Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly and the denizens of Ballybucklebo first appeared in 1995 in my monthly column in Stitches: The Journal of Medical Humour. It was suggested to me that these characters might form the foundation for a novel.

“You live in the Kinnegar?” he asked.

“That’s right. Number 9, the Esplanade. On the seafront. I love the sea.”

“I grew up in Bangor. I know what you mean about the sea. It’s never the same . . .”

My old house in Northern Ireland – the house nearest the sea. The etching’s done by Dorothy Tinman.






Close to Ballybucklebo is the town of Holywood, County Down. A local gastro-pub there is well worth a visit. It’s not Mucky but it really is called the Dirty Duck and O’Reilly would have been quite at home there. Learn more about them at www.thedirtyduckalehouse.co.uk

Readers have asked for pictures of Ballyubucklebo. For them here are impressions in oils of the inside of the Duck and Ballybucklebo beach painted by my partner Dorothy Tinman. To see more of her work why not visit her website at www.dorothytinman.com




Inside the Dirty Duck






Ballybucklebo Beach

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