John Anthony Brennan's Blog (116)

The Botanist from Rathmines.

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This year 2020, is the 173rd anniversary of the ‘great Hunger’ that befell Ireland with the horror culminating 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.

Of the many devastating events that the Irish nation endured during its…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on September 12, 2020 at 3:34pm — No Comments

The Firefighter



often find myself thinking about my cousin Michael Brennan. He was a firefighter assigned to the Pride of Midtown firehouse in Manhattan. I first met…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on September 10, 2020 at 10:54am — 11 Comments

The Norman Invasion of Ireland

The dispossession of Diarmait Mac Murchada, the high king of Leinster, from his lands by the High king of Munster, Ruari O'Connor, eventually led to the ouster of my ancestors the O'Brannains from their lands and the…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on August 23, 2020 at 10:00pm — 7 Comments

The Miami Showband Massacre: Horror in the Dead of Night

Much has been written about the period of upheaval, sectarian hatred and relentless bloodshed that occurred 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…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on July 31, 2020 at 1:00am — 14 Comments

An Gorta Mor Remembered in Dublin

On this day May 17, 2020 a National Commemoration took place in St Stephen's Green in Dublin city centre in remembrance of the events that took place in Ireland 174…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on May 17, 2020 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The Great Assembly at Tara (Part 4 of 4)

In the last week of July 431 A.D., Patricius left his residence at Ard Mhacha and traveled with his retinue south toward the kingdom of Midhe. He had been summoned, by royal decree, to a meeting with the reigning monarch, king Laoghaire Mac Neill at the court at Tara. His journey would take…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 16, 2020 at 10:30am — 10 Comments

The Great Assembly at Tara (Part 3)

In the Great Hall, the attendees had begun to arrive and take their seats. King Laoghaire, already seated in his royal chair in the middle of the hall, was surrounded by his ten hand-picked individuals who attended him at all times and included a “high ranking Nobleman to be his companion; a Brehon judge to…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 12, 2020 at 12:00pm — 3 Comments

The Great Assembly at Tara (Part 2)

Druid Lochra’s prophecy: 

"A tailcenn (baldhead) will come over the raging sea, with his perforated garments, his crook-headed staff, with his table (altar) at the east end of his house, and all the people will answer 'Amen! Amen!"

Soon after Laoghaire Mac…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on March 8, 2020 at 4:00pm — 10 Comments

Geneva Barracks: Death Camp in Waterford

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…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 9, 2019 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

The Croppies

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,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on January 5, 2019 at 6:30pm — No 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 can then find its rest.

And if your treat be…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on December 26, 2018 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

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 England, and William III (William of Orange) the reigning…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 21, 2018 at 9:00am — 4 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 Kathleen McNulty. She is one of the six original…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 6, 2018 at 3:30pm — No 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 heavy rains in the spring of 1315 causing crop failures all…

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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 meeting room had an uncommon brogue, not the Galway or Clare…

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

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

If music be the…

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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 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."…

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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 fortress was erected by High King Tuathal Teachthmar. Uisneach, believed to be the geographical center of Ireland, was,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on May 1, 2018 at 9:00am — 2 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 Danu,’ were a supernatural race who came to Ireland with the…

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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

On June 28, 1844 John Boyle O’Reilly, author, poet, and republican was born in Dowth Castle, Co. Meath. Ireland

On October 12, 1867, after picking up cargo from Sheerness and Plymouth harbors, a fully rigged, 875-ton frigate, cast off from her moorings at Portsmouth on the south coast…

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

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