Drumshee series Cora Harrison, Children's Author Dragonfly books

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Treachery at Midnight

Treachery at MidnightAnd I took his body in my arms, and I carried him up to the top of Mount Callan.

And I laid him in the shallow grave that I had hollowed out of the stony soil.

And then I shovelled the earth over him and hid him forever. I carried over a heavy flagstone and placed it on the mound. And with my knife I carved these words. 'Here lies Conan, the fierce and turbulent.'

Who was Conan? Why was he called 'fierce and turbulent'? How did he die? Who buried him?

In the Eighth Century turmoil of warring tribes, love, jealousy, blackmail and revenge, Conan's story unfolds.

He entangles his foster brother, Columba, and the beautiful Sorcha in a terrifying adventure that will change all their lives forever.

Cora Harrison writes:

Cora HarrisonI first got the idea for writing this book when I was reading a book, written about a hundred years ago, by a man who climbed Mount Callan, a mountain between Drumshee and the sea.

On the mountaintop he found a flagstone, and engraved on it in Ogham (the ancient symbolic language of the Celts and early Christians in Ireland) were the words:

‘Here lies Conan the fierce and the turbulent.’

Who was Conan?

Why was he called fierce and turbulent?

How did he die?

Who buried him on top of the mountain?

All these questions simmered in my head for a few months.

Then I saw an aerial photograph of Clogher. Clogher is a small hill rising up from flat, marshy land, about a mile from Drumshee.

On top of the hill are the ruins of a church, an old graveyard with a wall around it, and a farm. The local people always call it ‘the island’.

When I looked at the aerial photograph, however, it showed, beneath the grass, the outline of an oval boundary wall around the graveyard and the ruins of the church; and it suddenly flashed into my mind that this might easily have been an ancient monastic settlement.

It was probably abandoned when the monastic settlement at Kilfenora came into existence, in the tenth century.

As soon as I thought of that, the whole story of Conan and Columba came to life in my mind. I sat down at the computer and typed: ‘I took his body in my arms, and I carried him up to the top of Mount Callan…’


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