Remembering George Bernard Shaw with some of his most famous quotes

George Bernard Shaw, known simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. Shaw was born on July 26, 1856, in Ireland’s capital, Dublin, as the youngest of three children. Being raised in genteel poverty, his interest in music, art and literature was developed due to his mother’s career as a professional singer. 

Seán Ó Riada – an influential figure in the revival of traditional Irish music

His name is carved on the collective consciousness of the nation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Seán Ó Riada’s death, in 1971 at the young age of 40. A weak liver curtailed his life cruelly. His funeral was televised and public sympathy was that of the loss of a great chieftain. His legacy to Irish music and culture is immense and remains vibrant. John Reidy was born in Cork City in 1931.

For the Turf it Might Be Dryer

Back in the day, composers and songwriters of popular music often gained inspiration from the names of trains and railways. This was particularly so in America where many popular pieces such as The Chattanooga Choo-Choo, which according to the song departed Pennsylvania Station, New York, on Track 29 at about a quarter to four each day.

Remembering W.B. Yeats with some of his most famous quotes

William Butler Yeats, born 13 June, 1865 in Sandymount County Dublin was an Irish poet, dramatist, prose writer and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. Yeats was born into a family that was very well to do.

Seán Ó Riada – an influential figure in the revival of traditional Irish music

His name is carved on the collective consciousness of the nation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Seán Ó Riada’s death, in 1971 at the young age of 40. A weak liver curtailed his life cruelly. His funeral was televised and public sympathy was that of the loss of a great chieftain. His legacy to Irish music and culture is immense and remains vibrant. John Reidy was born in Cork City in 1931.

A vindication of the character of Cathal Brugha

Cathal Brugha was a man of faith; a daily communicant; a courageous soldier and an able statesman. In most well-known histories of the period Cathal is painted in a negative way but there is quite an amount of literature and personal testimonies which are little known, that paint a much different picture.

Longford’s Queen of Crime

Mary Anne Duignan was born on St. Stephen’s Day 1870 in Edenmore, Ballinamuck, Co. Longford. She grew up in comfortable surroundings on a 140 acre farm, but she would go on to become the notorious criminal known as “Chicago May”.

Audrey Hepburn’s Reunion in Dublin

The international superstar, style icon and humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn, earned the adulation and affection of millions the world over. Despite her professional success the actress always however carried with her the heartbreak she suffered as a result of an episode in her childhood that led to a dramatic rendezvous in Dublin nearly thirty years later.

Veronica Dunne – An operatic colossus leaves the stage

April saw the passing of a woman who touched the lives of millions for more than six decades through her magnificent singing and uncanny teaching skills. A light went out in the world of music when Dr Veronica Dunne took her leave of this earth at the age of 93. An operatic colossus had left the stage.

Robert Fisk: A fearless foreign correspondent who valued his Irish citizenship

Robert Fisk who died suddenly on October 30th, 2020, aged 74, devoted most of his life to reporting wars and revolutions in the Middle East. He made no apologies for his passionate descriptions of the sufferings of the victims and for criticising the roles played by the United States and Israel in these conflicts.

What Lies Beneath and Beyond

Recently an aquaintance of mine, Patrick, passed away. He was about 84 years old. I mention him because he was the last baby born in the townland of Ballinahown now long since buried beneath the giant Poulaphuca reservoir which is situated on the borders of Co. Kildare and West Wicklow.

A remarkable man from Sligo/Leitrim

With each passing year, I find myself regretting more and more that I did not pay more attention to the accumulated wisdom of so many men and women that I have encountered during my life.

The Irish Free State and the World Disarmament Conference (February 1932-June 1934) 

After years of work by the Preparatory Commission, the long-awaited World Disarmament Conference opened on 2nd February 1932. It was attended by representatives from sixty-one nations including the Irish Free State. Non-League members also participated, most notably America and the USSR.

3-In-A-Row Seán Cleary recalls the glory days with Galway

The first shot was kicked in the field in front of the house, recalls Seán Cleary. His father was a teacher, with his mother teaching at times as well, and the family were kept busy on the 15 acre holding and also saving the turf and so on.

Tom Foley – The People’s Champion

Visiting him nearly killed me. In 1995 at the time when he was at the height of his fame I was driving home on a dark and wet Friday evening from interviewing Tom Foley when there was a massive crash. As my car spun into the ditch from the force of impact I went into shock.

