'Remember, remember the fifth of November, the Gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason why the Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.'
James I was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a great-great-grandson of Henry VII,…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 15, 2016 at 9:30pm — No Comments
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
Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 12, 2016 at 10:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
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.…Continue
“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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue