The Slot

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The Deep Heart’s Core

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When Nora Gallagher leaves Donegal to work in a college in Edinburgh she is torn between the excitement of her new career and the call of home. Lodging with Rosie, an elderly family friend, she sees how lonely a city can be for the old and vulnerable. Nora sets out to help Rosie and to improve the prospects of the troubled teenagers she supports in college.

Astute and determined, Nora attracts the praise of her maverick colleagues and the jealousy of her conniving boss, Liz. She also attracts the attention of Gerard Falconer, a wealthy landowner, who opens his estate to disadvantaged students. Nora struggles with her own values, her growing fondness for Gerard and her desire to support her ailing grandfather at home.

By foiling the plans of local criminals preying on Rosie, Nora is unaware of the danger both women now face from a more serious predator – a danger which tracks them back to Donegal, where Nora has returned.

The King of Love

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John is the different Gospel, the most difficult but the most
enriching. It begins in the eternal loving heart of the Trinity,
‘for God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that
everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have
eternal life’ (3:16), and ends in an Hour of Glory, as John sees the
death and Resurrection of Jesus, and the outpouring of the Spirit.
The author gives a guide to all 21 chapters of the Gospel, with 22
passages for Lectio Divina, and 10 Stations of the Cross according
to John, to supplement our traditional ones. It’s the fruit of a long
pondering and love for this Gospel, so it is personal and, from
experience, medicine for a faltering spiritual life.
It is for everyone from student to pensioner, a challenge to all
to deepen their spirituality and their relationship with the living
Lord. It’s a sipping drink to be savoured slowly, rather than a
binge. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Albert McNally, a priest of Down and Connor, studied scripture
at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome 1968-71. He spent 30
years teaching at second and third level and 17 years as a Parish
Priest before retirement.

Silver’s City

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Silver McKee was probably the best-known man in Belfast at one time. This excellent book from Fra McCartney recounts some of the tales and tribulations of Silver’s time in Belfast.

Fra McCartney was born in Belfast in 1949 when the world was starting to change dramatically. Early in his life he developed a love for horses, horse dealers, and the ordinary man or woman who made good in this great city or in far off distant lands they emigrated to.

His days in the merchant navy took him to many countries but the lure of Belfast always brought him back and this book is very much about the characters rather than the city itself.

Stories of a Lifetime

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Jack McKinney retired in 2003 following four decades as an assistant and principal teacher in primary schools in
East Antrim. While working in Ballyclare he developed an interest
in the local history and culture of the town. This led him to compile
a series of accounts of Ballyclare’s history – notably its markets
and fairs, elementary education and the town’s celebrated papermaking
In 1980 he founded the Ballyclare and District Historical
Society and in 1993 was a founder member of the Ulster-Scots
Language Society acting as the first editor of Ullans, the society’s
This book draws on Jack McKinney’s interest in local cultural heritage and his feeling for the lore and language
of rural communities as expressed in the colourful speech and anecdotes of the eccentric characters he regularly
encountered in Ballyearl and Mossley.
The stories of the time he spent as a pupil in Mossley Primary School and a teacher in Abbots Cross and Ballyclare
Primary Schools contain lively descriptions of unusual events and eccentric behaviour by pupils and staff.
There is also much to learn and enjoy from contrasting pupils’ experiences and the conditions in schools in the 1950s
and 1960s with what is normal in today’s technological age.
This book, unashamedly nostalgic, will be enjoyed by all readers as an authentic but
light-hearted picture of the life of an ordinary teacher toiling at the chalk face.

Lakeland Lockdown Reflections

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The year 2020 will be remembered by many as the year of many days of ‘lockdown’ to counter the spread of CoVid-19 pandemic. ‘Lakeland Lockdown Reflections’ illustrates how to find and communicate with God in a strange time of anxiety and uncertainty. The reader will encounter how God spoke to the author through his Word and the beauty of creation, in the lakeland county of Fermanagh. These reflections by Deacon Martin Donnelly and images of quiet places so beautifully photographed by Fr Brendan McManus SJ, illustrate how the beauty of the environment provides stimuli for silent prayer. The words challenge the reader to reflect upon experiences of God in everyday life and to see God in the little things we often take for granted. In addition to being a pleasurable read, it is also a useful resource for meditation and prayer. The images enable the reader to look at the ‘ordinary’ with new eyes. The reflections warm the heart and open it to wonder and awe of God’s presence. is unique about this book is that Rev. Martin brings his experience of being a Deacon to bear in these reflections he wrote during Lockdown 2020. Being a married deacon is a new ministry in the Irish Church and we get to see his formation, his prayer and his work expressed in these pages. In some ways it represents a bridge between clergy and lay people, Martin has a foot in both camps and we get the benefits of both: the experience of married life, grandparenting and its demands, along with the commitment to prayer, liturgy and making the Scriptures talk to our lives.

