Irish Roots

Can genealogy constitute real history? When I started RF Foster’s new book Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1923, I thought t(...)

In 1909 the veteran Fenian Tom Clarke, later to be executed for his part in the 1916 Rising, praised in one of his letters “a splendid set of young fe(...)

Top, from left, Constance Markievicz; and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Bottom, from left, Joseph Plunkett; Alice Milligan; and Thomas MacDonagh.  Main photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From the early 1900s the development of the Abbey Theatre was accompanied by challenging alternatives, spearheaded by political activists. They inc(...)

The bombed buildings at the corner of Sackville street and Eden Quay on the banks of the Liffey in Dublin. The buildings were shelled by the British admiralty gunboat, the Helga, during the Easter Rising. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Today marks the 100th anniversary of a meeting in Dublin at which the decision to hold the 1916 Rising was taken.Held on September 9, 1914, in the lib(...)

‘Dr Donald Caird’s  first curacy in east Belfast in the 1950s brought him face to face with the working-class community of the shipyards.’  Photograph: Jack McManus

If “the child is the father of the man” we may trace influences in Donald Caird’s career to his schooldays in Wesley College in the 1940s. Following a(...)

Bees can be upset by cold, or any jostling that disturbs their normal behaviour. Photograph: Alan Betson
The bee and the western wind

Peter Wheeler and Sighle Lynd – she a daughter of Irish writer Robert Lynd – lived on the edge of London’s Hampstead Heath and had a particular(...)

Professor John A Murphy said he had always been intrigued by the paradox of the growth of Irish nationalism through the spread of the English language. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus Ltd

Ireland owes its freedom to the spread of the English language which allowed for the spread of Irish nationalist ideals by writers such as Thom(...)

The 100-year-old Galway town hall photograph, which  presents  a ‘who’s who’ of the 1916 Rising

A “who’s who” of Irish revolutionaries is captured in a 1913 photograph taken in Galway – and found in a family attic almost a century later.Half of t(...)

Eoin MacNeill said in 1914: ‘I have been absolutely forced to the front in this Volunteer movement.’

One hundred years ago today, Eoin MacNeill, professor of early and medieval history at UCD and one of the leading lights of the Irish language revival(...)

Patrick Pearse was 36 when a British firing squad executed him in Dublin on May 3rd, 1916. David Thornley was the same age in 1971, when he wrote abou(...)