Welcome to Krazy Kats - a friendly informal online community discussing life issues that we care about. Open 24/7 for chat & chill. Come and join us!

COVID-19: All the latest LIVE worldwide updates - today's updates are also on our Portal page, here)

The Irish Thread


Posts : 11343

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Thu May 03 2018, 11:49

Jamboree wrote:
The highlight of my first time in Dublin, on holiday as a kid when we stayed at my grandma's house in Cabinteely, was counting the steps as we climbed round and round the inside of the Pillar to reach the top where we enjoyed a spectacular view of the whole of Dublin and the surrounding mountains.

I didn't know you had an Irish connection, Jamboree. Very Happy  

Cabinteely.  I know it well!  Not terribly far from where I lived in Newtownmountkennedy.  The bus into Dublin passed right through the main street in Cabinteely.  My secondary school was in Bray (Loreto Convent), about half way between the two.  Bray is in Co. Wicklow.  Once you passed through the main street in Bray, the far end was the beginning of Dublin county.

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Cabint10

Posts : 1

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by johnveggy Thu Jul 26 2018, 21:08

Kitkat wrote:This World
Ireland's Lost Babies

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

Watch on BBC iPlayer  - Available for  [no longer available to watch]

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.

The above documentary is no longer available, but you can watch the film 'Philomena' here:
[Link deleted by Admin]

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Fri Jul 27 2018, 08:19

johnveggy wrote:
The above documentary is no longer available, but you can watch the film 'Philomena' here:
[Link deleted by Admin]

WARNING: Please note that I have deleted the link supplied by new member johnveggy in the above post.

By all means, 'Philomena' is a film I would highly recommend for people to watch, BUT - there are many links put up on YouTube etc leading to downloads/streaming to view the film. These links are to be avoided, as there is no guarantee of their security or authenticity.

The film has been broadcast on several occasions on TV in recent times. My advice would be to wait until it comes on the telly again and definitely watch it then - in a safe and secure environment. (Last shown on BBC2 on Sat 24 Feb 2018 @ 22:00).
If it becomes available to watch again on BBC iPlayer for a limited period, that IS a safe and legitimate environment:

This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer
Philomena (1 hour 31 mins)

Drama recounting the true story of Philomena Lee, a Catholic woman who gives birth out of wedlock in 1950s Ireland. Abandoned by her family, she is forced to live in an abbey, where the nuns sell her infant child for adoption. Philomena keeps her secret for fifty years, before eventually enlisting the help of jaded journalist Martin Sixsmith in tracking down her estranged son.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Who gives a .... Let's have a hooley!

Post by Kitkat Mon Aug 06 2018, 15:50

Ah sure, who cares if the flight is delayed ... any auld excuse for a bit of a session ...


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock The craic was good in Cricklewood and they wouldn't leave The Crown ....

Post by Kitkat Thu Oct 11 2018, 12:40

'The craic was good in Cricklewood'

and it still is ...  Very Happy    'The Crown' mentioned in the build-up to the song above, is still going strong, though it's a bit more refined nowadays (thank goodness!) - cos a few of us of the family that are living here in England will be going there for our Christmas Day dinner this year.  (Lunch actually, but we still call it dinner  pirat ) :

Christmas at The Crown

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Wed Nov 21 2018, 18:00

Already 13,326 views!

Ireland have beaten the All Blacks for the first time ever on home soil. yay
Here is the amazing Haka war dance in Landsdowne Road, and Ireland's response:

Ireland 16 - New Zealand (All Blacks) 9

Posts : 192

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar Thu Nov 22 2018, 22:45

What are you having off that menu then? wine

Posts : 192

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar Thu Nov 22 2018, 22:51

This would be my choice...

Warm Somerset brie & wild cranberry tart with baby leaf salad
Slow roasted Norfolk turkey breast, glazed loin of bacon & festive trimmings
Chocolate clementine mousse, orange sauce & caramel ice cream


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Fri Nov 23 2018, 19:09

lar-lar wrote:What are you having off that menu then? wine

I'll be going for:

  • Pumpkin squash & corn soup with Welsh rarebit croutons
  • Slow roasted Norfolk turkey breast, glazed loin of bacon & festive trimmings
  • Christmas pudding, Irish whisky sauce & vanilla ice cream

(One of our party traditionally never normally bothers with dessert, so I'm hoping ... planning that they will order the yummy looking
• Tiramisu slice, Baileys ice cream & toffee sauce -
and maybe pass it over my way!) Wink

Posts : 192

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar Sat Nov 24 2018, 22:20

I do like Christmas pudding but I haven't had it for years. That's about to change! That's a nice menu though.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock The Magdalene Laundries

Post by Kitkat Sat Dec 08 2018, 16:13

There is already a thread somewhere on the forum all about the Magdalene Laundries, together with various films and documentaries made about these dreadful places - but I can't find it now, so I'm placing this here.
Today's article from The Free Dictionary is a comprehensive up-to-date report on the subject, including links to further resources on the subject.  As this will be automatically changed tomorrow, I want to capture it before that happens, so here it is - its temporary home until I can find our original thread to add on to:

Magdalene Asylums

Named after Mary Magdalene,who, according to Christian tradition, repented her sins and became one of Jesus' closest followers.
Magdalene asylums were institutions largely run by various orders of the Catholic Church to rehabilitate so-called fallen women - prostitutes, unwed mothers, even girls considered too promiscuous or flirtatious - through hard labour and penance.  Many were admitted against their will, and some allege that they were subject to abuse.  When was the last of these asylums closed?  More...

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Magdalen-asylum
Unidentified Magdalene Laundry in Ireland , c. early twentieth century, reproduced from Frances Finnegan,Do Penance or Perish (Fig. 9), Congrave Press, 2001

Magdalene asylums were slave labor laundries from the 18th to the late-20th centuries ostensibly to house "fallen women", a term used to imply female sexual promiscuity. Asylums for such girls and women and others considered to be of poor moral character, such as prostitutes, operated throughout Europe and North America for much of the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century. London's Magdalen Asylum was active from 1758 to 1966.[1] The first such asylum in Ireland opened on Leeson Street in Dublin in 1765, founded by Lady Arabella Denny. There are no precise figures for the number of girls who slaved in the eight Magdalene laundries, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters, in twentieth century Australia because Good Shepherd has not released their records. As a result of the 2004 Federal Senate report "Forgotten Australians"[2] it is known that the Good Shepherd laundries in Australia acted as prisons for the girls who were forced to labor in workhouses laundering linen for local hospitals or commercial premises. The report also described the conditions as characterized by inedible food, unhygienic living conditions and little or no education. In 2008, in Federal Parliament, Senator Andrew Murray likened the Convent of the Good Shepherd 'The Pines', Adelaide to a prisoner-of-war camp.[3]
Initially the mission of the asylums was to rehabilitate women back into society, but by the early twentieth century the homes had become increasingly punitive and prison-like. In most asylums, the inmates were required to undertake hard physical labour, including laundry and needle work. They endured a daily regimen that included long periods of prayer and enforced silence.[4]
In Ireland, such asylums were known as Magdalene laundries where it is estimated that, since their inception, up to 30,000 women had been incarcerated.[5] [6] The last such institution in Ireland closed in 1996.[6] [7] [8]


The Irish Thread - Page 2 Magdalen-asylum-england
Magdalene Laundry in England , early twentieth century, from Frances Finnegan, Do Penance or Perish (Fig. 5) Congrave Press, 2001

The Dublin Magdalen Asylum in lower Leeson Street was the first such institution in Ireland. Founded in 1765 by Lady Arabella Denny,[9] it admitted only Protestant girls.[10] In 1918 the home became a children's home and adoption society.[11] After its closure, the Bethany Home, founded in 1921, provided similar refuge services for Protestant "fallen women".[citation needed] The first Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809.[11]
In Belfast the Church of Ireland run Ulster Magdalene Asylum was founded in 1839 on Donegall Pass , while parallel institutions were run by Catholics on Ormeau Road and by Presbyterians on Whitehall Parade.[12]
Magdalene asylums grew out of the Evangelical rescue movement in the United Kingdom during the nineteenth century, whose formal goal was to rehabilitate prostitutes. In Ireland, the institutions were named for St. Mary Magdalene.[6]
The Magdalene movement in Ireland was appropriated by the Catholic Church following Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and the homes, which were initially intended to be short-term refuges, increasingly turned into long-term institutions.[citation needed] Penitents were required to work, primarily in laundries , since the facilities were self-supporting and not funded by the state or religious denominations.
As the Magdalene movement became increasingly distant from the original idea of the rescue movement—finding alternative work for prostitutes who could not find regular employment because of their background—the asylums became increasingly prison -like. Supervising nuns were instructed to encourage the women into penance , rather than merely berating them and blocking their escape attempts.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Misericorde is described by the Catholic Encyclopedia : "In receiving patients no discrimination is made in regard to religion, colour, or nationality. After their convalescence, those who desire to remain in the home are placed under a special sister and are known as "Daughters of St. Margaret". They follow a certain rule of life but contract no religious obligations. Should they desire to remain in the convent, after a period of probation, they are allowed to become Magdalens and eventually make the vows of the Magdalen order. The congregation celebrated its fiftieth anniversary 16 January 1898."[13]


Asylum records show that in the early history of the Magdalene movement, many women entered and left the institutions of their own accord, sometimes repeatedly. Lu Ann De Cunzo wrote in her book, Reform, Respite, Ritual: An Archaeology of Institutions; The Magdalene Society of Philadelphia, 1800-1850,[14] that the women in Philadelphia's asylum "sought a refuge and a respite from disease, the prison or almshouse , unhappy family situations, abusive men and dire economic circumstances." Though the institutions were meant to be a refuge for women, some were subjected to physical, psychological, sexual and emotional abuse. Many women felt they needed the support of the institutions to survive, since the sisters strove to make them feel that the reasons for their refuge were their own fault.
According to historian, Frances Finnegan, because many had a background as prostitutes, inmates (who were called "children") were regarded as "in need of penitence," and until the 1970s were required to address all staff members as "mother" regardless of age. To enforce order and maintain a monastic atmosphere, the inmates were required to observe strict silence for much of the day, while corporal punishment was common.
As the phenomenon became more widespread, it extended beyond prostitution to petty criminals, orphans, mentally retarded women and abused girls , despite popular perception unmarried pregnant women were typically not admitted.[15] Even young girls who were considered too promiscuous and flirtatious, or too beautiful, were sent to an asylum by their families. This paralleled the practice in state-run asylums in Britain and Ireland in the same period, where many people with alleged "social dysfunction " were committed to asylums. Without a family member on the outside who could vouch for them, many incarcerated individuals stayed in the asylums for the rest of their lives, many taking religious vows.
Given Ireland's historically conservative sexual values, Magdalene asylums were a generally accepted social institution until well into the second half of the twentieth century. They disappeared with changes in sexual mores—or, as Finnegan suggests, as they ceased to be profitable: "Possibly the advent of the washing machine has been as instrumental in closing these laundries as have changing attitudes."[16]

