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Dublin’s Trinity College in the ????s was a haven of intellect and swagger in the recession-swept island of Ireland. Within its confines, students imbued with the future teetered on the brink of independence. This third volume of Trinity Tales, enlarging on the earlier sixties and seventies editions, includes recollections of novelist Anne Enright, economist and author David McWilliams, politician Ivana Bacik, playwright Michael West, journalist and publisher Michael Doherty, actress Pauline McLynn, rugby international Hugo MacNeill, and inner-city GP and disabled-rights activist Austin O’Carroll. The decade is bookended by scholar-fla^neur Patrick Healy and poet Gerald Dawe, who bring outsiders’ perspectives to this strangest of institutions. Against a background of anti-apartheid agitation, Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’ and a loosening of conventions, this fresh generation of former students recount how they passed their time in college, and how, emboldened by inspirational lecturers such as Brendan Kennelly and Mary Robinson, and the performances of their peers, they were propelled to adulthood by the clash of class, the comfort of sex and camaraderie, and the bittersweet knowledge of the fleeting nature of ‘the best days of your life’.

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