The Great Giveaway


One fine September morning 96 years ago, a small boy strolled across a bridge over a river leading into a small town in rural Ireland. Suddenly, all hell broke loose around him as he was caught in the middle of one of the very first cross-fires between the IRA and the British army. That boy was Ian Wilkinson’s father-in-law, Paddy Ryan. Twenty-six years later, he celebrated VE and VJ day as a career soldier in the British army who had risen through the ranks during world war two. Most of us have secrets, and some of us have secret lives. Paddy certainly had both – in a life both fascinating and typical of the fighting Irish in his generation, who experienced civil war, emigration, the great depression, and then world war two. His story inspired Ian so much that he blended it with other true stories into a novel that celebrates the lives of that generation and Anglo-Irish connections.

“Crossing the Water” has been described as ‘a masterpiece’ by Professor Alan Carr (University College, Dublin) and the public reviews on Amazon UK and US are equally positive (average score of 4.5 out of 5). As a way of celebrating many things (Paddy’s unique life, the 95th anniversary of the dawning of the struggle for Irish Independence, the 70th of the end of WW2) the Kindle version of this book will be available at half price each and every Sunday in September this year. The link to the kindle version of the book is


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