================================================= The Information about Ireland Site Newsletter March 2009 The Newsletter for people interested in Ireland Now received by over 50,000 people worldwide http://www.ireland-information.com http://www.irishnation.com Copyright (C) 2009 ================================================= IN THIS ISSUE === News Snaps from Ireland === New free resources at the site === Free Kids Games to Print === Irish Recipes and Irish Songs - free download === Another Cara Penpals Success Story === The Life of Saint Patrick === Good Whiskey Comes To Those Who Wait by J. Herbert Silverman === Three Sisters Visit Ireland by Dianne McDonald === Liquid Stockings by Pat Watson === Gaelic Phrases of the Month === Monthly free competition result ================================================= FOREWORD ======== Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Dublin where the big day is almost upon us. Be sure to check out the free Irish music and Irish recipes downloads available from this months issue. 'Health and long life to you, land without rent to you, a child every year to you, and death in Old Ireland!' Beannachtai na Feile Padraig! Michael Help keep this newsletter alive at www.irishnation.com WE NEED YOUR HELP! PLEASE - send this newsletter on to your friends or relatives who you think are interested in Ireland. By doing this you are helping to keep us 'free'. Got something to say? Don't keep it to yourself! Why don't you submit an article for inclusion in the next edition? Go here for more information: http://www.ireland-information.com/newsletter.htm Do you have access to a website? You can help to keep this newsletter alive by adding a link to any of our websites below: http://www.irishnation.com http://www.irishsurnames.com http://www.ireland-information.com http://www.allfamilycrests.com http://www.irishpenpals.com If you have an AOL or HOTMAIL account then you will get much better results by viewing this newsletter online here: http://www.ireland-information.com/mar09.htm The only way that you could have been subscribed to this newsletter is by filling out a subscription form at the site whereupon a confirmation notice would have been issued. If you wish to unsubscribe then go here: http://www.ireland-information.com/newsletter.htm ======================= NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND ======================= PRESIDENT OBAMA TO BE GIVEN IRISH BIRTH RECORDS When Irish leader Brian Cowen attends the White House to mark Saint Patrick's Day he will present President Obama with more than a bowl of shamrock. The US leader is to be given copies of baptismal records that prove his ancestral connection to the town of Moneygall in County Offaly. Fulmouth Kearney was great-great-great-grandfather to the new US President. He was baptised at Templeharry Church in Moneygall before emigrating to America in 1850, at the age of 19, shortly after the Great Famine and at a time of great social and economic upheaval in the country. It is expected that the Irish Taoiseach will invite President Obama to visit Ireland although it may be a while before the invitation can be taken up! GOVERNMENT TO TAX ITS WAY OUT OF ECONOMIC CRISIS The annual budget (or announcement of economic measures) that was announced last October is to be superseded by another budget this coming April. Such is the scale of the economic downturn in Ireland that massive tax increases combined with huge public spending cuts are expected in what is sure to be a very unpopular package of measures to be introduced by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. Unemployment has been predicted to rise to 11% in 2009 by the Governor of the Irish Central bank. John Hurley also predicted that the economy would contract by as much as 6% in what can only be described as a spectacular reversal of the economic fortune of Ireland. Although the banking sector seems to have stabilised (temporarily at least) after the massive government recapitalisation and its nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank, the global conditions that are affecting Irish exports are hitting the economy hard. Combined with a huge public sector wage bill it is clear that there is going to be a big financial deficit this year and in 2010, hence the April budget. Fuel, Alcohol and Tobacco products are likely to be hit and hit hard. In the past it was feared that greatly increasing tax on these items would be inflationary but with the cost of living declining the government has greater latitude than usual to penalise the consumption of these products, and can even cite health improvement reasons for doing so. Income tax is also likely to be increased with the possible introduction of a third higher tax band, possibly at the 48% level. This tax is aimed squarely at higher earners and would likely not kick in until 100,000 euro had been earned. Tax credits and social welfare allowances are likely to be reduced. It remains to be seen if this strategy of 'tax and cut' works. Several commentators have pointed out that Ireland's recent path to prosperity was marked by tax cuts and not tax increases. Time will tell if the correct balance has been found. IRISH