Books published since 1999




Scattering the Proud
Columba Press, Dublin, 1999
A reflection on the dual world crisis – the secular crisis of optimism and of values, and the crisis of Christianity, almost deprived by fundamentalism of intellectual respectability.






Solomon’s Gift Self-published 2004
What exactly is wisdom, and how does it differ from knowledge? An exploration of the key reality of mimetic desire and how it so deeply affects our behaviour. This book is also a simple introduction to the ideas of the French intellectual, René Girard.



Front FinalThe Chain That Binds the Earth Self-published 2015

Johnny Mullan wants to understand why bullying happens – and not just in school. Margaret Phillips is troubled by the threat to the Earth environment, and wants to understand what she should do about that. Eddy Li is fascinated by crime of all kinds and wants to be a detective. Mary McNevin wants to understand why there are so many different problems, and to write songs that will help.

When these four meet in their first year at their second-level school – Iona College, Derry – they come to the conclusion that all of the major problems that interest them have a common source. When they argue their case in a school debate they find themselves threatened with censorship or expulsion by a senior teacher.

They discover that their school is itself divided, and are faced with an important choice. Challenged to abandon their own strongest convictions, Johnny, Margaret, Eddy and Mary stand firm – not knowing how this will affect their friendship and the rest of their lives.


“Unputdownable and utterly brilliant.”  David Brussard (14), Loreto College, Coleraine

” The plot was gripping and I didn’t want to stop reading.”  Cáit Passmore (14), Loreto College Coleraine

A remarkable book with a vision for the future. The author demonstrates a detailed, deep and sympathetic understanding of a society that is still struggling to deal with the past never mind moving into the future…. A wonderful book that is deserving of the widest audience and consideration.”  Aidan Donaldson, The Irish Catholic, August 27th, 2015

Review by Susan Ross of the Raven Foundation.

Launch address by Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry, Dec 4th, 2015.

4 thoughts on “Books

  1. I once attended a lecture given by a distinguished psychologist and he mentioned René Girard’s Desire, Deceit and the Novel. In this book Girard describes mimetic theory and argues that we imitate the desires of other people more that we copy their actions.

  2. Many thanks, Brenda. That’s fascinating. By far the best account of Girard’s entire hypothesis is in Wolfgang Palaver’s ‘René Girard’s Mimetic Theory’ (Michigan State University, 2013). In itself this is a wonderful degree course on the history of western thinking about the origins of violence.

    At present I am working on a novel for children. It asks ‘what if some children could notice they are copying one another, even in initiating bullying – and become troubled by that? What might happen then – e.g. in History and RE classes? What might they get up to. It seems to be working out – and I am very caught by it.

    Notice also that the Tao asks ‘why do we desire what others desire?’ The answer has something to do with the fragility of our self-esteem, I think – and that too may be discovered in that story.

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