NOT IRISH ENOUGH: An Anglo-Irish Family’s Three Centuries in Ireland

Sara Day
New Academia Publishing, 2021
610 pages, 33 illustrations
ISBN 978-1-7348659-7-4 paperback
ISBN 978-1-9558353-6-7 hardcover
See an excerpt from the book.
Price: $34.00 paperback
$48.00 hardcover

For BULK ORDERS, order directly from New Academia Publishing.

About the Author

Sara Day was a researcher and curator with the Library of Congress, where she authored and/or edited numerous exhibition catalogs, resource guides, and books, including: Many Nations (1996), and American Women (2001). As a freelance writer-researcher and independent scholar, she was chief researcher, managing editor, and collaborator for historian Robert Remini for The House: The History of the House of Representatives (2006); and she researched and wrote Women for Change (2007). Earlier in her career, she was appointed sole researcher in 1973 for Philadelphia’s massive bicentennial exhibition, A Rising People. Day’s previous book, Coded Letters, Concealed Love: The Larger Lives of Harriet Freeman and Edward Everett Hale, was published in 2014.

NOT IRISH ENOUGH: An Anglo-Irish Family’s Three Centuries in Ireland

Not Irish Enough is an engaging, richly annotated account of three hundred turbulent years of Irish history, highlighting the experiences of an Anglo-Irish Protestant family and their relations and friends who lived through and contributed to that history. Drawn in part from family records and memories, the book is the product of intense factual research into events from the mid-seventeenth century through the Irish War of Independence, 1919-21, when the author’s family, the Heads, were among the Anglo-Irish landowners forced to flee for their lives as their homes went up in flames. Examining these fraught centuries from the unique perspective and varied experiences of generations of Anglo-Irish Protestant landowners with deep roots in Ireland, and more specifically in predominantly Catholic County Tipperary, the book addresses many questions still debated today. This deeply researched and balanced narrative—which affirms the veracity of William Butler Yeats’ statement that the Anglo-Irish “are no petty people,”—is an important addition to the existing body of work on Irish and world history.



 “Sara Day’s astute and arresting study is deeply grounded in archival research and acutely conscious of the broader context, with a thoughtful and balanced commentary bringing the story up to the present day.  Not Irish Enough makes a decisive contribution to ‘the story of Ireland’ and the complex issue of Irish identity, from an original and engrossing perspective.”

—R. F. Foster, Emeritus Professor of Irish History, University of Oxford.


“For an Irishwoman who initially learned her country’s history in the post-independence National School system, Sara Day offers a compelling and insightful perspective on the Anglo-Irish absent from our classrooms. The very human stories of her family living through and participating in the maelstrom of events in Ireland over three hundred years makes Irish history come alive and especially accessible to general readers seeking to understand Ireland right up to the present day.”

—Anne Mullin Burnham, writer and editor.


Not Irish Enough is a family history with a difference.  Sara Day skillfully weaves the story of her own Head family’s more than two centuries in North Tipperary into the wide and varied fabric of Ireland’s often troubled history.”

—Daniel Grace, local historian, author of The Great Famine in Nenagh Poor Law Union, Co.Tipperary, 2000.


“Far from an apologia, and definitely not simply a family memoir, this book sheds new and compelling light on three centuries of tumultuous Irish history. Unique in its scope and perspective, Not Irish Enough fascinates and informs the reader who seeks to better understand the world of today through the compellingly presented experiences of those who came before us.”

—Margaret E. Wagner, Senior writer and editor, Library of Congress (ret.)