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, October 15, 2005

Read Ireland

Special Readers Offer: Bantry Studio Publications have generously offered 5 copies of their new book, The Castles of County Limerick by Michael j. Carroll, to Read Ireland customers. Please send your name and full mailing address in an email to me, with a reason why you should ‘win a copy’ of this book. Here is some information on the book: This book is a companion volume to the author’s ‘The Castles and Fortified Houses of West Cork’ and ‘The Castles of the Kingdom of Kerry’ (both available to purchase from Read Ireland). Major historical sources have differed as to the number of castles and fortified houses that existed in County Limerick, with figures ranging from 100 to 400 being given at various times. Taking the period of castle building from around 1200 to 1700, this book mentions over 140 castles. Each entry includes a map reference and a brief description of position and remains, and in many cases the history and traditions surrounding the castle are explored in depth. There is also a substantial introduction dealing with the history of County Limerick in the medieval period that provides a context for the discussion of the individual castles. ---------------------------------- Read Ireland Book News – Issue 323 ---------------------------------- Memoir by John McGahern (Hardback; 23.00 Euro / 28.00 USD / 16.00 UK; 280 pages) This is the story of John McGahern's childhood; of his mother's death, his father's anger and bafflement, and his own discovery of literature and his ambition to become a writer. At the heart of the book is an unembarrassed homage by a loving son to a woman who protected him and his sisters from his father's unpredictable moods. His memory of walks with her in the lanes near their rural home, of her naming flowers for him and of his joy in her presence, is recovered with great lyrical tact. The account of her courageous endurance of illness - with almost no support from her policeman husband, who was living in his barracks - is unsentimental and unforgettable. The day their mother died, the children were carted off to the barracks where their father the sergeant ruled over a few guards and a quiet countryside where crime was almost unknown, during the war years when Ireland was cut off from the outside world. McGahern describes an adolescence dancing attendance on a secretive, brutal and mercurial man who had only spasms of affection to give his bereft children. Often he reasoned with them by using his fists. McGahern's description of the fields and quiet roads of Co Leitrim, one of Ireland's least known counties, catches the subtle beauties of an often poor landscape of hill and bog. The memoir is also a great portrait of Ireland in the 1940s and 50s, a time of frugal comfort but also of low expectation and depression for many people in a country that seemed to have no future. The author barely escaped being removed from school to do menial work through his discovery of books in the library of a friendly, eccentric neighbour. He found his way to the life of the mind, and a dream that he could himself write stories in which language and feeling mattered as much as the form of the tale. This memoir includes McGahern's memories of Dublin in the 1960s, his time as a schoolteacher, and his sacking for writing a banned book (his second novel, "The Dark"). It ends with his return to live in Leitrim with his wife and the death of his father, difficult to the last. --------------------------------------- The Politics of the Irish Civil War by Bill Kissane (Hardback; 60.00 Euro / 75.00 USD / 40.00 UK) Based on extensive archival research this book situates the Irish civil war in the general process of decolonization in the twentieth century, and explains why divisions over the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 proved so formative in the development of the Irish state. Each chapter is devoted to a particular aspect of the war and many new areas are explored. These include the role the doctrine of self-determination played in the Sinn Fein movement, the fate of numerous peace initiatives, the power struggle between de Valera and Liam Lynch within the IRA, and the impact of the civil war on the wider civil society. The last three chapters explore how the conflict has been interpreted by the actors themselves, as well as by historians. Combining perspectives drawn from history and politics, this book will interest not only students of Irish history, but also those interested in the comparative study of civil wars. -------------------------------------- Irish Book of Death and Flying Ships: From the Chronicles of Ancient Ireland (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 160 pages, with illustrations throughout) Extracted from a table of cosmical phenomena, epizootics, famines and pestilences in Ireland (included in The Census of Ireland for the Year 1851), the monastic and other annals quoted here cover the earliest time to