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This extensive archive offers hundreds of historical articles on (mostly Irish) families, houses, companies and events, including content from Turtle’s best-selling ‘Vanishing Ireland’ series, as well as ‘Easter Dawn’, ‘Dublin Docklands’, ‘The Irish Pub’, ‘Maxol’ and the ‘Past Tracks’ panels now on show at Irish Rail stations throughout Ireland.
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|Robert Louis Stevenson – Of Wooden Legs & Birthday Gifts|
Homing in on how the author of ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Kidnapped’ and ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ enjoyed his time on the Pacific Island of Samoa where he read bedtime stories to the future Marjorie Leslie of Castle Leslie, County Monaghan.
|The Colleys of Castle Carbery, Mount Temple & Corkagh|
The story of the Colleys is a rip-roaring account from the first dastardly Tudor to come to Ireland on Thomas Cromwell's watch through to the sad finale for Corkagh, the Colley house near Clondalkin, County Dublin. Among those profiled are the Duke of Wellington, the novelist Elizabeth Bowen, the Titanic victim Eddie Colley and the ancestors of the actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes.
|Bill Harrington, 11th Earl of Harrington (1922-2009)|
This story followed my meeting with Bill in 2005 in which he told me he had personally arrested Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, Hitler's successor as President of the German Reich. Sadly the facts don't add up but Bill, who was one of my grandfather's greatest friends, nonetheless lived an incredible life.
|Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz (1891-1980)|
Looking at the man who was handed arguably the biggest hospital pass in history – the role of Adolf Hitler's successor.
|Samuel Clayton: Forger, Freemason, Freeman|
The story of the convicted master forger from Dublin who founded Freemasonry in Australia and produced Australia's first bank notes.
|Beresford of Curraghmore – Marquess of Waterford|
The story of a family from Staffordshire in England who prospered in Ireland in the wake of King William's victory at the Boyne, marrying the heiress of wealthy Power family and acquiring the titles of the Earl of Tyrone and Marquess of Waterford. Also told here is the story of Lord William Beresford and Edmund O'Toole, who won Victoria Crosses after an especially close call during the Anglo-Zulu War.
|The Life & Times of Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury, 2nd Baron Rathdonnell of Lisnavagh, County Carlow – Part 3 (1914-1929)|
Following the final quarter of a century of Tom Rathdonnell's life from the outbreak of the First Word War through the Irish revolutionary period to the Wall Street Crash.
|Conolly of Castletown House, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland|
Charting the rise of Speaker Conolly, an innkeeper’s son from Donegal who became the most powerful man of his generation. His magnificent Palladian residence at Castletown House, Celbridge, is one of the Irish nation’s greatest treasures. Also looking at connections to the disastrous 1798 Rebellion, the beautiful Lennox sisters, the Charlston Blockade and the Irish Georgian Society.
|Bunbury of Johnstown House, County Carlow, Ireland|
A branch of the Bunbury family lived at Johnstown House outside Carlow town for most of the 18th and early 19th century. This account looks at such characters as the travel writer Selina Bunbury and the pioneering postmaster Sir Henry Noel Bunbury, as well as connections to the Irish Volunteers, William Pitt, Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton, Oscar Wilde, the Conellan family and sub-branches in Liverpool, Essex and Cuba.
|Tighe of Woodstock, Co. Kilkenny, and Rossana, Co. Wicklow|
An epic saga that follows the descendants of an opportunist farmer who became the principal baker to Oliver Cromwell’s troops in Ireland through to a murder in 1917. We meet one of Dean Swift’s greatest foes, families such as Bligh, Fownes and Bunbury, and a host of literary greats including Percy and Mary Shelley, Thomas Moore, John Wesley and Patrick Bronte.
|A History of Molesworth Street, Dublin|
A history of the central Dublin street from its origins as a playground for citizens during the Tudor age through its development by families such as Molesworth, Rosse, Dawson and Hamilton, to its gentrification in the 19th century and its reemergence as an urban hotspot in the 2020s.
|William Caldbeck (1733-1803) & the Moyle Park Gunpowder Mills|
An account of the amateur architect and barrister who built a gunpowder mills for the Irish Volunteers in Clondalkin, County Dublin, in 1782, only for the mills to explode dramatically five years later.
|The Fastnet Tragedy of 1979|
For sailors, the biennial Fastnet Race has marked the climax of the summer races since 1925. In 1979, a freak storm overwhelmed the great flotilla in the tempestuous Celtic Sea, leaving 15 yachtsmen and four spectators dead.
|Fishy Tales from Tampa, Florida (2001)|
The deeper in you go, the greater the depths the creatures on display represent. An encounter with non-plussed ducks, sleepy alligators, harmless tarantulas, a shovelnose guitarfish and, king of the crazy shapes, the leafy seahorse.
|Winnie Letts (1882-1972) – A Poet of the Great War & the Cuala Press|
Winnifred Letts published a series of remarkable war poems during the First World War, in which she worked as a nurse. The Dublin-based author also wrote poems for the Cuala Press, published children's books and penned a play staged by the Abbey Theatre. South Dublin Libraries hosted a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of her death in June 2022.
|Spotlight on Belfast – City of Music & Joy|
Belfast City, Northern Ireland's progressive capital, developed as a great port and industrial centre during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 2021, Belfast was awarded prestigious UNESCO City of Music status, while the Array Collective, a Belfast-based group, won the Turner Prize and Kenneth Branagh's movie ‘Belfast' won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2022. The Belfast International Arts Festival celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and runs from 6 October to 7 November 2022.
|The Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773)|
‘The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one's self to be acquainted with it’. A short account of Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694 – 1773), British statesman, man of letters and arguably the most liberal Lord Lieutenant Ireland ever had.
|Croquet – The Forgotten Irish Sport|
Croquet as we know it apparently originated on the west coast of Ireland. Alas, while the thought of Croke Park becoming the national stadium for future croquet clashes is endearing, one would be hard pushed to say croquet was strictly an Irish game. It was more of a gentry thing …
|Evelyn Kelly Lambert (1907-2004) – The American Widow who Conquered Europe|
In 2001, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks as the guest of 93-year-old Mrs Lambert, collector, philanthropist and grande dame of late 20th century Dallas, at Casa Leon, her wonderful home in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Evelyn and her late husband Joe Lambert were icons of Dallas and Venice in the 1960s and 1970s.
|William Robert Bunbury, 4th Baron Rathdonnell, M.C. (1914-1959)|
My grandfather packed a lot into his 44 years. Born during the Great War, he lost his mother at the age of eight and, an only child, became very close to his father, the 3rd Baron Rathdonnell. Educated at Charterhouse and Cambridge in England, he lived it up in the US in the late 1930s but life turned serious again at the age of 21 when his father died and he succeeded as 4th Baron. He married Pamela Drew, a free-spirited artist, a few weeks later. And then came Hitler’s War, in which he found himself in command of a squadron of tanks …
|Henry of Straffan House & Lodge Park, County Kildare|
Descended from a Presbyterian minister whose son struck gold in banking and linen, the family lived at Straffan House on the banks of the Liffey during the 18th century, as well as nearby Lodge Park. A high-profile marriage to the Earl of Milltown’s daughter gave them a prominent position in Irish society. Family members include Joseph Henry, one of Ireland’s greatest art connoisseurs; Admiral Hastings Yelverton, First Lord of the Admiralty; and Commander Michael Henry of the Polaris submarine.
|Bob Dylan – Kilkenny 2001|
Memories of a remarkable night in Kilkenny in 2001 when Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and the Blind Boys of Alabama lit up the marble city.
|William Whitelocke-Lloyd: The Irishman who Sketched the Zulu War|
The story of an independent spirit from County Waterford who was kicked out of Oxford for partying too noisily, and found himself painting the horrors of the Anglo-Zulu War while serving with the the 24th Foot in the time of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, plus the back-story of the Whitelocke and Lloyd families.
|Admiral Sir Leopold McClintock & His Family|
An especially accomplished branch of the family, descended from Harry McClintock, Collector of Customs at Dundalk port and uncle of the first Lord Rathdonnell. Harry's son Leopold would find lasting fame as the man who discovered the fate of Sir John Franklin's Arctic expedition, while another son Alfred became Master of the Rotunda. Leopold's children included a naval veteran of Gallipoli, a Royal irish Constable and a New Zealand emigrant, while his grandson was one of the great keepers of Irish language literature.
|The Trench Family, Earls of Clancarty|
A remarkable family, descended from a French Huguenot refugee whose grandson established the family at Ballinasloe in County Galway. Headed up by the Earl of Clancarty, its prominent figures include one of the architects of modern Europe after Napoleon's fall, a 20th century UFO expert and a celebrated dancing girl of the Victorian Age.
|Temple House, Co. Sligo – Atlantic Stronghold of the Knights Templar|
Temple House in County Sligo has a rich history reaching back to the 13th century, when it was a stronghold of the Knights Templar, and quite probably many centuries, or millennia, before that. The property has belonged to the ancestors of the Perceval family since the 17th century and Temple House is now one of Ireland's most beloved places to stay. The two articles that follow below are already quite elderly.
|Finlay of Corkagh House, Clondalkin|
The saga of a family who flee Scotland with the downfall of Mary, Queen of Scots, and make their fortune in Ireland through private banking and a useful cousin that happens to own a handful of iron mines in Sweden. Covering events such as the 1798 Rising and Robert Emmet’s Rebellion, the story ends in tragedy with the death in war of the last three Finlay sons of Corkagh House, County Dublin.
