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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book from Charlie Connelly
Despite being born and raised in London Charlie Connelly always considered himself Irish. He was aware that many generations ago his forebears were from County Cork so maybe this was the reason why he was attracted to all things Irish even though he realised that the Ireland shown in beer adverts and movies was just an idealised version which probably never existed. Now...
Published on 8 Oct 2010 by Bantam Dave

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Irish roots
Charlie Connelly moves to Dublin to live with his girlfriend, Jude, and becomes obsessed with discovering his Irish 'roots' Apparently one of his great-great-great grandfathers, John Connelly, was an Irish immigrant to London in the 1840s, and charlie Connelly goes in search of him, finding out about his life as a dockworkers in the East end of London, and trying to...
Published on 3 July 2011 by L O'connor


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book from Charlie Connelly, 8 Oct 2010
By 
Bantam Dave (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
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Despite being born and raised in London Charlie Connelly always considered himself Irish. He was aware that many generations ago his forebears were from County Cork so maybe this was the reason why he was attracted to all things Irish even though he realised that the Ireland shown in beer adverts and movies was just an idealised version which probably never existed. Now living in Dublin in his latest book he turns his attention to his adopted country and, as I have come to expect from him, he has produced a book that is funny, informative and extremely entertaining.

Although the basis of the book is about his attempts to trace his Irish roots I thought these were perhaps my least favourite parts of the book. Whilst these sections were eminently readable it was when Connelly writes about other aspects of Irish life that he really excels. Although this is not a travelogue he visits various places that have all got an interesting story to tell. In one very amusing chapter, for example, he writes about his visit to a small village called Moneygall where it had been proved that Barack Obama could trace his lineage back to. In another chapter he visits Knock, the site of a visitation by the members of the holy family many years ago and the site of countless pilgrimages ever since. In a similar vein in pays a visit to a churchyard in which a felled tree stump is thought by some to resemble the Virgin Mary but not, as it turns out, by Charlie Connelly.

Charlie Connelly is an outstanding writer. He writes with such a lightness of touch that whilst for the most part he is an amusing writer he can also be serious and extremely perceptive. I can thoroughly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Irish roots, 3 July 2011
By 
L O'connor (richmond, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Charlie Connelly moves to Dublin to live with his girlfriend, Jude, and becomes obsessed with discovering his Irish 'roots' Apparently one of his great-great-great grandfathers, John Connelly, was an Irish immigrant to London in the 1840s, and charlie Connelly goes in search of him, finding out about his life as a dockworkers in the East end of London, and trying to discover where in Ireland he came from.

Genealogy is a curious thing. Charlie Connelly must have had thirty-two great-great-great grandparents, so why should this one have obsessed him to the exclusion of all the others? I felt a bit sorry for the other thirty-one, spurned by Connelly in his search for the elusive John.

Connelly meanders round Ireland looking for John's origins, and explores London to find out about his life there. There are a lot of things I would have liked to know about that aren't mentioned. For instance, Connelly seems to have no interest at all in John's children, who I would have liked to know about, or any of the subsequent generations of his family. And there is a lengthy and melancholy discussion with a priest in London about the loneliness of the local elderly Irish immigrants. Why they are lonely is never explained though. Why haven't they got families, friends, children etc? This question is never asked.

Frankly, Connelly's obsession over his Irish 'roots' got on my nerves a bit. As far as I am concerned, where you are born and grow up is where your roots are. My roots are firmly embedded in the soil of Surrey, no matter that my distant ancestors (and my near ancestors, for that matter) came from elsewhere. 'Face it, Connelly, your roots are in south London, whether you like it or not' I wanted to snarl at him by the end of the book. Why can't he be satisfied just to be an Englishman who has moved to Dublin? I don't know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful foray around the Emerald Isle, 4 Nov 2010
This is a lovely, funny and often moving book by the thoughtful, charming and cheerful Mr Connelly. I was delighted by the way in which he has combined his trademark humour with an honest and heartfelt exploration of his own cultural heritage and, Ireland, the country he now calls home.

Connelly has a fine eye for the telling detail, subtle insight, and a deft turn of phrase that makes a place and a people come alive on the page. Ireland is a treasure trove for such a skilled writer, and Connelly does not waste the opportunity to celebrate its charm, wit, and wisdom, investigating the land, its fascinating and sometimes tragic history, and its spirited and wry people. As always, Mr Connelly's friendly style makes him an excellent companion.

