Interesting Books to read

If you are interested in books about Connemara, here is a list of books for you.

It is also worth to have a look in the book shop in Clifden or at their website

Connemara: Visions of Iar Chonnacht 

by Michael Gibbons and Reingard Gahan

Join Reingard Gahan and Michael Gibbons as they take you on an unique tour through wild and beautiful Connemara. From rugged mountains, across vast lonely bog lands and through delightful coastal towns, Reingard's paintings bring the magnificent scenery of Connemara to your fingertips while Michael's educated commentary brings alive the fascinating and often turbulent history of this dramatic land.Truly a must for anyone with an interest in Connemara, this handsome book is an elegant gift or keepsake which will always be treasured and admired.

Connemara, Listening to the wind by Tim Robinson

The first volume in Tim Robinson's phenomenal Connemara Trilogy - which Robert Macfarlane has called 'One of the most remarkable non-fiction projects undertaken in English'. In its landscape, history and folklore, Connemara is a singular region: ill-defined geographically, and yet unmistakably a place apart from the rest of Ireland. Tim Robinson, who established himself as Ireland's most brilliant living non-fiction writer with the two-volume Stones of Aran, moved from Aran to Connemara nearly twenty years ago. This book is the result of his extraordinary engagement with the mountains, bogs and shorelines of the region, and with its folklore and its often terrible history: a work as beautiful and surprising as the place it attempts to describe. Chosen as a book of the year by Iain Sinclair, Robert Macfarlane and Colm Toibin 'Dazzling indubitable classic' Giles Foden, Conde Nast Traveller 'One of contemporary Ireland's finest literary stylists' Joseph O'Connor, Guardian A native of Yorkshire, Tim Robinson moved to the Aran Islands in 1972. His books include the celebrated two-volume Stones of Aran. Since 1984 he has lived in Roundstone, Connemara.

Connemara, The last pool of darkness 

by Tim  Robinson

The second volume in Tim Robinson's phenomenal Connemara Trilogy - which Robert Macfarlane has called 'One of the most remarkable non-fiction projects undertaken in English'. The first volume of Tim Robinson's Connemara trilogy, Listening to the Wind, covered Robinson's home territory of Roundstone and environs. The Last Pool of Darkness moves into wilder territory: the fjords, cliffs, hills and islands of north-west Connemara, a place that Wittgenstein, who lived on his own in a cottage there for a time, called 'the last pool of darkness in Europe'. Again combining his polymathic knowledge of Connemara's natural history, human history, folklore and topography with his own unsurpassable artistry as a writer, Tim Robinson has produced another classic. A native of Yorkshire, Tim Robinson moved to the Aran Islands in 1972. His books include the celebrated two-volume Stones of Aran. Since 1984 he has lived in Roundstone, Connemara. 'A masterpiece of travel and topographical writing and a miraculous, vivid and engrossing meditation on landscape and history and the sacred mood of places' Colm Tibn, Irish Times

Connemara: A little Gaelic Kingdom by Tim Robinson

Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom is the triumphant conclusion to Tim Robinson's extraordinary Connemara trilogy, which Robert Macfarlane has called 'one of the most remarkable non-fiction projects undertaken in English'. Robinson writes about the people, places and history of south Connemara - one of Ireland's last Gaelic-speaking enclaves - with the encyclopaedic knowledge of a cartographer and the grace of a born writer. From the man who has been praised in the highest terms by Joseph O'Connor ('Robinson writes with passion, grace and scholarly scruple, but also with extraordinary beauty'), John Burnside ('one of the finest of contemporary prose stylists') and Giles Foden ('an indubitable classic'), among many others, this is one of the publishing events of 2011 and the conclusion of one of the great literary projects of our time.

Beyond the Twelve Pins by Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill

The years from the Famine to the Free State were years of Agricultural advancement, expansion of the educational system, commercial awareness and political diversity. They brought many social changes and elevated the participation of the individual in the shaping of his destiny. The 1860s and 70s saw the rise of a well educated middle class. The town produced a number of professional men. These did much to shape the social and political thinking in their day.
However, by far the biggest influence on Clifden, in the early part of the twentieth century, was Monsignor McAlpine. Under his direction the town supported the Irish Party. It was branded a pro-British town offering little support to Sinn Fein and the Volunteers. The actions of the Black and Tans; their raids, their lootings and eventual burning of fourteen houses on 17 March 1921, soon changed all that.
In the Civil War the Connemara Flying Column was split. Old comrades, who had once stood back to back to face the enemy, now turned around and aimed their guns at each other. The birth of the Free State opened wounds that would never be healed for generations to come. 

