Skip to main content


Suir Vista - Panoramic Vision

About Us
Contact Us
Site Map
True Crime
Reality! Oh, really?
Research Tips
San Diego
Victorian Costume
Virtue and Vice
Oh, Brother!
I hear they're axing Big Brother before I got around to watching it. It wasn't the sex and the nudity but racial discrimination which finished it off.
I like reality TV such as the series about the settlers in Australia, the sailing trip around Darwin and the settlers in the US. Of course, these shows can only go so far in depicting life as it was in bygone days. We can't have a child dying from snake bite or the settlers actually starving. Nevertheless, they are good for teaching history. I wish we had them when I was at school.
Let's think about the hard facts of life in 19c. Ireland for a moment. The 1845 to 1847 famine had ended but the Irish were still fleeing to America and elsewhere in what came to be known as coffin ships because of the numbers who died on board or in the sea when they went down. One such ship left Limerick on 15 November 1850 and ended up on the rocks at Kilkee on 19th. The night it foundered, Catherine Hayes was singing in Kilkenny to a packed house as usual. Her audience were the rich of the county and neither knew nor cared much about the tragedy being enacted at Kilkee. One man who came to be involved with Catherine lived at Kilkee though and that's why it came to my attention. Joseph Fogerty owned two houses there.
The ship that sank was called the 'Edmond' and you can read about it at
The Reality of Life in Ireland 1930-1960.
If life was hard in 19c Ireland, it was no bed of roses up to the mid 20c either. A book I keep near me on my shelf is ' Angela's Ashes' by Frank McCourt. It reminds me of my own childhood in some ways as well as showing the kind of life still enjoyed then by the poorer classes in Limerick and Irish towns generally. My autobiography will be along those lines whenever I get around to writing it.
We here in Ireland try to suppress the truth especially when it concerns religion. See the Ferns Report , the film 'The Rocky Road to Dublin' (banned a week after release) and another film about the Magdalen Homes.
There was a Magdalen laundry in Waterford but I hadn't a clue what went on there. We were so innocent, you wouldn't believe it. We were taught about God raining fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah but not what sodomy was.
C'est la vie!
We seem to have drifted or sailed a long way from Big Brother so maybe I'd better end now before this hits the rocks. Is anyone reading it?