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The Irish Thread

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The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Sun 27 Nov 2011, 12:38



Video from the 50's or 60's of Irishmen working in London.

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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Sun 27 Nov 2011, 20:15

A very moving clip about Irish people being forced - through unemployment and a failing economy - to leave Ireland in the 1950s and move overseas for work. The vast majority moved to Great Britain, particularly in areas like London (such as Kilburn, Cricklewood and Hackney), Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow.

As a result of this, there are over 6 million people in Great Britain (10% of the population) with *at least* an Irish grandparent. Many within that number are 100% ethnically Irish, with two Irish immigrant parents - such as musicians

*Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis
*Morrissey and Johnny Marr of The Smiths
*John Lydon of The Sex Pistols
*Boy George of Culture Club
*Kevin Rowland of Dexy's Midnight Runners
*Shane MacGowan of The Pogues
*Gary 'Mani' Mounfield of The Stone Roses and Primal Scream

Other notable people who are 100% ethnically Irish are
* Paul O'Grady, television presenter and comedian
* Steve Coogan, actor and comedian
* Dermot O'Leary - Television personality
* Martin McDonagh - Playwright and filmmaker
* Terry Eagleton - Academic and writer
* Jimmy Carr - Comedian and TV personality
* Caroline Aherne - Comedian and screenwriter

Many Irish immigrants in Great Britain were subject to discrimination, partly because of their religion - almost all were Roman Catholic, a religion whose followers the British Monarchy exclusively denies membership too, over Hindus and Muslim. It was also partly to do with a reputation the Irish had for revelry and lack of intelligence. Anti-Irish sentiment was particularly strong in the 1970s, when the Provisional IRA (Irish Republican Army) and illegal undemocratically-sanctioned terrorist group - began exploding bombs in British cities, killing many civilians. This led many ordinary British people to assume all Irish people were sympathetic to the IRA, which they were not.

This clip is taken from the documentary series 'Seven Ages', which details the first seven decades since the birth of the Irish Free State in 1921. This footage features contributions from the likes of Presidential Candidate Michael D Higgin, former President Patrick Hillary, former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Garret FitzGerald.


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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Aussiepom on Mon 28 Nov 2011, 10:52

My forebears came from Ireland,having travelled from France or so I was told.
The dearest old Irish man I ever met was resident on the estate where I live.
'Old Mic' we used to call him.
Every time I used to call on him,I was offered a tot of of good old Irish whisky.
Bless his little heart.
AP
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The moral hijacking of Bloody Sunday

Post by Kitkat on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 12:32

The moral hijacking of Bloody Sunday

by Brendan O’Neill
Monday 30 January 2012
---------------------------------------------


On the 40th anniversary of the paratroopers’ massacre in Derry, it is remarkable how much Britain has exploited this event to its advantage.

Forty years ago today, 13 Catholics in Derry were shot dead by British paratroopers. A fourteenth man died from his gunshot wounds five months later. For years, what came to be known as Bloody Sunday was held up by many as an indictment of British rule in Ireland. Yet now it is used to justify British rule in Ireland. One of the most subtle and least-criticised coups carried out by the British state in recent years has been its moral appropriation of this atrocity, its transformation of Bloody Sunday from evidence that Britain plays only a destructive role in Ireland into an event which shows that British largesse, especially of the therapeutic variety, is still required in that apparently childish nation.

The 14 men who were killed, seven of whom were teenagers, had been part of a crowd of 10,000 protesters. They were demanding equal rights for Catholics in housing, employment and voting, in a sectarian, Protestant-run statelet where Catholics were two-and-a-half times as likely as Protestants to be unemployed. In the four years before Bloody Sunday, since a fledgling Catholic civil-rights march in Derry in October 1968 was brutally broken up by the local police force, tensions had been running high in Northern Ireland. The British Army arrived in August 1969 to back up Britain’s local Protestant allies and internment without trial was introduced in August 1971. All marches were banned. It was against this backdrop that thousands of Catholics in Derry defied Britain’s emergency laws and marched for civil rights on 30 January 1972.

The response of the paratroopers transformed the conflict. The belief of many Catholics that it was possible to reform Northern Ireland, to make it a more equal place, was shattered by the brutal force with which Britain seemed determined to preserve the sanctity of one of its few remaining colonies. Huge numbers of nationalists were radicalised by Bloody Sunday, coming to believe that it was only through the expulsion of British forces from Northern Ireland, and the unification of Ireland, that proper freedom could be attained. There followed a long, bloody war between the IRA and British military forces. ...

Read full article here: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/12022/
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Tue 26 Jun 2012, 12:17

The Princess and the Poitín
By Nuala McCann BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18525629

March 1946... and the young Princess Elizabeth is about to get up close and personal with a little mountain dew.

Not that she took a drop of it... but when young policemen offer one a present of a bottle of poitín (illegally brewed Irish spirits), is it rude for one to refuse?

The young recruits wanted to give their royal visitor a day to remember.

She inspected them at a passing out parade and she watched them being put through their paces in the gym.

But they wanted to treat her to a taste of the Ireland of the bog and the mountain and the poitín still.

So they built their own mock-up of an illegal alcohol still and led Princess Elizabeth to an innocent looking turf stack which was not what it seemed.

Then, in a spontaneous gesture, they presented the 19-year-old princess with a bottle of poitín.

Charles Friel remembers hearing the story from his father, a sergeant instructor, who was in on the plan.

"My father and the recruits had all dressed up in very old clothes and looked like vagabonds and rough guys distilling this poitín," he explained.

"For years afterwards he kept the jumper that was full of holes and wore it while he was gardening. My mother used to give off to him about this and he'd say: 'Well, if it was good enough for the Princess, it is good enough for me to garden in."

But the high jinks with the poitín bottle did not end there.

The Princess and the poitín caused a political stir too. Mr Friel said a young Ian Paisley was in the crowd that day and he had enough influence to get the matter raised at Stormont.

"All sorts of folk got rockets: Why did this happen, how did it happen, why did they distill illicit poitín and why was the Princess embarrassed into being offered some," Mr Friel explained.

"The row went on for quite a while."

After her brush with a bottle of poitín, Princess Elizabeth met veterans from World War I and boarded HMS Superb in Belfast.

She would be just 20 years old the following month and would marry Prince Philip the following year.
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar on Wed 27 Jun 2012, 20:40

My mother had a great deal of trouble getting lodgings when she came over.



Nice videos Smile
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Glendalough, Co. Wicklow

Post by Kitkat on Thu 03 Jan 2013, 22:13

This is the scene for January on my 2013 (Beautiful Ireland) calendar.

Not too far from here was home to me - where I grew up ... a little bit of heaven. My niece still lives quite near. This is where she got her Christmas tree this year - where we always used to go to get our Christmas tree.

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Clew Bay

Post by Kitkat on Sun 03 Feb 2013, 14:18

Coast - BBC2
Croagh Patrick to Beal Derrig Nick Crane investigates the formation of Ireland's Clew Bay when the landscape was covered in ice, and Alice Roberts unearths the remains of the oldest farm in the British Isles. Plus, Neil Oliver discovers how a 16th-century so-called pirate queen turned her coastal home into an impregnable fortress

Just watching this programme live on the Beeb. Very interesting episode - in that I have never heard of this magical place Clew Bay before now - just off Mayo on the west coast of Ireland.
Just found it on YouTube now. Great stuff! What a wonderful place that would be to live.


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The Magdalene Laundries

Post by Kitkat on Tue 05 Feb 2013, 19:07

.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has apologised for the stigma and conditions suffered by women who were inmates of the Magdalene laundries.

Mr Kenny said the laundries had operated in a "harsh and uncompromising Ireland," but he stopped short of a formal apology from the government.

About 10,000 women passed through the laundries in the Irish Republic between 1922 and 1996, a report has
revealed.

The laundries were Catholic-run workhouses that operated in Ireland.

Mr Kenny expressed his sympathies with survivors and the families of those who died.
He added that the report found no evidence of sexual abuse in the laundries and that 10% of inmates were sent by their families and 19% entered of their own volition.

The inquiry chaired by Senator Martin McAleese found 2,124 of those detained in the institutions were sent by the authorities.

There will be a debate in the Irish parliament in two weeks time giving members time to read the 1,000-page document.

State involvement

Girls considered "troubled" or what were then called "fallen women" were sent there and did unpaid manual work.

In 2011, the UN Committee Against Torture called on the Irish government to set up an inquiry into the treatment of thousands of women and girls.

In response, the Irish government set up an inter-departmental committee, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, to establish the facts of the Irish state's involvement with the Magdalene laundries.
Survivors and representative groups, and the religious congregations, co-operated with the departmental committee.

