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Ulster Fairytales and Legends

Ulster Fairytales and Legends

Written by Peter Heaney and Nicola Heaney, Illustrated by Conor Busuttil

One legend from each county of Ulster, evocatively illustrated by Conor Busuttil. Discover the origins of the Red Hand of Ulster, learn about Colmcille and the book of Movilla, and much more! Guaranteed to enthrall readers young and old.

Hardback: €14.99
Hardback: 64 pages
Size:280x220 mm
ISBN: 9781788492171

Where did the Red Hand, the famous symbol of Ulster, originate? It's the hand of Heremon, a chief so keen to be first to lay claim to the land that he cut his own hand off the threw it from a ship!

Not all legends from Ulster are so gory, of course, and in this collection we meet The Great Brown Bull, The Horsemen of Aileach, Paiste, The Great Black Pig, Maeve MacQuillan, Fintán, Febor and Fia and, of course, Colmcille and the Book of Movilla.

Evocatively illustrated by Conor Busuttil, this collection of myths from Ireland's northern province will enthrall readers young and old.

Peter Heaney was a primary school teacher and story teller in his native Derry for more than 40 years. He believed that story-telling could create a rich world for children to explore and learn from. During his teaching career, exchanges with other story tellers provided many opportunities to share stories with children from Moscow to Kentucky.

Nicola Heaney was born and raised in Derry. After studying in Scotland, she moved to England where she taught English Literature to teenagers for over a decade before deciding to focus on her writing. Her poetry has been published in a number of journals across the UK and Ireland.

Conor Busuttil

Conor Busuttil is a children’s picture book illustrator and passionate doodler. His most recent works include projects for the Blue Peter "Here be Dragons" competition, the exhibition and trail for Kew Gardens and working with Hampton Court Palace to bring their history to life for children. He was recently selected by The Eric Carle Museum as a rising star. 

Conor is a lover of all things nature. Growing up in a small country village on the Strangford Lough coast in County Down, he spent many a day exploring the marshy farmlands for tadpoles and newts, and the rocky coastline in search of the mysterious creatures the tide left behind in its seaweedy pools.

A river demon, a copyright-violating monk, a giant serpent, a shape-shifting male drudge and a nasty teacher transformed into a pig are just some of the cast members of these engaging Ulster place-lore stories. The Cattle Raid of Cooley is told from an original angle: the brown bull’s misguided and arrogant perspective. Feisty girl and boy characters add further appeal for young readers. The spare narrative style redolent of Sinéad de Valera is complemented by the richly detailed and occasionally eerie illustrations by Conor Busuttil

Children's Books Ireland

Will captivate … a fine introduction to Irish storytelling

Ireland’s Own

A beautiful book … perfect for Christmas

BBC Radio Ulster’s John Toal Show

Legends from each of the nine counties of Ulster see the fire breathing dragon Paiste, the red hand of Ulster, and river demon of Fermanagh animated by Conor Busuttil’s rich illustrations

Evening Echo

This is a delightful collection of fairytales and legends from every corner of Ulster. Each story succeeds in capturing the imagination of the reader and transporting them to another land; a land where magic is at its centre. Each story is so well written and rich in vocabulary. These stories provide for endless discussion in the classroom and can be explored across the curriculum from literacy and history to the visual arts. The book is beautifully illustrated with bright, vivid and detailed imagery that enable the reader to paint a picture of each story in our minds. Each legend and fairytale in the book take us on a journey where we meet many different characters from the Horseman of Aileach to Maeve MacQuillan. Many themes are explored in this book from bravery to friendship and love. We take something different with us from each story. I think that every school library should have a book like this, so rich in heritage and culture. I would recommend it from 3rd class onwards although it is certainly a book to be adored by both young and old.

Terri O’Donovan, Co Donegal

InTouch Magazine

Also by Conor Busuttil:

Billy Conker's Nature-Spotting Adventure
The Children of Lir

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