Days of the Blackthorn

Faction Fighters of Kerry

Seán Moraghan

Days of the Blackthorn uses contemporary sources such as eyewitness tales, to provide a visceral sense of the ‘vengeful, brutal, drunken, petty world' of faction fighting in Kerry in the 1800s. This is a fascinating account of a wild, violent time in Ireland's history.
Date Published :
April 2020
Publisher :
Mercier Press
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781781177501
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 8.5 X 5.25 inches
Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


On town streets or in green fields, at fairs, race meetings and
saints’ patron days, rival gangs of Irishmen used to meet to battle and beat
each other with cudgels and sticks. The practice was particularly prevalent in the 1800s, and involved
tens, hundreds and even thousands of men and women at a time.

Days of the Blackthorn uses eyewitness descriptions, as well as the
oral history of local communities, to provide a visceral sense of this exciting
and brutal activity in County Kerry. From the Battle of Ballyeagh between the
Cooleens and the Lawlors that left eighteen dead, to the savage combats of
various strongmen, such as Seón Burns or ‘Big Mick’ Foley, this is a
fascinating account of a wild and violent time in Ireland’s history.

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