Home/The Best of Irish
  • Growing up in the Shankill area of Belfast and living through the sectarian turmoil of the late 1960s, Billy Hutchinson joined the UVF in the early 1970s. In 1974, at the age of just 19, he was sentenced to life in prison, and it was in the cages of Long Kesh that he first came under the influence of loyalist icon Gusty Spence. Hutchinson spent much of the 1980s as overall Commanding Officer of UVF/Red Hand Commando prisoners, and upon his release, became involved with the recently established Progressive Unionist Party. As an authentic link between the UVF and the PUP, he was at the forefront of negotiations that led to the Belfast Agreement and was the UVF's point of contact during the weapons decommissioning programme. Written with candour and honesty, this is a lively first-hand account of an extraordinary life and reveals previously hidden episodes of both the Northern Ireland Troubles and the high-profile negotiations that led to the Belfast Agreement of 1998. From Tartan gang member to leading loyalist paramilitary, and from progressive unionist politician to respected Belfast City Councillor, My Life in Loyalism is Billy Hutchinson's remarkable story. ISBN 9781785373459
  • The first comprehensive account to record and analyze all deaths arising from the Irish revolution between 1916 and 1921 This account covers the turbulent period from the 1916 Rising to the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921-a period which saw the achievement of independence for most of nationalist Ireland and the establishment of Northern Ireland as a self-governing province of the United Kingdom. Separatists fought for independence against government forces and, in North East Ulster, armed loyalists. Civilians suffered violence from all combatants, sometimes as collateral damage, often as targets. Eunan O'Halpin and Daithí Ó Corráin catalogue and analyze the deaths of all men, women, and children who died during the revolutionary years-505 in 1916; 2,344 between 1917 and 1921. This study provides a unique and comprehensive picture of everyone who died: in what manner, by whose hands, and why. Through their stories we obtain original insight into the Irish revolution itself. ISBN 9780300123821
  • The riveting full-career autobiography of Barry Geraghty, one of the most successful jump jockeys in the sport's history. Now retired, Geraghty takes his rightful place in the pantheon of greats that inclues AP McCoy, Richard Johnson and Ruby Walsh. Barry Geraghty is an Irish horseracing legend. From his first win in 1997 he has gone on to ride almost 2000 winners, making him the fourth most successful jumps jockey of all time. With the second most wins at Cheltenham in the sport's history, he has worked with all the greats - Moscow Flyer, Kicking King, Monty's Pass. Barry finally retired in July 2020, covered in scars. He has broken all of his limbs, his shoulders, his ribs, his nose. He has survived falls too numerous to recall, and spent most of 2019 with a metal cast on his leg. And yet, he kept getting back on the horse, for twenty-three years. His autobiography is about resilience, the mental power that enables the great to keep going despite the pain, despite the odds. It explores how Barry has developed the mind tools to continue to push himself, even when all seems lost. Containing startling revelations and a searingly honest insight into the life of a top jockey, this is a must-read for all sports fans. ISBN 9780717191970
  • Born in Dublin in 1942, Anthony Clare was the best-known psychiatrist of his generation. His BBC Radio 4 show, In the Psychiatrist's Chair, which ran from 1982 to 2001, brought him international fame and changed the nature of broadcast interviews forever. Famous interviewees included Stephen Fry, Anthony Hopkins, Spike Milligan, Maya Angelou and Jimmy Saville, each of whom yielded to Clare's inimitable gentle yet probing style. Clare made unique contributions to the demystification and practice of psychiatry, most notably through his classic book Psychiatry in Dissent: Controversial Issues in Thought and Practice (1976). This book, the first, official biography of this much-loved figure, examines the man behind these achievements: the debater and the doctor, the writer and the broadcaster, the public figure and the family man. Using extensive public and family records, we ask: Who was Anthony Clare, really? Were there just one Anthony Clare, or many? What drove him? And what is to be learned from his life, his career, and his unique, sometimes controversial legacy to our understanding of the mind? This is the remarkable story of a remarkable person. ISBN 9781785373329
  • An Irish storyteller revisits the little-known legend of the Mermaid Saint in a haunting, beautifully illustrated tale of kindness, music and longing. Long ago, on the eastern coast of Ireland, a monk from the Abbey of Bangor was collecting driftwood along the shore when he found a boy washed up amid a circle of seals. At first the boy could barely move or speak. But when he regained his strength, he recalled being brought ashore by a lady with long golden hair who sang him to safety and gave him a silver ring. The monks knew the legend of a mermaid who had wandered the coast for three hundred years. Could it possibly have been her? Inspired by a story told in medieval chronicles of Irish history, debut author Marianne McShane weaves a captivating tale, while Jordi Solano captures the legend's spare but welcoming abbey on the rocky shore - a setting that makes you believe that if you listen hard enough, you too can hear the mermaid's song. ISBN 9781406392043
