A Christmas perusal of the shelves of what is the finest shop of its kind in Ireland, Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on Middle St., turned up an unexpected gem with old Tuam connections. Matthias McDonnell Bodkin’s Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1921) is, as its title-page claims, ‘an historical romance.’ Matt was of the Bodkins of Kilclooney in Milltown. His father Thomas was a medic based in Eastland House, Tuam. Matt went to the Christian Brothers at Prospect, the school he helped burn to the ground as a mere boy of ten, after Archbishop Plunkett expelled the brothers and threatened to transform it into an Evangelical seminary. He went on to become a reporter with the Freemans Journal and a judge on the Connacht Circuit. He was also a prolific author of historical novellas and biographies.
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