Launch of new Waterford novel – Waterford 914

Jonathan Torrie, Maria Walsh, Mary Torrie and Jim O’Keeffe who attended the launch of the new Viking novel Waterford 914.

Jonathan Torrie, Maria Walsh, Mary Torrie and Jim O’Keeffe who attended the launch of the new Viking novel Waterford 914.

The launch of the newest novel about Waterford took place at the Book Centre, Waterford recently. The book was launched by Donal Brazil, Chairman of Waterford Civic Trust. The book by Maria Walsh, who lives in Dunmore East, is a 456 page novel written about Waterford City 1100 years ago when Ragnall the Viking landed and captured the city. Donal Brazil told the large attendance at the launch that Waterford was a true Viking city and deserved to be known as one. This book, though largely fictional, brings the reader closer to the life and times of Viking Waterford in 914 AD and the effect the Vikings had on the development of the city.

The characters and facts portrayed in the book are both real and fictional and in keeping with known data. After considerable research Maria built a story about the landing of Ragnall and his integration with the native Irish who lived in our city in 914 AD. Her research was helped considerably by the findings at the Woodstown dig near the new bridge and bypass road. These helped her to build this fictional story based around known facts.

In her speech at the launch she said: ”To capture the story of the Viking Invasion of Waterford in 914 AD I knew I would have difficulty in retrieving historical facts to create a base for the novel. There are few written records of the period. The fragments in existence that do purport to record the time are contradictory due to being written at a later date by different authors in different periods of time. They are possibly also inaccurate. Archaeological investigations are the only reliable sources to discover their way of life and the recent finds at the Viking longphort of Woodstown near the present city helped tremendously to build this fictional story based around the known facts. New Archaeological finds in present day York (Jorvik) have added a new perspective to the story of the Vikings in history.” Further information may be had from the website www.waterford914.com.

Maria is also the author of a children’s book of short stories set in County Waterford called “The Penguin who got lost” (€7.50). Both of the books are

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