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37 MIN READ TIME

The Good Book

The story of a family, a nation, and the heavy influence of the Catholic Church on both, Darragh Martin’s Future Popes of Ireland has been impressively likened to Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections for its similar delving into fractured familial relationships. It’s ambitious in scope, beginning with Pope John Paul’s 1979 visit to a vastly different Ireland and spanning the proceeding 30 years of a country left struggling in his wake. Momentous events are wall-to-wall; the beginning of the gay rights movement, the litany of women forced to travel abroad for abortions, the Shell pipeline, even the recession. With such weighty themes, it’s a good thing there’s a broad streak of Irish humour running throughout.

So how did Darragh himself begin on the road to writing a novel about the journey Ireland took? “I grew up in North Dublin in Raheny,” he begins. “I was a big reader as a kid so started writing fantasy stories, then wanted to be a journalist. did work experience with a newspaper and thought maybe preferred making stuff up.”

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