which tradition refers (as transmitted by the bards) and up to the end of the 11th century AD. The history of the early plagues shows that people tried to account for sudden outbursts of disease, either by the direct and miraculous interposition of Providence, or by some peculiar atmospheric condition. Published to accompany the Irish Census of 1851, this specially photo-illustrated edition provides a beautiful history of Celtic Ireland. ------------------------------------ Illustrated History of Ireland: From 400 A.D. to 1800 A.D. by C.F. Cusack (Hardback; 13.00 Euro / 16.50 USD / 10.00 UK; 670 pages) With evocative black and white drawings, this is a thorough yet accessible history of Ireland, written in 1868 and featuring the famous and infamous inhabitants and events of Ireland. --------------------------------------- Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle by Declan Power (Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 9.00 UK; 300 pages) During the course of operations, a company of Irish troops was deployed to protect the inhabitants of the village of Jadotville. Not long after deployment, the troops found themselves heavily out-numbered and engaged in a pitched battle with native Congolese soldiers led by white mercenary officers. In addition to the overwhelming odds, the Irish also had to contend with being strafed by a jet and had no airpower or anti-aircraft defences to defend themselves. Appeals for re-supply from UN forces were to no avail. There were a number of attempts by Irish troops in the vicinity to mount a relief operation for their surrounded comrades. However, a mixture of superior fire, physical obstacles and political machinations within the UN led to abject failure. But after numerous rescue attempts failed and the Irish had fought to their last rounds of ammunition and were already using bayonets in hand-to-hand-fighting, Comdt Quinlan decided against the needless bloodshed of his men and surrendered. -------------------------------------- Kitty O’Shea: An Irish Affair by Jane Jordan (Hardback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 277 pages) Kitty O'Shea (1846-1921) was at the centre of one of the most notorious scandals of the late Victorian Age - a scandal which brought the downfall of Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the movement for Home Rule for Ireland and crippling damage to the movement itself. In 1889, Parnell was named co-respondent in a divorce suit brought by one of his own MPs, Captain Willie O'Shea. Alleged to have conducted an ten-year affair with Mrs Katherine O'Shea, Parnell was also revealed to be the father of the three youngest O'Shea children. The divorce and the details it exposed was a great public scandal in Victorian England and Catholic Ireland. Yet Parnell refused to resign from his leadership of the Home Rule movement, which resulted in the split of his party. In this compelling new biography, Jane Jordan explores the central, still unanswered questions:Why did Parnell risk the political future of Ireland (and his own) in conducting an affair with a married woman? And was O'Shea a duped husband, as he maintained, or did he connive with his wife's adultery in order to further his own political career? ------------------------------------- Till Death Do Us Part by Siobhan Gaffney (Paperback; 11.00 Euro / 14.00 USD / 8.00 UK; 200 pages) Colin Whelan and Mary Gough appeared to be like any young, married couple. They had been sweethearts and Colin won Mary's heart a few years before their wedding. The couple had been married just six months when Whelan called an ambulance saying his wife was badly injured as a result of falling down the stairs in the family home in Balbriggan, in north Co. Dublin. A post-mortem, however, established that she had been strangled. Whelan was charged with his wife’s murder in April 2001 but he disappeared while on bail in March 2003 before the trial began. He was thought to have taken his own life after his Peugeot 206 and a number of personal possessions were found near the sea at Howth’s Head in Co Dublin. A major sea, land and air search was carried out but his body was never found. About 15 months later an Irish holidaymaker in Majorca recognised Whelan working in a bar and alerted the authorities. This is the true story of what happened. Court reporter, Siobhan Gaffney, explores the homicidal tendencies of Colin Whelan, which emerged before he even wed his young wife. ----------------------------------- Ventry Calling by Bearnard O Lobhaing (Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 17.50 USD / 10.00 UK; 128 pages) Ventry Calling is a translation of Bearnard O Lubhaing's Ceann Tra hAon - a memoir originally published in 1998 by Coisceim and now translated by Gabriel Fitzmaurice. Ventry was a parish of two religions, Catholic and Protestant, which learned to live together. O Lubhaing's account of the religious and educational implications of this co-existence is carefully recalled. The rich archaeological