|The Story of Corkagh, Clondalkin (Dublin) – Introduction & Chapter 1|
The Corkagh demesne has been in existence since at least 1326 when listed as part of the Archbishop of Dublin’s manor of Clondalkin. A modest castle existed here in the medieval age followed by a farmhouse constructed in about 1650. This section looks at the turbulent 17th century when both house and lands passed through a series of families such as Mills, Trundell and Browne before being were settled upon the Nottinghams, kinsmen of the Jacobite dynasty of Sarsfield.
|Captain William McClintock Bunbury, R.N., Part 2: The Sea Years (1813-1835)|
In 1813, 13-year-old William McClintock Bunbury joined HMS Ajax as a first-class volunteer, participating in his first sea battle the following year. Over the next two decades he would rise through the naval ranks and travel astonishing distances across the southern hemisphere. Most of this was on board HMS Samarang, a sister ship of HMS Beagle, and Charles Darwin was never far away. Meanwhile, as William IV succeeded George IV, and slavery is abolished, there is pile up of family tragedy in store …
|Art of 1847|
Showcasing works by Dionysios Tsokos, Ford Madox Brown, Pavel Fedotov, Richard Airey, Charles Lees, David MacDonald, Friedrich Nerly, Thomas Websiter, John Everett Millais, Thomas Couture and others.
|Of Rings, Raths & the Kings of Leinster: Around the Lisnavagh Estate|
In the distant past, the raths around Lisnavagh were part of the power base of the Uí Ceinnselaig (Kinsellagh). This section considers the links to Rathmore, Rathvilly, the Oldfort ringfort and the Slíghe Chualann, as well as two kings of Leinster, Crimthann mac Énnai (who was baptised by St Patrick) and his father, Enna Kinsellagh .
|Romance in Ballitore: Bill Martin (1921-2019) & Birdie Martin (1931-2022)|
Bill and Birdie are as charming a couple as you can meet. They still flirt and rile and tease and torment and love each other, just as they did back in the early 1960s when Bill first offered to walk her home from a dance in Crookstown. ‘He asked me after only one waltz,’ says Birdie, still bashful at his haste. ‘I didn’t know what I was getting into, mind! He was my first and only one.’
|Eamon Madden (1924-2022) – The Blacksmith of Athenry, County Galway|
‘It was a new world,' says Eamon, of the 1960s. ‘The farmers still needed to repair their ploughs and grubbers and the harrows and the grills that kept the cattle in. But they also needed us to work with the tractor and all the implements that followed, to adjust them or put a piece onto them or, if they were broken, to fix them.’
|The Radley Family – Hoteliers & Copper Smelters|
A look at a family who developed extensive hotel interests across Britain and Ireland during the early Victorian Age. They started the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool, as well as Radley’s Hotel on College Green, Dublin, and other hotels in London and Southampton. The family, whose name passed to my great-uncle Anthony Radley Drew, also had an interest in the copper-smelting business at St Helen’s, Lancashire.
|John McClintock of Trintaugh (1698-1765)|
John McClintock of Trintaugh, County Donegal, was the third surviving son of John and Janet McClintock of Trintaugh. A favourite of his older brother Alexander, which irked his other brother William of Cappagh, he was father to 13 children including Bumper Jack McClintock of Drumcar, Alexander McClintock of Seskinore and Anne McClintock (grandmother of the 1st Baron Lisgar).
|Wingfield, Viscounts Powerscourt of Co. Wicklow, Ireland|
Powerscourt House is one of the most famous Georgian houses in Ireland. Built in the 1740s, it was devastated by fire in 1974 but subsequently rebuilt. The estate takes its name from the de la Poer family who built a castle here in Norman times. In 1608, the property came to the possession of Sir Richard Wingfield, a prominent general in the English army. This story of their descendants included one of Lord Byron’s closest friend, a man who hosted George IV to dinner and Sarah, Duchess of York. The Slazengers of Powerscourt are closely related to the present Viscount.
|Robert Essex & the Siege of Caher|
Following the rise and fall of one of Queen Elizabeth I's favourites, and his connection to a canon ball wedged into the wall of Caher Castle in County Tipperary.
|Chaigneau of Corkagh & Youghal|
The story of a Calvinist Protestant (or Huguenot) dynasty from France who relocated to Ireland in the 17th century. Louis Chaigneau, a wealthy Dublin wine and property merchant, built Corkagh House in Dublin, as well as properties in Gowran, County Kilkenny. Also looking at connections to Wolfe Tone, the actress Peg Woffington and a well-connected army agent.
|Arabin of Corkagh & Moyglare|
The tale of a French gentry family who fled their homeland, prospered as officers in William of Orange’s army and ran the gunpowder mills at Corkagh near Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, for almost 40 years, with cameos by a disgraced Lord Mayor, a cuckolded husband and a Commander-in-Chief of India.
|General Henry de Grangues of Corkagh House, County Dublin|
The tale of a French emigre who commanded Wynne’s Dragoons, the second most senior cavalry regiment in the British Army, before retiring to live at Corkagh House in south County Dublin.
|The Chenevix Family & the Gunpowder Mills of Corkagh, County Dublin|
In the 18th century, the descendants of Monsieur Chenevix d’Eply, one of Louis XIV’s councillors, excel in Ireland. One serves at the battle of the Boyne, another perishes at Blenheim. One becomes chaplain to the Earl of Chesterfield; another, the Bishop of Waterford. A branch run the gunpowder mills at Corkagh, while yet more become leading lights of the Gaelic League.
|McClintock of Dunmore House, Co. Donegal|
The story of a branch of the family that came of age after the relief of Derry in the Williamite Wars of the 1690s, only for inconceivable tragedy to come in the form of a triple homicide on the eve of the Second World War. With a brief account of the McFarland family who bought the house outside Carrigans, County Donegal, in 1954.
|The McClintock Family in Scotland|
The McClintocks were a Scottish family who settled in north west Donegal (Trintaugh) during the early 17th century and spread east into Counties Derry (Dunmore), Tyrone (Seskinore) and Louth (Drumcar, Red Hall, Newtown). In 1798, John McClintock married Jane Bunbury and so gave life to the McClintock Bunburys of Lisnavagh. The McClintock genes claim to a number of historical celebrities including Generals Montgomery and Alexander, Speaker John Foster, the Barons Rathdonnell, Brigadier Dame Mary Colvin and the explorer Sir F. Leopold McClintock.
|Peart Robinson of Burnley & Chatburn, Lancashire|
A cast that includes the extraordinary Dutch SOE operative Door de Graaf, the homeopathic surgeon Dr Drysdale, the German novelist Wilhelm Christoph von Polenz, a bailiff of Clithero, a pioneer of the Arts and Craft movement (John Gorges Robinson), the directors of Craven Bank and my great-grandmother's family.
|Alexander McClintock of Trintaugh, County Donegal – The First Settler|
It is said that the first of the family to come to Ireland was an Alexander McClintock who arrived in 1597. He may have been a mercenary who fought during the Nine Years War of the 1590s, or he may have been mythical. It seems more likely the family arrived as part of a settlement arranged by Bishop Knox of Raphoe circa 1620s. Their first known home was a farm at Trintaugh near the River Foyle in County Donegal. They built the nearby church at Taughboyne. This page seeks to flesh out what we know of the early settlers.
|James McClintock of Trintaugh (1735-1786) & the Rathdonnell House Link|
The family fortune floundered when one extravagant individual kept 29 hunters and coach-horses in his stable, and always drove with four horses in his coach, but, on the positive side, the hymm-writer C F Alexander, Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and Field Marshal Lord Alexander of Tunis were all part-McClintock.
|John ‘Old Turnip' McClintock (1769-1855) of Drumcar, County Louth|
A prominent player in Irish politics during the last years of the Parliament in Dublin, aided by his kinship with John Foster, the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and his opposition to the Act of Union, the Brexit of its day. Following the tragic death of his first wife Jane (née Bunbury) in 1801, he married a sister of the 2nd Earl of Clancarty, one of the power houses of European politics after Napoleon’s defeat.
|The Alexanders, Earls of Caledon|
The Alexander family emigrated from Scotland to Ireland with the plantations of the early 17th century and prospered as merchants in Limavady, Londonderry and Dublin. The most successful family members was James Alexander, who made his fortune as a nabob of the East India Company in India in the 1770s and became the 1st Earl of Caledon. Other descendants include Field Marshal Alexander of Tunis, a Primate of All-Ireland and the milling Alexanders of Milford, County Carlow.
|Benjamin Bunbury (1642-1707) of Killerig, Lisnavagh & Tobinstown, County Carlow|
Looking at the life of the first of the family to truly settle in County Carlow, where he acquired Killerrig, Lisnavagh and Tobinstown, as well as his connections to the Dukes of Ormonde, Philip Wharton and some lousy days for a Quaker sheep-farmer by name of Thomas Cooper.
|William McClintock of Lifford (1724-disinherited)|
Disinherited for marrying his first cousin Francelina Nesbit, William had further heartache with the premature death in India of his son Alexander, a friend of the diarist William Hickey.
|John McClintock (1649-1707) of Trintaugh (Treantagh), County Donegal|
John was the oldest known son of Alexander McClintock and his wife Agnes (née Stinson / Maclean). The ancestor of the McClintocks of Drumcar, Lisnavagh, Seskinore and Red Hall, he was 21 years old when his father died. His wife Jenet was the daughter of John Lowry, a prosperous Scottish landowner who settled in County Tyrone. Also looking at links to Donegal townlands of Trentaghmucklaugh, Leck and Trensallagh.
|Baron Lisgar & The Youngs of Bailieborough|
A little bit of salacious Victorian gossip, and East Indies Company shenanigans, connected to a line of the McClintocks.
|McClintock of Castrues & Prospect Hill, County Donegal|
A quick look at a Donegal branch of the family, including Lieutenant Henry McClintock, a protege of Admiral Lord Exmouth, who died before he could achieve his ambitions.
