On Easter Monday 1916 one of the most important events in the long, tortuous history of Ireland took place. The event, so shocking and bold, is still debated and analysed until this very day. This is a personal tribute to that handful of dreamers and visionaries, the…Continue
In 1782, the ruling Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland were given countrywide self-rule by the British Parliament, greatly increasing the powers of the Irish Parliament, situated at College Green in Dublin. One of the first items addressed by the new parliament was the Trade Agreement that restricted…Continue
There once was a particularly dark time in Ireland when the length of a man's hair determined his fate. If his hair was shorn close to the scalp as opposed to the longer hairstyles of most of Europe at that time, he ran the risk of arrest, interrogation and was often subjected to torture by…Continue
Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 5, 2019 at 6:30pm — No Comments
Much has been written about the period of upheaval and violence that occured in the province of Ulster in the north of Ireland in the 30 years between 1968 and 1998. Unless you were there and lived through the madness, it's likely that you have trouble actually understanding the effects of that terrible period in…Continue
Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 1, 2019 at 7:00pm — No Comments
“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 can then find its rest.
And if your treat be much…
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 England, and William III (William of Orange) the reigning…Continue
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 Kathleen McNulty. She is one of the six original…Continue
Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 6, 2018 at 3:30pm — No Comments
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 heavy rains in the spring of 1315 causing crop failures all…
Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 27, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments
In the Realm of Spirit: Psalms from a Mountain
John A. Brennan
Escribe Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 9781722290641 Price: $14.95
The man sitting in the back row of the meeting room had an uncommon brogue, not the Galway or Clare…Continue
Added by John Anthony Brennan on July 22, 2018 at 9:30pm — No Comments
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 crosses all of the invisible barriers. It knows no boundaries, borders…Continue
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 Plot’ instigated by rogue Clergyman Titus Oates. The so-called…Continue
“If music be the…Continue
Added by John Anthony Brennan on May 31, 2018 at 8:30pm — No Comments
Delighted to learn that my book “Out of the Ice: Ireland Then and Now” has been chosen as an "Award Winning Finalist in the History category of the 2018 International Book Awards."…
On the Hill of Uisneach, in a portion of land taken from the province of Connaught, a fortress was erected by High King Tuathal Teachthmar. Uisneach, believed to be the geographical center of Ireland, was, until…Continue
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 Danu,’ were a supernatural race who came to Ireland with the…Continue
Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 30, 2018 at 6:30pm — No Comments
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, after picking up cargo from Sheerness and Plymouth harbors,…Continue
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 standpoint, the winter solstice means that the two opposite points in the sky…Continue
Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 21, 2017 at 8:30pm — No Comments
He'd had a narrow escape the day before. They had almost caught him and he was lucky that he managed to elude them. An icy cold sweat broke out on his furrowed brow as he…Continue
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 Ireland.With the failure of the potato crop due to a serious blight,…Continue