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Do any of you have photos or stories to share about the emigration experience out from Cobh ... Nearly three million people are thought to have left Ireland via Cobh between 1840 and 1940; there were so many harrowing farewells that it became known as the ‘Town of Tears’.

Closing date for submissions for the People of Cork wall is March 10th- if you have any photos, family stories or maps linking Cork and the sea get in touch with the curators- or pop into St. Peter's Cork

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St. Peter's Cork

Thanks to Mark Shorten for this gorgeous family photo, taken aboard a UK bound ship from Cork in 1959 and thanks to all for sending in their Cork stories and pi...ctures for our City by the Sea exhibition. We are still looking for any stories, maps, letters, photos etc for the People of Cork wall so please do share this and let friends and family know that they can call into the venue or email if they have something to share- we won't use the original- but we will make a high quality copy! Deadline for submissions is March 10th 2017.

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For those who missed the 'Ear to the Ground' episode broadcast on RTE on February 14th, the programme homes in on the disgraceful yet ongoing destruction of the 3000-year old wooden roadway in Mayne Bog, county Westmeath.

Here is the link


With thanks to Aidan Walsh.

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The team asks if it is unrealistic for women to run a farm and explore a 3,000-year-old road on a bog in Co Westmeath.


Set in 1912, 'Uisce Beatha' (Gaelic for Whiskey or Water Of Life) is the true story of Tom, a young Irish man who leaves his home in rural Ireland to cross the ocean on the ill-fated 'Titanic'. But a night of celebration beforehand results in a twist that will affect Tom's fate drastically....

Set in 1912, 'Uisce Beatha' (Gaelic for Whiskey or Water Of Life) is the true story of Tom, a young Irish man who leaves his home in rural Ireland to cross t...


With thanks to Victoria House.

Posted by The Irish Post
The Irish Post

Newly unearthed pictures from as far back as 1860 shed light on ‘forgotten #Ireland

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Turtle Bunbury with Ally Bunbury and Craig L. Foster.


Like many people I associate Turtle Bunbury with the ‘Vanishing Ireland’ books. He and the photographer James Fen...nell were a perfect team, and the books were a success from the start, with good reason. We look on them as picture books, but unlike the usual coffee-table variety, which are often more concerned with show than substance, they combine top-class writing with outstanding photography.

Turtle Bunbury made his name supplementing the portraits in the Vanishing Ireland books. Since then, he has written many books of his own, including ‘Easter Dawn’, one of the best accounts of the 1916 Easter Rising. He must be one of the most versatile authors of his generation, writing about travel, the Irish in the First World War and many other subjects. He is a serious historian with a light touch in writing.

This time he has managed to make an episodic book, spanning just one year in the nineteenth century. It is consistently entertaining, thoroughly researched and a pleasure to read. In ‘Vanishing Ireland’, he and James Fennell had been astonished to learn that many of the old people whose lives they researched had grandparents who remembered the Great Famine, and Turtle has included several incidents from that dreadful time.

When I was asked to review ‘1847’, I had not heard of the book before and thought that it was going to be about that tragic episode in Irish history. When the heavy parcel arrived, I hoped it would not be too miserable. I need not have worried: ‘1847’, although it has fresh light to throw on the Great Famine, travels the world for copy. It swings from tragedy to comedy and back. This is done with a light hand and the result is highly readable.

The eponymous year was one of many wars, discoveries, expeditions and oddities. The book is subtitled ‘A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity and Savagery’, and it is just that. The story of the Comanche nation in Texas makes an impressive start to the book in a chapter entitled ‘The Comanche Warriors and the Free-Thinking Germans’. I had associated Texas with the Spanish and Americans and with bloody battles. The Germans settlers seem to have been much more humane than their other European neighbours; their descendants are there still.

We pass on to the ‘Opium King’ and later to the relief sent to the Irish by the Choctaw Indians. The Choctaws were not the only Indians who raise funds for the Irish during the Famine; there were other tribes who donated money for Ireland, although some was diverted to Scotland.

Circus people crop up all through the book, including PT Barnum, followed by the equally intrepid career of Sligo girl Lola Montez and the luckless king of Bavaria’s infatuation with her.

