The unlikely Irish contributions during D-Day.

D-DAY

Ireland remained neutral throughout World War II, but that is not to say there was no contribution from the Irish during the war. Many young Irish men did join the British army and also  partook in Operation Overlord, more common;y known as D-Day.

However this blog is not about any of those troops but about 2 less likely participants in Operation Overlord.

blacksod

When Maureen Flavin took on a job as postmistress at the Blacksod light house in Co. Mayo in Ireland she had not anticipated the other job which was bestowed on her.The job was taking barometer and thermometer readings(basically weather forecasting) at the remote Blacksod weather station on Ireland’s west coast. But she did do her job and it made a global impact.

mAUREEN

On her 21st birthday, June 3 1944, she took the barometer readings and noticed a sudden drop, indicating bad weather was coming. Maureen gave the report to Ted Sweeney who was the lighthouse keeper and they sent it in and, Maureen , quickly received a call from a British woman asking them to check and confirm the report.

The report was send again and an hour later, she received a call from the same British woman, asking her to check and confirm again, which she did.

report

Unbeknownst to Maureen the Allied leaders who were  in London were relying on her weather reports to judge whether they should proceed with the D-Day launch as planned. The chief meteorologist, a Scottish man named James Scagg, was giving General Eisenhower regular weather updates.

He advised Eisenhower that based on Maureen’s report Operation Overlord, which was planned for June 5,1944, should be postponed. Scagg knew that the weather forcasted by  Maureen would hit the UK and France after it hit Ireland.Eisenhower took the advice and postponed the planned invasion by a day. So D-Day happened on June 6 because of young Irish woman. Maureen later married the lighthouse keeper Ted Sweeney. Their son Vincent is currently the lighthouse keeper at Blacksod light house.

2019-06-06

The other unlikely Irish D-Day hero was born and raised in the village of Carnlough on the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland. He joined the RAF as a messenger, and although he wasn’t a pilot nor did he have a plane he still flew a dangerous mission.

You see Paddy was a messenger pigeon who served with the RAF during the Normandy operations in June 1944,

Paddy

He was the fastest pigeon to reach England with a coded message from the battle-front beaches of Normandy.

The brave bird brought back vital information about the Allies’ progress, flying 230 miles in four hours 50 minutes – the fastest time of any of the messenger pigeons involved in the mission with an average speed of 56 mph.

In the face of poor weather conditions and the threat of German falcons, deployed to intercept Paddy and his comrades, he delivered his message to his home loft at RAF Hurn.

He was the only Irish pigeon to have been awarded the Dicken Medal for bravery. Paddy was trained for his specialist role in Northern Ireland and England.

Prior to the D-Day Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, the bird was delivered to RAF Hurn in Hampshire. Two days later he was among 30 pigeons taken to France by a unit of the 1st US Army. Paddy was released at 8.15 a.m. on June 12, carrying coded information on the Allied advance.

dicken

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Sources

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BBC

My secret Northern Ireland

Irish Central

Irish Mirror

Independent.ie

 

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Major Jan Linzel- WW2 Hero.

Major Linzen

On May 5,2019 on the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. One of the heroes who contributed to this liberation passed away aged 103.

Like me he was Dutch and like me he had a love for Ireland and we both ended up making this emerald isle our home. But where I am merely a simpleton ,writing about history. I could only aspire to even reach 10% of the man Major Linzel was. He a true hero.

The WWII veteran had moved to Ireland in 1978 after he, his wife Marianne and their teenage son began holidaying in Glengarriff , in Co Cork five years earlier and fell in love with the locality.

Major Linzen was the last survivor of the Royal Dutch Air Force that tried to repel the Luftwaffe when Germany declared war on the Netherlands on May 10, 1940

Born in  Stadskanaal, a town of the North Eastern province Groningen the Netherlands on December 7th 1915, He  always had a keen interested in flying and, after joining the Royal Dutch Air Force in May 1938, was attached to a fighter squadron at Ypenburg when Germany declared war on the Netherlands on May 10th 1940.

