Dingle Bay, Smerwick and Brandon Bay

The Bay of Dingle is excelled by few places on the coast in magnificent marine scenery. Ranges of mountains, whose fantastic summits pierce the clouds, rise boldly from the shores, and form a singularly picturesque screen to the noble haven which they overhang. At the northern entrance of this bay lie the Blasquets, a group of islets twelve in number, but four of them are mere rocks. They formerly belonged to the great Earl of Desmond, who gave them to the family of Ferriter, whence they have derived a second name.

Doubling round Sybil Head we come upon a place of melancholy notoriety, Smerwick. Here it was that a body of Spaniards, which had landed and taken possession of the town for the Earl of Desmond (then in rebellion against Queen Elizabeth), were slaughtered in cold blood, after their surrender, by the commander of the English forces. This act was afterwards brought against Sir Walter Raleigh as one of the charges on his trial. He exculpated himself by pleading his subordinate station, which obliged him to obey the commands of his superior officer; but he was unable fully to exculpate himself from a participation in this foul transaction, which must ever remain a dark blot upon the character of this ill-fated man.

We next reach Brandon Bay, situated on the northern shoulder of that bold peninsula which runs westward from Tralee to the Atlantic. It is twenty-six miles in length, and not more than six miles in width near the main-land, and consists altogether of craggy mountains heaped together in the wildest confusion, rising, in some places, to a considerable height. The lofty Brandon and Connor Hill are conspicuous amongst their lofty brethren for their superior altitude and picturesque forms. The channel up to the town of Tralee, which lies at the head of the bay of that name, is fit only for small craft. The town itself is inconveniently situated for commercial purposes; but a ship canal, which was completed a few years ago, has done much to remedy the defective navigation of the channel, and will in time bring to Tralee the shipping business, hitherto carried on at Blennerville, a small port a mile below the town. The scenery around Tralee is remarkably fine; the view of the wide-spreading bay which faces the town, the wild and rugged mountains of Brandon peninsula stretching away to the westward, and the softer beauties of the rich vale that extends on the other side towards Castle Island, form a panorama of surpassing and varied beauty. Ballyheigh Bay is only an inlet on the northern boundary of that great indenture in the coast which is known as Tralee Bay. It affords no shelter for ships, and has often proved fatal to homeward-bound West Indian and American vessels, from its having been mistaken for the mouth of the Shannon, in consequence of an error of latitude in many of the charts.

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My Lady of the Chimney CornerMy Lady of the Chimney Corner

A memorable and moving story of the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. In 1863 the author, Alexander Irvine, was born into dire poverty, the child of a 'mixed' marriage. His parents had survived the ravages of the famine years, but want and hunger were never to be too far away from their door. Irvine was ultimately destined to leave Ireland for America and to become a successful minister and author. He learned to read and write when he had left his home in Antrim far behind, but he came to realize that the greatest lessons he had received in life were at his mother's knee. My Lady of the Chimney Corner is the depiction of an existence that would be unthinkable in modern Ireland; but, more than that, it is the author's loving tribute to his mother, Anna, who taught him to look at the world through clean spectacles. ISBN 978-1-910375-32-7. USA orders. The book is also available as a Kindle download (UK) and Kindle download (US).

Popular Rhymes and Sayings of IrelandPopular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland

In Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland (first published in 1924) John J. Marshall examines the origin of a variety of rhymes and sayings that were at one time in vogue around different parts of the country, including those which he recalled from his own childhood in County Tyrone. Numerous riddles, games and charms are recounted, as well as the traditions of the ‘Wren Boys’ and Christmas Rhymers. Other chapters describe the war cries of prominent Irish septs and the names by which Ireland has been personified in literature over the centuries. The book is also available as a Kindle download.


Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Annals of the Famine in Ireland, by Asenath Nicholson, still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord’s field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be appalled and distressed.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger

This book, the prequel to Annals of the Famine in Ireland cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Refusing the luxury of hotels and first class travel, she stayed at a variety of lodging-houses, and even in the crude cabins of the very poorest. Not to be missed!

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

The Scotch-Irish in America

The Scotch-Irish in America

Henry Ford Jones' book, first published in 1915 by Princeton University, is a classic in its field. It covers the history of the Scotch-Irish from the first settlement in Ulster to the American Revolutionary period and the foundation of the country.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».


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