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Introduction to ‘Sleanagh,’ the trilogy.
‘The Aul’-man tells the story of Cormac Sleanagh, who, in 1890, rejects the family farm in Ireland for a life in Scotland. He raises two families, neither knowing of the other. He is an Ecumenist before the term was ever thought of, and this brings much trouble to his door, not least from the authorities of his own Catholic faith. As the central character in the first volume of Sleanagh, Cormac’s battles are sectarian in origin.
‘The Big-man’ is the story of the second generation, where the central character, John, Cormac’s son, forges a successful business empire, which destroys the previously so solid family unity. The battles that John fights are business ones. Greed, jealousy and selfishness wrack the family, who conive and scheme to gain control of the business after John’s death in 1975.
The third volume titled ‘The Wee-man’ will be about the third generation, with John’s son, John James, or JayJay as the central character. JayJay is a waster and playboy who is incapable of managing the business. Will John leave his controling shares to his incompetent, oldest son, or divide them between other family members setting off a war of control? The third volume should be ready some time in 2012.
Introduction to ‘The Big-man.’
John Sleanagh returns from the first war and opens a grocers business in Kerlaw. Over the years, this business becomes a chain of shops making John a wealthy man. The shops are family managed and eventually John makes the business a Limited Company, keeping a majority of the shares and selling the rest to the family. He has less trouble from the sectarianism than the previous generation had to endure, but it still smoulders below the surface.
Over the years, John overcomes sectarian fire-bomb attacks and other setbacks, including being defrauded and being robbed in the course of a war-time smuggling escapade. Later, both tormentors feel John’s wrath. Murder, blackmail and incest within the family contrasts with its status as the premier Catholic family in Scotland.