Ireland’s Own article

Congratulations to Anne Shanahan, who’s story Louis Heels was published recently in Ireland’s Own.  The story, originally written for the book, ‘How we Survived and Surprised’ was featured in the magazine, known as Ireland’s favourite magazine since 1902.

Anne’s story tells of a young girl, who desparately wants to wear a pair of fashionable shoes, however the impact of polio means customised shoes – a story familiar to many survivors. Below is an excerpt:

“But I’ll never be able to get a boyfriend,” Ellen sobbed. “What boy would want to go out with a girl in these brown brogues– one shoe smaller than the other, hobbling along beside them? No one would dance with me anyway…So I’m never going out to the hop again.”

“But there are plenty of lads who would be delighted to have a lovely girl like you.”

“You don’t understand Mam,” she said, still in the comfort of her mother’s embrace. “If a girl doesn’t have a pair of Louis heels she has no business going to the hop. And I’ll never be able to wear anything except flat, laced, odd sized, ugly brogues – and that’s that!”


You can read more by purchasing a copy of ‘How We Survived and Surprised’ – call the office, 01 889 89 20 or email Cost is €10 plus postage.

Watch out for this week’s edition of Ireland’s Own which features an ad for the Polio Register.  You can find out more about Ireland’s Own at