Do You Know Aisling?

By Brendan Grehan

TWO FORMER Journalism students from Ballyfermot College of Further Education have seen their Facebook page turn into a novel.

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen met while studying in Ballyfermot and became good friends. This led to the day that Aisling entered their lives in their shared Dublin 7 flat.

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen 21092017

The character was conceived when, whilst chatting on the couch under duvets on hungover weekend days, they began to pull together the many traits, characteristics and quirks of a very particular type of Irish girl; one they identified around them and one they identified with.

So they set up a Facebook page to collect them all up. Friends told friends. Dozens joined, and then hundreds, all exclaiming “Yes! I know her” or “Oh God, this is me”. The page now has almost 40,000 members.

Aisling is a very particular type of Irish girl. She is from the country (or, more specifically “down home”) and although she lives and works in Dublin you’ll find her every Friday evening trying to beat the traffic on the N7 or the N4 or whatever route will take he back to her beloved BallyGoBackwards (BGB).

So who is Aisling? She is that girl who on weekdays pounds the pavement to work at her permanent pensionable job wearing her runners for maximum speed and comfort, court shoes in her bag ready to slip on once she reaches the office.

She carries her lunch in a Brown Thomas bag saved from a trip to the Clinique counter last Christmas.

Aisling’s never dyed her hair or lost a phone, she’ll always have the paracetamol ready for anyone who needs it and she’s the one making sure the handbags are safe on a night out.

McLsyaght and Breen were asked by a publisher to turn their creation into a novel and now it has arrived on Irish bookshelves.

In the novel Aisling lives down home with her parents and is juggling commuting to her mid-level, pensionable job in Dublin with weekend trips home and trying to spend two nights a week with her boyfriend GJ (Generic John), an engineer and confirmed ‘fine thing’.

Life is good, or so it would seem … but Aisling wants more. She wants the ring on her finger. She wants that road frontage.

She wants out of her parents’ house. When a disastrous trip to Spain turns Aisling’s world upside down, she surprises herself by agreeing to move to Portobello with stylish Sadhbh and the mysterious Elaine.

Newly independent and relocated to the big city, life is about to change utterly for Aisling.

‘Oh My god what a complete Aisling’ is available in all good bookshops.

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