Joe Gannon's Blog (59)

'Peg-Leg' Shannon: 'Lost Boy' of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

(“Lewis and Clark at Celilo Falls, Columbia River” from a mural by Frank H. Schwarz)

Nineteen-year-old George Shannon nervously trotted his horse across the flat…

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Added by Joe Gannon on June 21, 2017 at 10:30pm — 7 Comments

The Carrowkennedy Ambush: Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold

It was late afternoon of a…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 20, 2017 at 9:00pm — 7 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: May 14 - May 20

MÁIRT -- On May 15, 1847, The Syria, the first ship to arrive during what Quebecois would call the 'Summer of Sorrow,' landed at the Canadian quarantine station in the St. Lawrence River, just north of Quebec. The French had called…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 13, 2017 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

The St. Patrick's Day Champ: Clare's 'Bold Mike' McTigue

The exhausted Irish boxer stood in the middle of the makeshift boxing ring in the smoke-filled La Scala opera house in Dublin. Sweat was trickling down his face, tinged scarlett with a bit of blood oozing from a cut above his left eye. His chest was…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 9, 2017 at 9:30pm — 7 Comments

1981 Hunger Strikes: On the Threshold of Another Trembling World

Among the most powerless men in the world are those in prisons. Your body no longer belongs to you; it belongs to the state. Every day you are told when to get up, when to go to bed, when you can exercise, when you can see your family, and also, when you…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 5, 2017 at 8:00pm — 5 Comments

Confederate Hero, Dick Dowling: Miracle at Sabine Pass

He stands in bronze and he stands on granite,

Facing the river where the fleet turned tail;

The stone lists the Davis Guards upon it,

Names that rhyme in the songs of the Gael.*

Around 3:30…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 23, 2017 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

Mountain Man Thomas Fitzpatrick: Legendary 'Broken Hand'

On a crisp, clear afternoon in what is now southwest Montana, in January 1836, a thin bearded man in his mid-30s, dressed in buckskin, was racing across the valley of the meandering Yellowstone River on the back of a very fast horse. Ahead of him in the…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 12, 2017 at 9:30pm — 8 Comments

John Paul Jones and His Irish Marines

As John Paul Jones, captain of the Bonhomme Richard, prepared to face two British…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 8, 2017 at 2:30pm — 2 Comments

The Lispole Ambush -- Averting Disaster on the Dingle Peninsula

If you ever drive down the south side of the beautiful and scenic Dingle Peninsula in Co. Kerry, as I did with my wife, brother and sister-in-law last June (and everyone should, at least one in their lives), you will pass through the small village of Lispole…

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Added by Joe Gannon on March 20, 2017 at 1:30pm — 13 Comments

Westward, Ho! John J. Healy, Montana Pioneer

(Above: "When Wagon Trails Were Dim," Charles Russell's depiction of a wagon train in the American west.)

Many men and women with Irish roots participated in the “winning” of…

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Added by Joe Gannon on March 14, 2017 at 10:30pm — 6 Comments

The Battle of Crossbarry: ... 'Who Piped Old Ireland Free'

They sought to wipe the column out,

From east to west, from north to south,

“Till at Crossbarry’s bloody rout

The woke from their day dreaming

Though ten to one they were that day

Our boys were…

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Added by Joe Gannon on February 10, 2017 at 10:30am — 10 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: January 22 - January 28

DEARDAOIN - January 22, 1760, at Wandewash, India, General Thomas Arthur Comte de Lally's French army, including his regiment of the…

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Added by Joe Gannon on January 21, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Mayo's Robert Horatio George Minty: Past Imperfect Hero

I see the long, blue line, push back the rebel pickets

Far stretched o’er hill and dale; through break and thickets.

My old heart leaps

As up the steeps

Rock-crowned and flinty:

I see the…

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Added by Joe Gannon on January 14, 2017 at 9:30am — 9 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: December 25 - December 31

DOMHNAIGH -- On Dec. 25, 1808, Stephen Clegg Rowan who would serve in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War and later be…

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Added by Joe Gannon on December 24, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Mayo's Father Andrew Conroy: Martyr of the 1798 Rising

There’s many a lonely hearth-stone tonight in wide Mayo,

There’s many a gallant heart content again can never know

But darkest woe and grief for him the saintly true and tried,

Who on the Saxon scaffold that day for freedom died.

         --  From “The…

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Added by Joe Gannon on November 26, 2016 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

'In Harm’s Way': America’s Greatest Submarine Commander

Richard Hetherington O'Kane (below-right, in his Annapolis graduation photo) was born on February 2, 1911 in Dover, New Hampshire, a town near the Atlantic coast with a population of about 13,000 at the time. His father, Dr. Walter Collins O'Kane, was a…

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Added by Joe Gannon on October 11, 2016 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

Gustavus Conyngham, USN: The “Dunkirk Pirate” from Donegal

Gustavus Conyngham is known to history as the “Dunkirk Pirate,” but that was the name the British gave him. It was not a name that he ever would have given himself. He thought of himself only as, Gustavus Conyngham, USN (United States Navy). He…

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Added by Joe Gannon on September 6, 2016 at 11:00pm — 9 Comments

General Phil Kearny: 'The One-Armed Devil'

Unlike most other Irish and Irish-Americans who fought in the American Civil War, Philip Kearny was born in to a prominent and affluent family in New York City on June 1, 1815. The Kearny name, quite appropriately, came from the Gaelic "O Catharnaigh,"…

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Added by Joe Gannon on August 11, 2016 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

'Mary Boyle - The Untold Story'



Here is the trailer for a documentary written and directed by Gemma O'Doherty about the case of Ireland's…

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Added by Joe Gannon on July 11, 2016 at 5:30pm — 4 Comments

Patrick White: A Clareman's Tragic Death on Spike Island

On our vacation in Ireland in June 2015 we took the boat trip out to Spike Island in Cobh harbor in Co. Cork. Cobh is famous as last port of call of the Titanic. Spike Island is most often mentioned in Irish history as a place where many Irish political…

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Added by Joe Gannon on June 22, 2016 at 8:30am — 8 Comments

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