The Information about Ireland Site Newsletter
The Newsletter for people interested in Ireland
Now received by over 50,000 people worldwide
Copyright (C) 2009
IN THIS ISSUE
=== News Snaps from Ireland
=== New free resources at the site
=== Play the Irish Lotto
=== Ireland: getting around, where to eat, using taxis
=== Douglas Hyde: First President of Ireland
=== The Sheep Dog by Pat Watson
=== Irish Festival & Clan Gathering Noticeboard
=== Gaelic Phrases of the Month
=== Monthly free competition result
Summer has finally arrived in Ireland with
unexpected good weather (we never dare to expect
sunshine) being followed by the usual rain. At
least the airports are getting back to normal with
the volcano in Iceland behaving itself. It has
been mooted that this could become an annual
The problems in the economy seem to be settling
down with pop-phrases like 'green shoots' and
'the bottom has been reached' and 'turned the
corner' all being well exercised in the media.
Is Ireland facing into sunnier times, or is it
just the good weather?
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NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
GOVERNMENT STILL STRUGGLING IN THE POLLS
It is very clear that if the last general
election had been held a year later that
Fianna Fail would certainly not been have
been returned to office.
The performance of then Taoiseach Bertie
Ahern in the leaders debate when he squared
up to Fine Gael's Enda Kenny was cited by
many as a pivotal point in the campaign.
Fianna Fail formed a coalition with the
Green Party, the PDs and independents to
create what has proved to be a surprisingly
Since the election the attitude of the public
to Fianna Fail has changed dramatically. The
collapse in the construction industry, the
increase in unemployment and the banking
fiasco have led to calls for Fianna Fail to
call an election immediately so a new government
can take charge.
Some chance. Fianna Fail are clearly getting all
of the bad news and unpopular decisions out of
the way now in the hope that the economy will
begin to return to growth and unemployment can
start to reduce. It is very early days yet but
with two years to go to the next election there
are signs that their tactics are working.
Announcements of job losses are being matched by
announcements of jobs creation. Unemployment has
stabilised and the economy is forecast to grow
If an upward swing can be generated and some
momentum manufactured in time for the 2012
election then the currently fanciful possibility
of Fianna Fail being returned to power is not
out of the question. At the moment that
possibility looks remote especially when the
latest opinion poll is considered. Fine Gael are
on 30%, Fianna Fail are on 24% with Labour at 22%.
The leader of Fine Gael has often been credited
with reorganising the grass-roots party
organisation in recent years but is also viewed
as a liability as national leader by many. Enda
Kenny's party has suffered two successive falls
in popularity in recent polls which will make a
leadership contest inevitable should the trend
continue. The Labour Party has blossomed in
these recessionary times with their leader Eamon
Gilmore being very well regarded. Critics of the
party will point out that they have failed to
publish concrete and costed alternative policies
while on the other hand being very good at
criticising the Fianna Fail government for
implementing their policies.
If an election were to be held today then Fianna
Fail would certainly be ejected from office with
Fine Gael and Labour likely to make up a
coalition. The possibility of a Fianna Fail and
Labour coalition in two years time should not be
discounted though. Two years is a lifetime in
BANKS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE AGAIN
The Irish government has turned up the heat on
the main banks in an effort to force them to
lend more to small business and individuals.
Having received big government backing it is
time for some payback. The Taoiseach Brian Cowen
has indicated that he will force the banks to
lend more if they do not voluntarily do so
SHAKE-UP IN IRISH PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE
The government has announced the sale of the VHI
which is the largest health insurance company in
the country. It is also state-owned which has
caused a number of problems recently especially
with other insurance companies being forced to
pay the VHI a subsidy for the older client profile
that the VHI maintains.
New regulations are to be introduced that will
make it more expensive for people to wait until
their later years to get health insurance.
