Posted by: Colman | July 11, 2013

Dublin Lord Mayor Launches Gordon Bennett Race Book

Dublin Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn celebrated his first week in office on July 5, 2013 by launching an anniversary reissue of Brendan Lynch’s “Triumph of the Red Devil. The Irish Gordon Bennett Cup Race.”

Photo shows (left to right); Brendan Lynch, Dublin Lord Mayor, Oisin Quinn and MEP Emer Costello.

Photo shows (left to right); Brendan Lynch, Dublin Lord Mayor, Oisin Quinn and MEP Emer Costello.

The Lord Mayor insisted:

“We are indebted to Brendan who worked so diligently on his celebration of such a significant event in Irish sporting, motoring and social history. He has faithfully recorded the event, just as he has literary Dublin in his other books.”

Sponsored by Mercedes, the launch attendance included Mercedes chief executive, Stephen Byrne, Belgian ambassador, Robert Devriese, former international Rally winner, Rosemary Smith, and members of motoring clubs.

Emer Costello MEP recalled:

“In July 110 years ago, Europe came to Ireland with the running of the Gordon Bennett Cup. Even James Joyce was moved to write a story in Dubliners about the event. In thanking Brendan, we must also include his wife Margie, for all her support and encouragement!”


OLynch_CITY OF WRITERS_Dublin_Authorsne of the highlights of the June 2013 celebrations of  James Joyce’s Bloomsday was the launch by Joyce biographer, Peter Costello, of Brendan Lynch’s latest book, “CITY OF WRITERS. The Lives and Homes of Dublin Authors.”

The book profiles no fewer than forty writers from Dean Swift and James Clarence Mangan to Brendan Behan and Maeve Binchy. It also includes lists of Suggested Walks and Recommended Reading of the authors’ works.

Liffey Press publisher David Givens said:

“With 300 pages and 140 photographs, CITY OF WRITERS  is one of our best productions.  It owes a lot to Johnny Bambury’s stunning photographs, which illuminate the haunts of the book’s many writers.”

The launch in Dublin’s Alliance Francaise was attended by seventy guests, including Robert Nicholson, curator of the Writers Museum, and Guy St John Williams, grandson of novelist Oliver St John Gogarty.


Photo shows (left to right) Mrs Margie Lynch, Liffey Press publisher David Givens, Brendan Lynch and fellow-author, Peter Costello.

Foreword contributor Peter Costello wrote:

“Since the days of Jonathan Swift, Dublin has been a city teeming with writers who are among the great names of literature: Sheridan le Fanu, Lady Morgan, Oscar Wilde, Yeats, Synge, Gogarty, James Joyce, Mary Lavin and Elizabeth Bowen. Brendan Lynch brings us on an inspirational tour of the lives and haunts of these writers.”

The new work was endorsed by award-winning author Colum McCann. Describing Dublin as the world’s greatest literary city, he insisted:

‘This book is a doorway into the stories of the past, and a key, then, into the future.’

Speaking earlier to the New Yorker of his own new novel, TransAtlantic, McCann also praised Brendan Lynch’s “Yesterday We Were in America” for its account of the pivotal 1919 transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown.

Brendan Lynch (whose mother’s name was Moore) also revealed at the launch that he is a distant cousin of Ireland’s ‘National Bard’ Thomas Moore, who is profiled in the new book.

Posted by: Colman | June 18, 2013

Return Anna Livia to O’Connell Street!

Dublin is one of the few major capitals whose principal thoroughfare is not illuminated by a fountain.

It is time a concerted effort was made to persuade Dublin City Council to restore the late Eamon O’Doherty’s Anna Livia sculpture fountain to O’Connell Street.

So that citizens could savour again the waters that gave life to our metropolis and the great man’s works.

Posted by: Colman | June 18, 2013

Parson’s Bookshop –

Situated on the crest of Baggot Street’s Grand Canal bridge, it defined the Bohemian quarter of writers and artists known as Baggotonia. Owned by May O’Flaherty, who was ably assisted by Mary King and three other ladies, the shop played a major role in Ireland’s literary and cultural development. Parsons was second home to Brendan Behan and Patrick Kavanagh. Other customers included Flann O’Brien, Liam O’Flaherty, Frank O’Connor, Mary Lavin, Nobel Prizewinner Seamus Heaney and artists Patrick Pye, John Behan and Noel Lewis.

On – location Baggot Street Bridge

“Storymap presents a charming vision of Dublin through its stories and storytellers.”

Posted by: Colman | October 1, 2012

Kavanagh’s “Parnassus”

The grand canal hides an incredible literary heritage. Above all, to Patrick Kavanagh, the canal was a home. Famously, it was here that he had an epiphany about life and beauty which led to his ‘rebirth’ and his final brilliant collections of poetry.

On – location Baggot Street Bridge






“Storymap presents a charming vision of Dublin through its stories and storytellers.”

Posted by: Colman | January 4, 2012

Ministerial Launch for PRODIGALS AND GENIUSES

Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Dinny McGinley, launched Brendan Lynch’s PRODIGALS AND GENIUSES  – The Writers and Artists of Dublin’s Baggotonia in Dublin’s United Arts Club on Nov 15, 2011.

Brendan Lynch, Mrs Margie Lynch and Minister Dinny McGinley

The first history of Dublin’s “Left Bank” and the first to celebrate Dublin’s UNESCO City of Literature award, PRODIGALS describes the authors and artists who inhabited the area around Baggot Street and the city’s Georgian quarter. These ranged from Oscar Wilde, George Moore and W B Yeats to Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan  and Maeve Binchy, and included no fewer than four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Minister described a PRODIGALS as a

“wonderful celebration of  national treasures”.

