About The Author

Christy Gillespie

The Author

Meet Christy!

Christy Gillespie was born and reared in Kilcar. He now lives in Letterkenny with his wife Brona. They have four of a family who have all flown the nest.

Christy was for many years teacher and principal in Termon National School. During that time his classes were successful in a number of national heritage competitions. The most recent was as overall winners of the All-Ireland ‘Decade of Centenaries’ Competition for their project on the history of a World War One medal found by one of the school parents in his garden.

I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path and I will leave a trail.

From the poem Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers by Muriel Strode

He has published a very well received book on the life of the school’s local saint, Colm Cille, which sold out two editions. With the help of the school children, he also produced another book on the sad story of the Derryveagh Evictions of 1861. Derryveagh, on the shores of Lough Gartan, is in the catchment area of the school but now has one solitary house only.

For fifteen years he has been hard at work on researching and writing this fascinating story of Glenlough Valley and now finished with this magnus opus, he will be returning to finish an updated version of the Colm Cille story. He also plans to complete a history of the McSweeney Bannagh clan. They controlled a vast territory surrounding Killybegs Harbour which stretched from Inver to Teelin Bay. The McSweeneys had originally travelled from western Scotland as mercenaries and soon became a trusted fighting arm of the O’Donnell family as they held sway in the north-west of Ireland for two centuries.

Purchasing the book

July 7, 2021


This book will be available in bookshops, by post and also for pick up at various book launches and talks.

Purchasing the Book in a bookshop

The book is available to buy at
Áislann Cill Chartha in Kilcar: (074) 9738376
The Folk Village, Glencolmcille (074) 9730017
Oideas Gael, Glencolmcille (074) 9730248
Bookmark in Letterkenny Shopping Centre (074) 9127299
The Four Masters Bookshop in Donegal Town (074) 9721526

By Post

The book is a considerable 3.4kg and so postage costs are high. The following are the best postage and packing deals that could be arranged.

Anywhere on the island of Ireland: €10

Great Britain: €20

USA: €60

New Zealand: €60

Australia: €62

If you are having trouble sourcing a copy, please get in touch with Christy at glenloughvalley@gmail.com and he will try and arrange something for you.

Book launches and signings

Christy will be in the Aislann in Kilcar from 12-5pm on Friday 28.7.23 for the Heritage Day event there.

There will be a book signing at the Bookmark, Letterkenny Shopping Centre on Saturday 29.7.23 from 1-3pm

Christy will also have a table at the Glencolmcille Agricultural Show on Sunday the 6th of August.

There will be an illustrated talk and book signing at the Dolmen Centre, Kilcloney on Saturday 19th August. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.  

If you are having trouble sourcing a copy, please get in touch with Christy at glenlough@gmail.com and I will arrange something for you.


Read The Reviews

Gillespie recounts the story of Glenlough through detailed yet pacey narrative, accounts of the people who have given the valley such a rich history. A great read complimented with beautiful images and artwork relevant to each chapter.

Vernon Hegarty

This is the greatest Irish story yet to be told … until now!

Bee Duffy Proof reader

It’s beautiful. I love it.

Stephen Rea Actor

The ghosts of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Rockwell Kent and Dylan Thomas still hover in the mists of Glen Lough. Christy Gillespie has not only brought them back to life, but every line and brushstroke invites you to join them in this most extraordinary of landscapes.

Frank Galligan Writer & Broadcaster

Anywhere on the island of Ireland: €10 Great Britain: €20 USA: €60 New Zealand: €60 Australia: €62 If you are having trouble sourcing a copy, please get in touch with me at glenloughvalley@gmail.com and I will try and arrange something for you.

Pamela Gertrude Manson

We have grown up with memories of listening to stories of Dylan Thomas, Rockwell Kent and Bonnie Prince Charles in the hills of Donegal. Christy Gillespie has created a beautifully illustrated book of stories gathered from years of dedication.

Marion McGinley

Just finished it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t leave it down. An informative well-constructed, interesting but most of all a very entertaining book.

Betty Glynn

I had considered The Life of Charles Dickens by John Forster to be the greatest illustrated book that I had ever read but I would certainly put this book on par with that one.

Michael Gillespie

Imagine the harsh landscape of a windswept valley … imagine being the only couple inhabiting this wild beautiful place … When we walk today in summer warmth from Glencolumbkille to Port and on to the deserted village of Glenlough we can easily forget the challenges people faced all those years ago in this inhospitable place. Imagine then the arrival of Rockwell Kent, the American artist and photographer … the rather convincing research that points to this same valley harbouring Bonnie Prince Charlie … and the presence of the great Poet Dylan Thomas … All of these accounts interwoven with the real story of the people who struggled to survive and flourish on the barren stony infertile land of this haunting place and you have the heart of this magnificent book by #ChristyGillespie. As for the pictorial record … words fail me! Our heritage and history … our people … our struggles … indeed the romance and magic, combine to make this book very extraordinary indeed... If those ruins could only speak!

Noel Cunningham

It's a work of art! Will be a family treasure for sure.

John Byrne

Bought my copy yesterday in the Folk village (Margaret had reserved it for me). Jonathan and l drove to Port, parked looking out to sea and dived into it. I can only say how thrilled we are that this quality of documentation is happening. it’s so precious. ‘Our’ valley is truly wonderful.

Elma Woods

The Dutch guy from Glencolmcille already has a copy. It’s great. I can recommend it!!!

Onno Anten

As I said before, it is a remarkable work of scholarship, and now that I’ve read it, I’m more convinced than ever that it will garner critical acclaim at home and abroad. Christy has been Jesuitical in his research and fact-gathering and still manages to make it a fascinatingly enjoyable read, rather than an academic tome to be consigned to the dusty shells of university libraries. It is so readable for an academic treatise and notwithstanding the fact that Bonnie Prince Charlie, Rockwell Kent and Dylan Thomas are the three central characters, it is Glenlough that commands the centre ground and the narrative.

Frank Galligan

Congratulations to Christy. This was an extraordinary project for one individual to undertake. His research and attention to detail was second to none. One of the greatest books of our time.

Seamus Browne

It was interesting to read how Rockwell Kent finished ads for Rolls-Royce in that remote valley and him so far from the nearest road. And in keeping with the artist, this really is a Rolls-Royce of a book.

Sean Grant

Well, my book has arrived and I have brought it up to my mum's house (Kitty, Annie's daughter) to let her spend some time enjoying it. I wanted to tell you our first impression is "WOW!". What an absolutely beautiful book! The photos and colours immediately catch the eye and my wee mum is totally engrossed in it, reading bits and studying photos and reminiscing about times in the area. We are absolutely delighted to read it. I have a feeling we might be fighting over it here! Mum is definitely getting first chance to enjoy it.

Eileen McMonagle

Ádh mór leis an leabhar. I’ve only read about Rockwell’s time in Ireland yet as I am waiting for eye surgery. Here with the book in front of me reading about my parents and grandparents (with yours truly mentioned) well I get a bit emotional. I only hope the next generations will value it as I do. I will be in touch again when I read it all. Míle buíochas. Saol fada agus sláinte mhaith duit fhéin agus do chlann.

Bríd McGuinness (daughter of Annie)