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These eight stories, written for An Claideamh Soluis and published in book form in 1914 are among the most remarkable of the whole Gaelic Revival. They deal with O Conaire's recurring themes of tragic love, jealousy, betrayal and displacement but their settings are fat from the author's native Connacht. Four stories give imaginative interpretations of incidents from the New Testament.
The title story 'An Chead Chloch' ('The first stone') gives the imaginative background to the New Testament story of the woman taken in adultery and how her executioners were forced to leave when Jesus wrote on the ground: 'Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.'