heritage of the area, the feast days of the year, life in West Kerry during the Second World War, encounters with the Blasket Island heritage, are all lovingly related in this authoritative account by a Ventry native who went on to become a national school teacher, a member of An Taisce and a committed Gaelgeoir. ------------------------------------- Childhood Interrupted: Growing Up Under the Cruel Regime of the Sisters of Mercy by Kathleen O’Malley (Large Format Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 17.50 USD / 10.00 UK; 244 pages) In 1950, Kathleen O'Malley and her two sisters were legally abducted from their mother and placed in an industrial school ran by the Sisters of Mercy order of nuns, who also ran the notorious Magdalene Homes. The rape of eight-year-old Kathleen by a neighbour had triggered their removal - the Irish authorities ruling that her mother must have been negligent. They were only allowed a strictly supervised visit once a year, until they were permitted to leave the harsh and cruel regime of the institution at the age of sixteen. But Kate survived her traumatic childhood and escaped her past by leaving for England and then Australia when the British government offered a scheme to encourage settlement there. Fleeing her past again, Kate worked as a governess in Paris and then returned to England where she trained as a beautician at Elizabeth Arden. She married and had a son. A turning point in Kate's life came when she applied to become a magistrate and realised that she had to confront her hidden personal history and make it public. This is her inspiring story. ---------------- Available Again: ---------------- Collected Poems of Patrick Kavanagh (Paperback; 14.00 Euro / 19.00 USD / 11.00 UK; 300 pages) The centenary of Patrick Kavanagh's birth in 2004 provides the ideal opportunity to reappraise one of modern Ireland's greatest poets. From a harsh, humble background that he himself described so brilliantly, Kavanagh burst through immense constraints to redefine Irish poetry - a poetry appropriate for a fully independent country, both politically and culturally. Moving beyond Irish verse's preoccupation with history, national politics and identity, he turned to the land and scenery of his native Inniskeen, portraying the closely-observed minutiae of everyday rural and urban life in an uninhibited, groundbreaking style. Lucid, various, direct and engaging, Kavanagh's poems have a unique place in the canon and a unique accessibility. This major new edition is the culmination of many years of work by Antoinette Quinn in creating authoritative texts for Kavanagh's poetry - from his early works such as Inniskeen Road: July Evening' to his masterpiece, the epic The Great Hunger', allowing us to see the development of Kavanagh's genius as never before. ------------------------------------- Highlights from the Previous Issue: ------------------------------------- Shipbuilding in Waterford, 1820-1882 by Bill Irish (Large Format Paperback; 40.00 Euro / 50.00 USD / 30.00 UK; 270 pages, with black-and-white illustrations throughout) Bill Irish’s story of the Waterford shipyards highlights the role of Quakers as entrepreneurs, and particularly as risk-takers, who were willing to fund new enterprises, providing rare economic relief to underdeveloped areas without the guarantee of a good return on their investment—a rarity in Ireland, and a glimpse or reminder of what might have been. Their shipbuilding ventures in Waterford were as technologically advanced as any similar development of the day, and they certainly primed and brought to fruition the industrial revolution on the banks of the Suir. Shipbuilding in Waterford is illustrated with a large range of line etchings, lithographs, oil paintings, photographs, movie stills and video images, which on their own would constitute an invaluable historical record; coupled with the meticulously researched text, they make the book an important addition to our understanding of Ireland’s industrial and cultural history. ------------------------------- James Connolly: A Full Live by Donal Nevin (Hardback; 30.00 Euro / 36.00 USD / 24.00 UK; 850 pages) 'Hasn't it been a full life, Lillie, and isn't this a good end?', were James Connolly's last words to his wife in Dublin Castle in the early hours of May 12, 1916 shortly before his execution in Kilmainham Jail. The first fourteen years of Connolly's life were spent in Edinburgh and the next seven years in the King's Liverpool Regiment in Ireland. In 1889, he returned to Edinburgh where he was a socialist activist and organiser for seven years. In 1896, at the age of 28, he was invited to Dublin as socialist organiser, founding the Irish Republican Socialist Party and editing "The Workers' Republic". During seven years in America between 1903 and 1910, Connolly was in turn active with the Socialist Labor Party, organiser for the IWW ('Wobblies') and a national organiser for the Socialist Party of America. Returning to Ireland in 1910 as organiser of