The Bog Commission, 1809

The Bog Commission, 1809

In the early 19th century, the British government considered a scheme to drain Ireland’s bogs and to plant them with hemp and flax in order to sustain the Royal Navy’s colossal demand for sailcloth. As Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte had done much to hamper...
Humewood Castle, County Wicklow

Humewood Castle, County Wicklow

  When the Right Honourable Fitzwilliam Hume Dick stood for election in November 1868, he advised the people of Wicklow that “having so long represented” the county, voters knew perfectly well what his standpoint was and thus he felt it was “not...
Robert Louis Stevenson – Of Wooden Legs & Birthday Gifts

Robert Louis Stevenson – Of Wooden Legs & Birthday Gifts

When Shane Leslie, the Anglo-Irish nationalist politician, was wooing his American wife Marjorie Ide in 1912, he was particularly impressed when she revealed how, during her childhood on the Pacific island of Samoa, Robert Louis Stevenson had read her bedtime stories....
Charles Byrne, the Irish Giant (1761-1783)

Charles Byrne, the Irish Giant (1761-1783)

It’s not often that a funeral director buys everyone a drink, but this undertaker had his reasons. As the grateful and mostly Irish mourners supped upon free ale in an Essex pub that hot summer’s afternoon in 1783, the undertaker slipped out the back door. He made his...
St. Columba (521-592) – the Making of a Missionary

St. Columba (521-592) – the Making of a Missionary

The story of the feisty Donegal missionary who brought Christianity to Pictish Scotland, after a devastating battle in Ireland, plus Iona’s links to Lindisfarne … and how a court case that he was embroiled in set a useful precedent for anyone advocating...