Continuing my Joseph Kassabian run this week I re-read his award winning 'Hooligans of Kandahar', which introduced me to his work. A disarmingly honest & hard-hitting account of war. This #combat #veterans experience of the violent conflict in #Afganistan is a #mustread
Before the tide went out.
I bought this super book by Andrew Doherty back in '20. Only getting back to read it now. What a gem I was missing out on I truly didn't know. A fantastic #local #maritime #history book, expertly written with utmost care & sincere respect. https://t.co/UAry0hpnkL https://t.co/n1cEViRp2x
The island of Haulbowline is filled with history. Each stone and step, every nook and cranny, from the lowest ebb of the tide on now silent slips, to the lofty reaches of the visual signaling tower. This rich history can fade into the background, drowned out by the hustle and bustle of the modern age.... Continue Reading →
Steelmaking and stories from Haulbowline.
Got to read 'Steelmaking and stories from Haulbowline' by Jim Shealy this week. A really great book capturing the stories of generations of hard working men & women who made a life for themselves and their families from working on Haulbowline in Irish Steel. The extensive use of oral history adds, as always, an element... Continue Reading →
Gleanings from Cork Harbour
Got to finish 'Gleanings from Cork Harbour' by Anne Mc Sweeney this week. It's a fascinating read, Full of interesting stories about this wonderful harbour. Thoughtful and touching, capturing lots of snapshots of the smaller histories & details which add to the great richness of the place we call home. Plenty of copies to be... Continue Reading →
The Fate of the PVs.
Reproduced here with the kind permission of the Editor of An Cosantóir, this is my article which featured in Special Commemorative Edition on the occasion of the Naval Service 75th Anniversary. They were the ships onboard which a generation of sailors came of age, and they lead the way for others to follow. Built in... Continue Reading →
75 Years of Service.
Reproduced here with the kind permission of the Editor of An Cosantóir, this is my article which featured in Special Commemorative Edition on the occasion of the Naval Service 75th Anniversary. The celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Naval Service is a milestone in the long and rich history of service. No celebration could... Continue Reading →
In Summer Lanes
Did the souls of boys,cut down in France,come home again,to rest in lush ditches,by English country lanes,as bright summer poppies, So, each year unending,free to dance once more,joyful remembrance blooms,headless of the rush,of passing motorcars,in home-counties soil, Red now their clothes,heads sway rejoicing,on wildly weaving stalks,stout-hearted amid weeds,no brown wilted youth,inside worn frames, Ebullient life... Continue Reading →
The Curvature of Cork
Curvature of Cork,breaking free of static lines,blending ancient bridges,with sharp edged blocks,scraggly trees,and pavement gazing pedestrians. Rushing head long,into the event horizon,when distant melts,will raise the waters,wash out the swamp,for a final time. Pleas will be hurled,prayers incanted,as the great and good,are carried downstream,like petrified timber,ripped from the Gearagh. Concrete and brick crumbles,high tide lines... Continue Reading →
Tá scéal an-Éireannach agamsa. Scéal faoi crunniu seans i na scáileanna teach solais. Dé hAoine seo caithe a tharla é. Bhí fear agus me fein ag comhrá í nGaeilge mar bhí ár gcuid páistí ag imirt i bpáirc. 'Cá as tú?' arsa mise. ‘An Spidéal’, a deir sé. ‘Rugadh mé ansin’, a deir mise. ‘Caithfidh... Continue Reading →
The Time of the Tans.
There has been huge amounts of commentary about the recent ill fated decision to formally commemorate the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Dublin Metropolitan Police. It descended very quickly into a massive argument, with the vast majority of the public quickly coming to a consensus that can be summed up as 'who in the... Continue Reading →
Cogadh na Saoirse: Ar Muir is ar Tír.
A Changed World.
In 1919, the war to end all wars was over. The 19th of January saw the start of peace negotiations in Paris, which would culminate in the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June. This momentous year saw the drafting of the covenant of the League of Nations, the surrender and scuttling of the German high seas fleet in Scapa Flow. It also on the 21st of January saw the first Dáil sit in the Mansion House in Dublin, where they declared Irish Independence in fulfilment of the goals of the grand heroic failure of the 1916 Easter Rising. Also on that fateful day in Soloheadbeg, volunteers of the 3rd Tipperary Brigade under the command of Seán Treacy and Dan Breen, ambushed and shot two constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The first two dead men of an estimated 1,400 deaths between 1919 and 1921. While most of the fighting occurred on land across Ireland, the sea had a major role to play in both the Rising and the War of Independence.
Lonely Edge of Europe.
Ireland holds a geostrategic maritime position on the lonely edge of Europe, facing out into the North Atlantic where the European and North American sea lanes veritably bustle with all manner of shipping. At the turn of the century, Ireland's seas and maritime domain where under the firm control of the British Empire and the might of the Royal Navy. The ports and deep sheltered harbours of Cork, Berehaven and Lough Swilly, protected by massive forts and coastal artillery batteries, had played their part in centuries of British domination of the high seas and from these ports where shipped troops to fight in Britain's many wars. Many a period of rebelliousness across Ireland was subdued by forces shipped from these Naval installations, helping to underpin the British presence in Ireland as the dark clouds of war gathered on the European horizon. Those clouds burst in August 1914.