  • Jack and Bear are the best of friends. Jack loves Bear because he makes him feel brave. But one day Bear disappears and Jack suddenly feels all alone with a big Bear-shaped hole in his heart. Word soon gets around that Bear is missing and Jack starts to receive kind messages from strangers all over the world. Then the toy bears start to arrive. Though the bears start to heal Jack's sadness, none of them are Jack's bear. Perhaps there is something Jack can do withthem to help the other people with bear-shaped holes. . . A beautiful story of love, loss, and moving forward, inspired by the true story of Jack and his beloved Bear. Great for Ages 0-6. ISBN 9780192772114
  • Michael Collins knew the power of his persona, and capitalised on what people wanted to believe. The image we have of him comes filtered through a sensational lens, exaggerated out of all proportion. We see what we have come to expect: ‘the man who won the war’, the centre of a web of intelligence that ‘brought the British Empire to its knees’. He comes to us as a mixture of truth and lies, propaganda and misunderstanding. The willingness to see him as the sum of the Irish revolution, and in turn reduce him to a caricature of his many parts, clouds our view of both the man and the revolution. Drawing on archives in Ireland, Britain and the United States, the authors question our traditional assumptions about Collins. The eight thematic, highly illustrated chapters scrutinise different aspects of Collins’s life: his origins, work, war, politics, celebrity, beliefs, death and afterlives. Approaching him through the eyes of contemporaries and historians, friends and enemies, this provocative book reveals new insights, challenging what we think we know about him and, in turn, what we think we know about the Irish revolution. ISBN 9781848892101
  • *50% OFF SALE TITLE - WAS €18.10, NOW €9.05* In 1979 Bridget Doyle has one goal left in life: for her family to produce the very first Irish pope. Fired up by John Paul II's appearance in Phoenix Park, she sprinkles Papal-blessed holy water on the marital bed of her son and daughter-in-law, and leaves them to get on with things. But nine months later her daughter-in-law dies in childbirth and Granny Doyle is left bringing up four grandchildren: five-year-old Peg, and baby triplets Damien, Rosie and John Paul. Thirty years later, it seems unlikely any of Granny Doyle's grandchildren are going to fulfil her hopes. Damien is trying to work up the courage to tell her that he's gay. Rosie is a dreamy blue-haired rebel who wants to save the planet and has little time for popes. And irrepressible John Paul is a chancer and a charmer and the undisputed apple of his Granny's eye - but he's not exactly what you'd call Pontiff material. None of the triplets have much contact with their big sister Peg, who lives over 3,000 miles away in New York City, and has been a forbidden topic of conversation ever since she ran away from home as a teenager. But that's about to change. Signed 1st Edition Hardback. Includes '1' in numerical sequence on title page. ISBN 9780008295394
  • Signed exclusively for The Gutter Bookshop by Tana on publication in November 2020. Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can't make himself walk away. Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren't always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door. Our greatest living mystery writer weaves a masterful tale of breath-taking beauty and suspense, asking how we decide what's right and wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we risk if we fail. 'One of the most compulsive psychological mysteries since Donna Tartt's The Secret History' THE TIMES ISBN 9780241459409
  • Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can't make himself walk away. Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren't always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door. Our greatest living mystery writer weaves a masterful tale of breath-taking beauty and suspense, asking how we decide what's right and wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we risk if we fail. 'One of the most compulsive psychological mysteries since Donna Tartt's The Secret History' THE TIMES Paperback Edition published 9th December 2021 - Order Now. ISBN 9780241990100
  • One happy street. Three pretty houses. So many lies... On the idyllic Pine Road, three women are looking for a fresh start... What mysterious circumstance forced Martha to leave the home she loved and move to Dublin? Why has school 'it'-girl Robin moved back in with her parents as a single mum? And if Edie's life is so perfect, why is she so unhappy? As the lives of these very different neighbours become entwined, they will discover the secrets, rivalries and scandals that lite behind every perfectly painted front door... ISBN 9781786496201
  • Following her own brilliant short story collection Multitudes, Lucy Caldwell guest edits the sixth volume of Faber's long running series of new Irish short stories, continuing the great work started by the late David Marcus and subsequent guest editors Kevin Barry, Deirdre Madden and Joseph O'Connor. Contributors to this richly diverse collection include: Kevin Barry, Eimear McBride, Lisa McInerney, Stuart Neville, Sally Rooney, Kit de Waal and Belinda McKeon 'BEING VARIOUS has a brilliant array of writers making waves in the twenty-first century, from lauded names to newcomers ranging from their twenties to their sixties; Irish by birth, by parentage, or residence.' Lucy Caldwell. ISBN 9780571354108