The Mormons’ epic journey is one of the highlights of the book for me. It is a long, detailed account of their famous march to Salt Lake City and beyond. Titled ‘Of Roadometres, Choirs and Baseball’, it is a story of these unusual but determined people, traveling across a continent in the absolute certainty of their rightness. I am sure that whole books have been devoted to this subject, usually with emphasis on the practice of polygamy. This book gives a fascinating account of a journey like no other.

Extraordinary happenings at sea form a large part of the stories. Especially sad is the account of Sir John Franklin’s final voyage. These intrepid men were searching for the North-West Passage - which of course did not exist. Already elderly, Sir John was a man who insisted on holding daily services, complete with sermons composed by himself. He was popular, but the expedition should have been led by someone younger.

Music is a recurring theme. We read of Stephen Collins Foster, who wrote ‘Oh Susanna’, ‘Campton Races’, ‘Swanee River’ and ‘Beautiful Dreamer’. Later Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale, appears. She was almost worshipped by musician Felix Mendelssohn, who tried without success to write an opera for her.

The relaxed style of writing suggests that the author didn’t search too hard for his gallery of characters and incidents, although the impressive list of sources at the end of the book proves that he did. Present more as a book to be dipped into than a serious study, it must have taken many months to research. Producing something of this size and scope, with such a huge cast of characters almost worldwide, sounds like a daunting task. It might even have been scrappy or uneven, but I found it consistently interesting.

It was difficult to remember that I was writing a review, not reading for my own pleasure, and I shall be looking up Turtle Bunbury’s earlier books.

Marjorie Quarton.

NB: The accompanying image depicts gentleman of fashion in Sweden, as published in Stockholms Mode Journal in 1847.


'1847 - A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity & Savagery' (Gill Books), available via Amazon, Book Depository, and Irish bookshops nationwide.

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FEBRUARY 1947 by Mairéad Donnellan

Tell me again how it fell,
came at you sideways,
melted like a thousand hosts on your tongue,...
entered the chinks of your top coat,
mother’s fingers tight around yours,
footprints filling on the way to the haystack.

How halfway there you turned home,
and the wind moved his tune out of the ditches,
up into the eaves you nested beneath,
listening to prayers on their way to the Saviour,
two cows outside making do with straw
plucked from your mattress.

Each thing settling in your memory
while you drifted off,
dreamt of ascending the haystack,
a great sugarloaf at the end of the lane,
the distance between earth
and heaven, closing in.


‘When the world turns white, everyone has a memory’, Turtle Bunbury


The accompanying painting is 'A Backstreet in the Snow' (1895) by Walter Frederick Osborne.

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Peter Curran to Vanishing Ireland
January 6

My grandfather, John Roche. This was taken in Aungier St, Dublin probably 1930s.he worked for Fanagans undertakers for many years.When they replaced the horse d...rawn hearse with cars he refused to learn to drive.! He often brought me to the yard to see the few retired horses that were still stabled there. The offices and yard were on opposite sides of the road just behind where the picture was taken... Never found out who took it.

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AL Martin to Vanishing Ireland
January 12

Anyone have any idea where this is, it was in a box of a deceased relatives belonging's


With photos by Donal Moloney.

“It's a hard, old life, but they'll all be back again next year.” Incredible photos of the people and animals at Ballinasloe Horse Fair.
Vanishing Ireland shared their post.
January 24


Our sincere condolences to the friends and family of the beautiful Joan Crowley (née Lovett) Crowley's Bar, Henry St. & 3, Bridge St., Kenmare, Co Kerry, who passed away on 23 January 2017. She was predeceased by her husband Con, daughters Toni and Cáit and son-in-law Micky O’Donoghue.

Reposing at Finnegan’s Funeral Home, Kenmare. Rosary on Tuesday at 8.45pm. Reposing on Wednesday from 5pm - with removal at 7pm to Holy Cross Church, Kenmare. Requiem Mass on Thursday at 11am - followed by burial in Old Kenmare Cemetery.

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Vanishing Ireland added 3 new photos.


