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    Michael Gerard Kenny was born and raised in Kilkelly Co Mayo.  He now owns a successful machinery business in South Carolina. He got there via Galway, Limerick, Cork, and Dublin. He Left Ireland in 1980 to work overseas for a   mining machinery company. He worked in U.K. then briefly in US before spending 4 yrs in Southern Africa and then moving to US again in 1985 with Powerscreen Intl.  He then set up his own company which he still runs today along with his two American- born sons Adam and Eoin.

   Amid all the hard work and success he had a burning desire to write a book. Not just any book.

    Ireland’s Final Rebellion and an American Dream’ is based this book on his father’s life and his involvement in the Tan War of1919-1921. Kenny senior was an unassuming tailor, tall and straight tailor, who always wore a shirt and tie and smoked Carroll’s cigarettes and made suits for the males of the district and did alterations. He was fifty-seven when Gerard was born. He had been an active fighter during the 1919-1921 Irish War of Independence, and he received a small state pension for that. He did not like to talk much about the war and deflected Gerard’s questions about The Tan War, saying he would tell him more when he was older.  Michael Gerard says, “I did hear enough in family-circle conversation and from listening in on the regular get-togethers of his Old IRA comrades at our tailor shop to form my own picture of his life. “ Michael Gerard’s father was born in 1897 and grew up in a turbulent period of Irish history. He was very close with his Grandmother who lived to be almost 100. She filled his head with the feats of the mystic warrior heroes of Irish Legend. He became active in various resistance movements (the IRB, Irish Volunteers and Sinn Fein) perhaps, partly, as a result of his grandmother’s influence.  After the 1916 executions he became a full-time IRA fighter on the run during the1919-1921 campaign and fought without capture up to the declaration of the Truce.   His son says,” He was vehemently Anti-Treaty but chose neutrality during the Civil War rather than take up arms against his former comrades.”  He went back to his tailoring, until he was arrested and imprisoned by the (Free State Army).  During his incarceration he went on hunger strike and was close to death when prisoner’s hunger strike was finally called off. He died suddenly in April 1969 and Michael Gerard says, “I was left with only memories and unanswered questions. One of those memories was that of his expressed regret at not having emigrated to America like many of his war comrades did. At his funeral I decided that I would make good on his missed opportunity – I would someday emigrate to America.”  Michael did indeed keep that promise.    Despite being a busy business man he has left us two well-written and informative books. In ‘Just one of the Boys’ the author uses the fictional Kane family to portray events in n Irish history that propelled ordinary Irish men and women to take up arms in 1919 and fight the oppressor. In Book 2 ‘An American Dream’. The fictitious Sean Kane shows the author’s own journey from Kilkelly to where he is today. In it the reader finds that    Michael Gerard Kenny has really realised the American Dream.

   I spoke to some of his fellow- Mayo men and amid the excitement of the All Ireland Final and Tyrone winning they made time to discuss it with me. John McGrath   was impressed by the accuracy of the detail on growing up in rural Ireland in the 50s and 60s. John was also overwhelmed by the writing style which he described as being “somewhere between American and Irish. “

  Des Garvin from north Mayo went through the book(s) with a fine-tooth comb. He is not bothered by the absence of any real identity as to where the battles took place as he knows the place like the back of his hand.

  Ireland’s   Final Rebellion and An American Dream was published through Amazon KDP in early March2021 and is available as both an E-book and paperback on; www.amazon.com or the author’s  website ; www.michaelgerardauthor.com where a link to Amazon will be available. Readers comments are always welcome.  Details at; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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