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An Irish Navvy: The Diary of an Exile by…
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An Irish Navvy: The Diary of an Exile

by Donall MacAmhlaigh

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DIrish construction workers in post-war Britain are celebrated in song and story. Donall MacAmhlaigh kept a diary as he worked the sites, danced in the Irish halls, drank in Irish pubs and lived the life of the roving Irish navvy. Work was hard, dirty and dangerous, followed by pints in the Admiral Rodney, the Shamrock, the Cattle Market Tavern and others. Living conditions were basic at best. This vivid picture of an Irish navvy's life in England in the 1950s mirrors that of an entire generation who left Ireland without education or hope. Days without food or work, the hardships of work camps, lonesome partings after trips home, periods of intense isolation and bitter reflection were all part of the experience.… (more)

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