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Five Famous Dogs of Ireland -Great grandmother pens new children's novel

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on January 27, 2019 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (29)

The Down Recorder - 5 December 2018

A CLOUGH woman has just published her third children’s book in a series cleverly written to capture the imagination of young readers.

Eighty six year-old Maureen Donnelly’a book, Five Famous Dogs of Ireland, which is illustrated by Ulster artist Susan Hughes, looks at the wealth of legends and rich folklore which has almost been forgotten today.

Mrs Donnelly, whose late husband, the Rev James Donnelly, was rector of Saul and Inch Parish Churches, says she got her inspiration from a picture of her great grandson, one year-old Rory Donnelly, holding on to a fluffy teddy bear in one hand and patting the family’s pet dog with the other.

She said: “It struck me when I saw the photo how well children and animals get along. Sadly, children are growing up in a society that is saturated with technology and it appears to be hindering their development in reading and understanding.”

Five Famous Dogs of Ireland brings to life the best loved of all the Irish hounds in history since Finn McCool and his favourite dog, Bran, strolled these parts.

They include the much loved best friend of Manus O’Kane, an ancient chieftain from the Glens. His wolfhound was called Bawn and was known to be the best jumping dog in all of Ireland and could scare off the meanest of enemies.

Mrs Donnelly said: “I had the privilege to grow up with stories such as Bran. I loved the story so much I wrote it down back then. And I’m really glad I did. I came to write all the ones I could recall back then too. These tales will be sure to ignite again the imaginations of every child who reads them.”

No book would be complete without the tale of Setanta, the young boy who grew up to be a brave warrior. He was renowned for tackling a fierce hound with his bare hands. But feeling so bad after killing the hound, he asked the dog’s owner for a pup and promised he would train him up to be as good as his father.

Setanta became known from that day on as Cu Chulainn — the Hound of Cullen.

Mrs Donnelly has been instrumental in setting up a number of historical societies around Co Down.

She adds: “The books are aids to help parents hand down our wealth of Irish folklore and the great legends of Ulster to another generation. So much of our heritage and culture is being lost on our young generation.

“This series of books is a way for me to rescue those stories. This generation is seeing a lot more children who are hyper active but a book in hand can be a slowing down tool to enjoy in a park or curled up on the sofa.”

Five Famous Dogs of Ireland would make a great Christmas gift for any child or adult. It can be purchased for £7.99 from a number of local outlets, including the St Patrick Centre, Down County Museum and Smyth’s Newsagents in Newcastle.



Maureen Donnelly - Famous Dogs of Ireland

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on January 27, 2019 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Maureen Donnelly has made a name for herself as a fine writer of local histories and childrens stories. Over a period of 21 years she was a regular writer for B.B.C. Schools, providing scripts for subjects that included history and nature.

Her sensitivity to historic context is evident in her latest book for children, . These stories are set in various historical periods and introduce the child reader to the life and times of different periods in Ireland's history. And of course they are about dogs - famous dogs.

Few stories are more popular with children than animal stories. It is often through such stories that children explore their emotional life. These stories deal with courage and grief, devotion and loyalty, affection and fear, victory and defeat; all dealt with through simple storylines a child can relate to. There are fun activities for the children too. They are challenged to find things out for themselves.

A map is included of the places mentioned, another learning challenge. The book is suitable for the age range of upper primary, about 8-12+.

Other children's books by the same author are:

Three Tales of Moyle, for 8-12 year olds

Patrick, Brigid and Columcille, for teenagers.

Adult books by the same author include:

The Nine Glens, Downpatrick and Lecale, Inch Abbey and Parish. Pamphlets include: Places of Historical Interest around Newcastle, Finn MacCool. Who was Saint Patrick?

She holds a B.A. from Queens University which included modules on Irish history. Maureen Donnelly,

SCHOOL BOOK - Randal Holm

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on January 27, 2019 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)


On the day after Hitler’s annexation of Austria and little more than a year before the start of World War 2, Richard Preston interviews for a post as head of a famous but crumbling British public school and gets the job despite never being allowed to answer a question. But his problems are just beginning when he struggles with his own war memories, an abusive or apathetic staff, a crooked bursar, a coup by fascist prefects, harassed juniors, offended royals, tumbling frescoes, decaying buildings, his daughters’ romantic entanglements, and the realisation that amidst a deteriorating international situation he is losing his own fight with a fate where everything he touches turns to farce.

Dan Masterson writes of Maire Liberace's 'Lament in a Minor Key' '''

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on October 16, 2018 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Dan Masterson (the first Poet Laureate of NY State's Rockland County, and Poet Emeritus at SUNY Rockland CC) writes: 'What a solid, embracing collection. "Valley Forge" & "Veterans Cemetery" are fine additions,.. They remind us of Maire's strict choices of verbs: the thrust they inflict and the immediate and lasting images they carry. We are also reminded of her strict/ and demanding use of adjectives: never cosmetic - always expansive. Among the array of gifts she gives her readers is interesting use of punctuation, -and the smooth or startling line-breaks that have us assume a change or resume the storyline.'

Maire Liberace reads from her latest book of poems

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on August 9, 2018 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Maire Liberace reading a selection of poems from her second book of poems, 'Lament In A Minor Key'. Her earlier work 'Walking on Water' was a celebration of Ireland. Her new work is broader in tone and topic - dark moments laced with bright threads of hope.

