Boy, we had us a whopping week of celebrations. There isn't a child in the country who can't now recite the Proclamation, nor an adult that cannot name everyone who fought in the GPO in 1916. We can all quote Yeats and Pearse, Connolly and Casement. We can sing songs that weren't sung in a century, and we can recite thumping…Continue
Every couple of years this man would come to Loughrea, County Galway and set up shop on the footpath outside Molloy's Harp Bar on Main Street. He was an itinerant blade grinder, or knife sharpener.
Folks would get wind he was in town and quickly a queue would…Continue
This farthing coin was recently sold on eBay for $102.50. When it was minted in 1842, as a trading token by James O'Flynn it was worth only a quarter of one penny. James O'Flyn(n) was listed under 'Linen and Woollen Drapers…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
I came across this old election poster from the mid-1950's lately. I was born in 1956, so it resonated a bit. Political comparisons aside, I had totally forgotten how the 'old prices' were written and this poster, with it's comparison chart of commonly purchased items brought back floods of childhood memories to me.
For instance the 1954 price tag of 2/4 for Cigarettes…Continue
With nine million chocolate Easter eggs being eaten in Ireland over Easter, I wondered if our children have any idea what life was like for our parents and grand-parents.
My grandfather, Michael Brody, operated a general store, grocery, hardware,…
Eugene Daly was dreaming, in a deep sleep. In the dream, he was playing his uileann pipes to a rapturous audience of dancers in the ship's sumptuous main ballroom. He played like a man possessed, jigs and reels, in perfect pitch. The audience were thrilled. All of a sudden he panicked and woke. He had woken up to the sound of water lapping under his bunk. Unused to…Continue
'Oiche na Gaoithe Moire' - The night of the big wind! That phrase usually refers to one of the most devastating hurricanes that ever hit Ireland, which made land during the night of Little Christmas, on the 6th of January 1839, almost 174 years ago, just before the outbreak of the…Continue