|William McClintock (1697-1774) of Cappagh & the Pennsylvania Links|
A branch of the Donegal family who made their mark in Pennsylvania, including the McClintock Slave Riot of 1847, when John McClintock was accused of instigating a riot that resulted in the rescue of a number of fugitive slaves
|McClintock of Newtown (Louth) & Seskinore (Tyrone)|
This branch of the family descend from Alexander McClintock (1746-1796) of Newtown, County Louth, whose son Samuel succeeded to the Perry family home of Perrymount, also known as Seskinore, in County Tyrone. The story culminates in a sad episode in the 1930s, as well as the demolition of Seskinore.
|The Choctaw Nation’s Extraordinary Gift to Ireland, 1847|
In 1847 the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma raised $170 for Irish famine relief. Their empathy was stirred by a similar experience during the early 1830s when between 1500 and 4,000 died Choctaw on the infamous ‘Trail of Tears’. This story explores the fate of the Choctaw and the two Irish-American brothers who helped them cross the Mississippi.
|Dorothea Findlater (1909-2017) – Ireland’s Oldest Woman in 2017|
Dorothea Findlater, née de Courcy-Wheeler, was the oldest woman in Ireland for ten weeks before her death in 2017. As a child, she saw her father set off to Dublin to arrest Michale Mallin and Constance Markiewicz during the Easter Rising. He also took the famous photo of Pearse’s surrender, from which Nurse O’Farrell was subsequently air-brushed from history.
|Mision del Sol, Mexico: Quatro Manos (2001)|
The Misión del Sol has every intention of alternatively pampering and beating you up so that you will leave with a spring in your stride, a song in your heart and a healthy determination to get all your coughing, spluttering, stressed out amigos to check in asap.
|Jersey – An Island of Potatos & Pretty Cows|
Situated 14 miles off the north west coast of France, the Channel Island of Jersey …
|About Turtle Bunbury|
An overview of Turtle's professional career, including bundles of photos from the last two or three decades.
|Who Killed Honor Bright?|
An intriguing and controversial book in which Patricia Hughes proposes that her grandmother Lily O'Neill, aka Honor Bright, was the mother of W. B. Yeats lovechild, and that she was then murdered in a plot hatched by Yeats’ jealous wife George and carried out by the Irish Free State authorities.
|32 Top Visitor Sites in Dublin (2022)|
With Summer 2022 underway, the Irish capital has plenty to offer first-time visitors and indigenous Dubliners alike. Here's 32 of the city's highlights.
|Sir William Arrol (1839-1913), or, How A Boiled Sheep’s Head Shaped The Industrial Age|
The greatest bridge builder of his generation learned his craft while singeing hair off sheep's heads in a blacksmith's forge as a boy. He went on to build works such as the Forth Bridge and the Tay bridge in Scotland, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the Arrol Gantry in Belfast, Tower Bridge in London, the Nile Bridge in Egypt, the Hawkesbury Bridge in Australia and all the bridges along the Manchester Ship Canal.
|The Maxol Story|
Turtle was commissioned to research, write and produce the history of Maxol as a handsome coffee table. He also converted the history into an 11-part podcast series, which he narrated.
|Foster of County Louth – Ambassadors, Speakers, Lovers Extraordinaire|
A family who rose through the hierarchy through their astute understanding of finance, property and agriculture, culminating with John Foster’s election as Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and his elevation to the peerage as Baron Oriel. With 6,500 acres at Collon, Dunleer and Glyde Court, County Louth, the head of the family also became Viscount Ferrard and Viscount Massereene, inheriting Antrim Castle. Includes the philanthropist Vere Foster and Lady Bess Foster, part of the Duke of Devonshire’s ménage à trois with Georgiana.
|The Life & Times of Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury, 2nd Baron Rathdonnell, of Lisnavagh, County Carlow – Part 2 (1879-1913)|
Taking the story from his succession as 2nd Baron Rathdonnell in 1879 and the complexities of the Land Wars, through the glory days of Anchor, Bluebeard and the other Lisnavagh bulls, plus the marriage of his daughters, the death of Billy in the Anglo-Boer War and up to the eve of the Great War.
|Baby Rudden (1923-2015) – The Farmer of Redhills|
An interview with the charming cover star of the second Vanishing Ireland book, recounting the challenges of farming cattle in the damp County Cavan countryside.
|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 … The story of a giant from County Derry, a household name in 18th century London, the fate of his corpse and the important role his DNA has played in identifying the “gigantism gene”.
|Captain William McClintock Bunbury, Part 3: Lisnavagh House & Westminster MP (1835-1866)|
This part takes up from William’s retirement from the navy, after 20 years at sea, and the complete revolution in his life in 1846 when, in the space of 5 weeks, he succeeded to his wealthy uncle’s fortune and became MP for Carlow, just as Peel’s government collapsed and the potato blight began to scorch the land. It looks at his sojourn in County Fermanagh, his marriage into the Stronge family of Tynan Abbey, his political term at Westminster and the construction of Lisnavagh House.
|Henry Ford (1863 –1947)|
Ford's grandfather emigrated to Michigan from Cork at the height of the Great Hunger; the Irish connection would lead to the establishment of the first Ford plant outside of the US in Cork in 1917
|Thomas Bunbury III of Lisnavagh (1775-1846), MP for Carlow|
A chronological account of the bachelor Thomas Bunbury, eldest son of William Bunbury III of Lisnavagh and his wife Katherine (née Kane), taking in the tragic deaths of his father and sister, his time at Oxford, his connections to Bath and his role as an MP and magistrate in County Carlow on the eve of the Great Hunger.
|Sir Henry Bunbury (1565-1634)|
Henry Bunbury was grandfather of the Benjamin Bunbury who first acquired the land in County Carlow, Ireland. Henry succeeded as head of the family in 1601 and was knighted two years later by the new king, James I. He appears to have been of Calvinist persuasion in religion, encouraged by his second wife Martha, but his first cousin Sir Arthur Aston was a prominent Catholic mercenary and his children would chose opposing sides in the Civil War.
|Clements of Killadoon, Co. Kildare|
Following the fortunes of a family who arrived in Ireland with Cromwell’s army and scooped up estates in Cavan and Kildare, as well as the Earldom of Leitrim. Nat Clements, one of the great architects of Georgian Ireland, built the Irish President’s residence in Phoenix Park. Also looking at a branch of the family who emigrated to Massachusetts, where they became embroiled in the Salem Witch Trials.
|Wall (Du Valle) of County Carlow|
From the time of the Anglo-Normans through until the end of the seventeenth century, a large swathe of land running east of Carlow town in Ireland was held by the Wall family. Much of this property was subsequently subsumed into the estates of the Bunbury and Burton family. The area has been home to humanity since ancient times – Johnstown, one of the Bunbury’s principal houses, is only a mile or so from the Browne’s Hill dolmen and boasted its own bullaun stone.
|Billy the Kid (1859-1882)|
A veritable Irish desperado if ever there was one, Billy the Kid was born ‘Henry McCarty', the son of an Irish emigrant, and raised amid the ramshackle tenements of New York's Lower East Side before he headed off to the Wild West.
|Huntington Castle – Ghostly Tales & Worthy Fellowships|
Huntington Castle has always had an otherworldly ambience. Just over a hundred years ago, a meteorite fell to earth and landed near the avenue. The story takes in Franciscan monks, Tudor bigamists, American pioneers, ghosts a-plenty and a cellar devoted to devoted to an Egyptian Goddess.
|Chapter 1: ‘O, Sweet Adare!' – The Early Years|
Return to Contents Extracted from ‘Adare Manor: The Renaissance of an Irish Country House’ …
|The Pre-Bunbury History of Lisnavagh, County Carlow|
A look at the origins of Lisnavagh's name, and the various players – Butler, Leyn, Meredith, Gilbert and Korton – who were connected to the townland before the Bunburys arrived. The more I learn about the past, the more connected I feel to the future.
|Browne Clayton of Browne's Hill, County Carlow|
An account of the family who lived at Browne's Hill outside Carlow from 1763 through until the 1950s, including the Browne Clayton Column (modelled on Pompey’s Pillar in Egypt) in Wexford, and a more recent connection to the last days of the Cambodian dictator Pol Pot.
|Viewmount House, County Carlow|
The story of one of County Carlow's oldest mansions, a Browne-Clayton house, and its connection to Sir Edward Crosbie, executed in 1798.
|Humewood Castle, County Wicklow|
Humewood Castle is without doubt one of the most eccentric buildings in Ireland. Built in 1868 for Fitzwilliam Dick, it later passed to his granddaughter, Mimi, who married General Maxim Weygand, commander-of-chief of the Allied forces in Europe on the eve of the German invasion of France. The castle is now owned by the American business executive and philanthropist John Malone whose extensive refurbishment earned Humewood the best conservation/restoration scheme award from the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in 2016.
|Waterways Through Time|
The text version of Turtle's collaboration with Waterways Ireland in which he explores Ireland’s natural rivers and lakes, as well as the man-made canals that criss-cross the island. This starts with the geology and archaeological legacy of Ireland's waterways and how, the Blackwaters aside, almost every Irish river is named for a goddess of the mythical Tuatha de Danaan. I then delve into the spiritual aspects of the waterways with the onset of Christianity.
|Kilkenny – Historical Tales|
The Kilkenny ‘Past Tracks' panel features short accounts of Ellen, Countess of Desart; Hubert and Peggy Butler (of Butler Gallery fame); Lionel of Antwerp & the Statutes of Kilkenny; Jonathan Swift, George Berkeley & Kilkenny College; Martin Renehan – White House Doorman; and the tragic fate of Petronella, servant to Alice Kyteler, burned at the stage by wicked Bishop Ledred. With Irish translations by Jack O’Driscoll.