PUBS DECIMATED BY CHANGING ATTITUDES As many as 1500 pubs have closed in Ireland in the last 5 years as a number of factors have combined to decimate the pub trade. First to impact the trade was the smoking ban which outlawed smoking in all work-places and not just pubs. Many bar-owners responded by installing outside smoking areas and canopied gardens. The new law was a serious blow to the trade although generally a very popular one with the public. The big clamp-down on drink-driving has also seriously reduced the number of visits made by Irish people to their 'local'. The reduction in the blood-alcohol level together with a visible increase in police enforcement has gone a long way to convince many people that they are better off staying at home, rather than risk arrest. The result has been a big bonus for the off-licence trade which has now overtaken pubs in terms of volume of alcohol sold. Previously pubs sold as much as three times the amount of alcohol as off-licences sold, but now the situation is reversing. Irish people are drinking at home with city centre pubs and clubs being left to the younger generation who are facing into their first taste of a recession. Gone are the days when work was abundant. Now people are actually queueing up for jobs! All of which is likely to cause more pain for the Irish pub industry. IRISH DIVORCE RATE IS LOWEST IN EUROPE Statistics compiled by Eurostat have revealed that Ireland has the lowest divorce rate in Europe. In 2004 there were 7 divorces per 1000 people, compared with the EU average of 21 per thousand. Estonia, Belgium and the UK had the highest rates of divorce while Italy had the second lowest rate. Ireland only allows divorce after four years of legal separation which is likely part of the reason why marriages last longer. GOOGLE TO MAP IRISH STREETS Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford are among the latest cities to be targeted to be photographed and added to Googles famous 'street view' project. This amazing application allows online users to zoom down into a map to street level and view actual pictures of the streets, zooming around and scrolling in either direction. Voice your opinion on these news issues here: http://www.ireland-information.com/newsletterboard/wwwboard.html ============================== NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE ============================== IRELAND HOUSE-SWAP LISTING We are working on the online program to allow you to freely add and view details of other people who are interested in this service. You can add your home-swap details to our new free listing service at: http://www.ireland-information.com/irelandhouseswap.htm IRISH HOLIDAY AND TOURIST BOARD Post a question about holidaying in Ireland and we guarantee an answer will be posted on the board. http://www.ireland-information.com/irishholidays-irishtourist/irishtouristboard.html NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY: The following 5 coats of arms images and family history details have been added to the Gallery: C: Coogan, Cornwell H: Haney J: Jenkins W: Whitmore View the Gallery here: http://www.irishsurnames.com/coatsofarms/gm.htm THE PERFECT WEDDING, ANNIVERSARY OR BIRTHDAY GIFT! We now have over 100,000 worldwide names available. Get the Coat of Arms Print, Claddagh Ring, Screensaver, Watch, T-Shirt Transfer or Clock for your name at: http://www.irishnation.com/familycrestgifts.htm ======================== FREE KIDS GAMES TO PRINT ======================== Go here to print off some simple games to teach kids about Ireland: http://www.ireland-information.com/freegames.htm FIND OUT ABOUT SAINT PATRICK HERE: http://www.ireland-information.com/saintpatricksday.htm ================================================= IRISH RECIPES AND IRISH SONGS - FREE DOWNLOAD ============================================= IRISH RECIPES Our free Irish Recipes electronic book is packed with 25 of the very best Irish Recipes to try out on Saint Patrick's Day. Corned beef and cabbage, Irish Pound Cake, Wicklow Pancakes - try them all! You can download it from here: http://www.ireland-information.com/irishrecipes/index.htm You can send these ebooks to a friend from here: http://www.ireland-information.com/postcardnew.htm IRISH SONGS You can view the lyrics to 74 of Ireland's most popular traditional, drinking and folk songs AND you can listen to the music online too. The music tune is supplied in MIDI files that are easily understood by the majority of Internet Browsers so: * Make sure that your PC speakers are connected and working * Turn the Volume up * Select the song you want * All together now.... 