A gripping story of an island crime, a playboy fugitive and landlord tensions.
In 1894 on Achill Island in the west of Ireland, an English landowner Agnes MacDonnell is brutally attacked and her Valley House home set on fire. Agnes survives but is so disfigured that she wears a veil in public for the rest of her life.
The island’s wild man James Lynchehaun is convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison. He dramatically escapes captivity on two occasions and wins a ground-breaking legal case in the United States where he successfully resists extradition. Lynchehaun becomes a folk hero.
The writer John Millington Synge visits Mayo in 1904-5 where he locates his famous drama The Playboy of the Western World. James Lynchehaun was one of Synge’s inspirations for the character of the playboy Christy Mahon.
Editorial Reviews of
The Veiled Woman of Achill
‘The gruesome tale of the “real” Playboy of the Western World.’