LITTER PROBLEM HIGHLIGHTED
Ireland has long had a litter problem which is
a shame considering the great beauty of many
parts of the country. The Minister for the
Environment is a Green Party TD named John
Gormley and he looks set to act. A working
group is to be established to tackle this
issue with cigarette butts and fast-food
wrappers being targeted. Key tourist locations
are to be cleaned up immediately. A recent
report highlighted the need for action with just
6.8% of areas surveyed in 2009 being classed
FACEBOOK TARGETED BY IRISH POLITICIAN
Nessa Childers is a Labour Party MEP (Member of
the European Parliament) and has called on
increased regulation of Facebook, the popular
social networking website. She is concerned that
overuse of the site can lead to a 'clear and
present threat to the mental health of millions
of European citizens'. The MEP who trained as a
psychotherapist is concerned that addiction to
Facebook can lead to social isolation in the
real world with people escaping into their
Facebook virtual worlds.
Voice your opinion on these news issues here:
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:
IRISH HOLIDAY AND TOURIST BOARD
Post a question about holidaying in Ireland
and we guarantee an answer will be posted on
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:
G: Ganley, McGaffin
N: Neligan, Nixon
View the Gallery here:
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:
PLAY THE IRISH LOTTERY
29 NEW EURO-MILLIONAIRES were created by the
Irish Lottery in 2008 with the total prize
pool amounting to EU455 Million! You can be
the next lucky winner via our fast and
secure service at http://www.irishlotto.net
http://www.irishlotto.net has been in
operation since 1988 and is one of the oldest
online lottery sites in the world. With
subscribers in 89 countries, it is easy to
see why it is considered to be among the most
reliable lottery sites on the web.
The Irish Lotto jackpots can rise to over
EU18 Million and you don't have to live in
Ireland to play and win a lump sum of
cash TAX FREE!
The Irish Lottery's largest ever jackpot of
18,963,441 was won by a syndicate of sixteen
work colleagues at the Dan Morrissey (Ireland)
Ltd quarry and concrete plant on June 2008,
while the second-largest jackpot of 16,185,749
was won on July 2007 by a family from Cork.
Draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday
night and jackpots are won by matching the
first 6 numbers drawn from 1 to 42, plus a
'bonus' number. Full details on how to play
are listed at
The service offered by irishlotto.net includes:
* Entering your numbers in the Irish Lottery and
immediately sending you official confirmation
of your entry.
* Double-checking your numbers after each draw.
* Immediately notifying you, in confidence, of
any winnings. Payment is made according to your
* Sending you details of the winning numbers for
the draws in which you participate.
TOTAL CONFIDENTIALITY is assured. Your entry and
participation shall be kept private and
confidential from start to finish.
The entry fees include all postage, handling and
Got a question? Email the friendly staff at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at:
PLAY THE EUROPEAN LOTTERY
The first jackpot was worth 15 M.illion euros.
The highest has been over 183,000,000 euros,
which was won by three people. The largest single
winner was Delores McNamara from Limerick in
Ireland who won €115.6 M.illion ($139,000,000 or
Weekly Euro M.illions draws will be made in Paris
every Friday. The Euro M'illions draw is a
combination draw involving 5 balls drawn from 50,
PLUS 2 balls drawn from 9 (termed 'Lucky Stars').
5 balls plus the 2 lucky stars must be matched to
claim the jackpot - giving a 1 in 76 m'illion
chance of winning, this will of course result in
more rollover jackpots, likely to see jackpots up
to 70 m'illion Euros, which attracts more ticket
sales. The larger number of smaller prize tiers
will provide for an overall chance of a prize
of 1 in 24.
Play the European Lottery at:
YOU CAN HELP TO KEEP THIS FREE NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
where you can get great Irish gifts, prints,
claddagh jewellery, engraved glassware and
Anne MacDonald ordered a family crest plaque:
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
Again, my hearty thanks for this
Best wishes for happy holiday season.
Sincerely, Anne MacDonald
THE PERFECT WEDDING OR ANNIVERSARY GIFT!
View family crest plaques here:
IRELAND: GETTING AROUND, WHERE TO EAT, USING TAXIS
TOURIST TIP #1: GETTING AROUND IRELAND
The Irish public transport network is overseen
by CIE who run Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann (the
national bus service) and Iarnrod Eireann
(controlling the Irish national rail network as
well as the Dublin DART train service).
