My Life – Professor Tom Raftery

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Foreword by his son Tom (Jnr.) who compiled this wonderful social history

Prof Tom Raftery, was born on a small farm, in the townland of Coshla, Athenry, in the west of Ireland in 1933. His father died in early 1942 when Dad was just eight, leaving his mother alone to raise ten children, whose ages ranged from fifteen to two. That all ten children did well in later life is an amazing testament to Granny Raftery’s fortitude.
Dad managed to get a second level education, a college degree, and ultimately he became a Professor, head of his department, and vice-president of University College Cork.
In 1984 he switched career and became a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing Munster for Fine Gael.
Dad was involved in the purchase of Lyons Estate for UCD, and Fota Island for UCC. He was responsible for the restoration of Fota House and its world-famous arboretum, and for opening them to the public.
It was his idea and his drive which saw the Wildlife Park established in Fota – now one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations, and a very important centre for the breeding of endangered species.
And all the while my mother, Bredhe Raftery, was by his side, helping and encouraging his every success.
Dad wrote out his memoirs longhand, and I compiled them into this book to celebrate his life, and his achievements on the occasion of his 80th birthday, as a present from my sister Mary and I.
Tom Raftery (Jnr), and Mary Buyukdura, August 2013

Read: My Life – Prof. Tom Raftery

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Written by Tom Raftery (jnr), and Mary Buyukdura

Published by Tom Raftery Junior

Published here 24 Jul 2021 and originally published 2013

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