Our friendly and excellent guides are available as Step On Guides for any visiting tour or coach operators who may like a unique, entertaining and educational tour of Irish History and the events of Easter Week 1916.

Monday, February 11, 2013


"One thing that Joe told me some considerable time after his return from Germany, was that while in Berlin he offered the Germans an idea he had in connection with aeroplanes. The device consisted of two narrow planes mounted a relatively short distance apart and parallel to one another. A model we made had behaved in the manner of a glider descending at a very slow speed. The suggestion was to reverse the process and use it to provide lift. We made some out of cardboard which we stiffened by bending it in our fingers. One of the officers in the Berlin Aeronautical School to whom Joe explained it said it would not work and I have an idea somebody told me it was later tried out by the Germans but was not successful."
This is a quote from Jack Plunkett's witness statement referring to his brother Joe who signed the proclamation and was executed for hi part in the Easter Rising.
This is a possibility for the type of aircraft that Joe Plunkett had designed and had rejected but was later built by the Germans.
Fokker built a twin fuselage aircraft which was effectively two of his early biplanes (minus engines) joined by a push pull pod (engine at front and rear) in which the pilot sat. Each fuselage housed a gunner. It was known as a battle plane but was very unsafe structurally and made only one flight piloted by Fokker after which it was abandoned. The Germans did have three types of twin boom land planes The Otto C I and the Ago CI and CII in service in 1915 (there was an AGO CIII that did not enter service). The aircraft in Strange's account was probably the Ago CII which was also reported by other pilots in the same period usually with an over estimate of the armament and crew carried.

Monday, February 4, 2013


How hard is it today to be proud of being Irish or of your Irish history?
It is getting harder and harder especially with Irish history as the rapidly approaching centenary of the Easter Rising is being slowly hijacked and stolen from the ordinary Irish citizen. This crime is being perpetrated by individuals and organisations with hidden agendas, who simply have access to a laser printer or the ability to create a Facebook page.
There are some excellent amateur historical archivists on line, who only wish to share and educate but how can you tell? What am I being labelled as by posting, contributing or participating in the wide range of discussions? I still want to learn.
I am Irish. I am a proud Irish citizen happy with my past and my present economic woes aside. I am not an extremist and I have no tolerance for those who commit vile crimes in the name of Ireland either now or in the past. I abhor anti social behaviour masquerading itself as democracy. I am not a paramilitary supporter or spokesman, I do not consider myself Republican in my views and as for anything that refers to ‘32 County’ I just switch off. I am not a Fenian or anti British and in fact recognise the loss of young British lives during 1916 and our War of Independence.
But I am passionate about my history and the sacrifice of the men and women in 1916 and our War of Independence. I would consider the Easter Rising as my specialist subject if I appeared on Mastermind but increasingly I have found forums and pages that after a couple of posts the tone changes dramatically. Any alternative view is treated with distain and sometimes intimidation. There seems to be a contradiction that if you have an interest in 1916 you have to be a Republican. The trouble is finding people who are not pushing hidden agendas. The centenary is not a celebration as lives were lost, it is not a reclamation of Republican ideals or ideas, it is not and should not be allowed to be the preserve of those with purely political motives. The main problem I have is that if I post on a particular page or forum, am I suddenly a Republican, the assumption incorrectly made that in the morning I would go out and march for a 32 County. Is big brother watching? Am I being put on some watch list not for what I say but where I said it?
When 2016 arrives are citizens like me going to end up watching events on TV instead of participating? There are many views as to when our State began but the spark lit by those who came out onto the streets in 1916 cannot be underestimated. The Government although it says there are plans seem to be inactive or suffering from IMF/ECB inertia. Perhaps those with a genuine interest in Irish history, who are democratic, tolerant and non sectarian could be approved for a ‘Guaranteed Irish’ award.