Named after the Irish seaport town where this fabric material of the same name is made, Balbriggan arose in the 18th Century from a small fishing village to a place of commercial and manufacturing importance, thanks to Baron Hamilton, who introduced cotton manufacture in 1780.

Everyday Life


Despite its American sound and its common use by the fiery cartoon character Yosemite Sam, ‘smithereens’ did not originate in American slang. Although no one is entirely positive about its precise origins, scholars think it is likely that ‘smithereens’ developed from the Irish Gaelic word ‘smidiriin,’ which means ‘little bits.’ That Irish word is believed to come from an even older term that means ‘fragment.’