the Socialist Party of Ireland, Connolly was appointed Ulster Organiser of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union by James Larkin, succeeding him as acting general secretary in October 1914. As Commander of the Irish Citizen Army, Connolly joined with leaders of the Irish Republican Brotherhood in the Easter Rising in 1916, becoming Commandant-General of the Dublin Division of the Army of the Republic and Vice-President of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic. ----------------------------------------- Nationalism and the Irish Party: Provincial Ireland 1910-1916 by Michael Wheatley (Hardback; 75.00 Euro / 90.00 USD / 50.00 UK; 295 pages) John Redmond's constitutional, parliamentary, Irish Party went from dominating Irish politics to oblivion in just four years from 1914-1918. The goal of limited Home Rule, peacefully achieved, appeared to die with it. Given the speed of the party's collapse, its death has been seen as inevitable. Though such views have been challenged, there has been no detailed study of the Irish Party in the last years of union with Britain, before the world war and the Easter Rising transformed Irish politics. Through a study of five counties in provincial Ireland - Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon, Sligo, and Westmeath - that history has now been written. Far from being 'rotten', the Irish Party was representative of nationalist opinion and still capable of self-renewal and change. However, the Irish nationalism at this time was also suffused with a fierce anglophobia and sense of grievance, defined by its enemies, which rapidly came to the fore, first in the Home Rule crisis and then in the war. Redmond's project, the peaceful attainment of Home Rule, simply could not be realised. ------------------------------------------ Balrothery Poor Law Union, County Dublin, 1839-1851 by Sinead Collins (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 64 pages) The Balrothery Poor Law Union served most of north Co. Dublin which in the 1830s was a rural, agricultural area with almost no industry. The main source of employment was an agricultural labourers of whom there was an over-supply due to the continuing growth in population and the transition among the large farmers from tillage to grazing. The Poor Enquiry, established in 1833, carried out an in-depth examination of the area and found there much distress. Its findings are narrated. The establishment of the union, the building of the workhouse and life in the workhouse are described. The Famine years are dealt with in detail. The efforts of the guardians and landlords to cope with the crisis and the effects of the Famine years on the area are also examined. -------------------------------------- Smithfield and the Parish of St. Paul, Dublin, 1698-1750 by Brendan Twomey (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 64 pages) In the 1720s William Hendrick was the leading property developer in the Smithfield area of Dublin. The civic administration of the area at this time was largely within the jurisdiction of the local Church of Ireland vestry of St Paul’s parish of which Hendrick was a member. The book analyses the physical development and the civic administration of Smithfield in the first half of the 18th century. It also gives short biographies of a number of the leading members of the local Protestant elite in this period. -------------------------------- The Liberty and Ormond Boys: Factional Riot in 18th Century Dublin by James Kelly (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 64 pages) This study of factional disorder sets the Liberty and Ormond Boys in the contemporary context. The conditions necessary to enable factions to develop and flourish in Dublin were in place by the 1720s, when the city was sufficiently developed physically and demographically to sustain the local and sectoral identities that faction required. Nonetheless, the growth of faction could not have taken place without the breakdown in the authority of the guilds or in the absence of recreational patterns that validated violence. Beginning with the emergence of the Kevan Bail in 1729, the city was periodically racked over the following sixty years by busts of violence as the contending factions sought to establish which was dominant. As the best known and most enduring, the interlinked histories of the Ormond and Liberty Boys provide the centre piece of this book, but the histories of a host of lesser known factions from all parts of Dublin city and county are examined. ----------------------------------- Love Life: Poems by Micheal O Siadhail (Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 16.50 USD / 9.00 UK; 118 pages) In "Love Life", one of our most thoughtful and accomplished poets finds a fresh intensity and reach. In four sequences Micheal O'Siadhail tells of a life in love moving through the passionate erotic, the dramas of wooing, promising and quarrelling and the day-by-day of home. The seasons of love unfold - young