• 40cm x 34cm  Limerick
    essrs Robert Perry & Son Limited were registered as a limited company in 1877, but the brewery dates back to 1800 when it was started by the Perry family. The brewery was located in Rathdowney, county Laois. In connection with the Brewery were extensive maltings, with branches at Donaghmore, Brosna and Roscrea, and only Irish barley was used. It is claimed that they were the first brewer to chill and filter ale in around 1900. A unique feature of the business is the brewing of non-deposit ale under sole rights for Ireland and the company has the distinction of holding a Royal warrant as brewers to Queen Victoria. From 1950 their trade deteriorated and losses were incurred. The Dixon family (Green's of Luton and subsequently Flowers) had a controlling interest. In 1956 Captain T.R. Dixon acquired the entire share capital of the company. In the same year, they were receiving assistance from Flowers in the form of a second hand plant to produce chilled and filtered beers. In June 1957 Cherry's Breweries Limited bought out a quantity of ordinary and preference stock. In August 1959 Cherry's made a successful offer for the outstanding stock, and Perry's became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cherry's Breweries Limited. In 1965 they were owned by Cherry's Breweries Limited (held by AGS(D) and IAB). The directors were D.O. Williams (Assistant Managing Director of AGS(D)), A.C. Parker and J.D. Hudson. The secretary was N.J. McCullough (he also held the position of accountant), the brewer W.St.J. Mitchell. They employed 5 male office staff, 37 male employees in the brewery and maltings and 8 drivers. The products included: Perry's India Pale Ale, Perry's Pale Ale, Perry's XX Ale, Perry's X Ale. There were no trademarks held.
  • Unique piece of art relating to the 1916 Uprising  as painted by IRA prisoners in Portlaois Prison .The names of the artist and comrades are clearly to be seen on the front and back of the painting, which appears to be painted on bed linen. 56cm x 42cm   Portlaoise Co Laois   The following article gives some background to the cultural significance of Republican Art . Aodh was born in the Gorbals district of Glasgow in 1950 to Dan and Madge Doherty from County Donegal. Like many young, rural Irish, they had to emigrate to find work. In the parish of the Gorbals, they met and got married in the mid 1940s. Although living away, they always viewed Donegal as their home. Aodh spent his youth commuting between the two parishes, returning ‘home’ to Donegal as often as possible. By the late 1960s, Aodh was living full-time in Ireland. As fate would have it, Aodh’s life journey would see him serve 22 years in 16 English prisons and being moved 21 times, all for his belief in Irish republicanism. After his capture at the conclusion of the Balcombe Street Siege in December 1975, Aodh was held on remand for over a year, during which he was transferred to Wandsworth Prison, where he spent this time in solitary confinement. This meant him being confined to a prison cell for 23 hours, only being allowed out for one hour’s exercise per day. At their trial in the Old Bailey in 1977, Aodh and his comrades, as Irish republicans, refused to recognise the legitimacy of an English court, resulting in multiple life sentences being given to all four. Aodh was sentenced to 11 terms of life imprisonment, with a judicial recommendation he serve at least 30 years behind bars. He was then sent to Leicester’s maximum-security prison where he was held in the notorious Special Secure Unit for the highest risk ‘Category A’ prisoners. In 1980, on his eighth move, Aodh was transferred to the SSU in Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight. It was during his stay here that Aodh first became interested in painting. He started by observing other prisoners during their art classes and with the inspiration of Peter Leath, a seascape artist resident on the Isle of Wight and who taught art classes to prisoners to supplement his income, Aodh began to discover his hidden talent. Aodh will openly admit that without the encouragement of Peter Leath he may never have taken up art. Up until this point the only painting that he had been involved in was whitewashing local cottages and glossing window frames and doors. By 1982, Aodh had started to produce paintings. His earliest works were landscapes and seascapes, reflecting scenes and childhood memories from around his home in Ireland. During 1986 and part of 1987, Aodh was ‘ghosted’ among three prisons. ‘Ghosting’ (or Rule 43) meant that a prisoner could be moved to another prison without any prior notice. This sudden move usually occurred at night. Unfortunately, in these prisons he was unable to paint, due to the lack of facilities. It was only when he was transferred to Long Lartin Prison, in the latter part of 1987, that he was able to paint again. Here Aodh spent the best part of three years developing and enhancing his skill as an artist. In 1990, Aodh was ‘ghosted’ again to Bristol Prison before being returned to Parkhurst Prison, where he was reunited with his original art tutor, Peter Leath. It was during this period that Peter encouraged Aodh to experiment with different styles, resulting in his use of the pallet knife and the start of his love for abstract painting. A four-month transfer to Frankland Prison in 1991, where Aodh was able to paint was quickly followed by another transfer to Albany Prison where he was unable to paint. It was not until he was sent