A Letter from Ireland:
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To Hell or to Connaught!

Connemara Beach

Have a look – would you call this hell?

“To Hell or to Connaught!” – was the choice given by Oliver Cromwell to the native Irish in 1653 as he pushed on with the English plantation of settlers in the good land left behind.

Here is a picture of Ballyconneely in Connemara – a beautiful picture today. Hell? Not any more. But, in fact many of the coastal areas in Connaught were also held over for English settlers.

This was the land of the O’Flahertys – and you’ll also find the Joyces, Conneelys, Kings, O’Connors, McDonaghs, McDonnells, Connollys, Hallorans, O’Tooles, Mannions, Kellys, Canavans, Lydens, Walshes, Hannons, Burkes, Maddens, Conroys, Wards and Corbetts.

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