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.