Based on personal memories of his life in Ireland and Scotland in the early 1900s, this was Patrick MacGill’s first novel. It tells the story of Dermod Flynn an independent and feisty youth who earns a meagre living as an itinerant farm hand in Donegal and County Tyrone before coming to Scotland with a potato-picking squad. After living on the road, labouring and navvying, Dermod finds work on the hydro-electric scheme at Kinlochleven -an extraordinarily brutal and unforgiving environment where hundreds died on one of the biggest engineering projects of its time.
Against this background, Dermod reads voraciously, begins to discover his talent as a writer and is eventually lured to Fleet Street, where he briefly becomes a journalist.
Peopled with extraordinary characters, Children of the Dead End is a gritty and uncompromising expose of the near slavery endured by the poor in Scotland and Ireland at the beginning of the twentieth century.