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  • 26cm x 33cm  Ferns Co Wexford An anxious looking Wexford defence prepare as Christy Ring takes a in the 1956 All Ireland Hurling Final.The result would be forever known simply as " The Save ". Art Foley, who died on Monday last in New York, will be remembered for a save he made in the closing stages of the 1956 All-Ireland hurling final that had seismic and far-reaching consequences. It formed an instrumental part of a metamorphic sequence of play in a terrific contest with Cork, leading to one of the game's most epic finales. With three minutes left the ever-threatening Christy Ring gained possession and made for the Wexford goal. The finer points of what happened next are still in dispute. The main thread of the narrative is not. Ring let fly and the diminutive Foley in Wexford's goal was equal to it. He needed to be. His side led by two points, and a goal, especially one by Ring, would surely have inspired a Cork victory. Ring would have had his ninth medal. Wexford hurling might not be the beguiling and romanticised entity it is today.
    In the game's pivotal moment, the ball quickly travelled down the other end where Tom Ryan sent a raking handpass to Nickey Rackard. In a piece of perfect casting, the greatest name in Wexford hurling landed the deathblow, netting with a low shot to the corner. Wexford were already champions, having defeated Galway in the final a year before to end a 45-year wait. But to beat Cork gave them a status they'd never attained before and wrote them into everlasting legend. The death of Foley at 90 ended a significant chapter for that storied era, he being the last surviving member of the team that won the final in '56 and which started the '55 decider, giving hope to all counties outside the traditional fold. In a decade often depicted as repressive and severe, with heavy emigration, Wexford brought an abundance of novelty and glamour and dauntless expression which made them huge crowd-pullers and popular all over the country. A jazzy addition to the traditional acts. The previous six All-Irelands before Wexford's breakthrough in '55 were shared between Cork and Tipperary. "Why are all these massive crowds following Wexford?" asks Liam Griffin. "The Wexford support base for hurling grew with the rise of the Wexford teams of the 1950s. There was a romantic connection between them and all hurling people. Why? Because they came up to challenge the dominant counties." At the time Wexford looked more likely to prosper in football than hurling. The 1950s, led by the Rackards, changed all that. Only a few survivors remain from the '56 panel: Ted Morrissey, Oliver Gough and Pat Nolan. Morrissey played in the Leinster final before losing his place and had also been on the squad in '51 when Wexford reached the All-Ireland final. Nolan was Art Foley's goalkeeping deputy in '56, later winning All-Ireland medals over a long career in '60 and '68. Gough came on in the '55 final. In a way the loop that began the most famous end-to-end move in Wexford hurling history, starting with Foley's save and concluding with Rackard's goal, was replicated in life itself. The first of that celebrated '56 team to die was Rackard, in April, 1976, at the age of 54 after succumbing to cancer. When the team was celebrating its silver jubilee in 1981, Foley came home from the US for the occasion, having emigrated with his wife Anne and their three young children at 27 in the late 1950s. By the time of the silver jubilee of the '56 win, only Rackard was missing. Gradually over the years the numbers diminished. Ned Wheeler went this year. Billy Rackard was the last of that famous band of brothers to die ten years ago. Now, Foley, literally the last one standing, has gone too. The deeds, though, remain timeless and immortal. The save which made Foley famous followed him around all his days. "The big story of Art Foley is that save because it is the seminal moment of that time," as Liam Griffin puts it. It is also probably the most enigmatic save in the history of the game - the Mona Lisa of hurling saves, such has been the variety of interpretations. Even Ring seems to have offered contradictory accounts. Raymond Smith has an account from John Keane, the former Waterford great, who was umpiring that day. He recalled Ring shooting from 25 yards and the ball moving "so fast that the thought flashed through my mind, this must be a goal . . . and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that he'd saved it." One newspaper referred to "a powerful close-in shot" and another to a "piledriver" which was one of "several miracle saves" made by Foley on the day. Val Dorgan, Ring's biographer, reported a "vicious strike" that was saved just under the cross bar and he also used the word "miraculous".
