Dirty Linen: The Troubles in My Home Place
A personal, intimate history of the Troubles seen through the microcosm of a single rural parish, the author’s own, part of both the Linen Triangle – heartland of the North’s defining industry – and the Murder Triangle – the Badlands roamed by the Glenanne gang of security forces colluding with loyalist paramilitaries.
Martin Doyle, Books Editor of The Irish Times, 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. 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.
1. Brothers Murdered on a Birthday
2. ‘It was a really scary time’
3. Bigotry on the Bann
4. A Booby-Trapped Playhouse
5. A Bomb at the Border
6. Dreadful Symmetry
7. Protecting a Killer
8. ‘Dad missed out on so much’
9 .‘They kill us for their sport’
10. What Light Could Be Darker?
11. The Showband and the Silencer
12. Republican Roulette or Loyalist Lottery
13. ‘You blank it out, you know’
14. A Ghost Estate
15. An Empty Grave
16. A Soldier, a Musician, a Policeman, a Nurse
17. A Cold House for Catholics
18. All Traders are Targets
19. Women as Victims of Man’s Stupidity
20. ‘Why couldn’t it have been me?’
21. Delinquent Juvenilia
22. ‘You’d not get a softer target than Pat’
23. ‘Our children were cheated of those years’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 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.