'in Dublin's fair city where the girl's are so pretty, I first set my eyes on sweet Molloy Malone...' There's More!!!! You can download ALL of the Music files and ALL of the Lyrics onto your PC in the form of a free 'ebook' that you can print off and keep forever! You can even send the ebook to your friends and relatives or offer it at your website. ALL COMPLETELY FREE! Here are some of the songs available: * Amhran na bhFiann (the Irish National Anthem) * She Moved Through the Fair (Julia Roberts sang this in the film 'Michael Collins') * Back Home in Derry (Bobby Sands) * Black is the Colour (of my true love's hair) * An Irish Lullaby (Barney Gumble sang this in 'The Simpsons') * Cockles and Mussels (alive-alive-oh!) * Erin Go Bragh * I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen * Rocky Road to Dublin * The Fields of Athenry * The Rose of Tralee * When Irish Eyes are Smiling * Whiskey in the Jar (Thin Lizzy classic) ........and over 60 more! View and Listen here: http://www.ireland-information.com/irishmusic/irishsongs-music-lyrics-midis.htm ================================================= YOU CAN HELP TO KEEP THIS FREE NEWSLETTER ALIVE! Visit: http://www.irishnation.com where you can get great Irish gifts, prints, claddagh jewellery, engraved glassware and much more. Anne MacDonald ordered a family crest plaque: Hello, Michael, Received my plaque, carefully wrapped, in good order. It is splendid! I am thrilled, and I know that my dad, for whose 81st birthday this was ordered, will love it. I would like to order another one! Everyone who has seen the plaque has been really impressed, even those who, as my daughter says are 'not into ancestor worship!' Again, my hearty thanks for this first-class product. Best wishes for happy holiday season. Sincerely, Anne MacDonald THE PERFECT WEDDING OR ANNIVERSARY GIFT! View family crest plaques here: http://www.irishnation.com/familycrestplaques.htm ================================== ANOTHER CARA PENPALS SUCCESS STORY ================================== I had been visiting Ireland on and off on holiday with my parents for a couple of years and decided to join the Cara Penpals website with a view to gaining penpals so that when I visited, I could meet up with them. I am from the UK. I joined the site in 2002 and spoke to many people, some of whom I still remain good friends with. I then started talking to a guy on the site. We chatted for a month or so and arranged for him to come to the UK to visit me for a weekend. When he arrived we got on so much better than expected that we became boyfriend and girlfriend! We were together for six months but things werent working so we decided to split up but remained good friends. A couple of years went by and I made a trip to Ireland to see my penpal and once again we got on great, realised how much we enjoyed being together, and decided to give our relationship another go. After a year together I moved over to Ireland to be with him, where we bought a house together. After another year in our house, my boyfriend proposed to me! We are now coming up to our 3 year anniversary and are getting married in September! I went on the site looking for friends. I did not expect to find my husband on it!!! so I would advise everyone to check it out as you never know what you might find!! Jen You can join Cara Irish Penpals for free: http://www.irishpenpals.com ========================= THE LIFE OF SAINT PATRICK ========================= The Patron Saint of Ireland was born into Roman Britain in the fourth century. He was captured as a teenager by Niall of the Nine Hostages who was to become a King of all Ireland. He was sold into slavery in Ireland and put to work as a shepherd. He worked in terrible conditions for six years drawing comfort in the Christian faith that so many of his people had abandoned under Roman rule. Patrick had a dream that encouraged him to flee his captivity and to head South where a ship was to be waiting for him. He traveled over 200 miles from his Northern captivity to Wexford town where, sure enough, a ship was waiting to enable his escape. Upon arrival in England he was captured by brigands and returned to slavery. He escaped after two months and spent the next seven years traveling Europe seeking his destiny. During this time he furthered his education and studied Christianity in the Lerin Monastery in France. He returned to England as a priest. Again a dream greatly influenced him when he became convinced that the Irish people were calling out to him to return to the land of his servitude. He went to the Monastery in Auxerre where it was decided that a mission should be sent to Ireland. Patrick was not selected for this task to his great disappointment. The monk that was selected was called Paladius, but he died before he could reach Ireland and a second mission was decided upon. Patrick was made a Bishop by Pope Celestine in the year 432 and, together with a small band of followers, he traveled to Ireland to commence the conversion. Patrick confronted the most powerful man in Ireland, Laoghaire, The High King of Tara, as he knew that if he could gain his support then he would be safe to spread the word throughout Ireland. To get his attention Patrick and his followers lit a huge fire to mark the commencement of Spring. Tradition had it that no fire was to be lit until the King's fire was complete, but Patrick defied this rule and courted the confrontation with the King. The King rushed into action and traveled with the intention of making war on the holy delegation. Patrick calmed the King and with quiet composure impressed upon him that he had no intention other than that of spreading the word of the Gospel. The King accepted the missionary, much to the dismay of the Druids who feared for their