Taliteann Games, involving athletic and artistic competition, were said to have been held in pre- Christian Ireland (see ÓENACH TAILTEN), though they had been curtailed by 1169. From the 1880s their revival became an element of nationalist rhetoric. The issue was raised in the *Dáil in 1920. Official planning for the 'Irish Olympic' began in 1922. Finally held in 1924, under the control of the * Irish Free State government assisted by the * Gaelic Athletic Association, the games were a qualified success. Events as diverse as shooting and motorbike riding were included, along with Gaelic sports. Further contests in 1928 and 1932 attracted more foreign competitors. Due to financial restrictions and the waning interest of the GAA, however, the expected series did not continue. NG
Táin Bó Cuailnge ('Cattle-Raid of Cooley'), the central tale of the Ulster Cycle (see LITERATURE IN IRISH). It depicts an invasion of Ulster by Queen Medb of Connacht in an attempt to secure a renowned brown bull. The raid is blocked by the Ulster champion Cú Chulainn until the Ulstermen arrive to defeat the invaders in a pitched battle and the Ulster bull tears apart its Connacht counterpart. Around this tale were built a series of other stories, both sequels and 'prequels'.
The tale has grown considerably in content and perhaps intention, between its earliest literary origin (c. 7th century) and its first appearance in Irish manuscripts of the 11th century. It has been variously seen as the product of a native pagan oral tradition, a deliberate attempt to create an early Irish literary epic, and a political commentary on dynastic disputes over episcopal succession at Armagh. JPM
Talbot, John (c. 1387-1453), earl of Shrewsbury (from 1442) and Waterford (from 1446), chief governor 1414-16, 1416-18, 1418-19, 1425, 1446-7. Brother of Archbishop Richard *Talbot and protagonist in the *Talbot-Ormond feud, John Talbot, then Lord Furnival and claimant to the lordship of Westmeath, first arrived in Ireland as lieutenant in 1414. Despite financial difficulties, he campaigned extensively, securing many submissions and taking MacMurrough ( Donnchadh Mac Murchadha) prisoner to England in 1419. In November 1418 he was ordered to report on the affair of the *Modus tenendi parliamentum, which had embroiled his brother Thomas as deputy that year. Inheriting a further claim to the lordship of Wexford as Lord Talbot in 1421, he returned to Ireland in 1424 with Edmund, earl of March (see MORTIMER, EDMUND), and on the latter's death in January 1425 served for three months as *justiciar. Thereafter Talbot's career was spent largely in France, but his second Irish lieutenancy ( 1446-7) confirmed his vigour and ruthlessness in dealing with Gaelic chiefs. EAEM
Talbot, Matt ( 1856-1925), ascetic and figure of popular devotion. Born in Dublin, Talbot fell into alcohol abuse at an early age. In 1884, while working in the port of Dublin, he underwent a religious conversion. Taking the teetotal pledge, he committed himself to regular sacramental practice, acts of physical penance, and practical charitable activity, notably during the * Dublin lockout. Beatified in 1976, his cult is popular in places as far afield as Poland. TO'C
Talbot, Richard (d. 1449), archbishop of Dublin 1418-49. Younger brother of John *Talbot and previously dean of Chichester, Richard Talbot was more prominent in royal government in Ireland than any other late medieval archbishop of Dublin. He served three deputy lieutenancies ( 1419-20, 1435-7, 1447-8), five justiciarships ( 1420, 1422-3, 1430-1, 1437-8, 1445-6), and was twice chancellor ( 1423-6, 1427-31). A protagonist in the *Talbot- Ormond feud, he is best known for the charges of misgovernment he made in England against James, 4th earl of *Ormond, after the latter's third appointment as lieutenant in February 1442. Before returning to Ireland, Talbot was reappointed chancellor in August, but counter-charges in Ireland in November deprived him of office. He retaliated in 1445 by ousting Ormond's deputy.
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Publication information: Book title: The Oxford Companion to Irish History. Contributors: S. J. Connolly - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 532.
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