Category Archives: Death
Pauline and Susanna found a cassette tape in Pauline’s mum’s house yesterday. Sean and Susanna had recorded it on 31 January 2000, when Sean was eight and Susanna was six, to send to their granny and grandad – Peter, their grandad, was seriously ill at the time. As Sean explains at the start, they made it in case granny and grandad didn’t remember their voices – they hadn’t seen them in a while.
On the tape, the two children recite poems, sing songs, and relate their news. Sadly, Peter would die just 10 days later.
When we manage to convert the tape to a usable format, I will post the file here.
I’ve written a bit about Patrick MacGill on this blog before, and given extracts from his work: Patrick MacGill and the Red Horizon and The Women of France. In the centenary year of the start of the First World War, it’s worth considering the experience of the ordinary men who took part (which was brought home to me on a visit to Arras last November). A facet of this is captured well in the following extract, set on a troop-ship crossing to France, from MacGill’s autobiographical novel The Red Horizon.
Continuing from my earlier post, Duelling in eighteenth-century Ireland …
Sometimes it was not only the defeated party in a duel that suffered the consequences. In 1807 William Congreve Alcock (former MP for Waterford City and Co. Wexford) killed John Colclough over an election dispute, apparently in front of a large crowd including the county sheriff and 16 magistrates. Afterwards, Alcock ‘became melancholy; his understanding declined; a dark gloom enveloped his entire intellect; and an excellent young man and a perfect gentleman at length sank into irrecoverable imbecility’. He was confined in a lunatic asylum, and died in 1813 at the age of 42.
Robert Edgeworth, a member of the prominent Longford family and MP for St Johnstown (1713–27), was described as follows: ‘He had no notion of good breeding, was outrageously rude and abusive to persons he disliked, had a strange disposition to fighting and quarrelling and was quite void of fear of any man living; but was most childishly fearful of apparitions and goblins especially after he had killed Mr Atkinson in a duel in Clontarf Wood, after which time he could never lie without a lighted candle in his room and a servant either in his chamber or within his call … He hated many people, loved nobody, nor nobody loved him.’ Continue reading
We had a busy weekend. The local Ramor Inn Golf Society had very kindly decided to dedicate its annual fundraising effort this year to CRY Ireland, in memory of Sean.
Susanna arrived home from France on Friday; we were joined later that day by Mary, Aoife and Liam. There was a quiz and raffle in the pub, and a ‘corner session’ afterwards with Caroline, Seán, Noel, myself and others banging out a few tunes and songs. It turned out to be a late night.
The golfers were up and out early on Saturday morning, at Virginia Golf Club. We stayed at home most of the day, and watched the rugby – a great game, notwithstanding Ireland’s narrow defeat to England.
Pauline, Liam and I went to the pub again that night, and met up with many of our friends. There was music and a raffle.
When all the money was counted, it turned out that €2,520 had been raised for CRY. We are delighted with this, and very grateful to all those who made it happen or helped in any way, and the local community who supported it so generously. It was a fitting tribute to Sean’s memory, and will go towards preventing the sudden death of other young people. Sean would be pleased and proud.
Well, that was a great weekend for Irish rugby, with Munster, Ulster and Leinster all winning and all safely installed in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, and the first two having home advantage there: only the second time that three Irish provinces have got out of their groups, the first having been 2012 – too late for Sean. Best of all is that Munster are playing really well.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the Heineken Cup in our household from around 2002, when Sean first took a serious interest, onwards. Pauline and Susanna bought into it; for me it was very important and for Sean it was virtually a matter of life and death. He was a huge Munster fan; he also loved Leinster. Ulster never managed to get out of their group during the period of his fandom, and did not share in his adulation. (He actually died on a Heineken Cup weekend – after Munster and Leinster won, and before Ulster lost.) Continue reading