The Butchers

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Butchers, my fifth novel, combines Irish folkloric traditions with real-life political events. Set in the Irish borderlands against the backdrop of the 1996 BSE crisis, the novel centres around a group of travelling men who continue to perform an ancient ritual cattle slaughter. The novel thus explores themes of tradition versus modernity, particularly in the context of Ireland trying to forge a more progressive national identity, which results in the group becoming relegated into the hostile category archetypal ‘other’.

Questions of otherness and minority identities are particularly key given the novel is told from the point of view of female and LGBTQ perspectives. In this way The Butchers serves as a deliberate challenge to the existing rural Irish literary canon, giving voice to those who have for so long been silenced.

With UK publication scheduled for January 2020 and US publication for June 2020 – as well as a major audio book deal – the publishers are excited for this hugely significant – and hugely timely – border-based, feminist BSE novel to come out.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAtlantic Books
Number of pages300
ISBN (Electronic)9781786499455
ISBN (Print)9781786499448, 9781786499462
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2020


  • Novel
  • Irish
  • Literature
  • Otherness
  • minority communities
  • Feminism
  • Butchers
  • Rural community


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