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The House on an Irish Hillside

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This very personal memoir interweaves the story of the discovery of a remarkable house with the author’s lifelong love affair with the Dingle peninsula, its myth, folklore and music. ‘This is the hidden Ireland’.

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To hear some audio clips from this book click on the players below:

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

Clip 3:

This book tells my story. I’m writing it in Ireland, in a house on a hillside. The house sits low in the landscape between a holy well and the site of an Iron Age dwelling. It was built of stones ploughed out of the fields by men who knew how to raise them with their hands and to lock one stone to the next so each was firm. It’s a lone house on the foothills of the last mountain on the Dingle peninsula, the westernmost point in mainland Europe. At night the sky curves above it like a dark bowl, studded with stars.”

So begins the story of how the Irish writer, Felicity Hayes-McCoy, and her English husband, opera director Wilf Judd, chose to divide their life between inner city London and a remote house on Ireland’s Dingle peninsula.

Felicity Hayes-McCoy was born in Dublin, Ireland. She read English and Irish language and literature at University College, Dublin before moving to England in the 1970s to train as an actor. Her writing includes television and radio drama, features, dramatisations and adaptations, screenplays, music theatre and children’s books.

Wilf Judd plays the concertina on this recording. The music includes his own compositions as well as extracts from traditional Irish tunes.  To hear a short interview with Wilf Judd about the concertina music click on the player below:

Additional information

Weight .35 kg
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Original Author

Music and Musicians

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2 reviews for The House on an Irish Hillside

  1. Michael Bartlett

    “Wise, funny and touching, this is a portrait of friendship, customs and folklore of Ireland; but what stays with you is harder to catch, like smoke or running water. It is the taste of something we all once knew, ever-present if only you look for it. Completely enchanting.”
    Joanna Lumley

  2. Michael Bartlett

    Affection for western Ireland’s Dingle peninsula acquired during holidays made Felicity Hayes-McCoy and Wilf Judd decide to take the plunge and relocate to an ancient cottage there, able, thanks to the internet, to make a living as writers and musicians. This deeply personal memoir is a love token to the folk lore and community that permeate County Kerry, a tribute to its rich history punctuated by fiddle and concertina music that will have you tapping your feet and longing to dance a jig.
    Christina Hardyment, The Times

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