own power and position in the face of this new threat. They commanded that he make snow fall. Patrick declined to do so stating that this was God's work. Immediately it began to snow, only stopping when Patrick blessed himself. Still trying to convince the King of his religion Patrick grasped at some Shamrock growing on the ground. He explained that there was but one stem on the plant, but three branches of the leaf, representing the Blessed Trinity. The King was impressed with his sincerity and granted him permission to spread the word of his faith, although he did not convert to Christianity himself. Patrick and his followers were free to spread their faith throughout Ireland and did so to great effect. He drove paganism (symbolised by the snake) from the lands of Eireann. Patrick was tempted by the Devil whilst on a pilgrimage at Croagh Patrick. For his refusal to be tempted, God rewarded him with a wish. Patrick asked that the Irish be spared the horror of Judgment Day and that he himself be allowed to judge his flock. Thus, the legend that Ireland will disappear under a sea of water seven years before the final judgment, was born. Patrick died on March 17th in the year 461 at the age of 76. It is not known for sure where his remains were laid although Downpatrick in County Down in the North of Ireland is thought to be his final resting place. His influence is still felt to this day as Nations the world over commemorate him on March 17th of every year. === Saint Patrick screensavers, pictures to color and more can be found here: http://www.ireland-information.com/saintpatricksday.htm ========================== KEEP THIS NEWSLETTER ALIVE! Visit: http://www.irishnation.com ========================== ======================================== GOOD WHISKEY COMES TO THOSE WHO WAIT by J. Herbert Silverman ======================================== The old adage, 'All things come to him who waits' has been fulfilled in recent times with the resurgence of Powers premium Irish whiskey on the American market and a favorite at such Manhattan pubs in the likes of Kennedy's and The Old Stand, as well as elsewhere throughout the country. Normally that would not be earth-shattering news since Gotham's Irish restaurateur community has survived the disappearance of Paddy Whiskey and Murphy's. But the reappearance of Powers, to join its siblings, Bushmills and Jameson, after an absence of many years, was a cheery occurrence particularly because the label has one of the most colorful histories in the whiskies bottled by Irish Distillers in its Middleton and Bushmills distilleries. It was founded by James Power's son John who achieved a kind of immortality in the world of drinking by inventing the 'miniature' whiskey bottle and then calling it the 'Baby Power'. Today, the child they created is as much a part of a contemporary drinking culture as coffee, tea and milk. The concept of the miniature was simplicity itself. John Power reasoned that Irish women would form a new market for his distillate. But custom dictated that women could enter a pub via a 'snug' and that had obvious limitations. He also believed that since Irishmen rarely, if ever, stocked whiskey at home preferring to drink with their cronies in pubs, women were being dealt 'a bad hand.' By creating the 'miniatures' he enabled the countryman with the ability to provide for his wife without being spied upon by the neighbors who could clearly identify a large, obviously visible bottle. The concept caught on immediately and the rest is history. By way of background, Irish whiskey has traditionally been a major 'cash crop' in Erin. It was always popular in the United States in both the ethnic and non-Irish community but during Word War II, its exports were reduced to a trickle. GIs returning from the European theater brought with them an acquired taste for the smokier Scotch, thus establishing what was to become an elitist drinking status symbol in the late 194Os and early 195Os. By 1966, the leading whiskey families in Ireland, who dominated the field, decided to amalgamate as Irish Distillers Ltd., in order to end financially expensive competition and to join in a mutual fight to regain what they regarded as a fair share of the American market. Several years ago, in the world-wide takeover trend of privately-held companies, France's Pernod Ricard acquired the Distillers Group, and ownership passed into foreign hands for the first time in history. In the process, Murphy's and Paddy whiskeys disappeared from the U. S. scene, although Paddy is still exported to Canada. The Irish had an historic French connection, the most illustrious being emigre James Hennessey who established his famous cognac distillery near Bordeaux in the late eighteenth century. This article is continued in the online edition of this newsletter: http://www.ireland-information.com/mar09.htm#article
The roots of Irish whiskey marketed on a grand scale were planted by a Scottish émigré, John Jameson, who arrived in Dublin to start up a distillery on Bow Street in 178O. That monument to his skills exists to this day. Conceivably, his career was aided by his marriage to one Margaret Haig, a member of the illustrious Scots whisky family.
