The Stolen Village

The Stolen Village

Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates

In 1631 Barbary pirates kidnapped the inhabitants of Baltimore, West Cork in a daring night time raid. Only two of them ever returned. Here is the story of their kidnap, sale in the slave markets of Algiers and the political fallout from the attack.


Irish Book of the Decade - 2010

Irish Book Awards - Short-listed

Paperback: €14.99
Paperback: 488 pages
Size:196x130 mm
ISBN: 9781847171047

E-Book (ePub): €7.99
Also available as an E-Book (ePub)
ISBN: 9781847174314

In June 1631 pirates from Algiers and armed troops of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, led by the notorious pirate captain Morat Rais, stormed ashore at the little harbour village of Baltimore in West Cork. They captured almost all the villagers and bore them away to a life of slavery in North Africa. The prisoners were destined for a variety of fates -- some would live out their days chained to the oars as galley slaves, while others would spend long years in the scented seclusion of the harem or within the walls of the Sultan's palace. The old city of Algiers, with its narrow streets, intense heat and lively trade, was a melting pot where the villagers would join slaves and freemen of many nationalities. Only two of them ever saw Ireland again.

The Sack of Baltimore was the most devastating invasion ever mounted by Islamist forces on Ireland or England. Des Ekin's exhaustive research illuminates the political intrigues that ensured the captives were left to their fate, and provides a vivid insight into the kind of life that would have awaited the slaves amid the souks and seraglios of old Algiers.

The Stolen Village is a fascinating tale of international piracy and culture clash nearly 400 years ago and is the first book to cover this relatively unknown and under-researched incident in Irish history.

Shortlisted for the Argosy Irish Nonfiction Book of the Year Award

Des Ekin

Des Ekin is a retired journalist and 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.

‘I couldn’t put it down ... I really can’t recommend it highly enough ... how it hasn’t been made into a movie, I’ll never understand’

RTE Radio 1 Ryan Tubridy


Sunday Independent

fascinating and readable

The Irish Echo

An enthralling read, not simply for the story of the raid itself, which Ekin recreates with bloodcurdling vividness, but for the parallels the author draws with the current geo-political situation

The Irish Times The Irish Times

a harrowing tale that sheds light on the little-known trade in white slaves ... a fascinating exploration of a forgotten chapter of British and European history

Giles Milton - BBC History Magazine

Wonderfully interesting . . . A labour of love is how the author describes it, and after 350 easily read pages, it’s well worth the journey

The Irish Examiner Irish Examiner

Ekin is admirably surefooted as he finds his way through an impenetrable thicket of often contradictory sources and weaves his findings into an irresistibly readable narrative. Human interest is always well to the fore in a compelling book which also reminds us of the inexhaustible capacity of history to spring surprises.

The Scotsman

This is a gripping account that’s exhaustively researched but wears its learning lightly, and proceeds along at a lively pace . . . proof if it was needed, that fact is often more interesting than fiction

Metro Newspaper

one of the most compelling reads of the last decade

The Sunday World

written in a style that is easy to read and contains a wealth of historical information that is by turns surprising, fascinating, inspiring and blood curdling. It is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in 17th century life in Ireland with its familial double-dealing and English indifference as its leaders became preoccupied with the build up to a civil war. It is equally enthralling for the more general reader who simply enjoys a 'ripping yarn' for it is packed full of them.

Frank Parker,

do yourself a favour and read it, you will be enthralled ... superbly researched and written book flows freely from beginning to end, and will command your attention once you start reading it ... paints a vivid picture of life at that time ... a thoroughly enjoyable and educational read

Arab-Irish Journal

Wonderfully interesting . . . A labour of love is how the author describes it, and after 350 easily read pages, it’s well worth the journey

The Irish Examiner Irish Examiner

Do yourself a favour and read this book, it's utterly captivating

Living In magazine
Rights Held: World, all languages

Also by Des Ekin:

Ireland's Pirate Trail
Hell or Some Worse Place: Kinsale 1601
Stone Heart
Single Obsession

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