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Diary extracts of a  French consul who toured rural Ireland in the 1790's

The door of each peasant’s house is embellished by a heap of manure on which a pig is usually stretched out wearing a wooden frame around its neck to prevent it from getting over the hedges. And in many cases a column of smoke is visible arising from a pile of noxious weeds being burnt to provide ashes for washing. Each place has some fowl- hens, geese, turkeys or ducks. The travellers notice one hen with a feather pushed through its nostrils which they decide must have been placed there to dissuade it from hatching. The children are very lightly clad ……. in no way embarrassed by appearing in the costume of the golden age


Journa of Kildare Archaeological Society, Vol XV, No 4, 1974 - 1975