Kenmare, County Kerry.

Crowley’s Bar on Henry Street, Kenmore, is rightly considered one of the finest traditional... pubs in the Kingdom of Kerry. It was a vital sanctuary for Irish music when that genre became endangered in the 1960s and 1970s. ‘We were the first that I remember to have traditional music here’, says Mrs Crowley, who ran the bar with her late husband Con for many decades. ‘It used to be that nearly every house in the town was a pub then, but they didn’t have music. It wasn’t allowed in the old days. They didn’t want people singing in the pubs’.

But when rock n’ roll and ‘loud pop music’ began seducing the youth of Kerry, the Crowley’s were to the fore in the promotion of traditional music. It wasn’t all about the music, mind you. ‘I thought it was a great help for the business and it was a fine attraction for tourists’. By the 1980s, men and women were coming in from miles around to ‘sing songs and play a few tunes’ upon the Crowley’s chairs and stools. ‘They were real musicians- they’d hear a tune and pick it up’. A fiddle was kept behind the bar for anyone who wanted to have a go. And, if you were lucky, you might even hear the Crowley’s play. Con Crowley was highly accomplished on the accordion and his wife was as swift as an otter on the fiddle.

‘I haven’t opened it for a long time’, she says, fiddling with the clasps that hold her fiddle in its case. On account of two arthritic fingers, she laid her fiddle down some years ago. But the all-powerful omega oils have been at work on her bones, and now her fingers reach out for the bow. ‘I’m not a traditional musician at all’, she laughs. ‘I was taught how to read it’. In the early days she and Con often practiced together at home. That became trickier with the pub as one or other of them would always be working behind the bar. But some nights, the Crowleys would play the crowd. They followed the graceful Sliabh Luachra style, popularized by Kerry fiddlers such as Julia Clifford, her brother Denis Murphy and the mighty fiddle-master, Padraig O’Keefe.

Joan Crowley was born in Kenmare in March 1922. Her only sister, Mary, was born nearly three years earlier in Boston. Their father Tom Lovett was raised on a mountain farm at Gortnaboul, near Kenmare, but emigrated to America on the eve of the Great War. He found work as a janitor in Boston and found a wife in Mary O’Connor, a farmers’ daughter from Killorglin in North Kerry. In 1921, when Mary was pregnant with Joan, the Crowley’s sailed back across the Atlantic and began farming in Templenoe.

Young Joan walked to school in Templenoe until she was 8 years old. She then headed into Kenmare to spend close on a decade at the Poor Clare Sister’s Convent, once famous for its Kenmare Lace. At the age of 18, she left the convent, tried to get a job in the civil service and fetched up as the accountant in Halissey’s General Store on the Square. Meanwhile, her sister Mary married upholsterer Bill Brannigan and settled in Dublin’s Artane where they raised five children. Joan still sees her sister regularly. ‘She comes down a bit and I go up. She’s older than I am and she’s able to drive a car’.

Joan stayed at Halissey’s, totting up the figures, until her first child was born. ‘Married women weren’t encouraged to work at that time’, she explains. ‘You were expected to stay at home’.

To look at Mrs Crowley, you could not imagine that this slight, self-effacing, defiantly girlish octogenarian has begotten and raised a dozen children. But when she pulls the photograph down from the sill and names each child, there can be no doubting she’s the mother.

Joan was ‘just 22’ when she met Con Crowley and ‘nearly 23’ when she married him. It was January 1945 and the war was still raging in Europe. She talks a little of each child and explains how two of her daughters have since passed away, one from cancer, the other, a fall. ‘So that’s two of them gone – but the rest of them are all here’. The hurting briefly fills the room but she’s quick to rise to it.

Understandably, she has lost count of her grandchildren. She does her best to remember their names. ‘In my day, everyone was called Paddy or Dan or Mick. Now my grandchildren have names like Enda and Mark and Ross and names you never heard of.’

