It’s been a while….

June 28, 2023

A reminder that our friends and Festival field trip organisers Finola Finlay and Robert Harris post such interesting material on their Roaringwater Journal blog every week - particular favourites recently include 'Electrifying West Cork' and a 3-part article on a late 16th/early 17th century map of West Cork.

RTE's Europe editor Tony Connelly made an interesting programme (on RTE) about his grandfather, Michael., a Galwayman who served with the RIC. Michael then left the newly independent Republic to join the fledgling RUC north of the Border. Tony also wrote about his grandfather in the Irish Times.

A recent BBC Radio series Killing Victoria looked at the seven men who tried to assassinate Queen Victoria in her long reign, including Arthur O'Connor who was of Irish descent. You can listen to the series here.

Irish polar explorers have featured in a talk at a previous festival, and this year's Festival concert is inspired by the doomed Franklin expedition to find the North-West passage, so this article caught our eye. The Royal Navy Museum in Britain has bought a flag owned by Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Kellett (1806-1875) from Clonacody in Co Tipperary, who led two (unsuccessful) expeditions to find Franklin and the crew of the two ships he led, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Kellett's flag is made of green silk and embroidered with a harp in golden thread. The photo, from the NMRN, shows a close up of the flag.

And lastly, an article by one of this year's Festival contributors Dr Tara McConnell with the splendid title 'A daily pint of claret': how wine was used as medicine in 18th century Ireland . Tara's talk at this year's Festival has an equally intriguing title - Prodigious Fine Dinners: Dining with Jonathan Swift.