This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Read Ireland

Read Ireland Book News - Issue 307 ---------------------------------- Dead Men Talking: Collusion, Cover-up and Murder in Northern Ireland’s Dirty War by Nicholas Davies (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 15.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 225 pages) Following the revelations of the secret conspiracy between British Military Intelligence and the gunmen of the Ulster Defence Association in Ten-Thirty-Three, Nicholas Davies now dramatically reveals the evidence and facts that the Sir John Stevens Enquiry is still trying to establish regarding links between the security services and loyalist terrorist groups. In Dead Men Talking, Davies exclusively details the covert killing operations planned, organised and carried through by the RUC Special Branch and MI5, as well as by the British Army's covert intelligence organisation, the Force Research Unit. He provides new information on a number of these killings, which were authorised at the highest level of MI5 and the British government. Of great interest will be Davies' revelations regarding the work carried out by the agent codenamed 'Steak Knife' and the secrets he passed to British Intelligence during his 30 years at the epicentre of the Provisional IRA's command. In addition, Davies uncovers the true story of the murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane and the subsequent murder of UDA gunman William Stobie. Dead Men Talking exposes the massive cover-up operation which began when Brian Nelson, the UDA's chief intelligence officer, was arrested and persuaded with a massive bribe to plead guilty to conspiracy to murder. The sensational facts surrounding Nelson's apparent sudden and unexpected death in the spring of 2003 are also revealed. ------------------------------------ False Intentions by Arlene Hunt (Paperback; 9.00 Euro / 13.50 USD / 6.50 UK; 541 pages) One night. Two disappearances...As James Kilburn struggles to bring a cocaine haul back to his Dublin hotel room, Ashley Naughton leaves the Tempest nightclub on the other side of town after a row with her flatmates - both vanish from sight. The drugs belongs to two men - Ashley's father, Edward, and Patrick York, whose son, Vinnie, runs the Tempest. The missing girl's mother refuses to believe this is a coincidence and hires two rookie private investigators to find out what has happened to her daughter. John Quigley and Sarah Kenny soon find themselves in way over their heads and their lives under threat. Then the investigation is pulled just as they are about to find Ashley, leaving a lot of unanswered questions...Would Edward Naughton use his own daughter to keep ahead of a multimillion-euro industry? Why are Ashley's flatmates so quiet about what happened that night? Who is behind the drugs vanishing? And why has Ashley's mother suddenly changed her mind about finding her daughter? This novel is a fast-paced thriller that twists and turns to its starting conclusion. ------------------------------------ Stand Up and Fight: When Munster Beat the All Blacks by Alan English (Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 17.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 274 pages) When it comes to rugby union, one team has always stood a lock forward taller than the rest. To their opponents of the 1920s they were 'the Invincibles', to generations of British and Irish players they were literally indomitables - to the rest of the world they're simply the All Blacks. So when Graham Mourie's team left New Zealand in 1978 for the northern hemisphere no one believed they could be beaten. And then they lost. Not to the Wales of J P R Williams or to a Barbarians' select XV, but to a ragged provincial team from the south of Ireland: Munster. More than one hundred thousand people claim to have been there when Munster beat the All Blacks 12-0 at Thomond Park, Limerick, even though the ground could hold only 12,000. The New Zealanders would go on to won 17 of their 18 matches on tour, but against Munster they were, in their own words, 'lucky to get nil'. Munster's win remains the best and most unlikely result ever achieved by an Irish rugby team - and arguably by any rugby team in the world. Only a few minutes of grainy footage of the match survive, captured by a single handheld camera, but it has long since passed into legend. Now Alan English tells us the real story of what happened that day in October 1978, through the eyes of those who there and those who made it happen. The day Munster beat the All Blacks is now part of rugby mythology, yet the truth is more compelling than the fiction. ----------------------------------------- Gaelic Sports Championship 2005 by Damian Cullen (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 14.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 250 pages) The GAA All-Ireland championships in hurling and Gaelic football, which run from May to September, constitute the biggest and most popular event in the Irish sporting year. Boasting over a million members, the GAA regularly fills its 80,000-seater showpiece stadium, Croke Park, and commands more public support than any other sport in Ireland. Now, Penguin Ireland presents the only authoritative guide to the championship: a GAA fan's bible containing statistics, fixtures, predictions and more. -------------------------------------- Notes from a Coma by Mike McCormack (Trade Paperback; 14.00 Euro / 19.00 USD / 10.50 UK; 200 pages) Rescued from the squalor of a Rumanian orphanage, and adopted by the rural community of west Mayo, the child that is named J. J. O'Malley should have grown up happy. The boy has no gift for it, though, and his new life has a brutal way of giving him plenty to be unhappy about. After a sudden tragedy, J. J. suffers a catastrophic mental breakdown. Unable to live with himself, he volunteers for an improbable government project which has been set up to explore the possibility of using deep coma as a future option within the EU penal system. When his coma goes online the nation turns to watch, and J. J. is quickly elevated to the status of cultural icon. Sex symbol, existential