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The Irish Diaspora – Reviews

General Reviews



The paperback edition of The Irish Diaspora, launched in March 2024.

I was utterly elated by the very first review I received for ‘The Irish Diaspora’ by Sean Connolly, published in the April 2021 edition of BBC History Magazine, the UK’s biggest selling history magazine. This is an extract:

‘An impeccably researched book that shows how Irish emigrants have made their mark on history … This fascinating assortment of case histories, spread across 1,400 years and six continents, is an impressive feat of research. All of the chapters are based on a solid body of up-to-date historical writing. The summaries of often-complex historical background to the lives explored are models of lucid compression. The short biographies themselves are lively yet judicious, packed with vivid detail but willing, where necessary, to question or dismiss colourful legend. And the reader will come away with a new sense of the many ways in which Ireland has interacted with the world beyond its shores, and of some of the extraordinary careers that have resulted.’

‘With his warm and engaging style, Bunbury examines the lives and stories of the Irish people driven by hunger, adventure, faith, or survival — who left these shores and made their mark on the world … a lively and accessible look at some of Ireland’s most extraordinary emigrants.’
Ruth O’Connor
The Examiner, March 2024

‘Bunbury’s stories weave the tapestry of Irish emigration through over nearly 1500 years and many carefully chosen life stories, each a potential book in itself.  His pacey but well-researched narrative is addictive. Just when you finish a chapter to take a break from the read, you find yourself turning the page for….. just one more story. The research that underpins the short and engaging biographies delivers credible detail. Bunbury’s book is a delightful read … history at its most vibrant.’
Audrey Cunningham.
Village Magazine

‘The Irish Diaspora takes readers on a journey of discovery crafted in the most simple and easy way to grasp. There is something of value for everyone who reads this book. One key takeaway for me while reading the book over and over again is that, it is a must for every community, society and nation to document its history accurately for posterity’s sake. This is a must feature in your collection of books because, no matter where you are in the world, you will discover that there was an Irish diaspora great that shaped the history of that land.’
Theresa R. Fianko, Founder & Managing Editor
Diaspora Digital News 
‘An excellent book … Bunbury’s bible of the Irish Diaspora makes for easy, enjoyable, informative reading and can be read cover to cover or zoning in on characters that particularly interest you. He takes often overlooked events and characters and weaves them into an entertaining, and often surprising, history of the Irish abroad.’
Patricia Killeen

‘A deep dive into the Irish diaspora’s profound impact on world history. Through meticulous research, Bunbury highlights the significant contributions of Irish individuals to critical historical events, making it a must-read for history enthusiasts and scholars alike. His extensive research and engaging narrative style bring to life the stories of these remarkable individuals. Bunbury’s work serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring spirit of the Irish people and their lasting influence on the world stage.’
Justice Nwafor,
BBN (Hong Kong)

‘A wonderfully rich book of stories. Love it.’
Humphrey Hawksley 

‘Ireland’s greatest export was always its people. Some fled famine, violence, or poverty. Others sought love, adventure, or fortune. And Turtle Bunbury’s “The Irish Diaspora: Tales of Emigration, Exile and Imperialism” pays them tribute.’ Jacqueline Cutler published this account in the New York Daily News on 2 April 2021. The article also appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (27 April 2021) and other newspapers.

‘A valuable and immensely readable addition to the Diaspora canon.’
Ragnar Almqvist,
Embassy of Ireland, Washington D. C.

The Kilkenny People

The New York Daily News

‘Intriguing … warm and engaging … a fascinating range of people.’
Westmeath Independent

‘A lovely and engrossing portrayal of 42 vignettes of such a melange of characters to ever grace the pages of a book. One could not ask for a more excellent collective prosopography.’
Christopher Steed

‘I just had the pleasure of finishing ‘The Irish Disapora’ and what a book! An absolutely brilliant, thoroughly entertaining and informative read. Will be recommending to everyone! Not one for tweeting my appreciation but this book was a super read so thank you!’
Dáibh @TheOnlyDaveTett

‘We are loving this new book – it has so many great tales about the Irish abroad. If you are looking for some inspiring stories of people from this little island of ours and their impact on the world, get this!’
Old Ireland in Colour 

‘Well researched, fascinating reading.’
Thomas Marshall

‘My wife got this for me as one of my birthday presents. It is the best books I’ve read on all things Irish and our global impact from emigration. It should be in history classes across our secondary schools.’
Martin McHugh

Published in the Tipperary Star, 25 March 2021.

‘Turtle Bunbury has done it again. In his latest “unputdownable” read the dispersion of the Irish throughout the world is traced in such a way that you just want to keep reading to see just what the next little known fact will be – and, believe me – there are plenty! In his own individual style this book is written (and so well researched) that the end product retains your interest from start to finish! I certainly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in factual history written in a way that is definitely not “stuffy”.’
Shaun Peare

‘There are books, good books and exceptional books – this is an exceptional book. I have a growing collection of your fine books and greatly envy your lightness of scholastic touch. Your skill in drawing in readers, while retaining historic integrity, is to be respected and admired. Well done.’
Paul Cuddihy

‘Perfect lazy Sunday afternoon. Just love it. So many surprises JG stories.’
Sammy Leslie

‘My new favourite read. Congratulations @turtlebunbury on distilling 42 gripping stories of extraordinary members of the Irish diaspora into one very readable volume. Highly recommended.’
Mark Henry

‘Serious, properly researched history for a non-academic audience is something we really need, so I was delighted with what you had written – and also learned a lot.’
Prof Sean Connolly

‘A seriously beautiful book! Really nicely produced and irresistible reading! Just dipping in and re-reading the Hercules Mulligan; it’s a master class in deft storytelling and such a fun new window on the Revolution. It’s the perfect bedside read for every expat and those keeping the home first burning.’
Emma Parry

‘Wonderful read – compelling stuff.’
Jim Shiels

‘I share your interest in history – but your skill at providing the facts and the background to events is unrivalled.’
Ger Seery

‘I took great joy in reading “The Irish Diaspora”. As a successful businessman, who has lived the American dream, someone who emigrated from Ireland in 1989, I took great pride in celebrating some of your many Irish emigrant stories with my Family. Thanks for a great book!’
Paul McDonnell, New York

‘A goldmine.’
Donagh McKeown

‘Well done, a good one!’
Jackie Greene

‘A great read, I would highly recommend it.’
Andrew Driver

‘Perfectly written as always – I can’t put the book down’
Kaz Langley

‘I was in a bookshop in Coral Gables, Miami, today and the first book I saw was your Irish Diaspora. Of course I had to buy it. – Chris Haden, 2023

‘I can’t put it down. Absolutely marvellous history, so well written in your smooth engaging style. My problem will become how can I bear to switch off my bedside lamp to sleep this evening.’
Richard Crampton, Virginia

‘Cracking read.’
Alexine Tinne

‘The Irish Diaspora was really a great read … . What I liked about this book was the way you describe situations, in past centuries, in a dialogue as though you were there and knew what people were thinking, and how they looked etc. You have a unique way of relating events and describing people in various situations and even the colour of their eyes … I think that made it very readable too. The photos look swell. Well done.’
John Schwatschke

‘I was so honored and thrilled by the dedication of your book. It’s a great book, so interesting, inspiring and readable. Bravo!’
Rosie O’Neill, Chicago

‘Your range is truly impressive and your detachment and objectivity admirable. You have the indefinable gift of carrying your reader along.’
Charles Lysaght

‘A wonderful book. Well done!’
Ian d’Alton

‘Love it , a great read.’
Michael O’Rourke