top of page

Shamrock Green

Stirling, Jessica



Shamrock Green

Plot Summary

Shamrock Green opens in at the Shamrock Hotel, a boarding house in Dublin owned by Sylvie McCulloch, days before the start of World War I. Members of the Brotherhood of Erin including Sylvie’s husband Gowry’s brothers Peter and Charlie McCulloch and their friend Turk Trotter, descend on the Shamrock in an attempt to hide a cache of guns and elude the police after an altercation with the King’s Own. They are accompanied by Fran Hagerty, a newspaperman and gun runner, who meets Sylvie and her daughter Maeve for the first time.

Gowry is unsympathetic to the cause of Irish independence and removes the guns to a hidden location; Sylvie informs Gowry’s brothers as well as Fran, with whom she begins an affair. In retaliation for hiding their cache of rifles, the McCulloch brothers and Fran implicate Gowry in a shooting incident at a British parade. The Metropolitan Police, led by Detective Inspector Vaizey, pick Gowry up for questioning. He is later released and upon returning to the Shamrock discovers Fran has been holed up with Sylvie; she provides Fran with an alibi for the day of the parade by stating that he spent the night with her. Gowry leaves Sylvie and enlists with the 2ndBattalion of the Sperryhead Rifles. As the War begins Gowry is deployed to France.

There Gowry meets and falls in love with a nurse named Rebecca Tarrant while recovering from a gas attack at a convalescent hospital. Gowry is sent back to the front where he loses his paybook. Because of a clerical error, his family believes he has been killed in action. Gowry is granted furlough and he and Rebecca begin an affair before he once again returns to the front. Gowry is seriously injured, leading to his discharge from the army but before he and Rebecca can be reunited, she dies of cancer.

Meanwhile, Sylvie gives birth to baby conceived with Fran Hagarty. The McCulloch brothers, Turk Trotter, and Fran participate in the Easter Rising and are arrested when the uprising fails. The Shamrock Hotel is destroyed, the McCulloch’s and Trotter are arrested and sent to prison in Dublin. They are deported to Wales but before they leave Ireland Maeve declares her love for Turk. Fran is executed; Vaizey arranges that Sylvie witness the killing. Sylvie and Maeve flee Dublin with the baby to stay with Gowry’s mother Kay McCulloch eventually returning to Dublin where they move into Fran’s flat in a tenement on Endicott Road.

Sylvie and Maeve discover he is still alive. He meets Sylvie in Wales and subsequently returns to Dublin where he is reunited with Maeve, attempts to let go of Rebecca’s memory and reaches an uneasy peace with Sylvie. The exiled members of the Easter Rising are returned to Ireland and Maeve is reunited with Turk.

Main Characters

  • Gowry McCulloch

  • Maeve McCulloch

  • Sylvie McCulloch

Significant Minor Characters

  • Fran Hagarty

  • Rebecca Tarrant

  • Turk Trotter

  • Detective Inspector Vaizey

Publication History

This novel was first published in hardcover in 2002 by Hodder and Stoughton (UK) and by BPA (London) and St. Martin’s in 2003. It was published in paperback in 2002 by Hodder and Stoughton (UK). It was published as an eBook and as an eBook (Kindle) by St. Martin’s in 2014 and remains in print.

Some of the character’s appearing in this book first appeared in The Piper’s Tune by Jessica Stirling which was published in hardcover in 2002 by St. Martin’s. It remains in print as an eBook and an eBook (Kindle) published by Hodder and Hodder and Stoughton (UK) in 2012 and by St. Martin’s in 2014.

bottom of page