Three decades after John Waters’ 1984 Mayday arrival in Dublin, he finds himself writing his tenth book back in the parish in Sligo where his father grew up a century before. In Give Us Back the Bad Roads, he reflects on the reasoning of his departure from Irish journalism, and finds himself writing to his father as he looks back over the arc of his life. John reminisces on the hopes and expectations of his youth, and expresses his gratitude to have escaped the ideological cesspit the Dublin media had become.
John Waters, best known as a newspaper columnist and author, famously dedicated his writing to raising unpopular issues, like fathers’ rights. Originally starting his career in 1981 with the Irish magazine Hot Press, he later wrote for The Irish Times from 1990 to 2014 until the ‘Pantigate’ upheaval led to his resignation. His first book, Jiving at the Crossroads (1991), about the cultural underbelly of Irish politics, became a best-seller. He went on to publish 9 other books that include An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Ireland (Duckworth, 1997) and Was it for this? Why Ireland lost the plot (Transworld Ireland, 2012).