I was delighted to be invited to the launch of a new book on County Clare last week.
Ger Madden is a well-known local historian. His previous titles include “A History of Tuamgraney and Scariff Since Earliest Times” , “History of the O’Maddens of Hy-Many” and “History of the O’Gradys of Clare and Limerick” (a book which, incidentally, was presented to Muhammad Ali from the stock of Scéal Eile Books on his visit to Ennis last year- in the hopes that his family would have some interest in reading about his O’Grady roots in Co Clare!)
Entitled “Sliabh Aughty Ramble”, Ger Madden’s latest offering is an ode to the East of County Clare, as the title suggests.
The book is sub-titled “Musings on the folklore, history, landscape and literature of the Sliabh Aughty region” – written in a casual, conversational tone Ger Madden takes us day-by-day on a yearlong journey through a landscape he truly is an expert on. It is a book peppered with historical fact as well as images, anecdotes and information about the local flora and fauna – not to mention the distinct local characters who have inhabited the area! Wide-ranging in scope, this guide captures the distinct flavour of East Clare – a part of the world which has long been overlooked in favour of celebrated West Co Clare.
In the words of the author himself:
“A wealth of historical, archaeological, spiritual and visual surprises await the adventurous traveller in this forgotten country. It is a magical, mystical and mysterious place, part of a unique cultural landscape that has not been lauded by many poets, painters, travel writers or composers. It is not promoted or referred to in tourism brochures and even the cartographers have on occasion omitted it from maps…”
Let’s hope that with the help of this guide, the first of its kind, the mountainous region will be discovered for the first time by many intrepid travellers, and indeed rediscovered by people closer to home.
Sliabh Aughty Ramble costs 20 euro and is available to buy instore from Scéal Eile Books, and online at our abebooks store.