|Past Tracks – An Illustrated Journey Through Irish History|
Like Paddington Bear, Past Tracks came to life on a railway platform. In fact, so …
|William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke (1147-1219) – The Greatest Knight|
William Marshal was the most powerful Anglo-Norman lord to come to Ireland. A jousting champion, die-hard crusader and pre-Machiavellian tactician, he survived the turbulent courts of four Plantagenet Kings to become Regent of England, Lord of Leinster and the richest man in the British Isles by his death in 1219. As successor to Strongbow and Aoife, he did more to establish Anglo-Norman control in Leinster than any other man. He was also an enthusiast for roast rabbit and sautéed mushrooms…
|Hugh Mills Bunbury & the Guyana Connection|
Plantation owner Hugh Mill Bunbury of Guyana (Demerara) was born in Devon and moved to the West Indies as a young man. His daughter Lydia was disinherited for marrying the French Romantic poet Count Alfred de Vigny. His son Charles commanded the Rifle Brigade and married Lady Harriot Dundas. One grandson was Privy Chamberlains to the Pope, as well as heir to Cranavonane, County Carlow. Another was the much-decorated businessman, Evelyn James Bunbury.
|Bunbury of Cloghna, Cranavonane & Marlston|
Descended from a younger son of Benjamin Bunbury of Killerrig, this branch settled in the region of the River Barrow in County Carlow. One ran The Bear Inn in Carlow. Another was a wine merchant on Bow Street, Dublin, who intermarried with the Mill family, wine merchants of Exeter. This marriage brought them to Marlston House, Berkshire. Family members include a leading diplomat in New Zealand, a Governor of St Lucia and a Privy Chamberlain to Pope Pius XI, as well as the ancestors of the Versturme Bunburys and the Guyana branch.
|Lola Montez and the King of Bavaria|
Lola Montez was one of the most famous dancers in Europe in the 1840s. Her love affair with the King of Bavaria brought him crashing down before she embarked upon a new life running saloons for gold-miners in California. This tale follows the rise and fall of this tempestuous Irish woman, charting her romance with Franz Liszt and her encounters with Richard Wagner, Hans von Bülow and Alexandre Dumas.
|Silken Thomas FitzGerald's Rebellion, 1534-1536|
In 1534, Silken Thomas FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Kildare, flung down his Sword of State in front of the Council of State and renounced his allegiance to Henry VIII. This was the opening gambit of a rebellion in which FitzGerald attempted to capture Dublin Castle, only to be executed in London, along with five of his uncles, on what was possibly the blackest day in the long, epic history of the FitzGerald family.
|Ballyvolane, County Cork, Ireland – The Place of the Springing Heifers|
Ballyvolane is one of the most admired guest houses in Ireland. Built by a former Chief Justice of Ireland, past occupants of the County Cork mansion include a butler and a maid executed for murder and a nationalist politician who vanished without trace. Owned by the Green family since 1955, its recent guests have included Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. This history includes a piece I wrote for National Geographic Traveller.
|Clonsilla, County Dublin – Historical Tales|
The stories of Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly, the Shackleton Gardens, Luttrellstown Castle, the wrestler Stephen Farrelly, a strange poisoning and a remarkable barrister. Irish translations follow below.
|Turtle Bunbury's Global Irish|
A podcast series exploring some of the more extraordinary Irish people who have found fame and infamy around the world in centuries past.
|Lefroy of Carrigglas (Longford), Ewshot (Hampshire) and Canterbury (Kent)|
Hailing from Cambrai in French Picardy, the Lefroy family arrived in England as refugees during the French Wars of Religion. Having prospered as silk merchants in Canterbury, two branches emerged. The Irish branch included Tom Lefroy, famed as the love interest of Jane Austen, before he became Chief Justice of Ireland. The English branch were based at Ashe in Hampshire where they were again closely affiliated with Jane Austen's family. Among the family were the first Lady Rathdonnell and the surveyor Sir John Lefroy.
|Thomas Bunbury (1542-1601)|
Thomas Bunbury is the first of the family with a proven connection to Ireland, being trustee of Lismore Castle for his half-brother Sir William Stanley in 1585. Thomas was a son of Henry Bunbury, Lord de Bunbury, and his wife Margaret Aldersey. He succeeded his father to Great Stanney in 1547. His wife Bridget Aston was the scion of a prominent Catholic family.
|Mary Spring Rice (1880-1924)|
During her all too short life, Lord Monteagle's remarkable daughter sailed out with the Childers on Asgard on that extraordinarily audacious gun-run in 1914 and, during the War of Independence, she made her mark by offering indispensable first aid lessons to nurses tending to wounded IRA members.
|Daniel Robertson, an American Architect in Ireland|
An eccentric and prolific architect. Robertson left his mark on such well-known Irish mansions as Killruddery, Powerscourt and Lisnavagh. An American of Scots origin, he grew up between South Carolina and Georgia before training as an architect in London. Having gone bankrupt in 1830, he moved to Ireland where he lived until his death in Howth in 1849.
|Drew of Scotland & Westmorland|
[Work in progress] Above: A gathering at Dalmonach on the shores of Loch Lomond. The …
|The Life & Times of Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury, 2nd Baron Rathdonnell, of Lisnavagh, County Carlow – Part 1 (1848-1878)|
The Formative Years – Tom McClintock Bunbury (1848-1929) would become probably the most influential member of the Irish branch of the family in history. This section looks at his childhood, his Eton education, his time in the Scots Greys, the death of his parents and sisters, his marriage to Kate Bruen and his position as heir apparent to his uncle, the 1st Baron Rathdonnell.
|The Incredible Mr Kavanagh|
The story of a remarkable Irishman, born without arms or legs, who became an explorer and member of parliament, as well as a huntsman, sailor, photographer and father of seven.
A two-time Guinness World Record-holder – the oldest and the most prolific cow ever recorded – Bertha passed away just three months short of her 49th birthday, being more than twice the lifespan of your average cow. This legendary Droimeann cow from Sneem, Co. Kerry, has been immortalised by an award-winning Irish gin.
|The Life & Death of Kevin Barry (1902-1920)|
Kevin Barry’s short life was full of firsts. He was the first person executed since the Easter Rising of 1916 and, as such, the 18-year-old medical student was the first person to be executed in the War of Independence. This story looks at his upbringing between Dublin and County Carlow (where he was at school in Rathvilly), his work as a Volunteer, his fatal role in the Monk’s Bakery raid and the world-shocking events of his execution.
|Lisnavagh – The War Horse|
A remarkable hunter, bred at Lisnavagh, who competed at the International Horse Show in London before going off to the Western Front as the mount of Captain Eustace Mansfield.
|A History of Ballyfin House, Co. Laoise, Ireland|
Consistently ranked among the world’s top resorts, Ballyfin’s history reaches back to an age when the O’More chieftains dominated the surrounding lands. Its story encompasses multiple families – Crosbie, Pole, Coote and Wellesley – with Iron Dukes, bounders and heiresses in the mix, as well as its tenure as a Patrician school and its remarkable restoration in the present century.
|Mansfield of Morristown Lattin, County Kildare|
The Mansfield family have been in Ireland at least since the 12th century. Penalized for their Catholicism in the 17th century, fortune returned when they married the sole heiresses of the Eustace and Lattin families, as well as a fortune from the Danish colony of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Latter day characters associated with the family include the parachuter Major Richard Mansfield, children’s author Brownie Downing and Fine Gael politician Gerard Sweetman.
|Rathsallagh, County Wicklow: A Potted History of 6,000 Years|
An epic and sweeping saga of Stone Age genius, Normans warriors, Georgia gentlemen and noble revolutionaries in the Wicklow Mountains, homing in on the Ryves, Pennefather and O'Flynn families.
|Athenry, County Galway – Historical Tales|
The stories of a best-selling novelist, Governor of North Carolina, a terrifying hurricane, a giant cake, ‘The Fields of Athenry’ song and a woman who refused to eat. Extracted from Past Tracks. Irish translation included.
|Róisín (Folan) Ui Chualáin (1929-2022) – The Nurse of Inisheer Island|
Everyone had a donkey,’ she says. ‘But there’s only two left on the island now.’ Born in 1929, the former District Nurse reflects on working as a midwife in Tottenham, London, and life in Lurgan village on Inisheer in the Aran Islands of County Galway.
|Saint Brigid of Kildare|
In Ireland, St Brigit became known as “Muire na nGael” (Mary of the Irish), as venerable as the Blessed Virgin, mother of Christ, and second only to St Patrick in the hierarchy of patron saints. However, her story is infinitely more complex, embracing the deities of pre-Christian Ireland and the political machinations of the medieval church, as well as a certain amount of revamping in recent times.
|Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) – A Study in Green|
‘I, an Irishman by extraction, was born in the Scottish capital after two separate lines of Irish wanderers came together under one roof’. So remarked the creator of Sherlock Holmes. His mother was Mary Foley from Lismore with strong roots in Kilkenny; his father Charles Doyle had paternal roots in Dublin and Wexford. One of Arthur's uncles was director of the National Gallery of Ireland and married into a Dublin a family by name of Sherlock …
|The Magistrate: Benjamin Bunbury (1751-1823) of Moyle & Killerig|
Benjamin Bunbury was one of the younger sons of Thomas Bunbury of Kill but the death in a horse fall of his older brother William propelled him into the deep end as he took over the running of Lisnavagh, as well as Moyle and Killerrig, on behalf of his young nephew. He earned himself a reputation as something of a diplomat during the 1798 Rebellion but narrowly avoided being murdered by the Finnegan gang shortly before his death at the age of 72 .
