Nurses, bog bodies, Lady Killers and the English Market

February 15, 2024

An initiative by the Irish Embassy in London has captured the stories of Irish nurses who went to Britain to work in the NHS. Led by Festival contributor Professor Louise Ryan, the project collected 45 oral histories from Irish women and men and a book will follow next year. There is also a podcast series - Irish Nurses in the NHS - which you can hear here.

The discovery of a bog body near Bellaghy in Co Londonderry made the news recently. Estimated to be 2000-2500 years old, it's the body of a 13-17 year male. Here's the story covered by the Belfast Telegraph, making the link, which many did, to Seamus Heaney's poems inspired by bog bodies. Heaney's homeplace is close by. The body has been taken to the National Museums of Northern Ireland for further examination.

And on a connected subject, this is a good article from the BBC about the display of human remains in museums.

We've been listening to a radio series, also on the BBC, presented by Lucy Worsley called (rather unfortunately) Lady Killers exploring the stories of crimes committed, or alleged to have been committed, by women in the 19th century. Sometimes the tone feels a bit flippant but the stories provide a fascinating insight into women's lives in that period. They include Ulster-born Grace Marks involved in famous murder case in Ontario, Canada as well as a tragic case of infanticide in Holywood, Co Down.

And finally an interesting article on the history of the English Market in Cork including an explanation of how the market got its name.