WHEN Jane Buckley was 17, she left these shores for London amid growing unrest during the Troubles. Now, the Donegal woman has penned a series of novels looking back on that early chapter of her life.
Speaking to the Donegal News, the Burt woman said she hopes the ‘Stones Corner’ series will educate through historically based fiction.
“I hope without bias, people will read and learn what it was like to live through those difficult days from both sides of the divide.”
For Jane reading was an escapism as she grew up. Whilst an avid reader she readily admits that “never in her wildest dreams” would she write a book, let alone a series of books.
I used to sit in the corner of my shared bedroom with my Holly Hobbie posters reading the same books repeatedly. These were the only books in the house that occupied our three shelved bookcase or ‘library’ as the Hegarty family called it.
“Reading helped me survive. It took me away from some of the unpleasantness of home life and life in general on a housing estate. I’ve always had a vivid imagination – making up stories to tell my two brothers Charles and Brian before bedtime,” she said.
Jane said living in Derry City in the 70s was not easy but she also faced challenges as an Irishwoman in London.
“In 1984 when I was 17 and working in London the Troubles were still on going. When I first arrived, I had no job and just enough money for digs. My sister was working in one of the big hotels and she treated me with a bus ticket for my 17th birthday. I ended up living in the UK for 33 years.
“One of my greatest frustrations was the lack of understanding from the people I met on why The Troubles began or continued for decades. Some were particularly biased in their views by what they heard or read in the media – and still can be.
“In many ways the Stones Corner series tells some of my own story but most importantly it portrays the horrors of The Troubles during this time.”
In her younger years Jane swam competitively and mixed with people from both the Catholic and Protestant communities. Otherwise there was very little opportunity to mix since she attended an all-Catholic school.
She hopes Stones Corner will help provide younger generations with a complete picture of how things really were during those times and so decided to write the series of books after returning from London.
“Four years ago we were going to move back to London or Ireland. We rented a cottage in Malin over a very snowy Christmas and January and decided we’ll stay in Ireland and out of the blue, I was going to write.”
After many rejections, primarily because of the sensitive subject matter, Jane decided to self-publish and hopes it is well received by people in Donegal.
“I’m a little nervous about it. One thing I have been sensitive about is ensuring I give it an even keel with perspective by trying to tell the story from both sides. A lot of it is fact based but topped and tailed to complement the story line.
“Sadly segregation still remains but I believe we have and are moving forward in the right direction.
“I’ve come back to my roots. I love Donegal and have made a point of mentioning a number of special places in the series including Malin, Lisfannon, Buncrana, Greencastle and many more.”
Stones Corner Turmoil is the first in its series and isavailable to buy online and via Kindle now via www.janebuckleywrites.com
Posted: 1:40 pm February 2, 2021