|Thomas Bunbury of Kill (1705-1774)|
The life of a Georgian gentleman farmer in 18th century Ireland as he extends his land ownership from County Carlow into Longford and Kildare. Thomas Bunbury was grandfather of Jane Bunbury who married John McClintock of Drumcar, from whom the McClintock Bunbury family descend, and also of Field Marshal Viscount Gough.
|The Palatines in Ireland|
In 1709, just over 3,000 mostly Protestant refugees from Germany's Palatine region sailed for Ireland. Their descendants include the families of Switzer, Wyse, Keppel, Cooke, Young , Embury, Miller, Baker, Poff and Gleasure. This article looks at the origins and impact of that Palatine emigration.
|John McClintock, 1st Baron Rathdonnell (1798-1879)|
John McClintock, who inherited Drumcar House, County Louth, in 1855, launched a series of mostly unsuccessful campaigns to represent County Louth at Westminster. He served just one term from 1857-9, but he caught the eye of Benjamin Disraeli and was created Baron Rathdonnell in 1868. This story follows his life and times, his links to the Bunbury family, and his marriage to Anne Lefroy.
|Din Lane (1923 – Turf Dealer of Glin, County Limerick|
‘It was hard work. We were on Joe White’s bog by eight o’clock every morning from the end of March. We often used to make our dinner with a fire out in the bog. If we were out of butter we’d go into Glin on our way, but we’d be there a half an hour before anyone else would get up!'
|De Robeck of Gowran Grange, Co. Kildare & the Focks of Estonia|
Originating in Estonia and Sweden, the de Robecks came of age during the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars, while Admiral de Robeck was one of the principal figures in the Dardanelles campaign of the First World War. Other family members have been pivotal to the success of events such as the Punchestown races, the Kildare Hunt and the Dublin Horse Show.
|A History of Bishopscourt, Clones, Co. Monaghan|
Built as a rectory for the Church of Ireland during the Napoleonic Wars, Bishopscourt was considered such a fine abode that two Bishops of Clogher opted to use it as their main place of residence during the first decades of the 20th century. This tale takes in the Lennard family, scions of a natural daughter of Charles II, as well as Cassandra Hand, champion of Clones Lace; the dairying enterprise of the Mealiff family; the fabulously named Baldwin Murphy; and the enigmatic Archie Moore, Consultant Surgeon at Monaghan General Hospital.
|Spike Island – Australian Convicts & the Vagrancy Act|
Between 1787 and 1868, over 30,000 Irish men and 9,000 Irish women were transported to the Australian colonies as convicts. The vast majority were held at Spoke Island before they departed for exile from Cobh, the County Cork seaport which had been renamed Queenstown in 1849. This article looks at the campaign to secure a posthumous pardon for those sentenced during the time of the Great Hunger.
|Bunbury of Kilfeacle, co. Tipperary|
MATTHEW BUNBURY (1675-1733) The Bunburys of Kilfeacle, Co. Tipperary, descend from Mathew Bunbury (1675-1733), fourth …
|Liza Mulvahill (1915-2015) – Dairymaid & Cook of Moyavne, County Kerry|
‘I got afraid seeing all the men and I ran. One of them put up the gun to shoot me. They thought I was running to tell the IRA they were coming. My mother was in a panic until another one said, “Stop, don’t shoot the child.”’
|Maurice Fitzgerald (1919-2012) – Farmer of Glin, County Limerick|
‘I was a great boxer. A heavyweight. Oh yes, I was highly dangerous and the whole town knows it. I’m Maurice Fitzgerald. One of the Normans. Did you ever hear of them? I’m a tough man. My right arm is a ten-pound sledge. Did you ever get a belt from a sledge? And my left arm is a kick from a mule. Do you know what a mule is?’
|Around Lisnavagh: Neolithic to the Bronze Age|
As of January 2022, I have an inventory of (extant or vanished) 3 ring forts, 1 square fort, 1 standing stone, 1 dolmen, 1 monastery, 1 castle, 1 Bronze Age settlement, all located in a small stretch of land running from the summit of Knocknagan to the Haroldstown dolmen, drawing in a little bit of Tobinstown and the townland of Acaun …. throw in an underground stream, the River Dereen and the mysterious shapes in Bowe's Grove, and the stage is set for yet more sleuthery.
A review of the National Geographic's episode of Ice Patrol entitled ‘Shackleton's Island' (2009) when a group of marines followed Shackleton's astonishing journey through the uncharted mountains of South Georgia Island.
|Sir Ernest Shackleton – By Endurance, We Conquer|
An astonishing lesson in leadership from the Irishman whose attempt to cross the Antarctic by land left him with the immense challenge of leading his 27 crewmen on a godforsaken adventure through the world's most hellish waters and an uncharted mountain range.
|Maisie Grannell (b. 1925) – The Seamstress of Enniscorthy, County Wexford|
Maisie has endured considerable hardship in her life but by dint of her amazing determination and sheer work ethic, she has survived with her sense of humour intact. Politician, be warned. Maisie has a catapult and a bag of road chippings set aside for door-to-door canvassers. And she knows how to use them.
|Castlebar, County Mayo – Historical Tales|
The stories of the inventor of the torpedo, a global prima donna, a telephone pioneer, the short-lived Republic of Connacht, the inglorious Races of Castlebar, the rise and fall of the Earls of Lucan, and a gentleman who went to the gallows. Extracted from Past Tracks, with Irish translations by Jack O'Driscoll.
|Clondalkin & Fonthill, County Dublin – Historical Tales|
The stories of the poet laureate who asked Paddy Kavanagh to be a spy, a 1,200 year old Round Tower, a gentleman farmer who drove across Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge, a plethora or writers and boxers, and a devastating explosion at a gunpowder mill. Extracted from Past Tracks, with Irish translations by Jack O'Driscoll.
|Cobh – Historical Tales|
A mercy mission from Boston, the bells that rang out for Laurel and Hardy, Sonia O'Sullivan and a remarkable Titanic survivor are among the cast on Turtle's panel in Cobh railway station, illustrated by Derry Dillon, translated by Jack O Driscoll.
|Arklow, County Wicklow – Historical Tales|
The stories of the Arklow munitions factory, a 1920s party animal, an Olympic Gold medal winner, a spy called Agent ZigZag, a lady mariner, and an old world cure for Charles Stewart Parnell's wounded hand. Extracted from Past Tracks. Irish translation included.
|Athlone, County Westmeath – Historical Tales|
The stories of a Victoria Cross winning drummer boy, a world heavyweight boxing champ, a deadly hurricane, the Earls of Athlone, Count John McCormack, and a brilliant bandmaster who performed at the inauguration of six US presidents. Extracted from Past Tracks. Irish translation included.
|Ballina, County Mayo – Historical Tales|
The stories of one of Ireland's most successful presidents, the origin of the town ‘Font', a pioneer of showbiz in Chicago, the engineering ancestors of Joe Biden, a leading opponent of slavery and a strike by schoolboys seeking an end to corporal punishment and Wednesday's off. Extracted from Past Tracks 2021, with Irish translations by Jack O'Driscoll.
|Ballinasloe, County Galway – Historical Tales|
The stories of the Earls of Clancarty (who liked UFOs, dancing girls and redrawing the map of Europe), as well as a prominent Australian photographer, a Hollywood star from the 1930s, the battle of Aughrim and one of Europe's oldest fairs. Extracted from Past Tracks, with Irish translations by Jack O'Driscoll.
|Booterstown, County Dublin – Historical Tales|
The stories of a multi-millionaire opera singer, a remarkable Georgian lady, an ancient highway, the most powerful politician in 20th century Ireland, a Sunday morning assassination and how the Radisson Blu was once given as a prize to a victorious general. Extracted from Past Tracks, with Irish translations by Jack O'Driscoll.
|Boyle, County Roscommon – Historical Tales|
The stories of the Hollywood beauty who starred in the Tarzan movies, the scullery maid who became a baroness, a Great War air ace, the woman who composed India’s national anthem, a regiment known as the Devil’s Own and the inspiration for Chris O’Dowd’s ‘Moone Boy.’ Extracted from Past Tracks, with Irish translations by Jack O'Driscoll.
|Carlow Town – Historical Snapshots|
The stories of a man born without limbs who became an explorer, as well as the Czech engineer who invented the water-bike, the murder of a Hollywood director, the prince of Antwerp who made Carlow his home, the crazy doctor who blew up Carlow Castle and the mystery of one of the world’s biggest ancient monuments. Extracted from Past Tracks, with Irish translations by Jack O'Driscoll.
|Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) – A Hugely Successful Author|
The story of the author of the critically acclaimed ‘Castle Rackrent’, a comic masterpiece, and her inventive father, and how Maria came to the aid of the people of Longford during the Great Hunger.
|Richard Butler (1794-1862), Vicar of Trim and Dean of Clonmacnoise|
Maria Edgeworth’s sister Harriet married my grandfather’s great-uncle Richard Butler, Rector of Trim and Dean of Clonmacnoise, Described as ‘a handsome man with expressive eyes’, he was born at Granard, County Longford, in 1794.
|Kennedy of Johnstow and Bishopscourt, County Kildare|
One of the most celebrated families of the Kildare hunting scene during the middle decades of the 20th century, the Kennedys were direct descendants of Sir John Kennedy, the Father of the Kildare Hunt. Indeed, for much of the 20th century, the area around Straffan was known as ‘Kennedy country’.
|Bunbury of Russellstown and Bunbury Lodge, County Carlow|
An unusual branch of the family, whose stars included Henry Bunbury (described by contemporary as ‘an agreeable oddity') and his son Thomas Charles Bunbury, who campaigned for Daniel O'Connell in the 1830s.
