Forkhill woman depicts “A Different South Armagh”

December 22, 2012

By Christine Keighery

Forkhill native, Christine Toner, turned author to pen a poignant biography depicting the changing face of South Armagh through the eyes of a husband and wife team rearing a young family through ever-changing times in the area’s history.

The biographical tale charts events from the 1950’s and features several recognised characters from the area which many people will identify with.

It depicts “the true story of one woman’s experience, living between the British Army and the IRA during the Troubles in South Armagh.”

Christine feels the story is one which needed to be told.  Chronicling events which eventually led her to write this biography, the book tells how she witnessed the innocent and the young who had no understanding what the Troubles were about, caught in cross-fire or killed by booby-trap bombs, their playful youth stolen from them through no fault of their own.

A Different South Armagh is the story of people holding onto as much normality as they could during the most difficult of times, so that South Armagh and its people would not just be defined by the Troubles or disappear into competing propaganda machines.  It is the story of ordinary people helping each other to get along, of refusing to divide everyone into friend and enemy, of their determination that things would be better for their children.

Determined to paint an alternative picture, apart from the “bandit country” tag the area earned during the troubles, Christine has produced a thought provoking page turner that has caught the attention of readers far and wide.  Indeed the author told us she has received many lovely letters of support from local readers and from those who no longer live in Ireland.  In particular, she recalls a letter from a local man who is now a University Professor in Germany.  Congratulating her on the book, he told her how reading about where he grew up had brought back great memories for him of the people and the communities of bygone years.

It would seem the book has certainly achieved the author’s intentions, to tell a true story that many people can connect to and identify with.

Copies of “A Different South Armagh” can be purchased by emailing or visit the website

The book is also available in Waterstones and Easons bookshops.