Public scandal

Publicity and documentaries

The existence of the Irish asylums was not well known until 1993 when an order of nuns, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, in Dublin sold part of their convent to a real-estate developer.[6] The remains of 155 inmates who had been buried in unmarked graves on the property were exhumed and, except for one, cremated and reburied in a mass grave in Glasnevin Cemetery . This triggered a public scandal and became national news.[6] In 1999, Mary Norris , Josephine McCarthy and Mary-Jo McDonagh, all asylum inmates, gave accounts of their treatment. The 1997 Channel 4 documentary Sex in a Cold Climate interviewed former inmates of Magdalene Asylums who testified to continued sexual , psychological and physical abuse while being isolated from the outside world for an indefinite amount of time. Allegations about the conditions in the convents and the treatment of the inmates were made into an award-winning 2002 film The Magdalene Sisters , written and directed by Peter Mullan .[17]
In June 2011, Mary Raftery wrote in the The Irish Times that in the early 1940s, some Irish state institutions, such as the army , switched from commercial laundries to "institutional laundries" (Magdalene laundries).[18] At the time, there was concern in the Dáil that workers in commercial laundries were losing jobs because of the switch to institutional laundries.[18] Oscar Traynor , Minister for Defence , said the contracts with the Magdalene laundries “contain a fair wages clause,” though the women in those laundries did not receive wages.[18]
The Irish Times revealed that a ledger listed Áras an Uachtaráin , Guinness , Clerys , the Gaiety Theatre , Dr Steevens' Hospital , the Bank of Ireland , the Department of Defence , the Departments of Agriculture and Fisheries, CIÉ, Portmarnock Golf Club, Clontarf Golf Club and several leading hotels amongst those who used a Magdalene laundry.[19] This was unearthed by Steven O' Riordan, a young Irish film-maker who directed and produced a documentary, The Forgotten Maggies.[20] It is the only Irish-made documentary on the subject and was launched at The Galway Film Fleadh 2009.[20] It was screened on the Irish television station TG4 in 2011, attracting over 360,000 viewers. The documentary's website notes that a group called Magdalene Survivors Together was set up after the release of the documentary, because so many Magdalene women came forward after its airing. The women who appeared in the documentary were the first Magdalene women to meet with Irish government officials. They brought national and international attention to the subject.[citation needed]

Inquiry into child abuse

In May 2009, the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse released a 2,000-page report recording claims from hundreds of Irish residents that they were physically, sexually, or emotionally abused as children between the 1930s and the 1990s in a network of state-administered and church-run residential schools meant to care for the poor, the vulnerable and the unwanted.[21] The alleged abuse was by nuns, priests and non-clerical staff and helpers.[22] The allegations of abuse cover many Catholic (Magdalene), Protestant (Bethany) and State-run Irish Industrial schools.
The commission stated:
There were two types of inquiry, one drawing on contested evidence (Investigation Committee) and the other on uncontested evidence (Confidential Committee), which reported to the commission. The commission received evidence from more than 1,500 witnesses who attended or were residents as children in schools and care facilities in the state, particularly industrial and reformatory schools.[23]
Since 2001, the Irish government has acknowledged that women in the Magdalene laundries were victims of abuse. However, the Irish government has resisted calls for investigation and proposals for compensation; it maintains the laundries were privately run and abuses at the laundries are outside the government's remit.[6] In contrast to these claims, evidence exists that Irish courts routinely sent women convicted of petty crimes to the laundries, the government awarded lucrative contracts to the laundries without any insistence on protection and fair treatment of their workers, and Irish state employees helped keep laundry facilities stocked with workers by bringing women to work there and returning escaped workers.[6]
Notwithstanding the investigations instigated by the government in the Republic of Ireland, similar investigations have yet to be instigated in Northern Ireland and worldwide.

International law

Having lobbied the government of Ireland for two years to investigate the history of the Magdalene laundries, advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes presented its case to the United Nations Committee Against Torture ,[6] alleging that the conditions within the Magdalene laundries and the exploitation of their labourers amounted to human-rights violations.[6] On 6 June 2011, the panel urged Ireland to "investigate allegations that for decades women and girls sent to work in Catholic laundries were tortured." [24] [25] In response the Irish government set up a committee chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, to establish the facts of the Irish state's involvement with the Magdalene laundries.[26]

2013 publication of inquiry report

Following the 18-month inquiry, the committee published[27] [28] [29] its report on 5 February 2013, finding "significant" state collusion in the admission of thousands of women into the institutions.[30] [31] [32] [33] The report found over 11,000 women had entered laundries since 1922.[15] Significant levels of verbal abuse to women inside was reported but there were no suggestions of regular physical or sexual abuse.[15] Elderly survivors said they would go on hunger strike over the failure of successive Irish governments to set up a financial redress scheme for the thousands of women enslaved there.[34] Taoiseach Enda Kenny , while professing sorrow at the abuses revealed, did not issue an immediate apology, prompting criticism from other members of Dáil Éireann . Kenny promised "there would be a full Dáil debate on the report in two weeks' time when people had an opportunity to read the report". Survivors were critical that an apology had not been immediately forthcoming.[35]

Official state apology and compensation package

On 19 February 2013, Kenny officially issued a full state apology to the women of the Magdalene Laundries.[36] He described the laundries as "the nation's shame" and "Therefore, I, as Taoiseach, on behalf of the State, the government and our citizens deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered, as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene Laundry".[37] [38]
The Taoiseach also outlined part of the compensation package to be offered to victims of the Magdalene Laundries. He stated: "That’s why the Government has today asked the President of the Law Reform Commission Judge John Quirke to undertake a three month review and to make recommendations as to the criteria that should be applied in assessing the help that the government can provide in the areas of payments and other supports, including medical card, psychological and counselling services and other welfare needs." [39]


Literature and reportage

  • Do Penance or Perish: Magdalen Asylums in Ireland by historian Frances Finnegan published (hardback) Congrave Press Ireland, 2001; and (paperback) Oxford University Press, 2004. The first book to be published on the topic and still the definitive study, it is based on 21 years' meticulous[citation needed] research. Using a wide range of sources including the Annals and Penitents' Registers of the Good Shepherd archives, the book examines the history, purpose and inmates of these grim institutions. A courageous exposure of the Magdalen Movement, it contains unique illustrations, including the two reproduced above. ISBN 0-9540921-0-4.
  • James M. Smith's Ireland's Magdalene Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment won the 2007 Donald Murphy Prize for a Distinguished First Book from the American Conference for Irish Studies. ISBN 978-0-268-04127-4
  • Rachel Dilworth's The Wild Rose Asylum: Poems of the Magdalen Laundries of Ireland, the 2008 winner of the Akron Poetry Prize, is a collection of poems based on the Magdalene Laundries.[40]
  • In the Shadow of Eden is an award-winning[41] short memoir by Rachael Romero.[42] Using vintage footage and photos of what led up to her incarceration in the Convent of the Good Shepherd (Magdalene) Laundries in South Australia , Romero outlines her experience there.
  • For The Love of My Mother by J.P. Rodgers tells the story of his Irish mother, born into a life of poverty and detained at the age of two for begging in the streets. Bridget Rodgers spent the next 30 years of her life locked away in one institution or another, including the Magdalen Laundries.
  • The Magadalen Martyrs is a 2003 crime novel written by Ken Bruen . In the third episode of Bruen's Jack Taylor series, Jack Taylor is given a mission: "Find the Angel of the Magdalene," actually a devil incarnate nicknamed Lucifer, a woman who "helped" the unfortunate martyrs incarcerated in the infamous laundry.
  • Kathy's Story by Kathy O'Beirne alleges that she suffered physical and sexual abuse in a Magdalene laundry in Ireland.
  • Kathy's Real Story by journalist Hermann Kelly, published by Prefect Press in 2007, alleges that O'Beirne's allegations are false.[43]
  • "Magdalene Laundry Survivor. The Irish government admits it played a major role in forcing women into work camps." on the CBC radio show As It Happens on February 5, 2013. Audio here:[44]

Film and stage

  • The Magdalene Sisters - a 2002 film written and directed by Peter Mullan . This film was a critical success but is not considered historically accurate.[45]
  • Sex in a Cold Climate - a 1998 documentary[citation needed] directed by Steve Humphries (historical consultant: Frances Finnegan) presenting interviews of four women interred in various Magdalene asylums and orphanages because of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, being sexually assaulted, or just being "too pretty."
  • Les Blanchisseuses de Magdalene - a France 3/Sunset Presse documentary 1998[citation needed]. (historical consultant: Frances Finnegan)
  • The Magdalen Whitewash, a play about the laundries, was written by Valerie Goodwin and performed by the Coolmine Drama group at the Draíocht Arts Centre in Dublin, in 2002.[46]
  • Eclipsed, a play about the Magdalene Laundries, was written[citation needed] by Patricia Burke-Brogan in the 1980s. Burke-Brogan had worked in the laundries in the 1960s. Eclipsed was first performed in 1992.

The Quane's Laundry, a play about the Magdalene laundries,set in Dublin in 1900 was written by Imelda Murphy 2007


See also


Further reading

  • Finnegan, Frances (2001). Do Penance or Perish: A Study of Magdalene Asylums in Ireland. Piltown, Co. Kilkenny: Congrave Press. ISBN  0-9540921-0-4.
  • Raftery, Mary; and Eoin O'Sullivan (1999). Suffer the Little Children: The Inside Story of Ireland's Industrial Schools. Dublin: New Island. ISBN  1-874597-83-9.
  • Smith, James M (2008). Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's architecture of containment. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN  978-0-7190-7888-0.

