In 1979 Bridget Doyle has one goal left in life: for her family to produce the very first Irish pope. Fired up by John Paul I’s appearance in Phoenix Park, she sprinkles papal-blessed holy water on the marital bed of her son and daughter-in-law and leaves them to get on with things. But nine months later her daughter-in-law dies in childbirth and Granny Doyle is left bringing up four grandchildren: five-year-old Peg and baby triplets Damien, Rosie and John Paul.
Thirty years later, it seems unlikely any of Granny Doyle’s grandchildren will fulfil her hopes. Damien is trying to work up the courage to tell her he’s gay. Rosie is a dreamy, blue-haired rebel who wants to save the planet. And irrepressible John Paul is a chancer and a charmer – not exactly what you’d call pontiff material.
None of the triplets has much contact with big sister Peg who lives in New York city and has been a forbidden topic of conversation ever since she ran away from home as a teenager. But that’s about to change.
Praise from the Desmond Elliott Prize
‘This young playwright, pied piper and something of a prophet leads his followers through the turbulent stream of recent Irish times, the twin-arched bridge of papal visits, beyond dammed Catholicism and on upstream to that sweet little cascade of liberalism. The choppiness of his scenes, his swiftly changing cast with their chippy familial dialogue and universal charm make this drama on a small Dublin stage immensely transferrable.’
About the Author
Originally from Dublin, Darragh Martin now lives in London. He has written several plays and a children’s novel, The Keeper, which was shortlisted for Children’s Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2013.