Remembering Clive Staples (C.S) Lewis with some of his most famous quotes

Clive Staples Lewis, born on 29 November 1898, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was an author, essayist and Christian apologist. Lewis is best known for his children’s classic series ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. 

Remembering Patrick Kavanagh with some of his most famous quotes

Patrick Kavanagh born October 21st 1904, in Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan, was an Irish poet and novelist. Kavanagh received only primary school education and at the age of thirteen, he became an apprentice shoemaker, following his father who was also a shoemaker. However, 15 months later he gave it up and for the next 20 years he would work on the family farm before moving to Dublin in 1939. 

Remembering Jonathan Swift with some of his most famous quotes

Jonathan Swift was an Irish author, clergyman and satirist. Born November 30, 1667, Swift is best known for writing ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, and being dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Ireland’s capital, Dubin. 

Remembering Oscar Wilde with some of his most famous quotes

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. Born October 16, 1854, in Co. Dublin, to professional and literary parents, Wilde was a spokesman for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art’s sake.

Executions at Kilkenny Jail – 1832

On March 17, 1832, three Somers brothers, Michael, Patrick and John, were hanged outside the main gate of Kilkenny Jail. The brothers had been convicted by a jury at the county assizes of entering the house of a man called Manning at the Lotts, Croghtenclogh, and forcing the said Manning to swear a false oath.

Alexander Mitchell – Dublin-born Inventor of the Screw-Pile Lighthouse

Born in Dublin in 1780, Alexander Mitchell came from a large family. At the age of seven, his family moved to Belfast and Alexander started school a year later. When he was ten, his eldest sister and his father died. His mother sent him to the prestigious Belfast Academy. There he excelled at mathematics and science.

Wartime Soccer in Ireland

As war raged across Europe in May 1942, a divided Ireland found itself even more partitioned than it was twenty years earlier. The Northern half, as part of the United Kingdom, found itself in the midst of the action while the South maintained an almost strict neutral policy under the Government of Éamon de Valera. But just like the trenches of the ‘Green Fields of France’ during an earlier battle, there was common ground found on the island that united a nation, soccer.

1923: An eventful year at Croke Park

For decades, Rule 42 of the GAA forbid the playing of British sports, like soccer and rugby at GAA grounds across Ireland, including Croke Park. In 1923, after several years of uncertainty due to war, the GAA urgently needed to generate funds to pay off debts for the development of Croke Park.

An Italian Princess in a Nazi Prison

Mafalda Landgrave, Princess Mafalda of Savoy, was second daughter of Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy. Her mother, Queen Elena, was a former princess of Montenegro and was a compassionate and charitable woman who helped various good causes. The little princess had a happy, carefree childhood, but Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s death triggered the outbreak of the Great War.

Eamon Broy – The man who spied for Collins

Eamon Broy was born in Ballinure, Co Kildare on the 22 December, 1887 and he came from a farming background.  He joined the RIC in August 1910 and the DMP in January 1911 where he was attached to E Division.  He became a detective in 1915. Even though he joined the DMP he was not particularly loyal to the Crown and believed in Home Rule. He joined the DMP for its excellent athletic facilities and was a member of the G Division of the Dublin Metropolitan Police or DMP for short.

With a spring in his step

Most of us understand what shoes are and indeed own at least one pair. I can recall when this was not necessarily the case, when I started school in early 1945 some children went barefoot. World War II was just coming to an end, many fathers were away and people were very hard up.

A Corkwoman in Russia     

When Yekaterina Romanovna Vorontsova, otherwise known as Princess Dashkov, returned to her estates at Troikskoye, some sixty miles south of Moscow in the autumn of 1797 she set to work, farming, gardening, being, as she put it, her “own architect”.  As recorded in her celebrated Memoirs things quickly settled down for her.

The Ballylanders man who became Mayor of Houston

John Thomas Browne, better known as John T. Browne, was born in Ballylanders Co. Limerick on March 23rd 1845. By 1851 famine had ruined the land and the six year old John T. Browne went with his parents and four siblings on an emigrant ship to America.

