Faith and Fury
Bryan MacMahon interviewed by Tadhg Coakley

Venue: An Díseart – Chapel
Date: Saturday 19 November 2022
Time: 15.00 – 16.00 IST/GMT
Tickets: €8 in advance, €10 on the door


Faith and Fury
Bryan MacMahon faoi agallamh ag
Tadhg Coakley

Ionad:  An Díseart – Chapel
Dáta: Dé Sathairn 19 Samhain 2022
Am: 15.00 – 16.00 IST/GMT
Costas: Beidh na ticéid ar díol ar €8 roimh ré agus €10 ag an doras


Bryan MacMahon is a historian whose previous books include The Great Famine in Tralee and North Kerry (2017) and Ascend or Die: Richard Crosbie, Pioneer of Balloon Flight (2010). He has a particular interest in the history of his native Co. Kerry and has published articles in a range of historical journals including History Ireland, The Irish Sword, The Kerry Magazine and The Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society. He is a retired teacher.

While researching a book on the Famine in North Kerry, historian and retired teacher Bryan MacMahon stumbled across another event that became the topic for his latest book – Faith and Fury. “I could see that there was a lot of activity in Dingle: a lot of aggro, a lot of ill will, and one prominent court case, just before the blight arrived,” he explains. “So I started to work back from 1845 to the origins of the whole tension and aggression in the town of Dingle and places west of it.”

What he discovered was a bitter rivalry between local Catholic priests and Church of Ireland evangelicals who were on a missionary campaign at the time, to entice the Irish-speaking people of the Dingle peninsula away from what they saw as superstition and enthralment to Rome. The local priests took issue with this mission, and as new mission schools and churches were built, the war of words between both sides was cemented by rival newspapers, reaching a climax in a notorious libel case of March 1845.

Faith and Fury Bryan MacMahon Dingle Literary Festival 2022

In Faith and Fury, Bryan MacMahon gives a comprehensive overview of the origins and progress of the conversion campaign and the responses to it. The narrative brings the personalities involved into vivid focus and records the long-lost voices and values of those on both sides of the bitter divide.

Copies of Faith and Fury will be on sale by the Dingle Bookshop at the event. The author has agreed to sign copies at the end of the talk. 

Tadhg Coakley is from Cork. His debut novel, The First Sunday in September (2018), was shortlisted for the Mercier Press Fiction prize. His second, Whatever It Takes, was chosen as the 2020 Cork, One City One Book. Tadhg’s short stories, articles and essays have been published in The Stinging Fly, Winter Papers, and The Irish Times, and he writes about sport for the Irish Examiner.

Tadhg talks about his latest book here at the festivaal. Details here.