An evening (an hour during school) with Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle is a strange man. But like, good strange. One day, at school, we were sitting at lunch and Roddy Doyle walks in the door with Kian Mooney’s mam. This isn’t something that happens regularly, you might guess. Around three people recognised the author, my sister, Kian and I. More people recognised his work, however. Whether it be from film, tv or his books, everybody knew who he was in one form or another.

But for those of you reading this, somewhere in the tens, who don’t happen to know who he is, he is a moderately prolific writer who is probably best known for his three books known as “The Barrytown Trilogy,” which is composed of “The Commitments”, “The Snapper” and “The Van”, all of which are centred on the Rabbitte Family. These books were eventually made into films, which were pretty much all recieved well.

So, upon his arrival, we gathered around in a small room, where Roddy stood at the top of. Around 5 students sat at the front wearing blazers. Roddy didn’t tell us anything at all. He told us to ask him questions, to just keep “firing away”, until either he had to go home, or we ran out. We asked him questions, and he answered them. The questions were mostly about his work, but sometimes delving into more personal territory. It was mostly no holds barred though, although on more than one occasion he forgot entirely about the question which had to be asked and started talking about bulls or something. Literally. I asked him how hands on he was with the production of the films, as an adaptation of the novels, and halfway through his answer he started derailing off track into a story about bulls. I was trying so hard to keep eye contact with him that I missed a lot of (probably) important points, but it came full circle in the end with (some form of) closure.

At the end, Maistir Carr was talking about how important it is to know how to write in a manner that could make you money some day, and the importance of a good education, which (provided you make the effort) could be the difference between a high paying job or a job cleaning toilets in a basketball gym. And you’d be especially lucky to get that, because I’d say there are two or three indoor basketball gyms in the country. I’m not saying that cleaning basketball gym toilets is ideal, moreso that…

I’m getting a slight bit off topic. Overall, it was a very engaging experience, and whether you cared or not about who he was, he did have some great stories, which I suppose is to be expected from an author.


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