Valentia Island’s Signal Tower to be preserved

The failed French expedition in 1796 – 1797 was an attempt by the Republic Of France to help the United Irishmen in their planned rebellion against British rule. As a result of that episode the British embarked on a project of building martello towers all along the Irish coast to be used as signal towers for any unwanted encroachment of Irish shores.

The Mystery Of Canty’s Cove

If you are fortunate enough to live on the beautiful west coast of County Cork you are probably familiar with its tales of pirates, in particular a pirate called Canty. If  you are a stranger to this area and its tales you may be interested to hear the story I am about to tell you, not only the historic facts but also the very unusual way that I came to learn of them.

Centenary of Kitty O’Shea’s death

Katharine Wood was born in Essex in 1845, the youngest of thirteen children of the Catholic British Baron, Sir John Wood, and the artist, Lady Emma Wood. Katharine’s life would change at the age of 21 when she married a Dubliner - Captain William O’Shea of the 18th British Hussars. The couple first met when Katharine visited her brother’s regiment. They married in 1867 and had three children but by 1875 they were living apart.

The murder of a Corkman

In 1920 a young Corkman was killed in Galway during a terror filled night in the city. It all began with the drunken antics of a Black and Tan. Constable Edward Krumm was from Middlesex, England, and a veteran of World War I. He joined the Black and Tans and was posted to Galway only a few months later.

The Dublin woman who attempted to assassinate Mussolini

An Irish woman who attempted to assassinate one of Europe’s most infamous dictators looks set to be honoured with a plaque in her native city in Dublin. On 7 April 1926 Dublin native Violet Gibson stepped out from a crowd in Rome and fired a shot at one of the 20th century's most infamous dictators Italian Benito Mussolini.

They Know the Call of Freedom in their Breasts

You could say that in a GAA context Tom Burke did it all. And in a political context he had a remarkable life also. He was a player, referee, administrator and freedom fighter.

Memories linger on

Martin Murray, who was born, reared and lived on the storm battered island of Inishark, 15km off the Galway coast, is preparing to write a book about his life on the island, which is now uninhabited, the last remaining islanders having been evacuated some sixty years ago. 

The Custom House – James Gandon’s crowning glory

Standing proudly by the banks of the River Liffey is one of the finest works of architecture in Dublin City; the Custom House. This magnificent creation, brainchild of the celebrated English architect, James Gandon, has dominated the north bank of the Liffey since its opening over two-hundred and thirty years ago.

The father of the Australian Wine Industry        

This is the remarkable and tragic story of a genius who had two great conflicting loves in his life. His family and his vineyard, but who was destined to live out his life torn between them.

The Bonniconlon Ambush of April 1921

The Bonniconlon Ambush of April 1921 took place in the middle of the Co. Mayo  village but it was meant to take place further down the Ballina Road but the leadership were afraid of what might happen to the elderly people if it was held there, so they moved it closer to the village. There was a dance in the old school built in 1890 and the Tans were expected to raid, guided by the RIC from Ballina. 

Memories linger on

Martin Murray, who was born, reared and lived on the storm battered island of Inishark, 15km off the Galway coast, is preparing to write a book about his life on the island, which is now uninhabited, the last remaining islanders having been evacuated some sixty years ago. 

The Custom House – James Gandon’s crowning glory

Standing proudly by the banks of the River Liffey is one of the finest works of architecture in Dublin City; the Custom House. This magnificent creation, brainchild of the celebrated English architect, James Gandon, has dominated the north bank of the Liffey since its opening over two-hundred and thirty years ago.

The Priest and Parishioner Murdered in West Cork in 1920

It happened after noon on Wednesday December 15th 1920 when Canon Thomas Magner was taking his daily walk along the road at Ballyhalwick, just outside Dunmanway town. He came upon local Magistrate P.S. Brady who was having trouble with his stalled motorcar.

The Bonniconlon Ambush of April 1921

The Bonniconlon Ambush of April 1921 took place in the middle of the Co. Mayo  village but it was meant to take place further down the Ballina Road but the leadership were afraid of what might happen to the elderly people if it was held there, so they moved it closer to the village. There was a dance in the old school built in 1890 and the Tans were expected to raid, guided by the RIC from Ballina. 

Bertha von Suttner – A Remarkable Woman              ...

Described as a remarkable woman who was ahead of her time, Bertha von Suttner was a leading activist and internationalist who continues to provide inspiration to those who believe in the progress of humanity through reason, tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflicts.