Tenerife, Clonakilty & medieval Norwich

March 4, 2023

In advance of International Women's Day, the Irish Times had a list of 50 objects representing Irish women across time - as they said themselves they are literally 'objectifying women' but it's quite fun. The illustrations, by Dearbhla Kelly are fantastic and we've included two - of a sheela na gig and a pair of boxing gloves - above. Please click on this link to find out more about the illustrator.

The National Archives in London has a blog based on letters from one of their collections, in this case records taken from neutral ships during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748). This post concerns William Farrell, a 'down-and-out' Irish merchant writing from Tenerife to his family in Waterford. He was part of a significant Irish population in Tenerife, tapping into a diaspora that stretched from Ireland to the Canary Islands and on to the Spanish colonies in the Americas. Fascinating stuff.

From the War of the Austrian succession to the Second World War, here is a fascinating map showing war-related aircraft landings in Ireland 1939-45. It includes the famous American Flying Fortress which crashed near Clonakilty in April 1943, now part of local legend. The crew survived and the only casualty was their pet monkey who died after a few days in Cork. Read more about it here.

RTE Brainstorm had an article by Dee Maher Ring, who has made a special study of Ireland's shopfront signs, particularly the handcrafted lettering. It includes an RTE film from 1999 about signwriting in Cork.

And finally, just to prove we can do science and history (although a bit late on this one as it was published last August) here is a fascinating series of tweets, and an associated scientific article, about DNA testing of individuals found in a medieval mass grave in Norwich in the east of England. All were Jewish.