With over thirty years’ experience as a fishmonger in Cork’s world-renowned English Market, Pat O’Connell is well known both at home and abroad. In The Fishmonger he paints a vivid picture of the trials and triumphs of life as an English Market trader in a highly competitive and ever-changing environment.
He describes the devastation faced by the market traders in the wake of raging infernos; their struggle for survival in times of recession; their battle against strong competition and their eventual path to success.
In great detail, he recalls the historic visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the English Market, which has left a lasting impact not only on the market itself but also on his own life.
A heart-warming story, with tears and laughter along the way, The Fishmonger gives a memorable insight into the lives and personalities of the market traders, their families and those connected with the legendary English Market.
A word from the author…
‘One of the first fish to catch the queen’s eye was a large monkfish and the queen was quick to ask what it was. Now, in Cork we sometimes call this the mother-in-law fish. But this was about a week after the royal wedding of William and Kate.
‘So because of the person I was speaking to and because the world was looking on and because I was in some ways representing the English Market, the city and the fish industry, I had to be diplomatic, didn’t I? You must be joking! ‘That Your Majesty, is what we in Cork call a mother-in-law fish.
‘As I said earlier, my perception of the queen was that she didn’t have a great sense of humour. Boy, did I get that wrong. She thought it was hilarious. Now, Cork cheekiness was on a roll.’