He shot down two German fighters before being hit himself and bailing out with a bullet wound in the leg.

plane

In an interview with the Irish Times , 3 years ago he recalled that ‘dogfight’, in his Fokker DXX1

“I saw the silhouette of an aircraft that I had never seen before… I then saw the German markings and gave a short burst – a very bright violent flame came out of its right engine and then black smoke – it went down straight away,” he recalled.

“I climbed up again and saw a large formation of Heinkels in the direction of the Hague – I dived down to on the hindmost right aircraft and fired everything I had at close range – I am sure I hit it but I did not have time to see the result.

“When I pulled away, a bullet came through the floor and exploded in my thigh – there was a lot of blood and I started to feel faint. I threw off the hood and bailed out – you have no idea how quiet it is when you are hanging in the air.”

fokker

Landing in a field of cows, Major Linzel lay there wounded for almost two hours as a local dairy farmer reckoned he was a German paratrooper but when the farmer finally approached, Major Linzel told him that he was “as Dutch as your cows over there”

He was taken to a hospital together with some German pilots, were he was discharged after 6 weeks.

Undeterred, he joined the Dutch Resistance before making his way to Britain,via Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal,in 1943 where he joined the RAF with whom he flew almost 100 sorties.

Members of the Royal Netherlands Air Force gathered in a quiet country graveyard in West Cork on Thursday,May 9th.2019 to honour one of the last of their famous May Fliers who defended their country against the Nazis.

RIP

Majoor Linzel, Rust in Vrede en bedankt wat U voor uw Vadeland en Koningkrijk gedaan hebt.

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Sources

Irish Times

Examiner

Irish Sun

 

Penny Black

black

It may sound like a 19th century Gothic novel or the name of an Irish folk singer but neither apply, Penny Black is in fact the name of the first adhesive postage stamp.

It was first issued in Great Britain om May 1 ,1840 but was not valid for use until 6 May   it showed the head of the monarch of the time, Queen Victoria. Printed in sheets of 240, each had to be cut from the sheet by hand until the Irishman, Henry Archer, came up with an early perforating machine.

Even though  the stamps were not officially issued for sale until 6 May 1840, a few offices such as those in Bath sold the stamps unofficially before that date. There are covers postmarked 2 May, and a single example is known on cover dated 1 May 1840. All London post offices received official supplies of the new stamps but other offices throughout the United Kingdom did not, continuing to accept payments for postage in cash for a period.

Posted in Dublin on May 8, 1840, the Fitzpatrick-Thomas letter is the first clear use of the Penny Black on an Irish letter.

The Penny Black lasted less than a year. A red cancellation was hard to see on the black design and the red ink was easy to remove; both made it possible to re-use cancelled stamps.

red

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An Post

 

Céad Míle Fáilte for Nazi Germany-A troubled Irish History.

cead

I want to say this first before I go into the blog. I live in Ireland, I love Ireland and not one day have I regretted moving here. It is my home.

However what does disturb me is that some Irish politicians are calling on a boycott on some Israeli goods.

These same politicians appear to have forgotten a troubled Irish History where they embraced one of the world’s most brutal regimes with open arms and gave it the “céad míle fáilte” -A hundred thousand welcome treatment.

Eire V Germany 1936

On October 17th 1936 the Republic of Ireland football team played a friendly match against the German team, in Dublin Ireland won by 5-2.

Crowd: 28,000. The German team performed Nazi salutes during the playing of their national anthem. Although Germany had not invaded any country at that stage, it had become clear at this stage what the Nazi regime stood for.

A few months before the outbreak of WWII, but after the annexation of the Sudetneland and Austria, the Irish Football team played another friendly match against Germany. The date was May 23,1939 and the venue was Bremen, Weserstadion. The score was 1-1 but this time the German and the Irish team both did the Nazi salute. This was also about 6 months after the Kristallnacht.

Germany Eire

In 1936 Irish exchange students were send on a trip to Berlin to meet up with members of the Hitler Youth.

Youth

Even the current main government party,Fine Gael, has a National socialist legacy. It was born out of the Army Comrades Association also known as the blue shirts. The leader Eoin O’Duffy He modeled the organisation, by adopting elements of European fascism, such as the Roman straight-arm salute, Nazi salute, uniforms and huge rallies.

Fine Gael

In September 1933 Cumann na nGaedheal merged with the Blue shirts and Fine Gael was born.

In 1943 Oliver J. Flanagan was elected as a Fine Gael politician to the Dail(Irish parliament) In his maiden speech he said the following:

“How is it that we do not see any of these Acts directed against the Jews, oliverwho crucified Our Saviour nineteen hundred years ago, and who are crucifying us every day in the week? How is it that we do not see them directed against the Masonic Order? How is it that the I.R.A. is considered an illegal organisation while the Masonic Order is not considered an illegal organisation?There is one thing that Germany did, and that was to rout the Jews out of their country. Until we rout the Jews out of this country it does not matter a hair’s breadth what orders you make. Where the bees are there is the honey, and where the Jews are there is the money.”

His son Charles Flanagan is currently the Minister for Justice and Equality in Ireland. But just because he is his Oliver’s son doesn’t necessarily mean that he subscribes to the same ideas as his father.

On May 2nd 1945, the then Irish prime minister Eamonn DeValera and the Irish President Douglas Hyde, offered their condolences to the German Minister in Dublin on the death of Adolf Hitler.

News article

After the war Ireland became a hiding place for several Nazi war criminals. Leading Nazis like Otto Skorzeny and the Dutch war Criminal Pieter Menten.It is also rumored the Joseph Mengele stayed in for 6 weeks in Ireland, shortly after the war and just before he fled to South America. Although the Irish government say that they have no recotds of Mengele ever being in Ireland.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center even provided a list of aliases Mengele was known to have used in the past to help investigate whether or not Mengele ever stayed in Ireland

list

As far as I am aware Ireland never boycotted the Nazu regime because of its neutral stance. I find it utterly bizarre that some politicians feel the need now to boycott Israel.

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Sources

Irish Times

The Journal.ie

 

Typhoid Mary

mary

How could a seemingly healthy woman spread a potentially deadly disease?

Typhoid or Typhoid fever fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body, affecting many organs. Without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.If typhoid fever isn’t treated, it’s estimated that up to 1 in 5 people with the condition will die. However at the start of the 20th century that number would have been greater.

The main symptoms of typhoid fever are:

  • a high temperature that can reach 39 to 40C
  • headache
  • general aches and pains
  • cough
  • constipation

Additionally it can cause diarrhea and a rash.Typhoid fever is caused by a type of bacteria called Salmonella typhi. It is basically spread by poor hygiene.

Mary Mallon was an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. This means although she was infected she didn’t have any signs of the symptoms. Although she herself did not have the symptoms, she was a carrier and could infect others around her.

She  was born in 1869 in Cookstown, County Tyrone, in what is now Northern Ireland.Orphaned as a child, Mary lived with her grandmother. Her Grandmother taught Mary how to scrounge for food and cook with what they had, making potato cakes and nettles over a peat fire.

In 1883 or 1884, Mary immigrated  to the US  where she lived with her Aunt and Uncle.In 1900  , she found employment in Mamaroneck, New York, as a cook.

Mary ccok

Soon a number of residents of the houses where she worked developed fever and diarrhea.

In 1901, she moved 18 miles to Manhattan, where members of the family for whom she worked developed fevers and diarrhea, and the laundress died. Mallon then went to work for a lawyer and left after seven of the eight people in that household became ill.

