Oliver Cromwell – Ireland

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Black ’47 – Review

It is a rare moment indeed when a lie that has been passed as history can be righted. But B471that is exactly what Black ’47, directed by Lance Daly, has done.

For 171 years a lie persisted, and even though it cannot be fully overcome, at least the healing may begin.

What happened in Ireland from 1845-1852 should never be deemed simply a “famine.” It was no more than a blight on a single crop, the potato. The deep truth, hidden for so long, is that a cold economic program by a colonial power wielded the blight like a weapon against the Irish. To move them off the land. At the heart of this story is the horrific malevolence of the English foreigner and their true intentions to murder and displace millions of innocents. 

The enmity, trauma and dismay of the Irish people who suffered the consequence, as well as having to suffer the lies, are represented by the anger in James Frecheville’s seething character “Feeney.” And most importantly, that anger is righteous. Feeney is shown to have destiny on his side when he is utterly fearless as guns are pointed at him. When they misfire, destiny allows him to continue his revenge killings.  B47poster

Clint Eastwood was never this angry, and never this justified.

Please, please go see this movie. It is playing at IFC here in New York and is available on Amazon Prime. If it’s not showing in your town, call your local small theatre and beg them to show it.

A true ‘must see’ film.

Eamon

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Your Untold Family Stories

Family stories are precious. They’re also too often untold. Worse, untrue. In the historical novel Divide the Dawn (2019), which takes place in 1919 (and Light of the Diddicoy & Exile on Bridge Street), I see each of the characters’ story as shedding light on old lies, or unearthing the forgotten. Better yet, remembering the difficult decisions they had to make to ensure you would have a chance at a better lifeLandscape.

In my research, I kept the original names for many of the characters. Their stories too, are based on actual events gleaned from arrest records, newspaper articles, death certificates, marriage certificates. . .

They were actual human beings with their own worries, or bad habits, haunted by the old country, hiding what scared them with a strong sense of humor, a drinking problem, or a deeply caring grandfather who feels helpless to protect his pregnant daughter, a war veteran with shell shock, a mother with undiagnosed mental issues, a predatory man in gmomhis 20s who seeks out virgins, a boy who had his leg cut off by a trolley and is essentially catatonic, a woman with a burn scar because her husband threw boiling grease across her face, a man who was banished to the shadows who sees angels, a girl who survived the Spanish Influenza and became a medical case study and even a character who is deeply MyBooks2concerned that he’ll be remembered for something he did not do.

These are not just stories about people who are dead. They are family stories. They are your family stories. Because we don’t know everything that happened concerning our ancestors, I have always felt as though the past is not fixed. It is moving.  It breathes and is still alive. And it’s so exciting.

Eamon

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Novel: Divide the Dawn

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Liam Garrity looks back to when he was an immigrant gang member in Brooklyn in the 1910s (art by Guy Denning)


Divide the Dawn
will be the third book published in the AULD IRISHTOWN trilogy, but that does not mean it should be the third book you read (what?). It is being called the Epic Foreclusion of the trilogy, which means that it begins before and resolves the other books, Light of the Diddicoy & Exile on Bridge Street.

Divide the Dawn is the Magnum Opus of the trilogy.

Designed differently than any other trilogy, Divide the Dawn envelopes the other books and can be read FIRST.

Divide the Dawn is currently in the research and draft process, so there is still time! to read the other books (click on their titles above). We are expecting a 2019 publication, at the earliest.

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 12.19.25 PMIn the meantime, you can check out some cool character art & bios by clicking HERE.

There is also a Facebook page for
Divide the Dawn, HERE.

Divide the Dawn has elements of Historical Fiction, Suspense, Crime Fiction and Fantasy, but author Eamon Loingsigh (sounds like Lynch) is calling it a Ghost Story.

“The ghosts of the old world, and the difficult experiences all MyBooks2immigrants have had in coming to America, haunts the first generation. But for the Irish in New York the trauma of The Great Hunger (potato famine) lasted many generations. Ancient, Medieval and modern Irish history along with myths are combined with actual historical events of the 1910s to make a fascinating series about the ancestors of 40 million Americans.”

~Eamon Loingsigh

Get your copies of Light of the Diddicoy & Exile on Bridge Street now!

https://www.amazon.com/Eamon-Loingsigh/e/B00J4VO3Y0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1526941409&sr=8-1

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Dinny Meehan – Auld Irishtown

Dinny Meehan – Character in the Auld Irishtown trilogy

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Dinny Meehan, leader of the gang known as The White Hand (art by Sebastian MacLaughlin).

