Turtle’s Diary 2024


Nov 2 (11am): Turtle to deliver a lecture on ‘The Rise and fall of the Knights Templar’ for the Kilkenny Archaeological Society at the Alice Kyteler Festival – John Bradley Weekend in The Kytlers Inn, Kilkenny.

Oct 24: Paperback edition of ‘The Love Department’ by Ally Bunbury scheduled to publish.

Oct 17/18/19: Ned Kennedy Memorial Talk in Freshford, County Kilkenny.

October 16: Sasha Sykes presents ‘Filial Love’ a solo exhibition at the Voltz Clarke Gallery, 195 Christie Street, New York. 

October 11-13: Hidden Hearth Festival, Lisnavagh, here.

October 10: Talk on the Irish Diaspora in Ardee Library, County Louth.

Publication of ‘Kilkea Castle – A History.’

Sept 27-6 Oct: New York – Washington DC tour.

August 31: Turtle to chair the Genealogical Forum at the Triennial Butler Rally.

Aug 28-Sept 1: The Butler Society’s Triennial Gathering in Kilkenny. Turtle to launch the Butler Society Journal for Dr David Butler on the first day.

June 9: Marie Kelly’s article on ‘Life Story’ due to appear in People & Culture section of the Sunday Independent.

May 31: Launch of Season 3 of Waterways Through Time.

May 22: London’s Evening Standard highlights the ‘impressive 36 lesser-known tales’ told in Ireland’s Forgotten Past as one of the ‘Best books about Irish history to read in 2024,’ here.

May 17: Turtle delivers talk at Bishopscourt with proceeds to the County Monaghan Church of Ireland Children’s Society.

May 10: Paperback sales of ‘Ireland’s Forgotten Past’ top 10,000 (excluding US). To celebrate the occasion, the Northern Lights put on their most powerful display over Ireland that I have ever seen.

April 24: Keenaghan Abbey and graveyard in County Fermanagh secures protection from a proposed development. Writing for Irish Central, here, Éamon Ó Caoineachán credits a landscape report by Andrew Bunbury and Stuart Hood of Park Hood Landscape Architecture, plus an article by Turtle Bunbury, for turning the tide in favour of heritage.

April 22: The McClintock Bunbury family of Lisnavagh reunite with the Bunbury family of Naunton Hall, Suffolk; the two families diverged in the 17th century. A visit to Sutton Hoo followed before adjourning to Aldeburgh on ‘the German Sea’, with further visits to Gedgrave and Butley Priory the following day.

April 19-20: Ashford History Weekend at Ashford Castle, at which Turtle joined David McCullagh, Flor MacCarthy and Caitríona Perry for a series of talks on the theme of Irish-American history. Full details here.

April 16: William, Emily, Alfie and Ollie guest star on the season finale of ‘The End Of The World With Beanz’ on RTE One, when comedians Martin Beanz and Julie Jay enjoy a workaway staycation at Lisnavagh. See here.

Oneforgonzo, winner of the Buy The Centenary Of Naas Racecourse Book By Turtle Bunbury Handicap Hurdle.

April 4: The ‘Buy The Centenary Of Naas Racecourse Book By Turtle Bunbury Handicap Hurdle’ at Naas Racecourse is won by Oneforgonzo (14-1), a son of Dylan Thomas, which cruised up approaching the final flight under Sean O’Keeffe and romped clear by 13-lengths. The winner was trained by Sean Aherne for owner Eoin Barry.

March 16: Ruth O’Connor applauds ‘The Irish’ in The Examiner as ‘warm and engaging … a lively and accessible look at some of Ireland’s most extraordinary emigrants.’ The Ashford Castle History Weekend gets a quarter page ad in the Irish Times.

The Ashford Castle History Weekend is promoted in the Irish Times in 16 March 2024.

March 13: The Spring 2024 edition of Archaeology Ireland includes Eoin Bairéad’s round-up of ‘Archaeology on the Net’ in which he applauds Turtle’s ‘excellent piece’ on the Esker Ridge between Dublin and Galway. The same magazine also highlights Turtle’s ‘history and antiquities of Acaun in the townland of Lisnevagh,’ as published in Carloviana.

March 5: Turtle delivers a talk on the history of Naas Racecourse to to the Naas Local History Group at the Town House Hotel, Naas. See footage here.

March 4: Turtle’s support of a campaign to erect a Hollywood Walk of Fame in Navan (hometown of the Moore Brothers and Pierce Brosnan) scores headlines on BreakingNews.ie (here) and the Waterford News & Star (here).

March 1-3: Sasha Sykes among a selection of Ireland’s master craftspeople at Collect 2024, Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s (DCCI) exhibition at Somerset House in London.