External links

This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia®️ - the free encyclopedia created and edited by its online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of Wikipedia®️ encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information, please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License .

Posts : 192

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar Wed Jan 16 2019, 20:58

Sex in a Cold Climate - a 1998 documentary wrote:
I've got to look this up!
Catherine Corless is an amateur historian. She has been called the Erin Brockovich of Ireland, after uncovering the story of an unmarked grave of nearly 800 infants at a former institution for unmarried mothers. wrote:
This is very interesting also.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 16 2019, 22:02

lar-lar wrote:Catherine Corless is an amateur historian. She has been called the Erin Brockovich of Ireland, after uncovering the story of an unmarked grave of nearly 800 infants at a former institution for unmarried mothers. wrote:

This is very interesting also.

You should also read posts numbered 15 and 16 on page 1 of this very thread -
re 'The Tuam Tank' reports.
An article I posted by Brendan O'Neill (of Spiked) puts a slightly different perspective on the matter.

"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."

Posts : 192

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar Fri Jan 25 2019, 20:35

Will do - when I get time. New house keeping me busy  hairpull

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock The Legend of Deirdre - (from the Free Dictionary)

Post by Kitkat Sat Jun 01 2019, 11:52

The Legend of Deirdre
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Deirdr%c3%aa%2c_A_Book_of_Myths

Often used to symbolize Ireland, Deirdre is a beautiful heroine of Irish legend.  At her birth, a druid prophesied that kings and lords would go to war over her beauty.  Rather than kill her outright, King Conchobar, enticed by the description of her future beauty, ordered that she be raised in seclusion until she was old enough for him to marry.  However, she fell in love and fled with her lover to Scotland.  After a long idyllic stay there, Conchobar lured them back to Ireland.  What happened next?  More...

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock The 1981 Irish Hunger Strike (from the Free Dictionary)

Post by Kitkat Tue Jul 09 2019, 12:18

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Hunger_strike_flag
A flag commemorating the 25th anniversary of the hunger strike

1981 Irish Hunger Strike

The 1981 Irish hunger strike was the culmination of a five-year protest by Irish republican prisoners in Northern Ireland.  It began when the British Government withdrew from convicted paramilitary prisoners Special Category Status, a de facto prisoner-of-war status granting them privileges like those specified in the Geneva Conventioin.  Twenty-three such prisoners participated in the strike, refusing food for weeks and, in many cases, months.  How many of them ultimately died of starvation:  More...

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend


Post by Kitkat Sat Aug 10 2019, 14:45

Something that always amused me when growing up in Ireland, was that whenever the mention of Mayo came up (that's the county, not the sauce), people would often tag on the phrase "God help us" straight after the word 'Mayo', just as a normal matter of course.  It both amused and confused me, as even up unto the present day, I still find [Irish] people doing this.  My aunt was one of those people, and I do remember once asking her why?  What was the reason for this strange utterance?  She didn't know the full story, just that there was some sort of a curse put on the county of Mayo way back some time in history ...
It's only very recently that I've come to learn the origin and the story behind the legend of "Mayo God help us".

Seems the story of the curse dates back to the last All-Ireland win for the county just after World War Two.
The 1951 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 64th All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 1951 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland. Mayo and Meath met to decide the destination of the Sam Maguire Cup.  

Mayo were the victors, and the team apparently happily celebrating in the back of the truck which was taking them back home to Mayo, passed through the town of Foxford where a funeral was taking place, and they did not stop to pay their respects, but continued right on through, still celebrating.

The incensed priest put a curse on them, vowing that Mayo would not win an All-Ireland again until every member of that team was dead.  

Mayo are without an All-Ireland win since, despite having reached the finals to play at Croke Park at least 10 times since 1951.  Two members of the panel are still alive today, Dr Padraig Carney who lives in the US and Paddy Prendergast who lives in Kerry.

Just recently came across this fun article relating to the Mayo curse:  giggle

(Click into Spoiler for full reading)
5 Ways To Reverse The Mayo Curse:

5 Ways To Reverse The Mayo Curse
August 9, 2019

AHEAD of Mayo’s All-Ireland semi-final loss to Dublin WWN Sports looks at five ways to reverse the Mayo curse and make lifting the Sam Maguire for the first time since 1951 a possibility.

The curse itself resulted from the Mayo team allegedly failing to cease their post-All Ireland winning celebrations as a funeral cortege passed through Foxford on its way to the graveyard, with the priest presiding over the funeral cursing Mayo, vowing they’d never win another All Ireland until all members of the team have passed away.

Curse no more Mayo, for here’s the solutions to the curse:

1) Fully read through the terms and conditions of the original curse.

Priests are duty bound to hand over a receipt after each curse is issued. There’s got to be some oversight and paper trail, how else would priests keep track of all longstanding curses they force on people?

Why not look through the fine print and find a way out of the curse. Keeping a list of the names of all the players involved doesn’t seem very GDPR compliant to us. Maybe there’s a clause in it that says ‘the curse is cancelled in the event of everyone involved being very sorry’ or perhaps there’s a special ‘Holy shit, it’s been how long since you’ve won? Okay, you’ve suffered enough’ clause.

2) Put a bounty out on the heads of the remaining members of the Mayo team.

Look, do you want to win this thing or not? Think murdering elderly men is a little too far? Okay, enjoy not winning the All Ireland so. Okay… maybe it is too far, why not invest millions in faking their deaths and filing their death certificates with the Vatican’s official office for Curse Resolutions & Terminations. Like those workshy lazy pricks are going to check.

3) Saying ‘Mayo for Sam’ one more time.

It couldn’t hurt, could it? Plus maybe saying ‘Mayo for Sam’ is the solution but maybe the required ‘Mayo for Sam’ quota hasn’t been reached.

Perhaps the number that could set Mayo free is 1,298,345 Mayo for Sams per day. Just one more insufferable shout of ‘Mayo for Sam’ and you’d be over the line.

4) Every Mayo native can reverse the curse simply by carrying around the ingredients to a Guinness stew in their underwear for a year.

Is this a legitimate solution that could bring Sam Maguire home or is someone trying to take advantage of Mayo’s tenacious desire for All Ireland victory no matter the cost or potentially humiliating circumstances? There’s only one way to find out.

5) Arrange it so Dublin’s players line out in Mayo colours and represent Mayo, while Mayo’s players wear blue and represent Dublin

Seriously, is this curse all seeing and all knowing? Can it tell who’s who and what team they’re playing for? Mayo could win wearing Dublin jerseys, and would this curse even be aware? Does the curse know its Lee Keegan from its Philly McMahon?

Shit, how do curses even work? What if Mayo got a priest to laugh hysterically at a defeated and sad Mayo team passing back through Foxford? Could that reverse it?

There’s gotta be an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that deals with something like this? We really should have done more curse-based research.

Posts : 1870


Post by Whiskers Sat Aug 10 2019, 22:55

This is the best one by far

Shit, how do curses even work? What if Mayo got a priest to laugh hysterically at a defeated and sad Mayo team passing back through Foxford? Could that reverse it?
Laughing Laughing

Posts : 192

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar Tue Aug 13 2019, 23:56

I must include this documentary (trailer) ..

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock How The Celts Saved Britain

Post by Kitkat Fri Aug 16 2019, 00:00

Part 1.
A New Civilisation
Dan Snow blows the lid on the traditional, Anglo-centric view of history and reveals how the Irish saved Britain from cultural oblivion during the Dark Ages, in this provocative, two-part documentary. Travelling back in time to some of the remotest corners of the British Isles, Dan unravels the mystery of the lost years of 400-800 AD, when the collapse of the Roman Empire left Britain in tatters. In the first episode, Dan shows how in the 5th century AD Roman 'Britannia' was plunged into chaos by the arrival of Anglo-Saxon invaders. As Roman civilisation disappeared from Britain, a new civilisation emerged in one of the most unlikely places - Ireland. Within a few generations, Christianity transformed a backward, barbarian country into the cultural powerhouse of early medieval Europe. This is a visually and intellectually stimulating journey through one of the least known chapters of British history.

Part 2.
Provocative two-part documentary in which Dan Snow blows the lid on the traditional Anglo-centric view of history and reveals how the Irish saved Britain from cultural oblivion during the Dark Ages.

He follows in the footsteps of Ireland's earliest missionaries as they venture through treacherous barbarian territory to bring literacy and technology to the future nations of Scotland and England.


Posts : 566

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Jamboree Sat Aug 24 2019, 19:35

Can anyone explain in simple easily understandable terms what is the Irish Backstop in relation to Brexit?

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Sun Aug 25 2019, 11:41

Jamboree wrote:Can anyone explain in simple easily understandable terms what is the Irish Backstop in relation to Brexit?

Probably the most comprehensive, simplistic explanation is outlined here:

The Irish border was singled out by both the UK and the EU for a backstop because of its importance for the Northern Irish peace process. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement  was a key part of this peace process. One of the agreement’s three main points was creating the infrastructure for “North-South co-operation ” between the Irish government and the newly-created Northern Irish Assembly.
This cross-border cooperation was a part of a strategy of “‘normalisation’ of relations between Protestant and Catholic communities within Northern Ireland and across the border”, according to the Institute for Government.

Of course, that synopsis in all its simplicity does not even begin to address the history relating to and the full depth of the reasons building up to the bringing about of the Good Friday Agreement in the first place.  It's a sad and very frightening situation that those currently in the position of power to throw the dice around the 'Backstop' table seem unaware of all that is involved, and if they are, then they may well hold an underlying planned agenda of their own, with no foresight or care about the future consequences.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Ireland's hidden survivors

Post by Kitkat Sat Aug 31 2019, 20:17

Ireland's hidden survivors

by Leanna Byrne

It is 20 years since the Republic of Ireland's first state apology to children abused in Catholic institutions.
It is 10 years since a government-sponsored report exposed the sheer scale of the abuse carried out by priests, nuns and lay staff.
As the number of surviving abuse victims shrinks and the Irish state closes its survivors' fund, many feel they have been left without a plan to continue to support them.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Dublin cancels its St Patrick's Day parade (2020)

Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 09 2020, 16:38

Dublin cancels its St Patrick's Day parade

Dublin has cancelled its annual St Patrick's Day parade amid fears about the spread of coronavirus, Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported.

