To outsiders, the village of Ballinalee, in County Longford, might seem like no great shakes, just a bump in the road, a blink-and-you-miss-it spot that you’re through before you even notice. Were they to consult a map of the county, the seemingly inconsequential…Continue
There are two routes I can take to my office when I leave the train station to go to work. They both pass a large 18th century building of Palladian, neoclassical design, which I used to admire as a child, long before I knew of its connection to my own family.
Now, as I pass it by, I study its…Continue
Noel Brady was standing with his father at the hall door of their family home on St. Ignatius Road in Dublin’s North Strand area when they heard the drone of a Nazi Luftwaffe bomber flying overhead.
Do you know where you’ll be on April 24? Maybe not, but chances are you might just find yourself huddled over a form, answering innumerable questions about your personal life. Filling in the census may not be the most exciting of pastimes, but it sure is important. Without all those statistics it generates,…Continue
The GPO, Mount Street Bridge, The South Dublin Union -- these are names that resonate when it comes to Easter 1916 as the battlegrounds for what became Padraig Pearse’s ‘glorious failure.’ However, for some quirk of history, the success that took place in…Continue
Forget about any sense of style, every shade of green you can envisage will be flown, painted, worn and waved on…Continue
To have a relative who was ‘out’ in 1916 – that is, someone who took part in that mad assault on the British Empire known as the Easter Rising – is something to be treasured.
Of course, there were plenty of other…Continue
When the actor Arthur Shields strode towards the Abbey Theatre on Easter Monday, 1916, it was with one intent -- not to rehearse or act in a play, but to collect his rifle and take part in the greater drama that was about to shake the streets of Dublin.
Pictured, Arthur Shields
I'm not hugely into sports. I watch the big soccer and rugby games when Ireland plays. I appreciate the skill in a good boxing bout and I sit in awe whenever the Olympics is on and I can watch those jaw-dropping displays the gymnasts put on. Other than that, I’m not that pushed. However, my…Continue
Are you a witch, or are you a fairy
Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?
So went a popular children’s rhyme in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. I can hear the echo of those words spilling…Continue
Private Cashier served in the ranks of the 95th Illinois for three years – from their muster-in on September 4, 1862, until the regiment…Continue
The past, present and future happily coexist on my workplace doorstep. I’d written about the past in four books, but it was the future that caught my eye one day in the form of a crane, standing stark against a grey Dublin sky.
I work in a newspaper in the city centre, on Talbot Street. During my lunch break, I would leave the office and walk past the…Continue
Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl… so far, so true (and with thanks to Barry Manilow), but this particular Lola also happened to be one of Europe’s most beautiful and talked-about women, who married several times and who…Continue
When the Black and Tans were first deployed in Ireland in March 1920, they soon proved themselves to be a pretty brutal bunch. They were liberal with the use of their rifles, were often drunk and even engaged in arson and robbery.
The Tans were ex-servicemen, many of them scarred from their time in the trenches during…Continue
I grew up on Dublin's northside, in Stoneybatter - one of the five ancient roads to Tara. Now, I live in Wicklow, but still feel the draw of my old hometown. Here's why ...
A friendly nod, a bit of wit,
A pint of plain, that's part of it.
What price freedom? Some people could answer that better than others. When it comes to Irish freedom that price was paid in 1916 in the stonebreakers’ yard of Kilmainham Gaol,…Continue
For quite some time, it appears that I've been surrounding myself with treacherous deeds and hardly been aware of it.
Added by David Lawlor on June 6, 2015 at 4:00am — No Comments
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. – Dylan Thomas