March 2017 ISSUE
Vol 30, #7
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Meet The People --The Irish
The Prospect Pages, LLC
Published each month, on or about the 1st, for the residential and commercial communities within and immediately surrounding the Town of Prospect, CT.
Deadline for submission is always at noon
on the 21st of each month.
Published by The Prospect Pages, LLC
Gwenn T. Fischer, Publisher/Editor
Nanette Commendatore, Sales Associate
Tracy Brody, Graphics Manager
P. O. Box 7100, 34 Waterbury Road - Unit 4
Prospect, CT 06712-0100
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MONTHLY BRAIN TEASER
Our Brain Teaser this month:
2,000 = P. in a T.
The answer to last month’s teaser:
3 = P. into which A. G. was D.
3 = Parts into which American Government was Divided
for All Ads and
Articles for the
APRIL ISSUE is
Little tidbits of the Irish culture and history.
Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, will be coming and the Green, White and Orange flags will be flying, and some of us will take the time to think of things of long ago and what happened to those who brought us to this America of today.
My dad was “first born” here and returned to the “olde sod” when he was nineteen to visit with relatives in 1922. He arrived at the port of Cork and the sight of burning buildings in the town. The train he rode on his way to Clara was stopped as the rails were blown up and he had to finish the ride to the “cousins” farm by taxi, in those days the rental of a horse-drawn jaunting cart. Why his parents let him go to Ireland in the middle of an Irish Civil War, I will never know nor understand. I myself went in ‘95 and ‘96 to visit and read how there was a time when the land was peaceful and productive.
I saw a Passage Mound at Newgrange, a massive dome-shaped roundearth work 300 feet in diameter, surrounded and supported by huge monolithic stone pieces which had been drawn to the sight from miles away. The mound has a passageway 62 feet deep into the interior held up by 41 more of the huge rocks. Above the entrance is an opening box positioned to allow sunlight on the morning of the Winter Solstice to penetrate to the end of the walkway and for fifteen minutes the souls of the dead that year could attach themselves and go to heaven. Back in 3200 B.C. before the Egyptian pyramids were built, the ancient Irish cremated their dead and placed the remains into large bowels in the three chambers at the end of the hall.
It has been recorded that there were eight hundred years of peace before the Vikings came. Christianity was also introduced to the Island. St. Patrick was captured by Irish pirates and enslaved as a sheep tender for six years. He escaped but was to return as a Catholic priest having had, in a dream, a call to return by the people. He converted many with a Shamrock, a stem and three leaves, like the tunnel and chambers of Newgrange.
There was also a Druid prophecy “Across the sea will come Adza-Head, crazed in the head. His cloak with hole for the head. His stick bent in the head. He will chant impieties from the table in the front of his house. All his people will answer, so be it, so be it.” He was Padric (father of the citizens).
The Dark Ages descended on Europe at this time and the scholarly rise of Irish monasteries preserved many of Rome’s Latin manuscripts, and is credited by some as saving Christianity by bringing the monastic system back into France.
The Vikings landed in 795 A.D. and plundered the monastery at Rathlen Island, beginning a couple of hundred years of raiding the Irish coast and colonizing Waterford, Wexford, and Dublin, eventually going up the inlets like the Shannon River. Protective round towers became a common sight. I saw the one at Clonnmacnoise; they were built in the Vikings’ favorite target sites, the peaceful monasteries where the gold chalices and silver candle sticks could be found. Peaceful monks would be slaughtered and local girls would be raped. When I was younger I had the white-yellow hair and the blue eyes like a Dane, and I wonder about the possibilities.
[Irish -- continued to page 20]
The Vikings were finally defeated at the Battle of Clontarf, Good Friday on April 23, 1014. Mael Morda mur Murchada, King of Leinester and Danish Vikings along the coast of Ireland and England came to fight against the high king of Ireland, Brian Boru. The Irish defeated the Vikings and killed Murchada. Nearly 10 thousand died in the battle including King Brian, his son, Morrogh, and his grandson, 15-year-old Toirdelbach. With their deaths came a power vacuum.
With the authority of the Papal Bull Laudabiliter by Adrian IV in 1171, Henry ll landed with a large fleet at Waterford, becoming the first King of England to set foot on Irish soil. Henry awarded his youngest son John with the title “Lord of Ireland.” Thus began the rule under the English crown. Small wars and battles were to follow for the next 800 years.
The Tudor re-conquest under King Henry Vlll began in 1536 and finalized in 1603 via rebellions and all out Nine Years war. Penal Laws were put into effect and the 17th century was perhaps the bloodiest in Ireland’s history.
Forced labor began in 1654 by Oliver Cromwell and confiscation of property with a free hand over the “undesirable savages” took place. Cromwell rounded up Catholics throughout the countryside, and by 1655, the dehumanized 12,000 prisoners were placed onto ships headed toward the Caribbean, into indentured servitude.
The Ancient Irish had high respect for their women. Women could own property, get divorced, and could be the leaders of their Clans. They could also be Brehons (Judges) for civil problems. One such woman was Grace O’Malley.
Grainne Ni Mha’ille was one of the most colorful female characters in Irish history. Having had her property and possessions confiscated by Sir Richard Bingham, English governor of Connacht; she commandeered ships and became known as the Queen Pirate of Connacht. When her sons, Tibbot Burke and Murrough O’Flaherty, and one half-brother, Do’nlan Phiopa, were imprisoned, she wrote to Queen Elizabeth l of England and not hearing from her, the Queen Grace maneuvered her ship to Greenwich Place and requested an audience with Queen Elizabeth in 1593. In court she sneezed and when handed a lace of fine English linen, she blew her nose and threw the lace into the fireplace stating “The Irish don’t put there snots into their pocket.” The court was aghast but the Queen was impressed. The two Queens discussed an agreement in Latin, for Elizabeth didn’t speak Irish and Grace no English. The boys were released but the possessions were not returned. Grace returned to piracy; the two Queens passed in the same year of 1603.
[Irish -- continued in Our Authors]
by George F. Hughes
Townwide Tag Sale Set for May 20
The annual spring townwide tag sale for the Town of Prospect will be held on Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tag sale is always held rain or shine. The deadline to register your tag sale is Wednesday, May 17, no exceptions. Call the Mayor’s office at 203-758-4461 to register.
Be Included in the Next Prospect Phone Directory
If you are a Prospect resident and your name and phone number were not listed in the 2016 Prospect Phone Directory, or if your information has changed, please contact Nanette Commendatore at or 203-228-4418 with your information.