This is the KnitWits crew in Scribes on Saturday last. We knit there every Saturday from 11.00 to 1.00 and we welcome new members. Call in for a chat or just to see what we are at.
This is our newest doll model showing off one of the dresses that will be for sale in aid of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at the craft fair on November 4.
Quinny modelling a smart pink coat.
The quality of these pictures is really poor but I thought some people might like to see them anyway. The staff of St. Michael's College in the 1990's.
A little known fact is that many people worldwide came to the aid of Ireland during The Great Hunger. A new book sheds some light on just who reached out the hand of friendship to us in our darkest hour.
Former US President Abraham Lincoln, a tribe of Choctaw Indians and a Turkish Sultan were among a group of 15,000 people worldwide to donate money to Ireland during the Great Famine.
That's according to a new book by the historian and lecturer Christine Kinealy, who is one of the world's most respected authorities on the Great Hunger, having studied it for over 20 years.
The Drew University Professor says Abraham Lincoln's donation, made when he was a newly-elected senator, came as part of a wider effort organised by the then-vice president George M Dallas.
In 1847, the vice president of the United States convened a massive meeting in Washington and he called on all senators and congressmen to go back to their states and do something for the Irish poor.
At that stage Abraham Lincoln, who was newly-elected, really wasn't very well known except for maybe in his home state. But he sent about ten dollars, about five pounds.
The president of the US sent a donation which was 50 dollars.
Christine says that that mass donation didn't pass without incident, however:
There was a whole controversy about the vice president Dallas, who was a slave owner.
So people in Ireland - most of whom were opposed the slavery - had a dilemma: should we take money from people who owned slaves?
In the end they decided that they would and he was happy with their decision.
She says one of the great myths of the Famine surrounds Queen Victoria's donation. It is widely believed that the British monarch only sent five pounds to help with the famine relief.
In reality, she sent much more than that:
People say that 'Queen Victoria gave five pounds, she gave a far higher amount to a local dogs' home'. In fact, this is is a myth.
Queen Victoria was the largest individual donor to famine relief – she gave two thousand pounds and she became involved in some other ways.
But I think people prefer to hold on to the fabled fiver myth. That fits into their image of [her].
Help came from further east too. A Turkish Sultan, who was the head of the Ottoman Empire and had an Irish doctor, offered to give ten thousand pounds to Ireland.
However, in the end gave a thousand pounds. It's believed that he tried to help out in other ways - the subject of which may be made into a movie - but Christine says that the story is difficult to verify:
One of the myths, it just hasn't been substantiated so maybe its just a myth waiting to become a fact, [is] that he sent three ships that the British government said couldn't land in Dublin so they made their way to Drogheda.
So there are all these debates about whether the Sultan of Turkey's ships came to Drogheda. It’s a myth that people like to think was true because it’s a heartwarming story.
A shocking picture from Life magazine of London during the blitz
Picture from The Farmers' Journal of the scene outside Dáil Eireann yesterday. The picture below is from the Irish Times.
Great news: Kerry Group announced 800 new jobs to be created in a new R&D plant in Naas.