Feb 27: Justice Nwafor of the People’s Network announces the publication of Turtle’s re-titled book, ‘The Irish – Tales of Emigration, Exile and Imperialism’, describing it as ‘a powerful reminder of the enduring spirit of the Irish people and their lasting influence on the world stage.’ Elizabeth Lee also runs a story on the new release in the Carlow Nationalist.

Feb 21: The Irish Star (here) and Tourism Ireland actively promoting the Ashford History Weekend.

Feb 14: Turtle appears in the episode ‘Legendary Locations: Dunmore Caves’ with John Gates on Discovery Channel. (Repeat)

Feb 13: Glencairn.

January 26: Ally appears on RTÉ Drivetime (here) with Sarah McInerney and Cormac Ó hEadhra who hail her as ‘a wonderful advocate for handwriting.’

January 17: Turtle presents an evening talk entitled ‘Rathvilly – A Journey Through Time’ at the inaugural event of the Rathvilly Heritage Interest group in Lawlor’s pub, Rathvilly. The event is co-hosted by the Carlow Historical & Archaeological Society. He is afterwards presented with a print of ‘Carlow Town’ by Gala Hutton. Monsignors Brendan Byrne and John McEvoy are in the congregation. The talk can be seen here.

Jan 12: Eliz Lee gives Turtle’s upcoming Rathvilly talk a shout out in the Carlow Nationalist, here.

Jan 5: Naas Racecourse kicks off its 2024 centenary celebrations with a black tie dinner and an unveiling of a permanent exhibition of photographs extracted from Turtle’s book. Ruby Walsh is guest of honour for the event, with Leo Powell as MC.

Jan 1: Herbie Brennan, mentor and friend, heads into the mystic, 6:31 a.m.

Turtle hosts the third of his RDS Speaker Series lectures, discussing ‘The Tudor Plantations’ with his former tutor Ciaran Brady, Emeritus Professor of Early Modern History & Historiography at Trinity College Dublin.

Turtle to deliver a talk on ‘Irish Women: Eliza Lynch, Nellie Cashman and Lola Montez’ at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, London, following an introduction by Sé Merry Doyle.


A packed house for Turtle’s talk on the history of Rathvilly, 17 January. Photo: William Bunbury.





Waterways Ireland CEO John McDonagh with event host Mary Kennedy, Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan and Turtle Bunbury at the launch of Waterways Ireland’s 10-Year Plan. Credit: Mark Stedman

Dec 22: Brian S Miller makes a post about Christmas at Lisnavagh.

Dec 21: The Carlow Nationalist publishes an interview with Ally by Elizabeth Lee, who describes ‘The Love Department’ as ‘a cracking good read for the festive season … a light, warm and cosy story, perfect for the cold winter nights.’

Dec 18: IrishCentral contributor Patricia Killeen describes Ally’s fourth novel “The Love Department” here as ‘like a soothing balm … unputdownable … the plot keeps you hooked until the very last line. Pure, delightful escapism never beckoned with such an insistent finger.’

Dec 17: Sunday Independent publishes a feature on Turtle by Emily Hourican, who refers to his Naas book as ‘a fascinating canter through Irish history … gripping stories and great insight.’ (here)

Dec 13: Ally is guest on Gerry Kelly’s Late Lunch on LMFM, talking about ‘The Love Department.’

Dec 7: Publication of Carloviana 2024, including an article by Turtle on the townland of Acaun, plus announcement of the creation of the Rathvilly Heritage Interest Group, plus a review of Naas Racecourse book.

Dec 5: Turtle presents ‘Vanishing Ireland’ to the Enniscorthy Retirement Association at the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy.

Dec 2: The Anglo-Celt applauds ‘The Love Department’ for ‘humour, designer labels and 24-carat jingles all the way.’ (here)

Nov 29: Turtle delivers guest speech at the launch of Waterways Ireland’s Ten-Year Plan at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin. His speech follows those of John McDonagh, CEO of Waterways Ireland, and Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform. The event, for which Nationwide’s Mary Kennedy was MC, featured in Afloat.ie here.

Nov 28: Turtle delivers guest speech for the launch of Legacy, a collaboration  between Walsh Whiskey, the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild and Château La Nerthe near Avignon. The event, which took place in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, was covered by the Kilkenny People here.

Conor Forrest of the Kildare Nationalist publishes a feature interview with Turtle on the back of the new Naas book, here, describing the book as ‘fascinating’.

Nov 27Irish Independent runs feature by Aisling Bolton-Dowling on launch of the Naas 100 book, here.

Nov 26: ‘The Love Department’ selected by Evoke.ie as one of ‘Seven Irish fiction books to lose yourself in this Christmas’. The book is also chosen as a Kindle Monthly Deal with Amazon UK for December 2023.

