Here is a small sample of books we have compiled that are not within the public domain, but are highly recommended reading.
Old Ireland in Colour by John Breslin and Sarah-Anne Buckley
Photographs from Irish history colourised by John Breslin with historical context provided by Sarah-Anne Buckley. The book is divided into five broad categories: The Irish Revolution, Society and Culture, Women and Children, The Irish Abroad, and Scenic Ireland. The images are striking, and the historical context a welcome addition. The book provides a remarkable visual depiction of what ordinary day-to-day life looked like in Ireland in times now past.
Provides a first-hand account of the War of Independence as it was fought in West Cork by the leader of the Third Cork Brigade, one of Ireland’s finest military commanders, Tom Barry. Among the events described are the victory at Crossbarry outnumbered more than ten-to-one, winning the intelligence war by dealing with spies and informants, and a first-hand account of the controversial Kilmichael ambush.
Similar to Barry’s Guerilla Days in Ireland, but with a greater focus on the war in Dublin. The book follows the exploits of Breen and his comrades from the ambush at Soloheadbeg that began the war, to being on the run, to the fighting in Dublin and Tipperary. Breen’s book is as thrilling and daring as Barry’s.
The famous Iliad of Ireland, Medb’s Cattle Raid into Ulster, defended by the lone hero Cú Chulainn: here Darach Ó Scolaí has rendered the ancient tale into modern Irish prose in novel form. It is a story that should be familiar to all in Ireland, the greatest of the country’s epics. While the Irish can be difficult to parse at times, it is worth the effort it takes to read, as not only is the story itself deserving of its reputation, Ó Scolaí’s rendering of the story is artful.
An Duanaire 1600-1900: Poems of the Dispossessed by Seán Ó Tuama and Thomas Kinsella
A fine collection of Irish poetry, spanning the three hundred years of Ireland’s total subjugation, which followed the defeat at Kinsale and the collapse of the system which sponsored the bards. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Transitional Poetry’, ‘The New Poets’, and ‘Folk Poetry’. The poems are accompanied by faithful English translations and are some of the finest examples of Ireland’s literary and cultural output.
Gaeilge: A Radical Revolution by Caoimhín De Barra
In his book Caoimhín de Barra tackles the problems facing Irish language revivalism today. He offers his own perspective on a host of issues, debunks many of the common clichés which persist regarding the language and its use, addresses the attitudes that many have towards the language, looks to other language revival efforts for perspective, and offers up his own plan for revival.
A romanticist tale of Ireland’s history, its laws, its literature, its language and its customs by the renowned folklorist (seanchaí) Seumas MacManus. It is MacManus’s magnum opus and one of the most famous popular retellings of Irish history. The work, although freely in the public domain in the United States, remains copyrighted in Ireland.