Foreword by Ruth Delany, Ireland's foremost waterways expert and canal historian

In his last book "Dancing on the Waves" John Mulligan interspersed his account of a walk along the Grand Canal with thoughts about Romania's orphans, dedicating the proceeds of the book to the Aurelia Trust for its work among these children. In this his new book, describing his walk along the Royal Canal and on west to Clooncunny and to County Mayo, he uses the fact that he is walking in the footsteps of his four great grand uncles, the four Flannerys, who had set out in the opposite direction to walk from their home in the West to Dublin to emigrate to New Zealand. He brings the reader with him on his journey, weaving descriptive and historical material with surmising what the experiences of the Flannerys might have been like.

The Royal Canal, which is to be restored to the Shannon in about two years, is both a delightful corridor ecologically and a waterway full of historical interest. Not only does the account of his walk encourage others to follow in his footsteps, but also one actually begins to visualise the four young men making their way towards Dublin to board the emigrant ship. Having travelled across Ireland with him, in his closing chapters he brings us to New Zealand to trace the tracks of the Flannerys there, revealing an extraordinary story of grit and determination.

This book is an absorbing read throughout, and once again the proceeds will be dedicated to help the children of Romania.

Ruth Delany


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.