The Luck of the Irish in the New Year
War on women in Ireland
After the Easter Rising, the Irish Republican Brotherhood,( soon to become the IRA) targeted RIC officials with violence and murder. On the suggestion of Winston Churchill, the Black and Tans were formed in 1918 to assist the RIC to get rid of the IRA, or so they thought. They roamed free looking for vengeance. They committed murder, lead a reign of terror and violence throughout Ireland. The easiest targets were women, especially in the more rural parts of Ireland. To remain secret, they attacked after curfew dragging men and women out of their beds in the middle of the night..
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..”
Seeing 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?
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.
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.
A landlord is a man who has property or keeps lodgings to whom tenants pay a fixed rent. The operative word here is fixed, something an Irish landlord had complete will to establish as he wished, often using his immense power to do just that. Many Irish landlords were cruel and looking to make a good buck at the expense of poor Irish peasantry but that was not always the case and one has to understand the situation of the times.
Several things contributed to the disaster so to put all the blame on landlords, perhaps is too simplistic an explanation. Not for the first time, the potato crop failed in the mid nineteenth century. This was the staple of the poor Irish diet. Along with widespread famine, all other crops were exported out of Ireland, the prices increased as well, and store houses of grain kept locked while the British government adopted a Laissez-faire doctrine of response, creating mass hunger, misery, evictions, emigration, and for some, death. Many landlords left their Irish estates in the hands of an estate agent, some leaving the country altogether. The estate agents had one goal and one only, to make the estate viable. Soon all landlords were grouped together as tyrants.
Not all landlords fit into this stereotype but there with their horrible reputations, would it be that easy to trust any landlord?. Continue reading
St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland is shrouded in so many fantastical stories that one wonders if he was a man at all. The real Patrick was a simple human being who was kind, gentle, courageous, and confident in his beliefs. True, he was larger than life but not the way most people think.
Maewyn Succat is the name given at birth to the man we know as Patrick of Ireland around the end of the 4th century. Most likely, he was born in Britain and the son of a Roman deacon named Calpornius who was also a tax collector. His grandfather was Potius during the reign of Constantine the Great, first Christian emperor of the Romans so it is easy to see how Patrick would be influenced in ‘the family business’ from an early age on. As one of Roman nobility, a station of honor and privilege, Patrick would have had hereditary privileges as well. His father would have had high hopes for his son, knowing he could one day rule over his less fortunate countrymen. Continue reading
Need a matchmaker? Everyone wants to fall in love and its been that way since the beginning of time. Nothing has changed about the desire but what has changed is how we go about it or how often we try and try again only to be disappointed. Ever wish there was an easier way to meet a man or woman? For centuries, people had arranged marriages. They married for status, wealth, security or to secure peace between two separate countries. Some of those marriages actually lasted and some were very happy ones. Continue reading
Pope Francis is my hero. For years. Catholicism ruled much of Ireland and there are those who believe it still does. Ar least, 80% of Irish schools are still Catholic and even with history dug up from the Magalene laundries .. to priest pedophiles .. to the power the church had to take children away from single mothers and fathers .. Catholicism still thrives today. In fact, according to the viewpoints and actions of Pope Francis, the church has more responsibility than just making an atonement for her sins. Continue reading
Celtic people measured time not by days but by nights. beginning at dusk instead of dawn. With Samhain when the crops were waning. Beginning on Oct. 31st. Not Jan 1st. One of the reasons for beginning with evening, is the Celts’ reverence for the moon and certainly they followed the stars, were great astrologers in fact. Take Newgrange in Ireland. Newgrange is a 5000 year old passage grave and is situated so that the only drop of light shines through a tiny window on the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21st, remarkably close to Christmas and not a coincidence for sure, as the way of the Catholic church was to replace what pagan ideas they could with their own Christian teachings. See other posts on this blog for more information about early Christianity in Ireland. Continue reading