The Railway Procurement Agency is responsible for
the LUAS light-rail system.
All of these services have online timetables and
maps to view and you can even buy your tickets
online in advance of your journey.
RUSH-HOUR: Dublin is like most major capital
cities and suffers badly in terms of traffic from
8am to 10am in the morning and from 4:30 to 7pm
in the evening. Being trapped in a bus or DART
during these times can be a frustrating experience
and is one to be avoided if at all possible. Plan
your route in advance! Other cities such as Galway,
Cork and Limerick also suffer during these times.
DRIVING IN DUBLIN: If you are a first-time visitor
to Ireland and are thinking of hiring a car to get
around the major cities then we have only 4 words
for you: do not do it! By all means hire a car if
you want to meander around the countryside from
town to town and set your own agenda. Choosing to
drive in Dublin city traffic on your vacation
however is a really bad idea. The city is a mire
of one-way systems and blockages, road-works and
endless traffic-jams. Unless you know exactly
where you are going and the route to take then you
are best advised to give the whole 'driving in
Dublin' experience a miss.
GETTING AWAY FROM DUBLIN AIRPORT: There is no
train service from Dublin Airport into the city
centre although one is being built at the moment.
There are several bus operators who operate
services as well as Dublin Bus. Some bus services
will connect with the local DART station while
most head straight for the city centre. See
Taxis are in good supply at the airport and are
probably the easiest way of getting to your hotel.
When planning your arrival into Dublin Airport try
to arrive outside of the main traffic rush-hours
so that when you do get a bus or taxi, or hire a
car, then you wont be caught up too badly. If you
are driving then a quick way to bypass the city
centre is to use the M50 motorway which runs
adjacent to the Airport. This is a ring-road
around the city which allows you to make exits for
Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Kerry and Cork. Travelling
the entire length of the M50 would bring you to the
south coast of the city with exits to Blackrock,
Dun Laoghaire, Bray and then onwards to the
south-east of the country towards Wexford and
Waterford. See www.m50.ie for more. It should be
noted that the M50 suffers very badly during
If you are driving from the airport into the city
centre then you should consider using the Port
Tunnel. This is a tolled link that can be a bit
expensive depending on the time it is used. It is
a very good way however, of getting you straight
into the city centre by bypassing the worst of
northside traffic. See www.dublinporttunnel.ie
There are a number of domestic flights available
from Dublin Airport. www.aerarann.com can fly
you to Cork, Galway and Kerry, Donegal and Sligo.
DUBLIN BUS: The Dublin bus service is an extensive
service that covers most parts of the city and
beyond. It even serves several locations that are
not even based in County Dublin, running as far as
Maynooth in County Kildare, Clonee in County Meath,
and Blessington and Bray in County Wicklow. While
the Dublin Bus fleet has the run of 'bus lanes',
travelling during the main rush-hours can be a
painful experience. See www.dublinbus.ie for more.
BUS EIREANN: Bus Eireann is the long-haul bus
service and is a good alternative to the train
service depending on your travel requirements.
Most major locations are served. The main Dublin
terminus is located at Busaras which is in the
heart of the city and only yards from the terminus
of the Luas Red Line at Connolly Station where
the DART also stops. The bus service is generally
a cheaper option than the train service.
See www.buseireann.ie for more.
IARNROD EIREANN: The Irish Rail network serves all
major destinations in Ireland and runs from two
main Dublin stations. Connolly station is located
in the heart of the city while Heuston station is
a few miles away to the west. The Luas Red Line
runs from Connolly and has a stop at Heuston. The
Rail network suffers badly during rush-hour times
with over-crowding common. For short day-trips
out of Dublin to the likes of Kilkenny, or down the
coast to Wexford, or even as far as Galway for a
overnight stay, then the rail service can be pretty
good, once you plan your departure time!
DART: The Dublin Area Rapid Transport is a rail
system that runs along the coast of County Dublin.