Senator McAleese's inquiry found that half of the girls and women put to work in the laundries were under the age of 23 and 40%, more than 4,000, spent more than a year incarcerated.

Fifteen percent spent more than five years in the laundries while the average stay was calculated at seven months.

The youngest death on record was 15, and the oldest 95, the report found.

Some of the women were sent to laundries more than once, as records show a total of 14,607 admissions, and a total of 8,025 known reasons for being sent to a laundry.

Statistics in the report are based on records of eight of the 10 laundries. The other two, both operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Dun Laoghaire and Galway, were missing substantial records.

Vagrancy

Women were forced into Magdalene laundries for a crime as minor as not paying for a train ticket, the report found.

The majority of those incarcerated were there for minor offences such as theft and vagrancy as opposed to murder and infanticide.

A small number of the women were there for prostitution - this confirmed despite the stigma attached to women who were sent to the laundries and became known as Maggies, a slang term for prostitute.

The report also confirmed that a police officer could arrest a girl or a woman without warrant if she was being recalled to the laundry or if she had run away.

Amnesty International has called for former residents of Magdalene laundry-type institutions in Northern Ireland to come forward to report their experiences to the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

Amnesty spokesman Patrick Corrigan said: "Those who suffered abuse as children are now eligible to come forward to the inquiry, recently established by the Northern Ireland Executive, and we would encourage them to consider doing so."

Some former inmates rejected Enda Kenny's apology and demanded a fuller and more frank admission from government and the religious orders involved.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21326221





• Originally termed Magdalene Asylums the first in Ireland was opened in Dublin in 1765, for Protestant girls

• First Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809

• Envisaged as short-term refuges for 'fallen women' they became long-term institutions and penitents were required to work, mostly in laundries on the premises

• They extended to take in unmarried mothers, women with learning difficulties and girls who had been abused

• The facilities were self-supporting and the money generated by the laundries paid for them

• Between 1922 and 1996 there were 10 such laundries in the Republic of Ireland

• Many Irish institutions, such as the army, government departments, hotels and even Guinness had contracts with Magdalene laundries

• The women toiled behind locked doors unable to leave after being admitted and while the laundries were paid, they received no wages

• The last Magdalene asylum in Ireland, in Waterford, closed in 1996

• The congregations which ran them were the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Religious Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

More on this story:
"We were slaves from one end of the day to the other,"



Watch the movie "The Magdalene Sisters" free online HERE

The Magdalene Sisters is a 2002 film written and directed by Peter Mullan, about 4 teenage girls who were sent to Magdalene Asylums, (also known as 'Magdalene Laundries'), homes for women who were labelled as "fallen" by their families or society. The homes were maintained by individual religious orders in the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. Peter Mullan has remarked that the film was initially made because victims of ]Magdalene Asylums had received no closure in the form of recognition, compensation, or apology, and many remained lifelong devout Catholics. Former Magdalene inmate Mary-Jo McDonagh told Mullan that the reality of the Magdalene Asylums was much worse than depicted in the film. Though set in Ireland, it was shot entirely on location in the Dumfries and Galloway area, South-West Scotland. In Ireland in 1964, three young women, considered sinners in need of redemption by society or their families, are sent to the Magdalene Asylum: Margaret, who was raped by her cousin at a wedding; Bernadette, who flirts with boys; and Rose, who has a child out of wedlock. As the Mother Superior, Sister Bridget, tells them, Magdalene Asylum's philosophy is to help young women return to .....???.............

Me: [The last word or phrase was missing out of the review above. I guess you need to watch the film to find out what is meant to go in there. Then again, you could always slot in your own idea of what YOU feel ought to go in there.]
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The Runners

Post by Kitkat on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 19:40

This is a subject [widespread, but until recently kept very much under wraps] that people really should be made aware of.


"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" (Edmund Burke)

THIS GOOD MAN JAMES (JEMMY) GUNNERY
DID SOMETHING


The Runners

A multi award winning radio documentary - "The Runners" is the name given by Christian Brothers to children who escaped from Industrial schools.

You can listen to that documentary (broadcast on Irish Radio RTE)  arrow  HERE

"The Runners" - is about Jemmy Gunnery - a Dublin man who helped break children out of and escape from state industrial schools during the 1960s.

Imagine you are twelve year old boy.

It's the late 1960's.

You have been sent to Ferry house industrial school in Clonmel, Tipperary for seven years for robbing rosary beads from a factory.

You are miles from home.

As detailed in the Ryan Report and by Michael O'Brien - sexual and physical abuse was endemic and systematic in the Industrial school.

Imagine somebody helping you escape.

This documentary tells the story of story of Christy Fagan - a child sent to Ferryhouse Industrial School and the man - Jemmy Gunnery - who helped him escape.

Christy Fagan had been previously sent to Artane and LetterFrack where he constantly attempted escape. In the late 1960's he was sent to Ferryhouse Industrial school in Clonmel.

For Christy - being a runner was not simply just about escaping - it was about, despite the systematic abuse that reigned in these institutions, about never giving up - never letting the authorities break you down.

Christy would regularly escape.

Jemmy Gunnery was a docker who lived in the corporation flats in Dublin. Neighbours would say he kept to himself. He was a neighbour of Christy's.

The story goes that the day Christy was sentenced - his mother - a widow was very upset. Neighbours were in her flat and Jemmy strode into the room. He promised Christy's mother that he would free Christy.

This documentary tells the story of how Jemmy Gunnery helped Christy's escape.

It's also believed that Christy is not the only child that Jemmy helped escape - leading to Jemmy being nicknamed 'The Northside Oscar Schindler'.
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Why Guinness is less Irish than you think (according to 'The Economist')

Post by Kitkat on Mon 24 Mar 2014, 11:43

Harrumph!!!

The Economist writer ought to check out the facts before spreading such scandalous fairy tales.  thumbdown annoyed 

From 'The Economist Explains' - 16 March 2014
Why Guinness is less Irish than you think
http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/03/economist-explains-13

Publicans love St Patrick's day, so much so that it can sometimes feel like less a celebration of Irish culture than a marketing event for Guinness’s owner, Diageo. Now exported to more than 120 countries, the black stuff has become a powerful symbol of Ireland. But how Irish is it really?

Arthur Guinness, who founded the brewery in Dublin in 1759, might have been surprised that his drink would one day become such a potent national symbol. He was a committed unionist and opponent of Irish nationalism, who before the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was even accused of spying for the British authorities. His descendants continued passionately to support unionism—one giving the Ulster Volunteer Force £10,000 in 1913 (about £1m, or $1.7m, in today’s money) to fund a paramilitary campaign to resist Ireland being given legislative independence. The company was alleged to have lent men and equipment to the British army to help crush Irish rebels during the Easter Rising of 1916, afterwards firing members of staff whom it believed to have Irish-nationalist sympathies.

The beer the company has become most famous for—porter stout—was based on a London ale, a favourite of the street porters of Covent Garden and Billingsgate markets. Since 1886 the firm has floated on the London Stock Exchange, and the company moved its headquarters to London in 1932, where it has been based ever since (it merged with Grand Metropolitan and renamed itself Diageo in 1997). Even in terms of branding, the company was considering disassociating itself from its Irish reputation as recently as the 1980s. Worried about the impact on sales of the IRA’s terrorist campaign during the Troubles, Guinness came close in 1982 to re-launching the brand as an English beer brewed in west London. But as Northern Ireland’s situation improved in the 1990s, the company’s marketing strategy changed again towards marketing the beer as Irish, aiming its product at tourists in Ireland and the estimated 70m people of Irish descent living around the world. Now the Guinness Storehouse, part of the original Dublin factory which was reopened as a tourist attraction in 2000, promotes Guinness to tourists as an Irish beer once again.

Guinness is not the only company to play up or hide its national origins to try and boost sales. Jacob’s biscuits have been marketed by some shops as being British, in spite of the company’s origins as an Irish company from Waterford. And Lipton now markets its black teas on the strength of the company’s British origins, in over 100 countries—except Britain, where it is not commonly sold. In a world where multinational companies control a large chunk of the global food supply chain, national identity—at least in branding—matters as much as ever.


For the record, Guiness has been brewed from St James's Gate in Dublin since its inception in 1759.

The parent company was headquartered in Park Royal, London in 1932 and was later developed into a multi-national alcohol conglomerate and re-named Diageo.

- and (connoisseurs will testify to this), the Guinness which came out of the Park Royal brewery (in North-West London) was never quite the same as the liquid black magic to be found on Irish soil ... the secret being in the softness and purity of the water that supplies the whole of Dublin (including the Guinness Brewery) - which comes from the Lady's Well reservoir, high up in the Wicklow Mountains (not too far from where I come from).  The barley used is also Irish grown.  

