The Leaving - John McGlarry

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Liam McGinley leaves Donegal, Ireland in 1845 to join his family in New York City. It is a time of starvation and fever as he leaves his grandmother and everything he loves and heads for the ships along with thousands of other desperate people seeking relief. On the road, he encounters the full force of the many displaced people who are emaciated and clad in rags, heading for the holds of the lumber ships for the long voyage to America.

Liam was lucky. He had the help of his cousin, Patrick Gillespie, a New York City policeman and a very close friend of Liam’s parents, who was able to secure special accommodations from the owner of an American ship which allows Liam to work in the ship’s galley and sleep in the crew’s quarters, instead of the disease ridden, crowded hold. This did not protect him from the sights and sounds of the hunger that was gripping all of Ireland as he traveled overland to the ship, nor from the storms and situations on the ship at sea. It especially did not protect him from the blue eyes of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He is thrown into a reality he never dreamed existed that will be a driving force for the remainder of his life.

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