It’s summer 1913 and Betty Rafferty is fed up. Forced to leave school aged 14, Betty is considered lucky when she gets a job in a sweet shop. After all, her da and her older brother Eddie are both working hard down on the docks in all weathers. But Betty is bored at the shop, and looks with envy at her customers who attend the posh girls school on nearby Eccles Street. But life in Dublin becomes anything but boring when industrial unrest brings the city to a halt. Betty is shocked when her brother Eddie is badly injured by a police charge. The city becomes increasingly violent – and hungry. Betty has never seen anything like the violence and is horrified when employers start locking out workers who refuse to abandon the trade union.
At the start of September a terrible tragedy strikes the tenement houses in Church Street, and Betty’s friend Rosie loses both her mother and her sweet little brother Francis. When Betty hears about a soup kitchen organised by the Irish Women Workers’ Union at Liberty Hall, she’s determined to help out. There, she meets other union activists, Countess Markievicz, and sympathetic suffragettes. As the Lockout continues into the bitter winter months, people are beginning to starve. Dora Montefiore sets up a Save the Kiddies scheme, and Betty’s sister Lily looks to take baby Robbie to safety in England. But the Irish Church has other ideas … Can Betty do her bit to help Lily make her escape? Can she really change their fortunes?
*Published August 2020 – Pre-order Now*