At the height of The Troubles, Dervla Murphy bicycled to Northern Ireland to try to understand the situation by speaking to people on either side of the divide.
Despite her own family connections to the IRA, she travelled north largely unfettered by sectarian loyalties. Armed instead with an indefatigable curiosity, a fine ear for anecdote, an ability to stand her own at the bar and a penetrating intelligence, she navigated her way through horrifying situations, and sometimes found herself among people stiff with hate and grief. But equally, she discovered an unquenchable thirst for life and peace, a spirit that refused to die.
‘Genial, tolerant and affectionate. It seems incredible that such a foul oyster should produce such a pearl.’ – The Times
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