#68 | Decades of the Rosary: Ní Ghráda’s “An Triail”

The golden age of Irish censorship ended in 1967 when Brian Lenihan Sr introduced a time limit on certain banning orders, leading to thousands of forbidden texts becoming available. Since 1929, a wealth of modern literature and medical writing had been denied to the public by a censorship board which was not required to explain its decisions – Edna O’Brien, Brendan Behan, Aldous Huxley and many others ran afoul of its high hand.

However, during this period a wealth of Irish language literature and drama was being produced which slid under the censors’ radar, material which still packs a punch today to audiences who feel misled by the notoriety of Lady Chatterley and Holden Caulfield.

One such work is the play “An Triail” by Máiréad Ní Ghráda, first produced in 1964 and dealing with topics like religious hypocrisy, abortion, suicide and Magdalene Laundries – all in an Ireland where Disney’s Fantasia was banned. In this week’s episode, Darach, Peadar and Gearóidín discuss the impact of Ní Ghráda’s great work and its relevance today. Darach remembers a less resonant text he studied for his reading, unlocking a wave of ’90s memories and Gearóidín reflects on the similarities between the schoolmaster Pádraig and the f*ckboys of 2018.

This episode deals with mature themes and contains some explicit language


Darach’s new book, “Craic Baby: Dispatches From A Rising Language” is published by Head of Zeus and available in good bookshops now.