Geneticists at Trinity College, Dublin have recently discovered that the Irish gene pool is the least diluted in all of Europe if not indeed, the world. They have also discovered that the Irish traveling people (tinkers) are purely Irish and date back to the nomadic hunter gatherers.The discovery of the Fox P2 gene which is high in the Irish DNA and controls the ability to express using the voice, has also been found in songbirds.

A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Jeanne D’Brant for her invaluable help and tireless research on this important subject 

My mother, Ellen O’Connor, was born in Kilmallock, County Limerick.

My father, Malachy Brennan, was born in Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

I was born in Croom, County Limerick, the home of the Maigue poets.

The Fox the Bird and the Poet 

Dedicated to Author/Actor, Malachy McCourt a fellow Limerick-man. 

In the age when the Maigue, flowing broad from the Shannon, winding slow through the ‘sloping place’ of Crom Dubh, right there, right on that spot, it all changed forever. For it was there that the Long-ships carrying the sons of Thor along its’ looped course, stopped below the fastness, sited high above the grassed banks and sent the Linnet skyward from the heather, in frightful flight. And it was there, right on that spot, where O’Donovan parleyed, swore fealty and ruled in safety with the invasive Dane. And it was there that O’Connor encircled the ramparts at Rathmore, burned the enclosures and routed the pretenders. And it was there that the Norman puppet masters, with their Welsh and Flemish bowmen in tow, installed the Geraldines to rule in lieu. And it was there that Red Hugh, after the night time march across the frozen bogs, en-route to meet the Spaniard, met first with the Countess from Kildare. And it was there too that the hedge masters of Kilmallock gathered and birthed the written and spoken native tongue. Thus it was that the Fil Na Maigue rhyme was infused with life’s’ breath and it was then, right then, on that very spot, in that very place, that the ‘Limerick’ was born. 

* * * *

The two founders of the Maigue Poets in Croom were Sean O’ Tuama and his friend Andrias MacRaith. Both men grew up together in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. O’Tuama went on to become a publican. After the two men had a falling out they began castigating each other in rhyme. Below are believed to be the first ‘Limericks’ written.

O’Tuama wrote: 

“I sell the best Brandy and Sherry
to make all my customers merry.
But at times their finances
run short as it chances.
And then I feel very sad, very.”

MacCraith replied: 

“O’Tuama, you boast yourself handy,
at selling good ale and bright Brandy,
But the fact is your liquor
makes everyone sicker
I tell you this I, your good friend Andy.”

Quoted from “The History of Croom.” 

From  "The Journey: A Nomad Reflects."

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Also for Sale:

Don’t Die with Regrets: Ireland and the Lessons my Father Taught Me.

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Tags: History of Ireland, Kildare, Limerick, Literature, Poetry

Comment by Bit Devine on September 23, 2014 at 12:50pm

So the Irish & the Song birds carry a similar gene.... that explains so much, doesn't it, a chara...

Comment by John Anthony Brennan on September 23, 2014 at 12:52pm

Yes indeed it does Bit. It explains it all.

Comment by Pamela Wrigley Schneider on September 24, 2014 at 12:29pm
How interesting and what sense of humor in the two poets...
Comment by John Anthony Brennan on September 24, 2014 at 12:59pm

Yes the humor is the key......

Founding Member
Comment by John M. Walsh on September 24, 2014 at 6:00pm

John Brennan has ancient Ireland coursing through his blood.  "Installed the Geraldines to rule in lieu": Who can write like that except John Brennan.  A cataract, not a bird, is John Brennan.

Comment by John Anthony Brennan on September 24, 2014 at 6:39pm

Thank you for the kind words John. As I said at Hofstra, a gift only works when we pass it on.


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