In Follow Me Down to Dublin, Deirdre Purcell takes to the streets of Dublin to meet those who inhabit her city and who, like her, love it.
In the course of conversation, she learns how her birthplace is viewed and remembered by a host of Dubliners from broadcasters to shop workers recalling showband days; by the city s writers, actors, historians and, most tellingly, her ordinary folk who, with wit and fondness, share far from ordinary reminiscences, Here are images of the clip-clop of Guinness drays, of thronged and opulent Corpus Christi processions, of penitential but sociable rounds of The Seven Churches on Holy Thursdays, of Jewish tailoring houses, of the gentle self-sufficiency of the Dublin Protestant and of an intimate, impenetrable lingo spoken and understood only by those in the city's retail trade. In words and pictures, we learn about the closure of the fabled Frawley's of Thomas Street a hugely emotional event for the staff and its heartbroken customers about the ballroom of romance in the Broadway Cafe in O'Connell Street, about the blowing up of Nelson's Pillar and the devastating fire in Power's Distillery, about Moore Street then and now, about the spread of the city into the 'new Dublins' of Finglas, Crumlin and beyond.
Deirdre Purcell was born and brought up in Dublin, and educated there and in a County Mayo convent. Before turning to the writing of fiction, she lived through an eclectic set of careers, including acting, as a member of the permanent company of Ireland's National Theatre (The Abbey), and journalism for all media - for which she won Ireland's top awards.