Brian Nolan's Blog Posts Tagged 'Living History' (9)

Quo Vadis? (Who Are the Irish and Where Are They Going?)

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…

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Added by Brian Nolan on April 3, 2016 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

A 'New' Thatched Cottage in the Claddagh, Galway

I know that many of you have been to Galway (or intend visiting) and I am…

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Added by Brian Nolan on March 10, 2016 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

The Knife Sharpener

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…

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Added by Brian Nolan on June 2, 2015 at 6:30am — 6 Comments

Irish Famine-Era 'Farthing' Sells for $102.50

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…

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Added by Brian Nolan on January 27, 2015 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Burying Baby Jesus: A Galway Christmas Story

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…

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Added by Brian Nolan on December 24, 2014 at 4:00am — 5 Comments

Quid Pro Quo - It's a Question of Money

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…

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Added by Brian Nolan on June 13, 2014 at 6:30am — 6 Comments

Easter Eggs -- A County Galway Tale

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,…

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Added by Brian Nolan on April 22, 2014 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

Erin's Lament - Galway's Gain

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…

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Added by Brian Nolan on April 14, 2014 at 8:00pm — 6 Comments

The Night of the Big Wind - St. Stephen's Day 2013

'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…

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Added by Brian Nolan on December 27, 2013 at 7:00am — 16 Comments

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