In 1906 she moved to  Oyster Bay ,Long Island.Where again she got a job as a cook. Within two weeks, 10 of the 11 family members were diagnosed with typhoid and hospitalized. Mary moved jobs again, this time for a wealthy New York banker, Charles Henry Warren. The Warrens had rented a house in Oyster Bay for the summer of 1906, Mallon went along too ,where she infected  six of the 11 people in the family.

Eventually one of the families Mary had worked for hired George Soper, a typhoid researcher

soper

After his investigation Soper released his  results on June 15, 1907, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He had the believe that Mary Mallon could be the source of the outbreak.He wrote:

“It was found that the family changed cooks in August 4. This was about three weeks before the typhoid epidemic broke out. The new cook, Mallon, remained in the family only a short time, and left about three weeks after the outbreak occurred. Mallon was described as an Irish woman about 40 years of age, tall, heavy, single. She seemed to be in perfect health.”

Soper looked into the employment agencies which staffed private kitchens and retrieved the name of Mary’s employers from 1900 to 1907. He found out that typhoid had struck seven of the last eight families where she worked. He also discovered, , that in all the stricken households she had lovingly iced and nursed the victims ,even receiving a tip of $50 from  one employer.

Soper tracked Mary Mallon to a house on Park Avenue,home of Walter Bowen, where a daughter and maid had already come down with typhoid. When Soper  approached  Mary about her possible role in spreading typhoid, she was furious.

Soper reported this to the authorities  and eventually, the New York City Department of Health arranged for Mallon to be taken into custody. Doctors found typhoid bacteria in her gallbladder, but she refused to have it removed as she didn’t believe she carried the disease. Mallon was held in isolation for three years at a clinic located on North Brother Island.

hospital

In 1910 it was agreed that Mallon could be released from the Hospital if she agreed to stop working as a cook, and take precautions to ensure that she didn’t infect more people with  typhoid. She returned to the mainland and got a job as a laundress. But Sbecause this was a low paid job  she changed her name to Mary Brown and resumed working as a cook.

For the following five years, everywhere she went, typhoid followed. In 1915 she set off a major outbreak in New York in which 25 people were infected and two died. She was arrested and on March 27,1915 the health authorities  returned her to quarantine on North Brother Island,where she remained for the rest of her life.

isolation

Despite her isolation she became a minor celebrity and was occasionally interviewed by the media.Visitors  were  strongly urged warned not to accept even a glass of water from her . On November 11,1938, died of pneumonia at the age of 69.

poster

 

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Sources

Irish Times

Irish America

 

Hitler’s Irish sister in law.

brdie

Bridget Dowling born on July 3, 1891 in Dublin. She grew up at Flemings Place, near Mespil Road.  She was still in her teens when she met Adolf Hitler’s half brother Alois Hitler, Jr. at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS in 1909.

2019-03-12

Alois had pretended to be a wealthy hotelier who was touring Europe, but in fact he was a kitchen porter working in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, which he later admitted to. He had left Austria  for, Dublin, Ireland, in 1896, aged 14, because of the  increasingly violent arguments with his father and the strained relationship with his stepmother Klara.Adolf’s mother.

Bridget fell for Alois’s charms and after a number of months courting in Dublin,the couple eloped to London in 1910 . mainly due to her family’s disapproval of her relationship with Alois, ,  They married on 3 June 1910 and later settled in Toxteth, Liverpool. On the 12th of March 1911, the couple had a baby boy called William Patrick,or Paddy.

The Census of England and Wales from 1911 shows that all three were  residing in Liverpool at 102 Upper Stanhope Street. Alois is listed as “Anton,” and wrote down the German word “sohn” (son) in reference to Patrick William.Bridget’s name is crossed out on the form as Cissy Fowling, instead, she appears as “Cissie Hitler”

cissy

In 1914 Alois left his wife and son and went to Germany. After WWI he pretended he had died. He had remarried although he was still married to Bridget, thus committing bigamy and he was charged with bigamy by the German authorities in 1924, but escaped conviction because Bridget intervened and divorced him even though she was a devout Roman Catholic.

