A brief note from the author of Following in the Footsteps of the Four Famous Flannerys

Welcome to the site! If you have read the book already, I hope that you enjoyed it; if not, then look out for it in your local bookshop and join me on my trip across Ireland. Some of the photos in the gallery will be of interest to anyone who has walked or intends to walk the route.

I wrote this book for several reasons. It started out as an account of a long-distance walk undertaken by Joe McDermott and myself across Ireland and along the Royal Canal way, one of the nicest walks in Ireland and a route still not widely known.  The overall walk across Ireland, from Dublin to Newport in County Mayo, is one that I hope to repeat in the future; when searching out a suitable trip we succeeded in mapping a walk that is at once relatively easy to do while managing to take in some of the most attractive scenery in Ireland. This is not a walk for the mountaineer with loads of equipment, it is a walk that anyone could do with ease, yet it will deliver a tremendous sense of achievement to the walker.

The book developed and progressed to include the extraordinary story of the four Flannery brothers, young men (the youngest was barely sixteen) who walked out the door of their parents' small cottage in Clooncunny in County Sligo to find a better life in a distant land. This was in 1862, and the great famine was a recent memory in Ireland; people knew that hunger was never too far away, and emigration became the favoured option of a large slice of the population for many years after that time. The experiences of the four young men in New Zealand, centered around the gold rush in Central Otago, make for an amazing story that just had to be told. The Flannerys were four Irishmen whose emigration story is something far beyond the ordinary, and I hope I have done their story justice; these were indeed extraordinary men in extraordinary times.

John Mulligan
December 2006

P.S. If you liked this book, have a look at www.noplaceinthesun.com













The author (left), pictured with Joe McDermott at the end of the walk, at Newport harbour

All of the royalties and profits from the sale of this book are being donated to the Aurelia Trust,  a non-profit Irish NGO that works to improve the lives of abandoned and at-risk children in Eastern Europe.