The Three Good Fridays: Memories of an Irish Octogenarian

Eoin Meegan

In this book Octogenarian Bill Morrison reminisces over his long and colourful life, first growing up in Blackrock, then as a citizen of the world, and now as a resident of Ballsbridge (he claims the book came about in order to kill the boredom during Covid). Particularly striking are the memories of a happy childhood in Blackrock, in an Ireland that has long since vanished. Such as visiting Findlaters store with its intriguing pneumatic pulley system, where the money was whizzed up to the counting house upstairs, and the change brought back by the same seemingly mysterious process, much to the enjoyment and awe of the children at the time. Also the old Regent Cinema where admission set you back a staggering sixpence! as well as travelling on the old double-decker tram – long predating the sleek modern Luas. Memories too of swimming and diving, both at which Bill excelled, and long summer days spent at the Blackrock Baths. And let’s not forget such eccentricities as playing marbles and conkers (today’s kids would have to google that to see what it meant!) and road tennis, with a rope substituted for the net! One particular chapter tells the story of Bill’s marriage to the beautiful singer Mona Baptiste from Trinidad, now sadly deceased, penned by his friend Bill Hern.

The Three Good Fridays is as much a social history of the times as a description of a personal childhood. The story of the early working life and subsequent business career reflects the changes the country went through during those same exciting times with Ireland’s international growth in diplomacy, politics, commerce, and cultural influence both domestically and internationally. Throughout his very successful career with Bord Failte Bill travelled all over the world and rubbed shoulders with such luminaries as Tony Bennett, Al Martino, Stéphane Grapelli,  Bill Cosby, Maeve Binchy, Nuala O Faolain, Jim Sheridan, Niall Brophy, Paul O’Connell, Donal Walsh, Olympians Eddie Heron and Paddy Kavanagh, and the greatest of them all, Muhammad Ali. But fame and success rested easy on Bill, and the book is full of lovely stories and anecdotes (including the “who’s Mona” story). The title comes about from events that happened on three separate Good Fridays (all falling on April 10th), Bill’s birth in 1936, the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, 1989, and his 84th birthday in 2020 which he spent (or as he says ‘endured’) cocooning in splendid isolation. A very enjoyable read.

The Three Good Fridays: Memories of an Irish Octogenarian by William Morrison, published by author HOUSE, is available directly from, also on Amazon, Goodreads and other online platforms. Price $14.35