The Irish Thread - Page 2 _111197502_dublin2017

Earlier on Monday, Cork moved to cancel its parade, the second largest in the country attracting up to 50,000 people.
The city council said public welfare was paramount and cancellation was the correct decision.
Irish Health Minister Simon Harris has said the coronavirus situation is very serious.
He said it was going to require not just a whole of government approach, but a whole of society approach.
Mr Harris told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that there was a moderate-to-high risk that Ireland would follow a pattern seen in other EU countries with regard to the Covid-19 outbreak such as Italy, France and Germany.
The Irish cabinet sub-committee dealing with the coronavirus decided to cancel the St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.
Irish opposition party leaders are currently meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Government Buildings in Dublin.
A press conference is expected to take place at the same venue later on Monday.

The Irish Thread - Page 2 _111197505_carnival
There is a carnival atmosphere in Belfast for the annual parade

St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is celebrated across the globe every year on his feast day, 17 March.
The Dublin parade is the largest on the island of Ireland but parades are held both in the Republic of Ireland and in cities and towns across Northern Ireland.
The day is celebrated on the international stage too.
Last year, more than 400 landmarks in more than 50 countries turned green to mark the occasion.

Outbreak latest

On Monday, two more cases were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland, bringing the total number there to 21. One of the patients has an underlying condition and is seriously ill.
On Sunday, five people were diagnosed with coronavirus in Northern Ireland, bringing the number of cases here to 12.
Health officials said both cases were community transmissions and did not involve people who had returned recently from at-risk areas.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Leo Varadkar slams 'lack of moral leadership' in US amid George Floyd protests

Post by Kitkat Fri Jun 05 2020, 12:56

Leo Varadkar slams 'lack of moral leadership' in US amid George Floyd protests

LEO VARADKAR has hit out at a “lack of moral leadership” in the US as protests and unrest over the killing of George Floyd continue.

In an address in the Dáil, he Taoiseach also spoke frankly about the “virus” of racism and how many across Ireland continue to experience it in “overt and insidious” forms.

Mr .Varadkar described how the "world has watched in horror" following the killing of George Floyd while in the custody of police in Minneapolis.

"It has prompted a palpable outpouring of emotion, and spontaneous expressions of solidarity against the poison of racism,” he said.

“We've also seen genuine revulsion at the heavy-handed response in some instances towards peaceful protesters and journalists.”

Mr. Varadkar also appeared to hit out at the US government’s response to the unrest, and a lack of any ‘words of understanding, comfort or healing” from those in positions of power.

"We've witnessed the lack of moral leadership or words of understanding, comfort or healing from whence they should have come,” he said.

  Tweet  Leo Varadkar:
:Left Quotes: Racism is a virus that we have been fighting for millennia.  Despite the progress we have made, it is no less virulent today and no less dangerous.  We need to show solidarity as people of all races & backgrounds around the world come together to stop its spread and defeat it.

The Taoiseach was keen to contrast Ireland’s approach to policing compared with the US, noting Gardai officers are unarmed and police “based on consent”.

But while Mr. Varadkar noted that while Ireland has been “enriched by racial diversity” in recent years, racism was still present in modern Irish society.

He said "We have many examples in our own country - discrimination on the basis of skin colour is pernicious.

"Sometimes it's overt - discrimination when it comes to getting a job or promotion, or being treated less favourably by public authorities, including sometimes government officials.

"Sometimes it manifests itself in the form of hate speech online, bullying in school, name-calling in the streets, or even acts of violence."

Mr. Varadkar was keen to note that racism could often take the form of minor things that might seem “small” but are “nonetheless othering”.

He went on to highlight a string of examples to the Dáil:

“Being asked where you came from originally because your skin or surname looks out of place... how often you go back to the country where your mother or father was born in... being spoken to more slowly... cultural and character assumptions based on your appearance... being made to feel just that little bit less Irish than everyone else.”

He added: "Sadly this is the lived experience for many young people of colour growing up in Ireland today."

The Taoiseach concluded with a call for the public to use the solidarity garnered through the coronavirus pandemic to fight back against racism and "change the experiences of young people of colour in Ireland for the better".

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Niall Horan leads celebs taking part in 'London Irish Charity Night In' – and you’re all invited

Post by Kitkat Fri Jun 05 2020, 12:58

Niall Horan leads celebs taking part in 'London Irish Charity Night In' – and you’re all invited

GLOBAL superstar Niall Horan is among a bustling line up of Irish celebrities who are taking part in a unique fundraising event supporting the London Irish Centre (LIC) this month.
The Mullingar musician joins the likes of Laura Whitmore, Imelda May and Maverick for the London Irish Charity Night In – a one-off show which takes place on Thursday, June 11 and kicks off at 8pm.
LIC patron Dermot O’Leary will also be taking part, along with comedian Dara O’Briain, presenter Angela Scanlon, actors Robert Sheehan and Siobhan McSweeney and artists Lisa Hannigan, Loah and Mundy among many others.
“I am very proud to be patron of The London Irish Centre - the LIC does amazing work across London, and right now, they need our support,” O’Leary said.
“As it’s not possible to run our usual fundraising events, I’m thrilled that our friends and supporters are joining us for a little online fundraising adventure,” he added.

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Lic_ch10

The event – which will be streamed live on LIC’s Facebook and YouTube pages – is described as “a fun night of music, interviews and conversation with Irish celebrities from across the UK and Ireland”.
But it is designed to raise much-needed funds for the centre, which has worked tirelessly to support its most vulnerable members and those in its local community throughout the pandemic but has suffered significant financial losses due to the cancellation of its planned fundraising events.
They have set a £100,000 fundraising target for their Charity Night In, which will “include a charity auction with the opportunity to win great prizes from Ed Sheeran and others, all for a good cause”, they explain.
LIC CEO Ellen Ryan said: “I am so proud of the way we have all pulled together as a community through this crisis.
“Staff, volunteers and our friends have worked hand in hand to ensure that we deliver the services and cultural output needed to enable the community to feel a sense of hope and resilience for the future,” she explained.
“We have also received crucial support from the Irish Government and Irish Embassy, London, and our partners at Camden Council,” she added.
“This very special event is your opportunity to join us and support our essential work to enable us to continue our recovery into the future."
The LIC has been providing community services and Irish culture in London since 1954.
While the Covid-19 crisis had a huge effect on its capacity to provide those services, it hasn’t stopped them ensuring their most vulnerable members are supported.
Despite the Centre closing its doors on Wednesday, March 18, it responded to the pandemic by reshaping its services.

To date it has increased its web and telephone support to deliver over 1,100 advice sessions and 1,000 health check-in calls, trained up over 30 telephone befrienders, engaged over 200 volunteers, and provided over 2,000 hot meals and food parcels to the community.
It also became the first Centre shielding the vulnerable in Camden.
And they have recently announced the SOLAS Season - a curated series of online culture and community to keep the Irish community across Britain connected and inspired during challenging times.
Now they are gearing up for a fundraising night like no other, and you are all invited - you can watch the event live on Facebook or on YouTube .


Dermot O’Leary
Niall Horan
Angela Scanlon
Laura Whitmore
Imelda May
Lisa Hannigan
Lisa Dwan
Lorraine Maher
Dara O’Briain
Richard Corrigan
Gavin James
Robert Sheehan
Ciaran Cannon
Jack Lukeman
Liam O’Maonlai
Jarlath Regan
The Blizzards 
Siobhan McSweeney
Maverick Sabre
For further information about the London Irish Centre and how you can support its work click here.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Galway has been named Ireland’s most popular post-lockdown travel destination

Post by Kitkat Tue Jun 09 2020, 10:41

Galway has been named Ireland’s most popular post-lockdown travel destination

GALWAY HAS been named the most popular destination in Ireland for people to travel to once lockdown ends.

That’s according to a survey conducted by sustainable business SunDrift as Ireland moves into the second phase of the Government’s plans for lifting restrictions.

As reports, while holidays abroad are off the menu in the immediate future, there are plenty of appealing options close to home.

The survey commissioned by SunDrift found 90% of the public are planning to travel more once lockdown ends while the majority favour a staycation over a trip abroad.

Ireland’s tourism industry could be set for a much-needed boost, according to the study, with 60% of respondents ranking a local holiday as their preferred choice for the year.

By contrast, just 30% said they would seek a holiday abroad, while a further 10% plan on skipping a summer break this year.

And when it comes to the most popular Irish destination for holidaymakers, Galway comes out on top, with 24% of the overall vote.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 GettyImages-685883670
Aerial image of Galway city

Kerry and Wexford were tied in second place with 16% each while Cork, Donegal and Sligo each received 12% of the vote. 

The study also found 65% of people plan on leaving their home county once restrictions are lifted.

However, in a surprising development, just half of motorists polled said they actually missed driving during lockdown.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, SunDrift founder Fiona Parfrey, said:

“Having been confined for the past couple of months it’s clear from our survey that the Irish public has every intention of getting outdoors, exploring and making new memories as soon as the opportunity arises.

"We may have been grounded this summer but it seems Irish travellers have every intention of taking flight once things return to normal!”


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock 17 common Irish surnames and what they mean

Post by Kitkat Sun Aug 02 2020, 11:35

THERE are Irish surnames littered across the world.
So much so that many of them have invaded other cultures, particularly those in western Europe and the United States.
Most of them are steeped in history, and can be translated back into Gaelic to give one heck of an insight into your roots.

