Clachan Publishing

To preserve and promote publications dedicated to Irish family and local history

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News and Views - In the Latest News category we announce our latest publications, launches, reviews  and  what we plan to do next.

We also post interesting snippets from our publications, just to get a feel for what they are about.

Periodically, we will also add themes of interest which emerge from some of our books, such as the question of Irish slavery which is a topic in Prendergast’s ‘Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland” and others.

Use - And for aspiring writers who get things wrong (and who doesn't?), we are developing a category entitled Tips for writers. Please use this section if there are any niggling grammar or punctuation problems that bother you. Just ask.

We also welcome topics initiated by our readers.


So, please become a site member to post entries. However, anyone can post comments (but become a member any way!).


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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 (113)

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 Grüger the discoverer of the manuscript

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on May 15, 2017 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (2)

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.

The Light of Other Days by Denis Rogers

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on April 10, 2017 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (31)


In this story we hear again echoing voices from a forgotten past. In the late 1600s in the dying light of Gaelic Ireland, Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, led the northern chieftains in a last brave struggle for faith and fatherland; to rid Ireland of an encroaching English influence, and to retain her ancient Celtic way of life. At the time of the Tyrone Rebellion the northern part of Ireland, together with the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland were the last remnants of a 1500 year old Celtic culture. The western isles furnished a cadre of elite mercenary warriors who fought for these northern chieftains.

The author was born in the north west of Ireland, in the area central to his story, and in his early years walked among relics of that forgotten past. As a child he stood with his parents on the old bridge at Ballyhannon to gaze at the falls of Assaroe and the site of the nearby fifteenth century O’Donnell castle. The Falls no longer exist, replaced in the 1950’s by a hydro electric dam. A market yard now stands on the site of the castle.

As a schoolboy he rambled through the old Maguire castle in Enniskillen, once the stronghold of Maguire chieftains, later the home of two of the oldest regiments in the British Army, and now a museum.

/With his parents he made an annual pilgrimage to the Holy Well close by Abbey Assaroe, a twelfth century Cistercian Abbey, -- and left votive offerings by the well, as had their pagan ancestors.

This book is a ramble through Irish history. It is interspersed with chapters relating to modern day events that serve to link Ireland’s past to Ireland’s present, and that will acquaint the reader with how those events of the 1600’s have had such an impact on modern day Northern Ireland.


Highways and Byways in Donegal and Antrim by Stephen Gwynn

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on September 23, 2016 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Donegal and Antrim as experienced by a cyclist in the last days of the 19C

Walking on Water - The poems of Maire Liberace

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on July 23, 2016 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Delighted to announce the launch of

Maire Liberace's first full book of poems.


SATURDAY, 6 AUGUST, FROM 6.00 T0 8.00 P.M.

Maire has previously published poetry in 'A New Ulster', Northern Ireland's newest literary and arts ezine, magazine.

The poems are a celebration of Ireland. Maire has grown up with a love and regard for its history, its legends, literature and poetry. All have been embedded in the marrow of her bones and this is reflected in a deep love for the country she grew up in.

Now resident in the United States, and with a grown up family, she is still immersed in the stories, people and experiences that shaped her early years and which have given her sustenance, succour and structure throughout her life.

She remains a frequent visitor to Ireland, returning to the North Antrim coast every year, keeping in close contact with the extended family in Ballycastle and Carey.

And it is of these places and people that she mainly writes; especially Ballycastle and its environs. These are the places that have brought everything together for Maire. The people, the landscapes and, in particular the sea, have always been and still are the sources of her inspiration. Among these, Murlough Bay remains the place of her dreams and fondest memories.

Many of her poems are imbued with a deep and original reflectiveness that seems to emerge from the landscape that inspired them. She writes of herself as:


Alone yet not lonely

I am rooted in time past,

Mist settles on my face

crystal beading on my hair and jacket.


The poems you will find here are strong, yet quiet, thoughtful yet accessible, thought-provoking yet without straining to be clever. They deserve to be read and reread by all who feel the pulse of the past beat from this lovely landscape and who see the glimmer of ancient ghosts cross the features of folk and events still with us.

Just as her mother imbued Maire with the love of her childhood landscape, so Robert, her son and renowned artist and living Master, has celebrated the same setting through his art and sculpture, and some of Robert’s work graces the pages of this publication.


Our contribution to the Linen Hall Library, Belfast

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on July 20, 2016 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

We are delighted that the Linen Hall Library were pleased to receive a donation of some of our reprints of antiquarian books, which they have made available to all members.

Their, there, and they�??re

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on November 23, 2015 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)

What’s the difference between their, there, and they’re?

Everybody probably knows this already. But mistakes can be made through carelessness or simply as typos. It is worth being reminded about.


Their is the third person plural possessive adjective, used to describe something as belong to them. Their is nearly always followed by a noun.

  1. Where is their house?
  2. This is their place and this is ours.
  3. Their being away for the week means I will feed their dog.



There has several different uses.

1. Adverb that means the opposite of "here"

She’s over there.

2. Pronoun that introduces a noun or clause.

There is something strange going on.

