Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WEXFORD, Vinegar Hill, Father Murphy, County Wexford; Wexford

Vinegar Hill, Wexford, Ireland

Vinegar Hill, a sign on the road south east from Glendalough, on way to Wexford. So we went. See Battle of Vinegar Hill at answers.com/topic/battle-of-vinegar-hill; and the BBC on Vinegar Hill at bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/irish_reb_06.shtml. I believe this was the view from the top, as the hill is not very high, but it looked like this. No place to try to defend, but the only one around.

Vinegar Hill turned out to be a significant one-sided battleground - between the Irish lads with picks and farm tools, against the English firearms. You can climb the tall hill. A statue of a lad with a pike stands in Wexford.

At this site, you can print out the words, then click on the music and sing about the heroic Father Murphy, who sided at first with the English, then saw the devastation and became a hero for the Irish and gave his life with the lads. See Father Murphy at musicanet.org/robokopp/eire/atboolav.htm. The issue of loyalty to the British or siding with the Irish shattered families. Sons hung for fighting were ignored by some parents, just as in any deep civil divides.

This is an unnamed elder in our family stuff, not Irish, but he looks like the kind of older generation steeped in commitment to the values in which he was raised. And perhaps he did not participate with Father Murphy. Maybe he did.

There is a fine statue of a young man with his hopeless pike to fight against the English, at Wexford.

On a happier note, that tourist website there gives some basics on Irish cooking: Try wexfordtourism.com/recipes.htm.

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