independent

Friday 19 January 2018

Former Swords school teacher unveils debut novel 'College Girls'

Patti O'Mahony and Catriona Coyle
Patti O'Mahony and Catriona Coyle

A former Swords secondary school teacher has joined the publishing world

Caitriona Coyle has just unveiled her debut novel 'College Girls' which features the lives of three women living in Dubin during the 1970s set against the backdrop of The Troubles and the psychedelic movement.

A teacher at St Finian's Community College , Caitriona took early retirement in 2012 to concentrate on her own writing. She completed a creative writing course in Dublin city centre.

Caitriona was born and reared in County Donegal, Ireland but has lived in Dublin for most of her adult life.

These days, she divides her time between her native Donegal and Dublin. Caitriona is married and has two grown-up daughters.

And last week her former colleagues and friends all descended on the Carnegie Court Hotel for the local launch of her novel, which which chronicles the lives of three women who share a flat in Dublin during the 1970s.

'I chose the Carnegie Court Hotel because it was so familiar to me, and I knew the room that I had the launch in would be ideal,' the author said. 'Over the years the school I taught in had used the hotel for all kinds of functions and we were always happy.'

In the book, Cathy Logue is delighted to be out of boarding school, away from nuns, and heading to college in Dublin. She is delighted to be escaping her unhappy home life too. Cathy soon moves into a flat with two other boarding school survivors, and although the flat is a dive, the girls are determined to make the best of it.

The troubles in Northern Ireland are at their height but Dublin seems oblivious as it moves slowly out of the hippy era, seducing Cathy with its bohemian village atmosphere.

The girls are fascinated by Rosie, who lives in the flat above them and who takes Cathy on a hilarious but shocking journey that ends in hurt and disappointment.

Humorous, yet poignant, College Girls is a coming of age story, telling a tale of longing, betrayal but ultimately, survival.

Fingal Independent

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