Book on Ballyheane emigrant’s remarkable life to be launched

Posted in Connect on April 16, 2019.


Author Michael Larkin (left) and 2019 Mayo Person of the Year and Chairman of Portwest, Cathal Hughes, holding a framed copy of Thomas Larkin’s American passport.

The story of a Ballyheane man’s remarkable career as an early telephone pioneer in the US is the subject of a new book, which will be launched in Castlebar this month.‘Making the Right Connections’ tells the story of Thomas Larkin, a native of Derrew,  Ballyheane. It’s written by his grandnephew, Michael Larkin. Tommy Marren of Midwest Radio will officially launch the book in Mayo County Library on Monday, April 29 at 7pm. All are welcome and book signings and sales will take place from 6pm.
The book, published by Bookhub Publishing, vividly describes significant milestones in the evolution of telecommunications, predictions made regarding Alexander G Bell’s new invention, Irish emigration, transatlantic connectivity and an outline of the journey undertaken by Thomas Larkin, one of the early telephone pioneers of America.

‘Making the Right Connections’ has received endorsements from a number of respected Irish and Irish American academics, including author, historian and 2019 Meitheal Mhuigheo recipient Terry Reilly, who stated: “Here is a terrific story about a young man
from a rural village in County Mayo, who, like so many of his friends, emigrated to the USA, simply to find employment. As a distinguished member of the Bell Telephone Company in Pennsylvania, he made a significant contribution to the telephone industry in the early 1900s.” Thomas Larkin was born in the townland of Derrew, Ballyheane, on July 4, 1874. Similar to thousands of other young Irishmen and women, he made that perilous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in the hope of securing a better future in the New World.

His ‘American Dream’ became a reality when he secured employment with the Bell Telephone Company in Pennsylvania. Having had a distinguished career as one of the early telephone pioneers of America, he received many accolades for his role in the delivery
of the telephone network into the American Midwest.
“It’s very fitting that ‘Making the Right Connections’ will be launched in advance of Mayo Day, a spectacular occasion dedicated to celebrating our culture, heritage and connectedness with our diaspora throughout the world,” said Michael Larkin

Source: The Mayo News, April 16th 2019

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