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'Painted Clans,'

Commemorating YOUR Family's HistoryRead More

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William 'Whack' Ryan

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Blog Posts

This Week in the History of the Irish: June 23 - June 29

Posted by The Wild Geese on June 23, 2019 at 12:30am 0 Comments

LUAIN -- On June 24, 1797, John Hughes, the first archbishop of New York, was born in Annaloghlan, County Tyrone. Hughes emigrated to the United States in 1817 and was ordained in Maryland in 1826. Appointed bishop in New York in 1842 and archbishop in 1850, Hughes was a fierce defender…


A Short History of Michael Collins, Ireland's 'Big Fellow'

Posted by That's Just How It Was on June 8, 2019 at 2:07pm 19 Comments

One of the most iconic figures that emerged out of the Easter Rising was Michael Collins. Born in 1890, he was the third son in a family of eight children. Some sources would suggest that the Collins family were part of a very ancient clan who were widely spread over County Cork. 

Collins' father did not marry…


Hy Brasil, Songs of the Irish in Latin America

Posted by Charles G O' Brien on June 1, 2019 at 9:30am 0 Comments

I'm a musician by trade but have also worked a good bit in documentary film over the last few years. Hy Brasil, as well as being the title of my new album, is an island from Irish mythology. "That shadowy isle" appeared on maps until the 1860's until they realised that it wasn't there at all, as…


The Kilmallock Barracks Attack: Burning Down the House in Limerick

Posted by Joe Gannon on May 27, 2019 at 2:00am 3 Comments

Tomás Malone (aka Seán Forde) looked down at the gaping hole in the roof of the Kilmallock, County Limerick RIC barracks and hurled another Mills Bomb into it, waiting for the explosion and hoping that this time he would see the roof explode in flames. They had thrown several gasoline filled bottles into the gaping hole already from their perch in a…


Potatoes: The Stuff of Greatness

Posted by Margaret M. Johnson on May 24, 2019 at 10:00am 0 Comments

I’m writing this post from Dublin, where I’m finishing up another great visit to Ireland. You know what that means? I’ve had potatoes [nearly] for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in as many shapes and textures as one can imagine: fried potatoes for breakfast, chips to go with fish at lunch,…


Castlebar Honors Native Son, Inventor Extraordinaire

Posted by Brían Hoban on May 15, 2019 at 6:00pm 0 Comments

Louis Philip Brennan was born on Main Street, Castlebar, County Mayo, on January 28, 1852, the 10th child of Thomas Brennan, a hardware merchant in the town. 

After the death of at least five of his older siblings…


Review: 'The Labour Hercules' by Jeffrey Leddin

Posted by DJ Kelly on May 7, 2019 at 3:30am 0 Comments

THE LABOUR HERCULES: The Irish Citizen Army and Irish Republicanism 1913-1923

[Irish Academic Press ISBN: 9781788550741]

Jeffrey Leddin’s latest book charts the rise and activities of Irish Labour’s first urban working-class militia. The Irish…


Eugene Daly: Westmeath Piper Barely Survives Titanic's Sinking

Posted by Joe Gannon on May 3, 2019 at 9:00pm 5 Comments

It had been about a half hour since 29-year-old Eugene Daly had been startled awake from his bunk on the Titanic by the strange screeching noise. As he came up the stairway and emerged on the 3rd class well-deck near the bow, what he saw filled his heart with dread. He…


'Mad Mike' Hoare Turns 100 Years Old

Posted by Christopher Sean Hoare on April 12, 2019 at 8:30am 0 Comments

Mad Mike’ Hoare believed you get more out of life by living dangerously. And yet about 35 family and friends gathered in Durban, South Africa, on 17 March, St Patrick’s Day, to honour Mike as he turned 100 years old. Among them were five of the Wild Geese who fought with him in the Congo in the…


The Poet

Posted by John Anthony Brennan on April 21, 2019 at 5:00am 12 Comments

On Easter Monday 1916 one of the most important events in the long, tortuous history of Ireland took place. The event, so shocking and bold, is still debated and analysed until this very day. This is a personal tribute to that  handful of dreamers and visionaries, the…



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