Biography of Lord Martin O’Reilly – Prince of Breifne
Lord Martin O’Reilly comes from the line of Breifne O’Reilly, from the specific place (in Cavan) of that Royal House. Being of that direct family line and under the ancient Brehon system eligable for the rank of Prince and election to the throne of Breifne.
He was born at the end of World War II. His father Hugh had left Ireland just prior to the outbreak of war, heading for New Zealand. His plans were thwarted by the outbreak of war and he met Martin’s mother Doris, and married her in 1940. The family lived in an Irish oasis. Hugh was from Cavan, that small area that has been the home of Breifne O’Reilly for millennia. Martin was educated in a number of Catholic schools and later by the Jesuits. He was educated in England, Ireland and Spain and at a higher level this continued in Australia.
Lord Martin has lived in a number of castles and mansions in different countries, houses that have given birth to the fictitious places that feature in his novels. After a much varied career he worked as a psychologist until his retirement. He has lived in England, Ireland and Spain. Prior to migrating to Australia He lived in a house he had built himself on the side of the Hill of Tara, the seat of the ancient high kings, several of whom had been Kings O’Reilly of Breifne.
Now retired, Lord Martin lives with his wife Lady Ingrid on a property in rural New South Wales. Initially they had horses, used both for riding and draft, and a cow and calf to provide milk butter and cheese. They also had a range of fowl. The long drought that plagued the continent for more than ten years made such husbandry non viable and all that remain now are a few dogs and a cat! The property has become a haven of wildlife and sustainability. Electricity comes from the sun and water from the sky. Waste is composted and helps to provide fertile soil in an area that is otherwise rather arid.
Having lived a very busy and intellectually stimulating life Lord Martin found that retirement was leading to some hibernation of his cerebral cortex. He began writing as an exercise in mental gymnastics. Initially, and with no plans to publish, he began writing about childhood memories, focusing mostly on the places that gave rise to the story. The places in the stories are all fictitious, but have been created by combining those places from childhood and young adulthood. The characters are all totally fictitious, although some idiosyncrasies may reflect some friends and relatives of the author. There may even be a few traces of the author himself!
While Lord Martin has published in his professional life, the trilogy ‘The Umbria Collection’ is his first attempt at fiction. He found he had too much to say for one novel and created a series of three. He is a senior member of the noble / royal family O’Reilly of Breifne (Breifne Ua Raighaillaigh) of the Royal Court of Breifne and is an approved member of a several royal / noble courts around the world.
The function of the Royal Court of Breifne, as with the novels, is to demonstrate that not only has the ancient family survived but that there is much to offer society. The ancient legal system (Brehon) that governed the Celtic world prior to Christianity provided a magnificent system of true democracy. While Lord Martin has no ambition for working to reinstate this ancient system he does believe that much can be learned from days past.
Lord Martin Joseph O’Reilly
Prince of Breifne