With all good wishes in this new year, I share Angela’s post about this year’s Winter Solstice sunrise at Newgrange. Angela is the excellent author of “A Silver Voice From Ireland.”
Older than the Pyramids in Egypt and older than Stonehenge, Newgrange is the jewel in the crown of ancient sites in Ireland. Engineered about 3,000 B.C. Newgrange is an enormous mound that covers an area of about an acre. Constructed by some of earth’s earliest farming communities in the Boyne Valley, Newgrange, and similar mounds at Knowth and Dowth are a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. Originally thought to be a burial mound, Newgrange may have been an ancient temple. It is famed for the fact that for a few days around the time of the at the Winter Solstice, the long passage to the interior is lit by the rising sun. The exact date and time of the Winter Solstice varies slightly from year to year. In Ireland in 2013 it will occur today( 21, December 2013) at precisely 17:11 p.m.
Newgrange was engineered so that the narrow shaft of…
View original post 150 more words
Thank you to all who followed my blog this year, and especially to those who made comments and became followers. As I have been writing privately, compiling much of my actual family history research for my actual family, I have not been posting here as much. I’ve also been venturing far afield from the “Maher” topic, and have gone back to my studio, where art-making takes precedence again, as it always used to.
July will mark my third year as a blogger. May wonders never cease! I’ve contemplated taking this site down, but am currently thinking I’ll give it another year. Returning to Ireland is on my agenda in 2014, and that will undoubtedly instigate new discoveries and reasons to write. I welcome suggestions from readers – what more would you like to see here?
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for Maher Matters.
Here’s an excerpt from their stats:
“The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,300 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.”
Thanks again for viewing! Wishing you all good things in 2014!
©2013 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair
All Rights Reserved
In 1848 William Smith O’Brien, along with Thomas Francis Meagher, Terence Bellew McManus, and Patrick O’Donoghue, leaders among the Young Irelanders, were “sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and [their] remains placed at the disposal of her majesty the Queen, to be dealt with according to her royal pleasure…The men’s verdicts were commuted to the more usual ‘transportation for life’ to Van Dieman’s Island/Tasmania, Australia, from which, with the help of others, Meagher escaped to America in 1852…” (“From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley,” pp. 63, 64). I recommend Blanche M. Touhill’s book, “William Smith O’Brien and His Irish Revolutionary Companions in Penal Exile,” and John Martin’s “Jail Journal (or Five Years in British Prisons,” along with this blog post.
A Silver Voice from Ireland has written here, beautifully and personally, about her visit to William Smith O’Brien’s former home in County Limerick and recounted his role in Irish history as a dedicated supporter of those discriminated against by the British monarchy. She included a great image of Meagher and O’Brien with their jailor in Tasmania.
Also see the “Release of Mrs. Meagher, Ballingarry,” in which an episode more than fifty years later was reported, as one Mrs. Meagher was “released from Waterford Jail, after spending a term of three weeks for the great crime of being found walking or standing on the lands from which she and her husband were unjustly evicted by their landlord, Michael Morris, JP., coal merchant, Fiddown…” (http://ballingarry.net/people/mrsmeagher.html)
The anniversary of the birth of William Smith O’Brien, Young Irelander, is an appropriate time to record his strong association with the area in which I live in County Limerick, Ireland.
William O’Brien was born on 17 October 18o3, second son to Sir Edward O’Brien, Baron Inchiquin of Dromoland Castle, Member of Parliament for Ennis, County Clare and Charlotte Smith, daughter of the wealthy William Smith, an attorney,of Newcastle West, County Limerick. The O’Briens had accumulated large debts and the marriage to a wealthy Smith was a fortuitous one. Cahermoyle House, in Ardagh, Co Limerick was a property acquired by William Smith. William O’Brien (as he then was) inherited Cahermoyle House and lands of about 5,000 acres from his grandfather William Smith, and in honour of his grandfather, he adopted his name and from now on became known as William Smith O’Brien.
William Smith O’Brien followed in his father’s footsteps…
View original post 1,002 more words
Three excellent posts about St. Brigid!
I am very fortunate to know Dr Louise Nugent, a friend of family, who was awarded a Ph.D for her study of the archaeology of Medieval Pilgrimage in Ireland. Louise has a superbly interesting blog entitled Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland, arising from her studies and her continued interest in praying and supplication of the Irish at places of pilgrimage.
I attended boarding school at the St Louis Convent, Dún Lughaidh,in Dundalk, County Louth from 1961 – 1966. Although I had for years been making St Bridget’s Crosses and reading about her in school, it was in Dundalk that the knowledge grew. Here each February we were taken on pilgrimage to Faughert, invariably in soaking wet and freezing conditions. Usually a day of misery for us…
View original post 147 more words
Article by Irish scholar, Damian Sheils.
In 1863, Ireland was on the brink of famine. Poor harvests for three consecutive years had left many destitute, and disaster loomed. In response to the threat, relief committees that had previously been established to channel funds to assist the worst afflicted areas were reactivated. The large Irish population in the United States, many of whom were Famine victims themselves, were not to be found wanting in coming to the assistance of those at home. The cause was championed by the leaders of Irish-American communities, and soon Irish Relief Funds emerged across the war-stricken North.
Irish soldiers were also quick to put their hands in their pockets to help out those less fortunate. Irishmen in the British army of India collected rupees for the appeal, while those soldiers stationed in Shanghai, China sent on £108 sterling. The Irishmen in Union blue were no different to their red-coated brethren. Even…
View original post 1,461 more words