The Black Velvet Band - Complete

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The story behind the folk song - brought to the world of fiction. A beautiful Irish girl, left orphaned in the famine falls in love then loses him after a revenge plot goes tragically wrong. Maggie O’Reilly was no ordinary girl and these were not ordinary times. Ireland was wracked with poverty and the Great Famine which wiped out an eighth of the population, was fast approaching. Born the 4th out of 6 children to Kathleen & Joseph O’Reilly, Maggie was a ray of sunshine. Bright auburn hair and brilliant green eyes sat atop a feisty twelve year old who spent her days telling stories to anyone who would listen. Disaster struck the impoverished family, as it did most of their village and Maggie found herself orphaned and sent to live in the local workhouse along with her surviving 14 year old sister, Lily. Soon afterwards, Lily - being of marital age was taken by the authorities to be shipped out to Van Diemen’s Land, under the Earl Grey Orphan Scheme who’s aim was to help populate Tasmania which had an excess of male residents. Maggie was left to face life alone, working in the mansion belonging to the Master of the workhouse. The devastated Maggie falls in love with the houseboy Paddy Flynn but their love was shortlived as he is falsely accused of theft and deported - leaving Maggie alone with their child, determined to reunite her family, whatever the cost.

Suzy Sykes
5.0 1 review
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Intro & Rights, The Black Velvet Band

The Black Velvet Band

The Story Behind The Song

by, Sue Cullen

Copyright © 2017 Sue Cullen

All rights reserved.

This book was inspired by the old Irish folk song, ‘The Black Velvet Band’ first sung to me by Paul Cullen who also gifted me with our three beautiful children Caiti, Joe & Paddy.

Thank you to ‘Hope & Dreams’ who got me started in the first place and to Chris, without whose support and encouragement this book may never have been finished.


With grateful thanks to Kerry who told me I could, and indeed should, write.

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