The Photograph sets out to retrace the stories of four men: Henry Caslin, former dance-hall owner and later Taoiseach of the Irish Republic; Jimmy Mimnagh, ruthless businessman, failed politician, hopeless drunkard; Seamus McKeon, a successful journalist and TV personality; and finally Father Gerry Lee, a priest with a predilection for very young children and strong links to the IRA. With compassion and clarity Sweeney draws his masterful portraits, tracing the four men from their humble beginnings through four decades of public and private life. An extraordinarily rich narrative emerges, in which the personal stories of the central characters and the larger issues of Irish national politics and identity are woven together to show the heights and depths, the ambiguities and the certainties, the comedy and the tragedy of half a century of Irish life.
`It is Sweeney's grand achievement to comprehend both history's march and its human cost' Guardian
`A blistering take on the Troubles' The Times
`The finest book of fiction yet to examine the dirty reality that lay behind caring Catholic Ireland in the second half of the twentieth century . . . One of the most promising Irish writers of his generation' Sunday Tribune (Dublin).