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Unspoken

by Gerard Stembridge

Real life historical figures mingle with fictitious characters to illustrate the impact of the coming of television on Irish culture and society. Part intimate family saga, part social documentary, this is an unsentimental but affectionate chronicle of life in the Irish Republic during the Sixties, before the Celtic Tiger roared. Moving without being searing.

Extract

Baz couldn't help being impressed at how quickly the Drunk could switch from street gutty to slurred but genial party host.
'Well, welcome home. There you go. You're proof my friend ... proof that, thanks to our policies, the national landscape is changing. And now television will change things even more. You've probably seen this happen in England already.'
Knowing that the Drunk was an important politician only encouraged Baz to keep needling.
'That's true. Thanks to television everyone knows what a terrible government they have and can't wait to get rid of them.'
The Drunk's answering chuckle was neither warm or sincere. Baz saw rage flash once more across his eyes and prepared to shield himself from a flying fist or even a head-butt. Instead, the Drunk's hand merely stretched out to pick up his whiskey and polish it off before replying in a self-consciously jokey tone.
'Ha ha, very good, yeah. Very nicely put. Touche. But you see, the point about that is, the Tories are mired in the past. They don't know how to use television. Unlike Kennedy, for example. He knows what it's all about. The political party that has someone who can shine on camera like Kennedy is the party that will own the future, aren't I right?'
'And would you be like Kennedy, by any chance?'
'We'll have to wait and see, won't we?'

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