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Tea and Green Ribbons: A Memoirby Evelyn Doyle
Synopses & Reviews
In the slums of Dublin in 1953, Evelyn Doyle's mother ran off with a lover, abandoning her family and leaving Evelyn's father to care for six children. Already struggling to support his children as a painter and decorator, Desmond Doyle faced the fact that he would have to turn them over to church-run industrial schools while he went to England, where he could earn higher wages and save money to support them without state assistance. He believed the placement was temporary. However, upon his return to Dublin several months later, he discovered that the Irish state had assumed custody of the children and refused to release them. Tea and Green Ribbons is the astonishing, heart-wrenching tale of Desmond's dramatic quest to get his children back, told in gripping fashion by his daughter, Evelyn.
In the ensuing years after losing his children, Desmond devoted himself to working with some of Ireland's foremost legal experts to fight both the Church and the government. Meanwhile Evelyn, his eldest child, discovered the crisp, clean joys and lonely sorrows of life in the care of nuns. After two years the Irish Supreme Court finally made an unprecedented decision — which, for the first time in Irish legal history, took into account the children's wishes — and Desmond, his daughter, and his sons began their lives again.
Evelyn Doyle has crafted a jewel-like chronicle of a major turning point in Irish mores and culture. Uplifting, gritty, and emotionally compelling, this stunning memoir is an unforgettable celebration of the Irish spirit.
Uplifting and gritty, this memoir of a father's struggle to win back his children in the Dublin courts not only celebrates the Irish spirit, but captures a major turning point in Irish mores and culture.
In 1953, Evelyn Doyle's mother leaves behind her six children and their father in the slums of Dublin, abandoning them to be with her lover. After struggling to support his children as a painter and decorator, Desmond Doyle finally faces the fact that he must turn his children over to church-run industrial schools so that he can go to England where he can earn higher wages. He believed the placement was temporary. However, upon his return several months later, he discovered that the State had assumed custody of the children and would not return them.
Determined to win his children back, Desmond spent the next two years working with some of Ireland's top legal brains to fight both the Church and the government. It took two years, but in an unprecedented decision by the Irish Supreme Court — which, for the first time in Irish legal history took into account the children's wishes — Desmond regained custody of his children.
Uplifting, gritty, and emotionally compelling, this stunning memoir not only memorably celebrates the Irish spirit, but captures — in the most moving way — a major turning point in Irish mores and culture.
About the Author
Evelyn Doyle lived in Ireland, England, and the Outer Hebrides before moving to mainland Scotland, where she served as a psychiatric nurse and a police officer. She lives now outside Edinburgh in Scotland with her partner of fourteen years, Michael.
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