Living With Ghosts: Thoughtful, melancholy book assesses North’s post-traumatic stress

Ex-BBC security correspondent Brian Rowan’s book is not a memoir, he says, but an attempt to quantify the effects of decades of political violence on not only himself, but Northern Ireland as a whole

Omagh: the aftermath of the car bomb on August 15, 1998, which killed 29 people in the Co Tyrone town and injured more than 200 others

“Brian Rowan reports.” For several years during the Northern Ireland Troubles, anyone hearing those three words on television or radio knew that bad news was on the way. The former BBC security correspondent even once overheard a passer-by remark, “That’s your man who does all the murders.”

As Rowan acknowledges in this thoughtful and melancholy book about his journalistic career, the description was basically accurate. Paramilitary shootings and explosions were once his stock-in-trade, all inflicting ...