Paul  McNulty

 Paul B McNulty writes historical fiction based on real events in 18th century Ireland. His credentials include editorship of a student magazine, The Anvil, followed by publication of scientific and popular papers during a career in Biosystems Engineering at University College Dublin (UCD).  

About The Author

His literary experience inspired Paul McNulty to write plays based on extracts from his writings. UCD Dramatic Society included a reading of his play Spellbound by Sibella in their Theatre Festival in November 2014. In October 2015, it received favourable reviews from the Theatre Development Centre, Cork and, more recently, from The Abbey Theatre and Papatango Theatre Company, London. In response to a call from the UCD Dramsoc Mini Plays Festival, Paul submitted a five-minute play Elopement which was staged on 14-16 October 2015.  



The Abduction of Anne O'Donel


Timothy Brecknock


A Rebel Romance


Spellbound By Sibella

Bodkin Murders

The story, as it has been handed down, is known only through a few references in the Dublin newspapers of note of that time, and through the memoirs of the Headford barrister Oliver J. Burke in his Anecdotes of the Connaught Circuit (1885).

This account of the murders claimed that John Bodkin Jr., the dissolute eldest son of Oliver Bodkin of Carrowmore House in Belclare orchestrated the violent murders of his own father, his heavily-pregnant stepmother Margery Blake, and his seven year old stepbrother, Oliver Jr., along with the servants and others unfortunate enough to have been in Carrowmore on the night in question. In all eleven people were murdered. They were purportedly killed as revenge for John Jr’s disinheritance, in favour of the infant Oliver Jr., his father’s other son, by his second marriage. In carrying through the plot, John Jr. was helped by one of Carrowmore’s tenants, John Hogan, and his father’s embittered brother, ‘Blind’ Dominick Bodkin of nearby Carrowbeg. Justice being swifter in those days, all three were apprehended and hung at Claretuam within a matter of days of the murders.

As if all this was not enough, John Jr. made a dramatic confession from the gallows, in which he implicated a cousin (also John Bodkin) of having suffocated his own brother (another Dominick) to death, a number of years earlier, in what the resident magistrate Lord Athenry had at the time judged to have been a natural death. This John was then hunted down and executed in Galway some months later. There have always been problems with the account that Burke gave in 1885; the role of the tenant Hogan is ambiguous to say the least. He was purportedly chief murderer on the night (including of the child), in spite of the fact that he and his wife had fostered Oliver Jr. as a baby. There is moreover an apparent lack of motive in the case of John Bodkin’s fratricide, his brother Dominick being the younger of the two, and therefore no threat to John’s inheritance (of the neighbouring Carrowbeg House in their case).

Without wishing to provide any plot ‘spoilers’, in his latest novel Paul McNulty provides a thrilling tale, which attempts to grapple with some of these discrepancies; its protagonists, the tragic John Bodkin (Dominick’s accused brother) and his fiancée Catherine, daughter of Lord Athenry. Part romance, part thriller, McNulty beautifully evokes the period and has researched the time and its events thoroughly. What comes shining through are not the gory details of an appalling crime, but the human cost to those left behind. A gripping read!



In second place only to the notorious Maamtrasna Murders in the annals of truly shocking Irish crimes are the ‘Bodkin Murders’ of 1741. That they happened only a few short miles from Tuam makes a recently-published novel by Paul McNulty all the more interesting

"I have never come across a parallel and different form of imagination like that of Paul McNulty. So all I can say is that I hope everyone reads his books."

Kevin C. Legge

''Reading was never really part of my list of hobbies until I was struck with Paul McNulty and his unique form of writing."

Francis D. Maynard


From No Bounds to Sibella Cottle, Paul Mcnulty has always managed to form a base that reeks of a vivid world that lies close to his imagination. As you venture across these projects, you will be taken on a ride that is going to be remembered and rooted in your mind for a long time.

