This work is a labour of love by the writer Mary Thorpe as a tribute to her much loved Granny O’Rourke (nee Nolan) in an attempt to place the stories she heard and was told into a true and historical context. As a social worker who came across many cases of social deprivation in modern times, in the various Social Work Departments in which she worked in the South East and North West of England, Mary had the dawning realisation regarding what her own Grandmother had been through in even harder times in the late part of the Nineteenth Century and early part of the Twentieth Century in Ireland and sought to record this.
Mary felt the driving need to record her much loved grandmother’s story as recognition of Bridget’s harsh life and also as a tribute to her and the millions of others like her who made the best of things whilst still retaining a sense of pride, of the worth of education as a ticket out of poverty and of the importance of retaining one’s dignity and commitment to family through good and bad times.
Mary uses the life of Bridget to celebrate the achievements of other women in Dublin and Bray, in fact from all over Ireland, in this era, and as such, this story will be of interest to anyone with Irish ancestry. Mary hopes her readers will enjoy the mix of history and biography as an authentic record of times past and that this will be an addition to Celtic history from an empathetic and homespun point of view. Mary clearly believes that ‘our roots’ are as important just as ‘our word is our bond’. - Shayne Langstroth B.Ed Hons. M.Ed.