Clachan Celebrates its Fiftieth Publication

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on August 9, 2018 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Mike Turner introducing his debut children’s novel, 'Zarafina, Princess of Kendoria'. In the story Mike's granddaughter discovers she has another life as Princess Zarafina in the Kingdom of Kendoria were she is needed to destroy a loomong evil.

The real Molly was at hand to read passages from the book, along with Mike and the support of her mother.

The successful event was part of Clachan Publications celebration of its 50th publication, and took place in the Harbour Gallery, Ballycastle. This proved to be a most welcoming and supportive venue.

Thanks Katie!!

Map of the Territories of the Lords and Septs of Ireland

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 11, 2018 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Clachan Publishing is delighted with our latest publication -

This A1 sized map identifies the territories of the Irish clans and its lords and septs in the period 1540. The territories are colour-coded to identify the origin of each clan, whether Gaelic, Norman, Scottish, Gallowglass or Viking.

It is an A1 sized poster, measuring 23.4 x 33.10 inches.

It is beautifully presented in full colour with a gloss finish. It is a source of interesting historic information and a very pleasing addition to any home or classroom.

Sarah Fox has her poetry published in new poetry magazine 'From Whispers to Roars.'

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 6, 2018 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Congratulations to has just published some of her recent poetry.

Michael Turner's first children's book -"Zarafina, Princess of Kendoria".

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on April 3, 2018 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

❤️ #lifesdream #publishedauthor #childrensbooks #zarafina #family #lovewriting #accomplishments

Sarah Fox's poems published in 'One Man's Poison'

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on January 13, 2018 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

A voice for the future

Delighted to see four of Sarah Fox's poems published in 'One Man's Poison', Clachan Publishing, feature in the February issue of 'A New Ulster'.

Announcing'One Man's Poison' by Sarah Fox

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on January 10, 2018 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

is a remarkable collection of poems by a young woman who has experienced considerable suffering and pain for most of her life through ill health. Yet she retains a great capacity for joy, love and hope.

Hers is a truly inspiring and individual voice. She not only shows considerable promise but many of her poems already demonstrate an uncanny maturity and artistry.

We at Clachan Publishing are proud to have published her first book of poems.

Sarah Fox launches "one Man's Poison".

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on January 10, 2018 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Paul Clements' local history review in the Irish Times

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on January 3, 2018 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Great to see Paul Clements' local history review of Clachan's recent publications 'The Genealogy of the House of O'Reilly', in the Irish Times." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://

Clachan is proud to publish a recently discovered C18 manuscript on the House of O'Reilly

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on August 12, 2017 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the newly formatted B&W hardback edition, with coloured plates

Clachan is proud to publish a recently discovered C18 manuscript on the House of O'Reilly

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on August 12, 2017 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (23)

This is the full colour facsimile of the hardback presentation copy.

Now generally accessible for the first time, this is a reproduction of the recently discovered Genealogy of the House of O'Reillys of Brefne. It was commissioned in the 1890 by Count Alexander O'Reilly and written by the renowned genealogist, Chevalier Thomas O'Gorman. Using all well known sources and annals of the time, it outlines the history of the O'Reillys for 1000 years, concluding with the illustrious career of Count Alexander O'Reilly who, as an exiled Irish nobleman, served King Carlos of Spain in Havana and Louisiana, earning himself the title of Condé de O’Reilly, the Governorship of Madrid and Cadiz and Captain-General of Andalusia. The manuscript is more than a table of generations and events and should prove of considerable interest to Irish genealogists and historians alike. It gives valuable insights into the the political expectations and attitudes of the exiled Irish nobility whose experience and loyalties are evidenced in comments on military and political leadership, particularly as it applied to Ireland and its fraught relationship with is colonising neighbour.

Nikolaus GrĂ¼ger the discoverer of the manuscript

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on May 15, 2017 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

In 2008, an 18th century Irish manuscript was discovered at a rare books auction in Munich by Professor Nikolaus Grüger, The item was a genealogy of the Irish O’Reilly clan from the Kingdom of Breifne – modern County Cavan today.’

His first contact with Ireland was after the Second World War in 1946. His two older sisters received an invitation to stay with an Irish family in Dublin. He received letters from them in which they described the countryside, culture and music of this far distant land. But his love-affair with Ireland began with reading peregrinatio of the German author and later Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Boll, Irisches Tagebuch. It inspired him with the idea of getting to know the country, rich in cultural history. As a musician and performer of the French horn and Cello, inter alia, who was born and living in Berlin, with five musical brothers and sisters, they formed their own family string quartet. In the nineteen sixties, he founded the Rheinisches Blaser-Sextet (Rhenish Wind-Sextet) and organised a concert tour in 1969 throughout Ireland. Further concerts followed in Ireland under the new name Consortium Classicum, recording a total of thirty albums over a twenty-five year period. In that time they undertook three world concert tours. Nikolaus was teaching as a visiting music Professor in the State University of Manila in the Philippines in the nineteen seventies and later was appointed as Head of three Departments: Woodwind, Brass and Percussion in the Academy of Music in Munich. His love affair with Ireland continued with his marriage to Belfast Soprano, Angela Feeney - the renowned International Opera Singer. He was always on the lookout for Irish literature and is a lifelong member of the Linen Hall Library in Belfast. He discovered and purchased this Lost Manuscript in 2008 at a Munich book auction, without knowing its provenance.