Bridget raised her son as a lone parent  She moved to Highgate, North London, and took in lodgers to pay the bills.

Her son had moved to Germany in the 1930s and tried to capitalize on the Hitler name, he even got help from his uncle Adolf who got him a job in a bank. But William “Paddy” Hitler soon became an embarrassment for Adolf Hitler, especially after William threatened to tell the press that Hitler’s alleged paternal grandfather was actually a Jewish merchant. William moved back to the UK and immigrated to the US in 1939, where he eventually joined the US Navy in 1944.

us navy

In 1939, Bridget joined her son on a tour of the United States where he was invited to lecture on his infamous uncle. She decided to stay with her son in the USA Bridget settled in Long Island, New York, changing her name to Stuart-Houston, as did her son.

in 1947 William married  the German born Phyllis Jean-Jacques,The couple had four sons: Alexander Adolf (born. 1949), Louis (born. 1951), Howard Ronald (born died 1957–1989), and Brian William (born. 1965).

Howard Ronald Stuart-Houston, was a Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. He died in an a car crash on 14 September 1989,leaving behind no children.

Allegedly the other 3 sons of William made a  pact not to have children in order to end the Hitler bloodline, but Alexander denied there was an intentional pact to do so.

It is amazing to think that the Hitler bloodline is still continuing because of an Irish woman.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Mail Online

Irish Central

Journal.ie

Independent.ie

 

 

 

 

Richard Hayes AKA Captain Gray-Ireland’s WWII code breaker.

Doertz

Although Ireland was neutral during WWII it didn’t stay completely out of the war.There were even some famous Irish war heroes like the Beamish brothers from Cork who became RAF flying aces.

beamish

On the other hand there were less conspicuous heroes, unlikely heroes even like Limerick man Richard Hayes.

He was born in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick and grew up in in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College in Klidare and in Trinity College in Dublin.

trinity

Richard Hayes was no soldier ,he was a librarian, in fact in he was the director of the National Library in Dublin. It is nor clear how Colonel Dan Bryan, head of Ireland’s G2 intelligence service identified Hayes as a code breaker, but he did, probably because Hayes,was highly regarded for his mathematical and linguistic expertise.

Great  Britain had complained of radio transmissions from a house in north Dublin owned by the German Embassy.ciphers had been found on another captured spy here. So with the support of Eamon de Valera, who always had a big interest in maths, Hayes was given an office and staff to go to work on the German codes.The coded messages were a substantial  threat to Irish national security and the wider war effort.

Hayes’s biggest  nemesis was Dr. Herman Görtz,

Gortz

In the summer of 1940, Görtz had parachuted into Ballivor, County Meath, Ireland uis goal was  to gather information. He moved in with former IRA leader Jim O’Donovan. His mission was to act as a liaison officer with the IRA to get their their assistance in case of potential German occupation of Britain. However, he quickly decided that the IRA was not reliable enough. On landing, he had lost the ‘Ufa’ transmitter he had parachuted with. Goertz, attired in a Luftwaffe uniform, then walked to Dublin. He was not arresested despite calling into a Garda barracks(police barracks) in Co Wicklow, asking for directions to Dublin.

Goertz’s  was eventually arrested in Dublin in November 1941, he was carrying a code later described by MI5 as “one of the best three or four in the war”.

The “Görtz Cipher” – which was a complex substitution of figures for letters had puzzled many of the greatest code-breaking minds at Bletchley Park, but the mild mannered librarian from Co.Limerick had cracked the code. The first of the Goertz messages to be successfully decoded was unlocked with the key ‘Cathleen Ni Houlihan’. Informed of the breakthrough by Hayes, Cecil Liddell of MI5 visited Dublin in 1943 and the Irish and British secret services continued to share intelligence information until the end of the war.

