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Book Launch Held in Glenveagh Castle on November 17th 2012: Minister McGinley describes Glenveagh Mystery as a work of  ‘research and scholarship’ and ‘a page turner’


Glenveagh Castle was the stunning location for the book launch of Glenveagh Mystery by Lucy Costigan.  A capacity audience of more than one hundred guests celebrated the launch of this long awaited book, after two and a half years of research and writing by Lucy Costigan, with invaluable assistance from the members of the Arthur Kingsley Porter team, Thomas Williams, Michael Cullen, Theresa Cullen and Tony Walsh. Minister Dinny McGinley, Minister for State for Gaeltacht affairs and the islands, officially launched the book in the castle’s spectacular drawing room.


Conor Graham, owner of Merrion and the Irish Academic Press, was the first to speak. He told of his company’s delight in producing a book of such quality, assisted by his dedicated staff, Lisa Hyde, commissioning editor, and Colin Eustace, responsible for media and promotions. Conor also acknowledged Lucy’s creativity and talent in writing a book that he felt certain would be very well received.


Tony Walsh, media spokesperson for the Porter Project, was the master of ceremonies, introducing the many vital strands of the Porter Project that have greatly contributed to making it a great success, including the artists who have created unique collections based on the story of Kingsley and Lucy Porter. Tony’s discourse was accompanied by an audio-visual presentation that contained many of Michael Cullen’s photos and was operated by Raymond McGovern.


Two of Paul Flynn’s portraits were also unveiled by the Minister: the first was of Kingsley Porter.




Lucy was also presented with a beautiful pen made from Elmwood, by Donegal Pens, Conor and Ronan McGarvey. There was also special mention of the tremendous sponsors who have helped to promote the project, including Garvin Boyce from Boyce Travel and Paddy and Martin Gallagher from Patrick Gallagher Travel, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Letterkenny, Donegal Airport, the Talbot Hotel in Wexford and the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Prizes for the art competitions that had been run by the Donegal Libraries in conjunction with the Porter Project were also presented.


Ann Tuite, renowned harpist, performed an exquisite piece that she had composed for the occasion entitled, ‘Kingsley’. The piece contained three distinct melodies, representing Kingsley’s early years, his time in Ireland, the turmoil of his later years, culminating with his sudden disappearance.

Speakers at the launch included Loïc Jourdain, owner of Lugh Films, Martha Conover from Martha’s Travel Corner in Illinois, USA, Sean McElwee, owner of Ostan Loch Altan, and Lucy Costigan, author of ‘Glenveagh Mystery’. Loïc Jourdain announced that his film company will be making a film based on Glenveagh Mystery, and that within two years film fans will be treated to the Porter’s story. Details of the planned film would, however, remain secret until nearer the completion of the project.

Martha Conover stated that her travel company, Martha’s Travel Corner, will begin to  bring in tours to Ireland based on the Porter story from the eightieth anniversary of Kingsley Porter’s disappearance in July 2012.

Sean McElwee, owner of Ostan Loch Altan, rejoiced in the positive celebration of the book, Glenveagh Mystery in Glenveagh Castle, contrasting to former days when tenants were evicted and left in appalling conditions on the Glenveagh estate in the nineteenth century. Sean will be working with the Porter project to promote tours in Gortahork and Co. Donegal. His hotel will be the focal point for many events for locals, Irish and international tourists that will commemorate the eightieth anniversary in 2012 of Kingsley Porter’s disappearance on July 8th.

Lucy thanked everyone who had helped to produce the book, most especially her publishers, Merrion, the Arthur Kingsley Porter team, Dave Duggan and the staff of Glenveagh Mystery, and her family and friends who had travelled to Glenveagh to celebrate the launch of the book and  the lives of Kingsley and Lucy Porter. 

Minister Dinny McGinley, Minister for State for Gaeltacht affairs and the islands, described Glenveagh Mystery as a work of  ‘research and scholarship’. The Minister also stated that he had been almost late for the book launch because he had been up late the previous night, reading ‘Glenveagh Mystery’, and he couldn’t put it down since it was such ‘a page turner’. The following are several excerpts from the Minister’s speech at the launch:

“I must say that it is a book that has got a lot of research, not alone in Ireland and in various libraries, and institutions and archaeology places here in Ireland and in many parts of the world, Harvard, Connecticut, New York and so on. There’s a huge amount of research and scholarship put into this book.“

“And I have absolutely no doubt after what has happened here today and the book that we are about to launch, and the project and everything that’s flowed from that, that it’s going to make Glenveagh more relevant as an iconic tourist attraction in the years ahead.”

“It’s a terrific book and it’s a book that would adorn any coffee table or any bookshelf or any library in the country, and certainly I’m sure that there is going to be a great sale for it and that it is going to really add another dimension here to Glenveagh.”

“It is a mystery as to what has happened. You’ve got to read the book to get Lucy’s opinion and we will always be indebted to you [Lucy] for coming here as a visitor seven years ago and spending so much time since then with your assistance and with the research to bring this book together, and having the launch here in this place in this house where he [Kingsley Porter] lived. So we are greatly indebted to you and certainly I think it will have very, very definite and positive benefits not alone for yourself but for the entire community here.”