|A Historical Odyssey through Dublin’s Literary Pubs|
The pub and the pen have always gone hand in hand, especially in Dublin. That’s why the city is so celebrated for its playwrights and poets and authors from Jonathan Swift to Oscar Wilde to Flann O'Brien to Sally Rooney. That's why Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature, with an annual Book Festival; why three of the bridges that span the Liffey are named for writers; why it offers one of the richest literary prizes in the world; and why Dublin was home to all four Irish-born winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature. This story explores the pub side of things.
|Sam Maguire & Liam MacCarthy – For Whom the Cups are Named|
MacCarthy and Maguire are household names on account of the All-Ireland cups for hurling and football which are named in their honour. But few know just how intricately both men were linked with the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson in London and the meteoric rise of Michael Collins.
|William Bunbury (c. 1674-1710) of Lisnavagh, Co. Carlow|
William was given the lease on Lisnavagh and Tobinstown by his father in 1695, the year before he married Elizabeth Pendred and commissioned the construction of the original house at Lisnavagh. This page provides some historical context on William's relatively short life, along with some speculations about the first house and its surrounding landscape.
|Commodore John Barry (1745-1803), Father of the American Navy|
The Wexford man was the United States’ first commissioned naval officer, as well as its first flag officer. On his watch, the US Navy converted 40 acres of Brooklyn into one of the world's biggest shipyards. It stands next to the oldest park in Brooklyn, renamed Commodore Barry Park in his honour.
|William Browne – Father of the Argentine Navy|
When Argentina launched its War of Independence against its Spanish overlords, William Brown of Foxford, County Mayo, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine fleet and powered his adopted country to victory.
|Mick King (1924-2013) – Farmer of Lanmore|
‘I never bothered my head about marriage, but I tell you, when my father and mother were alive, you couldn’t go bringing a woman into an old house like this.' A charming bachelor farmer from County Mayo recalls his days working on the bogs of Allenwood, bringing potatos to Westport by horse and cart, and a school where ‘swallows flew in and out the broken windows’ and ‘you’d clap your hands every now and then to stay warm’.
|Desmond Leslie (1921-2001) – An Irish Gentleman|
The man who punched Bernard Levin live on TV, in front of 11 million viewers, was also a brilliant Spitfire pilot during the Second World War. As well as his first marriage to the stage actress Agnes Bernelle, Desmond Leslie made his mark as a scriptwriter, music composer and, perhaps most famously, as a passionate advocate for the existence of flying saucers and alien life.
|Knocknagan by Lisnavagh, County Carlow|
A consideration of the lands beside Lisnavagh, once part of the Bunbury empire, and its association with the Shepard, Nolan, Salter, Browne and Hopkins families, as well as the ancient ringfort.
|Interview with Turtle Bunbury, March 2020 – The Irish-American Post|
Conducted by Martin Russell of the Irish-American Post, this appeared in March 2020, coinciding with the launch of ‘Ireland's Forgotten Past' and the arrival of a certain irksome virus …
|Ireland's Wine Geese|
We may not have the climate to grow our own vines, but the Irish have done a colossal amount to develop the wine trade and spread those succulent grape juices across this world from France to California to Australia and New Zealand.
|Cuffe, Earls of Desart – Ghostly Women and Forgotten Heroes|
The story of the Cuffes of Desart Court in the Irish county of Kilkenny is as sprawling an epic as ever there was. Over nine generations, the family were deeply ensconced in the affairs of Ireland and the Anglo-Irish world. Their rise through the ranks of Great Britain’s social hierarchy makes for a fascinating mirror of the rise of Britain itself, from uncertain nation state to brash and broody empire.
|Redmond Kane and the O'Cahan Family|
The story of the O’Cahans of Limavady, who became the Kane family, prominent bankers, homing in on the attorney Redmond Kane of Mantua, Swords, County Dublin, one of the wealthiest commoners in Ireland during the late 18th century. He was also for many years the Solicitor to the Irish Company entrusted with management of what is now County Derry Londonderry. In time, the substantial Kane estates would pass to his grandson Colonel Kane Bunbury.
|The Whiteboy Insurrection in Macroom, 1822|
An account of one of the most notorious agrarian secret societies to emerge in the Irish countryside in the Georgian age, who remerged during the war against tithes, arguably the most reviled tax of the early 19th century.
|Richard Corrigan Papers – General Notes (County Carlow)|
Miscellaneous pages connected to County Carlow, extracted from one of Richard Corrigan's books and transcribed as written by Maribeth Nolan in Nov/Dec 2012. Giltrap, Cope, Corrigan are among the names recorded, as well as the Parish Church in Kinneagh.
|Blake of Menlo Castle, County Galway & Meelick House, County Clare|
Looking at one of the most celebrated of the 14 Tribes of Galway, whose properties included Menlo Castle and Meelick in Ireland, as well as Whitland Abbey in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The account considers all nineteen of the Blake baronets, Wild Geese and Wine Geese, as well as curious links to Cary Grant, Red Hugh O’Donnell’s assassin and Tony Blake, who was executed during the Korean War.
|Smyth of Ballynatray|
The Holroyd-Smyth family who lived at Ballynatray House near Youghal in County Waterford descend from a family named Smyth who were closely allied with Richard Boyle, the Great Earl of Cork. This story charts the family's journey from the Tudor age to the 1850s.
|Charles Joseph Kickham (1828-1882)|
A short account of the 19th century novelist and Fenian pioneer, famed for the poem ‘Slievenamon', who was born at his mother's family home in Mocklershill outside Cashel, County Tipperary, with some additional notes on his cousin, Michael Kickham, a priest who became the bane of the Catholic church in Australia during the 1880s.
|Betty Scott (1923-2013) – The Inspiration for the Vanishing Ireland project|
The story of Betty Scott, who started work at Lisnavagh as a parlourmaid in 1941 and was the housekeeper from 1959 throughout my young life until she retired in 2007. Without Betty's influence, the Vanishing Ireland project would never have happened.
|Murder at Shandy Hall – The Coachford Posioning Case, 1887|
The murder of Laura Cross of Shandy Hall was the talk of all Britain and Ireland when the story hit the press in the summer of 1887. Michael Sheridan's 2010 book reexamined the extraordinary circumstances which ultimately led to the execution of her husband, Dr. Philip Cross.
|Deep-Sea Fishing in County Clare|
In 2009, a Swiss financier caught a bluntnose sixgill shark near Carriagaholt, County Clare. It was the largest yet fish caught by a rod and line in Irish or British waters. Turtle headed down a week later to see if he could do any better. He could not.
|Brian Kennedy – The Rise of a Falls Road Boy|
“I've never set out to be political in any sense but because of where I was born and how I grew up, that defined me immediately.’ We were never involved in anything other than the day-to-day thing of going to school and being shot at and all those kinds of mad things.” Turtle interviewed the Belfast born singer shortly before he competed at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest.
|Sir William Stanley – Hero, Traitor & Bunburying in Tudor Ireland|
The tale of a remarkable man, a Catholic in Queen Elizabeth's army, who was tipped to be Viceroy of Ireland until he allied himself with Catholic Spain and became intricately involved with the Babington Ploy, the Spanish Armada and the ill-fated Gunpowder Plot orchestrated by Guy Fawkes.
|FitzGerald of Carton House & Kilkea Castle, County Kildare – Earls of Kildare, Dukes of Leinster|
The dramatic story of one of the most powerful families in Irish history – their early years as French-speaking adventurers, their rise to being a vital cog in the running of the Irish colony, their rebellions against the kings of England and their stunning decline when the pay-off of a gambling debt backfired.
|Dr Bartholomew Mosse – Founder of the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin|
Dr Bartholomew Mosse was the founder of Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital, the first purpose-built maternity hospital in the world, which opened in 1757. This highly motivated surgeon and man-midwife achieved his ambition through his immense gift for corporate fundraising: running lotteries, staging concerts and productions in the theatre, including a number of Handel's oratorios.
|Chesterfield House, Booterstown, Co. Dublin|
WILLIAMSTOWN Chesterfield House is located on Cross Avenue, midway between Booterstown and Blackrock. When the house was …
|Johnny Golden (1937-2010) – The Gouldy|
Raised in the Sunbeam Orphanage near Bray, Johnny Golden was a home-boy on a farm in County Leitrim by the 1950s. He later became sexton of the church in Killegar, and worked as a mechanic from his home in County Cavan. The Gouldy was murdered in 2010. This story formed the basis of the eulogy I read at his funeral.
|The Clonmel Show (1865-2015)|
The Clonmel Show has survived some of the darkest days in Irish history, through times of local agitation, national crisis, global conflict and Covid 19. This account was commissioned by the Clonmel Show Committee as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations in 2015.
|Charles Bianconi (1786-1875) – The Man who put Ireland on Wheels|
‘Earn a shilling a day and live upon sixpence’. That was the motto of a remarkable entrepreneur from Italy whose energy, perseverance, punctuality and good humour made him the transport king of Ireland in the 1820s and 1830s. A friend of Daniel O’Connell, he became Mayor of Clonmel in 1845.
|Sir Walter Raleigh in Ireland|
Sir Walter Raleigh was one of the most one of the most enigmatic adventurers, soldiers, …
|Werner Siemens & the Gutta-Percha Tree|
In the summer of 1847 the young German army engineer Werner Siemens secures a contract from the Prussian Army to lay a subterranean telegraph line insulated, at his suggestion, by sap from the Malaysian gutta-percha tree. By October the innovative genius has established a telegraph company in Berlin that will evolve into the present-day global telecommunications and engineering giant, Siemens AG.
