IRISH CRIME WRITERS - TRUE CRIME SECTION
Information & web links compiled by Cormac Millar
This is the first sub-page of my general list of IRISH CRIME WRITERS. Once that page grew beyond 70 authors it became unwieldly; it is gradually being re-organized by categories.
This section on "Irish true crime" (TC) does not list academic studies of crime written by criminologists or sociologists. It does not include the many books on institutional abuse which have appeared in recent years. It does not cover police malpractice, terrorism, family killings by delusional people, or true crime reporting in the news media. It sets out to cover books on general crime, written for a general readership. A number of these come from the true-crime lists of publishers like O'Brien Press, Merlin Publishing or Maverick House. Several titles cover the same high-profile crimes.
There are some older or one-off books on true crime in Ireland which have left little presence on the Web. As further information becomes available about these, it will be added. Meanwhile, here is a preliminary listing:
Angela Bourke TC (Historical)
Celtic scholar and biographer. Her prizewinning history book, The Burning Of Bridget Cleary reconstructs the 1895 murder of a Tipperary woman who was burned as a witch by her husband.
Marcus Bourke TC
Barrister, biographer, historian and former Parliamentary Draftsman, Bourke's study of the 1941 trial and hanging of Henry Gleeson for the murder of Mary McCarthy in Tipperary was published in 1993 as Murder at Marlhill: Was Harry Gleeson innocent?
Emer Connolly TC
Newspaper reporter and journalism lecturer. Her 2008 book Lying Eyes and the Hitman for Hire gives an in-depth account of one of the most bizarre criminal cases of the present century.
John Courtney TC
Courney headed Ireland's Murder Squad in the 1970s and 1980s. It Was Murder. Murders and Kidnappings in Ireland: The Inside Story was published in 1996.
Barry Cummins TC
Journalist and author of Irish true-crime surveys Missing (2003), Lifers (2004), and Unsolved: Nine Irish Murder Files - still open (2007), all published by Gill and Miacmillan.
Kenneth Deale TC
Kenneth E. L. Deale (1907-1974) was a judge of the Irish High Court. Memorable Irish Trials appeared in 1960. His collection of Irish murder trials, Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt?, was first published in 1971 and has been reissued several times.
Breandán Delap TC
Journalist, translator and news editor working in Irish and English. His biography, Mad Dog Coll: an Irish gangster (Dublin, Mercier Press, 1999, ISBN 1856352919) is a dramatic account of the short criminal existence of Vincent Coll, who was born in the Donegal Gaeltacht and fought in the New York gangs of the 1930s.
Eamon Dillon TC
Journalist with the Sunday World newspaper. His latest book, published by Merlin (September 2008), is entitled The Fraudsters: Sharks and Charlatans - How Con Artists Make Their Money.
Gerard Doherty TC
Author of Will You Murder My Husband?: Catherine Nevin and the IRA - The Inside Story (2000), about a much-discussed murder trial. Claims to lift the lid on the IRA's involvement in the Nevin case.
Terence Dooley TC (Historical)
Academic historian. The Murders at Wildgoose Lodge: Agrarian crime and punishment in pre-Famine Ireland (2007) deals with the murder of eight people in County Louth in 1816, followed by the trial and execution of 18 men, half of them innocent. The same massacre inspired works by William Carleton (1794-1869) in a short story from 1830, and Fr Raymond Murray, whose The Burning of Wildgoose Lodge appeared in 2005.
Wolfgang Eulitz TC
Author of The General and I, a first-person account of his clash with the criminal overlord Martin Cahill, who muscled in on his hot-dog business in Dublin's Leeson Street. Colm Tóibín called this book "vivid and fascinating ... a very compelling story".
Jenny Friel TC
Journalist with the Irish Mail on Sunday, and author of The Suspect (2007), the story of Joe O'Reilly, convicted for the murder of his wife Rachel.
