John Anthony Brennan's Blog (104)

The Gunpowder Plot ... Remember, Remember

'Remember, remember the fifth of November, the Gunpowder treason and plot.

I know of no reason why the Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.'

The Background

James I was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a great-great-grandson of Henry VII,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on November 4, 2016 at 7:00pm — 10 Comments

'The Journey: A Nomad Reflects'

Delighted and Honored to have my second book recognized.…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 29, 2016 at 3:30pm — 10 Comments

'Don't Die with Regrets: Ireland and the Lessons My Father Taught Me'

Delighted and Honored to have my first book recognized.…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 29, 2016 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

Samhain: Celtic New Beginning.

In the early evening they would gather in the grove, beneath the sheltering embrace of the sacred white oak tree. The Master had carefully dowsed the area, and had chosen it for the serene beauty and peaceful aura. The salmon-filled, crystal clear waters of the river wound a course through…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 27, 2016 at 8:30pm — 9 Comments

Chancing One's Arm

In 1492, the same year that Christopher Columbus purportedly discovered the New World, an incident, with far reaching effects, took place in a chapter house attached to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. The incident ended a long running and bloody feud between two of Ireland’s most powerful dynasties, the FitzGeralds…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 10, 2016 at 7:00pm — 8 Comments

Enter the Vikings: The Assault of Lambay Island

*note

Toward the end of the 8th Century A.D., Ireland was almost completely Gaelic and Christian. It was a rural society, with no towns or cities, and the only large settlements were hamlets that grew up around monasteries. The…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on September 19, 2016 at 1:30pm — 14 Comments

The Destruction of the Kingdom of Brega

Ask most people who they believe were the first group of foreigners to launch highly organized, violent raids in Ireland, and more often than not, they will say it was the Vikings, who raided Lambay Island in 795 A.D. What many people are not aware of is the fact that a century before the emergence of the Vikings, an equally…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on September 14, 2016 at 7:30pm — 6 Comments

A Brief History of Poetry in Ireland

And there are among them composers of verses whom they call Bards; these singing to instruments similar to a lyre, applaud some, while they vituperate others. -- Diodorus Siculus, 8 BCE

All poets have the uncanny ability to tap into the realm of spirit. It is a gift…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on September 12, 2016 at 6:00pm — 4 Comments

The Rock

It looked sad and forlorn sitting by the side of the Creamery road as though it knew that it had long been abandoned. I first noticed it one rainy afternoon when I was almost seven years old and I can still vividly recall the sweet scent of wild honeysuckle, hanging heavily on the air that…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 31, 2016 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

Monaghan Born John Robert Gregg: Triumph Against all Odds.

One morning, in late summer, a young boy set off eagerly, on his journey of life. Brimming with excitement, his eyes shone with innocent anticipation. He was going to school for the first time! He was going to learn new and wondrous things! The boy had dreamt and looked forward to this day for as long as he could remember, And…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 30, 2016 at 2:30pm — 10 Comments

The Belfastman Who Challenged Einstein

I was lying on the couch one lazy Sunday evening ‘channel surfing,’ and doing my utmost to avoid the news channels. I find that watching the news these days only deepens my brooding sense of melancholia and re-awakens the primal urge to run away, wrap myself in animal skins and take…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 28, 2016 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

She: A Dedication to the Muse

Within the written she resides 

in quiet assurance of her place. 

Lithe and languid, with regal mien, 

she glides from the page bearing gifts.

The mantle, flowing through the ages,

envelops her in verity profound.

Gently musing all the while, 

in soft tones of…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 26, 2016 at 8:30pm — 8 Comments

The Journey: A Nomad Reflects

Press Release - Oct 22, 2015 15:36 EDT

Author John A. Brennan's Psalms of a Traveling Man

Author John A. Brennan has just penned his latest poetry collection entitled "The Journey:…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 16, 2016 at 2:30pm — 4 Comments

Can You Hear me Now: A Trans-Atlantic Connection.

The next time you make a trans-Atlantic phone call, raise a glass, smile and tip your hat to an ingenious Irishman; a man that Charles Darwin once described as being “like an odious specter.” This man had incurred the wrath of Darwin for daring to oppose…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 15, 2016 at 9:30pm — No Comments

The Meadow Ballet

 

Say what you like about him but my ‘oul man could handle a scythe.

Swing it with the easy grace of a matador in a bullring in Barcelona.

Could turn and pivot, sure of foot, like a lithe ballerina on the stage

at the Bolshoi. The grass, defeated with surgical precision, fell in

complete…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 12, 2016 at 10:00pm — No Comments

The Poet's Glen and Creggan Vale

Three of Ireland’s well-loved 18th century Gaelic poets lie at rest in the graveyard of Creggan Church, near to my hometown of Crossmaglen, County Armagh. The poets, Filid Art Mc Cooey, Padraig MacAliondain and the rapparee poet Seamus mor MacMurphy sleep under the oaks and elms in the company…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 7, 2016 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Gullion: Mountain of Steep Slopes

I am Gullion, old as time itself, older than the pre-dawn of life, forged in the crucible of a ring of fire, before man existed. Up here the air is pure and fresh and crisp as the frost of winter’s breath. I’ve seen it all from up here, here by the bottomless lake, here beside the elevated cairns and high burial places.…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 6, 2016 at 10:30pm — 10 Comments

Mars, Bars and Scars

Have you ever been to Mars?” I was asked one morning at 2am as I made my way up east 81st. street in Manhattan. I was returning home from a night out at Manny’s Car Wash, a favorite blues bar on 2nd avenue. I stopped and heard it again, louder this time, “Have you ever been to Mars?” Looking around I couldn’t see anyone and…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 30, 2016 at 10:30pm — 7 Comments

The Rise and Fall of Ireland's Hiring Fairs

Above, this map shows the spread of the 'Black Death.'

A silent, unseen killer, born on the arid plains of Central Asia, attached itself to the rampaging Mongol armies, and traveled with them purposefully, along the Silk Road, arriving in the Crimea in 1343. The killer then boarded the myriad of…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on November 17, 2015 at 9:00pm — 8 Comments

Dubliner Samuel Geoghegan: Guinness Brewery Engineer

Picture courtesy of Guinness Archives: Left to right, back row J. Brigden, S. Geoghegan, F.West, J.Parr, L.Witz, P. Fleisher, G.H.Sayer, Swanson, G.S. Green.

Doctor Arthur Price, Archbishop of…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 22, 2015 at 5:30am — 9 Comments

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