IN THIS ISSUE
~~~~~ Support us for free
~~~~~ New free resources at the site
~~~~~ News Snaps from Ireland
~~~~~ Lucky Murphy's - Confessions of an Irish Internet Business
~~~~~ Gaelic Phrases of the Month
~~~~~ Ancient astronomers in County Sligo
~~~~~ Children's Story: 'The Fearless Tailor' by Grainne Rowland
~~~~~ Readers Noticeboard
~~~~~ Shamrock Site of the Month: The Ballykissangel Forum
~~~~~ Searcher Site of the Month: Telephone Directory
~~~~~ Monthly free competition result
It's still raining here but we are promised Summer is on the
way. If you are traveling to the Emerald Isle make sure to
bring the oilskin jacket because you will sure need it!
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PLAY IRISH HANGMAN ONLINE!
Okay, we are not trying to discourage you from doing
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Save 'Myles the Slasher' from the dreaded noose by guessing
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- we even give you a clue. Child's play - suitable for
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NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY:
The following 37 coats of arms images and family history details
have been added to the Gallery:
B: Bagley Brooks
C: Crahen McCarten Coulter Courtney
F: Flattery Fitzsimons Forkin
G: McGaha Gibson Gracey Given
H: Hough Horton Hatrick
K: Killoughery Kerrigan
M: Mullins Moynihan Mulholland Mansfield Minchin Murdock
R: Rynne Reidy Rock Reynolds
S: Shields Scott Slater
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NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
NORTHERN IRELAND EXECUTIVE REFORMED
In a move that has breathed fresh hope into the Northern
Ireland peace process the Executive has been reinstated
with all of the North's main parties re-taking their seats
at Stormont. This follows a statement by the IRA that they
were willing to put their weapons beyond use and by the
acceptance by the Ulster Unionist's party that they are
sincere. Had the UUP rejected David Thrimble's
recommendation for an acceptance of the reinstatement then
there would have been a very real possibility of a split in
that party and possibly the formation of yet another
The focus has now shifted to the resumption of the day to
day business of governing Northern Ireland by the Executive
and to the perennial problem of the Unionist marches at
Drumcree with hardline Unionist's intending to try to use
the marches to promote their views.
IRISH INFLATION HITS 5.2% - HIGHEST IN EUROPE
The latest set of inflation figures have provided a real
problem for the Government led by An Taoiseach, Bertie
Already rocking form revelations regarding corruption among
some of its members involved in the land planning process,
the Trade Unions look likely to back out of the most recent
wage agreement because the gains they received will be eroded
by the high inflation rate. The rate has been on the increase
ever since the most recent budget which saw a large increase
in the price of cigarettes. Coupled with the ever increasing
price of houses and the effect of the international hike in
oil prices the Celtic Tiger economy is under serious threat.
IRISH PRESIDENT CONDEMNS CULTURE OF SLEAZE
The Irish president, Mary McAleese has hit out at the
culture of greed and sleaze that is pervading Irish society.
During an address to mark the millennium at Satin Patrick's
Cathedral in Dublin the president remarked that the recent
years that had brought hope to so many had also brought a
'a darker side' and that it was this sordid aspect of the
country's secret life that was under examination at the
'We are deeply challenged by the evidence of many different
forms of corruption' she said.
INVESTORS TO BE TARGETED IN HOUSING CRISIS
Figures released this month reveal that of IR£11 BN spent on
housing, IR£5 BN did not involve any form of mortgage. This
is a sure sign that investors have returned to the Irish
property market and are helping to keep house prices
The Government is to introduce further measures to combat
the problem including:
* Lower stamp duty for first time buyers
* Extra taxation on owners of more than 2 houses
* Planning authorities to be given additional resources to
facilitate the release of land for building
* Penalties for landowners who refuse to build on zoned land
NUMBER OF HOMELESS IN IRELAND HITS NEW HIGH
Focus Ireland, which tries to tackle the problem of people
living on the streets of Ireland, has estimated that there
are as many as 5000 people 'living rough' at the moment.
