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Goodly Barrow

A Voyage on an Irish River

By: T.F. O’Sullivan

Publication Date: November 2001

(1 customer review)

Goodly Barrow: A Voyage on an Irish River by T.F. O’Sullivan


Goodly Barrow is a long-unavailable classic that charts the history and character of Ireland’s second-longest river, from the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the sea in Waterford. T.F. O’Sullivan’s riverine narrative embraces legend and song, literature and anecdote, viewing Irish history through the prism of the waterway: from the early tribal kingdoms of the Celts, to the Vikings and Normans who made passage up the estuary, leaving a legacy of castles, abbeys, monasteries and towns; from the Tudor and Cromwellian settlements on the fertile plains of Carlow and Kildare, to Quaker bridge-builders and Huguenot refugees. It opens up a little-known part of Ireland’s countryside and heritage, and is an invaluable guide for boaters and armchair travellers alike.

‘Not so much a book to be read as a wine to be savoured. … The blend of scholarship and imaginative sensibility is rare.’Sean O’Faolain

‘This book gladdens the heart with a sense of the richness of Ireland, past and present. It is one of the most delightful books about Ireland, and about rivers here or elsewhere, that I have come across.’Benedict Kiely, Irish Times

‘T.F. O’Sullivan, with his remarkable grasp of history, ancient and modern, his awareness of architectural felicities and practical knowledge of the Irish language, is the ideal guide for this particular voyage.’John Ryan, Irish Press

‘The author has a wonderful way of weaving the river and its environs into a story of history, myth and modern comparisons.’ Customer review


T.F. O’SULLIVAN served as Irish ambassador in eleven foreign capitals, including Washington and Paris, and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French government. His fascination with place and love of boats and inland waterways led him to the Barrow valley. This book, first published in 1983, is his testimonial. He died in 1999.

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1 review for Goodly Barrow

  1. Lilliput Press

    “The author has a wonderful way of weaving the river and its environs into a story of history, myth and modern comparisons. The chaptesr on the Quakers and Huguenots gives a very concise and informative history of these innovative and hard working people. The quotes from poems and ballads are a delight and the navigation references are very useful. A must for anyone just discovering this, the second longest river in Ireland.” RDJ

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Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 170 × 240 mm
Publication Date

November 2001


Paperback, 270pp