23rd March: 7.30pm

Eimear O’Callaghan: Belfast Days – A 1972 Teenage Diary
Join us for this conversation style event as the author discusses her powerful, candid diary of a 16-year-old schoolgirl living through the horrors of life in West Belfast in 1972 and the publication of this new edition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the single worst year of the Northern Irish Troubles.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event has been cancelled.

Belfast 1972. It’s the bloodiest year of the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’ and sixteen-year-old schoolgirl Eimear O’Callaghan bears witness in her new diary. What follows is a unique and at times disturbing insight into the life of an ordinary teenager coming of age in extraordinary times. The immediacy of the diary entries is complemented by the author’s mature reflections upon rediscovering her journal forty years later. The result is poignant, shocking, wryly funny and, above all, explicitly honest. As Northern Ireland continues to be haunted by the legacy of its turbulent past, Belfast Days demonstrates how one person’s examination of her own ‘story’ gave her a new perspective on one of the darkest periods in twentieth-century British and Irish history.

Eimear O’Callaghan is a former BBC news editor with more than 30 years’ experience in print and broadcast journalism. While most of her career was with BBC Northern Ireland, she also worked with The Irish News and with RTÉ in Dublin. She left the BBC in 2010 to set up a communications consultancy, Leapfrog Communications, and continues to work as a freelance writer. Eimear will be joined for the event by co-host and former BBC journalist and presenter, Paul McFadden.

Praise for Belfast Days

‘A startling account of day-to-day life during the deadliest year of the Troubles … O’Callaghan’s memoir makes for a sobering and occasionally mind-boggling read’ — The Irish News

‘Compelling and alive – Belfast Days remains essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what it was like for ordinary families as they struggled to get through a nightmare not of their making’ — Irish Independent

Belfast Days is an unintended history. An extraordinary aspect is the contrast between the everyday lives of people (family, school-friends…) and the bizarre often terrifying series of events going on all around them. Her diary is more than merely worth reading, it is essential reading. If you want to understand an important aspect of life in Northern Ireland at a critical moment in our collective history, then read this diary’ — Belfast Newsletter

‘Amid her expressions of terror and dread at the extraordinary events unfolding around her, O’Callaghan’s entries include mentions of boys, fashion and the odd night out, as she attempts to come of age in one of the worst years in the history of the North of Ireland’ — Irish Post

Organised in association with Merrion Press.

date & time

date & time

Wed. 23rd March
(Doors 7.15pm)
Duration: 1.5 hours



Canada Room, Lanyon Building, QUB



Free admission

event partner

merrion press