Archived Messages - Nov 2013    

from Vincent Lavery - 26/11/13

Colm gave me a copy of your book: "Growing up so High". I truly enjoyed reading it - what memories you hold not just for the macro but for the micro. I would like very much to follow-up with some questions if that is alright. Once again many thanks!

Vincent Lavery


from S.P. Polden - 15/11/13

Dear John,

I would not like the situation to pass without expressing on behalf of the Committee and members of Blessington U3A sincere thanks for your attendance at our meeting last week and the presentation so stylishly given on that occasion.

I have bumped into a number of members since Tuesday last and everyone I have spoken with has been full of the enjoyment of the occasion. So, John, on their behalf, and also for my own part, thank you so much for coming down to speak to us and to entertain us. For us it was a lovely morning and I think we all went away from the Community Centre feeling the better for it... and knowing a bit more about the Liberties too.

I believe that Janet (of The Blessington Bookstore) had successful sales on the day and certainly sold all the copies of 'Growing Up So High' which she had brought with her - and probably more besides. Having finished the book, I can add my support for the good reviews: it is a most interesting story and, as we have said, reflects a time now gone by so well. I hope it continues well for you.


S.P. Polden
U3A (University of the Third Age)


from Regina Brennan - 12/11/13

I have just finished your lovely book, a signed copy given to me by my son Jamie, a friend of your son Eoin. I really enjoyed it & it brought back some very happy memories. I was reared on a farm in Newcastle, Co. Dublin. My father, Patrick Mc Bennett, had a dairy in Pimlico and I recall helping there as a small girl. On one occasion we had a visit from Bang Bang with his pretend gun which we never forgot. A lovely lady helped in the shop, Molly McGuinness, who lived in 17 Meath Place. She taught us to play Rummy, which we played with other ladies from the Liberties. Some names I remember are Mrs. Kneafsey & Mrs. Sherman. I loved playing in Reginald Square. Sadly, my father died when I was 12 & the dairy was sold as my mother could not continue running it on her own.

Kindest regards,

Regina Brennan


from Larry Martin - 05/11/13

Hi Sean,

Success.....we found the photo. After lots of searching in the National Library yesterday, there is was November 15th 1950 Dublin Evening Mail.


We are absolutely thrilled. You are both so young in the photo maybe 12 or 13yrs old. It will be 63 years this month since the photo was taken, that is amazing, we really hope you both meet again at your book signing at The Elms. We have a photocopy of the paper but have ordered a High resolution photograph from the original newspaper that they keep in storage off site, I
will email it to you as soon as I get it, normally takes 2 weeks. In the meantime I've attached a photo of it taken with my iPhone and a couple more for you to enjoy.

Thanks again Sean for everything.

Best Regards,

Larry Martin


from Larry Martin - 02/11/13 - (follow up from previous message)

Hi Sean,

Thank you so much for getting back to me so soon.All my sons want to join Boxing clubs now and are saying "see it's in our genes" and my 5 boys are even more proud of their Grandfather than they were ever before.

Our eldest son Laurence is thrilled with his famous name now and is bringing your book into the CBS Naas on Monday as my sons too have been up to some of the same mischief as you write in your book.They just can't believe that their Grandad and Sean O'Connor the author of this beautiful book once shared the ring together and you tell the tale with such excitement--thank you.

I will start a search for that photo now and as soon as I have it I will of course send it to you.

Thank you so much again.

Best Regards,

Larry Martin Jnr


from Larry Martin - 02/11/13

Dear Sean,

I've just picked up your book and discovered in the chapter 'Boxing in the Shadows' that it was my Dad that you fought---Larry Martin, and my grandfather Larry Martin from Moracrete Cottages you also mention.

The way you wrote about the fight was thrilling and especially for me. I've just got off the phone to my Dad Larry Martin and he is thrilled that you mention him in your book and his Dad. He is running out to get the book in the morning, he is so excited and the
whole family are talking about it.

You mention that a photographer took a photo of you & Larry after the fight, do you by any chance have that photo as my Dad has no photos of when he was boxing, it would mean so much to him and the family to see him in his youth boxing and especially with you after the way you tell the story in the book.

Hope you can help with the photo and congratulations on the book.

Hope to hear from you.

Best Regards,

Larry Martin ( Jnr ) I'm Larry the 3rd


from Tony Gleeson - 02/11/13

Hi John

I hope you are keeping well.

Congratulations on your new book. I'm almost finished it and I've enjoyed it hugely.

You caught the atmosphere of a boy growing up in working class Dublin perfectly. I bought the book recently in Grafton Street and went in to Bewleys for a coffee and started reading it, and laughed out loud when you casually galloped away down Francis Street on your imaginary horse. What caught me was the casual way you did it, and I remember doing just that as a young lad.

The Iveagh markets are a strong memory too, and getting longers much older than kids nowadays!

I liked the loving practicality of your Mother's final letter too, and so much more.

Anyway, I hope it's a follyinupper!

Kind regards



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