by Eamon Dillon
Irish Travellers have never enjoyed a higher profile, at home and abroad, for good reasons and bad. On the one hand are the positive stories like the success of boxers such as John Joe Nevin and Tyson Fury, the popularity of Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Paddy Doherty’s victory on Celebrity Big Brother. On the other are controversial news stories such as the Dale Farm stand-off and the recent convictions for slavery.
Gypsy Empire delves into the heart of Traveller life, focusing on three aspects that have coloured perceptions of Travellers among the wider community: family feuds, bare-knuckle fights and trading. Many Irish Travellers are driven by the need to prove their status among their own, a powerful instinct epitomised by those who engage in brutal bare-knuckle fights. These bouts are fuelled by family feuds which sometimes erupt in vicious acts of violence. We meet many colourful characters, among them some of the world’s most prolific and gifted criminals, their self-reliance providing an edge over other crime gangs.
This is a golden era for the Traveller clans which are expanding and growing like never before. Gypsy Empire takes the reader inside the hidden world of Irish Travellers.
The Boy at the Gate
by Danny Ellis
Danny Ellis was a survivor, strong and resilient. A successful singer/songwriter, he was proud of the way he’d ‘handled’ his painful past: the grinding poverty of the 1950s Dublin slums, and the brutality of the orphanage, the notorious Artane Industrial School where he was left. He’d safely buried it. Or so he thought.
Then one night, while writing a powerful song that would launch his acclaimed album, 800 Voices, his past came flooding back to haunt him. Long-forgotten memories of betrayal and abandonment burst forth in a shocking revelation: his eight-year-old self was still lost in the orphanage.
Although badly shaken, Danny began a courageous journey that would lead him back to the streets of Dublin, to the tenement slums and, eventually, to the brutality and scallywag shenanigans of the Artane playground. What he found with each twist and turn of his odyssey would change his life for ever.
The Boy at the Gate is a poignant, profoundly moving memoir of forgiveness and redemption, and an inspiring testament to the healing power of music and love.
The Convictions of John Delahunt
by Andrew Hughes
On a cold December morning in 1841, a small boy is enticed away from his mother and his throat savagely cut. But when the people of Dublin learn why John Delahunt committed this vile crime, the outcry leaves no room for compassion. His fate is sealed, but this feckless Trinity College student and secret informer for the authorities in Dublin Castle seems neither to regret what he did nor fear his punishment. Sitting in Kilmainham Gaol in the days leading up to his execution, Delahunt tells his story in a final, deeply unsettling statement . . .
Dublin in the mid-19th century was a city on the edge - a turbulent time of suspicion and mistrust
and the scent of rebellion against the Crown in the air, Beautifully written, brilliantly researched and with a seductive sense of period and place, this unnervingly compelling novel boasts a colourful assortment of characters: from carousing Trinity students, unscrupulous lowlifes and blackmailers to dissectionists, phrenologists and sinister agents of Dublin Castle who are operating according to their own twisted rules. And at its heart lie the doomed John Delahunt and Helen, his wife. Unconventional, an aspiring-writer and daughter of an eminent surgeon, she pursued Delahunt, married him and thereby ruined her own life. And as for Delahunt himself, we follow him from elegant ballrooms and tenement houses to taverns, courtrooms and to the impoverished alleyways where John Delahunt readily betrays his friends, his society and ultimately, himself.
All In My Head: The Autobiography
by Lar Corbett
For Tipperary hurling, defeat in the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final was heartbreaking.
For Lar Corbett, it was devastating.
Then again it has never been a straight road for the three-time All-star and 2010 ‘Player of the Year’. Deemed not good enough to play for Tipperary at minor level, he was nineteen before his unique talent was identified by Nicky English who gave Lar his chance in the All-Ireland winning squad of 2001. But this success was to be followed by years of despair as Tipperary hurling floundered, managers came and went, and a recurring hamstring condition left his career hanging in the balance.
The turning point came in 2007 with the arrival of the ‘dream team’ of Liam Sheedy, Eamon O’Shea and Michael Ryan. Encouraged to play more freely and to exploit his explosive pace, Lar soon became one of the most lethal forwards in the game. His three-goal blitz against Kilkenny in the 2010 All Ireland final is the stuff of legend.
Following defeat in the 2011 All-Ireland final, Lar stepped away from the game in February 2012 but was ultimately persuaded to return for the championship. Then came the disastrous semi-final where tactical changes kept Lar largely out of the game and provoked unprecedented criticism from media and fans alike. In All In My Head, Lar offers a unique insight into what happened on that day and over the turbulent year leading up to it.
This honest and revealing autobiography is a must-read for all fans of the sport of hurling.
by Niamh O'Connor
DI Gavin Sexton is looking into a spate of teenage suicides when he encounters a young girl, paralyzed with locked-in syndrome. Unable to communicate in any other way, she blinks the words: ‘I hired a hitman’.
Was it suicide?
Recovering from loss of sight, Sexton’s old partner DI Jo Birmingham is keeping her promise to investigate the apparent suicide of Sexton’s own wife, Maura. But why does he no longer seem to care?
Secrets thrive on stigma
Sexton believes the girl who cannot move has suffered enough. But how far should he go to protect her? And what if Jo discovers an uncomfortable truth?
Blink will grab you from the first page, and won’t let go.