Murder at Drumshee
kill him," said Mahon.
The other six students from Drumshee law school stood around
They had been searching for Mahon for the last quarter of an hour
and now they did not know what to say to him.
He was standing under a big ash tree, his back turned to them,
his arms hooked over a low branch. His face was hidden in his arms,
but they know from his voice that he had been crying.’
‘"He’s dead," screamed Mahon, bursting through the
door of the schoolhouse. His face was as white as his linen tunic
and his rough dark hair was standing on end…
"Who’s dead?" asked Ita eventually, but she knew the
answer to her own question.
Gabur, the cruel teacher at the Drumshee law school is dead, but
who has killed him?
Is it his student, Mahon, who has threatened to do it?
Is it Brendan who has been cheated by Gabur?
Is it Nessa whose father is forcing her to marry Gabur, a man more
than twice her age when Nessa wants to marry Finbar, the handsome
Is it Donogh whose job is being threatened by Gabur?
No one, in this small community, mourns Gabur, but who did kill
Ita and her friends set out to prove Mahon’s innocence and to
find the true murderer.
‘"Very clever," said… "You worked that one out
very well. …You’re a clever boy, Mahon. Now don’t try to get
away or to do anything to me. If you do, I’ll cut Ita’s throat.
Come in here, both of you."’
Cora Harrison writes:
is one of my favourite Drumshee books. I always enjoy a ‘whodunit’
myself and I am fascinated by the early Irish law system, the Brehon
laws. These laws were so enlightened for their time: they allowed for
divorce on incompatibility grounds; they gave equal rights to women
and they held the family, or kin group, to be responsible for the
behaviour of young people under seventeen.
When I read in a history book that there was an Iron Age fort near
here still in use in the sixteenth century as a Brehon law school, I
got the idea of writing about one within the fort of Drumshee and of
Flann, the Brehon, having the responsibility of solving the murder
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