Irish Times Shortlisted: ‘This Means War’


The shortlist for the Irish Times short story competition ‘This Means War’ has been announced  and I’m over the moon to be one of the eight chosen writers!

To mark the centenary of the Great War, the Irish Times has run a series of eight stories this summer on the theme of war. Stark and beautiful stories by writers such as Donal Ryan and Mary Costello have appeared. The Times opened up the final story to submissions, judged by Donal Ryan, Aifric Campbell and Eilis Ni Dhuibhne. All the shortlisted stories are published in this week’s  Irish Times.

My story, ‘Deathwatch Beetle’, explores one Irishman’s experience of World War One: a war that came to be overshadowed in Ireland by the War of Independence.

I’m especially delighted to have this story published as one of the characters from my novel in progess, appears here as a child. Backstory fledged.

Brendon Deacy will illustrate the winning story, to be published tomorrow.  I would have loved Deacy to have interpreted my deathwatch-beetle character – his artwork for the series has been stunning. I look forward to enjoying the winner’s entry, and Deacy’s art, tomorrow.


Brendon Deacy’s artwork for John Connolly’s story ‘Mud’