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Spirited Ireland

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Heroes and Saints

enjoy music while reading:   " Rights of Men Hornpipe"
Images of Ireland - Dublin - Children of Lir

Children of Lir

Dublin - the Garden of Rememberence was designed by Daithi Hanly and dedicated to the memory of all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. The plaque on Oisin Kelly's sculpture of the Children of Lir reads:

In the darkness of despair we saw a vision. We lit the light of hope and it was not extinguished. In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision. We planted the tree of valour and it blossomed. In the winter of bondage we saw a vision. We melted the snow of lethargy and the river of resurrection flowed from it. We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river. The vision became a reality. Winter became summer. Bondage became freedom and this we left to you as our inheritance. O generations of freedom remember us. The generations of the vision."

The garden is intended as a place of quiet remembrance and reflection.

Children of Lir

King Lir had four beautiful children. They were Finola and Aedh, Conn and Fiacra. Their mother was dead, but he loved them enough for fifty mothers, and they loved him back with all their hearts.
Dearg, the High King, sent Aoife, his daughter and the children's aunt, to be Lir's second wife. At first she loved the children dearly. How could she not? But she grew jealous, as sometimes happens.

Images of Ireland - Dublin - Children of Lir
Images of Ireland - Dublin - Children of Lir

Children of Lir

She grew sick with jealousy. She grew mad and bad with jealousy. A truly terrible thought came to her.
That night Finola dreamt a terrible dream. She woke with a scream and her brothers came running to her side. 'I dreamt that Aoife threw us away, like feathers on the wind.'
And so it happened. Aoife cast a spell so strong that no Druid in the whole of Erin could break it. 'You will be swans,' she cried.

Read the whole story

Children of Lir

A modern story about the sculpture, written last year by Thomas Patrick Sheridan, tells, how people living nowadays in Dublin think about the Garden of Rememberance.

Images of Ireland - Dublin - Children of Lir
Images of Ireland - Co.Tipperary - Cashel Brian Boru

Brian Boru

He got 73 years old (941 - 1014) - remarkable for a man, who's life's content was the fight. The statue of Brian Boru, the famous High King of Ireland, is situated close to the Rock of Cashel.

Potato Famine

In Murrisk, the village, where pilgrims start the exhausting tour to the top of Croagh Patrick, a bronce statue reminds visitors of the people, who died on coffin ships in the middle of the 19th century. In hope for a better future they left the Irish shore, but many died of hunger on their way to America. A lot of sad songs, such as 'Skibbereen' tell their stories. Further information can be found on an interactive BBC website.

Images of Ireland - Co.Mayo - Murrisk Potato Famine
Images of Ireland - Co.Mayo - Murrisk Coffin ship

Potato Famine

It was a charming morning on which I left dear old Ireland. The balmy new-born day in all the freshness of early summer was gladdened by the beams of the sun which rose above the towers of the city, sunk in undisturbed repose. It was a morning calculated to inspire the drooping soul with hope auguring future happiness.

These soft and happy words full of hope are the beginning of Robert Whyte's diary, who crossed the ocean on one of those 'Coffin Ships'. Read the frightning diary.   

Constance Markievicz

'A Dream of Liberty' - Constance Markievicz's statue took place in a corner of the Parliament in Dublin. Her Vision of Ireland will not be forgotten, even that it might be contradicted to the current peace-process.
She was a tough lady, who dedicated her life to Ireland's freedom. Her conception of Ireland was based on an ideology that romanticized the past of "Irish Ireland". In some reports it is told, that she organized scout-camps for thousands of Irish boys (Fianna Éireann) and trained them to use weapons. These boys could bearly accept a woman as leader, but were still fascinated by her strength.

Images of Ireland - Dublin - Constance Markievicz
Images of Ireland - Dublin - Michael Collins

Michael Collins

There have been many famous Irish patriots before him, and a few since, but none conjures up as much emotion and mystery as the man who, in a span of six short years, brought a country from bondage to a position where she could win her freedom. Some say, he was a hero, others may call him weak, cause at some point he turned his back to the rebellious movement and agreed with splitting Ireland in two parts. He dreamt of peace while his old friends followed other dreams. Read more about Michael Collin's life and intentions.

James Connolly

'Connolly said: ''Here, my friend, read this and tell me what you think about.'' I read, I was the first after Connolly and Pearse who came to see it, our declaration of freedom.'
Source: 'A star called Henry'  by Roddy Doyle.

James Connolly, the leader of the Union, was one of the subscibers of the Declaration of Independence. Many songs were written about him. The BBC - Website offers a ballad, sang in the old Sean Nos style. Read the lyrics and listen here.

Images of Ireland - Dublin - James Connolly
Images of Ireland - Co.Mayo - Binghamstown Pater Pio

Pater Pio

Written on the poster:

I can refuse no-one. How could I, if the Lord himself wills it so and refuses me nothing, when I ask him?

Pater Pio's face is to be seen everywhere in Ireland. Posters with his prayers decorate many churches. Watch, hear and read more about this fascinating priest, who was born 1887 in Italy and was buried 1968.
Are there still 'Saints' alive in our times? I don´t know, but at least there are many people searching for new ways of  Spirituality in Ireland.


St.Brigid in fact is more important for Ireland than Mother Mary. She not only represents early christianity but pagan rites as well. She stands for the 'Mother of life', similar to other cultures and religions, who adore female goddesses. Funny, that she, who refused to marry, got to be a symbol of fertility.
People still create 'St.Brigid Crosses' to give them to children for protection or have them above doors of house and stable. Also graves are decorated with this crosses or 'Wheel of Life', as some say.
Learn to create your own cross.
This lovely statue is housed in Stella Maris, the church of Quilty, County Clare.

Images of Ireland - Co.Clare - Quilty St. Brigid

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