Nov 25: The Irish Field runs a two page feature on the Naas Racecourse book, publishing an extract by Turtle, here. Leo Powell of The Irish Field added: ‘Cannot give enough praise for this wonderful coffee table publication. It’s the work of the great @turtlebunbury and is in celebration of @naasracecourse in its centenary year.’ Gerard Crehan adds ‘an excellent read – I found it hard to leave down.’ Liam Kenny of the Naas Local History Group calls it  ‘… a magisterial history – I can confidently say it is most impressive publication relating to any aspect of Naas history yet to appear in the 21st century.’

Nov 23: Kildare Nationalist publishes feature on the launch of ‘The Centenary of Naas Racecourse’ (here) and hails it as a ‘fascinating publication.’ 

Ally and Turtle launch the Naas 100 book.

Nov 22: Turtle delivers a talk on ‘The Irish Diaspora – Tales of Emigrants, Exile & Empire’ at Clones Library, County Monaghan. Kildare Now publishes a feature on the launch of ‘The Centenary of Naas Racecourse’ (here), as does the Leinster Leader (here) and Thoroughbred Daily News (here).

Nov 21: ‘The Centenary of Naas Racecourse – Nursery of Champions’ by Turtle Bunbury is launched at Swans on the Green, Kilcullen Road, Naas, with Bill Clear, Mayor of Naas, and Richard Brophy, director of the Naas Race Company.

Nov 15: Ally is a guest on The Six O’Clock Show on Virgin Media, here, with Greg O’Shea and Karen Koster, and fellow guests including R&B singer Erica-Cody.

Nov 13: Dermot Cantillon gives Turtle and the Naas 100 book a generous shout out on Racing TV here.

Nov 9: An extract from Ally’s new book, ‘The Love Department’, features in The Gloss.

Nov 8: Tom Sykes launches ‘The Love Department’, Ally Bunbury’s fourth novel, at The Oak Room, The Mansion House, Dublin. Over 150 people show up for an evening of Xin Gin cocktails from Ahascragh Distillery in County Galway.

Nov 7: Ally is a guest on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, discussing her new book, ‘The Love Department.’ Listen here.

Nov 6: The Vanishing Ireland Facebook group notches up its 170,000th member.

Oct 28: Thoroughbred Daily News (USA and Europe editions) profiles Turtle’s book on Naas Racecourse (here), a week ahead of Auguste Rodin’s victory in the Breeders Cup.

A dream comes true for Ally Bunbury when ‘The Love Department’ appears on a bookshop shelf alongside Jilly Cooper’s new book, ‘Tackle’.

Oct 27: Travel Extra (here) and Kildare Nationalist (here) publish advance précis of Turtle’s new book on the history of Naas Racecourse.

Oct 26: Leinster Leader and Kildare Now publish advance précis of Turtle’s new book on the history of Naas Racecourse, here.

Oct 24: De Vere’s Art & Design auction featuring a diverse selection of Irish art, European furniture, and standout pieces of Irish design, includes The Ivy Bench, created by Sasha Sykes. The bench, estimated to be valued at €3,000 to €5,000, incorporates ivy collected from Lisnavagh, and is set in hand-cast resin.

Oct 22: Turtle is MC for the Decade of Centenaries’ history conference at the Red Line Book Festival. Hosted by South Dublin Libraries in The Civic Theatre, Tallaght, this included talks by David McCullagh (Éamon de Valera’s 1923, Liz Gillis (Noel Lemass), footballer Niall Quinn (about the footballer, rebel and politician, Oscar Traynor), Flor McCarthy (a personal story of her family’s links on both sides of the War of Independence) and Caitriona Crowe (‘The Decade of Centenaries: a retrospect”.)

Oct 19: Carlow Nationalist gallantly acknowledges the Bronze Medal award, here: ‘Receiving recognition at such a prestigious event is a testament to the exceptional quality of this podcast.’

On the same day, Frank McNally namechecks Turtle in An Irish Diary in the Irish Times when, discussing Oscar Wilde’s Bunbury and other neologisms, he remarks: ‘Fictional Bunburys should not, in any case, be confused with Irish author and historian Turtle Bunbury, whom I have never met or used as an excuse, but who I am assured by many reliable sources is real.’

Oct 15: Turtle presents a talk on Vanishing Ireland in the library of Lisnavagh House for Hidden Hearth 2023, an intimate festival of community, connection, creativity, celebration and empowerment.

Oct 12: The paperback edition of ‘All Wrapped Up’ by Ally Bunbury is published. The book has been chosen as a W. H. Smith Chart title and by Eason’s as one of their Paperback Christmas Fiction titles.

Sept 29: ‘Waterways Through Time’ wins the Bronze medal for Best Podcast at the 2023 Digital Media Awards at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin.

Sept 21: With Storm Nigel petering out in the skies above, Turtle discusses the Night of the Big Wind on The Ray Foley Show (Today FM) with birthday boy Ray Foley and J.P. Gilbourne.

