About Dirty Linen: The Troubles in My Home Place
Martin Doyle offers a personal, intimate history of the Troubles seen through the microcosm of a single rural parish, his own, part of both the Linen Triangle – heartland of the North’s defining industry – and the Murder Triangle – the Badlands devastated by paramilitary violence. In Dirty Linen: The Troubles in My Home Place, he lifts the veil of silence drawn over the horrors of the past, recording in heartrending detail the terrible toll the conflict took – more than twenty violent deaths in a few square miles – and the long tail of trauma it has left behind.
Neighbours and classmates who lost loved ones in the conflict, survivors maimed in bomb attacks and victims of sectarianism, both Catholic and Protestant, entrust Doyle with their stories. Writing with a literary sensibility, he skillfully shows how the once dominant local linen industry serves as a metaphor for communal division but also for the solidarity that transcended the sectarian divide. To those who might ask why you would want to reopen old wounds, the answer might be that some wounds have never been allowed to heal. In this launch event, Martin Doyle will be in conversation with Fintan O'Toole.
Martin Doyle is the Books Editor of The Irish Times. A former Editor of the Irish Post, he has worked in journalism for over three decades and is a regular contributor to the media and arts programming.
Fintan O'Toole is a columnist and writer for The Irish Times. His books include We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 (2022), Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain (2018), and Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger (2009). He is professor of Irish letters at Princeton University.