“Eyes green in the enveloped saloon light of amber and black. A child’s eyes. An ancient’s eyes. Sometimes I wonder if he ever really did exist, Dinny Meehan. I even doubt it at times, it was so long ago that all this passed. But there he is in my thoughts.”
~Liam Garrity

Dinny Meehan (b. 1889) is the leader of the White Hand Gang whose motives, origins and existence is shrouded by the veil of Irishtown’s Code of Silence. Some claim he is of gypsy blood, some call him a working class hero while storytellers describe him as a Demiurge, and speak of how he was summoned by pre-Christian prayer to bring back “the auld ways from the aulden days” to care for the survivors of Ireland’s Great Hunger who founded Irishtown in the 1840s. What is known is that he has never lost a fistfight, draws inspiration from the past and has never been seen eating or sleeping and seems to have no concept of time. His father came to New York in 1847 as an “exiled child” from County Clare, Ireland. His uncle was Red Shay Meehan, leader of a West Manhattan gang called The Potashes. But by 1900, Dinny’s family was decimated by the Hudson Dusters, forcing him to flee to Brooklyn as an eleven year-old with his dying father. According to The Gas Drip Bard, a storm came at dawn and capsized the ferry they were in, and young Dinny drowned keeping his father afloat. Somehow the boy was brought back to life and by 1912, Dinny had organized all the Irish-American gangs on the Brooklyn waterfront to join him in overthrowing the King of Irishtown, gold-toothed larrikin Christie Maroney.


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Get your copies: Click the hyperlinks on the titles to the right.

Light of the Diddicoy By the time Liam Garrity picks up the story, it is 1915 and the gang is under attack by many elements; big businesses, the Italian Black Hand, the law, the longshoremen’s union and revolt from within his gang. Liam sees that Dinny is cunning and shrewd, and yet the gang leader spends all of the profits he earns on the poor and needy of Irishtown. When news breaks of the 1916 Easter Rising, Dinny has ideas of his own for an uprising in Brooklyn. In a stroke of genius, The White Hand ferociously strikes against all of its enemies at once in multiple attacks and takes back power in Brooklyn during the Donnybrook in Red Hook.
Exile on Bridge Street
Although the gang again is in power, Dinny cannot seem to stop time as the White Hand is one of the last powerful street gangs in New York. Again the gang’s enemies assemble against him when one of his dockbosses, Wild Bill Lovett, joins forces with Jonathan G. Wolcott of the New York Dock Company in revolt against him, seceding from the gang and taking the profitable Red Hook territory. Vulnerable, Dinny finds out his childhood friend Tanner Smith backstabbed him and his righthand The Swede attempted suicide. Again though, Dinny outsmarts everyone by making a three-way pact with the International Longshoreman’s Association and the Italian Black Hand and violently puts down the revolt. Charged with murder, Lovett agrees to a plea that sends him to the Army and World War I where he dies in combat. Dinny then replaces Lovett in Red Hook with his prodigious cousin Mickey Kane and robs a local shoe factory after an Irishtown child dies with one shoe on his foot, passing out boots to all the poor Irish families. But by 1919 Dinny is furthered weakened. The gang has lost many members to the Great War, the Spanish Influenza, coal shortages and worsening poverty. During the Storm of Slanting Snow, Lovett mysteriously resurfaces in Brooklyn and has Dinny’s cousin Mickey murdered, touching off a horrific gang war and a blood feud with Lovett.

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Mickey Kane – Auld Irishtown

Mickey Kane – Character in the Auld Irishtown trilogy

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The heinous murder of Mickey Kane precipitates a blood feud and gang war (art by Thomas Kerr).

“It must have been Dinny’s plan from the start. Mickey is Dinny’s last surviving family member loyal to him. Tall and powerfully built with a big head of blond hair, he follows Dinny’s orders closely. Mickey Kane is blood. His mother’s blood, and many of us feel as though one day Mickey will replace The Swede at his right side. Dinny’s most-trusted.”
~Liam Garrity

Mickey Kane (1894-1919) was the cousin of White Hand leader Dinny Meehan, and the gang’s golden boy before being horrifically murdered when Wild Bill Lovett resurfaced in Brooklyn during the Storm of Slanting Snow.  Tall, muscular and dauntless, he was an accomplished bareknuckle boxer as many in Brooklyn spoke of him as being a “fair scrapper, brisk fighter.” A cousin on Dinny Meehan’s mother’s side, Mickey was spared the wrath of the The Hudson Dusters of Greenwich Village, who decimated the Meehan family in the late 1890s, forcing eleven year-old Dinny Meehan and his dying father to flee to Brooklyn in 1900. After Meehan became King of Brooklyn’s Irishtown in 1912, he called for his eighteen year-old prodigy cousin and mentored him in preparation to one day become his righthand.


