#OTD in 1847 – Eyewitness report on The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mór) by James Mahoney in The Illustrated London News.

‘I started from Cork… for Skibbereen and saw little until we came to Clonakilty, where the coach stopped for breakfast; and here, for the first time, the horrors of the poverty became visible, in the vast number of famished poor, who flocked around the coach to beg alms: amongst them was a woman carrying in her arms the corpse of a fine child, and making the most distressing appeal to the passengers for aid to enable her to purchase a coffin and bury her dear little baby. This horrible spectacle induced me to make some inquiry about her, when I learned from the people of the hotel that each day brings dozens of such applicants into the town.

After leaving Clonakilty, each step that we took westward brought fresh evidence of the truth of the reports of the misery, as we either met a funeral or a coffin at every hundred yards, until we approached the country of the Shepperton Lakes. Here, the distress became more striking, from the decrease of numbers at the funerals, none having more than eight or ten attendants, and many only two or three.’

Friends of Ireland, please consider supporting this very important petition.

More food than was required to feed the Irish people during the period (1845-1850), was exported out of Irish ports under armed guard. This is not a petition of acrimony, discord or hate, this is a petition for Truth! Please sign with your family, and ask your friends and their families to consider. In Proud and Loving memory of our Forefathers, and the Truth that our Children Deserve.

Source: #OTD in 1847 – Eyewitness report on The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mór) by James Mahoney in The Illustrated London News.

#OTD in 1974 – Death of Róisín Madigan O’Reilly in Dingle, Co Kerry. At age 13, she became the youngest member of Cumann na mban.

Daughter to a German-born governess (E. Hessler) and an Irish Literature Lecturer, (E. O’Reilly) Madigan O’Reilly grew up speaking German, Irish and English and travelling sporadically to Potsdam t…

Source: #OTD in 1974 – Death of Róisín Madigan O’Reilly in Dingle, Co Kerry. At age 13, she became the youngest member of Cumann na mban.

Daughter to a German-born governess (E. Hessler) and an Irish Literature Lecturer, (E. O’Reilly) Madigan O’Reilly grew up speaking German, Irish and English and travelling sporadically to Potsdam to visit her mother’s affluent relations. Both her parents were staunch republicans. Her father wrote poems and articles for ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’ and, aged just 13, Madigan O’Reilly became the youngest member of Cumann na mban, accompanying her mother to meetings. Madigan O’Reilly contributed to the struggle for Independence by gifting her first typewriter to Winifred Carney.

Adversely affected by the violence and unrest in Ireland during the Easter Rising and in Germany during the First World War, Madigan O’Reilly withdrew into her studies at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art where she showed an aptitude for calligraphy, decorative lettering and illuminating. She took these traditional manuscript skills into unexpected territory such as bricolage and collage, often incorporating elements of her father’s poetry as visual elements. This unlikely application of traditional skills attracted the attention of the influential German publishing group Potsdam: Müller and Co. Verlag, who, in 1925, were completing a publication entitled Orientalisches Traumbuch von Mariette Lydis and wished to explore the possibility of a follow-up with an Irish bias. In 1925 Madigan O’Reilly met with Irmgard Kiepenheuer to discuss Irisches Traumbuch von Róisín O’Reilly during which time she was exposed to the inaugural performance of Kurt Schwitters’ work Ursonate, the influence of which can be detected in her later projects including Os Ard.

The practical skills gained at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art enabled Madigan O’Reilly to take a post in what has subsequently become the Preservation and Conservation department at Trinity Library. She worked there from 1925 up until 1958, contributing to several major conservation projects including the re-binding of the Book of Aicill and the Brehon Laws. A recent review of the manuscripts in the archives reveal that she may have added some exquisitely forged illustrations to some of the more obscure fifteenth century manuscripts held in the archives.

In 1926, Madigan O’Reilly developed an original Irish translation of Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate entitled Os Ardand tried to persuade those in charge at 2RN to allow it to be broadcast on the airwaves. Surviving correspondence reveals that though the idea was proposed to Máiréad Ní Ghrádaa for consideration, the landmark broadcast which Madigan O’Reilly had envisaged never came to pass.

In 1928, through mutual acquaintances at 2RN, Madigan O’Reilly met Edmund Madigan, a former civil servant radicalised during the uprising and reappointed to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. In his new role he managed interval music and devised strategies for minimising interference on the frequency over which 2RN was broadcast. The two were married in 1930 and little is known of their marriage other than that they had no children; that Róisín insisted on keeping her father’s name as well as taking that of her new husband; and that Madigan died in 1950 and was buried with his treasured 3-valve radio set.

During the 1930s, Madigan O’Reilly and her husband accompanied her friend Máire Ní Chinnéide to the Blasket Islands, providing technical support to Ní Chinnéide’s intention to collect and record the stories of Peig Sayers.

Following her husband’s death, Madigan O’Reilly once again withdrew into her work, finally retiring to Dingle to keep sight of her beloved Blasket Islands and to complete work on Irisches Traumbuch von Róisín O’Reilly.

#OTD in 1981 – The Stardust Ballroom in Artane, Dublin goes up in flames; forty-eight young people are killed and more than 100 are injured.

Forty-eight young people die in a fire at the Stardust club in Artane, Dublin. After sitting for 122 days and hearing evidence from three hundred and sixty-three witnesses, a government report foun…

Source: #OTD in 1981 – The Stardust Ballroom in Artane, Dublin goes up in flames; forty-eight young people are killed and more than 100 are injured.

CLIFF COAST DRIVE ITINERARY ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

This circular route of 257km (160 miles) takes in a large portion of the Clare coastline starting in Limerick City.

START YOUR JOURNEY

Drive northwest on the N18/M18 to the town of Ennis and then the N68 then southwest to Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary. From Kilrush take the N67 north-westward to the seaside resort of Kilkee with its Victorian streetscape and fabulous crescent beach.

From Kilkee your journey will take you northward along the stunning County Clare coastline to Lahinch via Doonbeg and Spanish Point. Lahinch is a popular destination for anyone with an interest in water-based activities and the beach here is considered to be one of the best in Ireland so do stop off for a while, if your schedule allows.

Back on the road again, take the R478 west to reach Liscannor with unhindered panoramic Atlantic views south to Spanish Point and Mutton Island. There’s a short unpaved pathway from the local Cloghaundine road which provides pedestrian access to rocky outcrops along a considerable stretch of coastline – take care though!

From Liscannor the R478 takes you north to the world-famous Cliffs of Moher, now a Signature Point on the Wild Atlantic Way and one of Ireland’s most visited natural attractions. Stretching for 8km along the Atlantic coast, these impressive cliffs reach 214m at their highest point.

Next stop is the charming village of Doolin surrounded by the spectacular bare limestone landscape of The Burren and the Atlantic Ocean. The village is a popular tourist destination and renowned for its traditional Irish music. From Doolin you can also catch a ferry to the Aran Islands though we recommend you allow time to stay overnight there to really experience the island way of life.

Travel north again and join the R477, which brings you back to the coast with wonderful views of The Burren’s karst landscape as you travel through Fanore and on to Black Head. At Black Head you can enjoy wonderful views across Galway Bay to the Connemara coastline, stretching westwards from Galway City. Leaving Black Head the R477 takes you to Ballyvaughan a small harbour village nestled under the high ridge of Gleninagh Mountain, which affords shelter from westerly gales.

From Ballyvaughan you can of course retrace your steps along the coast or start the journey back to Limerick on the N67 southward, through The Burren first to Ennis and then on the N18/M18 once more to Limerick.

Find more exciting touring itineraries here.