The Half Mile Road (Seighin O' Ceallaigh)

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Inspired by a real border and a real political crisis.

Brian McKee is a widowed farmer, still farming his beef and dairy herds on his farm that straddles the border between Monaghan and Fermanagh. This is no ordinary border, and these are no ordinary times. One part of Brian’s farm is in the Republic of Ireland, and the other in Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom.

With the UK having left the European Union following the Brexit vote, this border now divides the UK from the EU, and one part of Ireland from the other, making it a target for the Irish Freedom Fighters; a resurgent paramilitary group, who have made it their aim to destroy the imposed hard border. Following on from a spate of IFF attacks on British border posts, the British Prime Minister Jacob Wilson has declared that this entire border will be closed, apart from two major checkpoints near Derry and Newry.

While Brian isn’t worried about the small stream that divides his farm, and Ireland, it isn’t long before he finds himself at the centre of an international political stand-off. His narrow little country road is blocked by the British Army, and he is confined to a stretch of it that is only half a mile long. He can’t access his cattle or leave, as he is blocked at either end of the road by concrete barriers and armed soldiers.

After contacting a local Senator to highlight his predicament, he features on the national news, and soon finds himself wanted as a political pawn by both the IFF and the governing Irish Independence Party. As his cattle go unmilked, and the international situation escalates, Brian must decide which route he wants to take, armed struggle or political conflict.
This novel straddles a fine line between fiction and non-fiction, and features real locations, as well as a very relevant and timely plot.

The Author
After years of writing about history and politics, Irish writer Séighin Ó Ceallaigh has released his debut novel The Half Mile Road, a 78,000+ word work of political fiction, inspired by actual Irish history and politics.
He is a graduate of the University of Limerick with a BA in History and Gaeilge, and runs a blog covering Irish, American, and European politics.