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O Nolan – The History of a People

by Fr. John O’Nolan and Art Kavanagh
(376 pages; ISBN number 0 9538485 0 7)

NOTE:  Due to the late addition of extra pages in the first edition (in 2000), the page numbering in the index at the back of the book is in error.  However, a corrected index is now available.  Those with a copy of the first edition should download a copy of the revised index to help them navigate the book.

This exciting new book, published in the Millenium year (2000), contains much hitherto unpublished material which deals not alone with the very important sept of the O’Nolans but also with other Gaelic clans, Anglo Norman dynasties and new English families of Elizabethan and Cromwellian origins.

Fr. John O’Nolan was born in Northern Ireland. He was one of a large family of boys and girls. One of his brothers, Peter, emigrated to the U.S. where he died in 1919. Another brother, Daniel was manager of the Ulster Bank in Castlerea. He had at least three sisters, one of whom was a nun. M.J. Nolan, J.P. C.C. of Galeybridge House, Listowel, Co. Kerry, was Fr. O’ Nolan’s first cousin. Fr. O’Nolan became Parish Priest of Kirkcubbin, where he was responsible for the renovation of the Catholic Church there. He died in the 1920s.

Art Kavanagh, of Bunclody, a retired teacher, is the author of “In The Shadow of Mount Leinster”, “The Wexford Gentry Books I & II” ( with Rory Murphy) and “Ireland 1798 – The Battles”, as well as numerous booklets dealing with the Rebellion of 1798.

Fr. O’Nolan painstakingly charts the ancient origins of the clan O’Nolan as it is interwoven with the history of the South Eastern area. His style is typical of the Nationalistic tone that was so prevalent in the early decades of the 20th century.
Art Kavanagh’s research has unearthed invaluable new data about the O’Nolans which has enabled him to reconstruct the pedigrees of some of the ancient dynasties. What is most remarkable is that a link has been established between the O’Nolans of the 16th century and the Nolans of the 21st century, involving many families.

In addition there is a compelling study of the social and political development of the South East, interspersed with jewels of information such as the numbers of Nolans involved in the American Civil War and the Nolan 1798 convicts. One of the most interesting stories of the book deals with John Amnesty Nolan – a Fenian who devoted much of his life to founding the Amnesty movement with Isaac Butt. Here is what Michael Davitt had inscribed on John Nolan’s tombstone, which was erected in Glasnevin at Davitt’s expense: “Erected with deepest gratitude for the memory of John
Amnesty Nolan, to whom this person owes his liberation from an English gaol.”

The new book was officially launched on the first day of the 2000 Gathering of the O’Nuallain Clan held at The Lord Bagenal Inn, Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, July 14-15, 2000. The first publication run was for 1000 copies. Copies of the first and second editions have sold out but a third, Print-On-Demand version prepared by Art Kavanagh, is available from .