History

Paddy Maher, 2nd South Wales Borderers, KIA 4th April 1916

Paddy Maher, 2nd South Wales Borderers, KIA 4th April 1916

On April 6th 1916, barely three weeks before the Easter Rising, Paddy Maher  (a 35 year old British Army veteran who had seen service in China and Gallipoli) from Lower Conaghy, County Kilkenny, had just arrived at the Front. The Battalion had shipped into France from Egypt in March as part of the latest push […]


Michael (M.J.) Burke letter on eve of execution, January 1923

Michael (M.J.) Burke letter on eve of execution, January 1923

Regular readers will remember the chance discovery of Frank Cunnane’s letter on the eve of his execution in 1923 behind a dresser in a cottage in Headford. The posting of that letter has instigated a very rewarding section of this blog. We’ve received photos, mass cards and letters from the period and have been very happy to facilitate the conversation which […]


EARLY IRISH ALE 2

Continuing our series of old posts (to mark our 10th year in business), ones we feel were good, prescient or elicited some good conversation or debate, this post was first published in February 2008. Continuing our research on ancient beer, Declan spent a long evening reading and searching the Annals of the Four Masters for […]


IRELAND’S GREAT DRUG EPIDEMIC

‘Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart’ Proverbs (27:9) This post was first published in December 2007. we were getting into our stride with the blog and were regularly and busily posting. Of course, that was before twitter and we weren’t as distracted. I’ve edited out a little bit of the snark. There are still ether users […]


IRISH HOSPITALITY

For those of you who have always wondered what Ireland was like for the early Christian inhabitants of the place, and let’s face it, we all have at some stage, here’s a slightly distilled version of P.W. Joyce’s excellent introduction to his (1905) “A Smaller Social History of Ireland” available in full on the interweb here. […]


Chevy Chase, Ireland

We’ve been tweeting unusual townland names as we encounter them around Ireland in the course of assessing projects, and for today we present the unusually named Chevy Chase, Co. Offaly, located to the northeast of Portalington. Here’s the historic map with Chevy Chase House depicted in the top left…


Galway.. Then

Fishmarket & Claddagh Village, Galway 1913. While doing some research on the Spanish Arch area I came across these remarkable colour  images from 1913, part of the Alfred Kahn collection. Kahn, a French Banker commissioned a project in the early part of the last century to collect a photographic record of the entire Earth. He appointed […]


Irish Civil War: Letters on the Eve of Execution

Irish Civil War: Letters on the Eve of Execution

The Irish Civil War began on April 14th 1922 with the occupation of the Four Courts and several other buildings. The final phase of the War descended into a series of atrocities which left Irish society deeply divided and embittered for decades afterwards. In January 1923 11 Anti-Treaty prisoners including some Galwaymen were executed (two […]


The Tuam Martyrs, April 11, 1923

The Tuam Martyrs, April 11, 1923

“No matter what the future may hold for the Irish nation, the seven years — 1916 to 1923 — must ever remain a period of absorbing interest. Not for over two hundred years has there been such a period of intense and sustained effort to regain the national sovereignty and independence.” DeValera This weekend is […]


1911 Census, Antrim, Down & Kerry

Via the Irish Family History blog we see that the second tranche of the 1911 census has gone live on the National Archives website. The website now covers Antrim, Down and Kerry as well as Dublin (which was put up early last year). It’s been a while coming but, that criticism aside,  is a great […]


How the Irish Became White

How the Irish Became White

I am haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country…to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black one would not see it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours. – Cambridge historian Charles Kingsley, letter to his wife from […]


An Poll Mór, Bearna

An Poll Mór, Bearna

Sean Beatty very kindly allowed us to present the following piece about Bearna, Co. Galway and the ‘Poll Mór’ (big hole), on the Pier Road. Much of the information was provided by Sean. Located on the Galway to Spiddal road, the original settlement at Bearna was concentrated in the townland of Freeport, in a predominantly […]


Oh Dear..

Why it’s important to listen in History class.. (via Greg Laden). To quote Santayana – ‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’…. or as a commenter on another great blog says – are condemned to make fools of themselves on television… And while we’re at it here’s more from the […]


Civil War Photo

Civil War Photo

An earlier post on the Civil War in Connaught has proven to be the most read post on this blog, and even elicited a response from a relative of Francis (Frank) Cunnane – obviously there’s a huge appetite out there to learn more about this period of our history. One reader, Brian McHugh, sent us […]


Dublin 1911

Dublin 1911

The 1911 census for Dublin is now available online free and provides a great resource for family historians and genealogists throughout Ireland and the globe. The census is a huge document and the site has a searchable database of the census returns and enumerators´ summary books, all scanned and viewable. The rest of the Country […]


2008 – International year of the Spud

2008 - International year of the Spud

Photo: IPC Welcome to 2008, Chinese Year of the Rat, Australian Year of the Scout, European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, International Year of the Planet, International Year of Sanitation, and, most significantly, International Year of the Potato (IYP). Suggested by Peru, where pre-Columbian farmers in the Andes first began to cultivate the crop, the International […]


Irelands Great Drug Epidemic

Irelands Great Drug Epidemic

‘Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart’ Proverbs (27:9) The past week was a big week in global politics, a week of negotiations in Bali, and a week where South Africa’s ANC decides on a new leader, but in Ireland it was a week where – due to the death at the age of 24 of […]


Death by spearing

Death by spearing

From the Australian Archaeological Association – A report of an early death by spearing in Australia. This caught our eye as we’re currently waiting for dates for a couple of skeletons we recovered during the Eyre Square excavations in Galway which had some severe fatal wounds. We’ll be posting more info on them here shortly. […]


Beyond kinship – Irish Caribbean studies

This is an excerpt from Orla Powers abstract of her recently published ‘Beyond Kinship -A Study of the Eighteenth-century Irish Community at Saint Croix, Danish West Indies’ in Irish Migration Studies in Latin America. The full article is available online here and makes for a fascinating read. Abstract The Irish trading post, and its associated […]


Being Pedantic

The December 8th issue of The Economist has an advert on pages 16 & 17 for UK Trade & Investment, which is the UK Government organisation that helps UK-based companies ‘succeed in an increasingly global economy. Its range of expert services are tailored to the needs of individual businesses to maximise their international success. They […]


Bee Laws

Bee Laws

Joyce reports on a somewhat curious legal custom (which has parallels in India) in Early Ireland – the procedure by fasting. The plaintiff in a case (having served notice) simply went to the defendants house and went on hunger strike. As long as he remained there, the defendant was also obliged to starve himself/herself. In […]


Irish Hospitality

Irish Hospitality

For those of you who have always wondered what Ireland was like for the early Christian inhabitants of the place, and let’s face it, we all have at some stage, here’s a slightly distilled version of P.W. Joyce’s excellent introduction to his (1905) “A Smaller Social History of Ireland” available in full on the interweb […]


The Irish Times Article by Conor Pope

This is the link to the Irish Times article Conor Pope wrote about The Great Beer Experiment that appeared in August and instigated the huge coverage we received. We just saw Conor last night on a TV ad for a new RTE programme starting on Sunday night – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (thats the programme name by […]


The Great Beer Bibliography and Resource Post

For those of you who have a deep interest in the Archaeology of Beer, Spirits, Wine and Pleasure in general, here’s the beginning of a big beer bibliography and source list, with a very brief description of the contents. We’ll continue to add to it over time and hopefully someone will find it a useful […]