Category: Books

The Phoenix Park Murders recalled

The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge and the Murders that Stunned an Empire by Julie Kavanagh (Grove Press, £18.99) The Queen v. Patrick O’Donnell: The Man who Shot the Informer James Carey by Seán Ó Cuirreáin (Four Courts Press, €17.95) Felix M. Larkin When Lord Frederick Cavendish was killed by the Invincibles in the Phoenix Park…

Laying the foundation of a scientific modern Ireland

Peter J. Drumm, First Professor of Biochemistry at University College Cork by Ned Barrett (Clogher Historical Society, €15.00; Clogher Historical Society, St Macartan’s College, Mullaghmurphy, Monaghan; ; info@clogherhistory.ie) Peter J. Drumm was born in Drumod, Co. Monaghan, on October 24, 1898. He attended Derrygooney National School and was a boarder at St Macartan’s College in Monaghan Town from…

A grim but important century in Irish history

Mission to a Suffering People: Irish Jesuits 1596-1696 by Thomas J. Morrissey SJ (Messenger Publications, €19.95/£18.95) The Jesuit historian T. J. Morrissey is well known for his books on the Irish trade union movement and on modern Church history, especially in Dublin. But he has also written widely about the more distant past. His new book…

A profound change: the emergence of modern urban Ireland

The First Irish Cities: an Eighteenth-Century Transformation by David Dickson (Yale University Press, £25.00/€32.00) In this study Prof. Dickson selects ten Irish cities and towns, subjects them to a forensic historical analysis and illustrates in meticulous detail their evolution throughout the 18th Century. The urban centres he selects are: Belfast, Cork, Derry, Drogheda, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny,…

A forgotten patriot

A Life of Sir Horace Plunkett by Maurice Colbert (Copies can be purchased directly from the author at: 086 821 9584, or email mcolbert@live.ie Price: €20+postage) This book brings to mind that passage in Gulliver’s Travels, where that hardy sea man is in dialogue with the king of Brobdingnag about the virtues of their respective nations. “And he gave…

‘Saints and Beasts’ IV

Saint Francis of Assisi and the wolf of Gubbio St Francis of Assisi, canonised in 1228, a mere century after his death, must be one of the most universally venerated saints in the world, a man widely respected beyond the Christian community. This is partly due to his special relationship with birds and animals. In…

‘Saints and Beasts’ III

Irish saints are, of course, not the only ones to have curious associations with birds and animals. Two remarkable instances are the lives of the Northumbrian St Cuthbert, and the even more remarkable legend of the Father of the Church, St Jerome. These are worth contrasting with our Irish saints. St Cuthbert and the otters…