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The Blackest-Hearted Villains from Irish History

The Irish are celebrated at home and abroad as explorers, freedom fighters and great writers and artists, but for every Tom Crean, Bernardo O'Higgins or James Joyce, there is a Hugh Gough, Antoine Walsh or Luke Ryan.

This book is about the Irish slavers, grave-robbers, duellists, conmen, drug-lords and killers who wreaked havoc around the world …


  • Beauchamp Bagenal from Carlow, an eighteenth-century duellist, hell-raiser, heart-breaker
  • Burke & Hare grave-robbers turned murderers who supplied cadavers to the medical schools of nineteenth-century Edinburgh
  • Antoine Walsh from Kilkenny who amassed huge fortunes in the French slave trade
  • Luke Ryan, a pirate & buccaneer born in Rush in 1750
  • Sir Hugh Gough, a Limerick man who commanded the British troops in the first Opium war against China
  • James ‘Sligo’ Jameson who was rumoured to have fallen into madness and cannibalism in the Congo in 1888 … and many more!

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