LIAM: An Irish Historical Saga-Memoirabilia Podcast9
LIAM: An Irish Historical Saga by Patricia Hegarty
Memoirabilia Podcast 9
In Memoirabilia Podcast 9, we enjoy listening to the beautiful brogue of author, Patricia Hegarty, as she reads a section from her Irish historical saga, LIAM.
Patricia Hegarty was born in southern Ireland. She has lived in Ontario for the past twenty-seven years and feels she has a foot in both Canada and Ireland. She started writing about three years ago. LIAM is her first novel.
What is LIAM about?
“The English Invader wrecks havoc on the Irish population. People’s livelihoods are taken from them. No longer can they till their acreage and provide for their families. Disenfranchised, the Irish work the land and pay a rent for the privilege of remaining in the house they have always called home. Now when they till the land, dig ditches, clear the land of stones and plant the crops, they are keeping their families one step from eviction and the workhouse. Food is the potato for each and every meal. They are denied fish, rabbit, and other game. These are the property of the landlord. The penalty for poaching is deportation or death.
LIAM is born into this godforsaken land to an embittered father, Ronan and a soft-spoken mother, Brigid. Despite everything theirs is a happy home until the potato blight (1845-1847) takes their only sustenance. Faced with the impossible choice of staying and witnessing further horrors of death and starvation or joining the hundreds of thousands who journey to the New World, Liam’s decision is taken from him when he runs foul of the landlord. He flees to Sligo where he gets a passage on a ship bound for Canada.”
This narration by Patricia begins on Page 178 as follows:
“Days turned into weeks aboard the ship. The cramped quarters became hovels of filth despite the efforts of the healthier to keep it clean. There were just too many people, too little food; disease was rampant. Body sores didn’t heal. Sometimes the dead weren’t removed immediately because their loved ones couldn’t bear the finality of seeing them thrown into the deep. So they concealed their deaths as long as they could…”
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