hero, T-shirt philosopher - his public profile now threatens to obscure the man himself behind a swirl of media profiles, online polls, and EEG tracings- Five narrators - his father, neighbour, teacher, public representative, and sweetheart - tell us the true story of his life and try to give some clue as to why he is the way he is now: floating in a maintained coma on a prison ship off the west coast of Ireland. Brilliantly imagined and artfully constructed - merging science fiction with an affectionate portrait of small town Ireland - Notes from a Coma is both the story of a man cursed with guilt and genius and a compassionate examination of how our identities are safeguarded and held in trust by those who love us. (Also available in Hardback, priced at 25 Euro) ---------------------------------- Endurance: Heroic Journeys in Ireland by Dermot Somers (Paperback; 18.00 Euro / 25.00 USD / 12.00 UK) Kidnap, jailbreak, power, faith, murder, betrayal, scholarship, survival and above all, sheer endurance -- all are themes in Dermot Somers' stories of heroic and historic travels from the mythic legends of prehistory to the dawn of modern Ireland. With the aid of maps and photographs, Dermot Somers -- mountaineer, Gaelic scholar, TV presenter, and writer -- follows in the footsteps of these epic journeys, revealing the people, the cultures, the times, the places and the echoes surviving in our landscape -- from Art O'Neill's icy grave in the Wicklow mountains to the ringfort-hiding place of the brown bull in the secret valley of the Cooley Mountains ----------------------------------- Dublinia: The Story of Medieval Dublin by Howard Clarke et. al (Trade Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 16.50 USD / 130 pages, with full colour illustrations throughout) Dublinia is the story of a unique period in Irish history told with passion, imagination and accuracy. This book leads the reader through the noise and bustle of the medieval streets of Dublin looking at all aspects of life, from religion to trade, from crafts to government and from buildings to lifestyles. Based on the hugely successful exhibition on medieval Dublin -- Dublinia -- this book is both a stand alone accessible and authoritative introduction to life in the medieval city, and also a souvenir to one of Dublin's most exciting historical experiences. Whether you are an armchair enthusiast for all things historic, a Dubliner looking for your city to surprise you, or a visitor to the city, Dublinia. The story of Medieval Dublin will fascinate and intrigue you. --------------------------------- Illauhloughan Island: An Early Medieval Monastery in County Kerry by Jenny White Marshall and Claire Walsh (Hardback; 40.00 Euro / 47.00 USD / 31.00 UK; 250 pages, with full colour and black-and-white illustrations throughout) Illaunloughan was a small monastery on the Atlantic edge of Ireland that lasted from the late seventh to the ninth century. The well-dated material evidence provides a chronological base for activities and customs that were previously of uncertain age in Ireland; it also revealed the penetration of Christian practice from other parts of the world into a regional Irish monastery. Evidence found here supports eighth-century construction of drystone oratories and leachta, as well as a large gable shrine and its mound. The complex reliquary structure was built to honour the corporeal relics of the Illaunloughan saints, but the community also used the eastern quadrant of its mound as their graveyard, an indication that the Christian custom of burial near the saints was active in Ireland then. The community also placed white quartz stones and scallop shells in with the bones of the saints, apparently for symbolic spiritual purposes. White quartz stones are found on many early medieval Irish sites, but the unusual presence of scallop shells may reflect knowledge of a large scallop shell over the entry to the Tomb of Christ in Jerusalem. Excellent preservation of midden remains allowed the first detailed quantitative analysis of diet and economy in the region and showed that both wild and domesticated resources, including meat, oats, seabirds and fish, were eaten. The nature of the diet raised questions about the extent of mainland support of the monastery and the possibility that a marginal environment existed in the area at this time. Illaunloughan also revealed other new information, such as the construction of sod oratories, the casting and designing of fine metalwork on small sites and the fosterage of exceptionally young children on monastic islands. ------------------------- Highlights from Issue 306 ------------------------- Read Ireland Book News - Issue 306 A History of Fastnet Lighthouse by James Morrissey (Trade Paperback; 17.00 Euro / 22.50 USD / 11.00 UK; 110 pages, with full colour illustrations throughout) This book provides a detailed account in words and pictures of how this architectural gem was constructed in one of the most hazardous sites in Europe and under perilous conditions. --------------------------------- This Human Season by Louise Dean (Trade Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 368 pages) It is December 1979. Kathleen's son Sean has been convicted of a crime on behalf of the IRA and sent to Long Kesh prison - newly renamed the Maze. John Dunn has just taken up a job as a prison guard after leaving the army. Both will be shocked at what they find. Both will try to do the right thing, and fail. Neither will ever be the same again. Louise Dean's sensational new novel deals with one of the most explosive and morally complex incidents in recent British history. THIS HUMAN SEASON is a powerful, confronting, humane, and blackly funny examination of the lives of ordinary people when placed in the vice of history. ---------------------------------- Was Ireland a Colony?: Economics, Politics and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Ireland edited by Terrence McDonough with an afterword by Terry Eagleton (Trade Paperback; 30.00 Euro / 36.