`Our Man in Hibernia' explores not just one man's family history but the history of the Irish Everyman, those who left dire circumstances in search of nothing so grand as riches, but enough to eat. I am not ashamed to say I had a lump in the throat reading the author's reactions on learning how his ancestor had to, literally, scrape a living in the most abject conditions. Connelly is excellent on the appalling history and legacy of colonial involvement but also has little time for the subsequent models of Priest-ridden enclave or a fool's paradise for bankers and developers either.

This is a fine introduction to Ireland. A splendid foray around the Emerald Isle with one of our finest travel writers and wits. I heartily recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Plastic Paddies Here, 13 Sep 2010
Charlie Connelly's latest "Our Man In Hibernia" had me checking to see if I'm actually Irish. Checked, and apparently I am. It's not many books on your own country (exception : F.S.L. Lyons' "Ireland Since The Famine")that have you cross referencing odd facts. Odd facts you thought as an Irishman you knew. (The biggie being that St Patrick's Day was dry until the mid 70s.) By describing with wry phraseology and avoiding the ever-growing self-flagellation of native commentators Mr Connelly holds up an affectionate mirror to a society on the brink of massive change. I'm reminded of Martha Gelhorn writing of her visit to her childhood home of Havana in the mid 80s. The reality is beneath the surface and it takes a skilled writer to pull the right punches.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connelly pulls it off again, 9 Sep 2010
By 
R. Grillo - See all my reviews
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Not very long ago I picked up a copy of 'Stamping Grounds' by football writer Charlie Connelly. Never have I laughed to loudly before while reading a sports book. So I decided to grab a copy of 'Attention All Shipping'. Surely a book about the shipping forecast couldn't be as funny as following the luckless Leichtenstein national football team. I was wrong, Connelly once again found the balance between fact, imagination and humour. I'm not a big fan of Mr.Presley, yet I found couldn't put 'In Search of Elvis'down, and then Connelly went all historical on us, and STILL made us laugh with 'And Did Those Feet'.

This time Mr C writes about Ireland. Why ? Because he loves the place and is just as Irish as the current American president, who makes rather a big deal about his Irish roots. And because he lives there. And he has always 'felt' Irish. You'll understand when you've started reading it - i won't spoil it by detailing each chapter. Perhaps this book is a little more personal than his others though, and there are lengthy stretches when Connelly makes a point of being serious and slightly less light-hearted - but just when you think things ARE getting all serious, he throws in one of his hilarious, and entirely appropriate one liners that leaves you rolling around hysterically again.

I read lots of books, yet I find only one writer is capable of such a broad scope of writing, without ever straying from his unique, light, chirpy banter. Well done Charlie Connelly, really can't wait for the next one.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Our very best man in Hibernia, 16 Feb 2013
I haven't given up reading a book in about 10 years, but couldn't bear with this any longer. Having lived in both London and Ireland for a long time, I was really looking forward to the book, but gave up around page 120. Connelly obviously fancies himself a lot, particularly his so called Irish roots (via the great-great-grandfather.... I'd be Russian and Swedish by that definition). If you are an internationally reknown author, this concept might work, but there's obsolutely nothing funny this book, either.

It's a celebration of Connelly's own ignorance towards both Irish and British culture and history. At least he admits it - one star for that.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars On verge of giving up, 12 Oct 2011
By 
zigzag (Warwickshire England) - See all my reviews
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Having read Charlies previous books, Shipping, Feet, I was looking forward to this one. Alas, Ive got to page 100 and am considering giving up with it (I reckon if you arent enjoying a book by this mark then you wont enjoy it). The author spends far too much time being introverted about these so called roots of his, it would have been far better to do a travel book about Ireland rather than dress it up with this self centred quest to find roots, what about his English roots, dont they count for anything? It now looks as if hes taking himself far too seriously or has lost the creative spark of his earlier works, either way for me this is a self indulgent book. Will think long and hard about reading any further volumes from him.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing Read, 10 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Our Man in Hibernia: Ireland, The Irish and Me (Kindle Edition)
Charlie Connelly is a great communicator and a very amusing writer who is easy to read. I love all his books and this was no exception.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, a great read and would recommend it., 6 May 2014
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This review is from: Our Man in Hibernia: Ireland, The Irish and Me (Kindle Edition)
A truly entertaining read, very informative and well written. I would recommend this book to anyone within interest in Ireland.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for ancestors in Ireland, 2 Aug 2012
By 
G. Colville (Hertford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Our Man in Hibernia: Ireland, The Irish and Me (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed reading this book and following the author's quest to unearth information about his Irish ancestors. He explained his reasons for doing so and provided a detailed account of his journeys across Ireland, which I found informative and humorous too. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to visit Ireland and perhaps search for their predecessors in that country.Our Man in Hibernia: Ireland, the Irish and Me
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