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Get your copies: Click the hyperlinks on the titles to the right.

Light of the Diddicoy
In 1916, Meehan convinces Lovett to take Mickey in as his righthand in the Red Hook Terminal. Kane took part in the Donnybrook in Red Hook when the White Hand gang took back power on the Brooklyn waterfront.
Exile on Bridge Street
In 1917, after Tanner Smith backstabbed Meehan and the White Hand gang, Kane accompanied his cousin back to their old neighborhood, Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The two of them beat members of The Marginals and confronted Smith, battering him as well and banishing him from the underground. After putting down a revolt and sending Lovett to World War I, Kane became dockboss of the profitable Red Hook Terminal. In 1919 when Meehan, The Swede, Vincent Maher and Lumpy Gilchrist were arrested for robbing the Hanan & Sons shoe factory, Kane and Cinders Connolly were left in charge at the Dock Loaders’ Club. But Kane became anxious and went back down to Red Hook during a terrible snow storm where Lovett mysteriously came back from the dead and had him killed, starting a ferocious gang war and blood feud.

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Bill Lovett – Auld Irishtown

Bill Lovett – Character in the Auld Irishtown trilogy

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Summoned from the dead, the Black Hand sarcastically calls Bill Lovett “Pulcinella” because he looks like a crazy clown of Italian classical lore (art by Sebastian MacLaughlin)

“Ya know, people talk. And they’re sayin’ one day the gang could be all Lovett’s. Can ya imagine the take fer us if ya was his righthand? Like the Romans we’d live! But that Bill Lovett’s a wild one.”
~Mary Lonergan


Bill Lovett
(b. 1894), also known as Wild Bill or Pulcinella, the US Army reported that he had been killed in combat in World War I. But during the Storm of Slanting Snow, he resurfaced in Brooklyn and had Mickey Kane murdered, sparking a gang war for leadership of the White Hand. He is a violent drunk who carries a loaded .45 caliber, has a soft spot for animals (killed a man for pulling a cat’s tail), and hates the Italians that live in the dock territory he runs. In the early 1900s, Lovett was the leader of the Jay Street Gang that paid tribute to Christie Maroney. In 1912 Lovett (along with many other gang leaders) struck a deal with Dinny Meehan and allowed one of his followers, Pickles Leighton, to accompany him in shooting Maroney in the streets of Brooklyn. But during the trial for Maroney’s murder, Pickles was the only one convicted. Rightfully blaming Meehan, Lovett swallowed his pride and took over as dockboss in the profitable Red Hook Terminal under Meehan’s White Hand gang, but decided to keep Pickles as his man inside of Sing Sing to one day supply him with paroled soldiers in a revolt against Meehan.


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Get your copies: Click the hyperlinks on the titles to the right.

Light of the Diddicoy
Realizing the importance of ruling Sing Sing, Meehan had his righthand man McGowan plead guilty to a charge in order to kill Pickles in Sing Sing, in what became known as the War for the Inside. But Lovett paid a screw (prison guard) through Pickles to beat McGowan to death in his cell, winning the proxy war and creating a tense relationship with his gang boss, Meehan. After the gang took back power on the Brooklyn docks during the Donnybrook in Red Hook, Meehan sought to weaken Lovett and pinned the death and destruction on Lovett’s righthand Non Connors.
Exile on Bridge Street
When Connors is arrested, Lovett makes an alliance with New York Dock Company president, Jonathan G. Wolcott and plays a game of tug-of-war with Meehan over the loyalty of Richie Lonergan‘s crew. In 1917, Lovett has Lonergan murder Meehan’s enforcer Tommy Tuohey and together they secede from the White Hand gang in Red Hook, with Wolcott providing extra protection. Paranoid of a Meehan attack, Lovett goes on a drunken binge while Lonergan’s family life becomes tumultuous after his six year-old brother dies. Meehan makes a pact with the International Longshoreman’s Association and the Italian Black Hand, who send an assassin to Red Hook to kill Lovett. But Lovett survives and kills the assassin, yet is charged with murder and reaches a plea, which forces him to sign up with the Army’s 77th Infantry Division. In France during World War I, it is reported Lovett was killed in combat. His death causes of his followers to lose hope such as his biggest supporters Anna Lonergan and Darby Leighton. Shockingly, Lovett resurfaces in Brooklyn and gives Lonergan his .45 to kill Mickey Kane, Meehan’s cousin, starting a blood feud and gang war for control of the Brooklyn waterfront.

 

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