolt, in which the poor lived unaided by the newly emergent free state and pointedly ignored, it seems, by an aloof, dominant and autocratic Catholic Church.

Some recall a time when children often went hungry and bare-foot to school to learn about God's love and the fires of hell that await those who kiss without Holy matrimony in mind.

Does it matter any more if the now-deceased author tinkered with the truth? His expose of enduring poverty and hopelessness, ignored by State and Church, may have reminded politicians of their duty to the poor.

The Irish State has endured and prospered, but the dominant Catholic Church, with its secretive Magdalene laundries for naive girls who sinned for love, fell from grace with the coming of the swinging Sixties and the divisive Vatican 2.

Speak not ill of the dead, Frank McCourt, a man of his time, had a rare way with words. His like we may never see again.

T G Oliver BEM MSM,

Royal Marines Ret'd,

Sunnyside,

Raddenstile Lane,

Exmouth.

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