Other Books

No Bounds

A Girl Called May: (abridged)

An Irish Jesuit in Australia

Sibella Cottle

Recent Updates


How to get started with Genealogy Research

How to get started with Genealogy Research

Genealogy is an emerging, and exciting concept Genealogy is a study of family history. According to the National Genealogical Society in the United States and the Society of Genealogists in the United Kingdom, “genealogy” means a methodological study regarding lineages. Also “family history” means studying a family’s biological as well as traditional background. The study deals with discovering and collecting information related to an entire family and their ancestor. There might be various reasons to conduct genealogy research: to get a better understanding of the family history or characteristics of generations. There are many ways through which the ancestor information can be gathered, such as conducting interviews with the family members, checking historical records, and conducting genetics analysis. All these steps must be followed to know the exact characteristics and traits of a family. Each step should be recorded correctly and without any error. The results can be presented in a written format or else graphical charts and diagrams. Generally, Genealogy research is conducted for educational and forensic purposes.


Steps of Genealogy Research –

The first and foremost step is to record the available data systematically. Collecting all the information which is already known and putting it in a written format is one of the best ways to start the genealogy research. Details like name, age, place, and date of birth, relationships, and marriage information can help in developing a family chart. Documenting all the details can be tiring and challenging, but the completion of this task is essential. Setting the research goal is the next step for genealogy research. After structuring the existing family data, the missing data will need to be searched. All the missings information should be the research goal. This information can be found by personal interviews with family members, libraries, and internet surfing. The questions include interviewing the family members should be focused on the research goal. The missing details can be collected by questioning family members. Writing every aspect and maintaining the records is vital. It is always a good idea to believe in reliable sources. Any wrong information can lead to false genealogy research results. After gathering all the information, every detail needs to be evaluated and analyzed. The final representation of the research can be done with graphical charts and diagrams, along with detailed family data.


Conclusion –

In the United States, genealogy research was introduced during the 19th century by John Farmer. After John Farmer’s death, his ideas and research led to the formation of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). It is the oldest organization to store the public record systematically and safely. In 1940, the American Society of Genealogists was founded by John Insley Coddington, Meredith B. Colket Jr., and Arthur Adams. It focuses on managing educational studies related to the genealogical domain in the United States. Some of the famous American genealogical journals are The American Genealogist, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and The Genealogist.


A Story Of The Bodkin Murders

A Story Of The Bodkin Murders

A Story of the Bodkin Murders is a book written by Paul B McNulty which talks about the murder which occurred in the 1700s. This is a real-life incident where ten people, including a pregnant woman and seven-year-old child, was killed in the Bodkin family Carrowbawn house near Tuam, Co Galway. The brutality of the murders is hard and still is considered to be one of the most gruesome murders of all, even after so many years.

The whole story is about the 21-year-old John Bodkin, which was disinherited by his father. Due to his hatred towards his stepmother, his younger half brother Oliver was furious. The father confided in his friend and was later threatened to murder them by Lord Athenry. In a desperate attempt, John decided the only way out is to kill the father, stepmother, and half brother. He later started out the plan and set on the journey to kill the foster John’s half brother. On September 18, 1741, he finalised the murders of everyone with the help of swords, knives and other noisy firearms.

Murderous Journey

This murderous journey started out by slitting the throat of the guard dogs who approached one of his masters. Later, they entered the workers quarters and cut the throats of everyone who were sleeping, which includes two men and two boys. They later entered into the house where they killed another servant and his wife, who visited them on a wrong night.

John Hogan later entered the main bedroom and cutthroat of John Bodkin and his wife, who was pregnant at the time. He also killed a seven-year-old boy who was sleeping in the same room. After he approached the boy, he tried to not kill the boy instead of smeared blood on his face and asked him to stay dead. Another companion Dominick entered the room and saw that the boy was awake and swore that the boy must die. Hogan furiously threatened to kill the boy, and he was left with no choice but to kill the boy.

Hogan cut the little boy’s throat, which was so violent that the boy’s face came off, and he later placed the boy’s head on the body of the father. After the deed, they fled the house, and the shocking murders were found later, which frightened the locals who were shocked outside. John later returned and was shocked and mourned, but people did not believe him as his clothes were visibly stained with blood.

Later, lord Athenry arrived and was reminded of John threatening him to killing his own father. This is where it was found and sent to jail. John later revealed the names of the people who were involved in the murder. Many years have passed since the day, but it still remains one of the most gruesome murders witnessed by mankind.


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