GUINNESS is now also brewed in 50 other countries around the world, but all these overseas brews must contain a flavoured extract brewed at St. James's Gate.  It has been said that Nigeria  (now one of the world's largest consumers of the black stuff), has the best tasting Guinness anywhere in the world (apart from Ireland, of course). This is because the unfermented, hopped Guinness wort extract is shipped directly there from Dublin and blended with a beer brewed locally.

As for the implication - that "Worried about the impact on sales of the IRA’s terrorist campaign during the Troubles, Guinness came close in 1982 to re-launching the brand as an English beer brewed in west London", - that is pure myth!  The empty threat to re-brand in 1982 was put forward due to Ireland's refusal to back Margaret Thatcher over The Falklands.   judge
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Shannon Airport: A curious history of celebrity visitors

Post by Kitkat on Sun 20 Apr 2014, 19:03



Shannon Airport in the Irish Republic has long been the unlikely host to celebrities and US presidents making the Transatlantic crossing, writes Christine Finn.

It was an unexpected malfunction on my in-flight entertainment - the sound of cockpit radio cutting in as I left the east coast of America. I was transfixed as the chatter fell away to white noise as the plane headed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

I stayed awake listening to this sound of almost-silence, imagining I was piloting the plane. When that silence was eventually broken by an Irish voice, and the pilot was guided in, I was both moved - and intrigued. I wanted to find out more about the special relationships between these voices in the dark.

On the rugged west coast of Ireland, the walls of Shannon Airport trace the history of transatlantic aviation - not in dry detail, but photographs of the many celebrities who passed through.


Jackie Kennedy and her children at Shannon Airport


Shannon Airport was the entry point not just of Ireland, but a refuelling point and entry into Europe. American presidents, film stars, writers and politicians came through, dining in the elegant Lindbergh Restaurant, and sharing travellers' tales under the courtyard's coloured lights.

It was an era of dressing up to fly. And not only to fly. Diners came from miles simply to be a part of the glamorous transatlantic crossing. Today the old airport buildings are faded, and flying the Atlantic is hardly news, let alone glamorous. But at Shannon Airport the memories are close to the surface, and the tales tumble out.

The story begins back in June 1919. John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown set out from Gander in Newfoundland in a World War One Vickers Vimy, their historic crossing ending with a crash landing in a green field - more accurately, a bog. Startled locals, including Patrick Boulton, out with his dog, greeted the equally started aviation pioneers: "Welcome boys. Where to, and where from?" They then shook hands and congratulated them, as the pilots took in that their rugged arrival point was not England, but Ireland.

That handshake helped to forge a near-century long relationship between Shannon and North America. As commercial flights began with the Transatlantic Flying Service in 1937, it was flying boats that made the crossing, not into Shannon, but over the estuary at Foynes in County Limerick.

And history was made there, too, with the invention of Irish coffee. It's a colourful tale and they love to tell it. An enterprising local called Joe Sheridan, seeing the Atlantic passengers arriving cold, made them coffee and, seeing they needed a bit of a boost, added a splash of Irish whiskey, topped with a thick layer of cream. It was an instant hit. When Shannon Airport was built, the duty-free trade invented there - another remarkable first - was surely helped by the passengers returning across the Atlantic with bottles of Irish whiskey, to make their own Irish coffee.


Fidel Castro was allowed to make his own Irish coffee


World War Two brought in a new breed of transatlantic passenger. And after the wartime pilots, those glamorous passengers who took their Irish coffee in the Sheridan bar at the new Shannon Airport. Among them have been every US President since JF Kennedy, and the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. Michael Fitzgerald, who was barman at the Sheridan for 35 years, remembers serving Castro. "One day we allowed him to come behind the bar and make his own Irish coffee."

Even in fiction, James Bond found Shannon luxurious as he waited for a flight to New York. Today he'd be able to be in America without leaving the airport, clearing customs and US immigration while still at Shannon.







Down the road from the airport, Ballygirreen houses the North Atlantic Communications Centre, where those voices speak out into the dark, and listen in. It's a terrifically busy place and yet one of calm efficiency, handling 400,000 flights in the Shannon and Prestwick airspace - or Shanwick - which reaches into the mid-Atlantic, covering three million square kilometres. There are many stories, from the dramatic events on 9/11, unruly passengers requiring a flight diversion, to romances between local women and the men who came to build Ireland's aviation history and stayed.

The locals working at the airport now include those who watched the planes fly in as children. Liz Mangan was thrilled at seeing the smart stewardesses, and one day she joined them. She has crossed the Atlantic countless times in her career with Aer Lingus, and she still gets a buzz from putting on her uniform as one of the "queens in green". "There's something very special about travelling through the night," she says. "And you're up so high near the stars. It's amazing, there's a silence at 4am - you make them a cup of tea and they open up, tell you some interesting stories about their lives. It's fascinating."

At Ballygirreen, the shifts change with the flow of flights. There is a reassuring familiarity. Over time air traffic controllers build a unique relationship with the pilots through the codes they trace on screens. They send the pilots out over the Atlantic, or bring them in. And far from Ireland, there's a fanbase of those who tune in via their home computers. And technology is also changing with flight communication moving to Datalink, a form of text messaging.

Ian MacGregor, a British Airways pilot whose father flew Atlantic flying boats, recalls that the latter charted the heavens with a sextant. "My father was sitting in a plane trying to get shots on the stars to navigate by," says MacGregor. "Now we have three global positioning systems which will pick up and pinpoint our position down to within 6ft."

But the starry crossing remains unchanged, and the trusted beacons back in Ballygirreen - those voices coming out of the dark.


Broadcast on Radio 4's Archive on 4 on Saturday 19 April 2014


    Catch up on iPlayer


Source:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27040076
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Ceiliúradh (10th April 2014)

Post by Kitkat on Mon 28 Apr 2014, 11:28

Ceiliúradh: Royal Albert Hall celebrates Irish culture

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26981609


Elvis Costello, Paul Brady, Glen Hansard and Imelda May were among the performers

Artists and musicians from Ireland, as well as descendants of Irish emigrants, have performed in a London concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

The event was called Ceiliúradh, which translates as celebration.

It was held in honour of Irish President Michael D Higgins as part of the historic state visit to the UK.

Earlier on Thursday, the Queen and Mr Higgins hosted a Northern Ireland-themed reception at Windsor Castle.

'Gracious welcome'

They met politicians, charity workers and others who have made a significant contribution to the Irish peace process and public life in Northern Ireland.

Mr Higgins and his wife were welcomed to the Royal Albert Hall by Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

The president described the event as a "wonderful and historic occasion" in a "magnificent venue".


Mr Higgins and his wife were applauded as they entered the Royal Albert Hall


Glen Hansard, Elvis Costello, Imelda May and Lisa Hannigan were among the performers


Elvis Costello and Conor O'Brien of Villagers performed together

"This celebration, above all, is for the thousands of Irish people in this Hall who have made Britain their home or whose parents or grandparents did, as well as the friends, neighbours, relatives and in-laws, they have brought along," he said.

'Deep friendship'

President Higgins thanked the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for their "gracious welcome and warm hospitality" throughout his UK trip.

"The evident grace and warmth with which they have prepared for, and arranged, my state visit is reflective of the true and deep friendship that now exists between Ireland and the United Kingdom," he added.

The president also paid tribute to members of the Irish community in Britain.

He thanked them for "the fidelity you have shown to Ireland over many years; for the contribution you have made to the development of Britain; and for your part in the consolidation of an enduring friendship between our two countries".

"On a night like this, it is great to be Irish. And it is even better to share it in the company of our friends in Britain," Mr Higgins added.


Dermot O'Leary on stage TV presenter Dermot O'Leary, who is of Irish descent, was among the performers

The concert organisers said the event celebrated the contribution of the Irish community in the UK and the "strength and range of collaboration and creativity between Ireland and the United Kingdom".

Northern Ireland singer-songwriter Paul Brady, Oscar-winning musician Glen Hansard, actress Fiona Shaw, best-selling author Joseph O'Connor and TV presenter Dermot O'Leary were among the performers.

The special guest was singer Elvis Costello, whose real name is Declan McManus.

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, and former British Prime Minister John Major - who was heavily involved in the early days of the Irish peace process - were among the guests.

Highlights of Ceiliúradh, Ultimate Irish Music at the Royal Albert Hall: A Presidential Celebration, were shown on BBC 4 on Sunday at 20:00 BST .





