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Dirty Linen - a personal history of Northern Ireland PDF Print E-mail

 On May 15th 2021, we were treated to a beautiful piece of writing by Martin Doyle in the Irish Times.

So many, many people have commented on his article, delighted to see such a positive and factual story of his younger years. 

Martin is the son of John and Marie Doyle from Laurencetown and Books Editor with the Irish Times. 
I spoke with him this morning and he kindly gave permission for the article to be added to our website.

Congratulations Martin, your grandparents, Arthur Pat and Lizzie,  would be so proud of you.

Martin Doyle Irish Times

Putrid currents floated trout to the loch, 
Their bellies white as linen tablecloths

- Seamus Heaney, Lint Water (1965)

"When I was a child, I thought I could end up in prison. It is said you can only be what you can see and on the nightly news I saw a steady stream of working-class Catholics being sent to jail. Growing up in the North during the Troubles, this was just another prospect to be internalised, like being murdered or unemployed.

When our parents went shopping, we children would stay in the car. Every high street was a Control Zone where, to deter car bombs, vehicles could not be left unattended. The longer we were left, though, the more I began to wonder whether my parents might be bombers and we sacrificial lambs. It was a strange time. I have trust issues.

My story, like so many Irish stories, is a migrant tale. My mother is from Down and my father from Wexford. They met in the Gresham in 1962 – not the smart hotel on Dublin’s O’Connell Street but the ballroom on London’s Holloway Road, a meeting place and a melting pot for so many working-class Irish of their generation". ............... click on the link below to read the full article.



Some images from the article

A P Byrne Poster


Laurencetown Celtic A P Byrne

Arthur Pat Byrne playing for Laurencetown Celtic

Laurencetown Swifts


Martin Doyle art

Martin's first attempt at journalism

Martin Doyle Banbridge Academy

Martin at Banbridge Academy

Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle




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