Monday, September 22, 2014

The Giant Irish Elk

The Irish Elk was not limited to Ireland, though Irish bogs have proven themselves a good source for their remains. Complete skeletal remains have been discovered and a good example is to be found in the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The antlers, such as the ones photographed above, had a diameter of nearly three metres. This particular example is at Bunratty Castle. Experts are unsure what caused their extinction, but some believe it was as a  result of climate change after the last Ice Age. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The King's Head Galway

Although a somewhat impersonal superpub, the building itself is around eight hundred years old. It is said to have been taken from the Lynchs by Colonel Peter Stubbers, the man believed to have executed King Charles I, hence the name of the pub. 

Remnants of Medieval Galway

Remnants of a bygone era seen on the streets of Galway. Many medieval ruins were erased in the 20th century, but many fragments still survive. Above: a medieval doorway. Below: one of the marriage stones, which formed part of the fireplace among the ruling 'tribes'. At some stage they were stuck into the walls of some buildings. In this case,  Subway at the bottom of Shop Street.

Several medieval churches around the country have mermaids.This example was seen on the front of St Nicks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1798 memorial, Sligo


1798 memorial in Sligo town.

Sheela na Gig

A medieval sheela na gig at Bunratty Castle. It may have been a fertility symbol, a warning or protection from evil.

James Joyce's "The Dead"

The above building was the setting of James Joyce's short story "The Dead". It is now Richardson's pub and is located at the top of Eyre Square in Galway city.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sixteenth Century Irish Dress

Sixteenth Century Irish Dress. The man of the far right is holding a scian or single edged knife.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Irish Palatines of County Limerick

In 1709, about eight thousand Germans arrived in Dublin and were settled in Carlow and Wexford, but it was in Rathkeale that the largest colony was to be found. For more information check out my chapter on the subject in "Fadó-Tales of Lesser Known Irish History". See also my photo of Aunty Lena's pub, which was established in 1806. The photos below show the Palatine Museum in Rathkeale. It is a private museum, which can be opened on request by ringing the number given.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Punt Gun, Limerick City Museum

An unusual item seen in Limerick Museum(admission free). Its usage is recalled in the 19th century ballad Kelly the Boy from Killane:
What's the news, what's the news oh my bold Shelmalier
With your long barrelled guns from the sea
Say what wind from the south brings a messenger here
With the hymn of the dawn for the free

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lisdoonvarna in September-love is in the air

Oscar Wilde -Merrion Square, Dublin

Located in front of his former family home, the house of Sir William Wilde, the archaeologist, is the statue of Oscar Wilde, known locally as "the fag on the crag". Below:  a few quotes from the wit.