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Irish Genealogy

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Book Reviews

Reviews of my book Red Hugh O’Donnell and the Nine Years War (Dublin, 2005).


Dr James Kelly, Studia Hibernica 33 (2005), pp 160-2.Red Hugh O'Donnell And The Nine Years War

‘ ... Darren McGettigan has advanced a strong case for restoring O’Donnell to a more central place in Irish historical narrative ... ’.



Dr Christopher Maginn (Fordham University), Breifne: Journal of the Cavan historical society 42 (2006), pp 310-1.

‘The book opens with an effective description of the political and social composition of the O’Donnell lordship of Tír Chonaill ... McGettigan paints a vivid picture of a complex Gaelic lordship ... With its handsome cover ... numerous maps, illustrations, plates and clear prose, it will make a most attractive purchase for anyone with even a casual interest in Irish history’.


Mr Bradford Wineman, The Medieval review (2007).

‘McGettigan masterfully details each stage of Red Hugh’s personal life while keeping a framework of historical and cultural context. His remarkable research is unique for this topic, drawing primarily from documents from Irish, English and Spanish sources. He also weaves in elements of both literature and folklore by utilizing epic poems and legends to explain the cultural milieu of Red Hugh’s personality and experiences, tracing them back to the ethos of Gaelic warrior legends.

But more importantly, McGettigan does not allow his source material to cloud his historical judgment. He maintains care with his historical assumptions when the evidence (or lack thereof) does not offer clear conclusions, avoiding audacious claims without the indisputable proof. McGettigan’s work offers readers a most useful examination for students of Irish history, culture, politics, and more broadly the study of the reigns of both Elizabeth I and Philip II’.

Review of The Donegal Plantation and the Tír Chonaill Irish, 1610-1710


‘Another essential read for anyone with Donegal ancestry is the Maynooth Studies in Local History: No. 93 – The Donegal Plantation and the Tír Chonaill Irish, 1610-1710 by Darren McGettigan … the excellently researched book charts the disasters that befell the people of Co. Donegal following the end of the Nine Years War and the Flight of the Earls … the excellent references supplied in the notes open up this area to a number of studies on the families of both planter and Gael and, of course, to local history and other studies. For Donegal ancestry this book is simply a gem', Michael Merrigan, Ireland’s Genealogical Gazette (April 2011).

You can buy the book here.

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