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Showing posts from January, 2013

HIST & MYTH: Grace O'Malley - Warrior Queen (1530 - 1603)

Grace O’Malley is indeed a spectacular figure in Irish History and as a woman in a very male dominated society it did not hold her back. She believed that she was as capable if not better than any man and declared herself Chieftain of the O'Malley clan after her father’s death. Grace has been known by many names, “Granuaile” in Irish, “The Sea Queen of Connaught”, “Pirate Queen” to mention a few and her life has been documented in detail by historian Anne Chambers.

I recently watched an excellent documentary by New Zealand Actress Lucy Lawless where she hosted five one hour series on history’s most charismatic warrior women. Lucy Lawless was superbly suited to present this series after having her own successful television show “Xena Warrior Princess” which aired in the 1990s. The documentary provides an excellent background to Grace O’Malley and of her life as a leader, warrior, pirate and mother. The documentary can be viewed at:
Grace O'Malley

Grace O’Malley was a formidabl…

LITERATURE: Standish O'Grady (1846 - 1928)

Written by Ben Kesp

Recently my interest was reawakened in Irish Mythology and several years ago I had started research into the Irish Pantheon of Gods. The Dagda, the supreme god of the pantheon represented as a figure of power and armed with a spear. The Morrígan, tripartite battle goddess, who could take many forms and often compared to other indo European goddesses like the Kali in the Hindu Pantheon and the Valkyries in the Norse Pantheon. Lúgh/Lug, represented as a young man associated with light, sun and summer and the list of the Irish Pantheon goes on. Associated with these are the stories of Cu Chulainn, a powerful and legendary warrior - half god - half man. 

A trilogy of beautiful stories tells us the story of Cu Chulainn and of his battles with Queen Maeve, the daughter of Eochaid Feidlech, the High King of Ireland. The books written by Irish author Standish O’Grady are “The Coming of Cu Chulainn” (1894), “In the Gates of the North” (1901) and “The Triumph and Passing of …