Ordnance Survey book launch

Television presenter Joe Mahon. (1311MM03)
Television presenter Joe Mahon. (1311MM03)

A new book of letters written during the making of the ordnance survey maps will be launched in Magee university tomorrow evening.

‘The Ordnance Survey Letters; Londonderry, Fermanagh, Armagh-Monaghan, Louth, Cavan-Leitrim,’ edited by Michael Herity, will be launched by ‘Lesser Spotted Ulster’ presenter Joe Mahon.

The book is a collection of letters from John O’Donovan, a scholar from Kilkenny who travelled across the North from 1834 collecting place names for Ordnance Survey maps. The letters tell the story of the places he visited, the people he met, where he stayed, and the experts he consulted.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Mr Mahon said; “This is not just a book for historian. It’s for anyone who has an interest in the places that O’Donovan has visited or written about, and he really is a brilliant writer. His letters are a joy to read – erudite, witty and wise - and they give you a real sense of life back in the 1830s as O’Donovan tramped his way across the countryside in search of ancient knowledge that he has preserved and handed on to this generation. Michael Herity’s book is a beautiful and important record of O’Donovan’s travels in these counties and although it’s patently a work of great scholarship, it actually reads like a fast-paced narrative.”

The launch will take place in the Great Hall, Magee, at 7.30pm.

Admission is free but, as places are limited, contact westwayfilm@btconnect.com or 02871308383 to book a place.