The Ordnance Survey

 

A friend is going to Ireland to do some landscape painting.  I’m like, amazing.  Plus this is a guy who usually gets it with maps.  One day I sit down at my desk which has under its top an Ordnance Survey map of the Dingle Peninsula.

And I’m like oh friend make sure you get the Ordnance Survey map for where you’re going!

Why, he says.

Look, the Ordnance Survey Ireland website doesn’t have the smoothest experience.

But the treasures within!

Ordnance Survey Ireland is headquartered in the Phoenix Park.

The origins of the Ordnance Survey lie in the aftermath of the last Jacobite rising which was finally defeated by forces loyal to the government at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Prince William, Duke of Cumberland realised the British Army did not have a good map of the Scottish Highlands to find the whereabouts of Jacobite dissenters such as Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat so they could be put on trial.

They just missed him here.

You don’t want to have a map that marks every stone row and holy well?

A map that shows the ancient druid stones and the ruined churches like something a wizard would have?

good to have a waterproof map


St. Pats, 2017

Some classic coverage from the Hely Times archive:

The Irish Language in Montserrat

The Tain

Jack Yeats, Olympic Silver Medalist

James Joyce: Hot Or Not?

Best moment in Ulysses

Ainslie’s Complete Guide To Thoroughbred Racing

Patrick Kavanagh, and how to get a statue built of yourself

The Fields of Athenry

Can you help me ID Rob and Lou?

The Irish Rover

Luke Kelly’s Hair, Considered

O’Donoghue’s Opera – The Quest for an Irish Musical

Dublin Statues

Try this ancient pickup strategy at the pub!

Be safe!


Irish language in Montserrat

found here

found here

One thing leads to another and I’m reading about how there were black people on the Caribbean island of Montserrat who were said to speak Irish Gaelic:

Irish language in Montserrat

The Irish constituted the largest proportion of the white population from the founding of the colony in 1628. Many were indentured labourers; others were merchants or plantation owners. The geographer Thomas Jeffrey claimed in The West India Atlas (1780) that the majority of those on Montserrat were either Irish or of Irish descent, “so that the use of the Irish language is preserved on the island, even among the Negroes”.

African slaves and Irish colonists of all classes were in constant contact, with sexual relationships being common and a population of mixed descent appearing as a consequence.  The Irish were also prominent in Caribbean commerce, with their merchants importing Irish goods such as beef, pork, butter and herring, and also importing slaves.

There is indirect evidence that the use of the Irish language continued in Montserrat until at least the middle of the nineteenth century. The Kilkenny diarist and Irish scholar Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin noted in 1831 that he had heard that Irish was still spoken in Montserrat by both black and white inhabitants. A letter by W.F. Butler in The Atheneum (15 July 1905) quotes an account by a Cork civil servant, C. Cremen, of what he had heard from a retired sailor called John O’Donovan, a fluent Irish speaker:

He frequently told me that in the year 1852, when mate of the brig Kaloolah, he went ashore on the island of Montserrat which was then out of the usual track of shipping. He said he was much surprised to hear the negroes actually talking Irish among themselves, and that he joined in the conversation…

There is no evidence for the survival of the Irish language in Montserrat into the twentieth century.

The wiki page for Amhlaoibh has several interesting quotes:

“February 3, 1828 …There is a lonely path near Uisce Dun and Móinteán na Cisi which is called the MassBoreen. The name comes from the time when the Catholic Church was persecuted in Ireland, and Mass had to be said in woods and on moors, on wattled places in bogs, and in caves. But as the proverb says, It is better to look forward with one eye than to look backwards with two…

Amhlaoibh lived out in Callan, in Kilkenny:

callan

Photo taken from “The Bridge”, Bridge St, Callan Co Kilkenny 2004 by Barry Somers

Nearby was born James Hoban, who designed The White House:

 Elevation of the north side of the White House, by James Hoban, c. 1793. Progress drawing after having won the competition for architect of the White House. Collection of the Maryland Historical Society.


Elevation of the north side of the White House, by James Hoban, c. 1793. Progress drawing after having won the competition for architect of the White House. Collection of the Maryland Historical Society.

On a trip to DC once I brought along this book, which I recommend to any DC visitor:

washington-itself

Applewhite might’ve been the first to put in my head the idea that the The White House is modeled on Irish country mansions:

The entire southern half of Montserrat got pretty messed up by volcanic eruptions and was abandoned in 1997:

montserrat_eruption

The former capital, Plymouth

And is now an “exclusion zone”:

montserrat-map

Montserrat’s national dish is Goat water, a thick goat meat stew served with crusty bread rolls.

found on the goat water facebook page

found on the goat water facebook page

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for more interesting oddities of Western Hemisphere geography and history, I recommend:

books in box

Available at Amazon or your local indie bookstore.


The Tain

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Had a couple spare minutes last night while I was waiting for some wood glue to set so I took down my copy of the Tain.

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That’s pretty cool.  How about this?

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Things go south for her:

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There’s definitely some cuts I might suggest.  Do we need this?:

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But there’s also some great detail:

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“Two thirds more.”  That precision and detail!  Can’t help but think the Tain guys are having a little fun with us.


Jack Yeats, Olympic Silver Medalist

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Before The Start

W. B. Yeats the poet had a kid brother, Jack Yeats, a painter.

DACS - FULL CONSULT; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Early in his career he worked as an illustrator for magazines like the Boy’s Own Paper and Judy, drew comic strips, including the Sherlock Holmes parody “Chubb-Lock Homes” for Comic Cuts

DACS - FULL CONSULT; (c) DACS - FULL CONSULT; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The Mystery Man

Jack Yeats won a silver medal at the 1924 Olympics (the Chariots Of Fire Olympics).  They used to give out medals in art and culture categories, and Jack won for The Liffey Swim:

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The juried art competitions were abandoned in 1954 because artists were considered to be professionals, while Olympic athletes were required to be amateurs.

Bring ’em back I say!


James Joyce: hot or not?

James Joyce

Talking the artist as a young man, not the old blind guy.  And, of course, bae (rnacle):

Nora B

How about this eerie family portrait?  bottom left is daughter Lucia, who got dance lessons from Isadora Duncan, fell in love with Samuel Beckett, and had Jung for a shrink (lotta good it did her):

Joyce familyTop right is son Giorgio.  “He spent his days in an alcoholic haze,” says The New Yorker.


Ainslie

Something put me in mind of this book the other day.

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I never made it all the way through, but it’s fun to take off the shelf.  I’m told by turf types this book is considered pretty good if slightly outdated as knowledge, but who cares?  It’s fun to read because Ainslie has wonderful style as a writer:

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Anyway, reminded me of a lyric from an Irish song I thought I remembered.

Turns out I was wrong?
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Maybe this song never existed?  Possible it did once exist, or better yet still does, as unGoogleable Irish ephemera, and I really did hear it once.  Or something like it, something close, and between my drunkenness when I heard it and the singer’s when he sang it there was a miscommunication.

Or maybe I was just thinking of this: