"He nothing common did or mean
Upon that memorable scene:
But with his keener eye
'You look like the wreck of the Hesperus' was a much-used phrase in our house in Loughrea, 20 miles from the sea at Galway Bay. Boys, well you know boys, they never comb their hair, never wash their hands, wear the same clothes forever. . . . You know the type, and obstinately oblivious of their appearance. In Ireland,…Continue
I was reminded of what little credit I give sometimes Ireland's forgotten writers and poets, especially those who wrote in Irish, 'as Gaeilge'. This struck home when I read again Galway's blind…Continue
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, has just published four new folios of research into the period of The Irish Famine under the collective title Famine Folios.
These compelling essays take a fresh and…Continue
My dad, Guard John Murphy (Killimor, Ballinasloe) died in Our Lady’s Hospice (Harold’s Cross, Dublin) aged forty-four, leaving my mother, aged thirty-nine, with ten children aged two and a half to eighteen years old.
On Christmas Eve of 1945, we spent most…Continue
On a sunny afternoon in the early 1960s, a Canadian sea-plane touched down on the silvery-grey waters of Loughrea lake, taxied to a jetty and tied off. The children swimming at Long Point were distracted for a while but quickly returned to doggy-paddle and soccer on that…Continue
Over most of Western Europe, particularly in those areas connected with the ancient Celts, December 21, the shortest day of the year fell during the Druidic festival of 'Yule'. Today it is better known as the festival of the ‘Winter Solstice’.
‘Thoul’, an ancient word for…Continue