Ciarán Carson, The Irish for No, Newcastle: Bloodaxe Books, 1988.
SIGNED EDITION; PRESENTATION COPY TO GRACE INGOLDBY. pp. 63 + 1 p. ads. P. 11-13 soiled; some pencil marking throughout, like Grace Ingoldby’s own hand.
This book stands witness to the meeting of an Irish poet and an English novelist who loved Ireland in the time of the Troubles.
Ciarán Carson, a Catholic and gaeilgeoir (Irish speaker) born in Belfast, wrote evocatively of his hometown during this 30-year stretch of the tensions in Northern Ireland. His words were marked with critical recognition for his ability to capture the urban landscape of Belfast and the impact of the Troubles on the population.
English-born Grace Ingoldby moved to Belfast and studied at Queen’s University in the 1970s, during the heigh of the Troubles. She wrote about the conflicts, but she also wrote about the holy islands and pilgrimages. Later, she moved to Island Magee.
In 1991, Ciarán Carson and Grace Ingoldby met and he signed this copy of “The Irish for No” for her. There is no word in Gaeilge for no, but more than Celtic linguistics, poet Carson references the opposition to the Anglo Irish Agreement of 1985 which was encapsulated by the slogan “Ulster Says No.”