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 360 pages) The nineteenth-century history of Irish economics, politics and culture cannot be properly understood without examining Ireland's colonial condition. Recent political developments and economic success have revived interest in the study of the colonial relationship between Britain and Ireland that is more nuanced than the traditional nationalist or academic revisionist view of Irish history. This new approach has arisen in several fields of historical investigation, notably culture, economics and political history. ------------------------------------ Twists of Fate: Stories Behind Irish Battles and Sieges by John McCormack (Trade Paperback; 16.50 Euro / 20.00 USD / 11.00 UK; 232 pages) This book brings the reader behind the scenes in the heroic defence of Strongholds such as Drogheda, Limerick, Derry, Dunboy and others against the besieging armies. The battles of Clontarf, Faughert, The Yellow Ford, Benburb and others are brought vividly to life with little-known and fascinating details that are not usually found in history books. How did Cromwell seem to lose his head at the siege of Clonmel? What order given by Hugh O’Donnell at Kinsale caused all his foot soldiers to flee in panic? In what famous battle did the leader swap clothes with his General so that he would be less conspicuous? How did William of Orange come close to losing his life just before the battle of the Boyne even began? Read how during the siege of Derry, a certain fat gentleman fancying that several of the garrison were looking at him with hungry eyes hid himself away for two days! ---------------------------------- Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl by Kate McCafferty (Paperback; 11.00 Euro / 15.00 USD / 7.50 UK; 210 pages) This novel is the story of Cot Daley, a young Irish girl kidnapped from her home in Galway and shipped out to Barbados where more than fifty thousand Irish sold as indentured servants to the plantation owners of the Caribbean and worked the land alongside African slaves. ---------------------------------------- Foreign Affections: Essays on Edmund Burke (Paperback; 30 Euro / 36.00 USD / 24.00 UK; 280 pages) These essays are dominated by Edmund Burke and by the accounts of the ways in which he and some of those that he influenced understood the revolutionary changes that produced the modern world. The issues of liberty and empire, faction and revolution, universality, equality, authority, sectarian vice and democratic virtue are central here. Dominating them all is the question of how traditional feeling and affection can be retained within the revolutionary and colonial worlds that emerged at the close of the eighteenth century. The answers to this question emerge from the different interpretations of the American and French Revolutions that were to be so influential for generations after Burke. In addition, he posed the colonial question in Ireland before it was posed more generally. Was liberty compatible with colonial rule? Ultimately, Burke secured his position by his condemnation of colonial as well as revolutionary violence. But in those others dealt with here, especially in Tocqueville and Acton, colonial atrocity is condoned or supported while revolutionary violence is condemned out of hand. This, it is argued here, is constitutive of the European anti-revolutionary position which Burke helped to create but to which he nevertheless remains alien. -------------------------------- The Irish Round Tower: Origins and Architecture Explored by Brian Lalor (Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 250 pages, with black and white illustrations throughout) The remains of over 70 round towers survive in Ireland, the only form of architecture unique to Ireland. Many are in association with surviving monastic settlements in some beautiful and historic sites. This fully-illustrated study outlines their architectural design and construction, their function, their landscape setting and the uniqueness of each round tower site. ------------------------------- The Tailor and Ansty by Eric Cross (Paperback; 11.00 Euro . 15.00 USD / 7.50 UK; 224 pages) The Tailor and Ansty was banned soon after its first publication in 1942 and became the subject of much bitter controversy. It has become a modern Irish classic, promising to make immortal the Tailor and his irrepressible wife, Ansty. The Tailor never travelled further than Scotland, yet the breadth of the world could not contain the wealth of his humour and fantasy. All human life is here – marriages, inquests, matchmaking, wakes – and always the Tailor, his wife and their black cow. -------------------------------- Civil War in Connacht 1922-23 by Nollaig O Gradhra (Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 17.50 USD / 9.00 UK; 186 pages) Very little has been written about the Civil War in Connacht. In this book Nollaig Ó Gadhra draws extensively on notes compiled by J. J. Waldron of Tuam, placing them in a national context. He gives a breakdown of the IRA command in 1922 and a remarkable description of the stand-off during the summer of 1922 when the British left their barracks and the rival pro- and anti-Treaty forces competed for possession of the vacated buildings. ------------------------------------- Thank you for your continued support! I respectfully request that if you are considering ordering any of these books that you do so through Read Ireland in order that the service and the newsletter continues! I very much appreciate your custom. To order books from the Read Ireland Book Review - simply return the Newsletter by clicking your reply button. Please delete the books you do not want and leaving the books you want to order. Alternatively, you can send an email to the order department at: Please be sure to include your mailing address and credit card details. You can of course also post your order to: Read Ireland, 392 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3,Ireland. Telephone and Facsimile number is: +353-1-853-2063. Read Ireland Web Site Home Page: or All Prices and Rates are in Euro (US Dollar and UK Sterling prices are guidelines based on current exchange rates.) Prices on books reviewed above are firm and discounted from the prices listed on the website. Post + package is charged at cost.
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