    It wasn't until the next decade that All-Ireland finals began to be televised, leaving iconic moments like this shrouded in some mystery. Speaking to the Irish Echo in 2011, Foley himself gave this account: "Well, he shot and I blocked it straight up in the air. This is where they always get it wrong. They always say I caught it and cleared it, straight to Nickey [Rackard] and he scored the goal. But I blocked it out and Pat Barry [Cork] doubled on it, and it hit the outside of the net. "I pucked it out to Jim English and he passed it to Tom Ryan, and he got it to Nickey and Nickey got the goal, and we went on to win." It was in keeping with Foley's personality to play down the save's merits. In an interview in 2014, Ned Wheeler referred to Foley as "a gentlemen of few words". They stayed in touch regularly on the phone up to shortly before Wheeler's death. Ted Morrissey was another in frequent contact, a player who moved to Enniscorthy to work and joined the St Aidan's club which Foley played for. "I used to ring him every couple of weeks until recently," says Morrissey, now 89. "I rang him recently and he had fallen, the wife told me he was in the nursing home. "He was very clear, he had a great memory, could tell me all the people who lived on the street where he was. He worked as a lorry driver, that's what he was doing before he left. I suppose he thought there was a better life over there." What did they talk about? "About hurling and old times and the people he knew and he'd be asking me about the people around Enniscorthy. Unfortunately, by the last few conversations there weren't many left that he knew." Foley was just 5'6" at a time when there were marauding full-forwards aplenty and the goalkeeper didn't have the protection in the rulebook he has now. He was dropped after conceding six goals in the 1951 National League final and didn't play in the All-Ireland final later that year against Tipperary when Wexford suffered a heavy loss. Wexford opted for a novice 'keeper, something Billy Rackard later said had been a mistake. When he made the save in '56 Foley was given an appreciative and sporting hand-shake from Ring. The Cloyne man was notoriously competitive but often commented on the sportsmanship of Wexford and specifically his marker Bobby Rackard. At the end of the '56 final Nick O'Donnell and Rackard chaired Ring off the field which is another lasting and remarkable feature of that final. Foley spoke of that moment to Ted Morrissey. "Nicko (O'Donnell) came to Arty and says, 'we'll shoulder him off the field'. And Arty says to him, 'how the hell will we do that, you are 6'2 and I am 5'6 . . . go and get Bobby with you'. So Nicko and Bobby shouldered him off and Arty was a back-up man, giving them a push from behind." Ring stated after the '54 final when Cork defeated Wexford that Cork had never defeated a cleaner team. Perhaps the very different experience he had against Galway in the previous year's final had something to do with that, but the relationship between the counties at the time was cordial and warm. Ring being chaired off the field was its Olympian moment. At a time when hurling was notoriously rough and macho, these displays of sportsmanship were notably different from the norm. It deepened Wexford's unique appeal. Tony Dempsey, the former Wexford county chairman, and former senior hurling manger, met Foley and his wife and some of the family over lunch in Long Island a few years ago, where they made a presentation to him for his services to the county. They spoke of that decision to carry off Ring. "He told me Bobby caught Ring like a doll and lifted him up," said Dempsey, noting the power for which he was renowned. Foley survived in spite of his height limitations, helped by having O'Donnell in front of him. He left school at 13, like many others who were obliged to at the time, and followed his father Tommy, a truck driver, into employment at Davis's Mills in Enniscorthy. He told Dempsey in New York how he routinely carried 12-stone bags of flour up and down ladders at 14. "He took out a photo album and showed a photo of himself jumping for the ball," says Dempsey, "and proportionate to his body he had massive muscles, massive quads and massive thighs." In New York he ended up in long-term employment for TWA, spending 34 years as a crew chief. He came home occasionally, sometimes for reunions. After winning the '56 final, and entering legend, Wexford's victorious players began the triumphant journey home on the Monday night, stopping off in the Market Square in Enniscorthy. A Mr Browne from the county board introduced the players individually. "The greatest ovation was reserved for the goalkeeper Arty Foley whose brilliance in the net contributed much to Wexford's victory," the Irish Independent reported. Forty three years after they laid Nickey Rackard to rest in Bunclody, the first of that special team, Art Foley has gone to his eternal resting place in New York. Their deaths took place decades and thousands of miles apart. But their spirits will remain inseparable.
  • 34cm x 22cm
    This Flying Column operated across the West Mayo area during the War of Independence. The photograph was taken shortly after the Carrowkennedy ambush on a RIC Barracks; the men are displaying the captured weapons. On the 2nd June 1921 the West Mayo Flying Column ambushed British soldiers on the Westport to Leenane road. After the ambush they went on the run. While near Laherdane in the vicinity of Neiphin Mountain they were visited by Jack Leonard. Leonard was a photographer and a cousin of Michael Kilroy, who was the Officer in Command of the brigade and took the only photograph of the Flying Column that exists.

