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That Unearthly Valley: A Donegal Childhood

That Unearthly Valley: A Donegal Childhood
  • That Uneathly Valley: A Donegal Childhood by Patrick McGinley


A canny, loving portrait of a 1940s and 50s rural Irish upbringing, a moving homage to the folk imagination, and a heartfelt valedictory for a traditional way of life ‘subsistence farming, sheep-rearing, hand-weaving, fiddle-playing and story-telling’ that has largely vanished from our shores.

Born in Glencolmcille in 1937, McGinley tells of growing up in the back of beyond, an isolated, seaside village marked by a generosity of spirit and a true sense of community, wherein he first encountered such mysteries as crab toes, family, sex, death, and school, along with a larger-than-life local curate, Fr James McDyer, a radical socialist in a Roman collar. McGinley also deftly describes a number of other illustrious blow-ins to the Glen, from the eponymous St Colmcille to the renowned American painter Rockwell Kent, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, and British composer Sir Arnold Baxe.

Here is a deeply felt, consummately plumbed, and superbly crafted story of our vanishing past to sit on the shelf next to Alice Taylor’s To School Through the Fields



a perceptive, upmarket memoir, rich in exact recall and with ambition to social history.’ – The Irish Times


Patrick McGinley


C-format, paperback





Release Date


Additional Information

Weight .308 g
Dimensions .215 × .135 × .20 mm


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SKU: 978-1-84840-119-8 - Need Help? Contact Us Leave Feedback

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