We are delighted to kick off 2024 with a collaboration with our friends at the Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith, home to many of our events over recent years. Martin Doyle will be joining us not in his more familiar capacity as the Literary Editor of the Irish Times but as an author in his own right. His Dirty Linen – The Troubles in My Home Place is a personal and profound exploration of the impact of the Troubles seen through the microcosm of a single rural parish in County Down, Tullylish – part of both the Linen Triangle, heartland of the North’s defining industry, and the Murder Triangle, an area devastated by paramilitary violence. Martin Doyle, who grew up there, lifts the veil of silence drawn over the horrors of the past, recording in heartrending detail the toll the conflict took and the long tail of trauma it has left behind.
Doyle skilfully weaves together the two strands of history, with the decline of the local linen industry serving as a metaphor for the descent into communal violence, but also for the solidarity that transcended the sectarian divide. Neighbours and classmates who lost loved ones in the conflict, survivors maimed in bomb attacks and victims of sectarianism, both Catholic and Protestant, entrust him with their poignant stories. This unforgettable chorus of victims’ voices tells a terrible truth, but the survivors’ stories of endurance and love will also inspire and restore one’s faith in humanity.
All paid up ILS members can claim a code to redeem a free ticket, just contact the Secretary for the code: email@example.com.
Superb, really important and moving work that brings the reality of the Troubles to life and restores the human tragedy to its proper place in public memory… a vital, potent and moving piece of work. — Fintan O’Toole.