to Full Sutton Prison in 1993 that Aodh was again allowed to paint. An unsuccessful escape attempt in 1996 resulted in Aodh being sent to solitary confinement in Durham Prison. After a few months there, he was again transferred, this time to Whitemoor Prison, where he produced the last of his paintings in an English prison. By this stage Aodh was concentrating more on his abstract work, often using bedsheets as his medium. By 1998, the political landscape in Ireland had dramatically changed since the mid-1970s, when Aodh was captured. The repatriation of political prisoners in England to Ireland was high on the agenda. This resulted in Aodh and his comrades, spending the May holiday weekend in Belmarsh Prison before being sent to Portlaoise Prison, not far from Dublin. Just a week after being transferred from England to Ireland, the four men who were involved in the Balcombe Street Siege were allowed out of prison for a single day to attend a special Sinn Féin conference called to consider the Good Friday Agreement. They joined other prisoners released for the day from jails on both sides of the border in successfully backing calls for the conference to accept the Good Friday Agreement, the basis for the Peace Process. Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams went on to describe the four, because of their long incarceration, as “Our Nelson Mandelas”. It was under these terms that Aodh was later released from prison on 9th April 1999, ironically the 99th day of the year, to return to his native Donegal. Hugh Aodh Doherty’s website www.hughdoherty.ie  
  • Brilliant photograph from 1960 as proud owner/trainer Denis Hyland lovingly buys a second pint of Guinness for his undefeated 3 time Heavyweight Cockfighting Champion of Ireland -Ginger.For more information on the ancient sport of cockfighting please read on . 50cm x40cm  Stradbally Co Laois   Nowadays Gaelic Games, soccer and rugby lead the way. But there used to be a time when cockfighting was the most popular spectator "sport" in Ireland.Naturally the gruesome nature of the activity means it is illegal today in most parts of the world.UCD professor Paul Rouse has shared the history of many Irish sports, and this week cockfighting was under the microscope. "From the Middle Ages onwards, from 1200 to 1300 onwards, there is evidence of cockfighting taking place [in Ireland] and actually not just evidence of it taking place but the simple fact that it was central to Irish life," he said. Indeed it was so central to life that for example, shortly after 1798 in the market of Kildare Town, a cockpit was build to stage fights.  "And that is a unique thing. We know that there were cockfighting pits all across Ireland," Rouse adds. "All across the place you have evidence of cockfighting. And they're only the ones that were dedicated purpose-built cockpits. We know that there was cockfighting in pubs, theatres, on streets, in sheds, in back lanes, out in fields. It was everywhere."Rouse also explained that cockfighting transcended class and social divisions, also adding that bull-baiting and bear-baiting were also popular in the United Kingdom in previous centuries with only a few detractors.   An RTE report from 1967 further investigated this clandestine sport, roughly around the same era that Ginger was ruling the roost (so to speak!)

    Cockfighting is an illegal sport, it is still practised in Ireland, and shows no signs of dying out.

    A cockfight is a blood sport where two cockerels are placed in a ring, called a ‘pit’, and fight one another, often until the death, for the entertainment of onlookers. Gambling also takes place at these events. Cathal O’Shannon talks to a man identified as Charlie, who trains cockerels, attends cockfights and also acts as an adjudicator at cockfighting matches. Charlie explains what happens at a cockfight, or ‘main’. The birds are placed in the pit and advance on one another. Men pick the birds up, or ‘haunt the cocks’, when one of the cockerels is injured, or when he goes outside the pit, and go back to their station again. The adjudicator then starts counting to 30. This gives the birds a brief rest before the next bout commences. When asked if he thinks that the metal spurs tied to the cockerels’ feet are cruel, he says "A cock can run if he likes...he can quit fighting." Contrary to popular opinion, Charlie does not believe the sport is a cruel one, as he loves the birds, and looks after them in the best way possible prior to a fight, "Get him cleaned up, and give him the sweet milk and the porridge, and get him dosed up again, a wee taste of rice, you get him closed...you put him on the bread then...give him three feeds...bread, and the whites of eggs, and spiced port wine or sherry." When there is a ‘main’ on, the news is spread by word of mouth, often less than 24 hours in advance. Cathal O’Shannon notes that the best place to find a cockfight is, ironically, often where there is a large police presence, such as a football match, a parade, or a Fleadh Cheoil. Any place where the police are too busy to notice. This report for Newsbeat was broadcast on 19 May 1967. The reporter was  Cathal O’Shannon. ‘Newsbeat’ was a half-hour feature programme presented by Frank Hall and ran for 7 years from September 1964 to June 1971. ‘Newsbeat’ went out from Monday to Friday on RTE television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland. The final programme was broadcast on the 11 June 1971. Origins : Co Laois Dimensions :60cm x 50cm 6kg
Go to Top