December 2021 Blog Posts (17)

This Week in the History of the Irish: December 26 - January 1

LUAIN -- On December 27, 1969, Dan Breen, one of the most famous IRA leaders during Ireland's War of Independence, died in Dublin. Breen was born in Grange, Donohill, Co. Tipperary, on Aug. 11, 1894. He joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1912 and the Irish Volunteers in 1914.…

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Added by The Wild Geese on December 29, 2021 at 11:30am — No Comments

The Patriot Game

by Mike McCormack, NYAOH Historian Emeritus

On New Year’s Day in 1957, an event occurred that is remembered in song to this day. It all began after World War II brought change to Northern Ireland as Loyalists and Nationalists shared the same bomb shelters breaking down the barriers of prejudice erected to keep them divided. The war also created a small measure of prosperity that satisfied many grievances. After the war in 1945,…

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Added by Mike McCormack on December 26, 2021 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Hunting the Druid's Bird.

“The wran, the wran, the king of all birds,

on Stephen's day was caught in the furze.

His body is little but his family is sweet

so rise up landlady and give us a treat.

And if your treat be of the best

your soul in heaven can then find its rest.

And if your treat be…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 25, 2021 at 7:26pm — 2 Comments

The Maynooth Battery

If you should someday find yourself in County Louth, Ireland, and if you have some time on your hands, it would be worthwhile if you visited the small village of Darver and the historic Darver Castle. The village is part of the …

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 23, 2021 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

'Reamonn': Stories From Irish Life as a Young Man in England

This is my first Blog post, so I'll start with an introduction, and future blogs will just be about the episodes and individuals

Nation of Storytellers Podcast

I have started a podcast that aims to capture the stories and storytellers of Ireland, in the hope that it…

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Added by Joey Levins on December 23, 2021 at 7:00am — No Comments

The Winter Solstice in Ireland

This year’s shortest day of the year is on Tuesday, 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, the winter solstice means that the two opposite points in the sky…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 20, 2021 at 12:25pm — No Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: December 18 - December 25

DOMHNAIGH -- On December 19, 1877, Land League organizer Michael Davitt was released from Dartmoor Prison. Davitt, revolutionary and agrarian agitator, was born in Straide, County Mayo. Davitt's family was evicted from their small farm when he was just a boy. After they emigrated to England,…

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Added by The Wild Geese on December 18, 2021 at 9:12pm — No Comments

The Miami Showband Massacre: Horror in the Dead of Night

Miami Showband Massacre victims and relatives to receive nearly £1.5m in damages. While the four Miami Showband plaintiffs will receive the paltry amount of approx. £300k in damages each, there was no admission of liability.…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 14, 2021 at 4:30pm — 16 Comments

The Sweetest Part of Christmas

After two rather miserable years of smaller gatherings and quieter celebrations, we can all only hope that Christmas 2021 will be the merriest of all — fingers crossed! I assume the Christmas cakes have been baked by now, but there’s still loads of time to make a yummy…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 14, 2021 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Under the Mistletoe

Kissing a wife or lover under the mistletoe at Christmas is derived from an old Roman custom that honored the god Saturn. The Romans associated mistletoe with peace, love, and understanding and hung it over doorways to protect the household, as well as protection from witches and demons. Hanging…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 13, 2021 at 11:30am — No Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: December 12 - December 18

LUAIN -- On Dec. 13, 1862, the Irish Brigade of the Army of the Potomac suffered horrendous casualties as they assaulted massed Confederates firing from within a sunken road beneath Marye's Heights during the Battle of…

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Added by The Wild Geese on December 11, 2021 at 5:30pm — No Comments

The Anglo-Irish Treaty

One hundred years ago, on 6 December 1921 a treaty was signed with the British government that was to end Ireland’s 3-year war of independence and grant a measure of autonomy to Ireland. It was to be fully implemented by March 31, 1922, and the fighting would end; it had…

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Added by Mike McCormack on December 8, 2021 at 1:00pm — No Comments

The Battle of Cúl Dreimhne (Battle of the Book)

St. Colmcille, also known as St. Columba, was born on this day Dec. 7 in 521 AD in Gartan, modern day County Donegal, Ireland.…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 7, 2021 at 1:26pm — 2 Comments

Celebrating Mairgead Mór

In addition to offering a wide-range of holiday recipes in my new cookbook, Festive Flavors of Ireland, you’ll also enjoy reading about many long-standing, often bygone, Irish holiday traditions at the end of each chapter. Brian Nolan, a Loughrea, County Galway native,…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 7, 2021 at 7:30am — No Comments


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World War II Ace Tom Lynch: Chasing Rickenbacker

The beautiful blue water of Aitape Harbor on the northern coast of New Guinea sparkled not far below them as Lieutenant Colonel Tom Lynch and Captain Richard Bong made tight turns to bring their twin-engine P-38 “Lightning” fighters around. They had just made a strafing run on a group of six Japanese barges and left one on fire.…

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Added by Joe Gannon on December 5, 2021 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: December 5 - December 11

LUAIN -- In the early morning hours of December 6, 1921, representatives of the Irish government appointed by President Eamon de Valera, and those negotiating for the Crown signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty, ending the Irish War of Independence against Great Britain.…

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Added by The Wild Geese on December 4, 2021 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Oliver Cromwell: Lord "Protector"

Oliver Cromwell, one of the most reviled characters in Irish history, was an English military and political leader and the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was born in April 1599 and his father was Robert Cromwell. For the first forty years he led a…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 2, 2021 at 3:30pm — No Comments

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