Serving Bray and Greystones in County Wicklow and
running via the city centre as far as Howth and
Malahide on the northside, the DART is a pretty
reliable way of seeing Dublin beyond the main
tourist sites. Each of the four towns just mentioned
have nice pier-side walkways and are frequent
destinations for Dubliners who want to go for a
jaunt along the sea-front on a Sunday afternoon.
The DART, like the LUAS, is useful for visitors
who want to stay in suburban locations where the
hotel bills are cheaper while having an easy way
to get in and out of the city. If your
accommodation is located near a DART or a LUAS
station then you can make big savings on that
hotel bill by using the public transport
system to get around. See www.irishrail.ie for
LUAS: The Luas is a light-rail system that runs on
the streets of Dublin alongside regular traffic.
The Red Line runs 14Km via 23 stops from Connolly
station in the heart of Dublin City to the western
suburb of Tallaght. The Green Line runs 9Km via 9
stops from St. Stephens Green to the southern
suburb of Sandyford. Roughly speaking the Red Line
runs westwards from the city centre while the Green
Line runs southwards from the city centre. Ticket
vending machines are available at major stops.
The Luas is regarded as a very reliable and
frequent service. It also facilitates tourists
who want to stay in hotels further out from the
city centre and still be able to easily make it
into the main Dublin attractions. See www.luas.ie
TOURIST TIP #2: WHERE TO EAT
Food and drink can be expensive in Ireland but
like most countries there are plenty of places
to find cheaper alternatives without sacrificing
too much on quality.
RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS: Just like everywhere else
there is a huge variance in the prices charged by
restaurants depending on the type of food served
and the 'trendiness' of the establishment. A quick
glance at the menu posted outside most
restaurants will give you an indication of the
type of place inside. Ireland has a large number
of restaurants serving foreign food with Chinese,
Italian, and Indian being the most popular
although practically every ethnic group is catered
for, especially in Dublin. In general Italian
restaurants will be more expensive than Chinese
and Indian restaurants, considerably so in some
cases. Dining in hotels is probably the most
expensive option available although if you have
booked meals as part of your accommodation charge
then good value can be had. Some hotels have
'pub-food' options in their bar area which can
be relatively inexpensive.
PUBS: Dining in a pub is generally cheaper than
in a dedicated restaurant. The development of
the pub dining experience in recent years has
occurred partly as a response to the ban on smoking
in pubs which hit business hard. The result has
been an big increase in the number of pubs
(sometimes called Gastro-pubs) that offer really
great quality food at affordable prices. Most
pubs will offer the usual selections of steaks,
burgers and chicken dishes as well as a few
Chinese or even Indian options served with local
vegetables. While the experience may not be as
intimate as a restaurant and is likely to be
noisier, it is sometimes this very hurly-burly
that is the attraction! You might want to check
out if there is a big sporting event being shown
on television as a lot of pubs have big screens
and multiple TVs dotted around their premises
to draw in a crowd.
TAKE-AWAYS: The famous Irish 'chipper' is a an
institution with claims that the Irish 'fish and
chips' is simply the best in the world being
unchallenged at the time of writing. It is ironic
therefore that most Irish chippers are run by
Italians! These usually offer good quality food
at modest prices. While it is true from a health
standing that you would not want to be eating
'chipper' food every day, there is no doubt that
while on vacation it can be a great treat. A lot
of these establishments now offer pizza and even
pasta dishes to take away. Very few have any
FAST-FOOD: Ireland has the usual selection of
fast food companies such as McDonalds, Abrakebabra,
KFC, as well as a multitude of Pizza joints. You
probably know by now what to expect! A quick word
of caution here though. Ireland has its share of
drink-related crime like any other country. In
recent years the fast-food joints that stay open
until the small hours have become a great
attraction for drinkers on their way home after a
night on the town. While there is no reason to
think that you will encounter any trouble it is
as well to exercise a bit of extra vigilance if
you end up in a late night eatery. Wandering
around town centres in the small hours when the
pubs are emptying out is not an activity to be
recommended in any country!
GARAGES AND SHOPS: Yes the place where you fill
up the car with petrol is now a dining option!
