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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

Stepping Back to Live in the Past

It was once said of me, “He loves living in the past because it’s cheaper.” And, you know, it’s kinda true. That’s why I found "Step Back in Time" impossible to put down. It’s written my County Mayo woman Angela Burke, and deals with things that I and many like me remember or have forgotten.

If, like me, you were born in the first half of the last century this book will bring you back-provided you are not too far gone! If you are younger please buy it. It will show you that we are not spoofing when we tell you stories from pre-rural electrification days two generations before the mobile phone. The author is the founder of award-winning Greenway Gifts. These gifts are all unique ideas reflecting the cottage type industry in Mayo and contribute to the local economy.

Angela is no stranger to celebrity endorsement – her Greenway Gifts products were presented to none other than President Barack Obama, President Michael D. Higgins, and Sonia O Sullivan.

Greenway Gifts got the Royal Seal Of approval from Queen Elizabeth II when she acknowledged the successful Greenway Gifts product, which is an innovative package, gift-wrapped County Mayo turf, that will be delivered anywhere around the world. It reminds people everywhere about Ireland and Irish things.

"Step Back in Time on the Wild Atlantic Way" acts as a record of life in Ireland in bygone days. The book takes young and older readers on a historic journey, with coloured images throughout, providing further details of how we lived in past times. Angela’s book is now part of the national heritage and is available for future generations to enjoy in Trinity College, The British Library, University of Oxford, and all Irish universities.

When not at the desk on the computer, she is out on her bike cycling the Mayo Greenway, where she gets her inspiration for writing and much more besides. Her love for history and the culture came from growing up on the west coast of Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way, living on a farm, visiting the neighbours, and hearing all the stories from an early age, stored in her mind and one day to be recalled. She says, “I love to walk in the countryside ... oh, and I love to hop on my bike, have a cup of tea, of course, and a chat.”

"Stepping Back in Time" is 153 pages packed with everything you ever wanted to know about Irish life in days of yore. Making hay, cutting turf and even a dog’s funeral. It’s all there. There are many philosophical gems such as, “We can’t have everything. Where would we put it?” And 60 high resolution pictures which show everything from day-old chicks and dash-churns to turf-spades. Also from a milk-separator to a “twister making hay-ropes (“Sugans.”)

When you order the book directly from, you will receive a copy. Signed by Angela who holds a BA degree in Community, Enterprise, Business, and Development.

* * * * *

Speaking about stepping back in time. The late John B. Keane wrote, “Being a Kerryman, in my opinion, is the greatest gift that God can bestow on any man. When you belong to Kerry you know you have a head start on the other fellow. In belonging to Kerry you belong to the elements, to the spheres spinning in the Heavens. You belong to History and Language and Romance and Ancient Song. It is almost unbearable being a Kerryman and it is an awesome responsibility.”

But what was it like being a Kerryman, living in Kerry more than a hundred years ago? I managed to get my hands on the front page of The Kerryman newspaper from that time.

See you in June.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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