You can still watch and listen to Ceiliúradh in full on RTÉ Player - HERE - but this will be available only until 1st May 2014.
(As of today - only 4 days left)
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Jimmy's Hall

Post by Kitkat on Wed 11 Jun 2014, 10:29

Saw a good film in the cinema yesterday.  Jimmy's Hall - based on a true story in 1920's and 1930's Ireland, highlighting the strong hold and influence the Catholic Church has held historically throughout Ireland, the extent of which is only in very recent times becoming astoundingly evident.  The Catholic Church has always ruled in Ireland; the 'law of the land' was the Church.

From the Guardian:  http://www.theguardian.com/jimmys-hall-the-movie/jimmy-s-hall-ken-loach-s-inspirational-tale-of-1930s-ireland

Jimmy's Hall, which is set in 1930s Ireland and written by Loach's regular, like-minded collaborator, Paul Laverty, tells the true-life story of James Gralton. He was a self-educated, community-serving man of the people who became public enemy number one as far as the Catholic church and the local land owners were concerned.

His crime? To build a hall for and with the locals, to serve as a venue for enjoyment and education. Community dances were held there, boxing classes, singing lessons, poetry appreciation sessions, earnest debates about workers' rights. It sounds innocuous. But for the Church and the ruling class, the hall and the man who built it represented something dangerous and subversive – the fact that the people were beginning to think and act for themselves.

Rumoured to be Ken Loach's last film, well worth the watch.

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The Tuam tank: another myth about evil Ireland

Post by Kitkat on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 22:09

Brendan O'Neill's editorial in this week's 'Spiked' draws in the reins regarding the recent sensational headlines spread around the world about the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway:

He heads the article - The Tuam tank: another myth about evil Ireland

and introduces a degree of "hold yer horses" to the reported stories ...........

The obsession with Ireland’s dark past has officially become unhinged.

For proof of the maxim that ‘A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on’, look no further than the Tuam 800 dead babies story. Courtesy of a modern media that seems more interested in titillating readers with gorno than giving us cool facts, and thanks to a Twittermob constantly on the hunt for things it might feel ostentatiously outraged by, the story about babies being dumped in an old, out-of-use septic tank by nuns at a home for ‘fallen women’ in Tuam in Galway made waves in every corner of the globe. Then, a few days later, having finally strapped its boots on, the truth - or at least a more sober analysis of what might have really happened in Tuam - staggered on to the stage. And it was a very different story to the fact-lite, fury-heavy tale that had already gone round the world.

The speed with which the work of one local researcher in Tuam became a global story was amazing. Catherine Corless has been looking into the Mother and Baby Home run by nuns in Tuam for years. The home, which was active between 1925 and 1961, took in single women who were pregnant, which was considered a terribly sinful state to be in in early to mid-twentieth century Ireland. Corless discovered two things during her research: first, that between 1925 and 1961, the deaths of 796 children were registered by the nuns who ran the Tuam home; and secondly that in 1975 two boys in Tuam discovered an old septic tank on the grounds of the then-closed home, smashed through the concrete covering and saw skeletal remains inside. A fairly vague posting about these findings was put on to a Facebook page, and then all hell broke loose.

The media got a whiff of Corless’s findings and turned them into the stuff of nightmares. ‘Bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers’, declared the Washington Post. ‘800 skeletons of babies found inside tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers’, said the New York Daily News. ‘Galway historian finds 800 babies in septic tank grave’, said the Boston Globe. ‘The bodies of 800 babies were found in the septic tank of a former home for unwed mothers in Ireland’, cried Buzzfeed. Commentators angrily demanded answers from the Catholic Church. ‘Tell us the truth about the children dumped in Galway’s mass graves’, said a writer for the Guardian, telling no-doubt outraged readers that ‘the bodies of 796 children… have been found in a disused sewage tank in Tuam, County Galway’. The blogosphere and Twitter hordes went even further than the mainstream media, with whispers about the 800 babies having been murdered by the nuns and demands for the UN to investigate ‘crimes against humanity’ in Tuam.

On almost every level, the news reports in respectable media outlets around the world were plain wrong. Most importantly, the constantly repeated line about the bodies of 800 babies having been found was pure mythmaking. The bodies of 800 babies had not been found, in the septic tank or anywhere else. Rather, Corless had speculated in her research that the 796 children who died at the home had been buried in unmarked plots (common practice for illegitimate children in Ireland in the early to mid-twentieth century) and that some might have been put in the tank in which two boys in 1975 saw human remains. The septic tank or the grounds of the former home have not been excavated. No babies have been ‘found in a septic tank’, as the Washington Post, Guardian and others claimed. The claim that the babies were ‘dumped’ into some kind of sewage system is wrong, too. Corless says the nuns ‘made a crypt out of the old septic tank’. She now says her research has been ‘widely misrepresented’ and that she ‘never used the word “dumped”’ to describe the possible placing of some dead children into a makeshift crypt (‘possible’ being the operative word).

More to the point, it’s actually not possible that all 800 dead babies are in this tank-cum-crypt, as pretty much every media outlet has claimed. Mainly because, as the Irish Times reports, the septic tank was still in use up to 1937, 12 years after the home opened, during which time 204 of the 796 deaths occurred - and ‘it seems impossible’, the paper says, ‘that more than 200 bodies could have been put in a working sewage tank’. Also, the Irish Times spoke to one of the men who in 1975, when he was 10 years old, disturbed the former septic tank and saw skeletal remains, and he says now that ‘there was no way there were 800 skeletons down that hole. Nothing like that number.’ He says there were ‘about 20’. Maybe his memory is fuzzy, but so far he is the only eyewitness we know of to this alleged pit of 800 dead babies in a tank in Tuam.

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-tuam-tank-another-myth-about-evil-ireland/15140#.U5tZyigmXQM
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The Tuam tank: another myth about evil Ireland (continued ...)

Post by Kitkat on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 22:30

(continued from previous post) ............

So the widely made claim that the bodies of 800 babies had been found in Tuam is not true; no excavation has taken place. The claim that the babies were ‘dumped’ in a tank is not true, according to Corless herself. And the notion that the babies were hurled in with sewage is not correct - apparently the tank had been turned into a crypt. Yet none of these recent revelations, or Corless’s public angst at the widespread warping of her findings, has put a stop to the Heart of Darkness-style coverage of Tuam’s evil, mysterious tank. Martin Sixsmith, former New Labourite hack turned author of The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, the story of a former inhabitant of a severe nun-run home in Ireland who was forced to give up her child for adoption, says the Tuam story reminds him of the ‘mass graves in far-flung locations in Eastern Europe and Russia’ that he once wrote about. In Tuam, ‘an ugly place’, we can see that ‘Western Europe [is not] immune from such horrors’, he says. A hysterical piece in the Irish Independent compared the Tuam home to the Nazi Holocaust, Rwanda and Srebrenica, saying that in all these settings people were killed ‘because they were scum’. You can almost hear the sound of the whip as yet another self-loathing member of the Irish chattering class makes an artform of public self-flagellation.

So in the space of a few days, without the benefit of any excavation or digging, we went from speculative claims made by a modest local researcher about the whereabouts of 796 children to heated talk across the world media about an Irish holocaust on a par with what the Nazis did to Jewish children. What madness is this? How did speculation that some children out of 796 might have been buried in a former septic tank become news headlines about 800 dead children having been found in a septic tank, leading to comparisons being made between Ireland’s old nuns and the architects of the Nazi Holocaust? Clearly this isn’t about news anymore; it isn’t a desire for facts or truth that elevated the crazed claims about Tuam up the agenda; rather, a mishmash of anti-Catholic prejudice, Irish self-hatred and the modern thirst for horror stories involving children turned Tuam into one of the worst reported stories of 2014 so far.

There is no doubt that life was grim in that home in Tuam, as it was across the west of Ireland in the early to mid-twentieth century. Poverty was rife and disease was rampant in rural parts of Ireland back then, and such problems were even more pronounced in no doubt badly run homes for single mums and illegitimate children. As the Irish Times says, infant mortality was depressingly high in early twentieth-century Ireland, ‘particularly in institutions, where infection spread rapidly’. It might be worth doing a serious analysis of conditions in these institutions, and of how the poverty combined with the severe moral strictures to create an unhealthy and repressive environment. But what we have today in pretty much every discussion of Ireland’s history is nothing like analysis but rather a kind of perverted dirt-digging, a scrabbling about in the events of the past for evidence of Catholic depravity and human suffering that we can all now get off on denouncing and being showily shocked by.