|Very Rev. Patrick Gill – The Parish Priest of Lecanvey|
Born in 1927, the Very Rev. Patrick Gill muses upon a horrendous pogrom in 1795 that drove 7,000 Ulster Catholics to Connaught, the impact of the Great Hunger on County Mayo and his own experiences administering a parish at the foot of Croagh Patrick.
|Sister Rita (1917-2013) & Sister Alphonsus (1920-2015)|
‘It was a very sheltered life, and it wasn’t always easy. But that was the way it was. You did whatever you had to do and there was plenty to be done’. Two Sisters of Mercy in Athy, County Kildare, look back over the nine decades since their childhood, and explain how they fetched up in the order.
|Dublin City – Streetwise|
The etymology (ie: origin) for the names of the streets, bridges, docks and other landmarks of Dublin. This is mainly focused on the docklands area as it is based on work I did for my 2008 book, ‘Dublin Docklands – An Urban Voyage’, which was commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority
|Reviews of ‘1847 – A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity & Savagery' by Turtle Bunbury|
“1847” is, for me, the best thing Turtle has done so far. It is vivid, surprising, hugely entertaining; an unforgettable encounter with an extraordinary year.' Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson and others weigh in on Turtle's 2016 book ….
|Brabazon of Killruddery, County Wicklow – Earls of Meath, Barons Ardee|
The Brabazons came to prominence during the Tudor conquest of Ireland when Henry VIII dispatched the shrewd Sir William Brabazon to Ireland as Vice-Treasurer. He established the family at Killruddery and his grandson was created 1st Earl of Meath in 1627. Over the next 300 years, the family would consolidate their influence in Wicklow, Ireland and the wider world of the British Empire.
|Search by County, Historical Era or Category|
Search the History Quarter by County, by Historical Era or by Category.
|The Irish Pub – Media Coverage & General Applause|
‘Delightful' says The Irish Times. ‘Fascinating' concurred the Independent-on-Sunday. ‘A brilliant history of the Irish pub' declared Country Life. ‘A masterpiece of pub porn' said the Sunday Independent. Turtle's 2008 book ‘The Irish Pub' – his third with photographer James Fennell – gathered plenty of the plaudits following its publication. It was selected as Bookseller's Choice for Christmas by Hughes and Hughes and short-listed in The Irish Times Christmas Gift Special. The sumptuous hardback sold over 5,000 copies in its first 3 months.
|An Interview with Bill Harrington, 2005|
William Henry Leicester Stanhope, 11th Earl of Harrington (1922-2009) was second-in-command to my grandfather, Major the Lord Rathdonnell, aka Bill Rathdonnell, during the Second World War. They served with the 15 / 19 Hussars in northern Europe in the wake of the Battle of the Bulge. In October 2005, I took a train to Limerick and interviewed him about his wartime experience.
|The Long Hall – 51 George’s Street, Dublin 2|
The Long Hall is the sort of place Brunel would have created if he’d taken to pub design. Reminiscent of a mid-Victorian train station, it came in at No. 2 on a list of the most popular pubs in Dublin published by Tripadvisor in February 2022. Up until 1951, the bar was men only but women sitting in this hallway were served through hatches. One regular was notorious Dublin bad boy Brendan Behan whose father worked across the road in Dockrells.
|The Stag's Head – Dame Court, Dublin City|
For some, the first indication that they are within range of the Stag's Head comes while strolling along the south side of Dame Street, away from Trinity College. A singular mosaic tile on the pavement depicts the noble head of a stag and points down a small alleyway, past the red and white pole of a barber’s shop, to the aforesaid establishment.
|Geoff’s Bar – Waterford City|
The cover star of Turtle and James's book, The Irish Pub, Geoff’s popularity is probably due to the success of its eponymous owner at maintaining the essence of the grocery bar which his grandfather, Geoffrey Power, founded here on this site over a century ago.
|Gertie Browne – Athlone, Co. Westmeath|
Running over 200 miles from its source to the sea, the Shannon is the longest river in …
|The Sky and the Ground – Wexford Town|
Chipped enamel lampshades hang low over a counter, salvaged from Gaynor’s shoe shop, now capped by three discreetly assertive tap banks. Shelves are stuffed with Sunlight soaps, Jeyes flats and other ‘where are they now’ household names. ‘I don’t deliberately go out and try to buy stuff’, insists Johnny Barron, the owner of this fine Wexford pub. ‘It’s just whatever comes to me’.
|The Crown – Belfast|
One of the last of the great Victorian Gin Palaces that once flourished in the industrial cities of Britain, this landmark establishment originally serviced the six stagecoaches and various jaunting cars passing daily from Belfast to Lisburn.
|J. Curran's – Dingle, County Kerry|
Like so many of Dingle’s fine pubs, Curran’s has always doubled as a general merchant. ‘They sold everything long ago’, says James Curran, pulling out one of the old ledger books. Sue enough, the ledgers are stuffed with billheads from all manner of harness-maker, tailor, newsagent, chemist, baker and clergyman. Trawling through the names, James shakes his head and remarks: ‘They’re all gone now, every single one of them gone’.
|Kelly's Cellars – Bank Street, Belfast|
The oldest licensed premises in Belfast is also one of its most alluring. The pub was a meeting place for the United Irishmen in the run up to the disastrous rebellion of 1798. It is still easy to imagine such characters plotting revolution here over dark ales and tankards of mead. The pub has changed little since the age of Wolfe Tone and McCracken.
|Michael Finucane’s – Ballylongford, Co. Kerry|
Michael Finucane’s great uncle bought the bar from The O’Rahilly, the only leader to die in action during the Easter Rising. It was inevitably a stronghold for Republican get-togethers during the formative years of the new state. Customers sat at the bar and drank while a tailor proposed different colours and cloths. The drapery and the grocery are no more but the pub remains an aesthetic delight and an epicentre of life for the surrounding community.
|Brennan's – The Criterion Hotel, Bundoran, County Donegal|
Built in 1823, The Criterion Bar was one of the earliest guesthouses to arise upon Ireland’s raggedy Atlantic shores. The Brennan sisters lived here all their lives, taking it in turns to serve from behind the pitch pine counter. Everything was immaculate, traditional, unfussy, simply inviting customers to take time out from the seasonal mayhem of the streets outside. This was one of the few pubs unsullied by the advent of modern times.
|De Barra’s of Clonakilty, West Cork|
Christy Moore is by no means alone when he suggests that de Barra’s is a cut above Carnegie Hall. The pub is all about music, from the flutes, fiddles and saxophones sprawled upon its walls to the purpose-built auditorium out back. But somehow de Barra's’ retains its sense of history and still feels like an old-world grocery bar.
|McCarthy's of Fethard, Co. Tipperary|
A dark and inviting interior, with tobacco-stained walls smothered by images of men clutching trophies, well-toned horses in mid flight, revolutionaries at play, the Bloody Sunday football team. McCarthy’s has a catchphrase: ‘We wine you, dine you and bury you’. Sure enough, the pub offers both an up-market restaurant and an acclaimed undertaker service. Coffins and hearses are parked in the former livery stables out the back.
|House of McDonnell – Ballycastle, Co. Antrim|
This Antrim gem has been in the same family for an astonishing fourteen generations. Most of what one sees is old world from the classic black light switches and coat hooks beneath the counter to the keyhole clock that gongs above the bar. This was an old man’s pub and to a large extent it still is. ‘We don’t do refurbishment’, says the present owner, Tom O'Neill.
|Dick Macks – Dingle, County Kerry|
There’s not many pubs like Dick Mac's left. By night it seems as though every rattan stool, bentwood chair and scuff-resistant step is occupied by someone of a different nationality. All silhouetted by the shoe boxes rising up the wall. The lighting overhead is as stark as you get. Everywhere the banter is in full flow. When the music starts, all ankles tap. If these people are not Irish, they sure want to be.
|E.J. Morrissey's of Abbeyleix, County Laois|
In more carefree times, there was an unofficial commandment that stated: ‘Thou shalt not drive through Abbeyleix without pausing in Morrissey’s for a pint’. The pub's best known landlord was Willie John Morrissey, a famous character in Irish folklore. He was the town rep for the Cunard Line in an age when the Abbeyleix Carpet Factory kitted out the Titanic with its elaborate rugs and carpets. Although loath to admit it, Willie Joe was so deaf that one effectively had to order a drink with a pen and paper.
|McConville's (The Mandeville Arms) – Portadown, County Armagh|
This classic Victorian bar is one of the most stalwart survivors of the Ulster pub scene right down to its crack-riddled sky blue and dusty red tiled floor. In 1981, the windows were blown out when a 400lb car bomb exploded outside the pub. Its present owner has made it a pub for all, ‘whatever age and whoever you are – anything goes, religion makes no odds’. The pub is certainly an inspiration for all those who want to move on from the Troubles and enjoy the 21st century, not least from within one of the ten impeccably charming leather-bound snugs within.
|Tigh Neachtain’s – Cross Street, Galway City|
Jimmy Maguire, the soft-spoken owner of Tigh Neachtain, says his pub is the oldest in Galway City. He believes it formed part of a medieval townhouse built by the family of Humanity Dick Martin. Jimmy is passionate about history. He tells the tale of Captain Thomas Poppleton, who attempted to liberate Napoleon from captivity, and assures his customers that Poppleton took the French Emperor into Neachtain’s for a secret pint on his way to St Helena. In fact, he blinks, Christopher Columbus most probably drank a rum here when he was on his way to the New World.
