The city of Derry, Northern Ireland, 1972
The Bogside is an area in open revolt, cordoned off from the rest of the city of Derry, patrolled by masked IRA men atop burnt out barricades. Subjugated by the Protestant ruling classes and denied their right to vote, life for the Catholic people in Bogside is hard. But a civil rights movement has begun. The march through the Bogside that day was meant to be like any other. That march would change the course of history for the people of Northern Ireland and become known as Bloody Sunday.
Mick Doherty has a secret, and it’s time to introduce her to his family. It’s not easy being with a girl from the other side of the divide. He knows that being with Melissa could prove impossible. Protestants and Catholics don’t mix. The march through Bogside will be the perfect time to introduce her to his twin brother Pat at least.
Melissa Rice, daughter of a unionist politician and from the Protestant, middle class side of the city, had never even been to the area of Derry known as the Bogside before she met Mick. But now, inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, she is ready to march not only for the civil rights of all the people of Northern Ireland, but for her chance to be with the man she loves.
Pat Doherty was never one to get involved in the daily riots in Bogside but is ready to rally against injustice. He knows that now is the time to stand up for the Catholic people of Derry against the Protestant hierarchy and the British occupying forces they support.
After witnessing British Army paratroopers shoot 13 people dead on Bloody Sunday, Mick, Pat and Melissa find themselves dragged into a war they never wanted any part of. The Doherty brothers join the IRA, whose ranks are swelling with disaffected young men and women spurred on by the carnage on the streets. But after another horrific act of violence, Mick begins to rethink the allegiances he has made. He realizes will have to choose between a promise to his twin brother, his duty to the community he has sworn to protect, and the woman he loves.
The Bogside Boys is a meticulously researched, nuanced family saga, set over twenty-five years of the conflict in Northern Ireland.