Ballymoney writer David and his ‘Oilean na Marbh’ novel

The author at his book signing. INBM43-14 S
The author at his book signing. INBM43-14 S

Ballymoney writer, David Dunlop, has penned his first novel, a historical tale set in west Donegal.

The story centres around abeautiful island known locally as ‘Oilean na Marbh’, the island of the dead, a place where many babies were buried back in the era when the church consigned their bodies to unconsecrated ground and their souls to Limbo.

If that sounds like a morbid scenario, readers will be pleased to find that the novel is a love story and contains humour and colour to belie the darker event which affected people’s lives back then.

Launching the book in its Donegal setting, Dr Mary Rogers spoke warmly of its storyline and characters.

“People reading this novel will want to come to see the beauty of this area,” she said, “such is the sense of time and place which the author creates.

“And when they do come they will almost expect to meet some of his characters walking along a local strand or in the village shops, so clearly portrayed are they.”

The former Limavady High School teacher was asked about his previous writing.

“I have written a number of songs and school shows in the past,” he said, “but this is my first venture in the novel genre.

“I hope it is a moving and challenging piece.

“I have loved getting to know the historical stories of that area since I started to go there over thirty years ago. The novel is set in 1897 when a railway from Letterkenny to the west was being planned to try to bring prosperity to one of the poorest parts of the British Isles.

“Having said that, the story is very much a love triangle but one with a unique difference which I think readers will find fascinating.

“And yes, it is in English even if it takes its name from the Irish place-name of the island!” concluded David.

Copies of the novel may be obtained from local outlets such as Waterstones or from Amazon.

Ebook versions are also available on Kindle and from iTunes.

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