‘The Mammy’ by Brendan O’Connell


Fiction – paperback; The O’Brien Press; 174 pages; 1994.

The Mammy is Irish comedian Brendan O’Connell’s first book. It’s a very simple tale about a widow struggling to raise seven children on Dublin’s north side in the late 1960s.

Each chapter is essentially a short story centred on the individual characters that make up Agnes Browne’s family. There are funny little episodes with not-so-funny punchlines, and the language, studded with ‘Dublin-speak’, is very stripped back to the point of being boring.

Aside from these faults, it is a lighthearted story — punctuated with pathos — about a family on the wrong side of the tracks, the strength of friendship in trying times, and the essential goodness of people in a more naive era.

Apparently the book has been made into a film starring Angelica Houston, and while I haven’t seen it, I think it would probably be more entertaining than the novel.

5 thoughts on “‘The Mammy’ by Brendan O’Connell

  1. I don’t know what book you read, but this book deserves more than 1 star. I would give it five! Get a sense of humour about you. It is a fantastic book, as are “The Chisslers” and “The Granny”. Our copies are nearly worn out and have been read by many people. I am looking to buy more copies to share around.


  2. This book deserves five stars as do the others in the series. These books are amazingly witty and funny. I fell in love with Agnes and her boys. The characters are very real and endearing. At times I laughed so hard my tummy hurt and I also cried with the family as they endured some tough times. Very readable…my only disappointment is that I have read them all and I miss the characters. Still I will never part with the books. A must read!


  3. Wow! Get a funny bone my friend. Each and every book does not have to be a literary masterpiece. Entertainment is also an important element of a good book. Just park your brain and enjoy.


I'd love to know what you think, so please leave a comment below

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.