I was born on the 13th of March 1879 in Sheskinarone about a mile from Dungloe in the Rosses of Tirconnell. My poor mother, God rest her, never had any book-learning during her life - in fact she couldn't even tell the time from the clock. In spite of that she had a handy way of reckoning my age: she used to tell me I came into the world around St Patrick's day in the same year as Big Fr O'Donnell, their parish priest, died.Roise recounts her experiences on the island and details with great vividness the hiring fairs in Strabane and her teenage years on the Lagan, the great farming area in Tyrone, Derry and east Donegal. Her work on the potato farms of Scotland, the hardship and commitment that 'tatie-hoking' entailed are all brought into sharp focus. Journeys to and from Scotland are memorably depicted. Her personality, her delight in song and dance mark many sections of the book. Roise's recollections of both world wars are fascinating, as are her comments on the many changes she has witnessed. Spanning several generations, it is a refreshing record of life on a Donegal island.
Padraig Ua Cnaimhsi was born in Crickamore in the Rosses of Tirconell. As a primary schoolteacher, he taught in Aranmore Island for 41 years. Padraig has always been deeply interested in Irish, history, folklore and music; and on meeting Roise Rua, he instantly realised how important her story was, and zealously set about writing it down. J.J. Keaveney was born, Moville, Co. Donegal 1935. He taught English and History until retirement in 1989. He also served on the board of the North-West Institute of Further and Higher Education from 1993 to 2000. His articles have been printed in Spinal News NRH, Dun Laoghaire, Arts and Disability publications in Belfast and elsewhere.