Anthony Giblin, whose father, Joe, was from Kilmore in Co. Roscommon, and whose mother, Annie, hailed from Rossport in Co. Mayo, grew up on a council estate in Birmingham but has never forgotten his west of Ireland roots.
Speaking to the Roscommon People this week, Anthony said: “I am a construction worker, now living in Celbridge for the past 17 years with my wife and family. I took up writing as a hobby and completed a home study course with Kilroy’s College in 2013 which opened up a new world for me. I went about my first draft, before completing another course at Maynooth University where I was tutored by the gifted John MacKenna”.
‘The Will of Annie’ is a heartfelt narrative detailing Anthony’s life and that of his widowed father, who was left with six children to raise on a Birmingham council estate. It tells of holidays in the west of Ireland and how the author eventually found love here.
Told with honesty and humour, it is a thoughtful and moving memoir from an engaging writer, inspired by Anthony’s daughter’s brave battle with illness.
“One day in 2012, I was called home from the site because my wife, Niamh, was at her wits’ end, telling me there was something seriously wrong with our seven-year-old daughter, Annie, who had been complaining of dizzy spells and migraines.
“We took Annie to Crumlin Children’s Hospital, whereupon discovering a large tumour in her brain, they rushed her to Temple Street. We had to fill out a form of consent for her to be operated on the following day, which just happened to be the date of my mother’s anniversary. Also called Annie, she had passed away in 1981 due to a tumour in her brain.
“I try to transport the reader back to Birmingham, my homeplace, where my parents from the west of Ireland settled. I write about the struggles of my father in raising six kids on a council estate and our trips back to Mayo and Roscommon,” he said.
Anthony’s wife, Niamh, hails from his mother’s hometown of Rossport, and has greatly encouraged him in his writing. Last Christmas, she presented him with 30 copies of his BookHub published manuscript as well as a link to the book on Amazon.
The Will of Annie quickly sold out on Amazon but a Kindle version is still available and copies can also be purchased in some independent bookshops as well as online at bookdepository.com.
For more information, check out www.anthonygiblinwriter.com or the Anthony Giblin Writer Facebook page.