So with that in mind, here's 17 of the most common Irish surnames, and what they mean:

Gaelic Equivalent ó Murchadha
Meaning sea-battler
Gaelic Equivalent ó Ceallaigh
Meaning bright-headed
Gaelic Equivalent ó Súilleabháin
Meaning dark-eyed
Gaelic Equivalent Breathnach
Meaning Welshman
Gaelic Equivalent Mac Gabhann
Meaning son of the smith
Gaelic Equivalent ó Briain
Meaning high, noble
Gaelic Equivalent ó Broin
Meaning a raven
Gaelic Equivalent ó Maoilriain
Meaning king
Gaelic Equivalent ó Conchobhair
Meaning patron of warriors
Gaelic Equivalent ó Néill
Meaning from Niall of the Nine Hostages
Gaelic Equivalent ó Raghallaigh
Meaning descendant of Raghallach
Gaelic Equivalent ó Dubhghaill
Meaning dark foreigner
Gaelic Equivalent Mac Carthaigh
Meaning loving person
Gaelic Equivalent ó Gallchobhair
Meaning lover of foreigners
Gaelic Equivalent ó Dochartaigh
Meaning hurtful
Gaelic Equivalent ó Cinnéide
Meaning  helmet headed
Gaelic Equivalent ó Loinsigh
Meaning seafarer, exile

Posts : 566

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Jamboree Tue Aug 04 2020, 22:08

Smith is a common Irish name? 
I would have thought Smith is as English as Jones is Welsh.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock The Irish in England

Post by Kitkat Wed Aug 05 2020, 11:14

The ‘Irish in England’ is a 2-part series first shown on Channel 4 in 1983. The programmes tell the story of the generation of Irish men and women who came to England in the 1950’s and 60’s. Using in-depth interviews, they explore the economic, social and cultural factors affecting their and their children’s  lives as they settled here.

Programme 1 explores the ‘push and pull’ forces which saw thousands of Irish people forced to leave Ireland because of a
stagnating economy, to seek work in the post war reconstruction in England.  Participants, including Mary Allen, Donal MacAmhlaigh, and Doris Daly, relate their personal stories, building a picture of a community that was valued for its skill and labour, but was not always made to feel welcome. They talk about the importance of music and the church in maintaining links with their culture, and ponder the question of where is ‘home’.


Posts : 192

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by lar-lar Tue Aug 18 2020, 06:37

I took a recent trip here only to find it was closed. I've been before and it really is magical.  happyheart

Posts : 1870

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Whiskers Wed Aug 19 2020, 13:01

lar-lar wrote:

I took a recent trip here only to find it was closed. I've been before and it really is magical.  happyheart

What an stunningly beautiful place. surprised How i would love to go there.  You are so lucky lar-lar.

How is it possible to close such a vast area though?  there must be more than one entrance.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Five things you never knew about Sean Connery's Irish roots

Post by Kitkat Tue Aug 25 2020, 18:09

Evertbody knows that Sean Connery - perhaps the most famous and quintessential of all the Bonds - is Scottish, but did you know he's actually Irish?

His Scottish heritage is legitimate, just listen to his soft highland hum of a voice - *gazes into the clouds - daydreaming*.

But so - in fact - is his Irish heritage.
That's right. Not only do we provide England with their best beer and their best cricketer, we've also lent them their very best secret agent.
James O'Bond, anyone? Perhaps that's a bit obvious.

Anyone, let's get down to the detail.
His great-grandfather was an Irish traveller from Wexford
That's right. James Connery was actually an impoverished Irish traveller who left Co. Wexford during the Great Famine to find a better life in Scotland.
Few details of his life are recorded but it's understood that he died of bronchitis in Glasgow in 1914.
His Father was Catholic
Sure, by this point, the Connery family were well settled in Scotland, but they weren't about to forget where they came from in a hurry.
While Sean himself never quite took on a life of religion, his father stayed true to his Irish Catholic roots passed down to him by his grandfather James.
Connery is an Irish name meaning 'unknown'
Details about the history of the name Connery are few and far between - perhaps poignant given the translation, but its origin lies in Ireland.
Intriguingly, it has no gender assignment, meaning that it was once given to both boys and to girls.
Connery chose to use his middle name - Sean - because of an Irish childhood friend.
The actor's first name is actually Thomas. He chose to use Sean, his middle name, when he was younger.
He apparently had an Irish friend named Séamus, and the two of them were inseperable for a time. Those who knew them both had decided to call Connery by his middle name whenever both were present, because of the alliteration, and Sir Sean never looked back.
His Irish accent was voted 'the worst accent of all time'
Despite his roots, Connery never managed to translate his heritage to the big screen. The Irish accent he adopted in the 1987 film 'The Untouchables', where he played Chicago policeman Jim Malone was voted the very worst accent in Hollywood in a poll.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Lest they forget ...

Post by Kitkat Wed Aug 26 2020, 16:58

Irishman's powerful response to Boris Johnson comments about British history

The UK Prime Minister was speaking to the press about the BBC's controversial move to remove the lyrics from the songs Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory when they're traditionally played at the end of Last Night Of The Proms.

Mr Johnson scoffed at the idea that either song should represent a celebration of Britain's colonial history, deeming them simple songs of national pride and tradition instead.

He stressed that he thought it was "time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history".

:tweet: Joe Dwyer:
:Left Quotes:  “Self-recrimination and wetness”
The Irish Thread - Page 2 EgRe6CKUEAEnjeP?format=jpg&name=medium

"If it is correct, which I cannot believe that it really is, but if it is correct that the BBC is saying that they will not sing the words of Land Of Hope And Glory and Rule, Britannia! as they traditionally do at the end of Last Night Of The Proms, I think it's time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions and about our culture," Johnson said.

"And we stop this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness. I wanted to get that off my chest."

Many who agree with Mr Johnson's sentiments regarding what plenty see as an unnecessary and ultimately unhelpful denial of history, may think differently after seeing a certain Irishman's response to his interview.

Joe Dwyer, took to Twitter to post the screenshot of an article written by the Irish News, with the headline: 'British soldiers used shot Catholic man's skull as ashtray'.
The article goes on to detail that in 1971 during the The Troubles, a 28-year-old man from Armagh was shot and killed in Belfast by the British, who as the headline suggests, subsequently used his skull to put out their cigarettes.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Wed Sep 23 2020, 11:02

The misty-eyed view of the session, a word retrospectively translated into Irish as ‘seisún’, is that groups of Irish musicians would have gathered together since time immemorial, maybe even before, and battered away.

In the distant past they would have played their fiddles, accordions, uilleann pipes et al, enjoying tunes and having the craic.

St Patrick himself might have enjoyed an ould session.

This view is, of course, totally at odds with the actual facts.

Irish music as we know it today isn’t particularly old — probably stretching back a couple of hundred years, and the seisún is very much younger than that.

The first session that we would recognise as such today was in Kentish Town, London — it began in the 1940s.

Dr Reg Hall, a globally acknowledged expert on Irish music, explained the background: “Until around 1946 there was no Irish music in the English pubs. There was no Irish music in pubs back home in Ireland for that matter. It just wasn’t played in pubs.

“After the war, the new immigrants in London didn’t expect to play music in the pubs.

“Some Irish musicians even refused to play in English pubs — they believed it shouldn’t or couldn’t be done. You couldn’t play an Irish tune in a London pub.

“You might get somebody playing a fiddle at Christmas or on St Patrick’s Day in some London pub, and probably get thrown out.

“One reason was licensing laws; musical groups weren’t allowed. There is even a case of one fiddler being allowed to play as long as he had one foot outside the pub.”

But this situation changed after the Second World War. Irish people arrived in their thousands to rebuild Britain, or to serve in the fledgling National Health Service.

Entertainment was available in those post-war years, but not in pubs.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Pic-1210
A mighty session took place for the 80th birthday of musical legend Liam Farrell

During the forties dance halls became more and more showband-orientated, and the céilí bands virtually disbanded in the face of this opposition from this new-fangled sound.

So Irish immigrants were now deprived of an important connection with home.

Those from rural areas, used to hearing traditional music at home, now had to find an alternative.

In Kentish Town in London there was a moment when this penny dropped.

It was in the Devonshire Arms in 1946: “The landlord was from Sligo,” explains Reg Hall, “and loved traditional back home.

So, he invited people from Sligo and Mayo, and a few from Roscommon, to bring along their instruments and play just as if they were in somebody’s kitchen back home, playing for dancers.

“They were mostly from a small area round Tubbercurry, and knew each other, and their relatives, and so on.

“They would have been used to music in the kitchen, or dancing outdoors, or in halls back home. But now they were doing it in a pub.”

In London however, there was one significant difference.

Mostly in the pubs there was no dancing.

Instead, people were doing an unusual thing for Irish music – they were sitting listening, clapping along, having the craic.

The musicians, instead of tailoring their programme for the dancers, were playing for each other, and to some extent to a listening audience.

The ‘traditional’ session was on its way.

Some of the most talented young traditional musicians from rural Ireland found themselves in London in the 1950s, working on the buildings and in heavy construction, away from home, but among hundreds of people like themselves.

People such as Liam Farrell.

They soon found their way to these sessions which had now spread well beyond Kentish Town.

Musicians from different counties began to meet up in ways they couldn’t back home in Ireland, and new sounds, new traditions developed.

The Voice of the People - Irish Music in London — compiled by Reg Hall is available here from Topic Records.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Plans to seal records of Irish mother and baby homes draw concern and criticism

Post by Kitkat Sat Oct 17 2020, 17:25

There is mounting concern that new legislation could end up preventing families from gaining access to information about "disappeared relatives or babies who are buried in unmarked graves".

A controversial new bill, relating to the records of mother and baby homes, is currently working its way through parliament.

The Minister for Children, Roderic O'Gorman has insisted that the bill is required in order to “preserve access to invaluable information now and into the future, and not to put it beyond reach as has been reported".

However, campaigners working on behalf of Irish mothers and their children born in mother and baby homes fear the change could lead to many being unable to access their records.

Under the change, the archive containing the information would be sealed for 30 years.

The matter was discussed in the Dáil with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald on the taoiseach Mícheál Martin to scrap the plans.

"This will prevent people accessing their records from the Minister's archive and it will stop families accessing information about disappeared family members or babies buried in unmarked graves,"” she said.

Martin refuted such claims, however, arguing instead that the bill would "preserve invaluable information, not to put it beyond reach".
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Tuam-b10
The site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway

Mother and baby homes operated in Ireland during the 19th and 20th century.

They were established to house women and girls who became pregnant outside marriage, with many of the children born there either ending up adopted in orphanages.

They became the source of international focus in 2017 after “significant human remains” were found in the grounds of a home in Tuam in Count Galway.

The Tuam home was one of 10 institutions run by religious orders in Ireland.

It’s estimated around 35,000 unmarried pregnant women spent time in the homes.

