Literature of County Mayo
Mayo has produced a wealth of writers down through the years, many of which have documented interesting facets of Mayo's history, gripping tales of its rich folklore and culture and guides to its abundant flora and fauna. You can find the following books on our site.
▪ Tracing your Mayo Ancestors by Brian Smith
This book sets out the records available to the family history researcher, detailing each source, its location and reference.
▪ Wild Mayo by Michael Viney
Wild Mayo is a gem of book, a celebration of the Mayo's fascinating strong nature and a precious contribution to the understanding of the value of Mayo's habitats and species, which are important in an international context. An interesting read and a wonderful trip through peatlands, mountains, shores, fens, lakes and rivers.
▪ The Famine in Mayo A Portrait from Contemporary Sources
This book is not intended as such a study, but it wants to be a real portrait of the lives and deaths of Mayo's people as recorded by witnesses in newspapers, official records and books.
▪ Mayo Folk Tales by Tony Locke
Those magic words “Once upon a time” have been spoken around the flickering flame of the turf fire by storytellers for thousands of years. Within these pages you will find gathered together tales of County Mayo to ignite your imagination.
▪ On the Edge of the Loch by Joseph Éamon Cummins
This critically-acclaimed novel is a global adventure that takes in the US, Ireland and Iraq, with most of the action happening in County Mayo. It’s a dramatic story about three exceptional people shaped by misfortune and war, each obsessed with a dream. It is also a psychological novel and well depicts our driving emotional needs and desires, those qualities that make us human, and alike, especially when deprived.
▪ Spellbound by Sibella by Paul B McNulty
A penniless beauty, a rakish Baronet. A scandalous affair that shocks the country. To save her reputation, Irish beauty Sibella Cottle turns to magic in a story based on real events in late 18th century Mayo. But how will Sir Harry Lynch-Blosse of Balla react when he discovers he’s been spellbound, wonders the author, a former Castlebar resident?
▪ The Abduction of Anne O’Donel by Paul B McNulty
A beautiful heiress, a villainous lawyer, a scandalous abduction that shocks the country. Imprisoned by the evil Timothy Brecknock on Lough Conn, Anne O’Donel of Straide must defend her honour. She prays that her true love, Jasper Martin, finds her before it’s too late.
▪ He Who Dared And Died by Gearoid O'Dowd.
The life and death of Shrule native and SAS Original, Sergeant Chris O'Dowd, MM. Having first seen action with the Irish Guards in Norway, Chris volunteered for Churchill's new elite force, the Commandos, and served with Churchill's son, Randolph and novelist Evelyn Waugh among others. He was awarded the Military medal for outstanding bravery and is honoured at the Mayo Peace Park in Castlebar.
▪ On The Banks of The Robe River by Michael Reidy.
A historical journey along the banks of the Robe River that flows through Crossboyne, passing beautiful bridges, picturesque countryside and historic locations, to where the journey ends when it flows into magnificent Lough Mask. Interspersed with an abundance of attractive photos, the book is well researched, interesting and informative.
▪ A Story Told to Us Last Night preserving and celebrating Irish folklore is the inspiration behind a book published in Ireland for Midfield, Swinford, County Mayo.
▪ Crossing The Channel by Fr Seán Noone
Aware of the many changes in the social, agricultural and other aspects of life over the past seventy-five years, the author documents the way of life that the vast majority of Erris people lived, during the latter half of the last century. A compelling read for Erris people at home and worldwide.
▪ The Charlestown Chronicles by Cathal Henry
Charlestown born Cathal Henry captures the spirit of his native place and the people in it, in this impressive and fascinating history of a small Mayo town. Cathal has immortalised many significant issues that have shaped his native place, resulting in a book to be treasured by present and future generations of Charlestown people across the globe.
▪ Mayo - A Proud County by Pat Walsh
This book gives a glimpse of County Mayo, its past and its present, people, places and enterprise. It is a colourful compilation of magnificent photographs from many corners of the county including Achill's Atlantic Drive, Westport under the Reek (Croagh Patrick), Louisburgh, Mulranny and more. Famous Mayo people in this book include Mary Robinson, Monsignor James Horan, Admiral William Brown and Michael Davitt.
▪ Claremorris in Restrospection by Michael Reidy
This book has a little history and a few memories of Claremorris in times when virtue, character and a sense of responsibility and common pride were as prized as expensive houses, fancy cars and high social status. A valuable resource for people in and around Claremorris.
▪ Stars on Still Water by Michael Hensey
The poetry of the late Michael Hensey has a rich lyrical quality inspired by a devoted family life and a love of wildlife and landscape.
▪ Rhyming Trough Mayo by Peter Costello
Rhyming Through Mayo is a book about Mayo, its hidden gems and heritage. It tells the stories of mountains, rivers, lakes, paths, forests, beaches, abbeys and old ruins, all in verse written by a proud Mayo man, Peter Costello, born and bred in Mayo.
▪ A Lot of Fact, A Little Fiction by Peter Costello
Peter Costello is a native of Kilkelly and this is his first book of poetry. It is a delightful collection of his thoughts on everyday happenings in Mayo and in other parts of the globe. Some of the poems are about tragedies that happened around the world, others are of a more lighthearted nature.
▪ Westport The Tear and The Smile by Joe McNally
A book of nostalgia, laughter and tears, that recalls a time when Westport was young but growing! You will meet the characters, hear their "Cant" and "Rowlin" and feel their zest for life and laughter. It's an era that has passed and may never come again but it has left its memories, its "Tears and Its Smiles".
▪ Tales from the West of Ireland by Sean Henry
An enthralling glimpse of Mayo's eventful past with all its sadness, and an evocation of the indomitable spirit of a people.
▪ Walking in North Mayo by Treasa Ni Ghearraigh
A local guidebook containing walks of variable length and challenge, taking you through some spectacular cliff scenery, stretching westwards from Belderrig to Benwee Hd. and taking in Porturlin and Portacloy.
▪ Where the Sun Sets by Fr Sean Noone
History of North Mayo - 368 pages covering the parishes of Ballycroy, Belmullet, Kilcommon & Kiltane with ground and aerial pictures, detailed references and bibliography.
▪ Clo Mhaigh Eo Publishers of books in Irish for children and young people, the company is based in Claremorris, County Mayo. Many Irish language learners throughout the world make extensive use of books from Clo Mhaigh Eo particularly their beautifully illustrated childrens' picture books.