O'Byrne

O'Byrne is one of the great names of the Wicklow area south of Dublin. As well as giving an account of the O'Byrnes and their history, the two books of Edward Rutherfurd's Irish saga follow the story of a fictional branch, the O'Byrnes of Rathconan, from a princely ancestor at the time of Saint Patrick through to the Irish Free State. Sometimes chiefs and abbots, sometimes poor folk - one, who leaves Ireland with the 'Wild Geese' - gains wealth and a title in Europe before returning. But whatever their condition the O'Byrnes of Rathconan are usually striking and romantic figures.




 

 

 

Did You Know?
Potatoes were made illegal in France for 24 years ! The French became convinced that the South American vegetable could cause a whole host of diseases, including leprosy, so in 1748, the cultivation and consumption of potatoes was strictly outlawed. It wasn’t until an imprisoned medical army officer named Antoine Auguste Parmentier survived in his prison cell subsisting solely on a diet of potatoes that acceptance of the food began to shift. After being released from prison, Parmentier went on to write a thesis about its health benefits, helping to overturn the law and re-introduce the potato to the French public in 1772. Within 20 years, potatoes became one of the most popular, and indeed, important foods in France. Even the ornamental royal gardens in Tuileres Palace in Paris - originally filled with flowers and exotic plants - were converted into potato fields.




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