When one sees Round Towers, it’s only natural to think of Ireland. These impressive monuments from the past have a long, storied and mysterious history; long – because they date back to medieval times; storied – because there are many tales surrounding their purpose; and mysterious – because no one knows the names of those bygone architects who built them. They are mostly found in Ireland, where they were built, sometime between the 7th and 10th century according to the 1911 Encyclopedia … [Read more...]

Nineteenth Century August

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By the mid 1800s, most of the fertile land in Ireland was in the hands of landlords, forcing the Irish to survive on smaller plots, until they became totally dependent on the crop that could produce the most yield per acre – the potato. It was difficult, but at least they weren't starving for potatoes are a remarkable source of vitamins and minerals. Then late on August 20, 1845, a potato fungus was discovered at the Dublin Botanical Gardens. The following day, August 21, is a date remembered in … [Read more...]



We remember the Patriots of 1916 whose executions began on 3 May and extended until 12 May. However, 75 years later on 5 May, another patriot joined them in Tir na nOg and should also be remembered. It was 1981 and a young 26-year old patriot named Bobby Sands had succumbed to a self-imposed hunger strike. The spin-doctors in the British Information Service were at wits end preparing propaganda, the Irish Diaspora around the world were protesting, and the media had a field day. Sadly, few knew … [Read more...]



The last patriot to be executed for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916 was a Protestant from Northern Ireland further disproving the North vs South, Catholic vs protestnat mythology promoted by the British to divide and conquer. His name was Roger Casement and he was born in Antrim on September 1, 1864 to a Protestant father and Catholic mother. At 17, he went to work for the Elder Dempster Shipping Company in Liverpool; three years later he shipped out as purser on one of the company's ships … [Read more...]

The San Patricios

In March we think of St. Patrick and his story is on our national website AOH.COM, so this month we will tell of a remarkable military unit named for our patron saint. When America was a young country, not yet matured with the wisdom born of experience, we made mistakes. The acceptance of slavery, the treatment of Native Americans, prejudice against Catholics, and armed opposition to labor unions, were but a few. But the wisdom of our founding fathers and the form of government they established … [Read more...]



Wallabout Bay is small body of water along the northwest shore of Brooklyn, NY. In 1801, a settlement called Vinegar Hill was built on that bay to attract Irish immigrants to settle there and provide the labor to build the Brooklyn Navy Yard which opened in 1806. However, Vinegar Hill was built on an area which, 20 years earlier, had seen incredible horror! During the American Revolution, the British had captured thousands of soldiers, sailors, and even private citizens who would not swear … [Read more...]


World War II brought change to Northern Ireland as Loyalists and Nationalists who shared the same bomb shelters broke down the barriers of prejudice erected by the Unionist Ascendancy to keep them divided. The war also created jobs and the small measure of prosperity experienced by the nationalists satisfied many grievances. After the war, England rebuilt the barriers to maintain control of the north. Churchill publicly blasted the Irish Free State for neutrality during the war despite the … [Read more...]


DCF 1.0

The Boyne Valley, some 20 miles northwest of Dublin in County Meath, is one of the most remarkable sites on earth, for there stands three monuments to the early settlers of Ireland, and their civilization. At first they appear to be huge mounds or hills, but closer investigation reveals them to be man-made structures. They are, in fact, more than 5000 years old and the oldest, still-standing, man-made structures on the planet. They are known as Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth and celestial … [Read more...]


Prior to the American Civil War, the regular Army was small reflecting the logic that America was best defended by hundreds of volunteer militia units. Many were little more than glorified fraternal organizations, filled with men who liked to parade, drink, and sometimes drill. New York had the Continental Guards, German Black Sharp-shooters and Hungarian Kossuth Rifles among others. Not to be outdone, the Irish formed the O'Connell Guards, Irish Rifles and Irish Zouaves. The more serious of … [Read more...]


thomas osborne davis

There are few events in Irish history as tragic as the death of Thomas Osborne Davis. He was a rare man whose impact on the history of Ireland has never been truly appreciated. Born in Mallow, Co Cork on Oct 14, 1814, the son of a British Army Surgeon, he was educated at Trinity College and called to the Bar in 1838, but Davis heard another call: the call of Ireland. He heard it in the voice of Dan O'Connell when the Great Emancipator visited his home town in 1842, and asked a crowd of 400,000, … [Read more...]