‘I entered the world in 1945, the middle of the twentieth century, but my family’s way of life had not changed substantially for more than a hundred years …. The area around our house is still known as Castlebarnagh, which is a small townland near Daingean in northeast County Offaly, in the midlands of Ireland ….’
The Road from Castlebarnagh covers the many adventures of Paddy O’Brien, Irish traditional musician, composer and collector, as a boy growing up more than half a century ago in the midlands of Ireland. Paddy grew up in a small thatched house without running water or electricity, near the town of Daingean in County Offaly. It was a time when the social life of the Irish countryside often took place around the fireplace, where stories were told and music was played. In his book he writes of the many colourful characters who shaped his perception of Irish life and culture. Showing Paddy’s flair for storytelling, The Road from Castlebarnagh is the story of how a young musician absorbed his surroundings while developing his own distinctive musical style.