Campaigners and investigators have since uncovered evidence suggesting, on average, one child died there nearly every two weeks from the mid-1920s through to the 1960s.

In the wake of the scandal, the Irish government established a Mother and Baby Homes Commission.

The commission is due to publish the findings of its five-year investigation on October 30.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Tue Nov 03 2020, 15:30

A trip down Memory Lane for some ...

and an education for others ........

The Good Auld Days in Ireland:

[Unfortunately, this video is no longer available on YouTube, so hope you enjoyed it for the time it was there]

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Joe Biden reaffirms support for Good Friday Agreement in 'warm' phone call with Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Post by Kitkat Wed Nov 11 2020, 11:46

US President-Elect Joe Biden “reaffirmed his full support for the Good Friday Agreement” in a phone call with the Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin.

Biden spoke of the need to ensure any Brexit outcome “respects” the Belfast Agreement during his call with Martin, who he previously met during the Irish politician’s tenure as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

A government spokesperson for Martin described the call as a “warm conversation” with Biden recalling his “strong Irish roots” and desire to protect Ireland from the impact of Brexit on the so-called Irish border.

The Taoiseach congratulated President-elect Biden and Kamala Harris on their remarkable election victory and extended a formal invite to visit Ireland once the current coronavirus pandemic has passed.

Biden also indicated he would be signing American back up to the Paris accord on carbon emissions and would reinstate funding to the World Health Organisation.

The Government spokesman said: "An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and President-elect Joe Biden spoke by phone this afternoon.

"In a warm conversation, President-elect Biden recalled his strong Irish roots and his visit to Ireland with his family in 2016.

"The President-elect reaffirmed his full support for the Good Friday Agreement and they discussed the importance of a Brexit outcome that respects the GFA and ensures no return of a border on the island of Ireland.

"They looked forward to working together bilaterally and across a range of international areas including EU-US relations, the UN - including the Security Council, and on the important global challenges of Covid-19, economic recovery and climate change."

Micheal Martin also added in a tweet: "I’ve had a warm and engaging call with US President Elect @joebiden

"He brings tremendous knowledge & understanding to his new role, and has a great love for his Irish heritage. He underlined his commitment to the Good Friday Agreement & we spoke of importance of multilateralism for example, the Paris Accord and the WHO.

"I congratulated him on the historic nature of his election and that of @KamalaHarris and we agreed to work closely together. I also invited him and @DrBiden to come back to Ireland when we will properly mark their success ."


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Ireland marks centenary of Bloody Sunday with poignant ceremony in Dublin

Post by Kitkat Sun Nov 22 2020, 13:32

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin were both in attendance for a poignant ceremony at Croke Park commemorating the centenary of Bloody Sunday in Dublin.
Saturday November 21, 2020 marked exactly 100 years since 14 people were killed or fatally wounded by British forces during what was supposed to be a peaceful Gaelic football match.
Dozens more were injured in the attack, which left families bereft and sent shockwaves through the Irish capital during Ireland’s War of Independence.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and restrictions that have accompanied it, only a limited number of people were in attendance for the commemoration which preceded the Leinster senior football final between Dublin and Meath.
Instead, the organisers at the GAA encouraged the public to light a candle at home in remembrance of the 14 victims.
As part of the tribute to those killed on Bloody Sunday 14 flames were lit in a dedicated area of Hill 16 inside the stadium along with a corresponding pillar of light paying tribute to each of those who died.
A moving oration from actor Brendan Gleeson accompanied proceedings with the actor reading each of their names aloud as a corresponding flame torch was lit in their memory.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Gettyi19
(Photos By Ray McManus/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

As part of the service, there was specially commissioned piece of music by Colm Mac Con Iomaire was performed.
The President of Ireland was among those to lay a wreath at the ceremony, reflecting on the lives that were irrevocably changed that day, 100 years ago.
“We recall today those lost and those who suffered with a sense of profound sadness and outrage even, but also as a reminder of the fragility of the hard-earned peace to which we have become accustomed and the consequences that flow from the abuse of power and the failure of diplomacy and politics,” he said.
“That the events that took place can, in their brutality and casualness to the taking of life, still shock and challenge us all is to be understood.
“People from different backgrounds on the island may reflect on Bloody Sunday in different ways.
“We must respect this and be open to differing perspectives, and encourage a hospitality for these differing narratives of the events of that day.
“For all of us, to avoid becoming captives of any frozen version of the events of our past, we must find the courage to remember painful events with honesty.
“Doing this can only assist us in taking responsibility for the present and our shared, peaceful future together.”
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Gettyi20

The Taoiseach described Bloody Sunday as “one of the most poignant days in Ireland’s struggle for independence”.
“The violence of what happened in Croke Park still has the capacity to shock and move us,” he said.
“100 years on, we remember the 14 people who lost their lives that day.”
Earlier an unofficial ceremony took place outside Croke Park involving a short procession led by a piper with flowers and pictures of those who died laid outside the ground while onlookers applauded their memory.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock 7 essential Irish New Year traditions

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 29 2020, 12:41

7 essential Irish New Year traditions
By Jack Beresford - Irish Post

No-one celebrates the arrival of the New Year quite like the Irish.

Home to some of the most unique superstitions in the world and a whole host of traditions dating back centuries, the arrival of a new year has always been a time of hope and excitement on the Emerald Isle.

Here are seven essential Irish New Year traditions to help you see in the start of another 12 months in true Celtic style.

7. An early spring clean

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Curlud10

Any Irish household worth its salt knows this one. A centuries-old custom, the idea was to start the New Year with a clean slate, which meant having a spotlessly clean house. The best way to beat the post-Christmas gloom too.

6. Banging bread for bad luck

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Sodabr11

Another Irish superstition that’s passed the test of time involves banging on the doors and walls of the family home with Christmas bread. It might sound crazy, and probably is, but this one is all about chasing bad luck out of the house and inviting good spirits in before the start of the new year.

5. First through the door

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Irish-10

The identity of the first person to step through the door of the family home on January 1st is of huge importance in Ireland. In fact, many see it as having a hugely significant bearing on the entire year ahead. Should a dark, handsome, stranger come to the door then the year ahead is bright and full of hope but should a young, red-headed woman coming knocking...well, it's not good.

4. Westerly winds

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Snow-n10

A simple yet enduring superstition involves which direction the wind might be blowing from. Should it come flying in from the west, then all of Ireland will be looking forward to a great year ahead. But say it comes from the east then something far worse could be on the cards - good luck for all of the UK, rather than Ireland.

3. Mistletoe, holly, and ivy

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Holly-10

One for the singletons among us: come January 1st, those looking to meet their future husband or wife was advised to place springs of holly, ivy or mistletoe under their pillow. The idea was that they would dream of their future partner. The jury is out on whether this one actually works.

2. In through the front, out through the back

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Christ10

At the stroke of midnight on December 31st, those seeking good luck in Ireland were recommended to enter their house through the front door and leave through the back.

1. Honouring the dead

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Christ11

The most famous of all the New Year’s traditions. On New Year’s night, families across Ireland set a place at the dinner table for those lost the year before and the door off the latch. It’s about remembering those lost the year before.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Fri Jan 01 2021, 15:23

President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to those who died and those who are still grieving following the loss of loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The President of Ireland’s poignant remarks came as part of a special video message filmed from Áras an Uachtaráin to mark the conclusion of 2020.

Higgins was joined by his wife Sabrina for the special address, which featured a sombre New Year’s Eve performance of “The Parting Glass” by 23-year-old folk singer Dan McCabe from Naas, Co Kildare.

He said: “As we emerge from the year of Covid it is appropriate that we remember all those who have departed from us during the year, and those they have left behind and who did not have the opportunity of grieving for them in the way that is so traditional, and so central to Irish life.”

“As a gesture to them both, and on behalf of all of us, Sabina and I are so pleased to have Dan McCabe perform The Parting Glass as we leave this tough year behind,” Higgins continued.

“May we wish you all a year of health and fulfilment in 2021, beir Beannacht d’on bhliain nua.”

McCabe’s emotional rendition of the song made famous by The High Kings provided a haunting footnote from a difficult year.

For President Higgins it was the perfect tribute to those lost and to “remember the year that was, and to bring 2020 to a close, with a thought for them all”.
It came as part of the President’s ‘Samhlaíocht agus An Náisiún / Imagination and the Nation’ initiative, set up to showcase the transformative role art and creativity can play in Irish society.


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 20 2021, 22:43

The Irish Thread - Page 2 651597037 What the #~** ....... !?! The Irish Thread - Page 2 4276145973   The Irish Thread - Page 2 3534542288  cat frown

'English journalist bizarrely lists 'Irish Famine' as reason Joe Biden and Boris Johnson will get on with each other'
by Harry Brent - Irish Post

A British journalist has controversially listed The Irish Famine as a reason for Joe Biden and Boris Johnson getting along with one another.

Christopher Hope, who is the chief political correspondent for The Telegraph no less, left Irish social media in a bit of a tizzy after a rather unusual claim in his latest article - listing seven reasons why the British Prime Minister and the incoming US President will "get on just fine".
He wrote: "Biden's great, great, great grandfather, Edward Blewitt, left Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland for America during the Irish famine 170 years ago, which could mean he is well disposed towards Great Britain."

Such a glaringly awful take from your average person walking down the street would rightly receive castigation, but from an English 'political' correspondent ... it simply boggles the mind.

Tweet  Paul Anthony Ward:

Holy sweet suffering Jesus. The last line in this.
They’re, legitimately, seriously, never not at it. I have to sit down. @christopherhope
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Eskita10The Irish Thread - Page 2 Eskita11

Unsurprisingly, it hasn't gone down well.
One person wrote on Twitter while sharing a screenshot of the article: "Holy sweet suffering Jesus. The last line in this."
Another said, quite frankly: "Yikes. Irish people who left Ireland because of a Famine that GB propagated are unlikely to be well disposed to GB."
"I'm not sure sure the Irish memory of famine and emigration has been traditionally viewed as the foundation moment of pro-British sentiment. Some have suggested it may have fed other emotions," wrote Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat.

Tweet  Tom Tugendhat:
I’m not sure the Irish memory of famine and emigration has been traditionally viewed as the foundation moment of pro-British sentiment. Some have suggested it may have fed other emotions.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Eskn6v10

Comedian Dara O'Briain tweeted: "It's pretty astonishing that you can be the Chief Political Correspondent of The Telegraph and think that if, it had any relevance at all, the Irish Famine would make somebody MORE sympathetic to Britain."

