‘For those of us around from the beginning, this collection jolts like jump-leads to the complacent heart. For the many who were not, dive into these columns from an Ireland of not so long ago. It’s an eye-opener.’
FOR FOUR DECADES, Justine McCarthy’s fearless journalism and commentary has challenged stereotypes and held power to account as she, in her own words, ‘grew up alongside my country’.
The book opens with an extended piece of new writing in which Justine describes her formative years and entering the male-dominated Irish newspaper culture in the 1980s, a time when a woman getting too many bylines could, and did, lead to a National Union of Journalists bar.
From Mary Robinson making history as Ireland’s first female president to a present-day RTÃ in crisis, over thirty years of stories are collected here. In her long career, Justine broke child sexual abuse scandals and reported from the frontline of the Northern Ireland Troubles; she covered the major reforming referenda, documented political turmoil and charted the role of Ireland on the world stage. She followed the times the country let down its people, through its ailing health system, its legal system, the domination of the church, and its treatment of women.
An Eye on Ireland maps a transformative era in Irish life towards a more progressive and just society, and one woman’s extraordinary career at the forefront of change.