Today, Mrs Crowley lives in a simple terraced house between Kenmare’s main square and the pretty Finnighy River that runs through it. Pope Benedict and St Charles of Mount Argus gaze benevolently from the mantelpiece. Mrs Crowley often sits here by the stove, talking with visitors and reading novels from her well-stocked bookcase. The living space is all open-plan and big windows to compensate for all the time she spent in the cramped confines of the pub. ‘I was indoors most of my life because of the bar. You don’t get the sun so, or the weather. And it’s the sun what gives the farmers the country look’.

Mrs Crowley’s son Peter, who now owns and runs the bar, maintains its musical theme, hosting sessions on Monday and Tuesday evenings, with impromptu sessions apt to kick off any other night of the week.


Joan Crowley passed away in January 2017.

Extracted from 'The Irish Pub' (Thames & Hudson, 2008) by Turtle Bunbury (writer) and James Fennell (photographer). If this text needs to be updated at all, please do not hesitate to let me now!

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With thanks to Victoria Louise House

Alan Jones is one of only three thatchers left in Wales - and one of the other two works for him


Roy Fox, the independent and family run greengrocer in Donnybrook, closed its doors just before Christmas for the last time after over eighty years in business. It was known for its extensive selec…
Posted by Nolan Coaches
Nolan Coaches

A beautiful old clip of Dublin back in the mid 60's
Sit back and Enjoy;)


John Kelly Photography
January 12

A little slideshow with photos taken of Eighty-two year old blacksmith Thomas Haugh, who has retired after a lifetime working in the family forge at Kilclogher, Cross, Co Clare.
For full story see this weeks Clare Champion.


Walking into Brennan’s Criterion Bar in the seaside town of Bundoran, Co Donegal is like being taken by the hand into a piece of Irish history which has been preserved so remarkably well that you never want to the waltz to end. You may also be overcome with an urge to become best friends with the wonderful, unique sisters, Nan (80) and Patricia Brennan (78) who run it, have been reared there, and call it home. So writes CAITRIONA McBRIDE in the accompanying article in todays The Irish Times

The Brennan sisters have lived above the Criterion Bar in Bundoran all their lives


Robert Marchand sets a new hour record at the national velodrome but regrets not going faster.|By BBC News


Margaret Gallagher's cottage life.
The highly acclaimed Vanishing Ireland Project began in 2001 when author Turtle Bunbury and photographer James Fennell b...egan travelling around Ireland, interviewing elderly members of society about their lives and times. See more
Visitor Posts
  • Excited today I received a copy of Turtle Bunbury latest novel 1847 ...and after reading the 5* reviews on Amazon I can't wait to dive in and enjoy this myself :-). See More
  • Maureen Thompson
    February 21 at 7:45am
    The following photo and commentary are courtesy of Maggie Lyttle, Ba...llymena History Society. Very interesting and relevant. "Ballymena Family History Society Antrim and Newtownabbey Council aim to revive forgotten author. Have you ever heard of Alexander Irvine, perhaps not, but at one time Irvine was one of Northern Ireland’s most famous writers. The Antrim man first came to prominence in the early 1900’s with the publication of his first novel My Lady of the Chimney Corner, a book about his early life in Antrim town and his mother – the eponymous lady of the chimney corner who was a major influence on his life and work. Irvine came from humble beginnings, the son of a shoe mender but he went on to achieve great success as both an author and a speaker. In 1888 he left his native Antrim and emigrated to the United States, where he arrived with only one dollar in his pocket. He worked as a missionary amongst those living in need and deprivation on the streets of New York. 1903 he graduated in theology from Yale University. His compelling life story is recorded in several of his books including From the Bottom Up and A Fighting Parson. Despite being a well-known figure throughout the 20th century Irvine has fallen from fame in recent years however a new initiative from Antrim and Newtownabbey Council aims to restore Irvine to his rightful place. The council, in partnership with the Ulster Scots Agency, have commissioned award winning theatre company Kabosh to produce a new living history experience based upon Irvine’s life. The short play will feature characters from Irvine’s life and the man himself and will be performed in the historic surroundings of Pogues Entry, Irvine’s birth place in Antrim Town. The event will open to the public on Saturday 25th February. Tickets are available at See More
  • Gilly Guilfoyle
    February 19 at 10:29am