Come Taste the Flowers

Whenever I feel homesick – as I did last night – I have this habit of poring through photos of the last trip home, extracting the memories associated with each particular image. Going through this process last night, I was a bit surprised to discover the number of photographs of fuchsia hedgerows clogging up my photo library. To… Read more »

Update on Writing Projects

The above road sign is from the Gaeltacht (area in Ireland where Irish is still the first language). Essentially it’s a ‘Yield right of Way’ sign which kind of outlines how I feel at the moment. It’s been a pretty exhausting year with various work, writing and family projects on the go.  Needless to say, I’m nowhere as… Read more »

Excerpt from Fionn: Traitor of Dún Baoiscne

This is an excerpt from the soon to be released Fionn: Traitor of Dún Baoiscne. In this piece, the woman warrior Liath Luachra is making her way back to Ráth Bládhma (the ringfort Bládhma) after an encounter with the youth Fintán mac Gleor when she finds some disturbing sign. People occasionally ask why I write… Read more »

Irish Folklore: Magic Fairy Rocks

After a recent post on Adrigole I was reminded about a local feature that we used to pass on the road as kids (and still do as adults). This is just one of those many features that adds that ‘resonance of connectedness’ or ‘familiarity’ to the land that I mentioned last time. This particular feature… Read more »

My Writing: Secrets, Sighs and Sex

It’s always fascinating to learn how other people have interpreted something you’ve created, particularly when it’s something as complex as a novel. I’m still a bit surprised at times when a reviewer comments on my books and adds an interpretation that I really didn’t have in mind when I was writing the story. This week, a review (here) on… Read more »

Irish Folklore: Let Sleeping Giants Lie

One of the most interesting aspects of Irish folklore is how legendary Irish characters are often said to watch over the land from great heights – usually from dominant local topographical features. This particular photo is taken at the hill called Seefin on the Sheep’s Head peninsula (Seefin being a particularly bad anglicization of Suí Finn or Suidhe Finn –… Read more »

Irish Folklore: Water Values

Two words that most Irish people know – no matter how limited their Gaelic vocabulary – are ‘uisce beatha’: the Irish for ‘whiskey’. Uisce beatha – as everyone loves to explain ad nauseum – literally means ‘water of life’. Most Irish people are pretty proud about that description. It’s a cool intellectual construct after all,… Read more »

My Writing: Taking the Bog Road Home

Finally heading home to carry out some final research on the second book of my Beara Trilogy. With this particular series, as well as the usual thriller and mystery element, I’ve always been keen to include a strong contemporary issue that’s recently been to the fore in Ireland. Unfortunately, these days, I seem a bit spoiled for choice. Events in Ireland  over… Read more »

Folklore: Messing with the Past

I’ve always been a bit fascinated by the prehistoric structures around Aghabullogue (there’s an ancient bivallate ring fort to the south-west, sacred saint stone and of course the Ogham stones etc.). Although the prehistoric remnants there are quite cool, what I find particularly fascinating is the way that later communities of that region have actually interacted with them. In present day Ireland there’s, generally, a pretty decent respect… Read more »