The transformation of Ireland’s past into a cesspit of human wickedness that modern Irish historians and assorted Catholic-bashers can dip into in search for stuff to stand up their contemporary prejudices inevitably leads to the skewing of facts. It is amazing how many of the recent revelations of Catholic Ireland’s screwed-up past have proven to be false. Before Tuam, there was Letterfrack Industrial School, also in the west of Ireland, which throughout the 2000s was talked about as basically a killing field, where boys were raped, murdered and buried in mass graves. Newspapers said there had been ‘Holocaust-style brutality and death’ at Letterfrack. After studies were carried out, it was discovered that there had been 147 deaths of boys at the school during its entire history - from 1887 to 1974 - and that these deaths were caused by ‘pneumonia, TB, meningitis [or] fatal accidents’. As Tim Robinson, the great modern chronicler of Connemara in the west of Ireland, said of the wild claims of a holocaust at Letterfrack, ‘We are moving out of the realm of forensic truth into that of folklore’.

Many of the more shocking claims made about Ireland’s nun-run Magdalene Laundries, in movies, books and newspaper articles, were called into question by the Irish government’s exhaustive report published last year. The report found not a single case of sexual abuse in the entire history of the laundries. It also found that the vast majority of the girls who lived and worked in the laundries were not physically punished. ‘There is no escaping the fact that the report jars with popular perceptions’, said the Irish Times. Furthermore, one of the most widely read books about the laundries - Don’t Ever Tell by Kathy O’Beirne, one of the bestselling Irish books of the twenty-first century which has been widely cited in commentary on Irish Catholic abuse - was exposed as phoney: Ms O’Beirne was never actually in a laundry. Mainstream media coverage of Ireland’s past frequently gets the facts wildly wrong. ‘Thousands were raped in Irish reform schools’, said the UK Independent in 2009 when the Irish government published its extensive report on the abuse of boys in Catholic-run schools. Clearly the Indie hadn’t read the report, for if it had it would surely have noticed that in fact there were 68 claims of rape, not all of them proven, between the period of 1914 and 1999. Quite how 68 accusations of rape became ‘thousands were raped’ is anyone’s guess.

Whenever the exaggerations and myths about Ireland’s past are exposed, the same thing is said: okay, these might have been lies but they were good lies, because they got people talking about the history of Catholic abuse in Ireland. When the 2013 government report on the Magdalene Laundries called into question the claims made in various films and books, campaigners told the Irish Times that ‘the role such [movies and books] played in highlighting the issue justified any artistic embellishment’. When questions were raised about Kathy O’Beirne’s account of life in a Magdalene Laundry, one of her defenders said she had at least ‘kept the issue of the Magdalene asylums in the public eye’ and her book had been ‘helpful’ to sufferers of abuse. No doubt someone will now say the same about Tuam: ‘Yes, yes, 800 babies might not have been found in a septic tank, but at least we are all taking about the mistreatment of single mums and their kids in old Ireland.’ How many ‘good lies’ have to be told about Ireland’s past before they just become lies? If as many myths were spread about by a government in relation to a war or something, there would be outrage, demands for an inquiry; why is it okay, then, to promote half-truths, non-facts and embellishments about the Irish Catholic Church?

Was the Ireland of yesteryear a sometimes harsh and unpleasant place? Yes. Did the Catholic Church mistreat some of the women and children in its care? Undoubtedly. But the unhealthy obsession over the past 10 years with raking over Ireland’s past has little to do with confirming such facts and instead has become a kind of grotesque moral sport, providing kicks to the anti-Catholic brigade and fuel to the historical self-flagellation that now passes for public life in Ireland. There’s a terrible irony here: in desperately searching for demons that they can hate, in obsessing over evil and its capacity to destroy lives, in frequently substituting speculation for evidence, these history-combing Catholic-bashers employ the very same irrational tactics of demonology and mythmaking once beloved of Ireland’s old Catholic establishment.

Brendan O’Neill is the editor of Spiked: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-tuam-tank-another-myth-about-evil-ireland/15140#.U5tZyigmXQM
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Ian Paisley

Post by Kitkat on Fri 12 Sep 2014, 14:41

Ian Paisley is dead.  

I grew up with that screeching foghorn voice ranting and raving on the tv and radio, daily ....

To this day that voice still gives me headache and nausea, shivers of dread! ....  hairpull

A BBC live broadcast on this link now:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-29176937


Not sure if the link's content will change later, as it's being broadcast live now and might be something different tomorrow.
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Fri 19 Sep 2014, 00:38

This World
Ireland's Lost Babies


First shown on BBC2: 17 Sep 2014 - Duration 59 mins  

Watch on BBC iPlayer  - Available for  
arrow http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04j362d/this-world-irelands-lost-babies

In 2013 the movie Philomena was shown in cinemas across the world and earned four Oscar nominations. The film was based on the true story of Philomena Lee, who was forced by the Catholic Church to give up her illegitimate son for adoption, and detailed her journey with journalist Martin Sixsmith to find her child 50 years later.

In the weeks and months after the film went out, Martin was contacted by other mothers who had their own stories to tell. Now, Martin Sixsmith goes on a journey to investigate the Irish Catholic Church's role in an adoption trade which saw thousands of illegitimate children taken from their mothers and sent abroad, often with donations to the Church flowing in the other direction. In Ireland and in America, Martin hears the moving stories of the parents and children whose lives were changed forever and discovers evidence that prospective parents were not properly vetted - sometimes with tragic consequences.
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Ireland's Hidden Secrets

Post by Kitkat on Wed 24 Sep 2014, 11:22

Demanding justice for women and children abused by Irish nuns
By Sue Lloyd Roberts BBC News, Ireland

An inquiry last year into Ireland's Magdalene laundries, where for decades thousands of women were forced to work by nuns, found no evidence that workers were abused. But those who experienced life inside laundry walls angrily reject this, and are insisting that the nuns be held accountable.

"Oh my God! You know what? This brings back so much memories," 65-year-old Elizabeth Coppin says as she pushes open the door to the Convent Church next to the Magdalene laundry where she was sent to work for the nuns when she was 14.

"We used to have to go to confession once a week," she says, as we pass the confessional box. "The priest would sit in here and we would go in here to tell him our sins. But what sins did we have? We were working all the time. They were the sinners, not us. They were torturing us."

For decades, Ireland ignored the stories told by the former Magdalene laundry workers. After all, weren't people told by the priests that they were just fallen women, or the criminally insane, who deserved to be locked up for most of their adult lives and work, without pay, to atone for their sins?

Coppin had been abused by her stepfather and sent to an orphanage - one of a number of welfare institutions run by the church on behalf of the state. From there, still a child, she was passed into the network of Magdalene laundries and forced to work from eight to six every day except Sundays and bank holidays.

In one of these, in Cork, she was wrongly accused of stealing sweets and held for three days in a punishment cell, without a bed or mattress. But that was nothing compared to the punishment she faced for trying to run away. She was sent to another laundry, with an even stricter regime.

"They changed my name to Enda, a man's name. They shaved my head and I had to wear a uniform. So straight away your identity is taken because my name is changed, my hair is cut and I'm not wearing my own clothes," she says.

"And I'm stuck in there and I have to answer to the name Enda, which is a man's name. How do you cope with that at that age?"

(Elizabeth Coppin and Mary Merrit share their stories in Our World: Ireland's Hidden Bodies, Hidden Secrets on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 September at 21:30 BST on BBC World News, and today on Newsnight on BBC2.)

It was not until Coppin and others went to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT), which in turn put pressure on the Irish government to investigate, that Senator Martin McAleese, a former member of the Irish Senate and a devout Roman Catholic, was asked to head an inquiry into what exactly had happened behind the convent walls.

Survivors were astounded to read in his report that "ill treatment, physical punishment and abuse… was not something experienced in the Magdalene laundries".

The government has now called another inquiry into what happened at another church-run institution, the Mother and Baby homes for unmarried mothers, after it was revealed earlier this year that nearly 800 young children had been buried in unmarked graves from 1925-1961 at a convent in the west of Ireland. Some remains were found in a concrete tank.

So the Magdalene laundry survivors are asking for this latest inquiry to have a wide remit, and to investigate the laundries again.

"I would love them to get to the real truth, but they won't," says Coppin. "They won't inquire properly because I know what the government are like."

Eighty-three-year-old Mary Merritt is a survivor of both a Mother and Baby Home and a Magdalene laundry. Born in one, to a single mother, she ended up in a laundry after years in an orphanage - all three institutions run by nuns.

"I was in one of the orphanages, which they called industrial schools in those days. I was so hungry that I stole some apples from the orchard. The nuns told me that they had found a 'situation' for me and sent me to the High Park Laundry in Dublin and told me that I had to stay there until I learned not to steal. They kept me there as an unpaid worker for 14 years. You don't even get that for murder these days."

