Written by retired medical researcher and professor Patrick Taylor, this historical series chronicles the lives of the doctors of Ballybucklebo, a fictional village in rural Northern Ireland. The Irish Country series follows novice doctor Barry Laverty as he begins his assistantship at the practice of Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly.
The books explore the present and the pasts of the two doctors, from their beginnings, first loves, and hardships to their marriages and work challenges.
How to read the Irish Country Series in Order?
Every entry in the Irish Country book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- An Irish Country Doctor – Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice.
- An Irish Country Village – Young Doctor Barry Laverty has only just begun his assistantship under his eccentric mentor, Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, but he already feels right at home in Ballybucklebo. When the sudden death of a patient casts a cloud over Barry’s reputation, his chances of establishing himself in the village are endangered, especially since the grieving widow is threatening a lawsuit.
- An Irish Country Christmas – Barry Laverty, M.B., is looking forward to his first Christmas in the cozy village of Ballybucklebo, at least until he learns that his sweetheart, Patricia, might not be coming home for the holidays. That unhappy prospect dampens his spirits somewhat, but Barry has little time to dwell on his romantic disappointments. Christmas may be drawing nigh, but there is little peace to be found on earth, especially for a young doctor plying his trade in the emerald hills and glens of rural Ireland.
- An Irish Country Girl – The story of the early life of Kinky Kincaid, once known as Maureen O’Hanlon, a farmer’s daughter growing up in the hills and glens of 1920s County Cork, Ireland, who had a gift for seeing fairies, spirits, and the dreaded banshee.
- An Irish Country Courtship – After less than a year in Ballybucklebo, Barry Laverty is settling into the village, and with only a few more months to go before he becomes a full partner in Dr. O’Reilly’s medical practice, Barry’s looking forward to becoming a fixture in the community. But an unexpected romantic reversal gives him second thoughts. As much as Barry enjoys the rough and tumble of life in County Down, is tending to routine coughs and colds in a humble G.P.’s shop all he wants out of life?
- A Dublin Student Doctor – In the 1930s, fresh from a stint in the Royal Navy Reserve, and against the wishes of his disapproving father, Fingal O’Reilly goes to Dublin to study medicine. Fingal and his fellow aspiring doctors face the arduous demands of Trinity College and Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital. The hours are long and the cases challenging, but Fingal manages to find time to box and play rugby―and to romance a fetching, gray-eyed nurse named Kitty O’Hallorhan.
- An Irish Country Wedding – Love is in the air in the colorful Ulster village of Ballybucklebo, where Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly has finally proposed to the darling of his youth, Kitty O’Hallorhan. There’s a wedding to be planned, but before O’Reilly can make it to the altar, he and his young colleague, Barry Laverty, M.B., must deal with the usual round of eccentric patients―and crises both large and small.
- Fingal O’Reilly, Irish Doctor – Newly married to his long-lost sweetheart, Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly is ready to settle into domestic bliss, but there’s always something requiring his attention. The everyday complications of village life are very different from the challenges Fingal faced nearly thirty years earlier, when, fresh out of medical school, the young Dr. O’Reilly accepts a post at the Aungier Street Dispensary.
- Home Is the Sailor (short story) – There was a time, shortly after arriving in Ballybucklebo, that Dr. O’Reilly was not widely accepted by the villagers. This short story tell of how O’Reilly, with a little help, began to overcome their objections.
- An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War – Long before Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly became a fixture in the colourful Irish village of Ballybucklebo, he was a young M.B. with plans to marry midwife Dierdre Mawhinney. Those plans were complicated by the outbreak of World War II and the call of duty. Assigned to the HMS Warspite, a formidable 30,000-ton battleship, Surgeon Lieutenant O’Reilly soon found himself face-to-face with the hardships of war.
- The Wily O’Reilly: Irish Country Stories (short story) – A series of humorous columns originally published in Stitches: The Journal of Medical Humour. These vignettes provide an early glimpse at the redoubtable Dr. O’Reilly as he tends to the colourful and eccentric residents of Ballybucklebo, in the bygone years of the early sixties.
- An Irish Doctor in Love and at Sea – Long before Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly came to the village of Ballybucklebo, He answered the call of duty to serve in World War II. Fingal just wants to marry his beloved Deirdre and live happily ever after. First he must hone his skills at a British naval hospital before reporting back to the HMS Warspite, where, as a ship’s doctor, he faces danger upon the high seas. Decades later, the war is long over, and O’Reilly is content to mend the bodies and souls of his patients in Ballybucklebo, but there are still changes and challenges aplenty.
- An Irish Country Love Story – It’s the winter of 1967 and snow is on the ground in the village of Ballybucklebo, but the chilly weather can’t stop love from warming hearts. Not just the love between a man and woman, as with young doctor, Barry Laverty, and his fiancee Sue Nolan, but also the love of an ailing pensioner for a faithful dog that’s gone missing, the love of the local gentry for the great estate they are on verge of losing, or Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly’s deep and abiding love for his long-time home and practice.
- An Irish Country Practice – Once, not too long ago, there was just a single Irish country doctor tending to the village of Ballybucklebo: Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly. Now, not only has O’Reilly taken a new trainee under his wing, Doctor Connor Nelson, he’s also added a spirited Labrador puppy to his ever-expanding household. Meanwhile, his trusted partner, young Doctor Barry Laverty, finds himself wondering if he’s truly ready to settle down and start a family with his lovely fiancée, Sue.
- An Irish Country Cottage – The New Year brings challenges and changes to the colorful Irish village of Ballybucklebo. The Christmas holidays have barely passed before a fire engulfs the humble thatched cottage housing of Donal Donnally and his family. Although the family escapes the blaze more or less unsinged, Donal, his wife, their three small children, and their beloved dog find themselves with nothing left but the clothes on their back. Good thing Doctors O’Reilly and Laverty are on hand to rally the good people of Ballybucklebo to come to their aid.
- An Irish Country Family – Before Doctor Barry Laverty joined Doctor Fingal O’Reilly’s practice, he was an intern, working long hours, practicing new medical techniques, falling in love, and learning what is most important in the medical field for a family physician. Years later, Barry practices everything he has learned in Ballybucklebo. And while his own efforts to start a family with his wife Sue have been frustrated, the community around him couldn’t be stronger as they work together to show their solidarity.
- An Irish Country Welcome – In the close-knit Northern Irish village of Ballybucklebo, it’s said that a new baby brings its own welcome. Young doctor Barry Laverty and his wife Sue are anxiously awaiting their first child, but as the community itself prepares to welcome a new decade, the closing months of the 1960s bring more than a televised moon landing to Barry, his friends, his neighbors, and his patients, including a number of sticky questions.
- An Irish Country Yuletide – December 1965. ‘Tis the season once again in the cozy Irish village of Ballybucklebo, which means that Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, his young colleague Barry Laverty, and their assorted friends, neighbors, and patients are enjoying all their favorite holiday traditions: caroling, trimming the tree, finding the perfects gifts for their near and dear ones, and anticipating a proper Yuletide feast complete with roast turkey and chestnut stuffing. There’s even the promise of snow in the air, raising the prospect of a white Christmas.
- An Irish Country Cookbook – Told from the perspective of beloved housekeeper Kinky Kincaid, An Irish Country Cookbook explores Ireland’s rich culture through its delicious dishes and stories of its charming people. Organized into sections such as: starters, soups, breads, mains, sides, sauces, desserts, cakes, candy and treats, and Ulster Christmas recipes, this cookbook brings the magic of Irish cooking and time-honored Irish traditions to life.
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