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About the Book



Many years ago, after I extricated myself from the grip of alcoholism, I embarked on a journey that would come to rest on the pages of this book. Lying in the gutter looking up at the stars is not a pleasant pass time, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. But the experience gained is invaluable. In life we encounter many difficulties. One of them is failure. And the biggest failure of all, is that which ensues from doing nothing.

When I entered the world of the scribe I made up my mind that if I was going to fail, it would only be after I had made a gigantic effort to succeed. All my life I had been battling against one thing or another, and I decided that writing a few thousand words, was nothing compared to sleeping in the gutter with the arse out of my trousers. My journey into literature began with a copy of Moore’s melodies, and I became entranced by the genius of Tom Moore. I began to study him in more detail. I looked closely at how the sentences were constructed, and for the first time since I had written a poem for my mother, as a boy, I began to write down my thoughts.

During my drinking years I always had an inclination, that one day, if I was released from the bondage of alcoholism, I would try my hand at writing, and finally, after twenty seven years of sobriety, I wrote my first short story. I chose as my subject matter a heart rendering story about a severe spastic. I had been friends with his parents, and I was absolutely amazed at the love and commitment they gave to him. To say it was of a heavenly quality might well be a gross understatement.

As I waited for a response from the publisher I was more concerned with doing justice to the story, rather than any personal achievement. I watched the postman every day for weeks. I even put my dog under house arrest, lest he might impede his passage to my door.

About six weeks later an envelope made it’s way through my letterbox and on to the floor of my hall. My name and address was written in long hand, unlike my utility bills. My instinct suggested to me that it was in fact a response to my story. My hands were shaking as I commenced to open it. Finally, I had a single sheet of paper in front of me, your story, it said, “In The Company of a King”, will be published in a future edition”. I’m not ashamed to say that I shed a few tears, but they were tears of joy. Not because I had been successful with my first ever submission, but because I trusted the editor’s judgement, that I had done justice to the story. My next ten submissions were also published, and while I was grateful for having a hundred per cent record, I wondered how I would feel when I received my first rejection. When I was finally rejected, I didn’t feel dejected, and in fact it was published shortly afterwards in a different publication.

After that setback my next forty stories were published. I have been very fortunate, in that every story I have written has been published in one form or another, and I am grateful to God for bringing me on that journey across the beautiful landscape of literature. Because there are many great writers in Ireland who remain unpublished. In my piece “If dreams came true”, I go in search of Ireland’s greatest writers who have long departed.  Since then I have written many stories on many different topics, stories like “The Winner’s Medal”, a story from my own community. “The Anniversary” which espouses the cause of reconciliation. “Miracle On The Falls Road”, which tells of the yearning for peace in Northern Ireland. “The Journey”, a story from the dark days of the Great Famine, and “The Doll”, from the time of the Dublin Lockout.

And of course no Irish collection would be complete without a few fairy tales like “Oisin’s Tears”, “The Magic Shoes”, “Horses For Courses,” and “Oisin’s Treasure”. From the lighter side of alcoholism “The Best Things In Life Are free”, and “The Invoice”. From Ireland’s glorious history “Requiem For The Rebel Priest”, “The Last Battle”, and “Heroine In Green”, plus, many more. In this collection I have striven to share with the reader the pleasure I derived from writing them. If the reader derives even a modicum of the same, I will be forever grateful.

















Tales from the Emerald Isle



By Henry Austin


ISBN: 978-1-905451-81-4


Price:  € 15.00



Henry Austin was born in Dun Laoghaire in nineteen forty five.  He now resides in Bray County Wicklow, having previously spent ten years in the beautiful picturesque Vale of Avoca.

“As I sat there on that December night with dear friends, who would give you their hearts blood if you had the audacity to ask for it, I wondered was there anyone, anywhere in the world, who was as happy as I was at that moment in time. I had always believed that the fullness of life is only realised when one can become as one with nature, and as the haunting notes of "Kathleen Mavourneen" skimmed over the moonlit sea on that  December night, I knew that for a brief  moment in time I had achieved this.’