  • Its been hell for leather Guinness Hurling advert from the 90s. Dromkeen Co Limerick Dimensions : 65cm x55 cm " It was not until 1994 that the GAA decided that the football championship would benefit from bringing on a title sponsor in Bank of Ireland. Although an equivalent offer had been on the table for the hurling championship, Central Council pushed the plate away.Though the name of the potential sponsor wasn’t explicitly made public, everyone knew it was Guinness. More to the point, everyone knew why Central Council wouldn’t bite. As Mulvihill himself noted in his report to Congress, the offer was declined on the basis that “Central Council did not want an alcoholic drinks company associated with a major GAA competition”. As it turned out, Central Council had been deadlocked on the issue and it was the casting vote of then president Peter Quinn that put the kibosh on a deal with Guinness. Mulvihill’s disappointment was far from hidden, since he saw the wider damage caused by turning up the GAA nose at Guinness’s advances. “The unfortunate aspect of the situation,” he wrote, “is that hurling needs support on the promotion of the game much more than football.” Though it took the point of a bayonet to make them go for it, the GAA submitted in the end and on the day after the league final in 1995 , a three-year partnership with Guinness was announced. The deal would be worth £1 million a year, with half going to the sport and half going to the competition in the shape of marketing. That last bit was key. Guinness came up with a marketing campaign that fairly scorched across the general consciousness. Billboards screeched out slogans that feel almost corny at this remove but made a huge impact at the same time . This man can level whole counties in one second flat. This man can reach speeds of 100mph. This man can break hearts at 70 yards Its been Hell for Leather. Of course, all the marketing in the world can only do so much. Without a story to go alongside, the Guinness campaign might be forgotten now – or worse, remembered as an overblown blast of hot air dreamed up in some modish ad agency above in Dublin.Until the  Clare hurlers came along and changed everything." Malachy Clerkin Irish Times GAA Correspondent Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in 1759 at the St James Gate Brewery,Dublin.On 31st December 1759 he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery.Ten years later, on 19 May 1769, Guinness first exported his ale: he shipped six-and-a-half barrels to Great Britain before he started selling the dark beer porter in 1778. The first Guinness beers to use the term were Single Stout and Double Stout in the 1840s.Throughout the bulk of its history, Guinness produced only three variations of a single beer type: porter or single stout, double or extra and foreign stout for export. “Stout” originally referred to a beer’s strength, but eventually shifted meaning toward body and colour.Porter was also referred to as “plain”, as mentioned in the famous refrain of Flann O’Brien‘s poem “The Workman’s Friend”: “A pint of plain is your only man.” Already one of the top-three British and Irish brewers, Guinness’s sales soared from 350,000 barrels in 1868 to 779,000 barrels in 1876.In October 1886 Guinness became a public company, and was averaging sales of 1,138,000 barrels a year. This was despite the brewery’s refusal to either advertise or offer its beer at a discount. Even though Guinness owned no public houses, the company was valued at £6 million and shares were twenty times oversubscribed, with share prices rising to a 60 per cent premium on the first day of trading. The breweries pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonym “Student” for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student’s t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student’s t-test. By 1900 the brewery was operating unparalleled welfare schemes for its 5,000 employees. By 1907 the welfare schemes were costing the brewery £40,000 a year, which was one-fifth of the total wages bill. The improvements were suggested and supervised by Sir John Lumsden. By 1914, Guinness was producing 2,652,000 barrels of beer a year, which was more than double that of its nearest competitor Bass, and was supplying more than 10 per cent of the total UK beer market. In the 1930s, Guinness became the seventh largest company in the world. Before 1939, if a Guinness brewer wished to marry a Catholic, his resignation was requested. According to Thomas Molloy, writing in the Irish Independent, “It had no qualms about selling drink to Catholics but it did everything it could to avoid employing them until the 1960s.” Guinness thought they brewed their last porter in 1973. In the 1970s, following declining sales, the decision was taken to make Guinness Extra Stout more “drinkable”. The gravity was subsequently reduced, and the brand was relaunched in 1981. Pale malt was used for the first time, and isomerized hop extract began to be used. In 2014, two new porters were introduced: West Indies Porter and Dublin Porter. Guinness acquired the Distillers Company in 1986.This led to a scandal and criminal trialconcerning the artificial inflation of the Guinness share price during the takeover bid engineered by the chairman, Ernest Saunders. A subsequent £5.2 million success fee paid to an American lawyer and Guinness director, Tom Ward, was the subject of the case Guinness plc v Saunders, in which the House of Lords declared that the payment had been invalid. In the 1980s, as the IRA’s bombing campaign spread to London and the rest of Britain, Guinness considered scrapping the Harp as its logo. The company merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo. Due to controversy over the merger, the company was maintained as a separate entity within Diageo and has retained the rights to the product and all associated trademarks of Guinness.
    The Guinness Brewery Park Royal during demolition, at its peak the largest and most productive brewery in the world.
