• Irish Corish

The Story behind the Story

After writing the article about my inspiring mum from the Summer of 1969 in Kerry, I did a bit of digging in my memory and googled "1969 Kerry visit". I now remember my dad telling me the story behind the story, he does love a good story!

I knew the article had been written by a British journalist due to the spelling of my mum's name. In Ireland it's spelt "Róisín" and he had written "Rosheen". I will try to find out his name, it's just the cutting I have doesn't have the newspaper details unfortunately.

Charles de Gaulle came to visit Ireland that Summer and the press were hungry for some photos of him.

This article written by Ronan McGreevy from the Irish Times, @RMcGreevy1301, explains how de Gaulle came to Sneem on holidays and stayed for 6 weeks :

Mum was out and about in her mini one day - pretty ahead of her time looking cool in her Morris Mini, I can just picture her now, she says it used to leak from underneath until you were driving in a puddle - ... and she saw a journalist struggling to get down to the beach to get photos of de Gaulle. It wasn't the warmest of days as you can imagine being Ireland, and she felt sorry for him so picked him up to drive him around on the tail of de Gaulle.

Unfortunately he couldn't get close enough to get any photos, so he offered her a drink and interviewed her instead!

He took her to the local pub "Casey's", where they sat in the back bar... I'm guessing in those days that was where women were allowed to drink... and she told him her story of leaving the big smoke in Dublin with her Connemara pony Solda to live her dream job as a riding instructor in the country in Sneem, Kerry.

What a lady, way ahead of her time.

Funny how her inspiring story from when she was 24 searching for freedom in the countryside, on the tail of De Gaulle who was searching for freedom on his holidays in Ireland, links to me moving to France to find freedom 30 years later... bit of a stretch you think? Well I like the idea of all of us feeling free... Vive La France!!

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