A Quest to Uncover Our Swashbuckling Past

Des Ekin
Ireland's Pirate Trail

Des Ekin embarks on a roadtrip around the entire coast of Ireland, in search of our piratical heritage, uncovering an amazing history of swashbuckling bandits, both Irish-born and imported.


This edition is not available yet. Published: April

368 pages
226x155 mm

Also available as an EPUB

This edition is not available yet. Published: April

Category History

Bloodthirsty buccaneers and buried treasure, fierce sea battles and cold-blooded murders, Barbary ducats and silver pieces of eight.

Des Ekin embarks on a roadtrip around the entire coast of Ireland, in search of our piratical heritage, uncovering an amazing history of swashbuckling bandits, both Irish-born and imported.

Ireland’s Pirate Trail tells stories of freebooters and pirates from every corner of our coast over a thousand years, including famous pirates like Anne Bonny and William Lamport, who set off to ply their trade in the Caribbean. Ekin also debunks many myths about our most well-known sea warrior, Granuaile, the ‘Pirate Queen’ of Mayo. Thoroughly researched and beautifully told. Filled with exciting untold stories.

Preface 11
Part I
East by Sou’-East 17
1. Pirate Pilgrimage the First 18
Dalkey, Tramore, New Ross, Dublin
On the Trail of McKinley’s Gold 21
2. Pirate Pilgrimage the Second 42
County Meath
‘I’ll Make You Officers … in Hell.’ 44
3. Pirate Pilgrimage the Third 54
Wexford Town
William Lamport, the Wex-Mex ‘Zorro’ 56
4. Pirate Pilgrimage the Fourth 66
Saltees, Dublin City, Rush
The Three Privateers and the Rebel Yell from Rush 69
Part II
South by Sou’-West 91
5. Pirate Pilgrimage the Fifth 92
Waterford, Roaring Water Bay
‘He Led Them in a Carol, Then Clapped Them in Irons’95
6. Pirate Pilgrimage the Sixth 105
Kinsale, Carolina, Caribbean
Anne Bonny, Scourge of the Caribbean 108
7. Pirate Pilgrimage the Seventh 123
Cork City, Brazil, Boston
The Strange American Odyssey of Peter Roach 129
8. Pirate Pilgrimage the Eighth 143
Berehaven, Leamcon, Baltimore, Valentia Island
The Hellhounds of Dog’s Leap and the
Pirate Armadas of West Cork 145
9. Pirate Pilgrimage the Ninth 166
The Framing of William Marsh169
Part III
West by Nor’-West 189
10. Pirate Pilgrimage the Tenth 190
Clare Island
Grania Mania 194
11. Pirate Pilgrimage the Eleventh 221
Broad Haven
The Admiral, the Pirate, the Chieftain and his Daughters 225
12. Pirate Pilgrimage the Twelfth 233
‘Twenty Good Men Could Cut Their Throats’ 237
13. Pirate Pilgrimage the Thirteenth 251
Dunfanaghy, Achill Island
The World’s Most Wanted Man 254
Part IV
North by Nor’-East 271
14. Pirate Pilgrimage the Fourteenth 272
Black Tom, the Scummer of the Sea 275
15. Pirate Pilgrimage the Fifteenth 283
‘I Drew My Sword for the Rights of Men’ 285
16. Pirate Pilgrimage the Sixteenth 294
Belfast, Holywood, Bangor, Donaghadee
Pirates and Belfast Lough 296
17. Pirate Pilgrimage the Seventeenth 308
Rathlin, Inishowen, Howth, Strangford, Dublin
The Viking Pirates, the Irish Slavemaster and
the Captive Princess 313
18. Pirate Pilgrimage the Eighteenth 330
The Puzzle of the Ouzel 334

Acknowledgements 349
Source Notes 351

Des Ekin was a journalist and is the author of four books. Born in County Down, Northern Ireland, he began his career as a reporter. After spending several years covering the Ulster Troubles, he rose to become Deputy Editor of the Belfast Sunday News before moving to his current home in Dublin. He worked as a journalist, columnist, Assistant Editor and finally Political Correspondent for The Sunday World until 2012. His book The Stolen Village (2006) was shortlisted for the Argosy Irish Nonfiction Book of the Year and for Book of the Decade in the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2010. He is married with a son and two daughters.

Your comment or review

Other books by this author
  • The Stolen Village
  • Stone Heart
  • Single Obsession
  • The Last Armada

You may also like
  • Irish Rebellions
  • Taney
  • Follow the Old Road
  • Dublin and the Viking World