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some resources

History: Welcome


November 7th, 2021

Sheila discusses the history that inspired the novel in a wide-ranging interview with Myles Dungan on The History Show

History: Latest Work

While Something Bigger is a work of pure fiction, it was inspired by the true story of Marcella and Fr. James Coyle, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama. For anyone interested in learning more about their story, here are links to some excellent resources that cover the history of key events in the novel. 

  • Birmingham Public Library has extensive archives covering the period.

  • Here's a presentation from the fabulous Hinterland Festival, Kells, in 2021 that outlines some of the history behind the novel.

  • In his parish in Birmingham, a wide range of resources to commemorate the memory of Fr. James have been collected into a live website at

  • A documentary made by RTE1 on the core events is described here at History Ireland

  • History Ireland has an article on de Valera's visit to Birmingham here

  • Drum Heritage Centre, in Fr. James Coyle's birthplace, has an exhibition on his early life.

  • Sharon Davies' book, Rising Road, is a great resource, with a particular focus on the trial that followed the death of Fr. Coyle

  • A movie based on Sharon Davies' book is entitled Pursuit of Justice.

History: About
History: Pro Gallery
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