The Ghosts of Riots Past: The Troubled Conflict in Derry Through The Eyes of a Volunteer First Aider

"In The Ghosts of Riots Past, Morrow presents an insightful, imagined memoir - a unique account of Free Derry history from the perspective of a Knights of Malta First-Aider. The blend of fiction founded in fact makes this writing a powerful tool for anyone seeking to understand the human story around key events in the Bogside’s political history.’ Sue Divin, author of novels Truth Be Told and Carnegie Shortlisted Guard Your Heart.

“The Ghosts of Riots Past provides a richly evocative look at some of Derry’s darkest moments, where not only do we see the horrors that were inflicted upon this city but the courage, warmth and strength of our people. An imagined memoir, shining a light on the contribution of the often-overlooked Knights of Malta first aid volunteers, this is a story of humanity and bravery, deftly interwoven with the wonderful Derry dark humour. This is an important contribution to our city’s narrative”. Claire Allan - Bestselling Author of 'Her Name Was Rose, 'Apple of My Eye', and 'The Nurse'.

‘An evocative, richly detailed retelling of some of the most pivotal moments in the city’s history from a new perspective. Reflecting the courage and personal sacrifices of the city’s Order of Malta volunteers, among others, First-Aider Martha is a wonderfully realised character brought to life with real warmth and skill. A huge achievement.’ Brian McGilloway - Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of DS Lucy Black thrillers and Inspector Devlin mysteries

Set against a backdrop of the late 1960s Bogside, Martha Bradley is inspired to join the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps at the age of fifteen, following a family tragedy that changes her life forever. This prompted her family to move to the legendary Rossville Flats that dominated the skyline of the Bogside.

The teenage first-aiders begin their service by attending sports fixtures, fairs, and religious services, to suddenly administering first aid in a most forbidding active war zone with live ammunition. Martha's journey with the Order of Malta places her at The Battle of The Bogside, the daily clashes between the Free Derry residents and the security forces, Bloody Sunday, and Operation Motorman, whilst guarding a secret of her own from her unit and her family.

"Even though we all wore the same thing, white coats and kit bags, everybody wore them and carried themselves a wee bit differently. I would learn everybody’s mannerisms, walks, and small details. I became so close to my unit that I could tell them all apart, even when wearing my gas mask during a riot, outside, and in the dark. I feel it quite symbolic that we wore white coats, almost like we were ghosts. We were the ghosts of riots past, the ghosts of riots present, and the ghosts of riots yet to come".

The Ghosts of Riots Past captures the nostalgic perspective of the troubles in Free Derry (1969-1972), the togetherness of the first-aiders, and the spirit of Christian charity and courage of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps.

Also included at the back as appendices are the authentic stories of the Order of Malta First Aiders from the Free Derry era detailing their personal experiences of The Battle of The Bogside, Bloody Sunday, Operation Motorman, and the daily disturbances they heroically dealt with during that time.

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