Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I don't have a drop of Irish blood myself, but I'm reliably informed that everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day! So, in celebration of the day, here are a few of the Irish characters who have appeared in Diana Gabaldon's books. (I posted a version of this list last year, but I've updated it to include a couple of memorable Irishmen from THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.)
1) Aloysius O'Shaughnessy Murphy. Ship's cook aboard the Artemis, in VOYAGER. He makes a truly memorable (or should we say infamous?) turtle soup! <g>
2) Stephen Bonnet. One of Diana's most memorable villains. I think Brianna gave him a more merciful death than he deserved.
3) Jeffries, the Dunsanys' coachman in VOYAGER. Besides Jamie, and Lord and Lady Dunsany, he's the only other eyewitness to the death of the Eighth Earl of Ellesmere. I wonder if we'll see him again in a future book?
4) Seamus Hanlon. One of the musicians who played at Jocasta and Duncan's wedding in FIERY CROSS. Despite his very brief appearance in the story (chapter 41, "Music Hath Charms"), he seemed to have a genuine appreciation for Roger's musical talents.
5) The O'Higgins brothers, Rafe and Mick, who helped to smuggle Percy Wainwright out of prison near the end of LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE. They played only a relatively minor role in that book, but I thought they were pretty entertaining.
6) Father Donahue, the priest who baptizes Germain, Jemmy, and Joan in FIERY CROSS. He seemed a very pragmatic, adaptable sort of person, perfectly willing to baptize the children with whisky instead of water if that was the only option available. (And IMHO he gets extra points for managing to keep a straight face while listening to Jamie's confession involving Claire and the butter churn. <g>)
7) Tobias Quinn. He was certainly a memorable character in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, although I found him somewhat annoying and a nuisance more than anything else.
8) Father Michael FitzGibbons, abbot of Inchcleraun monastery, Ireland. The abbot is a decent man (despite his desire to get Jamie involved in the Jacobite scheme), with a curiosity about the natural world that I was surprised to see in a priest. I love this description of him:
Michael FitzGibbons was a leprechaun. Jamie recognized him at once from Quinn’s description of the race.
The man came up perhaps to Jamie’s elbow but stood straight as a sawn-off arrow, a stiff white beard bristling pugnaciously from the edges of his jaw and with a pair of green eyes, bright with curiosity.
(From THE SCOTTISH PRISONER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 19 ("Quagmire"). Copyright© 2011 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day, everybody!