Famine, plague, slaughters

After thinking back to the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries, when Viking longboats ran up on the beaches, Stephen apparently turns his mind to the 14th century, when "Famine, plague, and slaughters" decimated the Irish population. He mentions two dramatic occurrences from that time: the stranding of "A school of turlehide whales" in 1331, and an unusually cold winter in 1338 that allowed Dubliners to play on "the frozen Liffey."

JH 2015

194 whales and bottlenose dophins that became stranded on King Island near Tasmania in 2009. Source: www.theguardian.com.

Photograph by Jane Wigham Shackleton of the Shackleton family lighting a fire on the frozen Liffey in the 1890s, in the suburb of Lucan south of Dublin. Source: www.lucannewsletter.ie.

1938 photograph of a frozen River Liffey in the village of Kilcullen, in County Kildare. Source: kilcullenbridge.blogspot.com.