Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Ireland!
The party in Dublin started last Saturday with a huge
fireworks display to mark not only Saint Patrick's Day but
also the advent of the new millennium. Yes, I know what you
are thinking, but since Ireland cannot afford a 'Millennium
Dome' (England are building one in London), the powers that
be decided that Ireland would be the first country IN THE
WORLD to mark the (soon to be) Year 2000. Its great being
Irish on occasions like this because we do the most
ridiculous things and still get away with it.
I have a great freebie for you this time - see below, and a
couple of terrific reader contributions. Got something to
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(from a surprisingly bright and cheerful Dublin),
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In this issue:-
~~~~~ New free resources at the site
~~~~~ News Snaps from Ireland
~~~~~ 'Saint Patrick's Day in Tilting' by Clara A. Byrne
~~~~~ 'Buying a House in Ireland' by Brian Kennedy
~~~~~ Irish Home Sketches by John Carpenter
~~~~~ Monthly free competition result
NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
Saint Patrick's Day Gift
As promised I have a premium freebie for you on this special
day. Our US$6 report: 'How to Start the Search for your
Irish Roots' is yours for the asking - for free, but you
better be quick because this is a freebie for today only.
Send an email to:
...and you will receive the report free within 24 hours. If
you have previously bought the report from us then email me
also for a choice of our premium screensavers (we don't want
you to be left out after all!).
Go on! Send someone a Saint Patrick's Day greeting card at:
NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
ENTIRE EU COMMISSION RESIGNS: The European union is facing a
severe crisis after all 20 members of the European
Commission resigned after a report accused them of
mismanagement and even fraud. The Irish commissioner,
Padraig Flynn, was one of those who resigned although he was
not criticised in the report.
This is bad news for the Government with Bertie Ahearn
already facing criticism relating to the 2 tribunals of
enquiry that are taking place in Dublin Castle.
Soccer: Irish international Keith O'Neill is set to join
Middlesboro in a knock-down one million pound deal. The
injury-plagued striker is valued at six million but could
walk out on his club, Norwich at the end of the season under
the 'Bosman Ruling'.
Horse-Racing: Istabraq wins the Smurfit Champion Hurdle at
Rugby: Ireland defeat Wales but lose to England in the '5-
TOUTS TO BE TARGETED: In a new law to be enacted it will be
illegal for anyone to sell tickets to football matches,
music concerts or any other major event for more than the
face value on the ticket. The problem of 'touting' or
'scalping' has grown rapidly in recent years and the
Government has decided that it has seen enough of 25 pound
tickets to All-Ireland finals being sold for over 600
Hefty fines and/or imprisonment await those willing to take
a chance but don't be surprised if lack of enforcement of
this law is the norm.
WALKABOUT TODDLER FOUND SAFE AND WELL: An amazing 19-hour
absence by Cork toddler (he is 2 years old) Emmet O'Gorman,
resulted in one of the biggest searches ever conducted in
The infant disappeared from his Grandparents garden where he
had been playing with his cousins. The alarm was
immediately raised and volunteers joined the search with
haste. The audience of a play being performed in a nearby
village were press-ganged into service as fears for the
safety of the youngster increased.
He was missing all night whilst temperatures reached near
freezing point. Needless to say his parents were delighted
to have him returned to them after he was found the
following day playing with cattle in a field, some 3 miles
Apparently he had slept in a hay-shed.
When reunited with his parents he declared that he had 'been
in Brazil'. Despite being soaked to the skin and in muddy
clothes he was given a clean bill of health after a medical
checkup at the nearby Cork University hospital.
His mother appeared to suffer more than the child:
"It's a miracle. It a sheer miracle that he's safe and
well," she declared.
87 YEAR OLD WIDOWER SHOCKS AUDIENCE AT THE ANNUAL ANCIENT
ORDER OF HIBERNIANS LIMERICK CONTEST
(BAY CITY, MI DIVISION):
The audience at the annual 'Irish night' run by a chapter
of the AOH in Bay City were surprised at a renditioning
by an 87 year old widower of her entry into their Limerick
competiton. The lady in question apparently sleeps naked
and is well informed on the latest medical breakthroughs:
'Who Needs Viagra'
In a high-rise apartment lived John
Who went to bed with nothing on.
