Thursday, May 30, 2019


1842 Ordnance Survey Map
(Queen's College not yet built)

1235 - 2019
The very first recognised hospital in Galway, a Lazar, or house for Lepers was opened by the Premonstratensian Order on St Marys-on-the-Hill (now the Dominican Church) in the Claddagh in 1235 on land (outside the city walls of course) donated by the O'Halloran clan (Clan Fergail) on whose tuath or territory Galway city developed. The other Lazar was St Bridgets on Prospect Hill, also outside the city walls, opened in 1542. There were many temporary workhouses established during the famine years 1845 -1849 which would have had dedicated fever beds to deal with typhus and dysentry cases that the main fever hospital or temporary workhouse fever sheds could not cope with. The most recent hospital development is the 2004 Galway Clinic in Doughiska in the eastern suburbs.

Shambles Barracks demolished.

Detail of Hospital No. 8: 
Castle Barracks Hospital 1866


James Hardiman's History of the Town and County of the Town of Galway (1820) Folds & Son, Dublin.

James P. Murray. Galway: A Medico-Social History (1994) Kennys, Galway.

Jacinta Prunty, Paul Walsh. Irish Historic Town Atlas No. 28: Galway (2016) RIAI, Dublin.

Thursday, May 23, 2019


Escape from Tehran
Sculptor: Ahad Hosseni
Azerbaijan Museum, Tabriz, Iran.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote in his 1786 essay, Conjectural Beginning of Human History that, “Undoubtedly war is the greatest source of the evils which oppress civilised nations; not so much actual war, but rather the never-ceasing and indeed ever-increasing preparation for a future war.” The current ramping-up of the anti-Iranian rhetoric by the two countries most persistently on a, reciprocally promoting it often appears, war footing, the USA and Israel, serves only to illustrate this point. Sketching out a Trumpian war-games escalating scenario that includes a calculated withdrawal from a nuclear disarmament deal to sending in any number of guided missiles towards the Iranian underground nuclear facility at Nantaz on the Western edge of the Great Salt Desert is not that difficult.

Abyanah Village in mountains above Nantez, Iran:
One of oldest villages in Iran and still speaking a Sassanian Persian dialect.

I remember driving into towns, particularly the towns and cities of north-west Iran like Qazvin, Zinghan, Orumiye, Tabriz, being struck by poster after poster on lampposts of young men who had been killed in the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, including some that had walked deliberately into minefields. There is a national fault line, born of a deeply conservative Shia-influenced notion of martyrdom in Iran, that the “future-war” planners in Jerusalem and Washington would need to factor in. The nuclear winter of any “targeted” strike on Nantaz would affect Abayaneh, Isfahan, Yazd and Kashan and will change nothing and destroy everything. Regime change in Iran will not come as a consequence of confronting a conservative theocracy but eventually will come as an implosion of the indulged militarily, economic and educational sense of entitlement and, it must be stated, vested interest in also being harbingers of war, of the elitist Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).
Kant also wrote that the fall of a despot or “tyrannical oppression” never induces a true reform in ways of thinking. Unfortunately in Trump’s and Netanyahu’s and the new leader of the IRGC, Major General Hossein Salami’s  cynical and sinister calculation, 
                             “new prejudices will serve as well as old ones  
                                   to harness the great unthinking masses.” 
“new prejudices will serve as well as old ones 
to harness the great unthinking masses.”