‘Every Monday I would buy a bag of potatoes, a multipack of sausages, five cans of beans, two packs of luncheon meat and a sliced pan that I would eat until it was stale. I would also buy a crate of something called Challenge lager. This was all I needed in the world.’
In the summer issue of the Dublin Review, Patrick Freyne brings us on a vivid and witty tour of all the places he has lived. From a family home in ‘the second-poshest estate in Newbridge’ to a flatshare room so tiny it was ‘like something from a folk story’, he gives us a sort of shadow autobiography that also sheds light on Ireland’s enduringly odd, and increasingly disastrous, relationship with housing.
Also in the winter issue, Eoin Butler writes about his work as a Covid testing and vaccination volunteer, and as a dole-office worker, during the phase of the pandemic that began in autumn 2020. Picking up the thread from his sparkling ‘Working for the Dole’ (in DR 89), he brilliantly mixes the public and the personal in a remarkable record of a singular time.
Dean Fee’s ‘The Cow Shed’ tells the quietly heartrending story of a boy who goes with his seriously ill mother to stay with relatives. In Sarah Gilmartin’s ‘Christine’, a husband and father on a work trip has a moment of truth, then must come home to face his wife and daughter. And the summer Dublin Review also includes superb stories by Stephen Beechinor, Joanne Hayden, and Toye Oladinni.