"Old John" as he was known, created not only a majestic brand but also generations of Jameson's to come with his progeny of 16 children, firmly establishing the family as a shining light of local society. Proof positive is an extensive listing today in the annals of Burke's Irish Family Record, the closest thing there is to a blue book of Irish "nobility."
James Power was not far behind Jameson. He built his coal fires in John's Lane, Dublin, by 1791. Son John, ultimately knighted by Queen Victoria, became Sir John and High Sheriff of Dublin. With infinite energy, he built the renowned Power's Gold Label brand, the most popular spirituous drink eve. And his distillery was the first to bottle its own brew.
The second baronet, Sir James Power, grandson of the founding father had five children. The three boys, all titled, died without issue.
Two daughters, Frances and Gwendolyn, married respectively an O'Reilly and a Ryan
Today, the presence of the founding Irish Distillers' families have almost Thus two new and very Catholic family names were introduced to the "spirit" hierarchy which had been predominantly Protestant and regally British in orientation completely disappeared from public view as professional managers have been installed by Pernod-Ricard.
John Ryan, a member of the Powers family and a scholar of Irish history remained as public relations director of the group until his recent retirement. On St. Patrick's Day, he continues to be a major spokesman on behalf of the virtues of Irish coffee in America.
Some of the illustrious family alumni bear recognition even though only their names are a reminder of a halcyon past.
Frank O'Reilly is a sixth- generation Powers successor and until a few years ago the most visible prominent whiskey magnifico as the highly respected Irish Distilleries chairman. O'Reilly was the first Catholic to become chairman of the Ulster Bank in Belfast, part of the National Westminster Bank of England and one of the five largest in the world.
In 195O, he married Teresa Williams, daughter of Capt. John Williams, and a member of still another distilling family at Tullamore. His father, D.E. Williams, started his distillery career in true Horatio Alger style as a boy of 15. Under his 6O-year reign, the operation flourished and Tullamore Dew became a household word. Possibly he is best remembered for the acronym of his initials "DEW" which provided that immortal slogan, "Give Every Man His Dew." He was interested in a traditional Irish beverage called heather wine (mead) made from Boyne honey and whiskey.
The formula had been lost with the defeat of the Irish armies by the forces of King William in the 17h century. That military disaster led to the great exodus to the continent of Irish fighting men known as the "wild geese."
Long after D. E. Williams died (1921), the family was approached by an Austrian refugee with a recipe for a similar liqueur that he said had been in his family for generations. In its infinite wisdom, the plant management purchased the formula in what was to become a succès d'estime - "Irish Mist." The Tullamore Distillery was closed in 1954 and the Tullamore Dew label sold to Irish Distillers. The Williams family later sold the Irish Mist brand to the giant Allied Domecq distilling conglomerate.
Which reminds this writer of a pub patron in Dublin who said, when I inquired as to whether he liked Irish coffee. "Yes," was the answer, "But only in two installments." (To discuss good whiskeys, you can reach J. Herbert Silverman at JHSilverman@worldnet.att.net.)