She remembers that the work was so hard and the regime so cruel that she broke a window and ran away in to the town where she asked a priest for help. The priest raped her. The nuns did not believe her when she was picked up by the police and returned to the laundry.

She was put in the windowless punishment cell, a room two metres square. "One of the nuns came down there and she cut my hair to the bone and then I was taken up and I was made to kneel in a room with all the women there, kneel down, kiss the floor and say I was sorry for what I did and promise not to run away again which I didn't promise, of course."

The McAleese report concludes that the median stay for women in the laundries was seven months. "Nonsense!" says Mary as we go together to visit a mass grave of former Magdalene High Park Laundry workers at Glasnevin, the main cemetery in Dublin.

"I was in the laundry for 14 years and I know at least one woman, my best friend, buried here who was there for more than 50," she says pointing to the name Mary Brehany who is among 160 names on the slabs of granite.

Researchers from the Magdalene Names project told us that according to their calculations, most workers in the High Park Laundry were there for at least eight years.

The McAleese report also claims that the laundries never made a profit - another idea treated with derision by the women. "It was slave labour," says Coppin, who spent four years in three laundries.

"The nuns had contracts with all the local hotels and businesses as well as all the convents and seminaries." It is hard to check the "not for profit" assertion because the accounts submitted to the inquiry by the religious orders, prepared by their own accountants, are not open to public scrutiny.

However, we found a ledger belonging to the High Park Laundry in the Little Museum in Dublin, dating back to 1980. Meticulously kept accounts show that their clients included convents and restaurants as well as the airport, the main railway station in Dublin and government ministries. No wonder Trade Unions and commercial laundries complained at the time. They were having to compete for business with the nuns who could rely on free, forced labour.

The Irish Examiner newspaper, which has investigated the finances of the religious orders involved in running the laundries, says they owned assets in 2012 of 1.5bn euros ($1.9bn, £1.2bn).

The wealth of the nuns is a running sore, not only with the survivors who feel they have been so unfairly exploited, but increasingly with the Irish taxpayer. Despite the shortcomings of the McAleese report, the government has apologised for the suffering of the women and appointed much-respected Judge John Quirke to implement a compensation scheme. He has won favour with the survivors who say that at least he listens to them. He has said of his meetings with them, "I believe the women," and of the McAleese report: "I found things different."

The final bill for compensation is likely to exceed 150m euros ($190m, £120m) and yet the religious orders have refused to contribute. I asked the Deputy Prime Minister, Joan Burton, why the government was not putting pressure on the nuns to pay up.

"There is a conversation ongoing with the religious orders to make contributions appropriate to the total amount of money that has been spent by the state," she said. So she will be putting on pressure? "That's a continuing conversation, yes."

No-one is holding their breath. The government has made four formal requests for contributions to the four religious orders involved in running the laundries and they have not been forthcoming.

Will the government listen to the grievances of the laundry survivors and broaden the new inquiry to include them? "Well it will include relevant elements," says Burton, "but, we haven't finalised the actual terms of reference yet."

The Magdalene laundry survivors are not optimistic. "Nobody talks about the violation of women here, the religious ideology is so ingrained in Irish society," says Elizabeth Coppin

"I want somebody to tell the truth and to apologise," says Mary Merritt, "the nuns, the church, the priests... just somebody to apologise to me before I die."

Find out more in Our World: Ireland's Hidden Bodies, Hidden Secrets on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 September at 21:30 BST on BBC World News, and today on Newsnight on BBC2 .

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29307705
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Whiskers on Thu 25 Sep 2014, 17:46

I just watched the Martin Sixsmith documentary. Ireland's Lost Babies. Shocking!
I never realised just how bad it was. When you hear people still living and telling their stories it brings it home with a bang. And they are still fighting today to get these places to even admit to their wrongdoing.
It's just shocking.
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'Kings'

Post by Kitkat on Tue 03 Feb 2015, 13:49

Kings is a 2007 Irish film written & directed by Tom Collins and based on Jimmy Murphy's play The Kings of the Kilburn High Road. The film is bilingual, having both Irish and English dialogues. It premiered at the Taormina Film Festival (Italy) in June 2007, and was selected as Ireland's official entry for the 2008 Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film category. The film tells the story of a group of Irish friends who, after emigrating to England 30 years previously, meet for the funeral of a friend. In 2008, the Irish postal service, An Post, issued a series of stamps honouring the Irish film industry. Colm Meaney, as Joe Mullan, was featured on the 55 cent stamp.

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The Wind That Shakes The Barley (film)

Post by Kitkat on Sat 07 Feb 2015, 10:31

In 1920, rural Ireland is the permanent battlefield of republican rebels against the British troops and their well-paid, local collaborator militia, a recipe for mutual cruelty. Medical graduate Damien O'Donovan always gave priority to his socialist ideals and simply helping people in need. Just when he's leaving Ireland to work in a highly reputed London hospital, witnessing gross abuse of commoners changes his mind. he returns and joins the local IRA brigade, commanded by his brother Teddy, and adopts the merciless logic of civil war, while Teddy mellows by experiencing first-hand endless suffering. When IRA leaders negotiate an autonomous Free State under the British crown, Teddy defends the pragmatic best possible deal at this stage. Damien however joins the large seceding faction which holds nothing less then a socialist republic will do. The result is another civil war, bloodily opposing former Irish comrades in arms, even the brothers.

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Irish Ways

Post by Kitkat on Sat 07 Feb 2015, 10:40

Irish Ways (1988 Documentary about the IRA and the Troubles in Northern Ireland)

IRISH WAYS (1988) focuses on daily confrontations between the British Army and Irish Nationalists. It reveals discrimination in housing and employment, and laws permitting arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of Irish nationalists. The film investigates the pervasive atmosphere of fear and mistrust - constant surveillance of neighborhoods and business districts, television advertisements encouraging citizens to report suspicious neighbors to British troops, and the commonplace bombings and shootings.
Giving voice to soldiers on both sides and to ordinary citizens who must live in wartime circumstances, IRISH WAYS provides important background to the continuing civil war over Ireland.

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The Irish Rock Story: A Tale of Two Cities (documentary)

Post by Kitkat on Fri 13 Mar 2015, 17:09

This is on telly tonight.  I will definitely be recording it - and hopefully there will be a chance to see it for a limited time on the BBC iPlayer, in which case I will post it up here (though I think it could be that for those of you outside the UK you might not be able to access it).

The Irish Rock Story:  A Take of Two Cities

http://www.tvguide.co.uk/detail/2107080/106264194/the-irish-rock-story-a-tale-of-two-cities#.VQMXW-Er5u0

Documentary telling the story of how rock music helped bring about change for Ireland over 40 years, and how the sounds that emerged were grounded in the musical traditions of Ireland's two main cities. From the pioneering touring showbands of the late fifties through to the modern day, the film examines how the harder sounds of Belfast merged with the more folk-centric traditions of Dublin, and celebrates some of the key musicians to have emerged from the Irish scene, and how they were influenced by the political, social and cultural climate of their surroundings. Featuring contributions from U2, Sinead O'Connor and Bob Geldof
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Sat 14 Mar 2015, 15:10

On BBC iPlayer for a limited period:  (Click the link below to watch)

Watch here: arrow The Irish Rock Story:  A Tale of Two Cities


This film tells the story of how rock music helped to change Ireland. The 40-year-old story of Irish rock and pop music is grounded in the very different musical traditions of the two main cities of the island, Belfast and Dublin.

This musical celebration charts the lives and careers of some of the biggest selling acts in Irish rock, punk and pop from Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy to the Undertones and U2. From the pioneers of the showbands touring in the late 50s through to the modern day, the film examines their lineage and connections and how the hard-core, rocking sound of Belfast merged with the more melodic, folky Dublin tradition to form what we now recognise as Irish rock and pop.

The film explores where these bands and musicians came from and the influence the political, social and cultural environments of the day had on them and how the music influenced those environments.
With contributions from many of the heavyweights of Irish rock and pop, including U2, Sinead O'Connor and Bob Geldof, it follows their careers as they forged an international presence and looks at how they helped change the island along the way.
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Sat 14 Mar 2015, 15:17

And this one - Well worth watching if only for Imelda May (who I just heard of relatively recently).  Luvvit!

(On BBC iPlayer - and again, only available for a limited period)

Watch here:  Irish Rock at the BBC

A whistlestop tour of rock from over the water, taking in some of the finest Irish rock offerings from the early 70s to the present day, as captured on a variety of BBC shows from The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops to Later... with Jools Holland.