Tweet  Peter Geoghegan:

If number 1 on your list of 'why Joe and Boris will get on fine' is 'because Biden's great, great, great grandfather fled the famine in Ireland, then part of the UK' fear might be struggling @Telegraph
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Eskmrp10

Despite the monstrous c*ck-up, Mr Hope may well be right. It appears likely that Biden will enjoy an extremely positive relationship with the UK.
Just make sure you've done your research next time you delve into Anglo-Irish history, pal.


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Joe Biden branded ‘Irish nationalist’ after bust of Winston Churchill is removed from Oval Office

Post by Kitkat Fri Jan 22 2021, 13:03

US President Joe Biden has been branded an “Irish nationalist” after he had a bust of Winston Churchill removed from the Oval Office.

The sculpture of the wartime British Prime Minister was a gift given to the White House and then-President George W. Bush by Tony Blair.

Barack Obama had the bust removed during his time in office and replaced with one of civil rights leader Martin Luther King

One of the first things Donald Trump did when he became President in 2016 was to have the bust reinstated to the Oval Office.

Now Biden was reversed that decision with the Churchill sculpture once again removed.

In their place, Biden had brought in a bust of Latino American civil rights activist Cesar Chavez as well as sculptures of Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and Robert F. Kennedy.

According to a report from the Washington Post, the Churchill bust appears to have been replaced by that of RFK in a possible nod to Biden’s Irish roots.

Reacting to the news, former Trump ally, Brexit enthusiast and Reform UK party leader Nigel Farage claimed the move demonstrated Biden would not be a “great friend” to the UK with his allegiances lying elsewhere – including just across the Irish Sea.

"It won't surprise me at all because Joe Biden is anti-Brexit. Joe Biden is pro-the European Union. Joe Biden is pro-the Irish nationalist cause,” he told the BBC.

“And Joe Biden was the vice president when Obama came here in 2016, looked down his nose at us and said if we dared to vote for independence we would go to the back of the queue. So don't expect Biden to be a great friend [to the UK.”

Those concerns were echoed by Tory MP Andrew Bridgen who told the Daily Mail the move may be a “Democrat thing.”

“I hope he doesn’t also take after President Obama in other respects, otherwise we are going to the back of the queue [for a trade deal],” he said.

“He wants to show that he is completely different to Trump but I hope when it comes to the US relationship with the UK it will be the same as with Trump”.

Another Tory MP, who chose to remain anonymous felt the Churchill bust represented the “symbol of the Special Relationship”.

"I doubt these things are done without a reason. It could be a message to the Europeans about being more pro-EU and being less worried about the UK.”

A spokesperson for the UK Prime Minister appeared eager to play down any concerns though.

“The Oval Office is the President's private office and it is up to the President to decorate it as he wishes,” they said.

"We are in no doubt about the importance President Biden puts on the US-UK relationship.”

It comes despite Boris Johnson previously claiming Obama decision to remove the bust was a “snub to Britain” and sign of an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire.”

Obama rebuffed those claims though, noting that the bust remained in the White House but had simply been placed outside his private office on the second floor of his official residence.  

“Right outside the door of the Treaty Room, so that I see it every day - including on weekends when I'm going into that office to watch a basketball game - the primary image I see is a bust of Winston Churchill,” he said.

“It's there voluntarily because I can do anything on the second floor. I love Winston Churchill. I love the guy.

“I suspect most people here in the United Kingdom might agree, that as the first African American president it might be appropriate to have a bust of Dr Martin Luther King in my office to remind me of all the hard work of a lot of people who would somehow allow me to have the privilege of holding this office.”

Churchill has a famously complex relationship with Ireland.

As British Secretary of State for War, it he who sent the Black and Tans into Ireland on March 25, 1920.

A unionist sympathiser, Churchill and much of the British government had been unable to accept the rise of Irish republicanism following the 1916 Rising.

They attributed the War of Independence to an insurgence of violent thugs and fanatics, even after the 1918 election in which Sinn Fein won 73 per cent of the vote across 32 counties.

The arrival of the Black and Tans was seen as one last roll of the dice to try and defeat the rebellion.

A force made up of violent and often unstable ex-soldiers and ex-prisoners, the involvement of the Black and Tans represents one of a series of dark chapters in both British and Irish history.

Despite this, Churchill is also on the record as saying he longed for a united Ireland and is quoted as saying "I hope there will be a united Ireland."

Ref:   Winston Churchill ordered Black and Tans into Ireland in 1920 - The Irish Thread - Page 2 1629832728

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock On 19th April 1367: Britain passes 'Statute of Kilkenny', which banned Irish language and culture in Ireland

Post by Kitkat Tue Apr 20 2021, 12:14

It's not as if the notion of Britain trying to push Ireland around is historically uncommon, but did you know that 650 years ago, the King of England effectively tried to eradicate mainstream Irish culture altogether?
by Harry Brent - Irish Post

On April 19, 1367, the Statute of Kilkenny was signed into law, which threatened to completely suppress the way of life of the Irish natives.
The Statute was a set of laws aimed to protect and strengthen the English colony in Ireland, due to fears that colonists had become indoctrinated into Irish culture, so much so that the British stranglehold on the country was under threat ... supposedly.
Anglo-Irish settlers were banned from doing anything Irish. They were suddenly banned from fraternising with the natives, from marrying them, from speaking their language, from wearing their clothes and even from listening to their music.
The English found taking over Ireland quite difficult. The first settlers quickly began to sympathise and bond with the natives, and viewed the world in the same way they did.
They began to put their own interests ahead of those of the English royalty, much to the concern of he Brits, who were keen to stamp out any movement toward independence or relinquishment of power.
Edward III of England became concerned that the Anglo-Irish were becoming too powerful and threatened his rights and interests in Ireland, and so sent his son, Lionel of Antwerp, to Ireland to try and take back control.
Concerned that the Anglo-Irish had become more Irish than the Irish themselves, the Statute of Kilkenny was set up to bring Ireland back under the control of English born nobles, not English descendants in Ireland. The Statute was passed following a meeting of the Irish parliament in Kilkenny.
To break any one of the Statute's laws was to be guilty of treason and was punishable by death.
Following the Statue, it was illegal for any Anglo-Irish person to:

  • Marry an Irish person
  • Adopt an Irish child
  • Use an Irish name
  • Wear Irish clothes
  • Speak the Irish language
  • Play Irish music
  • Listen to Irish story-tellers
  • Play Irish games
  • Let an Irish person join an English religious house
  • Appoint any Irish clergyman to any church in the English settlement
  • Ride a horse in Irish style, that is, without a saddle.

But because the Irish government was so weak, following battles with Edward Bruce, and the arrival of the Black Death, the new laws weren't enforced properly, and thankfully, the Anglo-Irish simply ignored them.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock Re: The Irish Thread

Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 25 2021, 13:31

Covid 'storm' has shaken India - Modi

India has registered a new world record for daily coronavirus infections for the fourth day in a row, placing more strain on its crisis-hit hospitals.
It recorded a further 349,691 cases on Sunday, while the number of deaths across India rose by 2,767 in the 24 hours to Sunday.
Overcrowded hospitals are struggling to secure enough oxygen, leading to patients being turned away.
The situation is particularly acute in the capital Delhi, where people have been dying in hospitals because of lack of oxygen.
Delhi has extended its lockdown for a second week.
In a radio address this morning, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to exercise caution and get vaccinated, saying "this storm has shaken the nation".

What's happened so far today?

If you are just joining us, here are the main coronavirus stories from the UK and around the world on Sunday.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock The Irish phrases, meaning and history behind the 32 county names in Ireland

Post by Kitkat Fri May 07 2021, 19:25

In English, the names of Irish counties may seem like they have no meaning- this is not the case.
All of the counties on the island of Ireland are derived from Irish phrases or words which give the background to each area, from describing the geographical location or referencing its founder, to naming its rivers or trees or describing its ecosystem.

Here are the 32 counties of Ireland, their original Irish names and the meaning behind them.

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Armagh10
Ard Mhacha in Irish, the name means 'The height of Macha', referring to the ancient Irish Goddess, Macha. A Goddess of sovereignty based in the Province of Ulster, Macha is associated with the land, fertility, kingship, war and horses.

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Antrim10

Aontroma or Aontroim in Irish, the name translates as 'Lone ridge' and comes from its former County town, Antrim Town-- now, however, the capital of Antrim is Belfast.

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Carlow10

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Clare_10
An Clár in Irish, the name was once thought to refer to the de Clare noble family who settled in the county, but [url= this is not the,%2C (now Clarecastle town).]instead refers[/url] to the Irish word for plank; a board was placed across the river Fergus to allow access to an area which became known as An Clár, or Clare.

