Do Old Cures Really Work?

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There had been a lot of commentary about the Presidential hopeful, Joan Freeman, announcing that a visit to Knock cured her of eczema when she was 16. Most people, judging by the plethora of comments, seem to think she is barking mad and yes, I’d be sceptical too yet I wondered as I tried something similar myself once.

People still go on religious pilgrimages and people still try herbal, religious or pagan cures in an attempt to cure them of [...]

Would I have been an Early Adopter or a Luddite?

Image from ICA book

I’ve been wondering recently what would I have been like if I’d lived during another era, I’m not thinking of too long ago, just the 1960s. I’ve been following the Electric Generations blog and Twitter account as they’ve been working on setting up their exhibition and thinking about the short talk I’m going to be delivering on 16th October. The exhibition shows how many people initially feared this new power – that it might be dangerous [...]

Sundays Past and Present

Family day out August 2017

Brian and I were discussing recently how Sundays have changed since we were children, not to mention how Sundays have changed since we were PAYE workers. Regarding the latter, Sunday was either a day for decorating followed by a dinner in a local pub or a day to head to somewhere like the New Forest for a pub lunch and a long walk. When I was a student in the UK, I got a job in Sainsbury’s on Sunday mornings, [...]

Should Matchmaking Make A Comeback?

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Matchmaking has a long history in Irish courtships and it seems to be making a comeback in the number of matchmaking (not just dating) websites out there. Before I debate whether it should make a comeback or not, let’s have a look at how it worked in the past.

HV Morton reported on his experiences of viewing matchmaking in the 1920s in the West of Ireland (In Search of Ireland, published 1930):

In Ireland, as I noted in Kerry, the separateness of [...]

What is an Ideal Husband?

First draft - marry a farmer

I’m working on my third book (Ideal Farm Husband) at the moment and while doing some research in newspaper archives, I came across some articles on what women in the post considered to be an ideal husband. Partly because they are quite amusing and partly because we’re all depressed between bad milk prices, rain and Brexit, it’s time to have a bit of a laugh, I’ve decided to do a couple of comparisons.

According to the Kilkenny People on 22nd October [...]