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- DescriptionThis is the story of an atrocity on Achill Island in the west of Ireland in 1894. An English landowner, Agnes MacDonnell, was brutally attacked and her home - Valley House - burnt. Agnes survived but was so disfigured she wore a veil in public for the rest of her life. The island's wild man, James Lynchehaun, was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, he escaped twice and won a groundbreaking legal case in the United States successfully resisting extradition. A Franciscan monk in Achill, Brother Paul Carney, had befriended and assisted Lynchehaun, and wrote up the fugitive's story. Lynchehaun became a folk hero. John Millington Synge visited Mayo in 1904/1905 and decided to locate his drama, The Playboy of the Western World, in rth Mayo. Lynchehaun was one of Synge's influences in constructing the character of Christy Mahon. Agnes MacDonnell lived on in Achill and in 1923 was found dead with a wine glass at her feet. James Lynchehaun became a destitute figure and died in Scotland in 1937. The crime, the trial and escapes, and the island tensions are unravelled in this gripping account.
- Author BiographyPatricia Byrne writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction. A graduate of the MA (Writing) programme of NUI Galway, she lives in Limerick. Her interest in the Valley House story arose out of family history. Her great granduncle was Brother Paul Carney who wrote extensive journals, including the account of the life of James Lynchehaun, and accounts of several fundraising trips across the United States.
- Author(s)Patricia Byrne
- PublisherThe Collins Press
- Date of Publication23/03/2012
- SubjectTrue Crime
- Place of PublicationCork
- Country of PublicationIreland
- ImprintThe Collins Press
- Content NoteBlack & white photographs
- Weight274 g
- Width128 mm
- Height198 mm
- Spine12 mm
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