Wicked Wednesday–Wicked Ireland

Scandal in SkibbereenBarb here. In honor of our friend and regular blogger Sheila Connolly’s release of the latest book in her County Cork Mystery series, Scandal in Skibbereen this week, the Wickeds are talking about our Irish connections–travel, ancestry, recipes, books, whatever. I have to admit, I’m curious, because I don’t know what the Wicked’s Irish connections are either.

Edith: As I hinted at yesterday, I’m half Irish on the stubborn Flaherty side, with roots in San Francisco firefighters from way, way back. I had two great uncles who were twins and didn’t speak as adults. A grandfather that refused to speak to my mother since before I was born. And so on! I’ve done my best to float loose of holding grudges, although one thing bullheadedness seemed to do for this branch of the Flaherty clan: the men keep their hair, it stays dark, and they live into their nineties.

Jessie: I have a bit of Irish on my mother’s side of my family. My great-grandmother, a Callahan, was all Irish on her father’s side and all French on her mother’s. I love corned beef and cabbage and knitting anything with cables. My grandmother’s hair stayed dark too, well into her eighties.

Liz: What can I say – I’m Italian all around! Although I’d love to be Irish! Does it count that my character in the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries is Irish, and the hot guy in town runs an Irish pub??

Barb: Yes, Liz. Absolutely it counts. I have Irish ancestry on my mother’s side. Her mother’s maiden name was Hickey and by absolute coincidence, just last weekend I was at a reunion of my Hickey cousins–my mother’s two first cousins and two of my three first cousins–some of whom I hadn’t seen in 40+ years. My Hickey great-grandfather married a Spann and everything that has come down to me from that side of the family is German–cooking, holiday traditions, the occasional epithet–all German. I have no idea how or why this happened, except to speculate that these things came more strongly down the female line.

My Hickey cousins (and my brother). The map of Ireland on our faces? I don't think so.) None of us are named Hickey as the Hickey had four daughters, only two of whom had children.

My Hickey cousins (and my brother, second from right). The map of Ireland on our faces? I don’t think so. None of us are named Hickey as the Hickeys had four daughters (three lived to maturity, but only two had children).

Julie: My maternal grandfather’s family was English, but the other grandparents were at least part Irish. For me, I have four Irish traits that inform me, especially as a writer. First, I love a good, complicated story. Second, funny matters. Third, funny can also lead you to dark, soul crushing stories. Which I love. (Go see a Eugene O’Neill play.) And third, I always remember the grudge. ALL of these help me write mysteries.

IMG_3998_2Sherry: I have some Irish blood from my paternal grandfather. I’ve been searching my house for the past week for the slim blue pamphlet that talks about it. I can’t find it so I’m guessing a leprechaun is playing a prank on me. I love that I am part Irish. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. I love Belleek china and Waterford crystal. And of course a good Irish beer. Don’t worry I don’t really drink beer out of the Waterford.

Edith: And why, not, Sherry? I love these stories of ancestry and how it informs both our own characters and those we write about.

Readers: What’s your Irish connection?

2 thoughts on “Wicked Wednesday–Wicked Ireland

  1. Glad to have you join the family (and in a country with little more than 4 million people, odds are we’re related somewhere up the line!). Clearly the Irish are story-tellers, in part out of necessity (since the English frowned on any subversive literature), partly because they love to talk. That’s why they hang out in pubs–not to drink but to talk. Except as Edith said–when family refuses to talk. My father told tales of his family getting together in the parlor after church–and not saying anything. And they all have long memories: when I first visited the farm where my grandmother’s Lawless family had lived, the current owners apologized for taking down the stone wall that had separated the fields. Uh, the last Lawless lived there in 1929. I said I didn’t mind.

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