Paul Howard TC
Sports writer. As Ross O'Carroll Kelly, Howard has authored a phenomenally successful series of satirical memoirs. Among his non-fiction works is The Joy, an account of Dublin prison life.
Mick McCaffrey TC
Dublin-based journalist, author of The Irish Scissor Sisters (2007), an account of the ‘torso in the canal’ murder committed by the Mulhall sisters in March 2005.
John Mooney TC
Journalist and author of four true crime books, including Gangster (2002) and more recently The Torso in the Canal, about a particularly lurid recent Dublin murder committed by two sisters, already mentioned.
Edna O'Brien TC
Famous novelist, author of The Country Girls (1960 -- not a crime novel) and many other titles; her 2003 novel In the Forest re-imagines, in fictional guise, a triple murder case widely covered in the Irish media.
Niamh O'Connor TC
True-crime author published by O'Brien Press; her books include The Black Widow: The Catherine Nevin Story (2000), about a murder case widely covered in the Irish media.
Emily O'Reilly TC
A former journalist and editor, now Ombudsman of the Republic of Ireland, O'Reilly is also the author of a true-crime book about the 1996 murder of campaigning journalist Veronica Guerin.
Jason O'Toole TC
Journalist and biographer, O'Toole's first book Crime Ink (2009) included interviews with some of Ireland's most celebrated crminals.
Michael Sheridan TC
Journalist, editor, screenwriter, theatre director, author of a series of true crime books documenting a number of major Irish cases.
Jarlath Waldron TC (Historical)
Fr Waldron is the author of Maamtrasna: The Murders and the Mystery (1992), a much-praised account of the murder of five members of a West of Ireland family in August 1882, and the subsequent miscarriage of justice, including the execution of an innocent man.
Liz Walsh TC
Investigative journalist and reporter. Author of The People v Catherine Nevin, about a murder case widely covered in the Irish media.
Paul Williams TC
Leading crime reporter specializing in gangland figures; author of a number of thoroughly researched and well written true crime titles. The General, a biography of Martin Cahill, became a film directed by John Boorman.
Frank Wynne TC
Sligo-born literary translator and author, Wynne wrote about the Dutch fake-artist Han van Megeeren in I Was Vermeer: The Legend of the Forger Who Swindled the Nazis. The Observer called his book"gripping and psychologically fascinating".
Books without separate web links:
W. MacLysaght & Sigerson Clifford, Death Sails the Shannon: The Tragic Story of the Colleen Bawn: The Facts and the Fiction, THE KERRYMAN LTD (1953),
reprinted 1975, 1993, Anvil Books, 192pp, ISBN 0900068604
Authors and titles recently noticed on the web site of Karen Millward Books, an Irish books specialist in West Cork. See http://www.karenmillward.com - Tel. 00353-27-53898.:
Burke John and Rice Eoghan. Homicide. Murders and Manslaughter in 21st Century Ireland.
Dublin, Merlin 2006. Illustrated.
Gerry O'Carroll, The Sherriff. A Detective's Story. Mainstream. 2006. Illustrated. The Sheriff recounts the author's story from his Kerry upbringing as one of a family of 15 children to his professional success as one of Ireland's most well-known policemen.
Rae Stephen Killers. Murders in Ireland. Dublin. Blackwater Press 1998. The last movements of the victims of some of the most notorious killers in Ireland's recent history.
Tom Reddy. The Murder File. An Irish Detective's Casebook. Dublin Gill & Macmillan 2005. A collection of murders investigated by Superintendent George Lawlor of the Murder Squad.
John Edward Walsh, Rakes and ruffians: The Underworld of Georgian Dublin.
Dublin Four Courts Press. 1979. A graphic account of the less sedate side of life in Georgian Ireland- a narrative which ranges from the gallows, bull-baiting and feuds in the Liberties to duelling, abduction, carousing and gambling. It shows how things were before the Irish began to learn from the English about 'propriety and decency, peace and good order.'
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