'She's there in that gathering of ghosts I carry with me' - author Doireann Ní Ghríofa on the 18th century poet who has haunted her since her teens

The author of 'A Ghost in the Throat' tells Joanne Hayden about the 18th century poet who has haunted her since she was a teenager and why a multistory car park was the perfect workspace to tell their stories

Opening the door to Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill: author and poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa. Photo by Bríd O’Donovan

Joanne Hayden

When Doireann Ní Ghríofa tells me she wrote most of her prose debut in a car park, my surprise is fleeting. A collection of personal essays doubling as an extraordinary literary detective story, A Ghost in the Throat is so impeccably crafted, so beautifully generous that at first it seems incongruous to imagine it emerging in a multistorey over a supermarket. But actually Ní Ghríofa's workspace fits perfectly with the book, which is partly a meditation on motherhood and domestic labour.