Friday 23 August 2019

Normans' Baginbun landing book release

Author Ruadh and his book about the Norman landing at Baginbun.
Author Ruadh and his book about the Norman landing at Baginbun.
Author Ruadh and his book about the Norman landing at Baginbun.

By david looby

A BOOK about the Norman landing at Baginbun in 1170, which changed the course of Irish history, is being released in June.

The historical fiction book is entitled Lord of the Sea Castle and charts the story of Raymond (Le Gros) Fitzgerald, who went on to consolidate Norman rule over Ireland before he retired to his estates in Waterford where he died.

Written by Tyrone author Ruadh Butler, the story revolves around the writings of a Welsh monk in the 12th century.

'I was trying to get a real feel for the period and the book gives the idea of what it was like for people living in Ireland, which was very forested and people were ruled by Brehon law,' Butler said.

Describing the Normans as an extremely complicated race, Butler said the Norman invasion sparked a tumultuous time in Irish political life.

In his first book, Swordland, Butler wrote about Robert Fitzstephen who became Lord of Wexford, having settled in the county.

Describing Le Gros as a happy-go-lucky character, Butler said he was also very ambitious and not as fat as his name suggests.

The book delves into the political world of the day, the intrigue, betrayals, murders and mysteries.

'The book charts one of the most turbulent and long-lasting events in Irish history - the Norman invasion. It concerns one of the county's most important historic sites - Baginbun Point out on the Hook Peninsula.'

The second half of the book is set entirely in the Fethard-on-Sea area, specifically at Baginbun.

'It's a place that could be a huge draw for tourists if it was developed. All that's there now to mark it's amazing Norman history is a plaque. You can still see the actual battlements of the castle, which was a Gaelic fort. It was ideal site for a fortification or a castle. Strongbow arrived on August 23, 1170 and they began stealing cattle from local tribes rather than barter for supplies.'

Running to just over 400 pages, Lord of the Sea Castle, is available from all good book shops.

Wexford People

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