The book’s story is set in an Irish town in 1985, and focuses on coal and timber merchant Bill Furlong as he does his rounds in the lead up to Christmas A new Cillian Murphy film based on a prize-winning book is to start shooting in Wexford in March. CorkBeo understands the Peaky Blinders star will be among those descending on New Ross for the project which is an adaptation of native writer Claire Keegan’s book ‘Small Things Like These’.
Last November a team visited the southeast town to scout locations, and called into local school St Mary’s to the excitement of students there. Small Things Like These’ was the winner of the Orwell Prize as well as the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year for 2022. The book’s story is set in an Irish town in 1985, and focuses on coal and timber merchant Bill Furlong as he does his rounds in the lead up to Christmas.
It’s themed around church control and is a “tale of determination and quiet heroism” as Bill “feels the past rising up to meet him”. Bill comes to a struggle as he realises how the local convent is treating unmarried mothers and their babies, and the book follows him and his fears as his his conscience battles with the idea of standing up to church powers. Booker judges were full of praise for Wexford novelist’s work, saying she is “measured and merciless as she dissects the silent acquiescence of a 1980s Irish town in the Church’s cruel treatment of unmarried mothers – and the cost of one man’s moral courage.”