How it’s Irish: Counties, people!
Ireland’s archaeologists, divers, historians and scientists are in a state of excitement, following the discovery last week of a major land mass several hundred meters below the water’s surface off the coast of County Wexford. Upon first inspection, locals felt that it was merely an extraordinarily large sand bar, but upon further investigation,it appears that the find could well be the long-lost city of ‘Atlondis’, or Ireland’s unofficial 33rd county, which is believed to have sank without trace hundreds of years ago.
The discovery was made when Cavan man Peter Chestnut had a scuba-diving unit called to the area, after dropping his wallet overboard when out fishing. The Heraldy Press asked Mr. Chestnut how it felt to be at the root of what could well be one of the most incredible archaeological finds of all time:
“I couldn’t give a shite about that, I just want me wallet back. There’s 23 Euro and the phone number of a young one from Tipperary who’s father owns a pub in the zip pocket, I’m just hoping that I closed the zip, sometimes I do forget and me coins do fall out. I lost me comb too. Incidentally, I meant that the phone number was in the zip pocket, not the pub. Archaeologists? More like ask me bollixes if you ask me,” he replied, with a surprising level of wit for a Cavan man who’d just lost his wallet.
‘Atlondis’, according to local legend, was a large town on the outskirts of County Wexford, ruled by the handsome Prince Fiachra and his personal assistant, Clive for almost a week, after the death of Fiachra’s father, the High King Dermot.
When the English invaded the area in 1647, at around lunchtime on Saint Valentine’s Day, destroying most of the region’s vineyards and playing havoc with the good Prince’s antique shoehorn collection, the local residents revolted. Subsequently, under Fiachra and Clive’s instructions, the town’s citizens began hammering and digging ditches along the border of Atlondis and Wexford, eventually cutting a line the entire length of the town’s westernmost border, and in effect, setting it free from Ireland. It then sailed for several feet, before sinking without trace, until, it seems, last week.
Fortunately however, the local residents, exhausted from all their digging activities, are rumored to have taken a rest when the job was done, and could only watch as “Atlondis,” with Fiachra and Clive still “on board” sailed off and capsized.
Ever since, there have been many expeditions, well, two, to determine the exact location of “Atlondis,” or indeed, whether the region even stood at all. Now however, with the discovery of such a substantial land mass at the exact location that it was to have once been located, there could finally be proof that this once luscious land, with its sprawling vegetation, thriving economy and sluttish women, sorry, adventurous citizens, did indeed exist. A nation, as if it were in possession of a suitcase full of elderly milk, holds its breath. Probably.
Words by Bosco Coppell. Picture by Dorothy’s Antique Toys from Olden Days and Live Bait.
Copyright 2014 New York Irish Arts