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‘Beyond our wildest expectations’

Week III

‘Beyond our wildest expectations’

Week III

A Swedish view of Ireland 1893

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Near by the ruins of Menlo Castle, built by the Blake family in 1569, is the village of Menlo, a small attractive cluster of houses, that appear to have grown near each other by accident, as it zigzags down to the river bank. There is no village centre as such, but its very irregularity has made it a desirable place to live. Today it is a prosperous suburb of Galway city.

The priest who robbed the National Museum

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With March zooming off into the distance, our gratitude to St Patrick for giving us the opportunity to be an island of saints and scholars begins to wane. But no such relief was given to the saint himself. Our forebears couldn’t wait till he died before they were taking bits and pieces from his body and clothes for relics. As his teeth fell out they were snatched up, and given as sacred objects to make early Christian churches more attractive for a deeply spiritual and suspicious people, who had recently set aside their gods of nature, and embraced a more intangible Christ. An old holy tooth was just the sort of tangibility they could understand. At least one church, Cill Fiacail (‘The church of the tooth’) near the town of Tipperary, bears testimony to this bizarre but common practice.

The priest who robbed the National Museum

With March zooming off into the distance, our gratitude to St Patrick for giving us the opportunity to be an island of saints and scholars begins to wane. But no such relief was given to the saint himself. Our forebears couldn’t wait till he died before they were taking bits and pieces from his body and clothes for relics. As his teeth fell out they were snatched up, and given as sacred objects to make early Christian churches more attractive for a deeply spiritual and suspicious people, who had recently set aside their gods of nature, and embraced a more intangible Christ. An old holy tooth was just the sort of tangibility they could understand. At least one church, Cill Fiacail (‘The church of the tooth’) near the town of Tipperary, bears testimony to this bizarre but common practice.

Former British ambassador to Syria to speak in Galway next week

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An expert assessment of the origins of the Syrian civil war, the role of foreign interests in prolonging the conflict, and why it is vital that sanctions against Syria be lifted, will be given in Galway next week.

Greek tragedy that shocked Europe seeks comprehension and solution

Well what a thrilling and wonderful weekend we had last Saturday and Sunday. Hurling has become the new game to watch, to reflect upon, to talk about, and to exult in the sheer strength and vitality of the players.

Victims of a sectarian war

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Even though it was in the furthermost parish of Archbishop MacHale’s large Tuam archdiocese, once he realised the permanency and the extent of the Protestant settlement on Achill Island (built and directed by the fervent Rev Edward Nangle in the 1830s),* the archbishop was consumed with fury. He waged a belated but rather terrifying campaign to have it scorned and ignored by the island’s 6,000 residents.

Horrific Immigration policies in US need reparation

Well, Ireland won last Saturday in Melbourne so it’s full steam ahead for Sydney next week, now it really is a competition. Australia won one match and Ireland won another match and now, next Saturday, will be the decider.

A portrait of a lady

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Some months after Lady Christobel Ampthill’s spectacular accident (her horse who refused to jump a flooding stream, and she was thrown into the river, and nearly drowned), Michel Déon and his wife Chantal, came across her sitting in her car near Kinvara.* She clearly looked distressed. There was a rumour that she had not fully recovered from her accident. She was getting forgetful.

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