The Hollowed Path

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A beautifully written and illustrated collection of poems and short stories by writer and artist Joan Mac Cabe. The writings echo a rich tapestry of the years between the 1940’s and the 1990’s. The author has included poems that move her, comfort her and make her laugh and cry! The short stories are generally set in the early years and take you inside the characters hearts and minds, most having a wee twist at the end! Definitely a must-read book.

The Swot

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THE SWOT is David Z Crookes’
second verse-essay in the Carrollean manner.
It contains 72 verses of superb writing.
The poem contains a few sober moments, for which
the author apologises.
David Z Crookes (born 1952) is a mostly academic writer who lives and works in Belfast.

Kids Rules – OK

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Franass and the Princess

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Franass and the Princess is a modest and tall story, orginally told by the author Marius Mulligan, to his young daughter.
Two evil men try to acquire the secret receipe for a best-selling delectable jam. They kidnap a beloved donkey from the lady who holds the receipe, and warn her to hand over her secret if she wants to see her donkey alive again. 
An eight year old girl is there to record the events when some of her eccentric but affectionate neighbours contrive to defeat the evil men. 
Franass and the Princess will introduce you to a little-known world, and to some of the bizarre characters who live in it. Sometimes, what is essential is invisible to the eye. 
Delightfully illustrated in colour by Rita Pimenta, hopefully this book will conjure the imagination of both the reader and listener. 

An Invitation to be where Love is : A Journey in faith in the company of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

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A book by Fr. Patrick Delargy.

“At a time when there is much talk about cultural Catholicism this book gives an insight into how our lives can be transformed when we see faith and life flowing as one, impacting, shaping and challenging each other. ‘To be where Love is’– that is the key.”

– Bairbre Cahill

Counselling The Abused : A Study of Trauma

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A Wider Circle publication.

Rich in meaning, answers and solutions this manual is a must read for survivors of sexual abuse.

Originally written as a work to assist counsellors in their efforts to bring healing to victims of abuse, its gentle and easily understood prose it has become preferred reading for victims themselves.

As you dip back and forth through this book you will gain greater insight as the myths explode and bring greater impetus to your healing journey.

Feel the power of resolution and regain control over your life.

If you are a survivor this book is for you. If you are a counsellor this book will help you to help victims of sexual abuse.

St. Matthew’s Church : A Day In June, A Place In History

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A Story of Pogroms and Conflict – Fifty years apart.

The Poor Clares in Belfast (1924-2012)

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In 1924, a small group of five nuns from the Order of the Poor Clares accepted the challenge to move to a deeply wounded Belfast, a city in need of healing following the deaths of almost 500 people during two years of civil strife. The Poor Clares soon established their contemplative way of life, and for the next 88 years prayed day and night for the people of Belfast. This book follows the community through their time in the city right up until their last day, including how they lived through the Belfast Blitz. Letters written by nuns within a few days of the air raids are published for the first time and add to the record of eye witness accounts of the Blitz.

Despite being enclosed and ‘away from the world’ for over eight decades the Poor Clares managed to win the hearts and minds of many people in North Belfast, the wider city and beyond. They were especially respected for their prayerful support of families during the Troubles. In their latter years, the nuns made a valiant attempt to survive in a world of declining religious vocations, but finally closed their monastery in 2012 to a wave of sympathy and sadness. Using the nuns’ community journals, alongside over 100 photos and illustrations, Fr Martin J Magill creates a touching tribute to the Poor Clares in Belfast.

Finding Arthur

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Journalist Arthur Williams was instrumental in bringing to justice the men responsible for a bombing atrocity that killed 23 civilians. Released early due to the Good Friday Agreement, the bombers set out to uncover the identity of the informant and enact their bloody revenge…

Meanwhile, a man is violently abducted on his way to work in Belfast. When the case is handed to DI Quinn, a man with a short fuse, SAS-trained Sergeant Gillian Rice is assigned to keep an eye on him.

A witty, sharp and engaging debut thriller which weaves through the County Down countryside in a compelling story of vengeance.

