Light of the Diddicoy: A Novel
by Eamon Loingsigh



Light of the Diddicoy is the brutal saga of Irish-American gangs on the Brooklyn waterfront in the early part of the twentieth century, told through the eyes of Irish immigrant Liam Garrity. Forced at age 14 to travel alone to America on the eve of the 1916 Easter Rising, Garrity stumbles directly into the hard-knock streets of the Brooklyn pier neighborhoods run by Bridge District gang The White Hand. In the industrialized enclaves where Famine Irish settled a generation earlier, Garrity has no choice but to use any means necessary to survive within the clan-like loyalties of the gang, and carve out his place in a no-holds-barred world of a community living outside the law.
Light of the Diddicoy: a novel by Eamon Loingsigh
ISBN: 978-0-9884008-9-4; 5.25″ x 8″, 232 pages, Trade Paper; Retail $15.95
Publication date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

For wholesales and trade orders, please visit our distributor, PGW.

An Interview of Author Eamon Loingsigh
with a Tour of the Brooklyn Waterfront


Author Eamon Loingsigh
Reads from Light of the Diddicoy

Famed Irish Writer/Actor Malachy McCourt
Reads from Light of the Diddicoy

High Praise for Light of the Diddicoy

“It’s high time for a new and boldly authentic Irish-American voice in literature, and that voice belongs to Eamon Loingsigh . . . Unlike the bulk of historical fiction that oftentimes makes exclusive use of an omniscient narrator with an all-encompassing point of view, Eamon Loingsigh has done something startling here. He has begun his novel in the first-person singular, and thus we’re engaged right away by a tone, a perspective, a mood, and a personal voice as compelling as that of Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises or Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye.” —M.J. Moore,

“Novelist Eamon Loingsigh has so comprehensively inhabited the teeming New York City of his debut novel Light of the Diddicoy that he captivates the reader from the first page. . . It’s a brutal story of Irish America that the author, whose family roots in the city are as deep as his characters, was apparently born to write. Loingsigh’s prose has immense narrative force, and his characters are innocents or chancers on the make who know there’ll be no second chances. . . This is wonderful pulp fiction that knows that one man’s tale can in fact tell the entire city’s.” —Irish Central

“The dark and compelling Irish American gang lifestyle of early 1900s Brooklyn pulses through this sharp, hardboiled drama. Loingsigh’s book looks at a fascinating lifestyle drawn from his extensive research and his own family history.” —Diane Gardner, Foreword Reviews

“[A] potent coming-of-age story . . . the first in a series about one man’s hardscrabble life. . . Rings with passion and pain. . . An engrossing read.” —Kirkus Reviews

Why I Wrote Light of the Diddicoy; feature article by author Eamon Loingsigh on LitKicks, the world’s oldest literary blog.

Feature article on Light of the Diddicoy author Eamon Loingsigh in The Irish Echo.

“Eamon Loingsigh’s book Light of the Diddicoy is an amazing series of literary leaps from terra firma into the stratosphere above.  The writing embraces you, and his description of the savagery visited on poor people is offset by the humor and love of the traditional Irish community. Yes there is laughter here too and it is a grand read, leaving any reader fully sated. Don’t leave the store without this book.” Malachy McCourt, author, A Monk Swimming and Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland

“This book unearths and brings to life a long-lost world of hard men and women struggling to get ahead in an America not yet fully formed. Gangsters and dock wallopers along the Brooklyn waterfront intermingle with dirty cops, labor rabble rousers and the unwashed masses of an Irish immigrant class bursting with pluck and vitality… Light of the Diddicoy is written with tremendous flavor and panache, and within its pages is a profound understanding that history is most present when revealed through the lives of characters in a story well told. Historical fiction at its best.” T.J. English, author, Paddy Whacked and The Westies

“Eamon Loingsigh is a poet with a pickaxe-and a scalpel attached to the working end.  In Light of the Diddicoy, he depicts the Brooklyn Waterfront of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries, and the Irish who controlled it, with hammer-blow prose and spare dialogue.  Unsparing in his account of the prevailing violence he is eloquent in laying out the reasons why.  The exclusion suffered by the newly arrived and the ‘lostness’ of the newly minted immigrant are clearly portrayed.  Liam, the narrator, the wide-eyed teenager, is just off the boat. His counterpart and mentor, Dinny Meehan, the big Boss, is ruthless in protecting both tribe and territory.  A complex character, he must juggle fairness, loyalties and history and still get done what must be done. Mr. Loingsigh, the meticulous historian, paints a rich picture. Mr. Loingsigh, the novelist, tells it like it was. And brilliantly so. Light of the Diddicoy is a great read.” Alphie McCourt, author, A Long Stone’s Throw and Heartscald

“Eamon Loingsigh’s Light of the Diddicoy is a rich and rollicking tale of immigrant struggle and ethnic conflict that brings to life the lost world of the New York waterfront. Loingsigh’s vision is epic and unflinching. His story-telling powers are vivid, original and evocative. There isn’t a dull page in this book. It is entertaining, enlightening and utterly engaging from first page to last.” Peter Quinn, author, Banished Children of Eve

“If you are lucky, you have a friend, bluff and hale, who sweeps into the room whenever you’re feeling blue and says “come, leave your troubles out in the bogs and raise a jar with the lads.”  If you’re not that lucky, you have this novel.  This is pulp as it is meant to be, searing and sentimental by turn, and perfect transport right out of your daily grind and into a meticulously researched Brooklyn-tween-the-bridges circa 1916, a world of stoops, and young men growing up fast; of densely clashing immigrants, and violence, and benzene-needled beer.” Mandy Keifetz, author, Flea Circus

Featured Articles by and about Eamon Loingsigh

“Spotlight on Author and Historian Eamon Loingsigh” Artist without Walls blog, March 22, 2014. Q&A with author Loingsigh detailing inspiration for writing and personal life.

“Why I Wrote Light of the Diddicoy” featured guest blog by Eamon Loingsigh on, February 16, 2014. Author Loingsigh details his process and inspiration for writing his historical novel about Brooklyn’s early 20th century Irish gangs.

“News and Info for Light of the Diddicoy,” guest blog by Eamon Loingsigh on The New Wild Geese blog with details and photos of events related to Light of the Diddicoy.

About Eamon Loingsigh

Eamon Loingsigh

Eamon Loingsigh

Journalist EAMON LOINGSIGH has long held a great fascination for the history of Irish-Americans in New York City. His family emigrated from Ireland in the late nineteenth century, and his grandfather and great-grandfather ran a longshoreman’s saloon on Hudson Street in Manhattan from 1906 to the late 1970s. Loingsigh studied journalism at University of South Florida. He is the author of numerous articles on Irish-American history, as well as the novella An Affair of Concoctions and the poetry collection, Love and Maladies. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.