The organisation cited family difficulties, abuse,
ill-health, mental health problems, and the high cost of
owning and renting a home as the main reason for the rise
in numbers of the homeless. The organisation believes that
most homeless people end up in a hostel, staying with
friends or living in a squat.
IRISH TENOR FRANK PATTERSON DIES IN NEW YORK
The world famous Irish tenor, Frank Patterson, has died in
a New York hospital. He had been diagnosed as having a brain
tumor last year and is survived by his wife Eily O'Grady and
their son Eanan.
During his long career he recorded 36 albums in six
different languages, achieved Gold, Silver and Platinum
discs and was also the first Irish person ever to host their
own show in Radio City Hall in New York, an indication of
his international appeal.
DARREN CLARKE WINS ENGLISH OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT
A final round of 65 helped Ulsterman Darren Clarke to the
English Open Golf Championship at Marriot Forest of Arden.
Ten birdies helped him to overtake Michael Campbell and
Mark James and he now looks set to become the European
IRELAND'S SINNDAR WINS ENGLISH DERBY HORSE RACE
The Irish horse Sinndar followed in the footsteps of
Papillion a month earlier (who won the Grand National) by
landing a successful raid on one of the world's premier
horse races, the Epsom Derby.
IRISH SOCCER TEAM SECOND BEST IN US CUP
An optimistic Mick McCarthy was pleased with his team's 2
draws and 1 victory in the US Cup in America. An opening
draw against Mexico was followed by a similar result
against the USA. Better was to follow against South Africa
who were defeated 2-1 by a Niall Quinn goal. The Sunderland
striker has now equaled Frank Stapleton's record of 20
goals for his country. He had been stuck on 19 goals for
some time, his most recent goal having been achieved in the
1-1 draw away to Macedonia in the recent Euro 2000
qualifiers (but nobody now wants to talk about that
Yugoslavia (who topped the qualifying group when Ireland
should have) and Turkey (who beat Ireland in the playoff)
both failed to win their opening matches in Euro 2000.
LUCKY MURPHY'S - CONFESSION'S OF AN IRISH INTERNET BUSINESS
Editors note: Businesses in Ireland are still getting to
grips with the Internet. Indeed, some experts estimate that
this country is 5 years behind America and Canada in merely
changing the mindset of business owners, never mind
implementing the technical and business changes necessary.
The Belgard Group are based in Tallaght in West Dublin.
They appear to be streets ahead of the majority of Irish
businesses when it comes to using the Internet for business
purposes. Their evolution is charted below. Keep an eye
out for the comment regarding credit card clearance for
their operations. Unfortunately, the reluctance of banks to
accept and promote the Internet in Ireland is one of the
main reasons why this country is so far behind, but that
did not stop Belgard!
From Louise McKeown, Group Sales & Marketing Manager
With an annual turnover of £10 million and a staff of over
300, the belgard group, a large, family owned and managed
business, saw the opportunities that the web presented and
began investigating the feasibility of selling one of the
groups many products or services over the Internet. Thus,
Lucky Murphy's was born.
Before launching an on-line betting service the belgard
group participated in many other Internet activities, our
first venture was setting up a cyber café. This had synergy
with our existing leisure businesses; it was also felt at
the time, 1997, that the development of the cyber café would
allow us to gain an intimate knowledge of the Internet. As a
natural progression from the cyber café we developed the
BITEC (Belgard Information Technology Education centre)
Although our sports betting division, Belgard Bookmakers, is
one of the most respected and successful bookmakers in the
country, we felt the Belgard Bookmaker name was too
localised. We needed a brand that had global appeal but
reflected or core Irish values, hence the naming of Lucky
Murphy's which now has a full-time development team of 15
people with expertise in, technology, betting, e-commerce,
Internet marketing, HTML, graphic design and Internet
After initially assuming that we would have to bring this
business offshore the Lucky Murphy's servers and operators
are now located in Ireland, mainly due to the more favourable
tax rates introduced by the Government.
