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The Wild Geese – 1691

After the Treaty of Limerick in 1691 20,000 Irish soldiers went to France with Patrick Sarsfield. A force of 5,000 had already gone there under the command of Justin McCarthy, Lord Mountcashel.  These soldiers formed the “Irish Brigade,” which, for the next hundred years took a leading role in every battle fought by the French army.  The Irish Government tried to stop young men enlisting as France was often at war with England, but every year, thousands were smuggled abroad in vessels sailing to French ports.  Ship Captains described these unauthorised passengers as “Wild Geese” in the ship’s books.

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Courage at Curranrue – 1847

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 20th March, 1847 p.4

Calm day over Curranrue Photo: EO'D
Calm day over Curranrue
Photo: EO’D(abridged)

On Monday, as the Misses Crow, of Derriwillian, were returning from the sea-shore, to their lodge at Curranrue, they heard a shriek and, on turning, saw a little boy running towards them, exclaiming that his brother was drowning in the sea. Both young ladies hastened to the spot and arrived as the youth made his appearance a second time on the surface of the water. In a moment he was down again, and Miss Crow, throwing away her cloak and bonnet, rushed into the water to save him. The place being very steep, before she was able to reach him she got beyond her depth, and down she went also.
Miss Lucy Crow, seeing her sister in such imminent danger, plunged to her rescue.  She had not proceeded many yards when she found she could not go further without placing herself in the same perilous position and that then all would be lost.
In agonising suspense she stretched forth her hand to save her sister and the boy. Alas! it was useless; they were too far asunder.  Down her sister went again, overpowered by the weight of the little boy who was entangled with the grasp of the dying in her hair and neck.
But as if Providence would have it,  the force of the waves carried them on to a rock in the water.  Resting her foot upon it, the brave Miss Crow reached forward to meet the outstretched arm of her intrepid sister.  She eventually succeeded in bringing herself and her young charge in safety to the shore.

One is at a loss which to admire, the intrepid bravery of the one or the judgment and presence of mind of the other of these young ladies. On returning to Derriwillin they will carry with them the blessings of the parents and friends of the youth whose life they thus, at the risk of their own, providentially saved. Galway Mercury
(What a beautiful subject for the poet and the painter).

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Midsummer Night

Midsummer’s night was one of the most solemn festivals of the ancient pagan world. It’s also known as the eve of St. John the Baptist.

Dunguaire Dragon Acrylic on board EO'D
Dunguaire Dragon
Acrylic on board

In pre-Christian times the first fire was lighted on the hill of Howth, on the east coast of Ireland, near Dublin, and the moment the flame appeared through the darkness a great shout went up form the watchers on all the surrounding hill tops, where other fires were quickly kindled. These were viewed by watchers further west, who in turn kindled their own fires and so on, until the flame had ‘travelled’ across the country.
It was also customary to walk three times around the fires, reciting certain prayers to ward off sickness during the coming year.The next morning was considered the proper time to hunt for mushrooms.
Midsummer’s eve is also a favourite fairy season. On this night, they are on the watch to carry off incautious mortals, particularly women and infants who are not protected by a sprig of lusmor (fada over o) or foxglove, or some other safeguard against fairy influence.

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Loughrea – 1840

South Australian 2nd April, 1840 p.6

A scene in South Australia - 1850 Oil on canvas, 25.7 x 31.8 Alexander Schramm Art Gallery of South Australia
A scene in South Australia – 1850
Oil on canvas, 25.7 x 31.8
Alexander Schramm
Art Gallery of South Australia

In the Dublin Monitor of the 26th of October last, a long Report is contained of the proceedings of a recent meeting held at Loughrea, in the county of Galway, with the view of promoting emigration to South Australia. The meeting was attended by all the influential landed proprietors in and about that town.
Mr. Torrens delivered a very long and able speech, developing the Wakefield principle of colonisation; describing its successful operation in South Australia, and explaining the reasons of failure in attempts to colonise on the principle of distributing settlers by grants of land over a large territory. Appearing as the especial advocate of South Australia, Mr. Torrens, with considerable skill, brought into strong light the disadvantages of other colonies – especially the evils attending the convict system in New South Wales and Van Dieman’s Land.
The main object of the meeting was to set on foot a scheme of “depauperising” the Union of Loughrea, which is about to fall under the operation of the Irish Poor Law; and relieving the owners of land from the burden of supporting a numerous population by removing a portion to land in South Australia purchased by the Union.

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Temperate times – 1849

Australian Chronicle 17th November, 1840 p.2 (abridged)

Photo: EO'D
Winding road Photo: EO’D

To the Editor of the “Freeman’s Journal.”
The Very Rev. Mr. Mathew, being on a visit at Kilcornan, the hospitable mansion of N. Redington., Esq., M.P., administered the total abstinence pledge, on the 21st and 22nd ult. to upwards of eight hundred postulants. Many from the neighbouring parishes of Oranmore, Ballinacourty, Ballinderreen, & c., who lost the opportunity of approaching him while in Galway and Loughrea, took advantage of his propitious visit to Kilcornan. The people of this locality have been extremely fortunate.

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The Recorder 22nd November, 1935

Wild atlantic waves Acrylic on canvas EO'D
Wild atlantic waves
Acrylic on canvas

Ireland long bore the name of Granuaile, which is Gaelic for Grace O’Malley a chieftainess whose headquarters were on Clare Island, off the west coast of Ireland. There stood the Tower of Carrigahooley, which she called “the rock of her fleet.” She was a wild and successful warrior. Queen Elizabeth admired her and entertrained her in the royal palace.

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Ireland – 1931

The Advertiser 23rd October, 1931 p5 (abridged)

Tarrea Photo: EO'D
Photo: EO’D

The following 12 organisations have been proclaimed illegal – the Saor Eire, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, the Oglach na Eireann, the Fianna Eireann, also the Cumann na mBan, otherwise the Women’s League of Friends, the Soviet Russia Labor Defence League, the Workers’ Defence Corps, Women Prisoners; Defence League, Workers’ Revolutionary Party, the Irish Tribute League, the Working Farmers Committee and the Workers’ Research Bureau.

The Irish military tribunal which has been created to take the place of trials by jury will consist of Colonel Francis Dennett, acting assistant chief of staff, Colonel Daniel McKenna, deputy quartermaster-general, Major John Joyce, deputy adjutant-general, Commander Connor Whelan, 3rd Battalion, Commandant Patrick Tuite of the training camp at Curragh.

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Caherglissane – 1912

Tuam Herald 14th September, 1912 p2

Mute Swans Photo: Trachemys Wikimedia Commons
Mute Swans
Photo: Trachemys
Wikimedia Commons

Four miles from Kinvara is the fine old castle of Caherglissane, now like all such buildings, in ruins, but the walls are in fair order. Beside the castle is a fine old fort and near it also a chasm or deep opening in the ground – the result of an earthquake or some such disturbance. It is said by old writers to have occurred at the time of the famous earthquake of Lisbon. It is a curious natural feature and shows the wonderful effects of an earthquake. There is also a curious lot of stones forming a very stiff bit of ground and difficult to walk over and a fine lake on which are wild swans. These beautiful creatures breed about the place and are never disturbed or shot. The country people have a reverence for them almost amounting to superstition, and long may it remain, for these birds never do any harm and are an ornament.