Irish history is littered with rogues, larger-than-life characters who range from cheeky scamps to vicious chancers. In Irish Rogues and Rascals, Joseph MacArdle looks at some of the most notorious Irishmen to find out just exactly what a ‘rogue’ is.
Is it a dastardly knave, a cheeky rascal or a devilish trickster? Is it a lovable scamp or is it someone who is charming and delightful but with a bit of mischievousness and sauciness thrown into the mix as well? Whatever the answer, the fascinating collection of Irish rogues in Joseph McArdle’s hilarious book Irish Rogues and Rascals embraces vicious chancers at one extreme and lovable imps at the other.
These Irish rogues and rascals range from Myler Magrath, a sixteenth-century character who loved wine, women and money — and who was both Catholic Bishop of Down and Connor and Protestant Archbishop of Cashel at the same time through to Tiger Roche, the infamous eighteenth-century rake and duellist who drank and fought his way from Ireland to Cape Town.
They include more modern figures such as Paul Singer, a fraudster who tricked countless people out of their hard-earned money in the 1950s, and Des Traynor, the mastermind of Irish tax evasion schemes for much of the late twentieth century, and not forgetting the most accomplished political rogue of modern times, Charles J. Haughey.
Joseph McArdle writes with affection about his colourful rogues, usually seeing more to admire in their cleverness and brazenness than to deplore in the results of their conduct. His rogues may not always be honourable — but they usually are fun and their stories make compelling reading.
Irish Rogues and Rascals: Table of ContentsPreface
The spinning bishop: Myler Magrath Eighteenth-century rogues: Garrett Byrne, James Strange, John M’NaghtanFighting Fitzgerald: George Robert Fitzgerald This wicked prelate: Frederick Hervey, Bishop of DerryTiger Roche and the giant wheelThe jewels in the crowns: Colonel Blood and Francis ShackletonThe Sinn Fein irreconcilable: Robert Erskine Childers Speak some good of the dead: John DeLorean The deadly charmer: James H. Lehman The man with the golden touch: Paul SingerTear him for his bad verses: Francis StuartThe tribunal rogues: Charles Haughey, Des Traynor, Patrick Gallagher, Ray Burke, Liam Lawlor