This story, (the first of a trilogy) covers the period in Ireland of 'The Hampsey' family, leading up to the late '50s until their arrival as '10 pound migrants' in Australia, November 1960.
At that time they were reported to be 'the largest family' to migrate from Ireland or Great Britain. This first book highlights the difficulty of a Catholic family growing up in a predominantly Protestant part of the north of Ireland with its problems of bigotry, sectarianism and unjust, one-sided laws that left the minority Catholics being treated as second-class citizens. It covers a period just prior to the first civil rights marches of the early '60s, partly instigated and led by the Mid-Ulster Firebrand politician Bernadette Devlin and her supporters. This in turn led up to 'Bloody Sunday' in the northern city of Derry where on the 30th January 1972 British soldiers of the Parachute Regiment opened fire and killed fourteen unarmed, protesting Catholic civilians. This conflict or as it was known as a new batch of 'Troubles' was to last for more than 30 years, into the '90s and cost over 3000 lives, mostly Catholic.
The story follows the eldest son SeŠn through his early primary school days into puberty and early manhood. Through his failed attempts to lead a life of normality while living precariously on the edge, not only on the edge of life, but his Catholic faith. By the seat of his pants, so to speak. Even to the point of him and a couple of his brothers doing a stint of time as 'a guest of Her Majesty'.
We get a glimpse through their eyes of understanding the political and sectarian life of the six counties of Ulster (The fourth Province), from the in-depth history of the north. The author, through his first-hand experience and research, provides a clearer understanding of what it meant to be a Catholic living and attempting to make a life for oneself during these troubled and turbulent times.