Tag Archives: Liverpool

St. Patrick’s Well, Dublin, Under Threat ?

The construction of the cross- city Luas line will destroy a holy well associated with St Patrick, Jonathan Swift and the introduction of frogs to Ireland, a historian has claimed.

Gary Branigan, author of Ancient & Holy Wells of Dublin, said the line would pass over St Patrick’s Well as it makes its way past Trinity College. The underground well would be destroyed in the process, he said.

The Railway Procurement Agency said it was aware of the well, which is a recorded monument, but said it would not be affected by the Luas works.

“Few pedestrians walking along modern-day Nassau Street will be aware that beneath their feet lies a hidden and ancient site of pilgrimage associated with none other than St Patrick himself,” Mr Branigan said.

“Nassau Street itself was called Patrick’s Well Lane until it was renamed in the 18th century after the accession to the throne of William III, ruler of the house of Orange-Nassau.”

Mr Branigan has called on Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar to review the route in order to preserve the well.

However the aagency said the well’s location had been incorrectly mapped and was actually under the north side of Nassau Street at the junction with Dawson Street and would not be under the new line.

“Appropriate constraints to protect the well during construction have also been included in the works contracts,” a spokeswoman said, “such as the requirement for continuous monitoring of vibration levels from construction activities in the area and the setting of appropriate vibration limits to ensure that no damage will occur to the well”.

In 1729 the well ran dry, inspiring Jonathan Swift to write a satirical poem.

Legend has it that frogs were introduced to Ireland by a Protestant who, “to show his zeal against popery”, brought frog spawn from Liverpool and deposited it in the well.

Source – Irish Times, 25 July 2013


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Thatcher Dead – An Enemy Of The People

Probably one of the most telling comments about the nature of the late Thatcher came from one of her acolytes – Conservative MP Conor Burns, said to be a friend of hers, who was of the opinion that she would have been delighted by the spontaneous grassroots celebrations that have broken out nationwide since the news broke.

He continued –  “The hatred that burns in their hearts against Margaret Thatcher is actually an enourmous tribute to Margaret Thatcher, because she won.”

Really it just confirms what many of us already knew – that Thatcher regarded certain sections of the British public – the very people she as Prime Minister was supposed to be working for – as the enemy, to be beaten.

So she “won” did she ?  What did she win ?  Did she get satisfaction by crushing the very people she was supposed to be working for ?

Sadly, the answer is probably “yes”.  And that’s why people who remember her time in office, myself included, celebrate her death.

Tasteless ?  Perhaps… but then, her policies weren’t very tasteful either.



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Almanac – November 29

St. Radbod’s Day – he was the great-grandson of another Radbod,  the last pagan king of the Frisians, who said he prefered the prospect of being in Hell with his ancestors than that of being in Heaven without them.




Vampire Night in Romania, the undead are said to rise from their tombs and seek out their former homes. If they fail to find unprotected victims to leech off, they’ll instead fight among themselves, before returning to their graves.


1781 –  The Zong Massacre took place,  a mass-killing by throwing overboard,  of approximately 142 slaves on the Zong, a slave ship owned by a Liverpool slave-trading syndicate.

The resulting court cases, brought by the ship-owners seeking compensation from the insurers for the slave-traders’ lost “cargo”, established that the deliberate killing of slaves could in some circumstances be legal. It was a landmark in the battle against the African slave trade of the eighteenth century, and inspired abolitionists such as Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson, leading to the foundation of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1787.



1933 – John Mayall born.  English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, whose musical career spans over fifty years. In the 1960s, he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, a band which has included at different times  Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, and  Walter Trout.



2009 – Robert Holdstock died. English novelist and author best known for his works of Celtic, Nordic, Gothic and Pictish fantasy literature, predominantly in the fantasy subgenre of mythic fiction. His breakthrough novel Mythago Wood was published in 1984 and began the Ryhope Wood series, which continued until the appearance of Avilion in 2009.

Between 2001 and  2007  Holdstock produced a trilogy of fantasy novels, the Merlin Codex, consisting of Celtika, The Iron Grail and The Broken Kings.
He died in hospital at the age of 61, following his collapse with an E. coli infection.


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Almanac – July 6th

1685 – The Battle of Sedgemoor, Somerset – the last battle on English soil and the end of the Monmouth Rebellion.

It followed a series of skirmishes around south west England between the forces of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and the crown he was trying to take. The royalist forces prevailed and about 500 rebel  troops were captured. Monmouth escaped from the battlefield but was later captured and taken to London for trial and execution. Many of Monmouth’s supporters were tried during the Bloody Assizes.

1887David Kalakaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was forced at gunpoint, at the hands of the Americans, to sign the Bayonet Constitution giving Americans more power in Hawaii while stripping Hawaiian citizens of their rights.

The Kingdom of Hawaii had been  established in 1810 — after a 15-year war to subjugate the smaller chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lāai, Kauai and Niihau — by the chiefdom of Hawaii, the “Big Island.” One unified government operated until its overthrow in 1894.

The overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the subsequent annexation by the USA has  been cited as the first major instance of American imperialism.

1892Dadabhai Naoroji was elected as the first Indian Member of Parliament in Britain, as the Liberal MP for Finsbury Central (London).

1957Althea Gibson became the first black player to win a Wimbledon tennis singles title.

1957John Lennon and Paul McCartney  were introduced to each other when Lennon’s band the Quarrymen performs at the St. Peter’s Church Hall fête in Woolton, Liverpool.


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