New book features Ballyragget's very own South American rebel

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, thousands of Irish men and women arrived in Mexico and South America lured by the promise of adventure, fame and fortune - and among them was a 'breechesmaker ' from Ballyragget - John White.

White joined soldiers, spies, sailors, merchants and diplomats, and they and their children fought for independence and helped shape modern Latin America.

Today, the names of streets, towns, schools, and football teams on the continent bear witness to their influence.

In Paisanos, Tim Fanning, an exciting new voice in Irish historiography, uncovers their extraordinary tales of romance, adventure, war and rebellion.

They include the story of the Irish soldiers who enlisted in the foreign regiments recruited by Simón Bolívar to fight for South American liberty.

Among them was White, who left his native county for the banks of the Orinoco in the tropical jungle of south-west Venezuela in the early years of the nineteenth century.

White and his fellow Irish comrades endured tropical disease and food and water shortages as they did battle with the Spanish Empire.

Paisanos tells the stories of White and the many other Irish men and women who helped fashion the New World and sowed the seeds of Ireland’s revolutions to follow.