Ain’t no poor relation…#The32 #workingclassliterature

I’m interviewed by Aisling Meath in The Echo about ‘Revelations’, my contribution to The 32, the smash hit anthology of Irish Working Class Voices. Revelations is about my experience of the Clonakilty Busking Festival of 1988, when a convoy of New Age Travellers turned up to liberate us from the priests! Pretty wide-ranging interview, including my thoughts on whether the rural working class experience is ‘the poor relation’ in Irish working class literature, as suggested by Irish Times book editor Martin Doyle, who also has an essay in The 32:

Irish Times Books Editor Martin Doyle suggests that ‘in the literature of the working class, the rural experience is the poor relation’ but Dave tells The Echo he takes a different view.

“I wouldn’t agree with Martin that the rural experience is the poor relation,” he said.

“I couldn’t see Liam O’Flaherty, Máirtín Ó Cadhain or indeed Peig Sayers as anyone’s poor relation.

“In my view the major literary tradition in Ireland isn’t the novel or the book poem, or what the universities refer to as ‘Anglo-Irish literature ‘ but is instead our bi-lingual song tradition, deriving from the Gaelic bardic tradition, in which can be found the myriad stories of our working people for the last millennia and longer.

“It’s great to be included in the new anthology of working class writers, and the diversity and achievement of what’s included is heartwarming and inspiring, but mere books will always be ‘the poor relation’ of our song tradition.”

But The 32 here


Paul McVeigh, Editor of The 32