|J & W Wright – Glaslough, County Monaghan|
Before insurance costs became too extreme, Glaslough hosted an annual motorbike rally, which could draw a crowd of anything up to 10,000 persons. Ron Kendrick, the owner of Wright's, was himself a keen biker, ‘in between the hedges’, racking up a personal best at his home race of 5th place on a Yamaha road-bike. He was delighted to have his pub at the hub of it all.
|Lenehan's – 10 Barrack Street, Kilkenny City|
Lenehans is the sort of pub that becomes extremely busy on a Monday morning for no particular reason. The pub still derives good business from teachers, nurses and clergy in the locality, as well as the soldiers in the nearby barracks and workers from the Labour Exchange. Jim likes the fact they are off the beaten track.
|Crotty's Pub – Kilrush, County Clare|
Crotty’s Pub today is effectively a square. In the bottom right is the main bar, featuring a pitch pine counter, a tiny frost-glass snug and a rare plate glass Smithwick’s Ale & Barleywine mirror. This was the room where Oliver Reed, Richard Burton and Cyril Cusack all drank when passing through. Miko Crotty managed to lure an Italian stonemason working on the Catholic Church to lay most of the floor, save for the somewhat uneven bar area.
|Thomas Connolly's – Holborn & Markievicz Street, Sligo Town|
During the 1930s, Sligo was the second biggest port in north-western Ireland. Every week, cargo ships from Poland, Denmark, Scotland and such like would dock, laden with corn, tea, timber and coal. The hardy sailors frequently piled into Connolly’s to drink ‘rum and blacks’ alongside Sligo’s indigenous dockers. Public order within the pub was maintained by Jim Fox, who had served with the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1882 through until the foundation of the Free State in 1922.
|Clancy's – 12 Leinster St, Athy, Co. Kildare|
Thom’s Directory of 1926 records forty-one ‘wine and spirit dealers’ in Athy. By 2007, that number had fallen to sixteen. To stay afloat, you need to be different and that is where Clancy’s has a trump card. In 1964, Jim Clancy evicted all the dusty old bags of maize from the grocery’s storeroom and reopened it as a music room. Nearly sixty years later, Clancy’s is considered one of the great music pubs of Eastern Ireland.
|P. Bermingham – Navan, Co. Meath|
In 1882, Patrick Bermingham purchased a two-room grocery bar on Ludlow Street, Navan, and converted it into perhaps the most splendid Victorian pub in County Meath. The pub is now run by the Marmion family, cousins of the Berminghams, who have kept the original name proudly gilded on the exterior, framed by stone walls, wrought iron rails and dark oak panelling.
|The Bulman – Kinsale, Co. Cork|
The Bulman is at heart a mariner’s pub. Full-length exterior portraits of Hugh O’Neill and Don Juan d’Aquila, commanders at the battle of Kinsale, stand solemnly beneath flower baskets at either side of the main door. Light tumbles in from the ocean. Heat rises from fireplaces in rooms at either side. The bar counter is pitched at the perfect height for old men to lean upon.
|Bunbury of Lisbryan, Spiddal, Woodville … and Borneo|
This branch of the main Lisnavagh family initially settled between County Tipperary and Connemara. Descendants include a man who held the world record for shorthand writing, the Borneo settler for whom the Bunbury Shoals are named and the unfortunate Molly Bunbury who was murdered by her doctor husband in 1886.
|John Devoy (1842-1928) – Fenian Rebel & Sponsor of the Easter Rising|
There would probably have been no Easter Rising without John Devoy. Indeed, one could say that there might have been no Irish Free State without Devoy. Certainly two of Ireland’s most iconic leaders, Charles Stuart Parnell and Michael Collins, owed much of their success to the machinations of this extraordinary man, arguably the most influential Irish-American in history.
|Map showing how Britain and Ireland voted over Irish Home Rule in 1886|
A fascinating map coloured to show how people voted on the Home Rule question in 1886. The ares in green were in favour. It would be another 35 years before the Irish Free State was born; the six counties of Northern Ireland remain part of the United Kingdom.
|William Presley of Eagle Hill, Hacketstown|
The story of a savage attack on William Presley in 1775, possibly by the Whiteboys, and how that launched a festival in Hacketstown, even if it sadly transpired that the Carlow town was not Elvis's ancestral home.
|William Bunbury III of Lisnavagh (1744-1778)|
William was the great-grandson of the first Bunbury to settle in Ireland. He married the heiress Katherine Kane, shortly before he was elected MP for Carlow in Grattan's Parliament. He was planning to build a new house at Lisnavagh when he was tragically killed in a horse accident in 1778. After his death, his widow took the family to live in Bath until their eldest son, Thomas, was old enough to return. William's posthumous daughter Jane would produce the future heir of Lisnavagh …
|Meghan's Roots: The Duchess of Sussex's Ancestral Links to Ireland, Malta & New Brunswick|
A look at the Duchess of Sussex's ancestry including the Dublin marriage of Belfast-born Mary McCue (McCague) and Private Thomas Bird, the Malta connection, the move to New Brunswick and the birth of Meghan Markle's great-grandmother in New Hampshire.
|Bunbury of Killerig, County Carlow|
A lesser known branch of the Irish family whose members include the mistress to one of George III's sons, one of Australia's most celebrated clockmakers, a brilliant pianist, a Victoria Cross winner and the landlord of the Yellow-Lion Inn in Carlow Town, as well as a cameo by the creator of Big Ben.
|Ballyhacket, County Carlow & the Ridelesford Connection|
Looking at the townlands connections to Sir Walter de Ridelesford (or Riddlesford), Lord of Bray, as well as the Knights Templar, the Fratres Cruciferi of Castledermot and the displacement of the Mac Gormáin or O’Gorman family.
|John Concannon & the Grapes of Mexico|
A short account of the Aran Islander who revolutionised the wine industry in Mexico.
|Trim Castle – Ireland's Oldest Stone Castle|
Trim Castle in Co. Meath which is not just the oldest stone castle in Ireland but also the largest of our Anglo-Norman castles. Here Turtle explores its links to such powerful dynasties as de Lacy, Mortimer, Wellesely and the House of York.
|Bunburys in the Medieval Age|
Looking at the Bunbury family during the 100 Years War and the Wars of the Roses, including a timely sickie on the eve of Agincourt.
|The Baron de St. Pierre & the Bunbury Family|
The origins of the family, with their connection to the Baron de St. Pierre and Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, plus other links to Saint Boniface, the Barons Malpas, the de Boneberrys &c.
|Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) – A Pioneering Feminist in Ireland|
Before she became one of the founding philosophers of feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft was governess to Viscount Kingsborough’s daughters at Mitchelstown Castle in north Cork. While Mary went on to marry William Godwin (and so became mother to Mary Shelley, author of ‘Frankenstein’), one of her protégés Margaret, Countess of Mount Cashell, scandalised aristocratic society by eloping to Italy with a young Irish officer by name of Tighe.
|Mrs. Nixon, the First Lady from County Mayo|
The story of Richard and Pat Nixon's visit to Ireland in 1970, how they met, his connections to Kildare and Antrim, and her visit to meet her Ryan and Naughton kinsfolk near Ballinrobe, County Mayo.
|Clonalis, County Roscommon – High Kings and Civil Wars|
The home of Piers O’Conor Nash, nephew of the O'Conor Don, this fabulous Roscommon home holds the Inauguration Stone upon which nearly thirty O’Conor kings of Connaught were crowned. Clonalis was awarded the HHI O’Flynn Group Heritage Prize in 2022. Turtle recounts a visit to the house which he conducted on behalf of National Geographic Magazine.
|Villages at a Crossroads – Borris, Grangecon & Clogh|
Over three centuries after Oliver Goldsmith wrote The Deserted Village, our small communities are once again facing a bleak future, with populations falling, pubs and post offices closing and long-held traditions fading away. An article Turtle wrote for The Irish Times Magazine in 2008.
|De Burgh of Oldtown, Co. Kildare|
Reputedly descended from Charlemagne, the de Burgh's role in Irish affairs has been immense since the first knights who cantered across the seas in the 12th century. The Oldtown branch was established in Kildare 325 years ago by Thomas Burgh, a brilliant military engineer. His descendants include the Georgian politicians Walter Hussey Burgh and John Foster, General Sir Eric de Burgh, the singer Chris de Burgh and the 2003 Miss World, Rosanna Davison.
|Big House Hospitality & the Hidden Ireland|
By 1986, less than 300 of the big houses were still in the hands of the families who had built or occupied them during the days when Ireland was a British colony. That same year, the heads of some of these families joined forces with some of those who had purchased, restored or converted such buildings during the decades since independence. They came together under a shared belief that the time had come to open their front doors, and the doors of the bedrooms upstairs, to welcome in paying guests. Not as hotels, of course, but as private homes where people could stay. And so the Hidden Ireland was born.
|Jonathan Swift – A Tale of Two Women|
Dean Swift, the celebrated satirist and author of such works as ‘Gulliver’s Travel’s’, was Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin for over thirty years. However, perhaps the greatest conundrum of his life was how to maintain an intimate relationship with two women, without one finding out about the other.
|The Secrets of Dublin's Underground|
The underground of any city is replete with the possibilities of another world. Think of the darkly magical catacombs of Edinburgh or Rome, or the abandoned Tube lines under London. Many of the legends of a subterranean Dublin riddled with interconnecting tunnels are codology. The Irish capital is too wet for a decent underground, resting upon reclaimed marshland, but there are nonetheless some tunnels worth knowing about …
|Walt Disney’s Leprechaun Hunt|
By the time of his death in 1966, Walt Disney was a household name across the world, having racked up far more Oscars than anyone else in history and established a multination company with zillions of dollars, as well as resorts and theme parks. A classic American success story from man whose ancestors emigrated to the US from Ireland in the 1830s but when it came