“Heads that bobbed like floating gulls and gulls that floating bobbed like heads. Two heads. At swim, two boys.”
Jim Mack and Doyler Doyle are the two boys, who in 1915 make a pact that in a years time, they’ll swim out across Dublin bay to Muglins Rock and raise the flag, claiming the rock for Ireland and themselves.
“Above on my perch I sit and watch. Alone one man.”
Anthony MacMurrough is the man, recently arrived in Ireland at the invitation of his Aunt Eva after serving two years hard labour in an English prison for gross indecency. Part of an old Irish family he gets caught up in his aunts battle for Irish Independence and becomes a part of the boys’ lives.
This is a real epic. The poor, the dispossessed, the middle-class, the Anglo-Irish aristocracy are all seen against a country in political upheaval. The dream of liberation for Ireland from the English is mirrored in the boys’ search for personal freedom as their love for each other grows. It’s a story about swimming, Irish history and romance and I found myself completely immersed in the lives of the small cast of characters and the life of Dublin, as they head towards the Easter Rising of 1916. Continue reading “At Swim Two Boys”