In GROWING UP SO HIGH, Sean O'Connor, born in Francis Street into a family of thirteen children, recalls his childhood and the unique and colourful district of his origins: the neighbours who lived there: their traditions, their talk and their lore, the music and poetry of the laneways and markets.
Remembrances of the 1940s classroom, of bird-watching in Phoenix Park, of roaming towards adolescence in the streets of his ancestors are mingled with tales of ancient ghosts and the coming of change to the Liberties. O'Connor, father of the highly acclaimed Irish novelist Joseph, tells his story with honesty, warmth and style, and the often wry wit of his home-place.
The bells of medieval churches toll through its pages, over the skipping songs of his sisters, the juicy slang of his schoolmates, and his personal stories of family life, culminating in leaving school to go to work at age thirteen and later becoming a member of the Irish Bar.
GROWING UP SO HIGH is an evocative and tenderly written testament of one Liberties boy, and a moving, vivid and life-affirming picture of his own extended family as part of a proud community and its all-but-vanished way of life.