Showing posts from May, 2013

Debunking the Myths: Living in Ireland in 2013

Don't miss the new Debunking the Myths: Living in Ireland 2, from August 2014

So I've lived in Ireland for over 11 years now (1995-1997, 2000-2002 & 2006 - present), started visiting in 1989 and studied at UCC for a summer while I was at Boston College (1992).  My family in the US now thinks of me as some form of cultural ambassador.  I can explain to them, when they visit, to please not use the word 'fanny' here as it has a slightly different meaning than the innocuous 'behind' it represents in the US.  I can explain how to buy your round.  I gently inform them it is polite to insist on paying for a meal even if someone initially refuses.  I'm proud that my family & close friends are now fairly Hibernoised but I'm still taken aback by the questions I get from the average punter when I visit The States, so I've decided to once-and-for-all answer some of the more...annoying...questions/myths I get about living in Ireland.

1.  We are NOT par…

Husband Castrates Wife's Lover, Then Sues (Medieval Style!)

Sounds like a daily tabloid headline, right? Its actually a court case dating back to May 22, 1307 in Youghal, Cork.  I stumbled upon this entry years ago when doing research for my thesis but didn't have a place for it.

What happens is this - John Don (Dunne) of Youghal, Cork, discovers his wife, Basilia, is seeing her lover (Stephen le Clerk) when he's away on business.  Full of rage and wanting to trap the adulterous pair he enlists his friends' help and pretends to go away on a business trip.  The lovers fall for it and endeavor to spend the night together.  His friend, John Caane the taverner, tips him off that Stephen is with his wife for the night and John (the husband) along with some mates storm the house where they waylay Stephen attempting to escape, tie him down and castrate him. Stephen duly brings a court case against John Don et alia (bodily trespass) which is heard by jury.  On May 22, 1307, the jurors bring a verdict of compensation for Stephen against Jo…