Granuaile: Grace O'Malley - Ireland's pirate queen by Anne Chambers

There came to me also a most famous feminine sea called Granny Imallye with three galleys and two hundred fighting men... This was a notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland -Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland, 1576. Fearless leader by land and by sea, political pragmatist and tactician, rebel, pirate and matriarch, the "most notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland"" Grace O'Malley challenges and manipulates the turbulent politics of the 16th century a period of immense social change and political upheaval. Breaching boundaries of gender imbalance and bias, she re-wrote the rules to become one of the world's documented feminist trail-blazers. In this, the original international bestselling biography of this historic icon, from rare and exclusive contemporary manuscript material, author Anne Chambers draws Ireland's great pirate queen in from the vagueness of myth and legend and presents the historical reality of one of the world's most extraordinary female leaders. 

Voices of Connemara by Bill Long &  Raymonde Standún

Containing fifty-one interviews with the people Raymonde Standún encountered as she toured Connemara taking photographs Voice of Connemara features stories of the Black and Tans, Fair Day at Spiddal, Cáit Nic an Iomaire on making her own wedding dress and Festy Conlon on his father’s first fife.

Set against Standún’s stunning images are stories of poitín for two bob, the baker’s island-delivery boat and the trials of line-fishing, alongside darker tales still vibrant in the collective memory, of landlord brutality, famine and emigration.

Co-edited by Raymonde Standún and Bill Long, who also introduces the volume, here are the extraordinary voices of the ordinary people of Connemara, voices of the living as well as the dead.

Connemara and Mayo - A Walking Guide

by Paul Phelan

“Connemara and Mayo - a Walking Guide” gives detailed instructions and background information for 33 walks to suit all levels of ability, many of them along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way. This compact 152-page guide book is printed on high quality paper. It is illustrated throughout with exciting photographs including some spectacular shots by Clifden native and musician Sean O'Farrell along with Moyard-based designer Brigid Sealy.

Connemara Wild Flowers – An Introductory Guide


Located on the edge of Europe in the path of the Gulf Stream, Connemara is blessed with a mild climate that allows a wide variety of plants to thrive in what may appear to be an inhospitable environment. This introductory guide features a selection of plants found in such diverse habitats as seashore, moorland, mountain, woodland and hedgerow.

A Guide to Connemara’s Early Christian Sites by Anthony Previte


This is a useful and concise survey of 25 early Christian sites of Connemara which will be an invaluable guide both to student, visitor and resident alike. Together with comments on the structural remains, and the saints connected with them, are also maps showing their locations and how to find them.

These unique, isolated and highly significant aspects of our national/archaeological heritage and a testimony to the skills and hardiness of the early ascetics who settled on the rugged and beautiful islands and coastline of Connemara well over 1000 years ago.

The shores of Connemara 

by Séamas Mac an Iomaire

First published in Irish in 1938 as Cladaí Chonamara and not previously available in English, The Shores of Connemara is both a naturalist's guide to the seashore and coastal waters of Connemara, Co. Galway and an account of the life of the people who lived there in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Séamas Mac an Iomaire was born in 1891 near Carna in Connemara and wrote about the way of life he knew and the environment in which he grew up. He describes the flora and fauna of the seashore, the living people made from them and the crafts involved, such as kelp making, boat building and fishing. With this English edition a new audience can discover this classic of Irish social and natural history.

Strands of Omey's Story: An Island, its life, people and history by Bernadette Conroy

Despite not being a true island, as its only cut off from the mainland when the tide is in, Omey has seen its population dwindle from over 100 a century ago to just a single resident in more recent years.

The tidal island of Omey lies off the coast of north west Connemara. The island is low lying and encompasses an area of approximately 220 hectares. At low tide it can be accessed on foot and by motorised transport. Before The Great Famine the population was approximately  400 but now there is only one permanent resident.

A further development and understanding of Omey is brought about with reference to historic maps, censuses of population, archaeology and personal communication.

Connemara Legend and Landscape by Hugh McEleveen

Connemara: Legend and Landscape explores the cultural connection we have with our landscape and how this has evolved from the earliest times to still exert a strong influence on who we are. McElveen photographs the landscape on the western edge of Ireland and shows, starting with prehistory legend, through Christianity to Modern times how one age is blended into the next and how the evidence of this is written all over the landscape if we understood the language to read it.

Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is essential reading for anyone planning to visit the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Whether looking for ideas for weekend adventures or visiting from abroad you will find everything you need within this guide.

At over 2500km, The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route, travelling the full length of the west coast of Ireland, taking in some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. The route is alive with literature, music, stories, and surf. Its landscape, flora, fauna, and sheer size have inspired everyone from WB Yeats to John Lennon. 

This book’s focus is on the outdoors – on getting out into the fresh air, the wind, the sun and the rain – and experiencing the incredible natural beauty found everywhere along the coast. It is full of spectacular photos, helpful maps and detailed information on the west coast’s best sights, from the most famous landmarks to the hidden gems on this awe inspiring route.

And for the kids:

Milly Wild and Free in Connemara