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January 11 , 2011

When I Am Going: Growing Up In Ireland and Coming to America, 1901-1927


Annie Crowley was one of eleven children born in the farmhouse at Kilnahone, outside the village of Ballygarvan in the County Cork. Their father died a few weeks after the youngest was born, and the eldest emigrated to Australia not long after. Annie was six at the time, and a pupil at Ballygarvan National School, where the English language and English history were drilled into Irish children.
Then came the First World War, and the oldest girl went off to become a nurse in England. Annie was needed at home then, to take care of the house and the younger children. She loved the farm work, but soon became a rebel against the English crown, in the fight for independence that began at Easter Week in 1916.

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The struggle ended in a bitter civil war, as diehard Republicans fought the leaders willing to accept an Irish Free State with token allegiance to London. Thousands of veterans of the Irish Republican Army emigrated to America, including her sweetheart Pat Forde from Ballinhassig. Thus Annie came to leave home, never again to see her mother or siblings, or the farm at Kilnahone.

An enchanting story of girlhood, growth, love, war, and loss. Includes a chapter from Michael's War, Daniel Ford's novel of the IRA. 

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