- 10 Jun 19
We also have the inside word on his new book, Night Boat To Tangier, ahead of its June 20 publication
In the new issue of Hot Press, award-winning author and Ballinafad, County Sligo resident Kevin Barry highlights the dangers posed to rural Irish communities by heroin and other highly addictive opioids.
“What you see with this new strain of real rural poverty is the start of serious drug problems,” he asserts. “In the small Roscommon and Longford towns, there are heroin and opioid issues. It’s scary. These places are being left wide open for the horrendous epidemics we’ve seen in the US. It’s much easier to get dangerous drugs into small rural places where they’ve closed down the Garda station. When you’re 16 or 17 and there’s nothing else to do…”
Asked about the current cannabis decriminalisation debate, Barry continues: “Well, I hope for full legalisation. There is absolutely the case that not everybody is going to respond well to strong skunk weed; like, we know this. What’s interesting when you go to places where it’s been legalised, like Canada and various American states, is that you don’t see everyone falling around the streets stoned. In Canada, they’ve a very well managed dispensary system. It takes a large amount of money from the criminal entities and puts an herb that’s of use and pleasure to so many into the regulated adult domain.”
In a must-read interview ahead of the June 20 publication of his Night Boat To Tangier novel, we also hear about why he considers Leo Varadkar to be far-right; the filming around Boyle and Lough Key of his new film, Dark Lies The Island; working with Siobhan McSweeney, AKA Sister Michael from Derry Girls; his early sightings of Dolores O’Riordan and the Cranberries in Limerick; why he wants President Michael D. Higgins to remain in Áras an Uachtaráin forever; and the Irish writers he admires. Oh, and what the Spanish word for 'crusty' is!
You can read the full Kevin Barry interview in the latest issue of Hot Press, which is out now. You can also order it online below: