The “Seat of Power” is a museum associated with the old Lifford Courthouse and Jail in Lifford, County Donegal. There are displays of the history of Donegal, of the O’Donnell chieftains, and of the courthouse itself. In one room, a figure is dressed as the original Manus O’Donnell (chieftain from 1537 to 1563 whose castle occupied the location of the present museum) “talks” about his life and dealings with English royalty. Manus is a “talking head” figure. The face of an actor playing Manus is projected onto the face of the Manus figure and it appears as if Manus is speaking. In another room that was the actual 19th century courtroom, several historical criminal and civil cases are enacted with “talking head” figures representing the judge, lawyers, and defendants. Below the courtroom, the conditions in the jail cells are shown with mannequins representing actual prisoners. It is interesting and well worth visiting.
At the museum gift shop, I spy a single framed copy of two coats of arms. One is Doherty and the other is Gallen. It was obviously made as a wedding present but apparently the wedding was called off (or the marriage didn’t work out). The crest for Doherty depicts a stag. The crest for Gallen depicts a “chicken.” This is highly insulting. Actually the Gallens were never important enough to have a real coat of arms. The one in the frame was made up to make a few euro. I believe that the reason for the chicken is that Gallus in Latin means “cock.”