Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

Bull Island

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Photos from a walk along Bull Island and Dollymount Strand in North Dublin, December 2009. You may recognise the scenery from the end of Adam & Paul, tragicomic film about two Dublin heroin junkies.

Marlay Grange, after snow

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

The last two winters in Ireland have been colder than usual, with deep snow and frozen roads. Public transport seized up and water supplies dried up. In February 2009, I was working in An Gúm, on the New English-Irish Dictionary project, first real job after college.

I was walking to work because the buses weren't running out as far as my house, and the bike was a non-starter on icy roads. As I walked past my beloved Marlay Grange, I saw the gate was partially open, as it often was (more on that later).

I resolved to get up extra early the next day, and bring my camera to work if the snow still lay. And it did, so I slipped between the gates and explored the snowy landscape, for all the world like the world of Narnia.

I took a number of photos which I wanted to share, but I delayed doing so for a number of reasons. Now there's no point in sitting on them any longer. These may be the last photos of the house intact, a very sad thought.

You can also read more about the house and grounds or take a look at the gate-lodge and its history.

Comment as you wish, click below to see the photos.
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Secret Soviet maps of Ireland

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Russian mapping of the town of Carlow

From the same institution which brought us the sublime book by Daniele Ganser, Secret Warfare : Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies, a fascinating article by retired Irish Army colonel, Desmond Travers:

Soviet Military Mapping of Ireland during the Cold War

It was an open secret among analysts during the Cold War that the two major powers used satellite and high altitude surveys to assess each others aims, intentions and resources. Indeed it was US satellite surveillance which first noted the disparities between the USSR's claimed crop yields and the reality, as Khrushchev once bitterly observed to his US adversary!

Colonel Travers carefully compares the Soviet maps with those of the Ordnance Survey, noting how the Soviets included some objects that the OS did not, but neglected others. They seem to have been oddly attracted to water-mills! More chillingly, it looks like they may have been categorising Irish roads based on how militarily viable they were, for logistical support.

I encourage you to read this article, and gain another viewpoint on our rolling terrain. Imagine plotting tank-routes and support artillery...