    The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005. The production of all Guinness sold in the UK and Ireland was moved to St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. Guinness has also been referred to as “that black stuff”. Guinness had a fleet of ships, barges and yachts. The Irish Sunday Independent newspaper reported on 17 June 2007 that Diageo intended to close the historic St James’s Gate plant in Dublin and move to a greenfield site on the outskirts of the city.This news caused some controversy when it was announced.The following day, the Irish Daily Mail ran a follow-up story with a double page spread complete with images and a history of the plant since 1759. Initially, Diageo said that talk of a move was pure speculation but in the face of mounting speculation in the wake of the Sunday Independent article, the company confirmed that it is undertaking a “significant review of its operations”. This review was largely due to the efforts of the company’s ongoing drive to reduce the environmental impact of brewing at the St James’s Gate plant. On 23 November 2007, an article appeared in the Evening Herald, a Dublin newspaper, stating that the Dublin City Council, in the best interests of the city of Dublin, had put forward a motion to prevent planning permission ever being granted for development of the site, thus making it very difficult for Diageo to sell off the site for residential development. On 9 May 2008, Diageo announced that the St James’s Gate brewery will remain open and undergo renovations, but that breweries in Kilkenny and Dundalk will be closed by 2013 when a new larger brewery is opened near Dublin. The result will be a loss of roughly 250 jobs across the entire Diageo/Guinness workforce in Ireland.Two days later, the Sunday Independent again reported that Diageo chiefs had met with Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, the deputy leader of the Government of Ireland, about moving operations to Ireland from the UK to benefit from its lower corporation tax rates. Several UK firms have made the move in order to pay Ireland’s 12.5 per cent rate rather than the UK’s 28 per cent rate. Diageo released a statement to the London stock exchange denying the report.Despite the merger that created Diageo plc in 1997, Guinness has retained its right to the Guinness brand and associated trademarks and thus continues to trade under the traditional Guinness name despite trading under the corporation name Diageo for a brief period in 1997. In November 2015 it was announced that Guinness are planning to make their beer suitable for consumption by vegetarians and vegans by the end of 2016 through the introduction of a new filtration process at their existing Guinness Brewery that avoids the need to use isinglass from fish bladders to filter out yeast particles.This went into effect in 2017, per the company’s FAQ webpage where they state: “Our new filtration process has removed the use of isinglass as a means of filtration and vegans can now enjoy a pint of Guinness. All Guinness Draught in keg format is brewed without using isinglass. Full distribution of bottle and can formats will be in place by the end of 2017, so until then, our advice to vegans is to consume the product from the keg format only for now. Guinness stout is made from water, barley, roast malt extract, hops, and brewer’s yeast. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurisedand filtered. Until the late 1950s Guinness was still racked into wooden casks. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Guinness ceased brewing cask-conditioned beers and developed a keg brewing system with aluminium kegs replacing the wooden casks; these were nicknamed “iron lungs”.Until 2016 the production of Guinness, as with many beers, involved the use of isinglass made from fish. Isinglass was used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the vat. The isinglass was retained in the floor of the vat but it was possible that minute quantities might be carried over into the beer. Diageo announced in February 2018 that the use of isinglass in draught Guinness was to be discontinued and an alternative clarification agent would be used instead. This has made draught Guinness acceptable to vegans and vegetarians. Arguably its biggest change to date, in 1959 Guinness began using nitrogen, which changed the fundamental texture and flavour of the Guinness of the past as nitrogen bubbles are much smaller than CO2, giving a “creamier” and “smoother” consistency over a sharper and traditional CO2 taste. This step was taken after Michael Ash – a mathematician turned brewer – discovered the mechanism to make this possible. Nitrogen is less soluble than carbon dioxide, which allows the beer to be put under high pressure without making it fizzy. High pressure of the dissolved gas is required to enable very small bubbles to be formed by forcing the draught beer through fine holes in a plate in the tap, which causes the characteristic “surge” (the widget in cans and bottles achieves the same effect). This “widget” is a small plastic ball containing the nitrogen. The perceived smoothness of draught Guinness is due to its low level of carbon dioxide and the creaminess of the head caused by the very fine bubbles that arise from the use of nitrogen and the dispensing method described above. “Foreign Extra Stout” contains more carbon dioxide, causing a more acidic taste. Contemporary Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are weaker than they were in the 19th century, when they had an original gravity of over 1.070. Foreign Extra Stout and Special Export Stout, with abv of 7.5% and 9% respectively, are perhaps closest to the original in character.Although Guinness may appear to be black, it is officially a very dark shade of ruby. The most recent change in alcohol content from the Import Stout to the Extra Stout was due to a change in distribution through North American market. Consumer complaints have influenced recent distribution and bottle changes.
    Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that “‘antioxidantcompounds’ in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.”Guinness ran an advertising campaign in the 1920s which stemmed from market research – when people told the company that they felt good after their pint, the slogan, created by Dorothy L. Sayers–”Guinness is Good for You”. Advertising for alcoholic drinks that implies improved physical performance or enhanced personal qualities is now prohibited in Ireland.Diageo, the company that now manufactures Guinness, says: “We never make any medical claims for our drinks.” Origins : Dublin Dimensions : 43cm x 35cm
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    There’s almost a John Hughes film starting Steve Martin & John Candy to be made about this particularly protracted journey from to Limerick  ! Another in our series of humorous excerpts from Irish provincial newspapers or colloquially known as 'bog cuttings' in Phoenix Magazine. Origins :Limerick.    Dimensions : 30cm x 30cm
  • Fascinating map from 1610 as by the renowned cartographer John speed of the Province of Mounster(Munster!)-comprising the counties of Tipperary,Clare,Limerick,Cork,Kerry & Waterford.Includes miniature city layouts of both Limerick & Cork. 52cm x 65cm   Beaufort Co Kerry John Speed (1551 or 1552 – 28 July 1629) was an English cartographer and historian. He is, alongside Christopher Saxton, one of the best known English mapmakers of the early modern period.


