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Sable Wings Over the Land Book Cover
Sable Wings Over the Land
Ciarán Ó Murchadha

Clare Champion, July 1998

An Ennis newspaper editor who died over a hundred years ago has emerged as the central character in one of the most fascinating books written about Great Famine. Sable Wings Over the Land by Ciaran O'Murchadha, tells the story of the effects of the famine on Ennis and its wider community through the imaginative use of contemporary sources and historical references. But it is the figure of John B Knox and his writings in the Clare Journal which brings the book to life and gives a human dimension to one of the most tragic periods in Irish history. As the only newspaper published in Ennis during the Famine years, the Clare Journal has served as standard reference for a number of major historical studies. Rarely, however, has a historical work made more effective use of local newspaper files and this is acknowledged by Professor James S. Donnelly of the University of Wisconsin who, in his foreword to Dr. O'Murchadha's book, says that among all the recent historians of the Great Famine, no one else has made more effective use of local newspapers or has shown more tellingly how much they can contribute to our understanding of this social disaster.

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Other Reviews

Books Ireland,
September 1998

Irish Times,
September 1998