Kicking off with Thin Lizzy's 1973 debut hit Whiskey in the Jar, the programme traces Irish rock's unfolding lineage. Performances from guitar maestro Rory Gallagher, Celtic rock godfathers Horslips and John Peel favourites the Undertones feature alongside rivals Stiff Little Fingers, with their Top of the Pops performance of Nobody's Hero, followed by post-punk U2's 1981 debut UK performance of I Will Follow from The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Then there is Sinead O'Connor's debut single performance of Mandinka, and the Pogues play the Ewan MacColl classic Dirty Old Town from 1986. Into the 90s, there is the Frank and Walters and Therapy? on Top of the Pops, along with early performances on Later...with Jools Holland from Ash and the Divine Comedy.

There is rockabilly with Imelda May's debut hit Johnny Got A Boom Boom, and then bang up to the moment is Cavan's the Strypes and Hozier, whose Take Me To Church completes this hit-driven tour through Irish rock.
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Tue 17 Mar 2015, 15:30

St Patrick's Day celebrations around the world

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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Thu 09 Apr 2015, 12:57

Not having been 'back home' for a number of years now and feeling rather homesick today, I made the BIG mistake of listening to this beautiful medley of old Irish airs, filled with memories of times passed, places and people now out of reach ....

crybaby

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Homesick

Post by Kitkat on Thu 09 Apr 2015, 15:48

... and still in a reminiscent mood ........

I grew up in the Showband dancehall era in Ireland.
Unbelievable to know that some of these guys that I used to dance to are still going strong to this day.






Aah, the memories ....
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Ireland mourns

Post by Kitkat on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 08:56

Ireland mourns 6 students killed in balcony collapse

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-33145177

(Oops!  Photo has disappeared from this post)
A flag of Ireland is draped over wreaths at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, Calif., Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Berkeley police say several people are dead and others injured after a balcony fell shortly before 1 a.m., near the University of California, Berkeley.

Flags flew at half-staff around Ireland and the country's parliament suspended normal business Wednesday as the nation mourned six students killed when a balcony collapsed during a party in Berkeley, California.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny offered a message of sympathy, and books of condolences were opened at University College Dublin, where three of the students studied. Tributes were paid to the students, who were among 700 Irish students in the San Francisco Bay Area for the summer.

OLIVIA BURKE

Burke, 21, was expected back at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in September to start her final year of a degree in entrepreneurship and management.

Annie Doona, the institute's president, said Burke was working at a sushi restaurant and sharing an apartment with some of the others killed and injured in the Berkeley balcony collapse.

"She was doing very well, and enjoying herself and making great friends," Doona said. "It's terribly sad."

The school was providing psychological support for students on the campus, she said.

"Although the students have finished, we think that some of them will come here. They'll want to meet, they'll want to hug, they'll want to talk about Olivia, and they'll want to spend a bit of time just thinking about her and grieving," Doona said.

EOGHAN CULLIGAN

Culligan had finished his third year at the Dublin Institute of Technology, where he was studying logistics and supply chain management.

Ballyboden St. Enda's — the club where he played Gaelic football — posted a tribute to him.

"Eoghan was very popular with his teammates and this tragic news is keenly felt by all members of our club, but especially by those players and mentors who knew him well," the club said. "We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to his parents Gerry & Marie and to his brothers Stephen & Andrew and to all the extended Culligan family."


ASHLEY DONOHUE

Irish-American Donohue, 22, was a first cousin of Burke and student at Sonoma State University north of San Francisco.

Josh Wilson, assistant principal at Rancho Cotate High School, remembers Donohoe as a cheerful person and skilled soccer player who returned after graduating to help coach the school soccer team.

"She absolutely was well-received and well-liked not only by her peers but the faculty at Rancho Cotate," he said.

"She just always had a smile on her face and transcended peer groups and cliques and had a friend in just about every social circle."


LORCAN MILLER

Miller was studying medicine at University College Dublin. At his high school, St. Andrew's College in Booterstown, south Dublin, headmaster Peter Fraser recalled Miller as a "positive, engaging, decent boy who was incredibly talented, but normal, modest and balanced about it all."

Miller played on the school hockey team, sang in the choir, performed in musicals and took part in the school's Model United Nations.

"He was hugely popular," Fraser said.


NICCOLAI SCHUSTER

Schuster, 21, was studying at University College Dublin and had been a student at St. Mary's College in the Rathmines district near the Irish capital. In 2010, he took part in the Ghana Immersion Project, which sends young people to the West African country, where they attend school with local students and help primary school students learn English.


EIMEAR WALSH

Walsh, a medical student at UCD, was a high school classmate of Burke at Loreto College in Foxrock, south Dublin.

The principal at Loreto described the two girls as smart and beautiful.

"They were in the prime of their lives," principal Bernadette Prendiville said. "They had a successful time in school, went about their work quietly and had everything going for them, everything ahead of them."

The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock held a vigil Tuesday in the aftermath of the tragedy. Parish priest Frank Herron, who knows the Walsh family, told The Associated Press that the community is shocked and the family is distraught.

"She was very intelligent and had so much to offer," he said. "She really looked forward to going to the States with her friends and spending her summer there working and having time to be together. The community here felt very empty, so we opened up the church. We had a huge reaction of support and solidarity."
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar on Fri 03 Jul 2015, 22:57

Dedicated to kk.

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The Green Fields of Wembley

Post by Kitkat on Mon 28 Sep 2015, 12:29

Irish fans have just broken a world record in Wembley


Published 27/09/2015

The throngs of Ireland fans in London today have broken a world record, with the 89,267 attendance in Wembley officially the highest ever for a rugby Test match.

toast

and this explains why it took me over an hour to make a [normally] 15-minute journey in the car yesterday ...

(Check out the video):

http://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/world-cup/other-news/irish-fans-have-just-broken-a-world-record-in-wembley-31562409.html
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The Irish Chekhov

Post by Kitkat on Fri 02 Oct 2015, 13:42

Brian Friel: Famed playwright dies aged 86

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-34424041

Known as  known as "the Irish Chekhov", Brian Friel was acknowledged as one of the great playwrights of his generation.  In 2006 he was presented with a gold torc, in recognition of his election as a Saoi, a wise one, by the members of Aosdána.


OBITUARY
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The Irish women who fought to legalise contraception

Post by Kitkat on Wed 11 May 2016, 08:34

In May 1971, a group of Irish women challenged the ban on contraception in Ireland.

They would cross the border into Northern Ireland where the law on contraception was the same as in the UK.  Their journey into N.I. became known as The Contraceptive Train




This was the Ireland that I left behind in June 1972.

The contraceptive pill was not legalised until 20 years later - 1992.
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Apple should repay Ireland €13bn, European Commission rules

Post by Kitkat on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 12:12

Ireland should recover up to €13bn (£11bn) from Apple in back taxes, the European Commission has ruled.
After a three-year investigation, it has concluded that the US firm's tax benefits are illegal.

The Commission said Ireland enabled the company to pay substantially less than other businesses, in effect paying a corporate tax rate of no more than 1%.

Ireland and Apple both said they disagreed with the decision and would appeal against it.

Apple reaction: Live updates
Apple tax ruling 'a serious blow'
Rory Cellan-Jones: EU takes on Apple, Ireland and the US

"Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies - this is illegal under EU state aid rules," said Commissioner Margarethe Vestager.

"The Commission's investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years," she added.

The standard rate of Irish corporate tax is 12.5%. The Commissions's investigation concluded that Apple had effectively paid 1% tax on its European profits in 2003 and about 0.005% in 2014.

Ms Vestager said that the tax agreement reached between Ireland and Apple meant that the company's taxable profits "did not correspond to economic reality".

'Profound and harmful effect'


Apple said the decision would be harmful for jobs.

"The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple's history in Europe, ignore Ireland's tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process," the company said in a statement.

"The Commission's case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes, it's about which government collects the money. It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe.

"Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate. We will appeal and we are confident the decision will be overturned."

The Irish government held a similar view.
"I disagree profoundly with the Commission," said Ireland's finance minister, Michael Noonan, in a statement.
"The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation."

The investigation into Apple and similar probes into other US firms have been criticised by US authorities.

Last week, the US Treasury Department said the European Commission was in danger of becoming a "supra-national tax authority" overriding the tax codes of its member states.

Brussels was using a different set of criteria to judge cases involving US companies, the US Treasury warned, adding that potential penalties were "deeply troubling".

Apple is not the only company that has been targeted for securing favourable tax deals in the European Union.
Last year, the commission told the Netherlands to recover as much as €30m (£25.6m) from Starbucks, while

Luxembourg was ordered to claw back a similar amount from Fiat.




Analysis: Dominic O'Connell, Today business presenter


The current focus is on the size of the bill, but there are even larger issues at stake, including one fundamental question - who really runs the world, governments or giant corporations?

