Eddie Lenihan The Man in the Big House


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Code 9781999616281

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Of all the thousands of patients who passed through Ennis psychiatric institution in its years of operation (1868 - 2002) under its various names perhaps only one, Jimmy Armstrong, had the opportunity to tell his life's story personally in book form.

He was a most remarkable man in that he had an appreciation for small things, details that most people either miss or dismiss. Every road, field, lake hill in his locality, and the stories attached to them, he knew them all in a manner that is almost unimaginable nowadays.

Cruelty he hated, to animals and people alike, and he was known for his manual skill, especially as a repairer of clocks and bicycles when such was sorely needed - during the "Emergency" in particular.

But it was as a teller of stories of all kinds - historical and contemporary, humorous and serious, long and short - that he excelled, and here his astonishing memory was his greatest asset. A selection of them is included in this book.

Truly, he was a man for all seasons and his death in 1987 deprived Ennis, his native Quin and far beyond of one of their unique talents, though it is doubtful if that fact was much recognized at the time.

Or since.

About the Author

Eddie Lenihan, is an Irish author, storyteller, lecturer and broadcaster. He is one of the few Seanchaí remaining in Ireland. He has been called "one of the greatest of Irish story-tellers" and "a national treasure".

 He is a collector and preservationist of folk tales, recording stories told by older people as passed to them in oral tradition, and then distributing them to a wider audience via print, audio and filmed recordings.

Lenihan is particularly well known for his tales of Irish folk heroes, fairies, fallen angels, and other supernatural beings as recorded in Irish mythology, folklore and oral history. He has also published poetry, stories about historical and legendary women of Ireland, and railroad history. In his role as a cultural preservationist, he maintains the largest private collection of folklore in Ireland.

His first local reputation developed as an enthusiastic children's storyteller. But as his international storytelling reputation grew, he has appeared in the film, The Fairy Faith in a series of programmes on BBC radio, and at numerous high-profile folk festivals.


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