love opening to intimacy, growth into commitment and the slow transformations of life together. Throughout, the core theme recurs: a lifetime's amazement at the mystery of one woman. The book culminates in the subtleties and variations of growing old while revelling in the love of life a deux. --------------------------------------- Pieces of Me: A Life-in-Progress by Roisin Ingle (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 414 pages) 'The prospect of taking over the 'Regarding Ireland' column scared me witless. If they'd changed the title to 'Regarding Reality TV' or even 'Regarding Roisin', I might have been slightly more enthusiastic. But only slightly ...' Despite her initial reluctance, Roisin Ingle's weekly column in "The Irish Times Magazine" has been enjoyed by thousands of readers over the last three years. In her disarmingly open style - always humorous, often deeply affecting - she muses on life, love and everything in between. Collected together for the first time, the columns are accompanied by new writing in which she reflects on the death of her father, her failed marriage, her unlikely path into journalism and her long-standing love affair with Borza's fish and chips. From her self-destructive years to her spiritual adventures to the summer she found love again in the middle of a Portadown riot, she writes about the journey so far with all the tenderness, humour and honesty her fans have come to expect. "Pieces of Me" will stir, engage and delight readers who will often find their lives reflected back through her pen. --------------------------------------- Traditional Irish Embroidery: Mountmellick Work by Sandra Counahan (Large Format Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00USD / 10.00 UK; 140 pages, with illustrations throughout) This is a practical how-to book for beginners and skilled embroiderers. It covers every aspect of Mountmellick Work, using clear instructions, diagrams and photographs. ------------------------------- Tom Barry: IRA Freedom Fighter by Meda Ryan (Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 20.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 480 pages) The story of Tom Barry's life, peppered by his battles with the State and Church, and his constant endeavours to obtain an All Ireland Republic makes him a unique and important figure of Irish history. In 1949 when he addressed huge crowds in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Boston, his voice rang out - 'My one aim is to unite the Irish people - one race...The Border will not fade away, or the Partition will not be ended until such time as the united strength is used in a supreme effort to get rid of it.' It details his involvement on the fringes of the Treaty negotiations; his Republican activities during the Civil War; his engagement in the cease-fire/dump-arms deal of 1923; his term as the IRA's Chief-of-Staff and his participation in IRA conflicts in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s right up to his death in 1980. ---------------------------------- Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 376 pages) It's 1924, and New York is the centre of the universe. Henry Smart, on the run from Dublin, falls on his feet. He is a handsome man with a sandwich board, behind which he stashes hooch for the speakeasles of the Lower East Side. He catches the attention of the mobsters who run the district and soon there are eyes on his back and men in the shadows. It is time to leave, for another America-Chicago is wild and new, and newest of all is the music. Furious, wild, happy music played by a man with a trumpet and bleeding lips called Louis Armstrong. His music is everywhere, coming from every open door, every phonograph. But Armstrong is a prisoner of his colour; there are places a black man cannot go, things he cannot do. Armstrong needs a man, a white man, and the man he chooses is Henry Smart. --------------------------------------- Thank you for your continued support. It is vital for the continuation of this service! I respectfully request that if you are considering ordering any of these books that you do so through Read Ireland. I very much appreciate your patronage. 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 full mailing address and credit card details including expiration date. You might like to split this information into 2 or 3 emails for security. 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 We have added a new feature to the Read Ireland website. It is a page listing ONLY the newest books added to or updated on the website. This new feature page will itself be superseded at least 3 times per month. Checking this page on the Read Ireland website is an ideal way to keep abreast of what is happening in the world of Irish Interest publishing. Please visit often! If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you very much for your continued support and custom. Sincerely, Gregory Carr @ Read Ireland
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?