Turtle’s Diary


April 8-9: History weekend at Ashford Castle, Cong, County Galway.

Feb 7: Launch of the Waterways Ireland podcast series, researched, written and narrated by Turtle.

Jan 22 (Sat, 10.30am-1pm): Turtle to presents online talks on ‘The Irish Diaspora’ and ‘Vanishing Ireland’ to Diploma in Genealogy class at University College Cork.

Jan 19: Turtle presents ‘The Irish Diaspora’ to the Irish-American

Jan 3: Lochlann Ó Mearáin’s new series ‘Droichid Na hÉireann’ (The Bridges of Ireland) debuts on RTE One. In the first episode, Turtle talks him through the colourful history of Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge.



Dec 24: Irish Central publishes ‘Half the Joy of an Irish Christmas‘; Turtle is among the voices on VoiceMap’s recording of “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”

Dec 21: The Irish Post selects ‘The Irish Diaspora’ as one of its Twelve Books for Christmas.

Dec 20: Ally Bunbury is one of the guest readers on Thornwillow’s Bloomsyear Centennial Reading of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ (Episode 3), alongside Edoardo Ballerini, David Mamet, Tamara Glenny, Richard Nash, and Charl Brown. Listen here.

Dec 18: Turtle’s interviews with Rachel Comiskey of Zurich (Samichlaus and Schmutzli) and Liz Cairns of Leicestershire,UK (The Last-Minute Mayhem) published online with ‘To Be Irish at Christmas.’

Dec 14: The Maxol Podcast goes live on Spotify.


Dec 10: Turtle’s interviews with John Power of the Loire Valley (Half the Joy of Christmas) and Elizabeth Stack of Albany, New York (Where the Jingle Bells Chime) published online with ‘To Be Irish at Christmas.’

Dec 9: Turtle is awarded the 2021 Gilmartin Medal after he delivers the Gilmartin Lecture to the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland. His lecture is entitled ‘Of Chloroform, Contagion & the Comanche Nation: Aspects of the World in 1847’. Listen here.

Dec 7: As Storm Barra pounds Ireland, Turtle’s 2017 account of the Night of the Big Wind is reprised to become the Irish Times’ tenth most popular story of the day.

Dec 1: To Be Irish’ programme launched by the Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, T.D., to include a series of interviews with the Irish diaspora curated by Turtle.

Nov 19: Turtle delivers a talk on ‘The Irish Diaspora – Tales of Emigrants, Exile & Empire’ for Muckross House in Killarney.

Nov 10-15:Violet Gibson – The Irish woman who shot Mussolini’ screens as part of the Irish Film Festa Rome, with Italian subtitles.

Nov 8: The Dublin Book Festival 2021 commences with ‘Lost and Found – Irishman Captain Francis Crozier and the Franklin Expedition disaster’, in which Turtle interviews polar historian Michael Smith, author of ‘Icebound in the Arctic’. The event was held in partnership with the Royal Dublin Society Library.

Nov 7: Turtle launches the new www.turtlebunbury.com website, which you are presently viewing, complete with subscription-based history archive of his work. The website is designed by Fintan Blake Kelly of the Upping Company, following consultation with Úna Ryan of Marketing Eye Consultancy and the support of the Carlow Enterprise Board.

Nov 1: Turtle interviewed for ‘The Global Interview with Creatives, Leaders, and Thinkers’ about the joys of history.

Oct 31: Turtle delivers keynote speech at official unveiling of Willie Malone’s statue of Kevin Barry in Rathvilly, County Carlow. As Charlie Keegan writes in his report on the event in the Carlow Nationalist: ‘The day’s celebrations opened with a parade headed by a pony and trap with tricolours flying on either side. Close behind came Turtle Bunbury, travelling in style in an open-top vintage Ford from 1930. Turtle, a proud Rathvilly man, author and historian, was keynote speaker for the unveiling.’

Oct 7: The Connaught Telegraph zeroes in on Sasha Sykes ‘Carlow Chair’ in a review of the ‘Our Irish Chair: Tradition Revisited’ at at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar.

Oct 2: Turtle shares a panel at Echoes Festival, Dalkey, with Dr Phil Mullen, Caelainn Hogan, Caroline Erskine and Rachel English for ‘Stories from the Silence’, a discussion on why and how Ireland’s past and its hidden stories need to be shared. The festival theme is ‘This Year It Will Be Different.’

Oct 1: Turtle delivers wrap up episode of Vanishing Ireland podcasts.

Sept 24: The last of the Vanishing Ireland podcast interviews airs, with Tullow tailor Michael Johnson, who earns a feature in the Carlow Nationalist. Turtle also talks about the series on ‘The Way It Is’ with Sue Nunn on KCLR.

Sept 22: The film of ‘Violet Gibson – The Irish woman who shot Mussolini’ screens on TG4. It’s the first ever broadcast. See trailer here.

Sept 21: Turtle delivers lecture for South Dublin Libraries on ‘Irish Women & Global Leaders’, including Violet Gibson (the Dubliner who tried to kill Mussolini); Eliza Lynch (the Cork lady who became First Lady of Paraguay) and Lola Montez (the Cork woman who caused the King of Bavaria to abdicate).