Kind gift from trail of tears

The Great Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, was a period of starvation and disease in Ireland from 1847-1852. This is also referred to as the Irish Potato Famine.

Thomas and Muriel

In many cases heroes are expected to have heroic wives as well. This was true of Thomas McDonagh and Muriel Gifford. Thomas was interested in literature, wrote plays and got a teaching job in Pearse’s school, St. Enda’s.

Radioland – the place of dreams

When I was young, people loved to hear the radio and if they did not have one in their own home they would go to the neighbour’s house to hear the news. They loved to hear Take the Floor and Ceili House or indeed the Sunday GAA match where the clear familiar voice of Micheál Ó hÉithir would follow the action.

General Eoin O’ Duffy: Garda Commissioner and GAA official

If Eoin O’Duffy had not become Commissioner of An Garda Siochana in September 1922 it could be stated that the link between An Garda Síochana and the GAA would be quite different today.

1923: An eventful year at Croke Park

For decades, Rule 42 of the GAA forbid the playing of British sports, like soccer and rugby at GAA grounds across Ireland, including Croke Park. In 1923, after several years of uncertainty due to war, the GAA urgently needed to generate funds to pay off debts for the development of Croke Park.

Home Industries

Employment in Clonmel and towns like it was scarce during the early nineteen hundreds. Women, especially, were usually reduced to taking back-breaking jobs in houses. Only the few could train to be teachers, office workers or nurses.

Hurling During a Pandemic: The Delayed 1941 Munster Final 80 Years on

When one thinks of playing sport during a pandemic the mind immediately focuses on the current nightmare GAA supporters have had to endure because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Ireland has been here several times before and 80 years ago is one that springs to mind.

To what extent was Belfast a typical Georgian town and Victorian city?

The word typical is not necessarily one which would be instantly attributed to Belfast, given the complexities surrounding its history. On further observation however, it cannot be denied that there were numerous features of Belfast that would have made it possible to be categorised as a typical Georgian town and Victorian city.

The Pig Markets of Yesteryear

The pig was a very important figure in the rural economy at one time. They helped to raise money to pay the rent when the landlords held sway and then in post-independence days they were used to offset costs involved in running the farms as well as being a form of domestic food for the household.

Skellig Michael – Its History and Religion   

News that Skellig Michael, the remote island off the County Kerry coast is to reopen, is welcome after its closure due to Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland, as elsewhere. The ancient monastic site is the responsibility of Ireland’s Office of Public Works, for its protection, management and maintenance.

Memories of the visit by Princess Grace of Monaco

Princess Grace of Monaco visited Ireland with her husband Prince Rainier on the 10th June 1961 to visit her grandfather’s ancestral home in Drimuria, Newport, Co Mayo. 

Mayo Woman Who Saved the World on D-Day is Honoured by the US

A 98-year-old Irish postmistress who unwittingly helped to save the world when her handwritten weather readings delayed D-Day has been honoured by the US government.

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. 

Offering a Helping Hand

The Tipperary village of Bansha was famous back in the 1950s because Canon Hayes a founder of Muintir na Tire lived there. He was not actually from Tipperary, he was from Limerick but as the locals said that was not his fault. John Hayes was born in a Land League hut.

Templars and Freemasonry in Ireland

It is commonly believed that the Masonic fraternity evolved from a guild of stonemasons during the middle ages. Over the centuries many people in society became members of those masonic guilds and by the early Enlightenment era, Freemasonry had become purely a social and fraternal institution which preserved the traditions and practices of the original guilds.

King Con

As a boy the first publication that captivated my attention was The Evening Press because of both Joe Sherwood’s regular feature ‘In the Soup’ and the column written by the peerless Con Houlihan. As a young student I shared a cheap flat in Rathmines which was less than salubrious. The only thing in its favour was that it was very close to a hostelry favoured by Con Houlihan.

Ireland’s Éire Signs

Around Ireland’s coastline are a group of signs which are immediately striking to the eye from mid-air. They relate to the Second World War in Ireland during the period of Ireland’s neutrality and were put in place to ensure the country was spared the ravages of war.