The fire bell sounded.
Into the hallway John bounded
And excited the ladies thereon.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN TILTING by Clara A. Byrne
Tilting is a community where most of the current population
can trace their ancestry to southeast Ireland. Their
ancestors came to Newfoundland to engage in the codfishery
in the mid-eighteenth century. The village is one of a small
number of places on the northeast coast of Newfoundland with
an Irish-Catholic background. In spite of their status as
Catholics in an area dominated by English Protestants the
people of Tilting have hung on to their sense of Irishness
and continue to celebrate St.Patrick's Day more than two
centuries after the first Irishman set foot on the rocky
coast of the tiny village of Tilting.
Tilting is the seat of St. Patrick's Parish and the local
church is named for the Irish saint. A large statue of St.
Patrick stands guard outside the main entrance of the church
while inside a smaller version of the statue stands at the
front of the church. It was at the parish church that St.
Patrick's Day celebrations began with the celebration of the
mass. The highlight of the mass would be the singing of "All
Praise to St. Patrick."
Everyone would be wearing a green corsage (shamrocks were
not available) made of ribbons and artificial flowers. Prior
to 1943 a parade made up of men from the village, wearing
green sashes and carrying the Irish flag, would march into
the church before mass began.
Other than the discontinuation of the parade, festivities
surrounding St.Patrick's Day were largely unchanged when I
left the community in the 1960s. Schools were closed and all
Lenten restrictions were lifted. People who had made
sacrifices such as giving up candy for Lent, in the case of
children, or alcohol by men, were free to imbibe until the
end of the day.
Although there was no special food associated with St.
Patrick there was always a special meal and usually a cake
with green frosting. Dinner would be served at noon and
following that the real partying would start. Men would go
from house to house drinking homemade beer and moonshine and
during those visits they would recite, sing, step-dance or
play an instrument. If women who were present were known as
good singers they might be asked to sing a song.
During the afternoon the children would gather at the parish
hall to decorate the place with handmade shamrocks and green
streamers which had been made in school prior to the day,
and rehearsing for the concert of Irish songs, recitations,
and skits which would take place that night and would be
followed by a dance for adults. Everyone would dress in
their new clothes because efforts would have been made by
all families to have something new for the big day. The
predominant colour was green and homemade corsages (called
"bokays") of green ribbon and buttons and flowers would
adorn every collar.
There was very little variation in St. Patrick's Day
activities from year to year until the 1970s when better
communication and transportation systems brought more
outside influences. There is still some recognition of the
day with the singing of "All Praise to St. Patrick" at the
Mass which very few attend and there is usually a social
event at the local club with music often provided by the
local doctor who hails from Dublin.
Older folk who remember the events of the past are nostalgic
about the loss of so many of their Irish traditions and when
asked why they felt this way they were unanimous in
declaring that they were Irish and did not want this to be
forgotten. None of the people with whom I spoke had ever
been to Ireland but are steadfast in their Irishness two
hundred and fifty years after their forefathers set foot on
this rocky coast.
Tilting is the only community in Newfoundland (Canada's
newest province) whose welcome sign reads "Failte go
Tilting." So "Top o' the morning" and "Happy St. Patrick's
Day" to all who are Irish (or want to be), especially on
Clara A. Byrne
BUYING A HOUSE IN IRELAND by Brian Kennedy
Q: Why is it a good idea to invest in property in Ireland?
A: Over the past two years the demand for housing has been
helped by increasing immigration as Irish emigrants return
as foreigners come and help fill the gaps in the labour
force. This will continue to have an effect on the demand for
housing over the next decade.
As Ireland's economy has grown so too has its reputation for
an excellent holiday destination. The craic is brilliant an
you can invest in a choice of properties whether Residential
Investment properties or holiday homes or a property you may
wish to use after your retirement.
Q: What are the prospects for the Irish economy?
