This is an updated and extended edition of Thomas Cecil’s original The Harsh Winds of Rathlin: Stories of Rathlin Shipwrecks, first published in 1989. This earlier edition contained the result of all the known wrecks known at the time. This new edition gives accounts of later dives undertaken before his untimely death. This material has been supplied by Mario Weidner - Tommy's great friend, fellow diver and researcher.
Tommy was never convinced that the troop carrier SS Tuscania had sunk off the coast of Scotland. Mario, who comes from Germany, was able to research the German naval records and discovered critical information leading to the location of the SS Tuscania, which lay in exceptionally deep waters. Using this new research and the most advanced diving techniques of the time, both men, with their team of divers, ventured into the waters around Rathlin and discover and explored the vessel.
This new edition also contains additional material on the shipwrecked Santa Maria. Other notable wrecks include:
HMS Drake, Ella Hewitt, The Lochgarry, The Santa Maria, The Girvan, The Templemore, The Pintail, The Shackleton, The Bouncer, The Lugano, The Erlo Hills, The Arriero, and The Taymouth Castle.
Sadly, Tommy lost his life on September 21, 1997 while diving to the Tuscania. He is forever missed by his wife and family, the people of Rathlin and all who had the pleasure of diving with him.
Tommy Cecil was a fisherman, campaigner, writer, historian and diver, who dedicated his life to preserving, researching and documenting the Maritime History around Rathlin. He established Rathlin's International Dive Centre in 1991, bringing hundreds of divers from around the world every year
Tommy also played the lead role in the rescue of Richard Branson on the 3rd July 1987 when his balloon The Virgin Flyer ditched off the North Coast of the island at the end of his transatlantic crossing. In grateful recognition of this, Branson contributed £25,000 to the island in acknowledgement of Tommy's efforts.
In the Danger Zone: The Sinking of the Ocean Liner 'Tuscania'
Mario is an internationally recognised German diving pioneer, specialising in shipwreck research and exploration.
Between 1990 and 1997, he worked closely with Tommy Cecil exploring shipwrecks around Rathlin Island. His access to German naval records allowed him to solve one of Tommy Cecil’s most puzzling questions - the exact location of the sunken SS Tuscania. However, to explore the vessel, he and Tommy had to apply new technology and diving methods to become capable of diving shipwrecks which lay in deep water.
This publication is an account of how they achieved this. It is also the story of how a luxury transatlantic liner became a troop carrier in the First World Wat, and how it met its fate, with the loss of 166 lives, at the hands of a German U-boat in February 1918.
Mario and his team have been involved in many notable shipwreck expeditions, including investigative dives. His work has included filming, TV documentaries, one of which involved researching the fatal plane crash involving the French writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
In recent years, he has been working with divers to explore deep shipwrecks. His last major diving expedition was in 2014, where he assisted underwater scientists at the Fakarava Atoll in French Polynesia.
He was awarded a member of the International Explorers Club in New York in 2002. In retirement he supports initiatives aimed at ocean preservation as an ambassador for the Blancpain Ocean Commitment Campaign.
Paperback, 444 Pages, B&W text
Bicentennial Edition ~ 1820 - 2020
This edition of James Hardiman’s (1782–1855) 'History of the Town and County of Galway' commemorates the bicentenary of its original publication in 1820.
Hardiman's formative years were spent in Galway. He developed his interest in the history of the town through his work in the Public Records Office in Dublin . In his preface he states that his work enabled him “to investigate with greater accuracy the history and antiquities of this ancient and respectable town”. The book lists civic office holders and gives accounts of the county’s ecclesiastical foundations, charities and schools. His description of early nineteenth century Galway has proved to be of invaluable significance to later historians.
His reports for the Commissioners have acquired a particular significance as many of the original documents were destroyed in the destruction of the Public Record Office in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.
This quality edition has retained and enhanced the original illustrations and plates. To ensure the modern reader has a comfortable experience the text has been reformatted to the highest modern standards, and footnotes and appendices have been retained.
Chevalier Tomas O’Gorman
was one of the foremost genealogist of his day and a collector of Irish manuscripts. He was responsible for the
acquisition of the Book of Lecan by the Royal Irish Academy and he also donated the Book of Ballymote to the RIA. Thus he was in a position to draw upon a considerable range of sources
The genealogy covers almost 1,000 years of the House of O’Reilly, the ruling family of Bréifne. The territory they occupied was known as Bréifne now anglicised as ‘Breffny’ and ‘Brefnie’, incorporating County Leitrim and Cavan and beyond and where the name is still widely found.
His account is much more than a record of births, deaths and marriages. It is very much a document of its place and time, and goes beyond enumerating military exploits and political alliances. It describes how the family acquired a reputation as astute financiers, coining their own money, which was suppressed by the English Crown.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. The result is more much more than a table of generations and events and should prove of considerable interest to Irish genealogists and historians alike.