  • Leo Kennedy was always meant to enter the family business, where deals are made in dark corners and crossing the wrong people can get you killed. But, years ago, he surprised everyone by leaving it all behind and choosing a life on the straight and narrow - at a heavy cost. Now, he's back in Dublin to receive a mysterious inheritance, and trying to ignore the increasingly loud hum of gang violence in the city. Meanwhile, as tensions escalate between Leo's toxic family and rival gang the Wards, trafficked sisters Yulia and Celestine are desperately trying to free themselves from Duchy Ward's violent clutches. Leo immerses himself in plans to open a restaurant and turn his life around once more, failing to notice the signs that his return is all part of a trap set by his father to bring him back into the fold. And this time, there may be no escape... 'Irish crime writing at its best' John Connolly. ISBN 9781473699458
  • It's dawn and in the early morning light, Michael Harding is walking in his garden in the hills above Lough Allen in Leitrim, dreaming of the new beginning in Donegal he had planned before the world changed in the early months of 2020. Here, in his stunning and intimate new book, we travel with Michael through this day as he looks back at a life lived within, and as part of, the Irish landscape. In doing so, he vividly brings to life what is at the heart of Irish identity: storytelling, love and human connection. With honesty, insight and tenderness, he shows that while everything has changed, that which is important remains the same; and how, in this new world, we can live with hope and faith in everything that is beautiful in the sky. What is Beautiful in the Sky is an account of our times: a record of our past and a promise of new beginnings. ISBN 9781473691018
  • 'He's one of the best players I've ever played with. As a forward, I'd say he's the best.' Johnny Sexton. Sean O'Brien does not come from a traditional rugby background. He grew up on a farm in Tullow, far from the rugby hotbeds of Limerick and Cork or the fee-paying schools of Dublin. But as he made his way up through the ranks, it soon became clear that he was a very special player and a very special personality. Now, Sean O'Brien tells the remarkable and unlikely story of his rise to the highest levels of world rugby, and of a decade of success with Leinster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions ISBN 9781844884599
  • Alice Taylor takes a look back at the well-used schoolbooks she used in her youth in the 1940s and 1950s. Flicking through the pages of the books and recalling poetry and prose she learned at school, Alice reminisces about these texts, how she related to them and how they integrated with her life on the farm and in the village. In her warm, wise way, Alice reflects on poems and stories on topics ranging from birds, trees and nature to fairy tales and legends, and ties them in with her own knowledge and memory of traditional country life. Containing the text of the poems that readers will remember from their own school days, and evocatively illustrated with photographs of the school books and Alice's notes on them, as well as nature, flora, fauna and objects associated with schools of old, this is a reminder of childhood days and a treasure trove of memory. ISBN 9781788492690
  • John Creedon has always been fascinated by place names, from when he was a young boy growing up in Cork City to travelling around Ireland making his popular television show. In this brilliant new book, he digs beneath the surface of familiar place names, peeling back the layers of meaning behind them to reveal stories about the nature of the land of Erin and the people who walked it before us. Travel the highways, byways and boreens of Ireland with John and become absorbed in the place names such as 'The Land of Robins', 'Patrick's Bed', 'The Eagles Nest', 'Hidden Treasure' and 'The Valley of the Crazy'. All hold clues to help uncover our past and make sense of that place we call home, feeding both mind and soul along the way. That Place We Call Home is an absorbing non-fiction debut from one of Ireland's broadcasting national treasures. ISBN 9780717192021
  • This major illustrated study investigates farmhouse and cabin furniture from all over the island of Ireland. It discusses the origins and evolution of useful objects, what materials were used and why, and how furniture made for small spaces, often with renewable elements, was innate and expected. Encompassing three centuries, it illuminates a way of life that has almost vanished. The incorporation of natural materials such as bog oak, turf, driftwood, straw, recycled tyres or packing cases is viewed in terms of use, and durability. Chapters individually examine stools, chairs and then settles in all their ingenious and multi-purpose forms. How dressers were authentically arranged, with displays varying minutely according to time and place, reveal how some had indoor coops to encourage hens to lay through winter. Some people ate communally or slept in outshot beds, in the coldest north-west, all this is illustrated through art as well as surviving objects. This is a is a substantially different book from Irish Country Furniture, 1700-1950, published by Yale UP in 1993 and reprinted several times. Many of the author's fieldwork photographs from the late 1980s, have been digitised and will now be published for the first time. The extent has almost doubled; there are an extra 120 illustrations; the main text has been fully updated and revised. ISBN 9781782054054
  • Richard Nairn has spent a lifetime studying - and learning from - nature. When an opportunity arose for him to buy a small woodland filled with mature native trees beside a fast-flowing river, he set about understanding all its moods and seasons, discovering its wildlife secrets and learning how to manage it properly. Wildwoods is a fascinating account of his journey over a typical year. Along the way, he uncovers the ancient roles of trees in Irish life, he examines lost skills such as coppicing and he explores new uses of woodlands for forest schools, foraging and rewilding. Ultimately, Wildwoods inspires all of us to pay attention to what nature can teach us. 'A book to inspire anyone who wants Ireland to grow more Irish trees.' Michael Viney. ISBN 9780717190218
