Fictional Irish Clan Epic Rolls On

Following the success of his debut novel “The Law of Dreams”, Canadian author Peter Behrens carries the timeline of his fictional (yet roughly based on his family history) Irish clan story to the next generation.

His first prose won critical acclaim when published in 2006 and he was awarded the Governor General’s  Literary Award in Canada – the story covered the emigration of Fergus O’Brien as he crossed the Atlantic Ocean to escape the Irish famine of 1847 and the trials he endured as he carved out a new life for himself and his family.

Behrens’ new novel, simply titled “The O’Briens” takes up the family dynasty with Fergus’ grandson, Joe who takes on the role of father figure to his siblings after his own father is killed fighting in the Boer War.

The story of this Irish family rolls through the decades from 1880 up to 1960 and sees the Clan venture to locations across North America from British Columbia in Canada to the sun-drenched state of California as the saga unfolds.

“The O’Briens” has been well received by critics and promises to bring further success to Peter Behrens. The book highlights the experiences of many an Irish family that crossed to the New World but remained forever bound to the Irish traditions and never-say-die attitude of their homeland.

Read the Washington Post’s review of “The O’Briens”:

Links to Ancient Irish Clan “unearthed” in Co. Down

Some ground-breaking news has emerged from Co. Down where the Irish Clans Network understands that one of Ireland’s most mystifying monuments from Ancient Ireland, the Mound of Down, near Downpatrick is currently being excavated.

The Mound of Down has long been associated with the Ancient Irish Clan the Dál Fiatach who are believed to have had a stronghold here and the site has remained shrouded in mystery with no excavations having taken place until now.

The site is also known as Dundalethglas or “the English Mount” which could be a reference to the fact that the Anglo-Norman knight, John De Courcy won a significant battle near the Mound in 1177 during the Norman invasion of Ireland and may have took the site as a stronghold.

And as for the Dál Fiatach, this clan too has a mysterious past but is believed by many to have lineage to the modern day clan names of Dunleavy/Donleavy, McNulty, Hoey, Haughey and McCaughey.

Whatever secrets the Mound of Down holds beneath the soil, the hopes are that archaeological work will soon provide us with an opportunity to look into the past way of life of this Ancient Irish Clan.

Read more on this significant development:

Irish Clans in USA: Kerry Lyons piece on her Irish heritage

With the celebrations well and truly over for St. Patrick’s Day 2012, we came across this evocative piece in the Huffington Post from Kerry Lyons who reflects on what it means for her to be of Irish heritage having been born in and grown up in the US.


She covers how important it is for her and her wider family to remain connected to Ireland despite the distance between the two lands.


Kerry also touches on how important her own Irish clan is to her with her family name of O’Connor, her husband’s (a first generation Irish American) family name of Lyons and how her grandparents friends the O’Sheas and the McKennas would join them for annual vacations on Cape Cod, which she lovingly refers to as the “Irish Riviera”.


She also reveals how her ties to her Irish heritage were strengthened by spending time with her family connections both in the US and in Ireland and how:

“Our little clan of Irish lads and one lovely lassie serve as daily (and nightly!) reminders of how important it is to cherish our past while ensuring a future where our Irish tales will be told and songs will be sung.”

Read Kerry Lyon’s full article: