Great Irish Non-Fiction


Number 4: One Day In My Life by Bobby Sands

Selected by: Bernie.

First published: 1983 (having being written on ‘toilet paper with a biro refill’ in Long Kesh three years earlier).

Available: Still in stock, also at most library branches nationwide with second-hand copies available on Amazon and eBay

Why: “Owing to it being written by an undaunted man of such tender years, who sacrificed his life for five very basic human demands.”

Reading experience: “It’s the most harrowing and raw book that I have read to date, detailing the sadistic, punishing torture and beatings of a man by prison guards. No matter how vicious and cowardly they were to him, and the other nine men also on hunger strike, they could not break them’.”

Ongoing resonance: “I read this book aged 13  his words (and the unchecked acts of the prison officers) remain ingrained on my brain and heart. He and the other nine hunger strikers paid the ultimate price in a war they should never have had to fight. Bobby Sands’ poem, ‘The Rhythm Of Time’ is a poem that everyone should read, also, the strength of his unflinching spirit is something I still draw on, in testing times.”

‘Great-Irish Non-Fiction’ is a reading list of 100 books chosen by YOU and highlighted over the coming weeks. If you would like to include a favourite please leave your suggestion below.

Previously: Great Irish Fiction: Number 3

Great Irish Non-Fiction: Number 1

Great Irish Fiction: Number 2

Great Irish-Non Fiction List


17 thoughts on “Great Irish Non-Fiction

    1. Bertie Blenkinsop

      Richard O’Rawe’s book Blanket Men puts forward a similar theory, it’s a good read Ollie.

      1. Ollie Cromwell

        I shall endeavour to procure a copy – it’s a fascinating time in Northern Ireland’s history and I try to read all sides of the story.
        Like a very many British people I actually have a great deal of sympathy for the republican aims but not the way a small coterie of nutjobs and drug-dealers tried to achieve it.
        It’s not a perfect solution in the North but at least they’re not killing each other any more.

        1. Tony

          But Ollie you’re not British. You’re Irish. Sure that’s what’s brilliant about the trolling. Don’t be breaking character.

  1. Bernie

    Thanks BS for giving this book the recognition it deserves and thanks for the link, Johnny, hadn’t heard of that group before.

    @ Huey, may the scour of a skittery Cryptosporidium-ridden calf be upon you.

    1. Johnny

      Great choice Bernie.
      “It lights the dark of this prison cell,
      It thunders forth its might,
      It is ‘the undauntable thought’, my friend,
      That thought that says ‘I’m right!’”

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