Sunday, September 24, 2017

Early Irish medals

A selection of Irish medals awarded to men and women for fought for Irish freedom. 
From left:1916 medal, awarded to all those who fought in the 1916 Rising. The War of Independence service medal, with bar which means the recipient took part in the fighting. The 1916 Survivor's medal, awarded to all those still living in 1966 for the 50th commemoration. The Truce Anniversary medal awarded to survivors on the 50th anniversary of the truce in 1971. 

The above medals form part of the eyewitness History exhibition in the GPO, Dublin.
More information of Irish medals is available here:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Rainbow on the Ring of Kerry

A rainbow at Glenbeigh, looking onto the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry where I was recently with a great group of people from England.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Local Galway History Books

On a recent visit to my home town of Galway, I was pleased to see my last book, "Gone the Way of Truth" in a place of prominence in Easons on Shop Street. Glad to have the support of local bookshops.
It is a great book for someone who wants to get out and about and explore the countryside. Many of the graves featured within its pages are of interest to anyone interested in Irish history, not just local Galway history. The strange title of the book is a translation from the Irish euphemism for death, imithe ar shlí na fírinne.
I see I have been referenced on wikipedia

Some great tales behind the names of Irish rivers.

Friday, September 1, 2017

"...of the 56th regiment, who died accidentally by drowning, at Carrick-on-Suir, 17 July 1868, in his 28th year."
I feel that I know you, Job Wilks -
No imperial trooper swaggering
these servile Tipperary streets
before my grandfather drew breath,
but a country lad out of Hardy
drunk on payday and pining for Wessex,
flirting with Carrick girls
in fetid laneways after dark
out of step on parade to Sunday service
with comrades who loved you enough
to raise out of soldiers' pay this stone
which would halt my feet among nettles
now that jackdaws are free in the chancel,
Communion plate lies deep
in the dark of a bank vault,
and spinster daughter of the last rector,
in a home for the aged,
whispers all night to an only brother
dead these forty years in Burma.
How commonplace, Job Wilks, how strange
that this should be where
it would end for you, twenty-eight
summers after the midwife washed you.
With that first immersion
you took your part
in the music of what happens,
and an Irish river was flowing
to meet you, make you intimate clay
of my town.
On a July day of imperial sun
did your deluged eyes find
vision of Wessex, as Suir water
sang in your brain?
I know the same river you knew, Job,
the same sky and hill and stone bridge:
I hope there were Carrick girls with tears
for a country lad out of Hardy,
drunk on payday and pining
for Wessex.