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Traditional thatched cottages, Kilmore Quay, Wexford

Today I spent a lovely morning in Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford. This picturesque fishing village is famous for its thatched…

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16th century images of Irish people

A collection of images depicting 16th century Irish people. Although the majority of figures illustrated are soldiers and warriors, there…

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Some Irish words with Norse Origins

The year 795 AD  saw a new force arrive on the Irish political scene, the Vikings. These seaborne warriors were…

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A Satirical Chamberpot from 18th century Dublin

In the late 18th century an English writer, Richard Twiss caused consternation in Ireland when his book, ‘A Tour in…

River liffey
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The River Liffey, its ancient name

Although now called the Liffey[i], in ancient times Dublin’s famous river was known by a different name, An Ruirthech. This…

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Pangur Bán

Pangur Bán is probably the most famous surviving poem from Early Ireland[i]. Composed by an Irish monk sometime around the 9th…

Skull
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The Curious Tale of the Mouse, the Skull and the Saint’s Curse

In 1070 AD[i] the forces of Turlough O’Brien (Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain), king of Munster, raided the great monastery at Clonmacnoise…

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Sacred Trees in Early Ireland

I recently described how the forces of Brian Bóruma, king of Munster, attacked and destroyed a sacred grove of trees…

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16th century Irish Hipsters

I recently spotted what appeared to be remarkably modern looking haircuts in Albrecht Druer’s woodcut of 1521 AD[i]. This image…

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Braigetóir: An Unusual Medieval Jester

In medieval Ireland there was a jester known as Braigetóir[i]. How did his entertain his lord? By passing wind, the…