Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

July 23, 2008

Southwest Cork

Filed under: on the road — admin @ 2:14 pm

I arrived at Liam and joan’s in Carriganima on Monday night to a flurry of activity. They are clearing one of the upper hills for grazing land which involves a lot of extra help that are always fed.  Joan was busy getting supper ready and Karen was finishing up milking the cows while Liam and Steven and more Sheehan cousins were up on the hills working. Lots of talking, eating, a beautiful sunset in the Lee Valley.                                                                                                                       On Tuesday morning I headed out to Skibbereen to restock. Patsy at Ying Yang Health Foods has the books right on the front counter. She suggested I go up to the Heritage Centre gift shop.  I left a copy for the vacationing manager to look at. Last September I had come to Skib, as that is where my mother’s family, the Driscolls are from. The most common name in Cape Clear, Baltimore and Skibbereen is Driscoll. Unlike the Sheehan side of the family, we don’t know much about their history (next project!)   Skibereen is known to be one of the hardest hit areas during the famine.  I think The Heitage Ctr. has the best famine museum in the country. It is small but striking. Last year, after I visited the ctr., I went to the famine graveyard which is a short drive from there. It is humbling, to say the least.  5,000 residents of the area who died of starvation and the diseases that result from it are  buried in a mass grave in which is now a small green plot and there is a beautiful monument to them.                                                  Leaving Skib with it’s busy streets and lush green countryside I headed for Ballydehob to restock at Hudson’s Health Foods. I set up a new account at Chapter One  on Main St. , Schull. Great Bookshop in a friendly, very pretty little village.  I had enough time to take the road across the peninsula to Bantry and I was glad I did. Brilliant red fuschia bushes line the entire mountain road. It was something out of a postcard. Low clouds hung over the mountain, the red of the fuschia, the sheep on the hillside, the old ruins of houses and sheds turned picturesque with colorful rose bushes and vines clinging to them.  In Bantry I restocked at Bantry Books on Marino St. and chatted about the “new Ireland” with the owner, Margaret o’Neill.  Margaret thinks that if you take the cars out of Ireland it would look like it did 30 years ago!                    I set up a new account at Bantry Whole Foods. Simon was great craic. He has an adorable little Jack Russell named Lola. His shop sits in a little lane and is stocked with fresh, local produce and health food items. We talked about a lot of things , he liked the book and I know he’ll promote it and it will sell well there.  The drive from Bantry to Macroom is another spectacular road in southwest Cork and if you’ve never been to this part of Ireland, you have to see it to believe it.   Canyon walls of rock covered with moss and shrubs open up to the beautiful Lee Valley. This is also a historic road as many ambushes  took place in these narrow mountain passes  during the civil war.                                                                                                

Waterford to Cork

Filed under: on the road — admin @ 1:19 pm


Dungarvan is a beautiful coastal town with a serene feel to it. It’s very bright and cheery, lots of wind boxes with fresh flowers on old brick buildings which have been neatly restored. Catherine O’Donnell owns Readers Choice on Lower Main St. She took a supply of books and was very warm and friendly. Blasta Health Foods on Main St. is owned by Rob and Anne Whinnett and Rob was very helpful with suggestions on marketing the book and took a supply. I took a copy of the summer issue of Naturally- the Irish Health Stores Magazine, Where Blasta is featured in the “local stores” column.

I drove out of Waterford satisfied at my progress in the past week. I left Lisdoon a week ago and have distributed the book in 30 shops in 6 counties, met fantastic people who love my book, been offered wonderful opportunities to promote it, spent some good down time at the beach in great company and the weather has been terrific!

Smiling I headed into the home county of Cork – the People’s Republic.

All of the Sheehans, Driscolls, McCarthys, Duggans, Murrays that are my ancestors are from Cork. The names are everywhere, in every town on numerous shop fronts. The villages I pass seem familiar as they are in my grandfathers family history.

First stop is Youghal, in East Cork. Noelle at Horan’s health Food on North Main St. took a supply. The Horan’s in Listowel and Tralee are also selling Coming Home To Cook. Youghal has an appealing wide expanse of sandy beach. Ok, keep driving!

On to Midleton where I stopped at Well and Good owned by Jill Bell on Broderick St. Jill was very nice, as was her assistant, Wendy. We chatted about the book, other shops I’ve been to where Jill knows the owners. She was very helpful and took the books with great pleasure. She stocks a wide of foods, supplements, essential oils, and local products made with organic ingredients. It was a pleasure just being in the shop in their company.

Midleton Books on Main St. is owned by Ronan McCarthy. It’s a big shop with a welcoming feeling, which is neatly laid out and he was also very helpful and took a supply.

Marian at Healthy Say in Carrigaline loved the book and is going to feature a recipe from it in her weekly recipe handout. Her shop is in the Supervalue Shopping Centre and is filled with lots of colorful and healthy items. Marian talked about how she lived in South Africa and owned a restaurant there. We talked about the road trip I’m on and how you just gotta get out there, life is too short! I passed the Carrigaline Book Shop where they have not sold out yet but have a copy in the window. It’s a thrill seeing that! My little book in shop windows in Ireland.

I ended the day at the Quay Food Company in Kinsale where I had left a supply of books in June. They were sold out, from the front counter , so I restocked. Thanks, David and Laura!

Leaving Wexford

Filed under: on the road — admin @ 1:13 pm


I reluctantly left Cullenstown Strand as it was another sunny day and I could have spent another day on the beach. I headed back down to Waterford, this time taking the ferry across from Ballyhack, a great alternative to sitting in New Ross traffic. I stopped in at Kilo’s on Michael Street and Brett McGrath was a good way to start the day, he took 6 copies in to his great shop packed with bulk bags of whole grains and ethnic foods. Full of Beans owned by Barry and Frances Coffey in George’s Court took a supply for themselves and their shop in Ardkeen.

I worked my way down to Abbeyside, a hamlet before crossing the bridge

into Dungarvan. Jurgen Denzinger owns Remedies Health Store on Sexton St. Nice shop, good craic.

Wexford and Enniscorthy

Filed under: on the road — admin @ 1:05 pm


Another sunny day in Wexford and I was off for a quick trip to Wexford town and Enniscorthy. Wexford is a big town with lots of winding, narrow lanes. There are many brightly colored houses and store fronts, many with front gardens and 2 majestic cathedrals overlooking the town and the quay. Most towns in Westford have a monument to the 1798 rebellion and the one in this town square is impressive.

Only Natural has 2 locations and they are both large and well stocked with a variety of health foods, supplements, therapy needs and gifts. Gerald is the owner and he happily took Coming Home To Cook for both shops. Mag at The Book Centre on South Main St. took a supply. Now 3 of the 4 Book Centre’s, Ireland’s own version of a Barnes and Noble (Yank talk) has my book. Rainbow Whole Foods is a bright and cheery shop owned by John Linden, who took a supply.

On to Enniscorthy where I met Matt Ronan who with his wife Nuala owns Evolve a lovely big shop dedicated to health/beauty/life.’s always some kind of magic that happens to me on these trips. Matt graciously suggested I contact the local radio and newspaper and gave me their contact information. Then, he asked if I would like to come back in the fall and give a workshop on healthy eating. Then, he took 10 books .

Awesome! I have a wealth of information to share and it will be fun to get to know the local people who are interested in some different recipe ideas.

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