Down by the Sandy Gardens – Irene McInerney 2018


When Irish eyes aren’t smiling.

Born and raised in the countryside of Kilmaley, amongst the hills of County Clare in the west of Ireland, Irene apparently lives an idyllic life. Yet, unseen by the outside world, her life, and that of her siblings, is forever marred by the whims of an irrational mother who, in an arranged marriage, married not for love but for fortune. This forges a strong bond between Irene, her two brothers and sister, which sustains them through the difficult times.

In this memoir Irene takes us through a difficult childhood; a relationship that led to a parish scandal and in the attempt to find love, ends up in a dark and troubled relationship which careers into a hellish nightmare that changes her life forever.

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About the Author

Irene is often depicted as eccentric and different.

Born and raised in Kilmaley, Clare, in the west of Ireland. Irene is much travelled. She lived in Papua New Guinea for several years before settling in the tropics, in Cairns, Australia, where the rainforest meets the sea. She is well known in Cairns socially and a member of many organisations and societies, pursuing her passions of writing, food, friends and women’s rights. Recognised for her cooking skills and dinner parties, she even had a minor dalliance with MasterChef back in its earlier years.

Now a retired business woman, writing Down by the Sandy Gardens, named after ‘Gortagannive’, the farm where she grew up, has been a lifelong ambition. A bulging bag of long-buried traumas and sins of the flesh. They were not always hers, but she paid the price anyway.

This is the first part of what she hopes will be a three volume memoir. Book two is already underway. She is also writing a historical novel on the life and times of Australian women during the 1940’s: Making Ends Meet – One Way or Another.