Ciaran McCann is a Dublin bus driver.
He studied engineering for five years and
spent a further four years in University,
where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts
Degree in Psychology. He is a published
novelist, has been married for eighteen
years, lives on Dublin's southside and owns
a happy cat. He drives the number 14 bus.
Dr. Joseph Carlton lives in a plush
residence on Aylesbury Road in fashionable
Dublin 4. He is tanned, educated and women
find him irresistible. He drives a Nissan
Maxima and shares his plush abode with a
Great Dane called Jet.
Jet, like most servile inhabitants of
Ballsbridge does not appreciate his Master's
lifestyle. Neither was he impressed when he
took first prize at last year's Saint
Patrick's Day Dog Show at the Royal Dublin
Society. And the good Doctor's choice of
kennel name, "Shakespeare's Mercedes" didn't
appeal to his canine sensitivity. In his
stream of (dog) conscienceless he refers to
Dr. Carlton by names taken from a list of
descriptions of the lower anatomy.
Mattie Morcam is a bus driver in
Dublin. His parents have been separated for
a number of years. He finishes almost every
sentence with "but..." and refers to that
tasty crackling snack, made famous by
Mr.Tayto, a " a packet o' cripps." As a
youngster he "went to the pitchers in
Fizzzburrow". His tattooed knuckles don't
look any more out of place than the used
condoms and graffiti, which adorn the
multi-storey flat complex, where he lives.
Through a bizarre set of circumstances
and unlikely situations, in both their
places of employment, Mattie Morcam and
Doctor Carlton, who had each often wondered
what it was like on the other side of the
tracks, succeed in swapping identities.
The sophisticated Joseph spends a number
of days driving a bus while Mattie
prescribes capsules with unpronounceable
names for old ladies with psychological
abnormalities, in Saint Bernadette's, an
up-marker Psychiatric Hospital on Dublin's
It has been said that we are all
ignorant, but of different things. Well,
while Mattie is not overly familiar with the
finer points of the Hippocratic Oath Dr.
Carlton isn't all that fluent in the lingo
of the housewives of Dublin 11.
His rounded vowels cause raised eyebrows
among the marginilised going to collect the
"labour" and Mattie prescribes suppositories
When a Chief Surgeon, in Theatre said, "I
feel we can now safely remove the Sternum
Retractor. Would you agree, Doctor." Mattie
didn't have an answer. But he was only
slightly less nonplussed than Dr. Carlton
when a denim-clad peroxide blonde in her
fifties asked, "What's wrong wit' yer mouth
son? yer talkin' funny" Both survive without
detection until they revert to their
In the above catalogue of
characters there is one who is not
fictitious. It is Ciaran McCann. The others
people (and "dog") the pages of his novel
"Open Day At The Asylum."
"Open Day at the Asylum" took four years
to write and has just appeared on the
shelves to very favourable reviews. Is there
any more favourable comparison than that
used by Lady Renie in the Belfast
People: "McCann's superb mastery over
Stream of Consciousness techniques heralds
the greatest Wizard of Wordplay since
Speaking of which, I didn't finish
Ulysses but I burned the midnight oil to
devour Ciaran's outstanding debut novel. And
I don't think that even Roddy Doyle would
dare to suggest that Ciaran McCann, "could
have done with a good editor."
Critic, Anne McRicen says that
the author, "......runs his readers through
the full spectrum of sentiment. Undulating
emotional peaks and troughs. From buttock
clenching tension to thigh slapping
hysteria. From violent drama to the passions
of romance." If you didn’t let your maiden
aunt see “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” or “The
Ginger Man” I would advise you to keep “Open
Day At The asylum” under lock and key as
"Open Day At the Asylum"
is published by Lisieux Publishing Ltd.
Manchester and is available from the
Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
modest price of €10 (including postage).
You can contact Ciaran at:
Click on author's
byline for bio.