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Coghlan has worked as a schoolmaster in a large number of schools and is married with three children. He is a regular lecturer at The Weird Weekend, an event under the aegis of the Centre for Fortean Zoology. He is known for his unorthodox views on education and his generally eccentric personality. His wide variety of interests include the paranormal, theology, biblical studies, onomastics, mythology, folklore, medieval legend and etymology. His best selling book has been "Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends" which sold 120,000 copies worldwide and has been translated into Japanese and Hungarian.
For a time he was the proprietor of Excalibur Books, a mail-order business.
In 2005 Coghlan founded a private publishing house under the name of Xiphos Books. The titles issued under this imprint are those which would probably not be commercially viable if issued by a mainstream publisher. They include a new edition of Jonathan Downes' book on UFOs, The Rising of the Moon.
He has contributed a number of entries to the Almanach de Bruxelles and he also supplied information for the second edition of Donald Tuck's Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
His works include:
- Encyclopedia of Arthurian Legends (1991)
- Dictionary of Irish Myth and Legend (1979)
- Irish Christian Names (1979)
- Dictionary of Cryptozoology (2004)
- Handbook of Fairies (2002)
- Robin Hood Companion (2003)
- Cryptosup (2005).
- Sherlock Holmes and the Heir of Albion (2007)
- Further Cryptozoology (2007)
- Companion to Atlantis and Other Mystery Lands (2009)
- Mystery Animals of Ireland [with Gary Cunningham] (2010)
- The Grail (2012)
- Catalogues of National Library of Ireland; Library of Trinity College, Dublin; British Library; Library of Congress; Brigham Young University Library; Yale University Library; Waseda University Library; Minnesota University Library; Nottingham University Library; Harvard University Library; Princeton University Library; National Library of Iceland.
- Weird Weekend website.
- Centre for Fortean Zoology website.
- Fortean Times July, 2007.
- District Messenger (London Sherlock Holmes Society) No. 274.
- Almanach de Bruxelles sub Malawi, Madagascar, Namibia, United States, Mozambique, American Samoa, Brazil.
- There's Something in the Woods (Nick Redfern website)
- D. Tuck Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy Vol. II: Acknowledgements.
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