He praised Brendan Lynch’s

“insightful, thoughtful and informed writing which would bring the writers to a whole new audience.”

Brendan Lynch said;

“Outside of Paris, there is no city area anywhere in the world which saw such a concentration of talent. These hard-working and frequently deprived men and women were real patriots. Without bombs of guns, they brought honour to Ireland and promoted us internationally. Their work spans the generations and the continents.”

The author added:

“Sadly, sculptor Eamon O’Doherty, who helped me, died before tonight’s launch. Hopefully, Dublin City Council will one day honour his memory by reinstating his wonderful Anna Livia sculpture in O’Connell Street, where it rightly belongs.”

The large attendance included writers Peter Costello, Adrian Kenny Robert Nicholson, Eoin O’Brien, Ulick O’Connor and Noel Kissane and Gerry Lyne, former Keepers of Manuscripts at Dublin’s National Library.

"More, please!" Peadar & Treasa MacManus with Donal Whelan

Author, Brendan Lynch, regales captive audience

Val O'Donnell reads Myles na Gopaleen

Posted by: Colman | October 25, 2011

Celebrating Bloomsday 2011

Brendan Lynch with artists Noel Lewis (centre) and Brendan Gallagher
(© Margie Lynch, 2011)

Posted by: Colman | October 25, 2011

Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Tribute


Patrick’s death, sad news.

A rare and original man, a beautiful writer, a courageous patriot.

Locked up in my youth for banning bombs, I would like to think that Patrick might forgive my regard for fellow-Englishman, Bertrand Russell.

But possibly not!

Whether or not, his lifestyle and inspiration enlarged my life and imagination. And, vanity being what it is, I am happy to know that he read one of my books.

I shall drink to his health tonight in Dublin. And reflect on his last great journey home to lie forever with his beloved Joan.

Brendan Lynch


“PRODIGALS AND GENIUSES. The Writers and Artists of Dublin’s Baggotonia” is Brendan Lynch’s latest book.
(Ministerial launch report and photographs here)

London has Fitzrovia, Paris its Left Bank. But Georgian Dublin boasts an equally atmospheric Bohemian quarter. Centred on Baggot and Leeson Streets, and girdled by the Grand Canal, it is the unmapped village of writers, artists and ne’er-do-wells which in the 1950’s became known as “Baggotonia”.

Its inhabitants and habitués include four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature and nearly every nineteenth and twentieth century Irish writer of note.

From Oscar Wilde, Oliver St. John Gogarty, George Moore and George Bernard Shaw to Samuel Beckett, Elizabeth Bowen, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce and Flann O’Brien.

And a profusion of artists from Jack B. Yeats to Mainie Jellett and Camille Souter, who painted in the shadow of Francis Bacon’s Baggot Street birthplace.

Brendan Behan’s neighbours included Patrick Kavanagh, Frank O’Connor, Liam O’Flaherty and Mary Lavin. John Banville, Maeve Binchy and Colm Toibín were later arrivals.

Based on interviews and contemporary accounts – and a timely celebration of Dublin’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature – “PRODIGALS AND GENIUSES” is an entertaining and enlightening history of a remarkable time and place.

Foreword writer J. P. Donleavy (author of “The Ginger Man”) described PRODIGALS as an overdue and comprehensive record of a rich period in Irish literary history. He continued:

Brendan Lynch’s book evokes vibrant memories of an ancient Dublin. And could there be any other city in the world more worth speaking about? Old friends come back to life whose minds still speak from the soul. Ancient sorrows remembered to haunt, but in which a bit of bright light still glows.”

With over 300pp and 120 illustrations, PRODIGALS AND GENIUSES costs €19.95 (Stg£18.95).

ISBN 978-1-905785-96-4.
Publication date: November 2011
Published by: The Liffey Press; David Givens, The Liffey Press, Ashbrook House, 10 Main Street, Raheny, Dublin 5.
Tel: 01-8511458.

Signed copies (incl hardcover €35) from the author at:

Posted by: Colman | May 1, 2009

Enthusiatic launch for Alcock and Brown book

The British deputy ambassador and diplomatic representatives from Canada and USA were among the 140 guests who attended the Dublin launch of “YESTERDAY WE WERE IN AMERICA”.

“A riveting story told with panache and conviction,” insisted Senator David Norris who performed the launch.

“I was spellbound by this heroic tale as a child and remember being taken to see the landing site in Connemara. Having read the book, I can say that Brendan Lynch has done their extraordinary feat long-overdue justice.” David Norris

Brendan Lynch paid special thanks to foreword-writer, Len Deighton, and John Alcock’s nephew, Group Captain Tony Alcock, for their help. And to Connemara historian, Marty Conneely, who painted the Derrygimla bog cairn, so that visitors could see where the transatlantic Vimy landed.

Also among the attendance was former racing driver Pearse Cahill of Iona Airways, veteran motorsport  commentator Robin Rhodes, round-the-world solo sailor, Pete Hogan, artists such as Marie Carroll, Dympna O’Halloran and Noel Lewis, and the novelist, Adrian Kenny.

Brendan & Margie Lynch with Senator David Norris

Brendan & Margie Lynch with Senator David Norris

"They landed over there!" Brendan Lynch brings his new book back to Connemara.

"They landed over there!" Brendan Lynch brings his new book back to Connemara.

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