At present, it is difficult to tell. Individual governments appear impotent in their attempts to apply their tax laws to multinationals like Apple. They have systems designed to deal with the movement and sale of physical goods, systems that are useless when companies derive their profits from the sale of services and the exploitation of intellectual property.

In Apple's case, 90% of its foreign profits are legally channelled to Ireland, and then to subsidiaries which have no tax residence. At the same time, countries can scarcely afford not to co-operate when Apple comes calling; it has a stock market value of $600bn, and the attraction of the jobs it can create and the extra inward investment its favours can bring are too much for most politicians to resist.

There is an echo here of the tycoons of the early 20th Century who bestrode America. Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Rockefeller were judged so powerful that they were almost above the law, something that successive US administrations sought to curb.

The European Commission's attempt to bring Apple to heel is on the surface about tax, but in the end about the power of the multinational and the power of the state. There is more to come; Margarethe Vestager, the Danish commissioner who is leading the charge against Apple, is warming up to take on Google.

Europe versus the giants of corporate America will be a battle royale, and one that will run and run.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37220799
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BUT ... Why Ireland doesn't want to take billions from Apple

Post by Kitkat on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 21:19

Following on from the previous post here:

Why Ireland doesn't want to take billions from Apple

August 30, 2016

The Irish government joined Apple in vowing Tuesday to appeal the European Commission's judgment that the smartphone and computing giant didn't pay the correct volume of tax to Ireland for more than a decade, a mounting bill that analysts say could constitute 19 billion euros ($21 billion) with interest.

At stake is the foundation of Ireland's multinational-dependent, export-driven economy, which has rapidly rebounded from a banking crisis and 2010 international bailout to become once again the fastest growing in Europe. Since the 1980s, successive Irish governments have made low corporate tax and other tax-avoidance measures a key part of their sales pitch to woo foreign firms to Ireland.

Today, most of the biggest names in drug making, social media and online commerce, software and other high-tech industries have made Ireland their preferred European base — in part because, as the European Commission's damning judgment has just concluded, the Irish seek to tax multinationals' worldwide profits as little as possible.

Instead, Ireland's strategy aims to keep as many foreign job creators anchored on the island as they can. The approximately 1,000 foreign companies, mostly American, on Irish soil employ 100,000 people — some 5 percent of the workforce — but generate more than nearly a quarter of Ireland's economic output. They directly pay Ireland more than 2 billion euros annually in tax, a figure dwarfed by their much larger investment in salaries (6 billion euros), infrastructure and research (3 billion euros) and Irish goods and services (4 billion euros).

If Apple were to lose its appeal, Ireland's sometimes gravity-defying growth would lose a key foundation stone as a succession of companies with similar tax deals face retroactive charges rendering the tax-efficient reputation of Ireland null and void.

But the sheer size of Tuesday's award — worth 2,800 euros ($3,150) for every man, woman and child in Ireland — creates unexpected political difficulties for the government, which briefed journalists beforehand to expect a vastly smaller sum. The money could transform Ireland; the Irish Times bills it as the equivalent of 20 new hospitals or an end to property tax for the next quarter-century.

Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole quipped that Ireland's tricolor flag should have an Apple logo in its center and the country now risked being defined by "the rest of the world as the tax-avoider's crazy little sidekick." He argued that Tuesday's surprisingly "eye-watering figure" of 13 billion euros meant Ireland might be wise to cash in a chip that would allow Ireland "life-changing" levels of investment in combating poverty.

"Champagne corks should be popping in government buildings with the news that 13 billion euros is owed to the state, but instead the panic button has been pressed," said Paul Murphy, an opposition Socialist Party lawmaker. "It shows the reality that the government represents the interests of major corporations instead of the majority of people in this state."

He said the Apple money was big enough to clear Ireland's gridlocked waiting list for welfare housing and eliminate a growing trend of homelessness. "Instead," he said, "the government wants to keep Apple on its $200 billion cash pile."

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said Ireland couldn't afford to be seen as a country that shafts its key investors. He compared the act to a farmer choosing to eat the seeds rather than grow the crop.

He said overturning the cash award would be essential "to defend the integrity of our tax system, provide tax certainty to business, and ... send a strong message that Ireland remains an attractive and stable location of choice for long-term substantive investment."
https://www.mail.com/int/business/markets/4574746-why-ireland-want-to-take-billions-apple.html#.1272-stage-hero1-6
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Stardust on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 12:05

Was looking up forgotten words of a couple of songs my Dad liked to sing and found them on the following two sites.

Just for you, Kitkat, in case you don't already know them (probably unlikely, but still...).

http://www.ireland-information.com/irishmusic/irishsongs-music-lyrics-midis.htm

http://merryploughboys.com/ballads/index.html

I enjoyed looking at both of them and have saved the lyrics of the two songs I wanted.

purr


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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 18:20

I'm just back from Ireland...not as a nice holiday though - my father is poorly. Nice backdrop of the Mourne mountains though.
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Stardust on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 21:17

I hope he's better soon, lar-lar.
catlick


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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:47

Looking at those links you put up, Stardust - the first link (seems to me) has probably been collated by a patriotic Irish-American!  Definitely not a true Irish person - because the first thing I noticed at top of the page, they have stuck in there the lyrics to 'All Through The Night'.  Whilst a very beautiful Celtish air and lullaby, it is most definitely a WELSH song, Welsh title 'Ar Hyd y Nos', the lyrics written by Welsh poet, John Ceiriog Hughes.
That kinda put me off looking any further, as I did notice also that some of the other titles have spelling mistakes in them (OK, that in itself would be quite acceptable and not such a big thing on its own ...) BUT the above [major] folly is unforgiveable (especially for a Welsh person!).
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 13:02

@lar-lar wrote:I'm just back from Ireland...not as a nice holiday though - my father is poorly. Nice backdrop of the Mourne mountains though.

It's good that you were able to get over to see your Dad, lar-lar.  That would have meant a lot to him and made him very happy.  xx
It's hard when your relatives are poorly and they are so far away and you can't see them every day.  I know from my own experience how difficult that must be for you.  At least we have the internet now, Skype and stuff can keep people close no matter where we are in the world.  Of course it's not the same thing as being there with them, but it certainly helps.
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Stardust on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 16:46

@Kitkat wrote:Looking at those links you put up, Stardust - the first link (seems to me) has probably been collated by a patriotic Irish-American!  Definitely not a true Irish person - because the first thing I noticed at top of the page, they have stuck in there the lyrics to 'All Through The Night'.  Whilst a very beautiful Celtish air and lullaby, it is most definitely a WELSH song, Welsh title 'Ar Hyd y Nos', the lyrics written by Welsh poet, John Ceiriog Hughes.
That kinda put me off looking any further, as I did notice also that some of the other titles have spelling mistakes in them (OK, that in itself would be quite acceptable and not such a big thing on its own ...) BUT the above [major] folly is unforgiveable (especially for a Welsh person!).
Oops! Their address is in Ireland but I guess that means nothing. All I wanted was the lyrics so it was ok for me. Sorry if it got your back up, KK.
It's like here all British are usually referred to as English and that get's my goat, so I know what you mean about the song that's Welsh and not Irish.
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 17:54

giggle  - Just to confirm:


"Ar Hyd y Nos" ("All through the Night") is a Welsh folksong sung to a tune which was first recorded in Edward Jones' Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards (1784). The Welsh lyrics were written by John Ceiriog Hughes.


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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:22

He's better than he was so thank you.


Can't beat the Irish accent....


This is what I'm used to but it took me a long,long time to understand my sister-in-laws southern accent.
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:25

Nice viewing.

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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 13:56

@lar-lar wrote:it took me a long,long time to understand my sister-in-laws southern accent.

Did you have trouble understanding my accent, lar-lar?
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 20:22

No...you speak quite slow for an Irish woman.  :thumb:
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Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Feather on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 13:51

I hope your Dad continues to improve, Lar. I know what a worry it is when a loved one is not well and it's worse when you are far apart. xx.


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The Magdalene Asylums

Post by Kitkat on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 18:31

Steve Humphries' Sex in a Cold Climate , a documentary denouncing the Magdalene Asylums, which were operated by Catholic nuns in Ireland for over 100 years, caused an uproar when it was televised in England in March 1998 as part of Channel Four's Witness series. An estimated three million people watched the documentary, one of the highest figures ever recorded for the series. A help line was set up, which received calls from almost 450 women who had experienced abuse and trauma through the Magdalene Asylums and the Catholic Church. The documentary was blacklisted by the Irish network RTE and to this date has never been officially aired in Ireland.

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Soothing interlude

Post by Stardust on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 15:32



Sit down quietly and forget your troubles. Soothing interlude.


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