Page 54. " they put up a new statue of Cuchulain to honour the men who died in 1916 "
Padraig Pearce
Public DomainPadraig Pearce
Irish flag
Public DomainIrish flag

The Easter Rising of 1916 was a revolt against the British, led by Padraig Pearse and Tom Clarke, backed by the Irish Volunteers and members of the Irish Citizen Army. They took control of the General Post Office in Dublin, along with other key positions. Fighting continued for five days until the British put down the rebels. 

Fifteen of the leaders were subsequently tried and executed.  Although the rebellion had not been popular with the majority of Irish people, the executions caused widespread antagonism towards the British. It marked the beginning of the end of British rule in Ireland.

           

Page 57. " That's the Baby Jesus, the Infant of Prague "
The Infant of Prague
Public DomainThe Infant of Prague

The Infant of Prague statue stands 19 inches high and is made of wax.  It was given to Princess Polyxena by her mother as a wedding present and, when her husband died, the princess gave it to the Carmelites.  There are many stories of miraculous healing through prayers to the infant.

 

Page 60. " St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland "

It is often said that St Patrick banished snakes from Ireland.  It is certainly true that no snakes exist in Ireland today but perhaps they never did. Whatever the truth of the matter, banishing snakes may be seen as a metaphor for St Patrick driving out Ireland's evil pagan ways.

Page 64. " stares out of the window and whistles The Boys of Wexford "

A tribute to the Irish Rebellion of 1798

  Listen on Spotify: The Boys of Wexford

Page 66. " We had the soupers in the Famine "
Irish Famine
Public DomainIrish Famine

The Irish Famine of 1841 was a turning point in Irish history.  It has been estimated that at least one million people died of starvation and disease in the 1840s, and at least another one million emigrated during the Famine period.

The Famine hardened resentment toward the British and ultimately gave the Nationalists the international strength in the many sympathetic Irish immigrants living in America.