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Where are You Really From?

Born into a white, devoutly Catholic Belfast family, Peggy Brannigan was shattered when she became pregnant as a result of an extra-marital affair with a black medical student. Unwilling to have an abortion or to have the baby adopted, but aware that having a black baby would cause a scandal, Peggy came up with an audacious plan to keep her child. When baby Tim was born hospital staff smuggled him into St Joseph's Baby Home and told the rest of the Brannigan family that the baby had been stillborn. One year later, Peggy adopted Tim and brought him to live with her husband and their three sons in the Falls Road Area of Belfast. It was 1966. Told here for the first time, "Where Are You Really From?' is Tim's extraordinary story of growing up black in Belfast and as part of a republican family living at the centre of a vicious and prolonged bloody conflict. It's a story of racial prejudice, sectarian tensions and family secrets, and describes in vivid detail Tim's childhood during the turbulent 1970s and 80s, his seven-year stint as a republican prisoner in Crumlin Road Jail and the H-blocks, his coming to terms with his mother's revelation of the true circumstances surrounding his birth, and his desperate attempts to trace the father who abandoned him. "Where Are You Really From?" is a fascinating and powerful memoir about one man's struggle to establish his own identity and a moving tribute to the woman who risked everything to keep her son.
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About the Author

TIM BRANNIGAN was born in Belfast in 1966, and spent the first year of his life in St Joseph's Baby Home, before being adopted by his birth mother. He studied politics at Liverpool Polytechnic and returned to Belfast in 1990 where he began training for a career in the media. He went on to become an award-winning journalist, working as a a reporter for GMTV's Northern Ireland bureau in 1994 and then as a features writer for the Irish News until 2000. He still lives in Belfast where he works as a freelance journalist and commentator.


'An amazing story - astonishing and disturbing.' ALEXEI SAYLE

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