Darragh Martin

Posted by Sue Leonard on Wednesday 10th October 2018

As a child, Darragh wanted to be a journalist. Whilst at school, he had work experience in the then Cork Examiner’s Dublin office.

“I had a tiny news article published,” he says.

During college he had an exchange year in Georgetown, America, and spent a summer working in a theatre in New York. This gave him a hunger for travel, and after university he lived in Australia before moving to Wellington, New Zealand.

“I worked in a bookshop there, and tried writing a novel. Then, in 2007, I did a PhD at Columbia University in New York.”

He followed this with a Post Doc, which included some teaching.

“I used Colm Toibin’s office when he was away.”

Darragh published a children’s book in 2013. He intended to write a second one, and was working on it, along with a play, during a residency in the mountains.

“But the play wasn’t working, and the idea for my debut took hold. It took me the next six years to write.”

Meanwhile, Darragh moved to Berlin, then Paris, and finally, in 2015, to London. 

Who is Darragh Martin

Date of birth: 1980 in Dublin.

Education:  St Fintan’s in Sutton. Trinity College, Dublin, English and Drama. Columbia University, PhD in Theatre, followed by a post doc.

Home: London.

Family: “I’m one of five children. All my family are still in Ireland.”

The Day Job: “I teach creative writing in a school, along with giving workshops for charity.”

In Another Life: “I’d be a tree-surgeon. I love the idea of working in a forest.”

Favourite Writers: Virginia Woolf; Zadie Smith; David Mitchell; Anne Enright; Chimamanda Ngozi Aditchie.

Second Novel: “I’m working on one. It’s another family saga.”

Top Tip:  “Be generous to yourself. Be resilient, and write for at least an hour a day.”

Website: www.darraghmartin.com

The Debut: Future Popes of Ireland. Fourth Estate: €14.99   Kindle:€8.94.

When Pope John Paul visits Ireland, a grandmother, Bridget Doyle dreams of her family producing the first Pope of Ireland. She watches the triplets, born nine months later. John Paul dominates, but is he really Pontiff material? Meanwhile, Peg, their older sister, disappears to New York. Can the family reunite?

The Verdict: Beautifully written. An emotional yet funny family saga charting Irish Catholicism.    

Published in The Irish Examiner on 25th August, 2018

© Sue Leonard. 2018


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