While developing the Lucky Murphy's service many problems
were encountered, particularly credit clearance and security.
With several months investigating the Irish banking scene
for an Internet credit card clearance, we had to source a
provider outside of Ireland. Also it quickly became apparent
that security would be a major issue, with betting sites
needing banking quality security levels.
With a marketing campaign to the value of £1/2 million for
the first three months, brand building and recruiting
members will be the primary focus of the marketing campaign.
We will also offer free interactive entertainment on our
site and a daily sports and news service, customised for our
members. LuckyMurphys.com promises Internet betting with a
difference, a service that is Licensed, Legal and Lucky.
Visit at: http://www.luckymurphys.com
GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
PHRASE: Nach breá an lá é?
PRONOUNCED: knock brah on law eh
MEANING: Isn't it a nice day?
PHRASE: Tá an ceart agat. Tá sé go breá anseo.
PRONOUNCED: Taw on cart ah gut. Taw shay go brah on shuh
MEANING: You are right. It is nice here
PHRASE: Nil' an aimsir go maith inniu
PRONOUNCED: Kneel on ayeim shur go mawt in you
MEANING: The weather isn't good today
PHRASE: Gura slán an scéalai
PRONOUNCED: gur ah slawn on skale e
MEANING: May the person bearing the news be safe
PHRASE: Tá failte romhat
PRONOUNCED: Taw fall cheh row at
MEANING: You are welcome
ANCIENT ASTRONOMERS IN COUNTY SLIGO
Newgrange is the best known ancient site in Ireland and is
famous for it's alignment to the winter solstice sunrise.
However, Newgrange may be the tip of the iceberg, as many of
Ireland's stone age buildings are proving to be
Carrowkeel in County Sligo is an enigmatic group of mountain
top cairns. One monument, Cairn G, has a roofbox which may
be an earlier version of the famous Newgrange roofbox. At
Carrowkeel the roofbox is facing north west, the direction
of the summer solstice sunset. There is a splendid view
across Sligo from the cairn, with Knocknarea, Benbulben,
Sliabh League and Croagh Patrick visible on the horizon.
Each summer, for six weeks the setting sun shines into
Cairn G and illuminates the chamber as it drops over the
Ox Mountains. However, the sun enters the left side of the
chamber, and not the centre, as one would expect. This
suggests the alignment to the sun is incidental, and the cairn
may be aligned to another heavenly body.
The obvious candidate is the moon, which can move much
greater distances along the horizon than the sun. The full
moons in midwinter illuminate the chamber in much the same
manner as the summer sunsets. However, the moon has
a complex cycle which takes almost 19 years to complete. At
one point during this cycle, the moon will swing far to the
north and shine right into the end of Cairn G, setting over
the sea near Knocknarea Mountain.
Anyone can visit Carrowkeel over the summer and see the sun
setting into the cairn. However, we have to wait until 2006
to see the moon illuminate the end of Cairn G.
Martin Byrne - Sacred Island
email - email@example.com
THE FEARLESS TAILOR -A CHILDREN'S STORY by Grainne Rowland
Notes by the Author:
' I found out when I was 13 that I was of Irish descent,
having great-grandparents that came to the U.S. during the
Great Hunger from Dunlewy, Co. Donegal. My imagination was
fired up and I have studied everything I could find about
Ireland since (and I'm 50 years old now). I absolutely fell
in love with Ireland in 1980 when I spent the summer there,
and cried all the way back on the plane.
I am an elementary teacher and have been writing for children
for about 5 years now. I specialize in Irish stories for
kids and have been published in newspapers, newsletters, and
on the Internet for several years. I hope to have a couple
of books out in a year or so.
