West Belfast begins quietly in a city in the 1960s, much like any other European city, with children playing in the streets and young people such as John O’Neill and Angela McCann exploring life and love. But it is a city which is just about to explode into violence when the Civil Rights Movement, demanding equality for Catholics, is suppressed by the government. In response, the IRA begins an armed struggle, and we see the tragedy of people at war, the devastating effect it has on families and the lives of their children.
Unlike any other modern novel about the Irish ‘Troubles’, West Belfast offers a unique perspective. Danny Morrison is a former IRA prisoner, who was also Director of Publicity for Sinn Féin for eleven years, and is intimately, indeed emotionally, familiar with his material and characters.