NY-TROY-IRISH-GENSOC-L ArchivesArchiver > NY-TROY-IRISH-GENSOC > 2007-10 > 1193321776
Subject: [NY-TROY-IRISH-GENSOC] The Killing of Major Denis Mahon
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 10:16:16 -0400
Peter Duffy’s new book set during the Great Famine was published this month and may interest many TIGS members. Its title is The Killing of Major Denis Mahon: A Mystery of Old Ireland. Denis Mahon was the landlord in Strokestown in County Roscommon; his former manor house is now the site of Ireland’s Famine Museum.
Duffy, who lives in New York City, focuses on the murder of Mahon in an ambush as he rode home from a meeting in Roscommon town in November 1847, several months after he evicted several thousand tenants and “assisted” nearly 1,000 of them to Quebec. Half of the emigrants died in passage or in quarantine at Grosse Ile.
Duffy not only looks at the actions taken by Denis Mahon but also those of the government as matters worsened during the famine. He explores the difficult position of the local Catholic priest who was accused of inciting the murder and the church hierarchy as they responded to the charges.
In his Boston Globe review of Duffy’s book, Kevin Kenney says, “It is a significant contribution to the literature of the Great Famine, standing alongside Cecil Woodham-Smith’s 1962 account, The Great Hunger, still in print. And Duffy’s exploration of the famine years in one community is also a notable achievement in the use of local history to illuminate larger events.”
Mary Lee Dunn
(Of TIGS and the Ballykilcline Society)
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