Lia Fáil Vandalized!

The Stone of Destiny on the Hill of Tara has been horribly vandalized again! A few years ago it was attacked with a hammer and this time someone threw tins of red and black gloss paint over the ancient standing stone on the Hill Of Tara. It is a stone long believed to have been essential in ancient king-making rituals in Ireland. This is such sad news. A spot so important and mystical should be sacred to all – no matter what religious or skeptical code you live by. Obviously, this person or persons not only doesn’t care about lore and history, but they have no respect for the land either. It breaks my heart. This type of destruction is becoming all too common at the historical sites in Ireland. It needs to be stopped.

I hope that the stone can be repaired without further damage and that the vandal is caught quickly. What horrible news.

In case you don’t know about the Stone here’s a brief history..

The stone had to accept the King of Ireland, much like the Arthurian legend – minus the sword. When the rightful king placed his foot on the stone it is said to have called out his name, declaring him High King of Ireland. It was said to have originally been positioned next to the Mound of the Hostages, the Neolithic passage tomb at Tara, and was moved to its current position on top of the Forradh in 1824 in commemoration of the 1798 Rebellion.

If anyone knows anything about this most recent act of vandalism, please please please let the authorities know. Or if you were on the Hill of Tara or in the general area, between 5pm yesterday evening and 10am this morning and if you saw anything out of the ordinary or suspicious please do get in touch with Navan Garda Station on 046-9079930.

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Memorial Day

Here in the U.S. Memorial Day means a three day weekend to most people. Many either forget, are opposed or are simply untouched by the idea of war and those who fight them. As a woman who is obsessed with the politics of another land and disagrees almost entirely with her own country’s foreign policy, Memorial Day is a strange one. Still, while I am opposed to war and I despise the greed from which almost all of them spring, I do not oppose those who fight them. I absolutely hate the fact that they are necessary – but I do not hate them. And I can hardly honor the patriot dead of one country without honoring my own, so here it is.

Those who are sent on a mission and who do not return should be honored, not just on Memorial Day but every day. Those lucky enough to come back should be cherished and cared for – and those who thrust them into the world should be forced to join them, in order to better understand what they’ve done.

Cheers to you…. and thank you for your service. May you never be forgotten.

Stand up For James Connolly

 I’m sure that they’ll argue that he was Scottish born. I’m sure they’ll denigrate his socialist beliefs. Neither dispute the fact that he stood for Ireland when others didn’t – and included rich, poor, male and female equally in all of his philosophies. Write. Call. Stop this ridiculousness.
At 6pm on Sunday, 18th of May 2014, RTÉ1 Radio’s History Programme is asking the question: “Is James Connolly a false 1916 Icon?” Don’t let them degrade the winner of the Public Poll to choose the Greatest Irishman Ever. We need to flood RTÉ’s Inbox with support for James Connolly. Please take time to E-Mail: history@rte.ie saying that you support James Connolly as a National Irish Icon.
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Protect Moore Street!

On the off chance you are in Dublin this weekend, or you have the ear of an Irish politician, you should help protect Moore Street. It is home to one of the only outdoor markets left in Dublin, but aside from that it is also where the rebels of 1916 made their last stand and escape from the GPO before surrendering to stop civilian casualties. Developers want to replace all that history and street vending with another mall, though there are more than a few in the area and more hotels. Stand up and link arms for history, street vendors, farmers and locals. You can find more information via these 2 links

http://www.occuworld.org/news/817530

https://www.facebook.com/events/1537009746526361/Image

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Proclamation

When I visited Kilmainham Gaol in December, it was a bit like a pilgrimage for me. I knew that I would be walking through the notorious place I had been reading about for 20 years and that my Irish history knowledge would only be improved by going…but I didn’t really want to. I knew it’d be hard for me as I am a sensitive girl and I left my traveling companions elsewhere in order to do it alone. I was highly emotional, particularly when I visited “Last Words“, the exhibit on the top floor of the prison.

As I left the gaol, I really needed to collect myself. My makeup was runny from tears I had barely held back in the exhibit and my head was full of things I wanted to remember and write down. Most of all, I wanted a cigarette. I crossed the street to have one and to not fall apart in front of a major tourist attraction and found myself surrounded by humanoid, creepy bronze statues whose chests were full of bullet holes. In the split second it took me to put two and two together, I realized 2 things. These were the creepiest statues I had ever seen and I had come to the wrong place to collect myself, as it made me even more emotional and teary.

I don’t know if I like Rowan Gillespie or not. On one hand I believe he’s a genius. On the other, his work hits me in a visceral way that makes me uncomfortable. This is Proclamation, another place I had to add to the Atlas Obscura. It’s getting quite full of Irish places these days….

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-proclamation-sculpture

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May 12th

Today marks the end of the anniversaries of the 1916 Executions. James Connelly was shot May 12th, 1916. He was carried into the prison yard and tied to a chair, due to injuries that would have killed him in a day or 2 anyway. Instead of letting nature take its course, they tied him to a chair and the firing squad shot him.

Last winter, a Sinn Fein guide mentioned rumors that he was already dead when they brought him into the yard, which was the first I had heard of the possibility. It wouldn’t surprise me  – after all, they were only posturing and proving a point by executing him, despite his feebleness and injuries. Either way, the 12th marks the anniversary of his death – and this photo was taken in December at the mass grave site in Arbour Hill. I quite like the leaves in the cracks – and while I sat at the grave, a feral tabby cat jumped right into my lap and started purring like mad, at just the perfect time.

It was a great way to spend  the afternoon.

Rest in Peace Mr. Connolly and all of your cohorts too.

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