Edward “Ned” Daly was born into a large and proud Fenian family on this day in 1891. Although he was named after his father, he never met the man. His dad passed away just before Ned was born, leaving his uncle, John Daly, and the rest of his family to raise the young boy. They instilled in him the same rebel nature and Irish Republicanism that his father had once fought for. When he was a small child, all he wanted to do was to be a soldier, like his father before him. Since his family would never allow him to take a post in the English Army, Ned thought his dream would never be achieved. However, when the march toward yet one more rebellion began, suddenly there was another option. Under the influence of his sister (who happened to be Kathleen Clarke), and her husband Tom, Ned’s interest in fighting and soldiering was brought to fruition. It was his destiny to be a rebel but unfortunately, that destiny would also lead to an early grave.
Remember the idea that the Good Friday Agreement would end the Troubles and bring peace in the North? It’s a tenuous peace at best, and certainly not as tranquil as most Americans believe. There are still shootings, bombs, and more every day in the region. We don’t hear about it in America most of the time because the Good Friday agreement was the jewel of the Clinton administration but it happens more than anyone would hope. In the last week or so, there were at least four pipe bombs planted under cars resulting in mass evacuations and one explosion. There were also at least two “paramilitary-style” shootings, two large protests, a vandalized memorial, another bomb scare in Derry, and an article on the people who are already amassing tires and pallets for their bonfires in July. A Catholic church was spray painted with Sectarian graffiti that supports the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and in other areas you can see an ever increasing number of tags supporting the IRA. The Union Jack will fly on some government buildings for the first time in nearly a decade. Martin McGuinness has been warned of a serious assassination plot against him where he’d be killed with a rocket – not a gun or a bomb, but a rocket. How peaceful does this sound to you?
It must be agonizing for a parent to outlive their child. It goes against the natural order of the universe and has to be absolutely devastating. For many, it usually involves anger and hopelessness. Margaret Pearse knew that suffering better than most, for she didn’t lose one son, but two—at once—both executed at the hands of the British for their roles in the Easter Rising of 1916. Despite this, she steadfastly refused to give in to despair and she spent the rest of her life fighting for the free Ireland that her sons had died for.
Over on the Facebook site, Wednesdays are all about whisk(e)y. It began with this wonderful article and has taken on a life of its own.
Join me for a fun mix of facts, infusions, recipes, and history to celebrate the Water of Life in all its forms. Head over to Choosing the Green on Wednesdays for your digital cocktails and mouthwatering recipes….
Oh Sinn Fein…
You are making the centenary pretty hard on those of us who live over the puddle and can’t spend 8 weeks in Ireland.
Today, February 4th, 147 years ago, one of Irish history’s most famous women was born…in London. Constance Gore-Booth was an aristocratic socialite who fell in love with Irish politics and went on to be one of the most beloved and recognized names in Nationalist history. She fought for women’s rights in Ireland and was a devoted Republican fighter who would have been executed for her role in the Easter Rising, had she not been a woman. Her most famous advice to women was to “Dress suitably in short skirts and strong boots, leave your jewels in the bank and buy a revolver.” In honor of her birthday today, here are my top ten favorite facts you may or may not already know about her life.
Jane Francesca Elgee did a lot of things in her life. She rebelled against her Protestant, Unionist family and became a prolific poet and Nationalist writer. She stood up in court, outing herself as the criminal during a Sedition case to protect the people and the paper she worked for. She spoke at least five languages and translated in each. She threw weekly salons and was known as the most gracious host in all of Dublin. She was a devoted Suffragist and fought for equal rights for women. But what she is best known for is not her prose or her politics. She is best known for being the mother of her children—one in particular—whose works far surpassed those of his mother in a very short time. Indeed, Jane Francesca Elgee will forever be known as Lady Jane Wilde, the woman who gave birth to her son, Oscar.