Contents

Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]


Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]


Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…


Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]


Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.


Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland


Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.


Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.


Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.


Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.


False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.


Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.


Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.


Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…


Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device


The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

An Oubliette

The Wall in Oughterard, from www.aworthycause.net

The Wall in Oughterard, from www.aworthycause.net


Boy George and Oughterard – Linked

Before the conception of the modern judicial system, and before the rights enshrined in Britain’s Magna Carta were extended to the majority of her subjects, the enforcement of the rule of law was performed by magistrates. Simply put these were the ruling class. Why? They, or their ancestors were greedier, more viciously expansionist and more fortunate than anyone else.

To incur the displeasure of those born with a silver spoon in their pampered mouths might have had several outcomes, from the trivial to the lethal and many shades in between. It could have gone either way, but when there would have been little or no repercussion for the lord, you were usually quite fucked.

In what was the old O’Flaherty castle in Oughterard, county Galway, is an innocuous looking wall. Now lime washed, it would originally have had animals skins or tapestries hanging from it as decoration and insulation.

oubliette-quote

Behind this wall is a chamber with a simple hole in the floor. At first glance the hole appears to be the business end of a privy. While the entrance may have accepted such gifts of the digestive system it was in fact designed for a wholly different purpose- the predominantly one-way traffic of humans.

This is an oubliette. Coming from the french verb to forget, an oubliette is a small personal prison, which no self-respecting landlord could have done without in such harsh feudal times. The idea is that a person can go in to this tiny room, but whether egress is feasible or not, is of little concern. Bear in mind, that Galway at that time was a borderland in constant violent flux. Situated on the far western reaches of the British Empire, this was a place, you would imagine, which was not unlike Helmand Province in Afghanistan today.

Wrongful Imprisonment

The idea of social and cultural elites or celebrities engaging in a little incarceration for their own pleasure is, it would seem, alive and well today. The most recent ‘high profile’ case of wrongful imprisonment was that of Boy George.

It was alleged and, one must assume, proved that Boy had found himself a male escort for an evening’s entertainment. As the boudoir olympics reached naked sweaty heights you would never,ever, want to picture mentally, Boy refused to allow his boy to leave and instead manacled him to a radiator.

The karma chameleon struck while the iron was hot and Mr George found himself detained, at Her Majesty’s pleasure. While the old queen was imprisoned by the old queen he might have ruminated on his Irish ancestry and longed for a time when one man could arbitrarily lock another man up. Or, because the link between oubliettes and Boy George that The Inquisition is trying to make is tenuous at best, he may not have thought about that at all.

Leap

A less contrived and stilted recent example of an oubliette was detailed in the latest installment of the annual Three Men in a Boat series by the BBC. Griff Rhys Jones, Rory McGrath and Dara O’Briain were in Limerick visiting Leap Castle. During the early stages of restoration work a sealed room was uncovered with the impaled skeletal remains of seven people. Lovely.

Bibliography
Leap Castle
Three Men go to Ireland

This article was posted by on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 at 05:23.
It is archived in Architecture, Culture, History, Ireland, Myth, Wild Places and tagged , , , , , , , , .

One Response to An Oubliette

  1. Pingback: The Oubliette in Enniscorthy Castle | The Inquisition


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