Sept 19: Freda Jones is the is the 14th guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast series, earning her a feature in the Wicklow People by Eimear Dodd.

Sept 15: The Vanishing Ireland podcast series scores its 10,000th download.

Sept 13: Con ‘Durrihy’ O’Sullivan is the is the 13th guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast series, earning him a feature in the Southern Star.

Sept 8: The Irish Post in London runs Turtle’s feature on Little Al Cashier.

Sept 3: Helen-Fegan Joyce is the 12th guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast series.

Aug 31: The Clare Champion profiles Clare connections in The Irish Diaspora. Turtle interviews 107 year old Carmel Geoghegan in Portmarnock.

Aug 26: Oliver Reed of Athlone is the 11th guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast series; the Westmeath Independent carries this feature.

Above: This little piggy is part of a remarkable collection found in a limestone cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It’s a Sulawesi pig, warts and all, painted with vivid red ochre and is quite possibly the earliest known artwork produced by human hand. The artist even added human hands to the scene. So many millennia ago is a massive timespan to get your head around, but I take encouragement from the notion that, even then, mankind was seeking to make sense of its surroundings through art.

Aug 25: Country Life feature on Turtle’s ‘Favourite Painting’ homes in on the Sulawesi pig (pictured). Volume 6:1 of the Journal of the Butler Society carries Turtle’s obituary to his uncle James Butler.

Aug 21: Turtle speaks with Marita Conlon-McKenna about ‘Children of the Famine’ at the Festival of Writing & Ideas, Borris House.

Aug 20: Philip Lecane of Cork City is the 10th guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast series, earning him plaudits from Yay Cork.

Aug 13: On the day the Vanishing Ireland podcasts achieves its 5000th download, Miriam Moore is the ninth guest on the series.

Aug 7: The Vanishing Ireland Facebook Group reaches the amazing figure of 150,000 members.

Aug 6: Dublin greengrocer Jack Roche is the eighth guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast series.

Aug 5: Paperback version of Ireland’s Forgotten Past his the shelves.

Aug 4: Turtle’s presentation on the Past Tracks project, and Athy, is repeated on RTE One’s Nationwide. The Kildare Nationalist takes note.

Aug 3: Turtle discusses Vanishing Ireland with the Morning Mix on South East Radio.

Aug 2: Vanishing Ireland Podcast crosses the 4,000 downloads mark.

July 30: Dessie Hynes, former landlord of O’Donohue’s Pub in Dublin City, is the seventh guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast series.

July 23: George Knight of Clones is the sixth guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast series.

July 17: Ally Bunbury’s article on ‘The comfort to be found in memories and remembering’ is published in The Irish Times.

July 16: Betty Ashe of Dublin Docklands is the guest on the fifth Vanishing Ireland podcast. Turtle is interviewed by Michael Sullivan of Near FM about the project.

July 14: The Irish Times publish Turtle’s account of Abbé Edgeworth, who declined returning to Ireland when the Bastille was stormed on 14 July 1789 and became confessor to King Louis XVI at his execution.

July 11: Turtle profiled in the Sunday Times Where I Work.’

July 9: Eddie Lenihan of Crusheen, County Clare, is the fourth guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast.

July 2: Rally driver Rosemary Smith is the third guest on the Vanishing Ireland podcast. Dermot and Dave interview her on Today FM a couple of days later.

June 30: Mary Stack’s debut in the Vanishing Ireland podcast series earns her a feature in The Kerryman.

June 25: The second Vanishing Ireland podcast goes live – 84-year-old Myles Clarke, a mountain farmer from Valleymount, County Wicklow, reflects on a his life. The Wicklow People home in on Myles also.

June 22: Turtle interviewed at Bishopscourt about nautical legends Francis Beaufort, George Halpin and Robert Halpin.

June 19: Turtle’s account of the burning of Knockcroghery referenced in the Westmeath Independent on centenary of event.

June 18: On the day the Vanishing Ireland group wins its 140,000th member, Mary Stack airs as the first Vanishing Ireland podcast, achieving widespread publicity including an article on Irish Central.

June: Turtle’s article on Michael Fay, a nationalist killed in 1921, appears in The Carlow Nationalist.

June 3: Turtle joins Sinead Brassil on LMFM Radio to marks 20 years of Vanishing Ireland and the new podcast series.

May 31: Turtle talks ‘Vanishing Ireland’ with Shirley Ní Ríagáin on West Limerick FM 102FM.

May 28: Publication of ‘Materialising Power – The Archaeology of the Black Pig’s Dyke, Co. Monaghan’ (Wordwell Ltd) by Cóilín Ó Drisceoil and Aidan Walsh, with a chapter by Turtle on William de Vismes Kane.

May 22: Turtle replicates his great-uncle Dudley Colley’s achievement by driving a car over the Ha’penny Bridge … a remote control Ferrari that he smashed into all sides of the bridge before it tumbled ingloriously down the steps. He was filming a short piece about Dudley, Wellington and the bridge for a TG4 series with Lochlann O’Mearain.

