Writers inspired by Achill Island, Co Mayo, Ireland. Achill Island has long provided inspiration for writers including Graham Greene, Heinrich Boll, Ernie O'Malley and J.M. Synge. This section profiles all four writers and their links with Achill Island on the remote west coast of Ireland.

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Writers inspired by Achill Island, Ireland : Index

Heinrich Boll

German novelist Heinrich Böll, winner of the 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature, visited Achill regularly during the 1950s and 60s. His book 'An Irish Journey' provides an enduring picture of life on Achill Island in the 1950s. Heinrich Boll's cottage in The Valley, near Dugort, is now a retreat for artists and writers.
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Ernie O'Malley

Castlebar born Ernie O'Malley was a key figure in the 1922-23 Irish civil war before turning to matters of Irish art and culture. His memoirs have become classics of revolutionary literature. Ernie O'Malley later settled at Burrishoole Lodge, between Newport and Achill, and was a frequent visitor to Achill Island and to Catherine Walston's cottage at Dooagh.
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J.M. Synge

Writer and playright J.M. Synge experienced island life on the west of Ireland while on the Aran Islands in the late 19th century. His work strongly influenced many artists and writers working on Achill, and his drama 'The Playboy of the Western World' has strong links with Achill.
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Graham Greene

British novelist Graham Greene visited and stayed on Achill Island with his mistress, Catherine Walston, in the late 1940s. The story of the relationship between Graham Greene and Catherine Walston was made into the film 'The End of the Affair' by Neil Jordan in 1999. Graham Greene finished several of his novels in Walston's cottage in Dooagh, Achill.
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Further reading

Buy books on Achill Island from Amazon

The Singing Flame
by Ernie O'Malley

On Another Man's Wound
by Ernie O'Malley

Raids and Rallies
By Ernie O'Malley

Ernie O'Malley
By Richard English

The Third Woman
by William Cash

Achill Island
Learn all about Achill, inspiration for these writers, from the Achill247 web site.