Is it about a Bicycle? is rooted in the soil of Co. Derry, but reflects a landscape which includes Flann OBrien as well as Seamus Heaney. It evokes resonances of the Old and New Testament Scriptures and of the early Irish tradition, both written and visual. Oliver Crilly speaks from a wide-ranging experience as a teacher, a publisher and editor, and a curate and parish priest in the troubled society of Northern Ireland. His close involvement in issues of prisons, hunger strikes and the confrontation over parades and marches, brought him into contact with church people, government people, and both loyal orders and community activists. The brief reflections arising out of a particular set of circumstances and illustrated by story and image are the tip of an iceberg: they may appear to be an easy off the cuff comment, but they articulate an awareness which has come from years of observation.
Oliver Crilly is a reader, not just of books, but of people and situations: a sincerely interested reader of the society of which he is a part, and about which he feels deeply. As he articulates the pain and the challenge of transforming that society, he always does it with affection and humour.