John Anthony Brennan's Blog (102)

Treachery and Betrayal in South Armagh

In July 1690 the last battle fought on Irish soil between two kings played out in the hills and valleys of the Boyne river valley in County Meath, Ireland. The battle was fought between the deposed king James II who was the last Roman Catholic monarch of…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 21, 2018 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

The Human Computer from Donegal

The next time you power up your computer or go to the rifle range, take aim and set your sights on a target off in the distance, knowing that you will hit the target, raise a glass to a ground-breaking Irishwoman from Donegal named…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 6, 2018 at 3:30pm — No Comments

The Firefighter



often find myself thinking about my cousin Michael Brennan. He was a firefighter…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on September 10, 2018 at 3:26am — 11 Comments

The Great Famine of 1315



Five hundred and thirty years before the death and devastation caused in 1847 by An Gorta Mor (The Great Hunger), Ireland suffered an equally horrific event that begun in 1315 and was the first in a series of large-scale disasters that devastated Europe in the 14th century. A continent-wide famine began with…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 27, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments

In the Realm of Spirit: Psalms from a Mountain







In the Realm of Spirit: Psalms from a Mountain

John A. Brennan

Escribe Publishing Inc.

ISBN: 9781722290641 Price: $14.95

https://www.amazon.com/author/johnabrennan

The man sitting in the back row of the…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on July 22, 2018 at 9:30pm — No Comments

The Miami Showband Massacre: The Day The Music Was Silenced

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It is widely accepted that the traditions of music and storytelling in Ireland, are among the most original and earliest forms of communication in Europe. The one thing that truly unites all the differing factions in Ireland is our love of and deep respect for music. Music unites, gladdens and…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on July 13, 2018 at 5:30pm — 14 Comments

Oliver Plunkett, Tomás Ó Fiaich and The Bard of Armagh





This month we remember Irishman Oliver Plunkett, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, who was hung, drawn and quartered, on July 1, 1681 at Tyburn Gallows, London. That barbaric act made him the last Catholic victim martyred as a direct result of the devious ‘Popish…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on July 1, 2018 at 10:13am — 6 Comments

Press Release for 'Turn Out The Light'

Pleased to see my book "Turn Out the Light' was chosen as a finalist in the Eric Hoffer 2018 Book Awards. http://www.hofferaward.com/…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on May 31, 2018 at 8:30pm — No Comments

'Out of the Ice: Ireland Then and Now'



Delighted to learn that my book “Out…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on May 27, 2018 at 8:00pm — 5 Comments

The Bonfires of Beltaine (May Eve)

On the Hill of Uisneach, in a portion of land taken from the province of Connaught, a…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on May 1, 2018 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

The Poet



On this day, April 24, 1916 one of the most important events in the long history of Ireland took place. This is a personal tribute to a handful of dreamers, the brave men and women of Ireland, the poet and the grocer, the tobacconist and the piper, the…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on April 1, 2018 at 5:00pm — 12 Comments

Slaughter in South Armagh

The period between November 1974 and January 1976 was a particularly dark and frightening time around South Armagh. I remember vividly the fear and shock being felt around the area at that time and when McArdles Bar in Crossmaglen was bombed in Nov. 74, leaving one dead and several seriously injured,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on February 2, 2018 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Festival of Imbolc and the Two Brigids

Back in the mists of time, long before the Milesians arrived from Egypt, and even longer before the Celtic tribes came and settled, another ancient tribe inhabited the island of Ireland. The ‘Tuatha De Dannan,’ translated as ‘people of the Goddess…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 30, 2018 at 6:30pm — No Comments

O'Reilly: Fenian Rebel, Convict and Poet

This month in January 1868, after a voyage of 89 days, an infamous convict-ship docked for the last time in Freemantle harbor, Western Australia.

On October 12, 1867,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 25, 2018 at 8:00am — 7 Comments

The Wrenboys

“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…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 26, 2017 at 2:16pm — 2 Comments

The Winter Solstice

This year’s shortest day of the year is on Thursday, 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…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 21, 2017 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Life Along the Border in 1920s Ireland (A Short Story)

He'd had a narrow escape the day before. They had almost caught him and…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 16, 2017 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

An Gorta Mor: The Great Hunger

This year 2017, is the 170th anniversary of the ‘great Hunger’ that befell Ireland in 1847. Otherwise known as ‘an Gorta mor’ or more commonly referred to as ‘Black ‘47’ it was a seminal turning point in the long tortuous history of…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 6, 2017 at 5:00pm — 7 Comments

How the Ancient Irish Oral Tradition Was Saved From Extinction

On a cold, wet evening in 576 AD, a flotilla of small, wave-tossed, leather-covered boats with tattered cloth sails, came to rest on the rocky shores of Lough Foyle close to the modern-day town…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 30, 2017 at 7:00pm — No Comments

The Destruction of Eamhain Mhacha

According to both oral and written traditions, at the beginning of the 4th century A.D., three brothers, known as the Three Collas, rebelled and killed their uncle, the high king of Ireland, Fíacha Sroiptine. This singular barbarous act started a…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 13, 2017 at 10:00pm — 7 Comments

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