The Man with the Camino Tattoo

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“The Camino de Santiago, or The Way of Saint James, is a network of pilgrim routes leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain, where the remains of the saint are believed to be buried. Over the centuries, many hundreds of thousands have followed its various routes as a form of religious or spiritual devotion. The path to Santiago is also known as the Way of the Sword. It’s reputed to be the path where you fight your demons and find your strength.

In 2016, Dermot decided to undertake a gruelling 1,000 kilometre pilgrimage along the challenging Camino del Norte in memory of his wife Jacqui, who had been cruelly taken from him fifteen months earlier by ovarian cancer. As he carries his rucksack and great sense of loss with him along the centuries old route, he dearly hopes to achieve some sort of peace – perhaps even find a place of sanctuary. And as the land he passes through gradually reveals many of its wondrous myths and legends associated with St James, he begins to believe that miraculous events are perhaps not only confined to the past.

Through the tremendous camaraderie he experiences on his Camino, and particularly through his encounters with the enigmatic Jane, he gains a much better understanding of himself and his loss, which ultimately results in a surprising and life enhancing revelation. Told with great honesty and passion, this is a story that reaches into the very heart of the reader and demonstrates that, even when life can seem utterly hopeless, the human spirit is a powerful force that can rescue even the most vulnerable of souls.”

Cardinal Cahal B. Daly Centenary Memorial Lecture Programme

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Cahal B. Daly: Reflections on the practice of dialogue

This lecture programme accompanies a lecture that took place at Queen’s University Belfast this year.


Molly Mop and the Little Wizard

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A Wider Circle Publication that deals with trauma and highly personalised experiences of childhood abuse.

Jimmy and the Island of Magic

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“Jimmy and the Island of Magic” is a Wider Circle publication that centres on dealing with trauma.

“Jimmy and the Island of Magic is so sensitively  and subtly written. It appeals both as an ordinary story, and as a means of communicating to the young people that they can feel safe again. The care and gentleness of the text, through the use of metaphors, is used to help young people deal with sensitive issues, which are so magically and safely brought to life by the beautiful images.”

Dr. Francesca Doherty, BSC PHD. Assistant Clinical Psychologist

The Sky Before the Storm

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An excellent book about dealing with trauma. Used by many therapists and academics.

Tadhg and the Pockel

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Tadhg has had hangovers before but this one! Waking up outside? In the Glens of Antrim? In the priest’s garden? He’s really outdone himself. The priest won’t forget this visit anytime soon.

What’s taking them to Baltimore? What is a Pockel anyway? Why is Tadhg’s dead mum writing him letters?

Strap yourself in, tune up your fiddle and join Tadhg and the lads as they head south on the trad road trip of a lifetime. The engine’s running…

Available May 2017

The Edge : Walking the Ulster Way with my Angels & Demons

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When Dermot lost his wife to cancer, he was devastated. However, he determined to undertake a 1,000km pilgrimage in her memory to raise funds for cancer research. What followed was a physically and emotionally challenging journey as Dermot struggled to overcome episodes of injury, exhaustion, anguish and grief. This is an inspirational and searingly honest account of his ‘unlikely’ pilgrimage as he treks through isolated wilderness and stunning landscapes alike, with his dark demons and guiding angels never far from his side.

The Mountains of Iron : A History of the Iron Mining Industry in Mid-Antrim

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This book, by Kevin J. O’Hagan tells how iron ore mining began in Co. Antrim 150 years ago, how the mines were worked and how small farmers became skilled miners, toiling in cramped conditions beneath the Antrim hills. The industry gave birth to the Irish Narrow Gauge railway system.

The mines transformed the bleak hills of the Antrim Plateau into a hive of industry. Today the red spoil heaps, disused railway cuttings and the Drum Brae are reminders of a once thriving industry – a story that had to be told.

Author Kevin J O’Hagan is a retired civil servant who was born in the heart of the mining area. His father and grandfather were iron ore miners. Educated St MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower and St Joseph’s Training College, Trench House, he took up caving in 1970 and was part of Irish Speleological Expedition to the French Alps in 1975. From that experience he became interested in mines in Mid-Antrim and has been researching their history and recording and exploring them since. He is a former chairperson Glens of Antrim Historical Society, a founding member of Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland (1996) and Glenravel Historical Society (2010). Kevin has also given talks about the mines to many groups, societies and universities and contributed articles to various history-based journals.

Life Happens

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This is a collection of stories from the lives of ordinary people, adeptly told here by the author. Through these tales Janette McKendry captures the essence of a community and the trials and tribulations faced by people as they undertake life’s journey.