Conor Brady on writing The Guarding of Ireland – the Garda Síochána and the Irish State 1960 – 2014: “A big task to research everything that happened over half a century with very few papers available”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

What was the first book to make an impression on you? Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. A disturbingly subversive book for an adolescent schoolboy(...)