Fallen – Book Review

fallenDublin, August 1914: Katie Crilly comes home to find a strange man on the landing of her home. Her twin brother Liam, in ill-fitting khaki and a “daft looking cap” stands there, declaring without words that he has joined the British army to fight in a war no one fully understands. Katie’s initial shock of strangeness inserts a wedge into the once tiny gap between the siblings, and it is clear things will never be the same again. Just eight months later, the Crilly’s receive news that Liam has been killed on the Western Front.

April 1916:
Katie is still trying to find her way in a restrictive society, but now she is also dealing with the fallout from her family’s bereavement and increasingly conflicted emotions and loyalties while accidentally at the epicentre of the Easter Rising.

It’s easy to see why Lia Mills’ Fallen was chosen as the One City One Book selection for the centenary of the Rising. It is a handy potted history of the events of the Rising not from the point of view of any lead protagonist, but from that of an ‘ordinary person’ if there is such a thing. This gives us a fresh eye on what have become dead facts through retelling. The terror and confusion of the teenage soldiers from the Sherwood Foresters charging Mount Street Bridge into rebel fire; the grotesque sight of looters drinking whiskey on a dead horse in O’Connell Street; the refugees of destroyed tenements fleeing with even less than the pitiful little they had before are all captured. The hidden impacts of the fighting on the poor of the city is frequently brought home in skilful asides – “My shoes bit down on broken glass. Pity the barefoot children now”. Her characters only relate what they can see and hear, and so we get everyday impressions rather than a military historical overview. Continue reading “Fallen – Book Review”


Prestigious internship for Lucan’s Sharon

Sharon Hickey from Lucan has been selected onto the Washington Ireland Program (WIP), and flies stateside this month to begin a two-month internship in the Law Library of Congress in Washington DC, and an intensive training course in leadership and service.

The WIP is now in its 16th year, and is designed to give students a rich insight into America’s professional and social culture. With a joint focus on leadership skills and service to the community, this year’s successful applicants will be placed not only in the political arena, but also with cultural institutions, research centres, large companies and entrepreneurial businesses.

A previous winner of an All-Ireland Scholarship, Sharon recently completed her second year of Law with Arts at NUIM. Elected to Dail na nOg and Comhairle, she actively pursues her passion for improving youth facilities in Ireland, and was instrumental in the establishment and success of Megabites, Lucan’s first youth cafe, of which she is President.

Sharon is very excited at the prospect that lies ahead this summer, explaining that “It is a once in a life time opportunity to be interning in Capitol Hill. I will be staying with a host family allowing me real insight into American life and will be working on big charity and political projects in America’s capital city which law students from Dublin can usually only dream about”.

Sharon elaborated on the experience she will gain to The Informer, explaining how she will not only work on government research, but also on her own projects, including research into the gender divide in Ireland’s representative politics, and how this is shaped by the evolution of Irish law. She explained that the WIP is structured in such a way that alumni of the programme support and encourage newer alumni, so that the benefit to the class and their home communities is continuously amplified. “The experience I will get from meeting and talking to some of the world’s most accomplished leaders will undoubtedly help me to transfer this back to my home community in Lucan.”

Sharon is one of thirty students selected from over 270 applicants throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the UK. Megan Farrell, WIP Executive Director, said “this year’s class exemplifies the quality of university students in Northern Ireland and Ireland.” A variety of disciplines including law, media, finance and journalism are represented this year, and so the WIP is a great opportunity for a wide range of young leaders of tomorrow. To follow Sharon’s progress, and to find further details of the WIP and how to apply, please visit www.wiprogram.org.

Cover story of Lucan Informer June 2010