In search of Michael Collins: a personal Odyssey

On the 100th Anniversary of his death at Béal na Bláth, Co Cork, Pat Poland considers the contribution of the founding father of the state to the struggle for independence.

Turkish hlp for Ireland during the Famine

Abdulmejid succeeded his father as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in July 1839. He received a European education and spoke fluent French. Many reforms were introduced by him during his 22-year reign.

The Irish Free State and the London Naval Conference

It has already been previously established that the Free State government’s main concern at the 1927 Coolidge Naval Conference, was to ensure that the Free State’s delegation was represented separately from Britain.

Gregory Peck – one of the greatest Hollywood stars

Born on 5th April 1916 in San Diego, California Gregory Peck’s illustrious stage career began in 1941, when he appeared in George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘The Doctor’s Dilemma’. It opened in San Francisco, just one week before the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

An eventful life

Prince Philip, married to Queen Elizabeth of United Kingdom, has represented the British monarchy for 70 years until he died within the last twelve months. He has represented the monarchy as an unchanging institution in a world that has changed beyond recognition.

Monarchs and their problems

When one reads of the troubles of Queen Elizabeth II one can’t but feel sorry for her.

Exploring justice in 19th century Ireland

Learning about crime and punishment may not be on everyone's holiday activity checklist, but an exhibition called ‘A Most Proper Verdict’ set to tour Mid-East Antrim this summer, makes a good case for why it should.

The Irish Free State and the London Naval Conference

It has already been previously established that the Free State government’s main concern at the 1927 Coolidge Naval Conference, was to ensure that the Free State’s delegation was represented separately from Britain.

Vickers Wellington lands near Charleville, Co. Cork

The old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ should be very appropriate with this article. That limited narrative is strongly relying on the two photographs for informative support.

A Woman of Notoriety

In 1897 Mark Twain wrote: “Truth is stranger than fiction.” These perceptive words have been oft-quoted the world over and this statement is relevant when looking at the life of Elizabeth Sugrue. Her date of birth is believed to be circa 1740 while her date of death is recorded as 1807.

Disaster on the Royal Canal

To enable transport of both, people and cargo in Ireland in the 1790s, investors decided to build a canal linking the city of Dublin with the River Shannon. Work on the Royal Canal commenced in May 1790 at Cross Guns Bridge, Phibsborough.

Hollywood’s greatest dancer

Gene Kelly, originally christened Eugene Curran Kelly, was born on 23rd August 1912 in East Liberty, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although he was an American, he was later granted Irish citizenship. His father was born in Peterborough, Canada; his grandfather was an immigrant from Derry. “Gene Kelly was proud of his Irish roots,” his wife Patricia Ward Kelly once remarked.

A Glimpse Into The Past

July 8th 1889 - An estimated 3,000 spectators turned up at a secret location in Richburg, Mississippi, to witness the last bare-knuckle world heavyweight title fight between the great Irish-American boxer John L. Sullivan and Jake Kilrain. What they witnessed was 75 brutal bloody rounds of a planned 80 rounds of action, which resulted in John L Sullivan, who was known as The Boston Strong Boy, knocking out Kilrain and being declared the winner.

‘The Quiet Man’ at 70: How an Irish classic almost didn’t make it to...

It is not uncommon in these times to have movies shot on location in Ireland. Going back over half a century there was probably the best remembered of them all “The Quiet Man” which had its Irish premiere 70 years ago – June 5th 1952 to be exact.

The King and I

Even though Elvis never got to Ireland – the closest he came to it was a plane stopover in Scotland one year – I firmly believe that if he’d lived longer he’d have made a point of doing some concerts here.

Ireland’s First X-Ray Commemorated

While it has been a matter of discussion for a number of years it is generally accepted that Ireland’s first X-Ray was taken at De La Salle College in Waterford City in 1896.

The Small Farmer and the Rural Economy of Yesteryear

The small farmer is part of Irish life and has been for many generations, from the time of the tenant farmer to land ownership. They were, and they remain, at the backbone and heart of the community. This piece looks at some aspects of the social history of the small farmer from the 1950s.

The Woman who made a Difference

When Anna Haslam was about 25 she came to live in the parish of Inislaunact in Clonmel. She was reputed to have been a gentle, refined person. Yet, she became an important figure and indeed a revolutionary in the campaign for women’s rights.

Eighteen Minutes of Fear

The course of history has been known to change irrevocably in the space of a single day, and one of these days took place in May 1915 off the Old Head of Kinsale in County Cork when the cry went out on board the widely touted to be unsinkable British Cunard passenger liner Lusitania. Torpedo…torpedo on starboard side, with no time to take evasive action before the underwater missile found its mark.

Was wartime neutrality in Éire’s national interest?

Much has been written on the subject of Éire’s neutrality during the Second World War. Éire’s neutrality however, was a multifaceted issue. Subsequently, this article will attempt to evaluate whether or not wartime neutrality was in Éire’s national interest. 

The Famine Irish who were deported back to Ireland

In the colonial period in the 17th century, the laws in Massachusetts were based on British poor law and they ensured that beggars were expelled from the colony.

Richard Crosbie

Richard Crosbie came from Crosbie Park, near Baltinglass in Co. Wicklow. Born in 1755, he grew up to be a big man of six feet three inches. He attended Trinity College and his colleagues described him as ‘a most ingenious mechanic.’

Holy Communion on the Moon

Most people of a mature age will remember when history was made on July 21st 1969 when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.

Lost in 1915, Ernest Shackleton’s ship finally discovered

Ernest Shackleton’s ship ‘Endurance’ was finally found by an expedition team from the Falkland’s Maritime Heritage Trust on 5 March 2022, 100 years to the day since Shackleton was buried. It was crushed by Antarctic ice and sank some 3,000m to the ocean floor more than a century ago, laying 3,000 metres on the Antarctic seabed in near perfect conditions for 107 years.

A pub with no beer

In 1904 Dan Sheahan and his brother Ben left Barleyhill, Newmarket, Co. Cork to emigrate to Australia. Dan was the eldest of a family of 14 and had attended just a few years in the local school.

John B. Keane: A Good Heart

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the death John B. Keane. He was born on 30th May 1928 in Listowel, County Kerry and it was here that he spent his literary career, running a pub which provided him with inspiration for his characters and ideas.

A West Cork Company Car

Records show that between July 2020 and July 2021 there were 1,907 tractors sold in Ireland at a price of approximately €87,000 each. Not all were sold in Cork of course but a fair number were.

A Very Strange Saint Patrick’s Day Tale

In a far-off land, the villagers were lazy, uncouth, and irresponsible as all their needs had been fulfilled by a very generous king. Their vineyards were overcome with weeds, their flower gardens overcome with insects, and their fields lying fallow. Their nutrition was poor, there were no flower decorations on holidays and no holly and mistletoe at Christmas.

Ann Glover: The Irish washerwoman hanged as a witch in Boston

During Oliver Cromwell’s occupation of Ireland in the 1650s, Ann Glover and her husband were deported to the Caribbean as indentured servants. They had a daughter Mary, and Ann worked with her husband on a sugar plantation in Barbados. Of course, they were native Irish speakers.

Star Trek’s Irish “Scotty”

The Starship USS Enterprise boldly went where no man had ever gone before for the first time in 1966 when ‘Star Trek’ made its inauspicious debut on American TV. Garnering only moderate success, it was quietly cancelled after three seasons. Through re-runs, worldwide showings and word of mouth praise, its popularity grew however to become one of the most successful media franchises of all time. The line-up of characters, who were diverse at a time when diversity on the small and big screen was unique, is now embedded in folklore.