The Irish Thread - Page 2 Cavan_10
An Cabhán in Irish, meaning 'the hollow' or 'a hollow place', however in some parts of Ulster it might be taken to mean a hard round hill.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Cork_c10
Corcaigh in Irish, from the word corcach meaning 'marsh' or 'marshy place', founded in the 7th century by St Finbarr,who built an abbey there, which flourished-- until the invasion of the Vikings in 820.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Derry_10
From the Old Irish word Daire, and later the Irish Doire, meaning 'oak grove', or in this case, an oak grove on an island surrounded by water or bogland-- which is what Derry used to be before it was established as a city and county.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Donega10
Dún na nGall in Irish, the name comes from the phrase 'fort of the foreigners', referring to the Vikings who invaded in the 9th century. Before this, it was known as Tír Chonaillí, meaning 'Conall's Land', a 5th-century Irish king.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Down_c10
From the Irish An Dún, meaning a fort or 'fortified place', similar to Donegal's Dún na Gall. County Down, like much of Ireland, witnessed many battles, and it's name reflects that.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Dublin10
Now Baile Átha Cliath in Irish, or Contae Átha Cliath, the phrase means 'town of the ford of the hurdles', named after [url= city's modern name %2D Baile,straddling the low%2Dtide Liffey.]four main routeways[/url] which converged at a crossing place made of hurdles of interwoven saplings. The anglicised Dublin comes from Dubh Linn, or 'Black pool'.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Ferman10
From Fir Manach meaning 'The men of Manach', which may come from the Old Irish Magh Eanagh, 'Country of the lakes'. This would mean the County name means 'Men of the country of the lakes'.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Galway10
From Gaillimh, meaning 'stony river', the city and county was named after the river itself-- once known as the Gaillimh, the famous river which runs through the city is now called the River Corrib.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Kerry_10
Ciarraí in Irish, the county was named after the Ciarraige family, itself a phrase meaning 'people of the Ciar'. Ciar was the 'illegitimate' son of the King of Ulster, who was banished from Ulster and arrived as a refugee in the south of the country in an area which would become known as Ciarraí.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Kildar10
From the Irish Cill Daire, from the Old Irish 'Church of the Oak', just as Derry/Doire means 'Oak grove'. It comes from the myth of St Brigid, who established Kildare under an oak tree when she placed her cloak on the ground and it spread for miles on end.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Kilken10
Cill Chainnigh in Irish, the phrase translates in English to 'church of Cainnech', referring to the Irish abbot and Saint, one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland who helped establish Christianity in Ireland.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Laois_10
Named from the Old Irish Loígis, an ancient Irish tribe named after the first Chieftain, Loígseach, who himself may have been named after the Irish word lóeg meaning 'favourite' and secha meaning ''above and beyond'.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Leitri10
Liatroma in Irish, from the phrase Liath Druim, meaning 'grey ridge'. The county was named after the village of Liath Druim , a stronghold of the Ó Ruairc noble family.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Limeri10
From Luimneach in Irish, which may mean 'bare spot', possibly from the word loimneach meaning 'bar marsh'-- when invaded by Vikings, it gained the name Hlymekr, which may come from the original name or could be the Old Norse for 'mighty noise'.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Longfo10
Longfort in Irish from An Longphort meaning 'ship' and 'port', an important market town in old Ireland.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Louth_10
An Lú in Irish, meaning 'less' or 'smaller'-- County Louth is the smallest county in Ireland.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Mayo_c10
From the Irish Maigh Eó, meaning 'Plain of the yew trees'. The county was named after the town of Mayo which was covered in the trees-- that town is now known as Mayo Abbey.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Meath_10
An Mhí in Irish, County Meath was once the historic Kingdom of Meath from the 1st to the 12th Century, and the name comes from the old Irish Midhe meaning 'centre'; the Kingdom was in the centre of Ireland.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Monagh10
Mhuineacháin in Irish, from the phrase meaning 'a thickly overgrown area' or 'a place abounding in little hills', according to Patrick Weston Joyce, a historian who studied the place names of Ireland.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Offaly10
Contae Uíbh Fhailí in Irish, named after the ancient Irish Kingdom of Uí Failghe which existed until the 15th century, named after the legendary king Failge Berraide.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Roscom10
Ros Comáin in Irish, the name comes from a phrase meaning 'Saint Coman's wood', referring to Coman mac Faelchon, an Irish saint and the founder of Roscommon who established a monastery in the area around 550.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Sligo_10
Sligeach in Irish, a phrase which meaning 'abounding in shells'-- this name comes from the coastal town and county's many beaches, as well as the huge amount of shellfish found in the river of the town.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Tipper10
From the Irish Tiobraid Árann, the county is named after Tipperary Town and the river which flows through it. The phrase means 'The Well of Ara', a reference to the River Ara and the well in which it rises.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Tyrone10
Tír Eoghain in Irish, literally 'Eoghan's land', after the area was conquered by the Cenél nEógain in in Old Ireland. The kingdom once encompassed parts of Derry, Donegal, Fermanagh, Monaghan and Armagh, but their conquests were immortalised in the name Tír Eoghain.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Waterf10
Port Láirge in Irish, which in fact comes from the Old Norse Vedrafjord meaning 'windy ford'. The Irish translation means 'Lárag's port'. The Vikings were driven out of Ireland by the Irish in 902, but made a successful return in 914 after establishing themselves in Waterford.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Westme10
An Iarmhí in Irish, literally meaning 'West middle'. Once a part of the historic and wide-ranging Kingdom of Meath, which itself meant 'middle' due to its geographical location-- Westmeath was split from County Meath in 1543.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Wexfor10
Loch Garman in Irish, a phrase meaning 'Garman's Lake', and named after the myth of Garman Garbh, a local man who supposedly drowned after a powerful enchantress released waters from the River Slaney to create a lake. The English 'Wexford' may come from the Viking's name for the area 'Waesfjord', meaning 'an inlet of mud lands'.
The Irish Thread - Page 2 Wicklo10
Cill Mhantáin in Irish, meaning, rather ominously, 'Church of the toothless one'. The name comes from a legend which says St Patrick and his followers were attacked by locals, and one one of his party had a tooth knocked out in the fight. When he returned to the area to establish a church, he was referred to as 'toothless one'-- Mantáin. The name 'Wicklow' may have come from the Viking word 'Vykengelo', meaning 'meadow of the Vikings

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Shamrock CENTENARY OF CONFLICT: Remembering the events that led to the partition of Ireland 100 years on

Post by Kitkat Sat May 08 2021, 14:29

CENTENARY OF CONFLICT: Remembering the events that led to the partition of Ireland 100 years on

In light of this controversial centenary, behind which lies the turbulent birth of a nation still divided, here we recount the key events that led up to May 3, 1921 - when the partition of Ireland was first enacted.

Initially seen as a temporary measure to assuage sectarian tensions until an eventual reunification, with both sides remaining under the UK umbrella, it soon spiralled into something beyond any one party’s control.

Cracks began to show immediately following the settlement, which divided the country into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, both still being UK entities.

Most citizens of what was then dubbed ‘Southern Ireland’ refused to recognise it as such, preferring – and in many cases, insisting – upon the official designation: The Irish Free State.

Trouble was also brewing in the Irish province of Ulster, still officially part of the South, as it had a Protestant and unionist majority who wanted to remain a part of Britain.

Origins of the Conflict

Before British colonisation took effect in the 17th century, Ireland was governed by a disparate network of warring clans and Catholicism was the only widely practiced religion.

This changed in 1536 when King Henry VIII, keen to split with the church and the religion that denied him his divorce, deposed the dominant FitzGerald dynasty, formerly Lords Deputies of Ireland, and declared a new Kingdom of Ireland seven years later in 1541.

With the stroke of his pen, the bloated and gout ridden monarch reshaped the established social order, and centuries of Irish political tradition were swept away and replaced with formalised, top-down rule from Whitehall.

What followed over the next 150 years was a creeping colonialism that came to a head in 1691 when the Irish Catholic Jacobinites surrendered to William of Orange’s forces at Limerick.

This heralded the beginning of Protestant dominance in Ireland and set the stage for the sectarian conflict to come.

The Road to Partition

By 1912, exactly sixty years since the end of the devastating potato famine, widely seen as a result of mismanagement by a series of British administrations, trouble started to boil over, and battle lines were drawn.
Following pressure from the Irish Home Rule Movement, the British agreed to introduce bills that would give Ireland a devolved government – the first steps toward independence.

This sparked the Home Rule Crisis and the formation of an Ulster unionist paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteers, who vehemently rejected rule by an Irish Catholic government.
Plans were underway to give Ulster an exemption from Irish rule when the First World War broke out, relegating the simmering conflict to a side issue – at least for British government officials at the time.

The cataclysmic death toll of the war, as well as executions of devoted Irish republicans like Roger Casement, and above all the bloodshed of the failed 1916 Easter Rising, all gave a boon to support for the cause of independence during the war years.

Then, in 1918, the year the war ended, the Irish republican party Sinn Féin collected a clear majority of Irish votes at the ballot box and – extending their political remit – declared the whole of Ireland to be an independent republic.

Seen as an unacceptable overreach by the British, the declaration led to the Irish War of Independence, a guerrilla conflict between the newly formed Irish Republican Army and British forces – supplemented by the notoriously ruthless Black and Tans .

The bitter conflict that raged for over two years across Ireland’s rolling green hills was brilliantly portrayed in the film The Wind That Shakes the Barley , starring Irish actors Cillian Murphy and Liam Cunningham.

To put an end to the fighting, another bill was introduced, the Government of Ireland Act of 1921, creating two devolved governments, one for the six counties in the North, and the other for the rest of the island, formally partitioning the country to Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

While elections in the North led to the formation of a Northern Irish made up of Ulster unionists, the South refused to form a government on the grounds that republicans would only recognise an Irish Republic – also encompassing the breakaway six counties.

The birth pangs of partition spelled violence and bloodshed for the freshly constituted Northern provinces – both in the name of, and in opposition to, the new political settlement.

The Northern capital Belfast was host to extreme hostility, street skirmishes, and bouts of retributive violence between Catholics and Protestants.

Over 500 people were killed and more than 10,000 beleaguered citizens, mostly comprised of the Catholic minority, became refugees.

A truce was eventually called in July 1921, when the War of Independence gave way to a third treaty, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, that ushered in Southern Ireland’s departure from the UK and renaming to the Irish Free State.

The decision to remain part of the UK was put to a referendum in the North, and after a failed IRA offensive into the border areas in 1922, the result, Northern Ireland’s decision to remain part of the UK, cemented the new border arrangements – and the British Government's position – with a democratic mandate.

Legacy of partition

Far from appeasing both sides, this laid the foundations for the conflicts to come.

Over forty years of bad blood and hostility between Irish nationalists seeking to end partition, on the one hand, and Ulster unionists clinging onto the North’s UK membership, on the other, culminated in The Troubles in the late 1960s.

At the final body count of a conflict that spanned thirty years, more than 3,500 had been killed.

A formal ceasefire was agreed eventually agreed upon during the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and the conditions for reunification were established.

There can be no change to the status in Northern Ireland without the consent of the majority of its population, the Agreement stipulates.

Some commentators have opined that this would not only be a good thing were it to occur, but that it is likely to take place within a generation.

Max Hastings, former editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph and bestselling military historian, wrote in a Bloomberg column recently: "If Irish reunification takes place within a generation, as I believe that it will, a historic injustice will be righted.

"Such an outcome would serve the best interests of Irish people, save a rump of alienated Protestants, historically out of their time."

Source - Irish Post

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:07