I have also coordinated children's activities for the Celtic
Nations Heritage Festival of Louisiana in 1992 and 1994. I
have developed a teaching unit about Ireland which I have
used in schools for about 20 years now. I love Irish
folktales, music, and history. '
THE FEARLESS TAILOR
'I'll bet you my 239 cows and a bag of gold that you're
afraid to do it!' dared Phelan.
'Of course, I'll do it,' boasted Donal. 'Haven't I been
named the bravest man in all Donegal? What's one night in
the cemetery? I'll have work to do while I wait out the
Donal was the town's only tailor, and he was to stitch a
new vest for the mayor. Phelan, no friend of Donal's, was
hoping to make Donal lose his wages.
'How can you get the vest done by tomorrow morning? You'll
be too scared to work. You know the cemetery is haunted by
'You just have the cows and money ready. I'll collect them
in the morning,' Donal replied confidently.
Just at dark, Donal took one candle and his cloth to the
cemetery. He chose a comfortable-looking old tombstone, sat
down, lit the candle, and set to work. He threaded the
needle, cut the cloth, and began to make small, neat
Suddenly, Donal heard the crunch of stone on stone. The
pavement next to Donal's tombstone began to rise. A huge,
green, scaly head popped up. Donal kept stitching.
'Do you see this great head of mine?' asked a deep,
'I do,' replied Donal, 'but I'll keep on sewing.'
A tremendous pair of knobby, green arms appeared from out
of the pavement.
'Do you see these great arms of mine?' inquired the rumbly
'Oh, I do,' answered Donal, 'and a great pair of arms they
are, too. But I must finish this vest tonight.'
And Donal continued to stitch the design onto the vest.
In a while, Donal heard the voice again.
'Do you see these great hands of mine?' growled the voice.
And a pair of rough, sharp-clawed hands reached for Donal's
'How could I not see those great hands of yours when they're
waggling in front of my face. Please put them down. I must
get this pocket sewn on tonight,' said Donal. And he continued
'Well, then,' roared the voice, 'do you see these great legs
Donal looked up and up, and saw two pointy knees on a pair of
'Those great legs of yours probably run very quickly,'
remarked Donal, and he tied the last thread on the vest.
Donal stood up and stretched his arms and legs. He had done
a good night's work, and the vest was beautiful.
Donal looked up at the great green creature.
'Thank you for keeping me company all night,' he said. 'I
would have been lonely if you had not come to visit.'
'You are welcome,' replied the creature. 'Please come see
me again. I have few visitors.'
As the sun peeped over the horizon, Donal was strolling home
to a breakfast of eggs, bread, and rashers. He was whistling
a merry tune and thinking of the 239 cows and the bag of
gold he would soon have.
WILLING WORKERS ON ORGANIC FARMS
I know there are a lot of young people out there who'd
love to travel to Ireland but cannot afford much more than
airfare. I've found a great alternative way to journey in
Ireland by working on organic farms. The program is called
WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). The Irish Republic
and Northern Ireland are both members and there are a lot of
different farms where you can live on for free for an
indefinite amount of time in exchange for lending a helpful
hand. Only cost is a $20 year-long membership fee.
The web address is: http://www.phdcc.com/wwoof/
Justin M. Campbell
THE HURLING CLUB OF ARGENTINA
We have the pleasure to announce that the Hurling
Club, the most known Irish Club in Argentina has been
updating its WebSite and now it's ready to be visited.
The Hurling Club Webmasters
SHAMROCK SITE OF THE MONTH
The Ballykissangel Forum: The ever popular TV show set in
rural Ireland is explored at this fan site:
SEARCHER SITE OF THE MONTH
Last month's site was the Irish Telephone Directory. Quite a
number of readers had a problem accessing this excellent
service so here is a simpler link:
....and then click on the 'phone book' button at the top of
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JUNE COMPETITION RESULT
The winner was: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Irish Name Screensaver of their choice (from our 1800 names)
Our 6-Pack of Irish Screensavers (US$42 value)
AND our Irish Genealogy Report (US$9 value)
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I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
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Until the next time,
The Information about Ireland Site.