Stray Bullets podcast

Stray Bullets

E.S. Haggan

Having served over thirty years in the RUC / PSNI I was medically retired with CPTSD. Dissociative Identity Disorder also evolved in me as a residue of CPTSD. I wrote a novel, 'The Bitter End of Dreams', through which I hoped to reflect the experiences of working class folk caught in the grip of a sectarian conflict. I set my story in Belfast, but replaced the Judeo-Christian god with that of Mithras. I also gave Northern Ireland an extra county. Such counterfactual alterations opened up for me the opportunity to place my story deep within the NI Troubles without being shackled to specific timelines, events and real people - thus avoiding the risk of libelling anyone, while being able to write a story, familiar to many, and retaining a sense of place and the tragedy of the Troubles. ​​I'm going to talk openly about elements of policing the Troubles, religion, politics, sectarianism and our toxic ideologies. I've explored these topics in my novel, as well as the placing of actual events and atrocities; albeit heavily disguised or deeply submerged in subtext.​​To better frame my thoughts I will, firstly, discuss each chapter in sequence before reading that chapter. In this way I should be able to complete a spoken word version of my novel while using the opportunity it provides to elaborate on its creation process in the context of the NI Troubles.​​Thank you.

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