The O’Conor Don & the ‘Irish Giant’ Charles Byrne

The Victorian Commons blog on the history of the British Parliament had this article by Aidan Enright on the political career of MP Charles Owen O'Conor, the O'Conor Don (1838-1906).

History Ireland have produced an interesting podcast on WB Yeats and his relationship with the Irish Free State. A reminder that Festival co-founder Simon Kingston has also contributed to a recent History Ireland podcast, on the Bandon Valley killings of 1922 which you can hear at the same link.

Also relating to the revolutionary period, a piece on The Conversation by Catriona Beaumont about her grandmother Máirín Beaumont and her role in three organisations - Cumann na mBan and later in the National University Women’ Graduates Association (NUWGA) and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA). It includes some great photographs.

More locally, Irish Heritage News featured Clogagh near Clonakilty, focusing on what happened to three young IRA members there during the War of Independence - Patrick (Paddy) Crowley, Charlie Hurley and Con Murphy.

And finally, news this week that the skeleton of Charles Byrne, known as the 'Irish Giant', will be removed from display at the Hunterian Museum in London. Byrne - who is pictured above - was born Charles O'Brien in 1761 near Lough Neagh and grew to 2.3 metres because of a problem with his pituitary gland. His height made him a celebrity and and he was paid to entertain audiences. When he died, aged 22, he wanted to be buried at sea but his remains were obtained by surgeon and collector John Hunter and later displayed in the museum named after him. Read more on the BBC website.