Sept 18: Turtle delivers the Fisher talk at Ballyvolane House, County Cork, for AVENUE.

Sept 17-22: Sasha Sykes attends ESSEC Masterclass – Homo Faber Fellowship in Lisbon, a partnership between the ESSEC Business School and the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship.

Turtle and Ally with the Bronze Award for Best Podcast at the 2023 Irish Digital Media Awards. The award was for the series Waterways Through Time.

Sept 8: ‘Waterways Through Time’ is selected as a Finalist for Best Podcast at the 2023 Digital Media Awards.

August 23 – Sept 4: Turtle completes his third Circumnavigation of Ireland as a speaker aboard Noble Caledonia’s flagship, MS Island Sky.

August 17: Forbes Magazine profiles Turtle’s book ‘Adare Manor – An Epicurean Journey’: ‘The combination of history, culture, and Irish hospitality gives readers a feel for Ireland’s countryside and customs. Not to mention a serious case of wanderlust.’

August 11-23: Turtle heads off on his second round as guest speaker on a Circumnavigation of Ireland cruise aboard Noble Caledonia’s flagship, MS Island Sky.

July 21: Sasha Sykes and her studio is cover story in the Irish Times Home supplement, here, which refers to her work as ‘a hugely impressive.’

May 24: Merry musings upon procrastination and the new digital stamp by Ally​ published in the Irish Times, here. Her piece leads to a letter to the Irish Times the next day, here, followed by an interview on RTE’s Drivetime (here) and a Newstalk special.

May 17: The Offaly Independent profiles the new season of Waterways Through Time, here.

May 16: Turtle discusses the new season of the Waterways through Time podcast with Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk.

April 23: Turtle has guest slot in the Sunday Independent‘s ‘My Cultural Life’ section, here, discussing The Last of Us, Wolf Hall, Herbie Brennan and Jemima rapping Eminem.

April 11: Turtle delivers eulogy for Paddy Delaney’s funeral.

April 4: Behind the Guinness Gates profiled by Eoghan O’Sullivan for the Irish Examiner’s Podcast Corner: Taking a sip of the capital’s history, here.

April 1: Launch of ‘Behind the Guinness Gates,’ the Guinness Storehouse launches its first podcast series, produced and narrated by Turtle Bunbury Histories. SheMazing are first off the bat to cover it, here.


Behind the Guinness Gates was launched on 1 April 2023 because, fools aside, it was on that day in 1876 that the famous Guinness Harp was trademarked.

March 31: Article on Herbie Brenna, with photo of Herbie, Ally, Lenny and Sebastian, appears in Belfast News-Letter, here. The Daily Star promotes Turtle’s upcoming Guinness podcast to tell ‘fascinating history of the beloved beer.’ (here)

March 17: Turtle presents a talk for Cheltenham Gold Cup Day at Naas Racecourse.

March 16: Turtle presents a talk on ‘What’s in a name? The story os St Columba and the SCC House Names’ at St Columba’s College, Dublin.

March 15: Turtle guest-stars on the podcast ‘Why Would You Tell Me That?’ with Neil Delamere and Dave Moore for an episode entitled ‘The 900-Year-Old ATM!’ about the Knights Templar.

Ally with Herbie Brennan, seated, Sebastian Barry and Lenny Abrahamson, 21 February 2023.

March 14: Turtle’s book ‘Ireland’s Forgotten Past’ described as ‘a fresh and engaging perspective on the country’s rich history’ by Connect Savannah here.

Feb 23: Ally presents a talk at the Carlow Library, providing top tips on how to start – and finish – writing a book, and how to get published.

Feb 21: Ally coordinates launch of Herbie Brennan’s auto-biography, ‘Enchanted Life: The Memoir of a Magician’ with a talk by Sebastian Barry, the only author to win the Costa Book of the Year twice. See Elizabeth Lee’s account in the Carlow Nationalist here.

Kilkenny People, 17 February 2023.

Feb 13: Tom and Annabel Butler beat ‘stiff competition from across the country to win the Tirlán quality Grain Supplier of the Year Award for 2022. The ‘green feed wheat-grower husband-and-wife team’ from Bennettsbridge, County Kilkenny, were the “stand out” over all winners for their diversified farming operation which includes tillage, grassland and woodlands. See here. The news makes the front page of the Kilkenny People. Mark Onions was short-listed in the same contest.

Feb 1: Jilly Cooper gives her verdict on ‘All Wrapped Up’: ‘What a lovely novel. It really lifts the spirits in a hard cold winter and whizzes along at a splendid pace.’

Jan 21: Sasha Sykes exhibits ‘Gorse Weaponry’ in Arthur Duff’s show ‘Roopantar – Transformation’ at 47-A: Design Gallery, Girgaum, Mumbai.

Jan 1: An article on the Gough family is the cover story of Britain at War, the UK’s best-selling military history magazine.