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Mary’s first book deals with the stress of the Troubles

Wednesday, 10th November, 2010 5:30pm

Story by Tom Kelly
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Mary’s first book deals with the stress of the Troubles

Mary Lynch grew up in rural Fermanagh with 11 brothers and sisters, but her innocent and idyllic family life came to an abrupt end in 1972, a year that started with Bloody Sunday and ended with the brutal murders of innocent friends and neighbours by the British Army.

In 1974 she was woken one night, the first of many such nights, by a British soldier holding a gun to her head and ordering her out of her bed. These and other events of her teenage years in what the world called the Northern Troubles left Mary deeply emotionally scarred, but it would take her many decades to acknowledge this.

Years later, when the frightening memories of her suppressed past began to surface she realised that she would have to face the truth or live forever in a self-destructive spiral of work, exhaustion, illness, depression and medication. The Long Road Home is the story of Mary Lynch’s journey back to acknowledging the pain and terror of her youthful experiences in what was effectively a war zone. Only then could she heal and move on. Anyone who has ever suffered trauma will recognise and take solace from Mary’s inspiring story.

‘This unique memoir tells a story we thought we already knew… but did not know at all. Mary Geraghty takes us into the very soul of an innocent young girl growing up in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles. Hers were the ordinary people who did not make the headlines, who never appeared on the evening news. As nightmare descended upon them they had to struggle alone and without help. The author’s valiant, tortuous journey to escape the pain of a blighted life makes fascinating reading. Her success is all the more remarkable when we know how far she has come.’ Morgan Llywelyn

Mary Lynch was born near Lisnaskea in 1959. In 1980 she emigrated to New York, where she worked initially as a nurse’s aid, then in a real estate office.

In 1986 she settled with her husband in Castlerea, County Roscommon.

The Long Road Home, published by Londubh Books, is her first book.

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