3. Adjective that emphasizes which person.

People there are very angry.

Those there look good.

4. Noun that means "that place."

From there, we sailed to Cobh.



They’re is the contraction of "they are" and is often followed by the present participle (verb form ending in -ing).

They’re leaving tomorrow.

Is that what they’re doing now?


It's and Its.

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on October 19, 2015 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (160)

It's and Its.

 Don’t mix these up!!

IT'S – the apostrophe is used here to indicate a contracted form. It's used as a shortened form of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’.

 For example

  1. It's (it is) a long way to Tipperary.
  2. It’s (it is) great to see you!
  3. It’s (it has) been a long time!
  4. It's (it has) been ready for weeks!

 However, we can see the difference between the two in the following example:

  • It’s (it is) annoying when it’s (it is) not in its right place.

 When not to use the apostrophe?

ITS – this form indicates a possessive in the sense that something belongs to the word which follows. So the ‘its’ on ‘its right place’ above indicates that the place ‘belongs’ to it.

 For example

  1. The doll had lost its arms and legs.
  2. The food had lost all of its flavour.
  3. Kenya is famous for its wildlife.

Spot the errors here

  1. There is no way its going to be as good as its sequal.
  2. I find its very difficult.
  3. Its lost it’s appeal.
  4. Its similar to words like ‘his’ and ‘hers’.

 Think about the meaning of this last example.

  • Its similar to words like ‘his’ and ‘hers’.

Would you ever see:

  1. Its nearly as nice as her’s.
  2. Hi’s books are missing?

 So why should we ever write:

  • It’s lost it’s appeal?


Breathing, by Michael Sands

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on July 18, 2015 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Thanks to Patricia Craig for reviewing our new edition of "Ulster and the City of Belfast".

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on July 1, 2015 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (1)

Patricia Craig's review in the The Times Literary Supplement (TLS) our new edition of "Ulster and the City of Belfast" by Richard Hayward.

Illustration from "Captain Cuellar's Adventures In Connaught & Ulster A.D. 1588".

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 28, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Illustration from Capt. Cuellar's story of surviving the Spanish Armada. After being shipwrecked as part of the Spanish Armada ans washed up on the shres of Sligo, he hid out with the MacClancys & O'Rourkes before making his way to teh Causeway Coast.

Raymond Piper's original drawings faithfull reproduced in "Ulster and the City of Belfast"

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 28, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Our new edition of Richard Hayward's "Ulster and teh City of Belfast" includes all of Raymond Piper's original illustrations. They're are truely evoctive and sensitive.

An interesting review of "Ulster and the City of Belfast" in the Anglo Celt.

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 20, 2015 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The Cavan paper, the Anglo Celt has two pieces on Richard Hayward, covering a full page. The emphasis is, unsurprisingly of Hayward’s writings on Cavan.

However, of that paper Hayward wrote:

“The only bad thing I know about that paper is the execrable local pronunciation of the work ‘Celt’ with a soft C. It does violence to my ear every time a Cavan man uses such an un-Irish sound”.


This is the "Irish Examiner's" Review of "Romancing Ireland".

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, you have heard of him now, thanks to Paul Clements.

Mayo News reviews the new paperback edition of "Romancing Ireland".

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (127)

Maureen O'Hara reading "The Corrib Country" by Richard Hayward during the filming of "The Quiet Man".

Launch of "Donnchadh MacSuibhne (Denis Sweeney) : A Master's Collection" Randelstown, June 13th.

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 10, 2015 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (1)

A compilation of traditional fiddle tunes collected by Denis Sweeney, master traditional fiddler, edited by Johnny Murphy.

This book is more than a celebration of one of Ulster’s Master Fiddlers. It is a continuation of an aspect of Denis’ work which involved transcribing and preserving the work of such great traditional musicians as Coleman, Morrison, Killoran and Gillespie. Over the years he diligently transcribed much of their work by listening and re-listening to their recordings and painstakingly and, with great musical sensitivity, preserving them in his notebooks, making the work of these masters available to his students and other musicians. With the publication of these notebooks, we hope to ensure that this work is given greater durability and reaches yet another generation thus, in turn, Continuing Denis’ legacy by playing our part in the transmission of the repertoire and playing styles of some of the most accomplished traditional musicians.

Soon to publish "Donnchadh MacSuibhne (Denis Sweeney) : A Master's Collection", edited by Johny Murphy

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on June 6, 2015 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Johny Murphy of" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Braid River Violins, Ballymena, inherited the oriinal manuscripts of Denis Sweeny. Denis had spent years preserving the work of such great traditional musicians as Coleman, Morrison, Killoran and Gillespie. This is a 'must have' collections for all serious Irish traditiona fiddlers.

Review of Valhalla and the Fjörd : A Spiritual Motorcycle Journey through the History of Strangford Lough

Posted by Sean O'Halloran on May 28, 2015 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (2)

Lovely piece on @RightToRide's website on #valhallaandthefjord Website here: … @ClachanBooks @ABRmagazine @MEMemagazine.

Right to Ride Magazine