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"I had a mental image

of a giant atomic shockwave blasting across the ocean, picking up trawlers and ferries, flinging saltwater and mackerel into the heart of the Irish midlands. I pictured floating coffins, pulled from the soil like loose fencing pickets. I watched partially fried dogs yelping on half-submerged rooftops while men and women, as ragged as their migrant forebears, crawled with exhaustion on islands of bobbing debris. I saw a perfect globe of brilliant light, flashing like hot magnesium, eating up all the colours in the world, swallowing everything, even shadow.

Only a moral dwarf would consider accepting a job working on the designs for Sellafield.


And I was that dwarf."




Barry McKinley's memoir, A Ton of Malice, will be published by Old Street on 30 May 2017

Barry McKinley | Writer