Dan Fogarty, an Irishman living in England, is looking after his sister Una, now seventy and suffering from dementia in a care home in Margate. From Dan’s anarchic account, we gradually piece together the story of the Fogarty family. How the parents are exiled from a small Irish village and end up living the hard immigrant life in England. How Dots, the mother, becomes a call girl in 1950s Soho. How a young Una finds herself living in a hippie squat haunted by vindictive ghosts in Kilburn in the early 1970s.
And, finally, how all that survives now of those sex-and-drug-soaked times are Una’s unspooling memories and Dan himself, whose role in the story becomes stranger and more sinister.
Poguemahone is a wild, shape-shifting epic from one of modern Ireland’s greatest writers. It is a wild free-verse monologue steeped in music and folklore, crammed with characters, both real and imagined, on a scale Patrick McCabe has never attempted before.