New Ballyliffin book

Rosemary Doherty has just published a collection of essays on the village of Ballyliffin which runs to 226 pages covering archaeology, folklore, railways, placenames and wild life. Written by well-known historians and local writers, the book presents a fascinating insight into this small coastal community which is well known for its hotels, beaches, music, former dance hall, golf club and castle. Brian Lambkin offers an invaluable insight into John Toland, one of Ireland’s greatest writers and philosophers. I had the pleasure of recalling the great railway era associated with the village which saw thousands take to the waters every summer. One of the visitors was Brother Connolly, an expert on placenames and who studied in Belfast under the world famous dialectologist Heinrich Wagner. The anecdotes of local people are very interesting. Brian Harkin recalls some of his unusual hotel guests when he was in charge of the Strand Hotel. Denis McLaughlin explains when he is called the “curate”. (His father did all the jobs for the stations). John James McLaughlin recalls dances in the old hall now the Oratory. Paddy Gordon spent time in Rome. Fr. Sweeney’s father came to the village as a Gaelic League teacher of Irish. Michael McLaughlin recalls setting up the tweed factory in the village. The Quigley family of Lagg once owned property here and built several houses.  A great variety of stories, people and the life they lived. Well done Rosemary for capturing the essence and the spirit of this unique place. Available in local bookshops.

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