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Showing posts from April, 2013

CULTURE: Ireland's Great Houses

Written by Ben Kesp
In the 18th and 19th century, it is estimated that over 4,000 magnificent country houses stood strongly on the Irish landscape. Sadly today stands only a small percentage of this number that are currently in use. Scattered around the country side, lies the ruins of many of these great houses that the once fine walls now echo a forgotten time. The empty shells are slowly being reclaimed by nature and in time will disappear for ever. They represent a past in Irish history that some people do not wish to remember as these houses were once the strong hold of the Anglo Irish - the elite ruling classes.  However in  recent decades the attitude and view on these houses is changing and people are seeking to understand more about the houses and what they symbolise for Ireland today.  They are a part of the culture and heritage and most importantly were built by very talented and skilled Irish craftsmen.  
The “Big Houses” were lived in by the Anglo Irish Protestants who man…

HIST & MYTH: Queen Maeve

She is a woman symbolic of women’s strength and sexuality. Her everlasting legacy rests on the landscape through the place names referenced to her from different battles and scenes. She will forever remain immortal over her Kingdom of Connaught where she once reigned supreme.

But who was Queen Maeve or Medb? Was she a legendary or historical figure? The Ulster Cycle one of the four great cycles of early Irish literary mythology details Maeve as the Queen of Connaught, who embodies the power of women, sexuality and carnal desire. She was a woman who commanded armies and had numerous husbands and lovers including many of her army officers to keep them loyal. Men who performed well in battle were offered sexual favours. This may have been a form of encouragement and motivation. Upon gazing at her men would fall in lustful desire. 
Her father, Eochaid Feidlech, High King of Ireland, married her to Conchobar mac Nessa, King of Ulster, with whom she had a son named Glaisne. However, this ma…