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26 May 2022

Paddy mixes growing up in Ballindrait village life, and 90s memories in his new book

This book has been on the long finger for a very long time

Paddy mixes growing up in Ballindrait, village life, and 90s memories in his new book

The new book, Night Timing, that Paddy Toye (pictured) says has been on the long finger for a long time

The changing face of an east Donegal village in the ever turbulent 1990s provides the subject matter for Night Timing, the latest book from musician/author-cum-scaffolder, Paddy Toye.

If this latest offering is anywhere near as good as his previous publications, readers are in for a wild ride, an honest exploration of ordinary things that only the Ballindrait native can conjure up.

“I've been writing for around 20 years now. I started off writing wee articles for the Tírconaill Tribune and another wee publication when I moved to Galway. It was just for fun, I was still almost always working in construction to pay the bills.

“I read a lot so it seemed natural to start trying to do it for myself, though I have since abandoned all pretensions of becoming a serious writer and making a living from it. I'll probably be scaffolding till my body falls apart.

"I studied journalism at Rathmines College and spent some time working for the Donegal Democrat, Donegal on Sunday and a few other papers in the north-west, but that all went pear-shaped during the recession and I had to move to London and go back on the tools again.”

Paddy thought he had escaped from building sites but, he says, they keep dragging him back.

“I did enjoy some success when I had a book properly published in 2010 called Paddy Toye's Donegal, 12 walks in the Donegal mountains. I actually got paid for writing that, which was nice. I got great feedback from that book and people still talk about it.

“Since then I've been self-publishing random titles to amuse myself, including Cloud Hunter, Cuckoo Spit, Where's me Wellies, and a travel book called Despair and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance. Some of those books are available on Amazon, but I don't pay much attention to them or how they're doing.”

His latest book Night Timing has been on the long finger for a very long time.

“And I'm glad it's finally over with. It's a collection of short stories from my youth growing up around Ballindrait and Lifford. I was trying to capture the feel of the place at the time, the boredom of living in a one pub village and not yet having developed the wherewithal to change things for myself.

“It's about all the silly things we did to pass the time and amuse ourselves until dole day. The quiet moments that make up a lifetime, sprinkled with random outburst of chaos. The world was a very different, and smaller, place back then in the 1990s.

“This was pre-internet, pre-mobile phones, pre-500 channel TV, it was pre-a lot of things that we take for granted today, and there was no work worth talking about. Then when I finally left home and the whole Celtic Tiger thing exploded - it was like being shot out of a cannon. But that's for another book.”

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