This blog post is about a grim institution of 18th century Dublin and contains details that some readers may find upsetting. The many commuters who use the Luas St. James's stop everyday are almost certainly aware that they are very near to the site of the proposed new National Children’s Hospital. It is unlikely though, … Continue reading The Foundling Hospital
‘I think I’ll remember all these experiences for the rest of my earthly days. I feel I’ve been immersed in a great wave that has impregnated my whole mind and being...’ So reads one of the final diary entries written by the artist Simon Coleman RHA as his field work with the Irish Folklore Commission … Continue reading Portrait of an Artist as a Folklore Collector
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of partial women’s suffrage, granted under the Representation of the People Act (1918) which received royal assent on 6 February 1918, extending the franchise to all men over 21 and for the first time, to women over 30 if they were a graduate voting in a university constituency or a … Continue reading Unconquered and Unconquerable
The Palles Law Library in UCD Library Special Collections holds four extremely rare late 17th century Irish printings relating to the Irish parliament called by King James II in 1689. These are 4 Acts of that parliament which met for one session between May and July 1689 in Dublin. Title page of four of the … Continue reading The Patriot Parliament
‘Last Monday at the fair held at the city of Limerick a very ludicrous and uncommon circumstance happened. A man offered his wife up for public sale. Many offers were made and the highest struck a bargain for 10 gns (guineas). Two shillings earnest money was given and the bargain was closed with a brimmer … Continue reading Steal My Heart Away
Traditionally, February marked the transition from winter to spring in Ireland, icy rain watering green shoots. For the early medieval Irish, the month started with Imbolc, one of the quarter-days on which the calendar turned, the others being May 1st (Beltene), August 1st (Lugnasad) and November 1st (Samain). Above all, February 1st was the festival … Continue reading St Brigit of Kildare: Patron of the Powerless
After the excesses of the Christmas holidays, a lot of people start the year in a much more healthy and restrained way. The chocolates and pudding are wrapped up and put in the cupboard. The walking boots are pulled back out and dusted off and the bottles of beer and wine are put on a … Continue reading Start the Year a Pioneer?