1972: A Novel of Ireland’s Unfinished Revolution (Irish Century)

The Irish Century series is the narrative of the epic struggle of the Irish people for independence through the tumultuous twentieth century. Morgan Llywelyn’s magisterial multi-novel chronicle of that story started with 1916, continued in 1921 and 1949 and now continues with 1972. In 1972, Morgan Llywelyn tells the story of Ireland from 1950-1972 as […]

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The Irish Century series is the narrative of the epic struggle of the Irish people for independence through the tumultuous twentieth century. Morgan Llywelyn’s magisterial multi-novel chronicle of that story started with 1916, continued in 1921 and 1949 and now continues with 1972.

In 1972, Morgan Llywelyn tells the story of Ireland from 1950-1972 as seen through the eyes of young Barry Halloran, son and grandson of Irish revolutionaries. Northern Ireland has turn into a running sore, poisoning life on both sides of the Irish border. Following circle of relatives tradition, at eighteen Barry joins the Irish Republican Army to lend a hand complete what he sees as ‘the unfinished revolution’.

But things are no longer as clear cut as they once were. His first experience of violence in Northern Ireland shocks and disturbs him. Yet he has found a sense of circle of relatives in the Army which is hard to surrender. He makes a partial break by becoming a photographer, visually documenting events in the north somewhat than physically taking part in them. An unhappy early love affair is followed by a tempestuous relationship with Barbara Kavanagh, a professional singer from The united states. Events lead Barry into a totally different life from the only he expected, yet his allegiance to the ideal of a thirty-two county Irish republic remains undimmed as the problems, and the violence, of Northern Ireland escalate. Then Barry finds himself in the course of probably the most horrific event of all: Bloody Sunday in Derry, 1972.

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