Offa’s Dyke Path Signs

via Offa’s Dyke Path Signs


#OTD in Irish History – 3 December:

via #OTD in Irish History – 3 December:


1366 – With the sliotar topping 93mph (150km/h) from a good strike, hurling is the fastest game on grass. It was first played here at least 3,000 years ago, and first crops up in print in statutes banning its mayhem on this date. Ancient chroniclers report violent days-long matches between whole towns, but these might simply have been battles. There’s not a whole lot of difference if you think about it.

1745 – John Toler, 1st Earl of Norbury and Chief Justice, is born in Beechwood, Co Tipperary.

1792 – Beginning on this date and continuing through 8 December, a Catholic Convention is held in Tailors’ Hall, Dublin to demand abolition of the remaining penal laws; a petition is presented to the king in London.

1831 – Birth of banker, mining tycoon and US senator, James Graham Fair, in Belfast.

1897 – Birth of writer, Kate O’Brien, in Limerick city. Best known for her novels, ‘Land of Spices’ and ‘That Lady’. Kate O’Brien’s determination to encourage a greater understanding of sexual diversity — several of her books include positive gay/lesbian characters, make her a pioneer in queer literary representation. She was very critical of conservatism in Ireland, and by spearheading a challenge to the Irish Censorship Act, she helped bring to an end the cultural restrictions of the 1930s and 40s in the country.

1916 – Birth of Seán Ó Ríordáin in Baile Mhúirne, Co Cork. He was one of the most important Irish language poets of the 20th century and arguably the most significant figure in introducing European themes into traditional poetry. Ó Ríordáin’s poems have enjoyed constant popularity, due in part to the exposure gained by the inclusion of his work in the standard Irish curriculum. Poems such as Fill Arís and Tost are widely known and Fill Arís was short-listed in the Favourite Irish Poems comptetions run by RTÉ in 2015. ‘Toil’ is a contemplation on the limitations of human will.

1920 – Three Bandon members of the IRA were killed in an ambush set by the Essex Regiment. The IRA men John Galvin, Lieutenant Jim Donohue and Joe Begley thought they were meeting a British army deserter on the outskirts of their home town. The facts of the case are as muddy now as they were in that highly volatile time, but it does appear that the men were given little chance to surrender.

1921 – Dáil Cabinet Discusses Treaty Proposals.

1923 – One garda is killed.

1925 – Report of the Boundary Commission made public.

1937 – Birth of Morgan Llywelyn. She is an American-born Irish author best known for her historical fantasy, historical fiction, and historical non-fiction. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.

1942 – Birth of former rugby player, Mike Gibson, in Belfast.

1944 – Birth of Ralph McTell in England. Best known for his song ‘Streets of London’, which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world, and for his tale of Irish emigration, ‘From Clare to Here’.

1959 – Birth of journalist and broadcaster, Eamonn Holmes, in Belfast.

1970 – Birth of software developer and author, Brendan Kehoe, in Dublin. Raised in China, Maine and the United States, in his early teens, he was first exposed to computing when he was given a Commodore 64 computer, which he used to teach himself about computing/computer networks. Kehoe wrote two books and a number of technology articles on the topic of the Internet. His first book, Zen and the Art of the Internet: A Beginner’s Guide, first published by Prentice Hall in July 1992, was the first mass-published user’s guide to the Internet. Kehoe was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and underwent chemotherapy to fight the disease but succumbed to it on 19 July 2011.

1973 – Francis Pym succeeded William Whitelaw as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Many people were critical of this particular change given that the talks on the crucial issue of the Council of Ireland were scheduled to begin on 6 December 1973. Pym it was believed had comparatively little knowledge of Northern Ireland.

1974 – Members of the Maguire family, who later became known as the ‘Maguire Seven’, were arrested at their home in London. They were held on suspicion of making the bombs used in the explosions in Guildford on 5 October 1974. The ‘Maguire Seven’ were convicted on 3 March 1976 of possession of explosives (although none were found) and some served 10 years in prison before the convictions were overturned.

1976 – Patrick Hillery inaugurated as President of Ireland.

1977 – Chief of Staff of the IRA, Seamus Twomey, was arrested in Dublin.

1981 – Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Ian Paisley, claimed that the ‘Third Force’ had between 15,000 and 20,000 members. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior, said in response that private armies would not be tolerated.

1983 – Patrick Hillery is inaugurated for a second term as President of Ireland.

1985 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Tom King, expressed his regret for a speech he made in Brussels in which he had said he thought the Irish government accepted that there would never be a united Ireland.

