Ireland, Our Island Story relates Ireland's exciting history, beginning 9,000 years ago as the earliest Stone Age settlers arrived. Later, other settlers came and built magnificent tombs, such as Newgrange. With the arrival of Saint Patrick, Ireland entered a Golden Age, which was ended by bloodthirsty Viking invaders. In 1169 an invasion by armour-clad Normans began almost 800 years of English rule. Numerous rebellions later, the last of the great Irish chieftains fled in 1607. In 1649 Oliver Cromwell invaded and brutally crushed the Irish. Later, Penal Laws further suppressed the people. Despite this, and the devastation of the Great Famine, the Irish refused to yield and eventually won freedom. Today, Ireland is a vibrant, free nation and Ireland, Our Island Story celebrates her success along with her ancient heritage.
Vincent McDonnell from County Mayo lives near Newmarket County Cork. In 1989 he won the GPA First Fiction Award, after being recommended by Graham Greene. He has published four other non-fiction titles and five novels for children. Winner of numerous prizes, and shortlisted for the RAI Awards, he has been writer in residence at many venues and gives workshops and readings throughout Ireland.