A Stonechat

Photo: Graham Davies


Lord Listowel’s Needlework

I apologise that I have no date for this snippet


Revenge for Athea

This crucifix stands near the gate of Athea’s graveyard in an area called Templeathea. The temple in the name refers to a church which once stood on this site. This church was burned during Cromwell’s time in Ireland and all the local people who had sought refuge within were burned. 

I had an account of this atrocity on this blog a while back. In response, my friend, Nicholas, sent me this.

“Your mention of Cromwell, in your Athea piece reminded me exhumation from Westminster Cathedral of the mortal remains of three one-time heroes of Old England.

I came across the following account of the post-Restoration  digging up from their  graves in Westminster Cathedral, posthumous beheading and ghoulish abuse and hanging of the bodies of the following three enemies of the murdered King Charles 1st. Couldn’t happen to more deserving fellows!

Cromwell, Ireton and Bradshaw hanged from the Grave. 

From a manuscript entitled “An Abstract of the Reign of King Charles the First”

“…and the 30th of January, being that day twelve years from the death of the King, the odious carcases of O. Cromwell, Major Gen. Ireton, and Bradshaw, were drawn in sledges to Tyburne, when they hung by the neck from morning till 4 in the afternoon. 

Cromwell in green searcloth, very fresh embalmed. Ireton, having been buried long, hung like a dried rat, yet corrupted about the fundament. Bradshaw in his winding sheet, the fingers of his right hand and his nose perisht, having wet the sheet through. The rest very perfect, insomuch that I knew his face when the hangman, after cutting off his head, held it up. Of his toes I had five or six in my hand, which the prentices had cut off.

Their bodies were thrown into a hole under the gallows, and their heads were set up on the south end of Westminster-hall.

Cromwell died September 3rd 1658; Ireton, November 9, 1651; Bradshaw, October 31, 1659.”

Athea was avenged!!


Do you remember the Sweep?

If someone was being a bit “flash with the cash” in my day, people would say ” He must have won The Sweep. But what was the sweep.

Joe Harrington sparked my interest in this precursor to the National Lottery when he sent us the below sweep ticket.

 The sweep was a raffle run in conjunction with major horse races. It was ostensibly set up to raise funds for Irish hospitals but like so many of these “charities” it became mired in controversy amid accounts of directors of the lottery creaming off huge expenses and even salaries and the hospitals getting a meagre percentage of the funds raised. Tickets were sold through agents, most of them in the U.S and Canada.

This was the iconic image of the “nurses” drawing the winners from huge draw drums and the tickets being verified by an army officer.

Joe also found the hilarious account in a book called Insane and Unseemly by John Saville.


A Novel Proposal

On Ballybunion beach in January 2018…..artist Mario Prez