1986 – Brendan McFarlane and Gerard Kelly, who had escaped from Long Kesh prison on 25 September 1983 were extradited from Holland to Northern Ireland and appeared in a Lisburn court on charges related to the escape.

1990 – Inauguration of Mary Robinson as President of Ireland.

1993 – Two bombs explode in the center of Manchester, injuring 65 people; the IRA claimed responsibility the following day.

1993 – The Irish Times reported the results of a poll on the options for a political settlement in Northern Ireland. Among Catholic respondents, 33 per cent favoured the option of joint authority while 32 per cent wanted to see a United Ireland. Among Protestant respondents, 35 per cent favoured closer integration with the United Kingdom.

1996 – Six officers are hurt as loyalists attack police with fireworks, bottles and stones in Portadown, Co Armagh.

2000 – Hiúdaí, an Irish language cartoon character, is voted Best TV Personality at the Irish Film and Television Awards in Belfast.

2000 – Browns on the Green wins the prestigious Gilbeys Gold Medal Award for excellence in catering.

2002 – Up to 2000 mourners gather at St Joseph’s Church, Terenure for the removal of Fine Gael minister and deputy leader, Jim Mitchell.

2002 – Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, says there is little point in proceeding with multi-party talks in the North if the IRA refuses to address the need to give up all paramilitary activity.

2002 – Death of actor, Glenn Quinn. Born in Dublin, he is best known for playing Mark Healy in the American sitcom Roseanne, and Doyle, a half-demon, on the 1999-2004 television series Angel, a spin-off series of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Quinn was born in Dublin, and raised in both America and then again as a teenager in Cabinteely, Co Dublin. Quinn was found dead of a drug overdose. He was 32 years old. Police and autopsy reports revealed the cause of death to be an accidental heroin overdose. His body was found on the couch of a friend he was visiting in North Hollywood, California.

2009 – Death of soldier and actor, Richard Todd. Born in Dublin, he served in WWII for the British Army and after the war returned to acting. Alfred Hitchcock used him in Stage Fright (1950). He appeared in three films for the Disney Corporation, The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952), The Sword and the Rose (1953) and Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue.


#OTD in Irish History – 2 December:

via #OTD in Irish History – 2 December:


1649 – Oliver Cromwell abandoned the siege of Waterford. Marching west into the territory secured by Lord Broghill, Cromwell dispersed his army into winter quarters at Cork, Youghal and Dungarvan.

1738 – Birth of Richard Montgomery in Swords, Co Dublin. He was a soldier who first served in the British Army. He later became a major-general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and he is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada. On 31 December 1775, he led an attack on Quebec city, but was killed during the battle.

1783 – Death of Thomas Burke. Born in Co Galway, he was a physician, lawyer, and statesman in Hillsborough, North Carolina. He represented North Carolina as a delegate to the Continental Congress and was Governor of the state. Thomas went to Virginia and practiced medicine for a number of years. He studied law, and began its practice in Norfolk, Virginia. He became an early supporter of the American Revolution, writing tracts in opposition to the Stamp Act.

1791 – Death in Kilkenny of statesman and Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench for Ireland, Henry Flood, founder of the movement which forces Britain to grant legislative independence to Ireland.

1802 – Sir Dominic Corrigan, cardiologist, was born in Dublin.

1805 – William Thompson, naturalist, was born in Belfast.

1811 – The Kildare Place Society is formed to maintain non-denominational schools and to promote the education of the poor.

1865 – The Fenian senate deposes founder, John O’Mahoney, as president, replacing him with William Roberts.

1877 – Birth of nationalist politician, Cahir Healy, in Mountcharles, Co Donegal.

1920 – Shooting of Escaping Irish Prisoners.

1921 – Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith and the other plenipotentiaries return from London to present Britain’s proposed treaty draft to government colleagues. The seeds were being set for a bitterly divided cabinet which would eventually lead to civil war.

1924 – William Craig, unionist politician, is born.

1942 – Omagh songsmith, Jimmy Kennedy, wrote the song ‘The Hokey Cokey’ on this date. Jimmy Kennedy was a songwriter, predominantly a lyricist, putting words to existing music such as ‘Teddy Bears Picnic and ‘My Prayer, or co-writing with the composers Michael Carr, Wilhelm Grosz (aka Hugh Williams) and Nat Simon, among others.

1954 – Joe McCarthy is censured by US Senate for conduct unbecoming a Senator. Joe McCarthy, Republican Senator for Wisconsin, arch anti-communist, unfounded fear monger and generator of McCarthyism was the son of Bridget Tierney, from Co Tipperary and Timothy McCarthy whose own father emigrated from Ireland.

1966 – Death of playwright and prolific radio dramatist, Giles Cooper, after falling from a train as it passed through Surbiton, Surrey, returning from a Guild of Dramatists’ Christmas dinner. Born in Carrickmines, Co Dublin, he wrote over sixty scripts for BBC Radio and television. A dozen years after his death at only 48 the Giles Cooper Awards for Radio Drama were instituted in his honour, jointly by the BBC and the publishers Eyre Methuen.

1971 – A teenage girl died four days after being shot during a gun attack on members of the RUC.

1984 – An undercover British soldier, believed to be a member of the Special Air Service (SAS), and two members of the IRA were killed in an exchange of gun fire near Kesh, Co Fermanagh.

1993 – Sinn Féin publicly released more information on the secret talks between the British government and the Republican Movement. Martin McGuinness, the Vice-President of Sinn Féin, claimed that the British government had begun the contacts in 1990.

1995 – It was announced that 600 British soldiers, serving with 45 Royal Marine Commando in Fermanagh had left Northern Ireland. The overall troop level in Northern Ireland was reported at 17,000.

1997 – The RUC announced that all day-time foot patrol by the British Army were to be withdrawn from all of Belfast.

1998 – In an effort to break the deadlock in the stalled Northern Ireland political process, British Premier Tony Blair holds intensive discussions with David Trimble and Seamus Mallon at Stormont.

1998 – Death of Mary McShain at Killarney House, Killarney, Co Kerry. In 1960, she and her late husband, John McShain, acquired the Killarney Estate, which had been owned by the Earls of Kenmare since the 16th century. Most of that property, as well as Killarney House, has since been turned over to the State.

1999 – The Good Friday Agreement comes into operation as the British and Irish governments formally notify each other that all the necessary arrangements are in place.The notification ceremony takes place at Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs, at a joint signing by Foreign Affairs Minister, David Andrews, and the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Peter Mandelson.

1999 – Direct Rule came to an end as powers were devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA). Devolution took effect as of midnight on 1 December 1999.

1999 – Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, was in London for a lunch engagement with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

1999 – The IRA appoints an unnamed representative to enter into talks with General John de Chastelain on decommissioning.

2002 – Former Fine Gael deputy leader Jim Mitchell loses his three-year battle with cancer.

2004 – Death of Margaret Dolan at the age of 104. She was known as ‘Maggie’ as well as the daughter and one of eight children of a farmer from Tuam, Co Galway. She didn’t smoke or drink and believed what kept her going was being young at heart. She didn’t marry, and spent her entire life in Galway, apart from two years working in the US, before returning at the time of the Wall Street Crash. She was an avid reader until her eyesight deteriorated. Her niece Julia said Maggie believed ‘the simple life’ was the best life. She attended Mass in the village of Corofin, where she lived, every week. Maggie once said, when questioned about the secret to her longevity. ‘I believe in hard work, lots of prayer and the eating of plain food,’

St Ita & St Finnian, more exploring around Millstreet

Holy Wells of Cork

North Cork is rich in holy wells and although we have made several fruitful exploratory visits already, there are still plenty of interesting sites to visit. We travelled with our friends Robert and Finola of Roaringwater Journal fame and treated ourselves to two nights in a large and spacious Airbnb just outside Banteer.

St Ita’s Well, Tobar Slánan, Millstreet

Our first stop was south of Millstreet in Kilmeedy East. We parked near Kilmeedy Castle, the substantial ruins of a tower house built by the McCarthy’s in 1435 now used as a rather grand tractor store and space to dry washing. We inquired at the house for directions to St Ita’s Well, more commonly known as Slánan Well, and were directed back to the main road, lorries thundering past at quite a speed. We walked through green and boggy pastures following the GPS towards a wooded copse. This was…

View original post 2,525 more words

Whiskey Live – Dublin – 2017

Whiskey Live Dublin 17 - Cover Photo

Is there a better 30th birthday present than The Celtic Whiskey Shop hosting a whiskey event just for me? Okay well not just for me, but Whiskey Live Dublin happened to be on a few days before my 30th so i’m sticking with the story that it was my birthday party.

This was my first year attending the show in Dublin as it normally falls on or near my birthday and I’m not here for it. This year was almost the same but plans fell through and with about 12 hours before the event I managed to get a ticket, thanks to the folk at the Celtic Whiskey Shop.

The show took place at The Printworks within the grounds of Dublin Castle. You’d be hard fought to find a better setting.

reWLD17 (107 of 150)If you’ve ever been to a whiskey show you’ll know upon entering the event you’ve to pick up the…

View original post 2,162 more words