Fiction

Finnie & Her Girls

Of all places to find hidden talent

Judy McLain
The Howling Owl
Published in
6 min readJul 5, 2023

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vintage photo from the author’s collection

Frances Finnegan was born Frances Cooney in 1889. She was the oldest of twelve children. It was told that her mother had given birth to seventeen but during the Cooney’s leanest years in Ireland, five of her children died.

Frances spent her childhood tending to her mother’s babies. When she turned 12 her…

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Judy McLain
The Howling Owl

Shit Creek survivor. Storyteller. Feminist liberal. Southern without the accent. Chihuahuaist.