Another German spy in Ireland , Günther Schultz, had used an un-coded system of “microdots”, allowing tiny messages to be contained within the letter “O” in newspaper cuttings, which had baffled the American OSS. Hayes cracked that too , as well as enciphering system used by the  Sicherheitsdienst

The captured Germans only knew their quiet-spoken and polite interrogator as “Captain Gray”, only a few at the G2 secret service knew that Captain Gray was Richard Hayes.

Hayes

Hermann Goertz was released from jail in Athlone in August 1946, but was arrested again in 1947. Friday May 23, 1947 he arrived at the Aliens’ Office in Dublin Castle at 9.50 am and was told he was being deported to Germany . Goertz was afraid he would be handed to the Soviets ,he opted to take his own life.

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Sources

Irish Times

RTE Radio

Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

Irish Fascists

Ne hEireann

The position of Ireland in WWII was a bit of a tricky one. A lot of people actually were pro German, not so much because they were agreeing with the German policies but more because they were at war with Britain, and there was still this feeling of Britain’s enemy is our friend. Many people during the Emergency thought that Ireland owed Germany a debt for her support of the Easter Rising in 1916.

On September 2,1939  The Republic of Ireland declared its neutrality, but even before that there had been fascists groupings in Ireland.

The Blue Shirts

Blie Shirts

The Army Comrades Association , later the National Guard, then Young Ireland and eventually Fine Gael, but better known by the nickname The Blueshirts , was a Right-wing movement in the Irish Free State in the early 1930s.

In 1933 Eoin O’Duffy became the leader of the Blueshirts,he re-modeled the organisation, adopting elements of German  and Italian fascism.

women

The organisation was to have the following goals:

1.To promote the reunification of Ireland.
2.To oppose Communism and alien control and influence in national affairs and to uphold Christian principles in every sphere of public activity.
3.To promote and maintain social order.
4.To make organised and disciplined voluntary public service a permanent and accepted feature of our political life and to lead the youth of Ireland in a movement of constructive national action.
5.To promote of co-ordinated national organisations of employers and employed, which with the aid of judicial tribunals, will effectively prevent strikes and lock-outs and harmoniously compose industrial influences.
6.To cooperate with the official agencies of the state for the solution of such pressing social problems as the provision of useful and economic public employment for those whom private enterprise cannot absorb.
7.To secure the creation of a representative national statutory organisation of farmers, with rights and status sufficient to secure the safeguarding of agricultural interests, in all revisions of agricultural and political policy.
8.To expose and prevent corruption and victimization in national and local administration.
9.To awaken throughout the country a spirit of combination, discipline, zeal and patriotic realism which will put the state in a position to serve the people efficiently in the economic and social spheres.

In 1935 Eoin O’Duffy split with Fine Gael and founded the National Corporate Party.Also known as the Greenshirts.

In 1936 O’Duffy led a volunteer Irish Brigade to fight for the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, and retired on his return in 1937. Without him, both the Greenshirts and NCP faded away.

Irish

Ailtirí na hAiséirghe

Ailtirí na hAiséirghe: meaning “Architects of the Resurrection”) was a minor radical nationalist and fascist political party in Ireland, founded by Gearóid Ó Cuinneagáin in March 1942. The party sought to form a totalitarian Irish Christian Corporatist state

fASCIST

Ó Cuinneagáin  did have genuine global ambitions. Although he admired the ‘achievements’ of  Germany and Italy, he had no desire to be seen as  the local Irish representative of ‘the Hitler fan club’. On the contrary, he truly believed that a fascist Ireland could become have more influence  than its Continental European counterpart, not in a militarily aspect but in an ideological manner.

Oliver J. Flanagan

Flanagan

Oliver James Flanagan served as a  TD (Member of Parliament) for the Laois-Offaly constituency from 1943 to 1987.

