The Toome Road

If part of the intention of Field Work is rooted in Heaney’s subliminal desire to validate the decision to move lock, stock and barrel from Belfast to the Irish Republic in 1972 and thereby to draw a line under his relationship with the ‘dirty old glove’ that Northern Ireland had become, then The Toome Road provides an illustration of the frustrations suffered by an essentially fair-minded young man who spent his teenage years on The Wood Farm in Castledawson Heaney responded to DOD’s questions on the matter (p.212): whilst he might have understood the need to deal with IRA outrages, the British Army were no better – ultimately at a personal level he felt it ‘ an affront to the […]