May 26: Turtle interviewed on KCLR Live by Eimear Ní Bhraonáin on the history of Carlow Castle.

May 21: Turtle interviewed about the Irish Diaspora by Tennery Taylor Norton for Constant Wonder, BYUradio.

May 20: Anne Doyle promotes Vanishing Ireland, and Turtle, on The Six O’Clock Show.

May 19: News of the Vanishing Ireland podcast series breaks in the Irish Sun, Connaught Telegraph, Irish Independent, DublinLive.ie, Clare Champion, Leinster Leader, Leinster Express, Leitrim Observer, Limerick Leader, Limerick Post, Kildare Nationalist, Westmeath Examiner, broadsheet.ie, extra.ie and Goss.ie – the Irish Times publishes a photo of former TV newsreader Anne Doyle with Betty Ashe at the launch as one of its ‘Images of the Day.’

May 18: Photocall in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, for Vanishing Ireland launch with Anne Doyle.

May 4: Turtle presents ‘The Butler Family – An Illustrated Recap on the last 900 Years’ for the Kilkenny Liberal Studies Group.

April 21: Turtle presents Zoom talks on ‘The Irish Diaspora’ to Irish Network DC in Washington DC; and the Bangor Rotary Club in County Down.

April 18: Turtle unveils a plaque in Rathvilly to the memory of Michael Faye.

April 16: Carlow Nationalist home in on Ally’s matchbox collection photo shoot in the Make a Wish book.

April 11: Ciara Dwyer interviews Turtle for ‘Upfront’ in the Sunday Independent.

April 4: Two-page feature on ‘The Irish Diaspora’ written by Jacqueline Cutler and published in the Easter Sunday edition of the New York Daily News.

April 3: The Kilkenny People publish a feature on ‘The Irish Diaspora’ and its ‘fascinating’ cast.

April 1: Interview with Turtle in Ulster Tatler.

March 29: The Tipperary Star publishes a full page on ‘The Irish Diaspora’, highlighting all the Tipperary links.

March 27: BBC History Extra airs podcast interview with Turtle by Elinor Evans about ‘The Irish Diaspora.’

March 26: Deirdre Verney of Westmeath Independent applauds the ‘intriguing’ cast in The Irish Diaspora: ‘In his ever-popular warm and engaging style, Turtle Bunbury shares the stories of a fascinating range of people.’

March 25: Turtle presents ‘The Butler Family – An Illustrated Recap on the last 900 Years’ for the inaugural Zoom lecture for the Butler Society.

Above: Turtle delivered the inaugural Zoom talk for the Butler Society in March 2021, an illustrated recap on 900 years of the Butler family in Ireland. Delivered in the pandemic, its’ purpose was to cheer up existing members of the society, as well as people considering membership.

March 19: Glowing review of ‘The Irish Diaspora’ published in BBC History Magazine.

March 11: Launch of Turtle’s new book ‘The Irish Diaspora: Tales of Emigration, Exile and Empire’ (Thames & Hudson).

March 5: Turtle join BBC journalist and author Humphrey Hawksley for a freewheeling chat about his books and the larger canvas of Irish history, its wars and diasporas and how these memories affect Ireland and politics today, for a Goldster (formerly Care Visions) Healthy Ageing Book Chat. (With thanks to Eithne Treanor)

Feb 24: The Allyship Series, co-hosted by the Harvard Club of Boston and the Harvard Club of Ireland, homes in on the story of the Choctaw Nation and the Great Hunger, at which Turtle and Alex Pentek spoke. See here.

Feb 21: Turtle published his debut Kindle, ‘Hope in 1847’, which contains 5 short stories about positive, uplifting acts of international kindness conducted during 1847, the worst year of the Great Hunger, also known as the Irish Famine. Buy here.

Feb 14: Turtle presents ‘Contextualizing Douglass’s Ireland – The World in 1845-1847’ for Frederick Douglass Week, with an introduction by Robert Manson of the Harvard Alumni Club (Ireland). Nine-year-old Mimi Fogg has two poems published in the Kid’s Supplement of the Sunday Times.

Jan 23: Turtle presents online talks on ‘Ireland’s Forgotten Past’ and ‘Vanishing Ireland’ to Diploma Year in Genealogy students at University College Cork.

Jan 19: Turtle’s interview with Damien Dynan airs on The Deep Cover Show.

Jan 15: Betty Ashe of Pearse Street, Dublin, is the first person interviewed for the Vanishing Ireland podcast series. With Ireland in lockdown, she spoke to Turtle via Squadcast in a 47 minute talk, with sound engineers Liam Mulvanny and Jamie from Asylum Studios. The podcast series will go to air in Spring 2021. (The Vanishing Ireland Facebook group reached 130K on the same day).

Jan 11: Turtle Bunbury’s ‘Around the World in 1847’ published as a podcast by the Chalke Valley History Festival.

Jan 10: Turtle talks of Rathvilly’s highlights for a Sunday Times feature by Cara O’Doherty.

Jan 8: ‘Adare Manor: The Renaissance of an Irish Country Manor’ profiled by Paul Clements in The Irish Times.


To see the past events, appearances and publications from Turtle’s career prior to 2021, click here.