Initially as an Independent he was first elected to the Dail (Irish Parliament) known for his  an anti-Semitic views. From 1954 to 1987 he was a TD for Fine Gael (the current government party}

In his maiden speech  on July 1943 he said the following:

“How is it that we do not see any of these Acts directed against the Jews, who crucified Our Saviour nineteen hundred years ago, and who are crucifying us every day in the week? How is it that we do not see them directed against the Masonic Order? How is it that the I.R.A. is considered an illegal organisation while the Masonic Order is not considered an illegal organisation? There is one thing that Germany did, and that was to rout the Jews out of their country. Until we rout the Jews out of this country it does not matter a hair’s breadth what orders you make. Where the bees are there is the honey, and where the Jews are there is the money.”

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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The long walk of Liam McCarthy

1973

It was such a glorious day for us that 2nd September 1973 in Dublin, although it rained the sun shone in our hearts, because you were ours.

Your previous master ‘the Cats of Kilkenny’ looked not after you well, so we fought them and after beating them by 7 points we took you home to us. Your new home at the Shannon was going to be marvelous.

But it was only 12 Months minus 1 day the Cats ripped you out of our midst.

For decades you were lost and wandering throughout this mighty nation of ours, but no one look after you as good as we did.

But in 1980 we nearly had you in our grasps again if it hadn’t been for the tribes men of Gaillimh. It would have been so good for you to return to the treaty city, but alas.

Galway

Then September 4th 1994, we could see you, feel you, my God we could even taste you. But no, you decided ON Ofally. Ofally of all places for crying out loud!

Ofally

Our heart was in pain and it was burdened. Would you ever come home again to us?

You teased us again 2 years later, but this time you sold your soul to Wexford for a mere 2 points. Things were getting so bleak. True the Celtic tiger was roaring, but Liam all we wanted was you, why did you not understand that?

Wexford

The years came and went, even a new millennium had started but you were never in sight. We saw you on telly alright ,having love affairs with Kilkenny, Galway,Clare and many other counties, but never us. We didn’t even get the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech.

But lo and behold come 2018, there you are smiling at us. Nearly we lost you again because some eejit of a referee decided ” 70 minutes isn’t long enough let’s make it as close to 80 as we can” As Bono once said” You were close and yet so far” however you decreed 45 years is a long enough walk, lets go home.

Liam

 

The 535-536 AD climate change and the famine.

weather

In the years 535 and 536, several remarkable aberrations in world climate took place. They were the most severe and protracted short-term episodes of cooling in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 2 Millennia.

Including bizarrely low-temperatures, with snow fall during the summer months in some locations; widespread crop-failures and famine; greatly decreased levels of sunlight; and also causing geopolitical problems.

While it’s currently believed that the event was caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil formed either, due to  a large volcanic eruption in the tropics, or the disintegration of a large amount of space-debris in the upper atmosphere, it is still unclear.Evidence does point towards the volcanic explanation though — owing to the presence of substantial sulfate deposits in glaciers around the world corresponding to the years in question.

There is some documented evidence from the time.

The Gaelic Irish Annals record the following:

“A failure of bread in the year 536 AD” – the Annals of Ulster
“A failure of bread from the years 536–539 AD” – the Annals of Inisfallen”

Further phenomena were reported by a number of independent contemporary sources:

Low temperatures, even snow during the summer (snow reportedly fell in August in China during the Northern and Southern dynasties, which caused the harvest there to be delayed) Crop failures
“A dense, dry fog” in the Middle East, China and Europe
Drought in Peru, which affected the Moche culture”

It caused famine in Ireland but also in other countries around the world.

Tree-ring analysis work done by the dendrochronologist Mike Baillie — of the Queen’s University of Belfast — has shown that there was “abnormally” low growth in Irish oaks in the 536 growing season. This was followed by a partial recovery and then another drop in growth in 542.

Tree-ring analysis of tree-stands in Sweden, Finland, California, and Chile, all confirm these findings.

tree

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