The Loneliest Boy in the World

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The Loneliest Boy in the World

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Author: Gearóid Cheaist Ó Catháin

Type: Paperback

ISBN: 9781848892071

Date: 9th May, 2014


  1. Categories

  2. Biography: General
  3. European


Gearóid Cheaist Ó Catháin was the last child brought up on the Great Blasket Island off Ireland's southwest coast. His childhood was unique as he was the only child on the island. The nearest in age was his uncle who was thirty years older. He became famous when a 1951 newspaper article described Gearóid as 'The Loneliest Boy in the World - he has only seagulls as playmates.'   In this affectionate memoir, he recalls growing up on the island without a doctor, priest, school, church or electricity, and a wonderful childhood, cherished by parents and neighbours. The trials and tribulations of a small, vulnerable fishing community until its evacuation are vividly related. His memories are entwined with the beliefs and customs handed down through the generations and are an insight into life on the Great Blasket and the difficulties and challenges facing the final generation. After the dramatic evacuation, in Dún Chaoin he could pursue Gaelic football, traditional music and formal schooling as the islanders settled into a new environment across the water from their deserted island.   The Blaskets, of which nothing remains but crumbling cottages and windswept land, will live on, in part due to the invaluable memories of the last child of the Blasket Islands.  Also available: From the Great Blasket to America by Michael Carney

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