Monday 22 January 2018

Author digging into local history

Brendan O'Loughlin and Patricia Kinsella at the book launch.
Brendan O'Loughlin and Patricia Kinsella at the book launch.

John Manning

A WONDERFUL new history of Portmarnock has been published by a local historian who has detailed the history of the coastal town as far back as the Stone Age.

Garry Ahern is a member of Malahide Historical Society, of Lough Gur and District Historical Society and of Inkwell Writers' Group and he is the author of this latest volume, 'Portmarnock - It's People and Townlands, A History'.

He has been a contributor to several journals and although he is a native of County Limerick, he has lived for over forty years in Portmarnock. This 300-page and far-reaching history of Portmarnock from the earliest times is fully-referenced and indexed and is copiously-illustrated, including numerous new images.

The many topics covered in the book include Stone Age residents and new arrivals, the arrival of the Normans, the ownership of Portmarnock by St. Mary's Abbey, the Medieval village, post-Reformation confiscations, townlands and lost place-names, the civil parish, Famine times and population variation over the centuries.

Individual chapters in the book cover the histories of local churches, schools and sporting clubs, and why there was nearly a military firing-range where Portmarnock Golf Club was later founded.

The Plunkett, Trumbull, Jameson and Willan families are detailed as is the career of Portmarnock resident and seven-times Lord Mayor of Dublin, Larry O'Neill.

Among other subjects covered in the book are the stories behind many local shipwrecks, epic Trans-Atlantic flights from Portmarnock beach, the Martello Towers and the history of the Coastguard in Portmarnock.

The book was launched recently at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, with the help of the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Kieran Dennison (FG).

Fingal Independent

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