Grosse Isle and the Great Famine

Grosse Isle and the Great Famine

Grosse Isle was another tragedy made possible from the great famine, a mass death and heartbreaking tale of desparation continued from Ireland across the sea.

Any local from Dublin will tell you there was no famine but  there was …

a potato blight which destroyed the only food the British  allowed us enough land f to grow our own food from‘ It was more of a terrible hunger,  for if not for the British shipping every morsel of food out of our own country, there would be no famine at all..”

Famine shipsSeeing no other way to survive the famine, the Irish fled to America and Canada, bringing with them the lice in their clothes that created the dreaded ship fever (typhus) . Most knew absolutely nothing about the ocean. Nothing about ship travel, or how to prepare for their journey. Many died on board as surely as they would have died of the famine. Only the healthiest survived to land in Quebec or New  York City.

What happened at Grosse Isle  In the winter of 1847?

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Tale of the Great Sham

Tale of the Great Sham and The Land League of Ireland

By Liam Brennan

The height of the Land War (1879-1882) saw the founding of the Ladies Land League in Ireland. The League was the forerunner for other organizations  such as Inghinidhe na hEireann and Cumann na mBan. Anna Parnell, one of the Anglo-Irish protestant elite, was their leader. Anna’s League was not just for fund-raising or a stand-in until the men of the Land League returned from prison. It was Anna who showed women how to fight for what they believed in. Both the Men’s and the Ladies Land League supported withholding rent from landlords and boycotting but more importantly the ladies helped support evicted tenants and oversaw the building of new shelters . For a considerable time the Anna Parnell never received the credit she deserved, second to her more famous brother, Charles Stewart Parnell.

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Travel Ireland and 7 Mistakes to Avoid

7 Mistakes To Avoid When You Travel Ireland

No matter how many trips I’ve taken, booked flights, travel plans, accommodations, scoped out my itinerary for the most historical Irish travel sites, I am inclined to do what every other human being on the planet does and that is make mistakes.

#1 Don’t forget your wallet or purse when you travel Ireland.

But seriously, who would do such a thing?

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Patrick Taylor, Irish Doctor Turned Novelist

Patrick Taylor, Irish Doctor Turned Novelist

Patrick Taylor, best-selling author of the Irish Country Doctor series, had this to say when asked what he wanted on his tombstone. He wasn’t a bad fella. Pretty simple message, eh? Interviewing this highly respected Irish doctor and medical researcher turned novelist, I found him anything but simple. While we were on the subject of his eventual demise, Patrick told me a story. “When I told my daughter I planned to be cremated, she told me she knew what to do with my ashes; she planned to add them to the septic tank because she said I was always full of shit.”  I laughed. As a writer myself, I interpret this to mean Patrick Taylor has oodles of imagination and creativity, a fine compliment in my book. I hope Patrick agrees with my assessment.

Patrick Taylor

Visiting by phone, myself in Western New York and Patrick Taylor on Salt Spring Island, near Vancouver, British Columbia, I found himself to be generous with his time, charming, and good company. A true Irishman. The following is a record of our conversation.

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How Beer Saved Ireland

How Beer Saved Ireland

 After all England had done to Ireland and the history of the Great Hunger barely a hundred years before, I was floored when I found something through my research for 100 Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland. Great Britain wrought what some would call heartless vengeance onto her own people once again.

Belfast Air Raids, WWII

Belfast Air Raids, WWII

During the Second World War, Ireland remained neutral, despite the fact Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, which was deeply engaged in mortal combat with Germany.

This decision did not bode well with England. In fact, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England was furious and resented Ireland’s neutrality. In an effort to bring Ireland into the war, he implemented several strategic actions by controlling ports and shipping supplies to Ireland. These strategies had disastrous consequences, hitting the Irish population at its poorest.

Churchill at deskWith the European conflict raging, Churchill prepared to deliver several embargoes that would devastate Ireland; that is until she brought out her secret weapon to defend herself. Check out the facts below.

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Ireland Away Giveaway and The Troubles

 Ireland Away Giveaway and the Troubles

The violence of the Troubles in Northern Ireland  cannot be overlooked in Irish history so this post is dedicated to that subject.

In honor of the loyal readers of Celticthoughts.com,. There are over 900 now and the numbers grow consistently day by day, I am running a giveaway in June. I will be in Ireland in July so winners will be announced upon my return.  Gifts range from Irish books set in Ireland, Irish jewelry, gifts and a very special prize from Patrick Taylor, his newest not yet published book called Only Wounded about the Troubles in Belfast by Patrick Taylor. He has graciously agreed to donate an autographed copy of his new book. To be entered into the drawing, simply comment on any post in the month of June or subscribe on the home page to Celticthoughts.com.

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How To Learn the Irish Language in Bitesize Bits

How To Learn the Irish Language in Bitesize Bits

I have been curious about the Irish language but confess to thinking it is something so daunting, so out of my reach, that I have not even tried to learn much about it. I have heard there are Gaeltacht regions where the Irish language is spoken not only in Ireland but in specific parts of the world, which leads me to believe this is a another part of Irish culture that simply could not be erased from the Irish identity no matter now hard the English tried.  I’ve also learned recently that the Irish language is over 2000 years old. I find that amazing.  So how can one learn about this unique part of Irish culture? I looked for someone who is an expert to answer my questions. and low and behold I didn’t have to look far because Eoin, the owner of Bitesize Irish Gaelic, actually found me. See interview about 100 Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland. The link is below book cover photos.

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Travel Ireland for $50 A Day!

Travel Ireland for $50 A Day

Yes, you heard me right! If you’ve always wanted to travel to Ireland, see the rolling green hills, tour an Irish castle or enjoy the music of an Irish pub that the dream is closer than you think. Irish currency

But I’m not rich, you say? You don’t have to be. I’m going to show you how to travel Ireland on less than it costs to go out to dinner and a movie. 

 

To begin with, I’ve researched one day in Dublin, including 3 meals, a friendly place to sleep for the night and even take in some sightseeing, all for less than $50 a day!

Dublin and LIffeyA hostel will run you about $12 to $18 a night for a single person in a room sharing. For more private accommodation $15 to $35. Pretty cheap huh? Even the lowest grade hotels in the U.S are not this cheap. Travel to Ireland instead.

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An Irish Solution To An American Victory

America was built by the Irish.

I’ve said that before but did you know the grass-roots of this fine country, the very fiber of America, the existence of the American government, the life blood that makes America great is due largely in part because of Irish Revolutionary soldiers followed by a few Scots and Scots/Irish, though to be fair, many of the Scots fought for the British and there is at least one notable Irishman in the British army.

Revolution Scots Irish Without these brave Irish men, America would likely not exist, which is why George Washington (the father of America and her first general)  loved his Irish soldiers.

washington general

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