The development of large garage forecourts and
the placing of grocery stores within them is a
recent occurrence. A lot of the larger garages
now have seated areas and small food counters
where hot food is served daily (sometimes 24
hours!). If you are driving around Ireland then
these places can certainly help the bank balance
while offering quick simple food of good quality.
Many larger shops and supermarkets now have
dining areas attached. Most offer quick 'snack'
food such as wraps, sandwiches and baguettes but
some even offer full dinner menus.
DIY: If you have the facility to prepare your own
food and meals then there are lots of places to
buy your basic needs. It is difficult to
generalise about prices but typically the larger
supermarkets (Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Superquinn)
will be cheaper than the smaller stores (Spar,
Costcutters, etc.) who in turn are cheaper than
the smallest grocery stores. In general food costs
more in Dublin than anywhere else in the country,
although all of the big tourist centres have
great capacity for over-pricing their wares! If
dining at home then it is worthwhile checking out
the various delivery options that Chinese, Indian
and Pizza joints offer. Most offer delivery after
6pm with the modest delivery charge added to the
overall price (a small gratuity to the delivery
person is the norm).
TOURIST TIP #3: USING TAXIS IN IRELAND
Different countries have different protocols when
hailing a taxi. Some countries adopt a 'free for
all' where punters nearly fight each other for
their ride home. Some other countries are a bit
more restrained! Ireland would be in the mid-range
of these two experiences and with the recent
de-regulation of the taxi industry it is a lot
easier to get a taxi than it used to be.
ON THE STREET: Taxis can be hailed virtually
anywhere and at any time simply by raising your
hand, waving or otherwise getting the attention
of the driver (if you can whistle then that will
When hailing a taxi in this fashion try to
position yourself at a part of a road or street
where any available taxi will have a certain
amount of space to drive into and stop, without
causing too much inconvenience to traffic behind.
Bus stops are often good places to hail taxis
from as there is often a lay-by cut into the
pathways for busses to veer into when collecting
passengers. Taxi-drivers are also well used to
picking up passengers from near bus-stops.
You can hail a taxi going in the opposite
direction that you want to go but unless the
driver can make a U-turn then you will have to
cross over to the other side of the road.
Taxis are supposed to have their yellow
roof-signs lit brightly to indicate that they
are available but this is not always done and
it is common practice to hail a taxi even if
the roof-light is off.
AT A TAXI-RANK: Most cities and towns have
taxi-ranks that are well serviced by cars.
Depending on the time of the day (or how late at
night it is) there may be significant queues. At
least by queueing you are guaranteed to get a
car, the alternative being to wander around hoping
to grab a taxi on the street (not an experience to
be recommended in Dublin City in the small hours).
At Dublin airport the only effective way to get
a taxi is at the taxi rank so use it!
BY TELEPHONE: Taxis can be ordered by telephone
and this can be very useful when planning your
trip to the airport or other important
destination. Often Hotels or B&Bs will order a
car for you if requested. Bear in mind that this
will be a bit more expensive than the other
methods described of getting a car but when you
absolutely have to have a taxi then this is the
surest option. Ordering a car at peak times
however can result in big delays and some
taxi-services may even decline your order if they
are too busy (ordering well in advance can prevent
When you order a taxi by telephone don't be
surprised if you receive an unmarked car rather
than an obvious taxi. Many operators use 'hackney
cabs' for their telephone business and this is
perfectly legal and in order. Hackney licences do
not allow the driver to pick up fares from a taxi
rank or from off the street.
DISABLED AND GROUP TAXIS: The quality of vehicles
being used by taxi companies has improved greatly
in recent years. Vehicles that are wheelchair
friendly are readily available but you will need
to book them in advance. Similarly it is possible
to book a 10-seater taxi if you have a group of
friends travelling to an event.
DECORUM: Most taxi-drivers are decent people
simply trying to make a living and will be glad
to offer you advice on where to go or stay. It
helps though to have a very good idea of where
your destination is (the exact address) as many
of the newer drivers will not be overly familiar
with all of the locations and will use their
Sat-Nav to guide them. You are entitled to decide
on the route you wish to take.
