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John Wayne’s Irish Roots

John Wayne




Irish Roots: Watching ‘The Quiet Man’ on TCM recently reminded me that the legendary actor John Wayne does have Irish Roots. Wayne who was baptized Marion Robert Morrison (middle name later changed to Mitchell) was the great great grandson of Robert Morrison. Robert Morrison was baptized at Connor Presbyterian Church in Kells near Ballymena, County Antrim in 1782. He became involved in the 1798 uprising and as a result a warrant was issued for his arrest. He immigrated with his mother to America, arriving in New York in 1801. In 1803 the family moved to Cherry Creek, Ohio. Wayne was born May 26, 1907 in Winterset, Iowa. His parents were Mary A. Brown and Clyde L. Morrison.

Chess (fidcheel) was played by the kings and nobility of Ireland.  The board was made from yew wood and divided into black and white squares. Royal chessmen sometimes made of yellow gold and white bronze were two and a half inches tall, elaborately carved and embellished with precious metals.  These were of so much of a necessity that the pieces were classified as food under Brehon Law.

Michael Davitt (1846-1906)

Michael Davitt





Michael Davitt, 1846-1906: Michael Davitt, Irish Republican, Fenian, LaborLeader, Member of Parliament and Agrarian      Campaigner founded the Irish National Land League to agitate for land reform.  His efforts lead to several land acts one of which (Land Act of 1881) finally granted “the three Fs” – Fair Rent, Fixity of Tenure and Free Sale. He was born in the Village of Foxford, County Mayo. This monument is located at Straide Abbey, not far from Foxford. Also on the grounds of the abbey is Davitt’s grave and the Michael Davitt Museum.


Liam Mellows (1890-1922)

Liam Mellows, 1890-1922: Liam was an Irish Volunteer leader who had been a member of a republican youth movement Na Fianna and was imprisoned in 1915. He took part in the Easter Rising of 1916 and escaped to the U.S. Returning to Ireland he fought on the side of the anti-treaty forces during the Irish Civil War (1922-1923). He surrendered to the Free State Forces in Dublin and was jailed. In November 1922 he was dragged from his cell and executed without trial.

A study done at Univ. College of Dublin has discovered that the Travelling Community dates back further than previously thought.  They found that instead of originating at time of the Great Hunger, they actually split genetically from the settled population 360 years previously. Travellers make up 0.6% (30,000) of the population in the Republic. Genetic studies show that they are of Irish ancestry.

Did You Know?

Did you know that planting a potato in your back yard is good luck?  Assures you that you will never go hungry.

Ireland will become the first country to fully divest of fossil fuels. Parliament voted to drop coal, oil and gas from the Strategic Investment Fund.

Irish Proverb

An Irish wife will always forgive and forget.  But she will never forget what she forgave.

Charles J. Kickham

Charles J. Kickham, 1828-1882: Tipperary born writer and political activist. He is best remembered for his nationalist writings, especially the novel ‘Kocknagow’ (1873). An active member of the Tenant League and a regular contributor to ‘the Nation, he later joined the Fenians and promoted their aims and methods in his writings. His other writings included ‘The Eagle of Garyroe’ and ‘Tales of Tipperary’.

Brexit Bill Vote

The British House of Commons has voted 494 to 122 to pass the Brexit Bill.

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