    Speed was born in the Cheshire village of Farndon and went into his father Samuel Speed's tailoring later in life. While working in London, Speed was a tailor and member of a corresponding guild, and came to the attention of "learned" individuals. These individuals included Sir Fulke Greville, who subsequently made him an allowance to enable him to devote his whole attention to research. By 1598 he had enough patronage to leave his manual labour job and "engage in full-time scholarship". As a reward for his earlier efforts, Queen Elizabethgranted Speed the use of a room in the Custom House. Speed, was, by this point, as "tailor turned scholar" who had a highly developed "pictorial sense". In 1575, Speed married a woman named Susanna Draper in London, later having children with her. These children definitely included a son named John Speed, later a "learned" man with a doctorate, and an unknown number of others, since chroniclers and historians cannot agree on how many children they raised. Regardless, there is no doubt that the Speed family was relatively well-off. By 1595, Speed published a map of biblical Canaan, in 1598 he presented his maps to Queen Elizabeth, and in 1611–1612 he published maps of Great Britain, with his son perhaps assisting Speed in surveys of English towns. At age 77 or 78, in August 1629, Speed died. He was buried alongside his wife in London's St Giles-without-Cripplegate church on Fore Street. Later on, a memorial to John Speed was also erected behind the altar of the church.According to the church's website, "[His was] one of the few memorials [in the church] that survived the bombing" of London during The Blitz of 1940–1941 ... The website also notes that "[t]he cast for the niche in which the bust is placed was provided by the Merchant Taylors' Company, of which John Speed was a member". His memorial brass has ended up on display in the Burrell Collection near Glasgow.


    Speed drew historical maps in 1601 and 1627 depicting the invasion of England and Ireland, depictions of the English Middle Ages, along with those depicting the current time, with rough originals but appealing, colourful final versions of his maps. It was with the encouragement of William Camden that Speed began his Historie of Great Britaine, which was published in 1611. Although he probably had access to historical sources that are now lost to us (he certainly used the work of Saxton and Norden), his work as a historian is now considered secondary in importance to his map-making, of which his most important contribution is probably his town plans, many of which provide the first visual record of the British towns they depict.In the years leading up to this point, while his atlas was being compiled, he sent letters to Robert Cotton, part of the British government to ask for assistance in gathering necessary materials.
    In 1627 George Humble published the Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World, printed by John Dawson. This is the world map from this atlas with John Speed's name in the title, but not attributed to Speed's authorship.
    His atlas The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine was published in 1611 and 1612, and contained the first set of individual county maps of England and Wales besides maps of Ireland and a general map of Scotland. Tacked onto these maps was an introduction at the beginning when he addressed his "well affected and favourable reader", which had numerous Christian and religious undertones, admitting that there may be errors, but he made it the best he could, and stated his purpose for the atlas:
    my purpose...is to shew the situation of every Citie and Shire-town only [within Great Britain]...I have separated...[with] help of the tables...any Citie, Towne, Borough, Hamlet, or Place of Note...[it] may be affirmed, that there is not any one Kingdome in the world so exactly described...as is...Great Britaine...In shewing these things, I have chiefly sought to give satisfaction to all.
    With maps as "proof impressions" and printed from copper plates, detail was engraved in reverse with writing having to be put on the map the correct way, while speed "copied, adapted and compiled the work of others", not doing much of the survey work on his own, which he acknowledged.The atlas was not above projections of his political opinions" Speed represented King James I as one who unified the "Kingdoms of the British isles". In 2016, the British Library published a book, introduced by former MP Nigel Nicolson and accompanied by commentaries by late medieval and early modern historian Alasdair Hawkyard, which reprinted this collection of maps on the British Isles, showing that Speed had drawn maps of areas ranging from Bedfordshire to Norfolk and Wales. Most, but not all, of the county maps have town plans on them; those showing a Scale of Passes being the places he had mapped himself. In 1627, two years before his death, Speed published Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World which was the first world atlas produced by an Englishman, costing 40 shillings, meaning that its circulation was limited to "richer customers and libraries", where many survive to this day. There is a fascinating text describing the areas shown on the back of the maps in English, although a rare edition of 1616 of the British maps has a Latin text – this is believed to have been produced for the Continental market. Much of the engraving was done in Amsterdam at the workshop of a Flemish man named Jodocus Hondius, with whom he collaborated with from 1598 until 1612, with Hondius's sudden death, a time period of 14 years.His maps of English and Welsh counties, often bordered with costumed figures ranging from nobility to country folk, are often found framed in homes throughout the United Kingdom. In 1611, he also published The genealogies recorded in the Sacred Scriptures according to euery family and tribe with the line of Our Sauior Jesus Christ obserued from Adam to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a biblical genealogy, reprinted several times during the 17th century. He also drew maps of the Channel Islands, Poland, and the Americas, the latter published only a few years before his death. On the year of his death, yet another collection of maps of Great Britain he had drawn the year before were published. Described as a "Protestant historian", "Puritan historian" or "Protestant propagandist" by some, Speed wrote about William Shakespeare, whom he called a "Superlative Monster" because of certain plays, Roman conquest, history of Chester, and explored "early modern concepts of national identity". As these writings indicate, he possibly saw Wales as English and not an independent entity. More concretely, there is evidence that Speed, in his chronicling of history, uses "theatrical metaphors" and his developed "historiographic skill" to work while he repeats myths from medieval times as part of his story.


    Since his maps were used in many high circles, Speed's legacy has been long-reaching. After his death, in 1673 and 1676, some of his other maps on the British isles, the Chesapeake Bay region, specifically of Virginia and Maryland, the East Indies, the Russian Empire then ruled by Peter the Great, Jamaica, and Barbados, among other locations.With these printings and others, Speed's maps became the basis for world maps until at least the mid-eighteenth century, with his maps reprinted many times, and served as a major contribution to British topography for years to come. In later years, Speed would be called "our English Mercator", a person of "extraordinary industry and attainments in the study of antiques", an "honest and impartial historian", a "faithful Chronologer", and "our Cheshire historian...a scholar...a distinguished writer on history".He was also called a "celebrated chronologer and histographer", "cartographer", and much more. Even today, prints of his "beautiful maps" can be found in living rooms across the world, and sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds in rare art and map auctions, drawing in map collectors across the globe.Additionally, some use John Speed's maps, and connected commentary, to interpret William Shakespeare's plays; however, Speed did not like Shakespeare in the slightest, and called him a "papist".
  • 42cm x 48cm  Limerick Fascinating Draught plan of the country around Limerick taken in 1752 by William Eyres Map Maker - the scale is at 320 yards to one inch.
  • Very interesting and superbly framed Map of Ireland from 1779 from the latest surveys of the time. 62cm x 49cm Dublin  
  • 50cm x 60cm  Dublin This rare and historical print depicts Grattans Irish House of Parliament before it fell under the Act of Union in 1800,whereupon Ireland would be governed from London for the next 120 years.This parliament was loyal to the King and was essentially an assembly of the leading members of the landed gentry of the country,loyal to the Anglican Church of Ireland who owned most of the land.The politicians of the national party now fought for the Irish parliament, not with the intention of liberating the Catholic majority, but to set the Irish parliament free from constitutional bondage to the British Privy Council. By virtue of Poynings' Law, a statute of King Henry VII of England, all proposed Irish legislation had to be submitted to the Privy Council for its approval under the Great Seal of England before being passed by the Irish parliament. A bill so approved might be accepted or rejected, but not amended. More recent British Acts had further emphasised the complete dependence of the Irish parliament, and the appellate jurisdiction of the Irish House of Lords had also been annulled. Moreover, the British Houses claimed and exercised the power to legislate directly for Ireland without even the nominal concurrence of the parliament in Dublin. This was the constitution which William Molyneux and Swift had denounced, which Flood had attacked, and which Grattan was to destroy, becoming leaders of the Patriot movement.
    The Irish House of Commons by Francis Wheatley (1780) shows Grattan (standing on right in red jacket) addressing the House.
    Calls for the legislative independence of Ireland at the Irish Volunteer Convention at Dungannon greatly influenced the decision of the government in 1782 to make concessions. It was through ranks of Volunteers drawn up outside the parliament house in Dublin that Grattan passed on 16 April 1782, amidst unparalleled popular enthusiasm, to move a declaration of the independence of the Irish parliament. "I found Ireland on her knees," Grattan exclaimed, "I watched over her with a paternal solicitude; I have traced her progress from injuries to arms, and from arms to liberty. Spirit of Swift, spirit of Molyneux, your genius has prevailed! Ireland is now a nation!" After a month of negotiation the claims of Ireland were conceded. The gratitude of his countrymen to Grattan was shown by a parliamentary grant of £100,000, which had to be reduced by half before he would accept it.Grattan then asked for the British House of Commons to reconfirm the London government's decision, and on 22 January 1783 the final Act was passed by parliament in London.However by 1800 under the Act of Union Grattans Parliament would cease to exist. From the perspective of Great Britain, the union was desirable because of the uncertainty that followed the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and the French Revolution of 1789; if Ireland adopted Catholic Emancipation, willingly or not, a Roman Catholic parliament could break away from Britain and ally with the French, while the same measure within a united kingdom would exclude that possibility. Also the Irish and British parliaments, when creating a regency during King George III's "madness", gave the Prince Regent different powers. These considerations led Great Britain to decide to attempt merger of the two kingdoms and their parliaments.The final passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was achieved with substantial majorities, in part according to contemporary documents through bribery, namely the awarding of peerages and honours to critics to get their votes.Whereas the first attempt had been defeated in the Irish House of Commons by 109 votes against to 104 for, the second vote in 1800 produced a result of 158 to 115. Yet in the heart of every Irishman,whatever his politics or religion ,there is a tender spot for Grattans Parliament and the genius, wit and oratory of its members will live long and be cherished with pride by their countrymen.The present Bank of Ireland at College Green,directly adjacent to Trinity College Dublin,was the site of the old Parliament building ,built in1729   and the worlds first purpose built bi-cameral Parliament House .Architects were Pearce and James Gandon .  
  • Extremely unusual & culturally significant historical sign from a once famous pub in Castlebar Co Mayo, the historic and now sadly closed down Humbert Inn.Please email us directly to enquire about this most unusual item at irishpubemporium@gmail.com. "Located on the Main Street of Castlebar, The Humbert Inn  excelled in its hospitality to the public for over 200 years. Its name was derived from the fact that the French General Jean Humbert with his second in command General Sarrazin located their headquarters within the building during the United Irishmen rebellion of 1798. Originally until 1912 due to rates purposes, the premises also consisted of what is known today as Paddy Fahey’s shop and over the years has been used as hotel, restaurant and public house. In 1798 the site of Paddy Fahey’s and the Humbert Inn was known as Geevy’s Hotel. A banquet was held there after the 1798 Rising and it was in The Humbert Inn premises, that John Moore was declared first President of Connaught! The public bar was unique in appearance with its interior rough cut stone walls, arches, Liscannor stone floor and a façade that has changed little over the past fifty years.

    The premises has changed hands many times over the years, more recent owners including Tom Coucil, the Moran family and since 1994 John Connaughton, more popularly known as 'John Humbert'. While memories aplenty abound about The Humbert Inn with many instances of people today stating that they are the third generation of their family to call into The Humbert.  Its lasting legacy will be an outstanding and legendary venue for all that is musical. The Humbert Inn was long associated with encouraging local musicians and providing the public with a steady stream of talent. Everything from traditional sessions to Industrial Rock has been catered for, everything from one guitar, 6 piece bands to many DJs have enthralled weekly audiences! In many cases their audience trying for a pint, while singing and dancing at the same time. Always a multi-talented bunch, The Humbert regulars! The most historically famous of these bands will be 'General Humbert' consisting of Steve Dunford (bodhran, bones), John Donegan (mandolin, harmonium), Ruairi Somers (uileann pipes, tin whistles, bagpipes), Shay Kavanagh (guitar, bouzouki) and one Miss Mary Black (vocals, bodhran) from approx 1972 until 1982. Mary Black’s brother Mick was working with the then P&T in Castlebar, he along with his brother Shay informed a group of Humbert musicians including, John Hoban and Frank O’Reilly, that he 'had a sister that could sing a bit (brotherly understatement) and would they be interested if she sang with them'. Mary Black may have received her first taste of success with 'General Humbert' in the ‘70s and recorded her first album in 1982. But, along with playing venues in Dublin, she started out singing in Castlebar with traditional group 'La Salle' which included John Dunford and Fintan Murphy within The Humbert a good ten years before her international success. Christmas in particular was always memorable in The Humbert, it was a major home coming venue and meeting place. If you were brought up in Castlebar, were of a certain age, then chances were there was one of two places you would have been found on Christmas Eve, The Humbert or Rays!. The Humbert Inn can also boast its very own VIP list among its regulars with two crowned Roses of Tralee Mindy O’Sullivan and Aoibhinn Ni Shulleabhain along with Fair City actress Vicky Burke. Plus any number of quality customers, musicians, fine sportsmen and women, business people and the odd politician. Fate had decided a different path for The Humbert and further to this an offer to buy the premises by a local developer was accepted. This has resulted in the developer’s decision to convert the building into retail outlets and apartments, thereby no longer retaining the premises two hundred year reign in the hospitality trade.Public opinion has stated a desire to at least retain the look of the existing bar, possibly using same as a restaurant, wine bar, part of the Linenhall for exhibitions or even as a Tourist Office However, the general consensus is an overall request that The Humbert Inn remains a public bar while recognising the logic in upper floor apartment conversion. The future of The Humbert has been proposed by the developer, but it is the present planning section of the Town Council who will ultimately decide this historic buildings fate as rumours abound of its possible demolition! What ever the future holds for The Humbert Inn, its last weekend under the command of General John Connaughton will be a musical filled celebration which John has requested to end quietly on its last closing time on Sunday 3rd September. Which is curiously the same date that Humbert and his men left The Humbert Inn premises in 1798! It will be an emotional time for both punters, staff and owner, an end of an era no matter what the future holds, so it is important that it is understood that the bar will be closing promptly on the last night" Origins : Co Mayo Dimensions : 88cm x60.5cm  5kg
  • 85cm x 72cm  Rathdrum Co Wicklow Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891) will be remembered as one of the most iconic and indeed controversial politicians in Irish history.MP and Leader of the Irish Parliamentary or Home Rule Party from1882 to 1891 until revelations of his adulterous love affair with Kitty O'Shea forced his resignation.He died shortly afterwards from pneumonia in the arms of his newly divorced and remarried wife Katherine.His death was considered to be a direct result of the stresses he endured because of the Victorian era scandal and his subsequent funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin was attended by more than 200000 people.His notability was such that his gravestone of unhewn Wicklow granite, erected in 1940,reads only Parnell. This faithful portrayal of Parnell,well over 130 years old, by the artist JG Wills dates to 1884 and is a beautiful homage to the "uncrowned king of Ireland".  
  • Original,multi faceted,interesting historical caricature by the artist Tom Merry,surrounding the complex Home Rule Question which dominated political discourse both in Ireland and in London for much of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century,right up to the outbreak of WW1.This supplement came with the United Irishman publication and is a fascinating insight into the politics of the period, in particular emphasising Parnells obstructionist tactics in Westminster. Abbeyleix  Co Laois  54cm x 74cm   hat was Home Rule? Home Rule was the demand that the governance of Ireland be returned from Westminster to a domestic parliament in Ireland. Ireland had had its own parliament up to 1800 when the Act of Union ended Irish representation at the parliament sitting at College Green in Dublin. Under the Union, MPs elected for Irish constituencies went over to Westminster and sat alongside English, Scottish, and Welsh MPs in a legislature that had jurisdiction over the whole of both islands as well as the colonies of the British Empire. When was the Home Rule movement established? The idea of Home Rule dates from 1870 but it should be viewed as part of a longer tradition which aimed at revising the Anglo-Irish relationship by constitutional methods. The first attempt to repeal the Act of Union was made by Daniel O’Connell in the 1840s. This was ultimately a failure and Irish politics in the mid-nineteenth century was dominated by MPs acting as Irish representatives of the Liberal and Tory parties. In 1870, Isaac Butt, a barrister and former Tory MP, founded the Irish Home Government Association. The movement combined a powerful cross section of progressive landowners, tenant rights activists, and supporters and sympathisers of the failed Fenian uprising of 1867 to create a third way in Irish politics. By 1874, styled as the Home Rule League, Butt’s nascent party succeeded in gaining the loose allegiance of 59 out of 103 Irish MPs. What about Parnell? The most significant event to occur in the emergence of a more powerful Home Rule movement was in 1880 when Charles Stewart Parnell was elected chairman of the party. Parnell was a master organiser. He ran the party like a machine from parish level to parliament and by coupling the demand for Home Rule with the intensifying agitation for tenant rights in Ireland, Home Rule became an extremely powerful force in politics. Between the land question and the demand for Home Rule, Irish issues consumed a large proportion of parliamentary time at Westminster during the 1880s and intermittently thereafter. Did the Home Rule movement achieve anything? On three occasions, a Home Rule bill was introduced to the House of Commons. In 1886, Prime Minister William E. Gladstone introduced the first Home Rule bill. However, this move split his governing Liberal Party and the bill was defeated in the House of Commons. In 1893, a second Home Rule bill managed to pass through the House of Commons but it was thrown out by the House of Lords. Once more, in 1912, a Home Rule bill passed the House of Commons. The powers of the House of Lords had been curtailed in 1911 and, under the new parliamentary mechanisms, the Lords could only delay rather than reject the bill. At the beginning of 1913, the Liberal Lord Crewe, former Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, opened the debates on the bill in the Lords. The rejection of Home Rule by the Lords was a fait accompli but, with only the power of delay remaining to them, the real danger to the passage of the bill came from outside of Parliament, where Unionist Ulster was organising in earnest its resistance to the imposition of the bill on the North East. Why did British governments agree to introduce Home Rule bills to parliament? On all three of the occasions when Home Rule bills were introduced to the House of Commons, Home Rulers held the balance of power between the Liberal and Conservative parties which were roughly evenly split. Finding themselves in this position, Home Rulers were able to negotiate for the introduction of a Home Rule bill in exchange for supporting the Liberal Party, traditionally a sympathetic ally on the Irish question. This support gave the Liberals the required majority to form a government. The exact same situation exists in Westminster today where Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats hold the balance between the Labour and Conservative parties, and David Cameron’s government requires the support of the Liberal Democrats to stay in power. How does Home Rule fit into the wider British context? Home Rule was an extremely important concept in the British Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To fully appreciate its significance, it must be viewed in an imperial rather than a purely Irish concept. Before the outbreak of the First World War, the nature of government in the British Empire was changing. Greater independence and forms of domestic governance were granted to Canada, Australia, and South Africa in 1867, 1900, and 1909 respectively. Thus, Britain can be seen to have been gradually liberalising its system of imperial governance, at least for ‘civilised’ components of the empire. This contrasts starkly with the disorderly and chaotic nature of de-colonisation that was experienced by Britain, France, and other European powers following the Second World War.
  • 58cm x 67cm    Urlingford Co Kilkenny Unique,large photograph taken of a goalmouth scene during the 1903 hurling final between Cork(represented by Blackrock) and Kilkenny (Three Castles) at Dungarvan Co Waterford.The final result was an emphatic win for the Corkmen  8-9 to 0-8.The game was played with 17 players aside and it was not until 1913 that teams were reduced to the present day 15 a side.The goalposts which can be clearly seen in the photo were changed to the uprights format with crossbar in 1910 which are in use up to the present time.      
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