John Anthony Brennan's Blog (87)

Thomas Addis Emmet: Twice a Rebel

Today we remember with pride, the great Irish patriot Robert Emmet who led an Irish Rebellion which occurred on this day 23 July 1803, 214 years ago. Robert Emmet had an equally patriotic brother who took part in not one but two rebellions. I recount his fascinating…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on July 23, 2017 at 7:50pm — 2 Comments

Oliver Plunkett, Tomás Ó Fiaich and The Bard of Armagh

Remembering Oliver Plunkett this month.

On July 1, 1681 at Tyburn Gallows, London, Irishman Oliver Plunkett, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland was hung, drawn and quartered, the last Catholic victim martyred as a direct result…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on July 2, 2017 at 5:30pm — 6 Comments

Press Release for 'Turn Out The Light'

If music be the food of love, play on,

give me excess of it that surfeiting, the

appetite may sicken, and so die.”…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on June 17, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

John Boyle O'Reilly: Fenian Rebel, Convict and Poet

*This week in June 1876, John Boyle O'Reilly received news of the successful escape of six Fenian prisoners from Australia on board the ship Catalpa. O'Reilly had played a major part in the escape plans. (JAB)

On October 12, 1867, after…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on June 8, 2017 at 6:13pm — 7 Comments

Requiem for Bobby

This is a humble tribute to a kindred spirit, poet, musician, soldier and far, far braver man than I could ever hope to be. While adhering to the ancient Gaelic ‘Brehon Law of Fasting,’ Bobby took no food or water for sixty-six days in pursuit of his quest…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on May 4, 2017 at 8:00pm — 11 Comments

The Poet

*note

This is a personal tribute to a handful of dreamers, the brave men and women of Ireland, the poet and the grocer, the tobacconist and the piper, the…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on April 15, 2017 at 6:30pm — 12 Comments

The Great Assembly at Tara (Part 4 of 4)

In the last week of July 431 A.D., Patricius left his residence at Ard Mhacha and traveled with his retinue south toward the kingdom of Midhe. He had been summoned, by royal decree, to a meeting with the reigning monarch, king Laoghaire…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on April 1, 2017 at 9:00pm — 10 Comments

The Equinox: Sunrise in the Bru Na Boinne

*note

An equinox is an astronomical event in which the Earth's equator passes through the center of the Sun. When this happens, day and night are of equal length around the world. These were extremely important dates for the ancients…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 19, 2017 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

Patricius the Roman

Could I have come to Ireland without thought of God, merely in my own interest? Who was it made me come? For here I am a prisoner of the Spirit so that I may not see any of my family. Can it be out of the kindness of my heart that I carry out such…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 16, 2017 at 5:00pm — No Comments

The Great Assembly at Tara (Part 3)

In the Great Hall, the attendees had begun to arrive and take their seats. King Laoghaire, already seated in his royal chair in the middle of the hall, was surrounded by his ten hand-picked individuals who attended him at all times and included a “high…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 9, 2017 at 5:00pm — No Comments

The Great Assembly at Tara (Part 2)

Druid Lochra’s prophecy: 

"A tailcenn (baldhead) will come over the raging sea, with his perforated garments, his crook-headed staff, with his table (altar) at the east end of his house, and all the people…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 3, 2017 at 3:00pm — 8 Comments

The Great Assembly at Tara (Part 1)

In 431 A.D. and three days after the festival of Lughnasagh, a lone figure stood, head bowed in contemplation, next to one of five carefully positioned chairs, in the Great Assembly Hall at Tara…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on February 25, 2017 at 3:30pm — 10 Comments

Ireland and the Spanish Armada: A Story of Survival

On a cold, stark night in August 1588, as a fierce gale subsided and the clouds slowly parted, light from a full autumn moon revealed a horrific scene strewn along the shoreline of Streedagh Strand in County Sligo, Ireland. The…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 10, 2017 at 3:30pm — 13 Comments

The Founding of Royal Mide

Most people today will tell you, if you ask, that there are four provinces in Ireland, namely, Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught. What many people are not aware of is the fact that in the distant past, there were actually five…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 27, 2016 at 12:00am — 6 Comments

The Winter Solstice

This year’s shortest day of the year is on Wednesday, December 21, which will also mark the longest night of the year. Every year, the winter solstice marks the turn of the calendar as autumn ends and the winter begins. From an astronomical standpoint,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 21, 2016 at 1:00am — 2 Comments

The Battle of Cúl Dreimhne (Battle of the Book)

In early Christian Ireland the old Druidic tradition collapsed due to the spread of the Christian faith. The study and learning of Latin, coupled with the new Christian theology in monasteries, was flourishing. In 561 AD a seminal event…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 19, 2016 at 7:30pm — 2 Comments

In Time for Christmas

'Christmas is coming; the goose is…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 15, 2016 at 11:30pm — 2 Comments

The Slaughter at Magh Cru (Field of Blood)

The following story tells of a seminal event that took place in Ireland during the latter half of the first century A.D., and which set in motion a chain of events that would influence and forever change the political and economic landscapes of Ireland,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 10, 2016 at 5:00pm — 6 Comments

John Winston Lennon: Gone But Not Forgotten

Dear John, 

You were a rebel from the beginning and could not have been any other way. You got your survival instincts from your grandparents, who were from County Down, Ireland.

After you were born,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 8, 2016 at 5:00pm — 14 Comments

Ask Not Why

'My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.' -- JFK…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on November 21, 2016 at 12:00am — 13 Comments

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