Tipping is commonplace - giving a driver a twenty
euro note for a fare of 18 euro would be typical,
The very first thing you do when you get into a
taxi or cab is to note the drivers name and
number (this is good advice for any country).
If no I.D. is immediately obvious then do not
take the ride as such a car may be manned by
an uninsured driver.
Most taxis will only accept 4 passengers (unless
their vehicle is otherwise capable), which is 1
in the front and 3 in the back maximum.
If you have a complaint or have left property in
the taxi then you can contact the taxi service
you used or the Irish taxi regulator at
www.taxiregulator.ie (you do have the driver name,
I.D. or registration number don't you?)
KEEP THIS NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
DOUGLAS HYDE: FIRST PRESIDENT OF IRELAND
Douglas Hyde was born in Frenchpark in County
Roscommon in 1860. His father was a local Church
of Ireland Rector. He quickly became fascinated
with the Irish language and entered Trinity
College where he studied other languages
including French, German, Greek, Latin and
Hebrew. He was determined to prevent the
continuing decline of the native language
however, and in 1893 he founded the Gaelic
The Irish language had been in decline since
the seventeenth century but this decline
accelerated in the years after the famine.
The 'Black Death' of 1845 to 1849 resulted in
over a million deaths from starvation and a
further million people were lost to emigration
in the decade following the famine. The effect
of the famine on the Irish language was
The increased awareness in national identity
that culminated in the Easter Rising in 1916 and
the subsequent War of Independence and eventual
declaration of an Irish Republic can be traced
to events in the second half of the nineteenth
century. The formation of the Gaelic League by
Douglas Hyde was crucial in the promotion of the
idea of an independent Irish nation. Many of the
iconic Irish nationalist leaders that were later
to shape the course of Irish history formed their
nationalistic philosophies during their
membership of the Gaelic League. Pearse, DeValera
and Collins were all members. Hyde later became
discontent with the increasing political bent that
the League was displaying and resigned the
presidency of the organisation he had founded in
1915. He had no political affiliation either with
the Home Rule movement or Sinn Fein.
He accepted a position in Seanad Eireann (the
appointed Senate) but later lost the post when an
election was held. It is believed that the fact
that he was a Protestant counted against him,
although false allegations that he supported
divorce must also have damaged his chances. He
returned to academic studies and became Professor
of Irish at UCD.
Despite having retired some years earlier Eamon
DeValera appointed Douglas Hyde once more to
Seanad Eireann. His stay in the Senate was again
short-lived but this time it was because greater
office beckoned. DeValera and the opposition leader
W.T. Cosgrove agreed that Hyde should become the
first President of Ireland. Both of these leaders
wanted to prove that the 'new' Ireland could be
inclusive and the appointment of a Protestant
would certainly demonstrate this. Recognition for
the years of service Hyde had given to the Irish
people through his tenure as president of the
Gaelic League was also a factor. In 1938 he became
the first President of Ireland and settled into
Aras an Uachtarain in the Phoenix Park, which has
remained the home of all Irish Presidents ever
Hyde was a popular President with the US
President Roosevelt calling him 'a fine and
scholarly old gentleman'. He suffered a massive
stroke in 1940 and it appeared his demise was
near. He recovered however and, although
wheelchair bound, continued his presidential
duties for another 5 years.
He left office in 1945 but continued to live in
the Phoenix Park until his death in 1949. He was
granted a state funeral and was buried in his
His contribution to the cause of the Irish
language, history, music and literature cannot
be overstated with W. B. Yeats proclaiming him
as the source of the Irish literary renaissance
which continues to this day.
KEEP THIS NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
THE SHEEP DOG
by Pat Watson
On a recent visit to Dublin's most glamorous
shopping centre I sat on a seat as my good
wife entered a shop. Beside me was a real old
Dubliner with a perfect old Dublin accent.
'I see you are learning to be a sheep dog,'
says he, 'You must be recently retired and
going shopping with the wife. When she says
'Sit and stay' there you remain until her
return when you will get your next command.'