A: Over the next decade the Irish economy faces a number of
Firstly, The rapid growth in the pace of economic activity
is putting pressure on the present physical infrastructure.
The problem is the economy was expected to grow at 3.5% a
year but it is presently growing at over 5% a year.
Secondly, The difference between the standard of living in
Ireland and EU average has converged and with less
structural funds from the EU, Ireland faces the prospect of a
growing need for infrastructural investment more dependent
on internal sources of finance.
In 1997 the Irish economy grew by 8% and in 1998 by almost
7% and whilst many economists predicted that the government
finances would be in surplus by middle of the next decade,
it actually happened in 1997. It is likely that the average
GNP growth rate for the period 1990-2000 will lie between
5.5%-6% and will fall back to 5% for following years. This
remains the central forecast of medium term growth potential
of the Irish economy.
Q: Are there enough houses?
A: The current rate of house building in Ireland should be
more than enough to meet demand arising from simple
demographic pressure. However immigration and the desire of
people who have good jobs to set up independent households
at an earlier age is fuelling pressures.
Fear that failure to enter the housing market now could see
individuals locked out permanently, has added to these
pressures. As a result rents in Dublin are now above those
of many EU cities and still rising.
Q: What will determine the growth in households in Ireland
in the next decade and a half?
A: The rise in the population of adults is a major factor in
the rapid growth of households (and demand for new houses).
Also, it is estimated that last year net immigration
accounted for 6000 new houses.
The rapid rise in the number of your adults with good labour
market expectations. Good jobs make it possible for young
adults to set up independent households at an earlier age.
Cultural changes in terms of family patterns and behaviour
as well as the affordability of housing are also factors.
Assuming that the demand for housing remains at roughly the
level experienced in the early 90's there is likely to be a
need for around 38000 new houses a year over the second half
of this decade. The changing numbers in their late twenties
to early thirty's would require just under 20000 dwellings a
Q: What are the steps involved in buying a house in Ireland?
A: There are at least 15 steps that anyone interested in
buying a house in Ireland will have to follow. This applies
to non-residents as well as residents, so if you are
planning on buying a property in Ireland whilst living
abroad then you really will need someone that you trust to
act on your behalf in Ireland.
1. Find the house of your dreams.
2. Ask your financial advisor to find the right mortgage for
3. Find a Solicitor and get a quote. If you are happy with
the price then instruct a solicitor to work for you. Make
sure his/her office is easy to get to as you may have to
call to see the solicitor on a number of occasions.
4. Check your bank account again make sure you have the full
deposit because you are going to be asked for it at the
outset (usually 10% of the final purchase price).
5. Advise your solicitor of the full details of the
property, the sellers details and those of your Bank or
6. The financial advisor will have organised a Loan Approval
for you by now, perhaps from a number of institutions. Pick
the one you think is best.
7. Instruct the valuer/surveyor to carry out an inspection
on the property. Remember they are really carrying this out
for the benefit of the Financial Institution even though you
are paying for it. It will not be a structural survey ,if
you want them to carry out a full structural survey it will
cost you extra, but it s worth it.
8. When you get your copy of the survey read it carefully
and make up your mind. The survey may require work to be
carried out, you will have to organise estimates for the
works that require to be completed.
9. The solicitor will carry out searches and investigate
title. If all this is in order s/he will complete the legal
paperwork and send you the contract to sign. Do not sign a
contract unless you have loan approval from your bank!
10. If you are going ahead sign your copy of the contract.
It is important at this point that you organise all
insurance Life and Property as you are now legally committed
to the purchase at this stage.
11. With the completion date now agreed you have an idea of
the day you will move into the house.
12. Check your bank balance again as you now should be
paying your solicitor the balance of the purchase price and
any fees you owe the solicitor for his/her services (usually
in the region of £1000 but could be more).
13. On the day of closing call to your solicitor to sign the
final documents and collect your keys.
14. After completion, your solicitor will arrange for the
Stamp Duty (exempt in certain cases) to be paid to the
Government and register your ownership at the land registry.
15. Call to the local wine shop purchase the bottle of
Financial and Mortgage Expert,
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