  • The inspiration for What White People Can Do Next came in June 2020, shortly after the death of George Floyd when Emma Dabiri shared a resource on Instagram called "What White People Can Do Next" and was overwhelmed by outpourings of enthusiasm and relief from white people deeply affected by the racial justice protests unfolding across the globe but unsure of what to do next. What White People Can Do Next will be a practical resource offering accessible guidance that will aim to cut through the overwhelming online discourse. Dabiri is said to interrogate shibboleths such as ‘White Supremacy’ and ‘White Privilege’, by combining her studies and personal reflection. Dabiri said: "I was blown away by the response to my 'White People' online resource, and welcome the opportunity to delve deeper and expand on its themes. I think we’ve nailed how to say what we don’t want, but find it much harder to articulate what we do—let alone how to achieve it. Nonetheless I’m sure most of us can sense we’re on the verge of something; whether or not that’s teetering on the precipice of disaster, or on the threshold of a deeply renewed and just reality, the future feels like it’s hanging in the balance. My intention with this book is that it works as a guide towards ushering in the latter. This is a book about the part that’s often missing, about the ‘where we go from here’ and the ‘what’ it is we do next." ISBN 9780141996738
  • This collection of poems by Paula Meehan gathers together work published between 1991 and 2016 from collections that have been lauded, awarded and widely translated. Collections that have gained a large audience and a considerable reputation, nationally and internationally, by one of Ireland's foremost poets and most distinctive voices. A great deal has changed in the world in the arc of time covered by these poems, and those changes are noted and considered by poems that are remarkable for their clear-eyed witness. Meehan's devotion to, and mastery of, her craft, has always been one of the key signatures of her work, as has been her immersion in her beloved native Dublin. In her Selected Poems we see this and more - her uncompromising engagement with the politics of gender and class, her love of the natural world and her grief at what threatens it, her holistic and visionary impulse to bless the creation, and to be grateful for her place in it. ISBN 9781910251775
  • In her debut collection of poetry, Bebe Ashley spins gold from the detritus of the internet. A landscape often depicted as a wasteland is illuminated in poems that explore celebrity, obsession, sexuality, coming of age, and that charismatic enigma, Harry Styles. Inspired by sources as diverse as Styles's track listings, Scandi webseries Skam, and One Direction newsletters, Ashley spins us across continents on a tour of the surreal highs and absurd lows of celebrity culture. These are poems of youth and yearning, yet they're suffused with the hard-won wisdom that the communities we build can be as meaningful as the families we're born into. Perceptive, witty, and exuberant, Gold Light Shining introduces an essential new voice; one that captures how pop culture's Technicolor joy disrupts our greyscale world. ISBN 9780995655089
  • In 1800, Dublin was one of the largest and most impressive cities in Europe. The city's townhouses and squares represented the pinnacle of Georgian elegance. Henrietta Street was synonymous with this world of cultural refinement, being one of the earliest and grandest residential districts in Dublin. At the end of the eighteenth century, the street was home to some of the most powerful members of the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy. Yet, less than a century later, Dublin had been transformed from the playground of the elite, into a city renowned for its deprivation and vast slums. Despite once being 'the best address in town', by 1900 almost every house on Henrietta Street was in use as tenements, some shockingly overcrowded. How did this happen? How did a location like Henrietta Street go from a street of mansions to one of tenements? And what was life like for those who lived within the walls of these houses? This is a story of adaptation, not only of buildings but of people. It is a story of decline but also of resilience. Spectral mansions charts the evolution of Henrietta Street over the period 1800 to 1914. Commencing with the Act of Union and finishing on the eve of the First World War, the book investigates the nature and origins of Dublin's housing crisis in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Commissioned by Dublin City Council Heritage Office in conjunction with the 14 Henrietta Street Museum, the book uses the story of one street to explore the history of an entire city. Publication now moved to April 2022 - Order Now. ISBN 9781846828676
  • A spectacular new title from world-renowned artist Oliver Jeffers, creator of the million-copy selling, global phenomenon Here We Are! What shall we build, you and I? I'll build your future and you'll build mine. We'll build a watch to keep our time. A father and daughter set about laying the foundations for their life together. Using their own special tools, they get to work; building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe and love to keep them warm. From renowned, internationally bestselling picture-book creator and visual artist, Oliver Jeffers, comes this rare and enduring story about a parent's boundless love, life's endless opportunities and all we need to build a together future. Great for Ages 0-6. ISBN 9780008382209
Go to Top