Just then his better half came out of the shop,
said, 'Come' and walked on. I guffawed as I
thought it was very funny. Not so his better
half, she dissected me with a look.
'What's that stupid hyena laughing at?' He
couldn't answer as he was bent in two, feigning
asthma and trying to smother the laughter. I
laughed even louder, she got madder, my new
friend's asthma got worse, we were on a downward
spiral here, she, in danger of exploding, he
about to implode and me smothering in mirth.
'Ya ignorant culchie' she said,
'Ya aren't a wet week here when ya think ya own
the place and that ya can make fun of the rest
of us.' I never realised before that my laugh had
a culchie accent. Eventually he got to explain the
funny side to her, she smiled, looked at me, said,
'You just sit' and walked off.
After they left, I got thinking about what he had
said. I remembered the programme 'One Man and His
Dog' where the lovely black and white dog having
penned all the sheep, waits in anticipation for a
stray wild young one to appear, whereupon he would
bound into action and have her corralled in a
minute. 'Forget it kid' it is definitely not an
option. Everybody around me was texting. I could
be texting too if I knew how. Nobody seemed to
notice my presence. They just ignored me.
Then I noticed a little girl in a buggy looking at
me. I winked at her with one eye. She winked at me
with two eyes. I wiggled my nose. She put up her
hand and moved her nose. I looked out over my
glasses. She stuck out her tongue. I stuck out my
tongue. I got a belt of a handbag!
'Dirty old paedophile' she roared as she scuttled
away with the child. The child waved bye bye.
There was a mangy little Jack Russell terrier
trotting up the middle of the mall, intent on
where he was going. He stopped to sniff me. Was
he trying to tell me something?
'Don't even think about it.' The kick was accurate
but late, he had marked his territory. He yelped,
snarled and bit my shoe, before barking loudly
and swaggering off, his tail held high, top dog
'Cruel bugger, you should be reported to the
police,' said a passing English man.
'Yo man it's cool,' said a Nigerian.
'Yo man you're wet' from one of a group of
'Yo man you're smelly' from another schoolgirl.
I was only there half an hour and already had
been called Hyena, culchie, ignorant, old, bugger,
cool, paedophile, cruel, wet, stupid, dirty and
smelly. I was also assaulted, hand-bagged, ignored,
threatened, winked at, waved at, texted at, roared
at, laughed at, yelped at, barked at, snarled at,
bitten and peed upon.
I decided to just put my head on my paws, ignore
the throngs and await the master.
'Come quickly or we will get caught in the rush
hour traffic, we've wasted enough time here
'The Sheep Dog'
is one of sixty lyrical yarns from
'Original Irish Stories' by Pat Watson,
Creagh, Bealnamulla, Athlone, Ireland.
First published in May 2006.
or you can email the author here:
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IRISH FESTIVAL & CLAN GATHERING NOTICEBOARD
CANADA'S IRISH FESTIVAL ON THE MIRAMICHI
Organizers of Canada's 27th Annual Irish
Festival on the Miramichi are getting ready
for another full weekend of Irish music and
culture this summer. Each year, the Festival
presents four days of top notch entertainment
(both local and international), amongst a
plethora of cultural activities, all of which
take place in the beautiful city of Miramichi
in north-eastern New Brunswick.
If you have an Irish festival or
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GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
PHRASE: aon, do, tri, ceithir, cuig
se, seacht, ocht, naoi, deich
PRONOUNCED: ain, dough, tree, kerr/ih, koo/igg
shay, shocht, uck/th, knee, deh
PHRASE: De Luain/De Mairt/De Cheadaoin
Deardaoin/De haoine/Sathairn/De Domhnaigh
PRONOUNCED: day-loon/day mart/day k-deen
PHRASE: Ta se dearg/gorm/bui/glas/dubh/ban
PRONOUNCED: Taw shay djar-ig/gurm/gloss/duve/bawn
MEANING: It is red/blue/green/black/white
View the archive of phrases here:
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who will receive the following:
A Single Family Crest Print (decorative)
Send us an email to claim your print, and well
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I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
Until next month,
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