December 24th 1914 and all along the western front soldiers are settling down for a night of disturbed sleep, foraging rats, and the evil attentions of enemy snipers. Suddenly from across No Mans Land comes the sound of singing. not sure at first what is happening the troops look at each other in disbelief and then slowly, slowly, they join in.
Jim O’Halloran’s latest novel is set in the trenches of World War One and it tells the story of Irish soldiers in British uniforms, fighting Germans, to win Home Rule for Ireland. Their various motivations and reasons for being at war are exposed as they meet for the first and only time with the enemy. Young men just like themselves with wives, sweethearts, dreams and secrets, the inhumanity of war is slowly exposed for what it is. The complex issue of the Irish at the front is developed as some of the soldiers return to Ireland after the war, some injured physically, all impacted emotionally and psychologically. Through some of this characters Jim O’Halloran also looks at the plight of animals during the war including soldiers pets and the carrier pigeons used by all armies to carry messages on the battlefields.
James O’ Halloran is a Salesian priest who has been involved with small groups for most of his life. during the past thirty years, however, his specific apostolate has been the fostering of these small groups worldwide, as member, co-ordinator, and promoter.