William Magan – required reading


Sir, – Eunan O’Halpin correctly lists three books written by Brig William Magan in his retirement (July 18th). Magan is in the news as he was the father of the gentleman currently selling “the other” Castletown House in Co Kilkenny.

Magan had an extraordinary wartime career in India and Persia and worked for MI5 after the war.

His life is well documented in his Daily Telegraph obituary published in 2010. This obituary mentions that Magan published a fourth book in 1983, Umma-More: the Story of an Irish Family, in which Magan described how his family was descended from the MacDermot Roe dynasty. Umma-More told the story of how the family supported King James II before switching their loyalty to King William III. Finally the terms of a will led to the dissolution of the family estate of Umma-more in Co Meath in the 1800s.

According to the Telegraph, the book, “which included a particularly vivid portrait of life during the closing years of the Ascendancy, did much to explain Britain’s long-term historical debt to Ireland, and became required reading for members of the American Embassy staff in Dublin”. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.