Do you remember this old song?
Come single belle and beau, onto me pay attention -
Don't ever fall in love, it's the devil's own invention.
For once I fell in love with a maiden so bewitching
Miss Henrietta Bell out of Captain Kelly's kitchen -
With me toora loora la, toora loora…
I had decided not to go on the Bloody Sunday march in Derry, my home town, because I was too frightened. I felt I had good cause. Word was that British parachute regiment was to be on duty here that day and I knew they had gone on a prolonged killing spree in Ballymurphy, Belfast, the previous August during…Continue
Very recently I heard a young Israeli called Yehuda Shaul being interviewed on Radio Ulster. Yehuda is the co-founder of Breaking the Silence, an organization that aims to expose the harsh realities of the Occupation to fellow Israelis. His words made such a deep impression on me that I made up my mind to put my…Continue
Added by Colm Herron on September 27, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments
Added by Colm Herron on July 14, 2017 at 7:30pm — No Comments
One May afternoon a few years ago my wife asked me to come for a walk in the woodland just outside Carndonagh, the Donegal town where she was born. She wanted to show me where she and her friends had played when they were children. By the time we reached the wood, the dull day had brightened and everything around us…Continue
Added by Colm Herron on June 3, 2017 at 11:00pm — No Comments
In April 2004 I was launching my first novel at the Irish cultural centre in Hammersmith, London, when a lady came over to me and shook my hand.
“I think I may be your cousin,” she said. “My name is Ethna Herron. You look a bit like my people and I thought I just had to say.” She…Continue
Shortly after the death of Martin McGuinness, I listened to a radio discussion about the Provisional IRA and its origins. Among the contributors was Ruth Dudley Edwards, the self-professed revisionist historian. At one stage in the programme, I heard her say, “I can understand why people went out on civil rights marches…Continue
In 1961 a great Irish writer called Francis Stuart wrote a novel the like of which had not been seen before. It was entitled Black List Section H, and it didn’t find a publisher for eight years because Stuart had been banished from the literary world. In 1939, shortly before the outbreak of war, he had accepted an invitation to do…Continue
The first time I fell in love was in the children’s section of Brooke Park library. I was 11 and she was 10, and her name was Josephine and she had so many freckles on her face that she was a haze of delight.
It didn’t take long for me to work out that she changed…Continue
By way of introduction I should tell you that I have great affection for the United States of America. Just over a century ago most of my uncles and aunts migrated from a dirt-poor part of Donegal to settle in Chicago. If my mother hadn’t married a home-bird and moved to Derry with him I would now be living somewhere in…Continue
There’s a saying we have in Ireland that you’d nearly think was coined for Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn. Namely, if you’ve the name of getting up early in the morning you can lie till lunchtime. And it seems to me that Tóibín lay too long when he wrote Brooklyn.…Continue
I’ve heard of life imitating art, but the only time I ever saw death imitating it was at Samuel John MacPherson’s wake down in Glut, a tiny village not far from Slievefada…Continue
Most of the stuff in my novels comes from my imagination but I owe a fair amount of what I write to a pub called The Rocking Chair where there’s such a variety of characters that you’d need to be brain deaf not to pick up some nuggets. …
Both of my parents were from County Donegal here in Ireland, and there can’t be many areas more deprived and remote…
On a July day nearly 130 years ago, an unknown and homesick young Irish writer trudged along a busy London street. He stopped suddenly and stood still, for he thought he could hear the tinkling of water in the midst of the bustling thoroughfare. He followed the sound and found he was looking in a shop window. There…Continue