No Mate for the Magpie

By Frances Molloy

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No Mate for the Magpie was received not just as a valuable insight into Northern Irish culture in troubled times but as an account of a young woman’s grasp for independence. The story is told in the dialect of rural Derry, and this was also seen as radical at a time before the revival of dialect encouraged by the Ulster Scots movement

This is the semi autobiographical novel of Ann Brady from Dungiven, writing under the pseudonym Frances Molloy. The author describes her admission to a convent as a novice nun, her departure from there and her growing up through the beginnings of the civil rights campaign.

Ann Brady, writing as Frances Molloy, provides eye witness accounts of several incidents in the early Troubles, particularly the attack on a civil rights parade from Belfast to Derry at Burntollet Bridge in 1970.

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“Frances Molloy’s debut novel, No Mate for the Magpie, is a tour de force, perhaps one of the most original fictional responses to the Troubles to come out of Northern Ireland. It established her as a witty and ironic storyteller, who was not afraid to use dialect, and could make exquisite use of that most subtle of storytelling devices, the faux-naif narrator. In the novel her intrepid heroine Elizabeth McGlone grows up working class, catholic and female in the Northern Ireland of the sixties and seventies, taking all the bigotry, cruelty and injustice she encounters in her stride.”
Ruth Carr: introduction to Frances Molloy’s book of short stories: ‘Women are the Scourge of the Earth’.





Persea Books




ISBN-10: 0892551054, ISBN-13: 978-0892551057