The Information about Ireland Site Newsletter
The Newsletter for people interested in Ireland
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Roll up, Roll up Roll up! The great freebie-fest is under way!
Yes indeed, now you can send a Christmas card with a free present to a friend and
all at absolutely no cost whatsoever! See below for more details
It has been a very busy month again with the Christmas shopping having begun in earnest.
The shops are jammed with people already and the hardest part of the task seems to be finding a place to park the car. Anyway, there are a few good ideas for Christmas gifts below if you find that it is all too much for you!
The main talk in Ireland has been about the forthcoming budget which is expected to be the biggest giveaway budget in the history of the State (everyone seems to be in generous mood lately) and on a more serious note, the conclusion of the trial of Paul Ward who was accused of murdering the internationally renowned journalist, Veronica Guerin. Regular readers will remember that it was Vernoica Guerin who first exposed 'The General' who is now the subject of 2 major motion pictures.
Thanks to all those who have emailed requests for coats of arms to be added to the Gallery. I will reply!
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In this issue:-
~~~~~ New free resources at the site
~~~~~ News snaps from Ireland
~~~~~ Article about Frank McCourts book - 'Angelas Ashes'
~~~~~ The Irish Famine in Ireland, 1845-1849
~~~~~ Planning your vacation? Visit Ireland!
~~~~~ Christmas gift ideas and a readers-only special offer
~~~~~ Monthly free competition result
NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
Send a Christmas gift - Free!
At absolutely no expense to readers of this newsletter you can now send a Christmas card and a free gift to a friend (or even yourself if you are feeling lonely). Gifts include our custom made Ireland Information Site Christmas Screensaver which is just too cool to even begin to describe.
If you remember Space Invaders then you are really showing your age (I asked a nephew recently if he had Space Invaders on his Nintendo and he looked at me as if I was from mars - Space what???). Well, to strike a blow for us thirthy-somethings (and to educate the unfortunate youth who never had the pleasure of the mother of all video games) you can now send the game as a free Christmas gift! That'll teach that Lara whats-her-name.
For the more cerebral of our subscribers you can send our report on the 1798 rebellion in Ireland which is being celebrated at the moment as it is the 200th anniversary.
Other goodies include a Celtic PC Font, An Ireland tourist report and our Jokes and Blessings page. Check it out! Its free.
To send a free gift
NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
Tony Blair visits Ireland: In an historic visit, the English Prime Minister, Tony Blair visited Ireland and addressed both houses of parliament, the Dail and the Seanad. This visit comes at a time when the peace process is being perceived as being deadlocked, especially about the process of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. The visit took place only a few days after the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahearn angered Unionists by making a speech at a 1798 Rebellion Commemoration and saying that he expected to see a United Ireland within his lifetime. It is the first time in the history of the State that an English PM has addressed the Dail. Mr. Blair even attempted a few Irish words to conclude his oration - 'Gur a maith agat' (Thank you).
Ireland lose to Yugoslavia: The Republic of Ireland Football team had yet another honourable defeat, this time in the European qualifier away to Yugoslavia. In all truth a draw would have been a very good result against the team that performed so well in France in the World Cup. ireland were without teenage sensation Robbie Keane as well as Keith O'Neill. Mick McCarthy opted to play the in-form Niall Quinn as a lone striker and try to counter-attack. Ireland performed well in the first half withour really threatening the Yugoslave goal but a goal mid-way through the second half after Breen and Staunton failed to clear allowed the Yugoslavs in for the only goal of the game. The defeat leaves Ireland with 6 popints out of 9 but with Croatia meeting Yugoslavia on the same day that Ireland travel to Macedonia early in the new year, there is still plenty of scope for optimism in the Irish camp.
Paul Ward trial concludes in Dublin: Paul Ward was found guilty of the murder of Veronica Guerin although it is accepted that he was not the actual killer, the state found that the evidence of Charles Bowden (now in the witness protection programme) was sufficient to convict. Ward is serving olife imprisonment although an appeal is likely.
Pre-Budget submissions gather pace: Charlie McCreevey, the Minister for Finance, is in an unprescedented position in historical terms. The economy has never been in better shape and their is a huge fiscal surplus. He is widely expected therefore to significantly widen tax bands and possibly reduce the lower tax rate in the December budget. Organisations are queing up to make representatinos to the Minister as tho why their particular body should receive funding but it is unlikely that the Famers lobby wil be successful as Mr. McCreevey is of the opinion that the Farmers are well enough looked after in relative terms (and this despite the Farmers march on the city earlier in the month). Economists are warning that the good times cannot last forever and that some money should be put aside especially with the national Debt currently running at over 30 Billion pounds. It seesm unlikely however that the Fianna Fail government will be able to resist the pressure from the PAYE sector for very significant tax reforms.
Dublins O'Connell Street to get a Cone: In what seems certain to join the litany of bizarre decisions made in recent years Dublin's O'Connell street is to get a 364 foot steel cone to usher in the new Millennium. At a cost of 3 million pounds the cone will be the highest structure in Ireland, being twice the height of Liberty Hall. A 'street' name for the proposal has yet to surface but no doubt a nick-name will be circulated soon similar to that given to the water fountain on O'Connell (the floozie in the Jacuzzi) or to the buxom statue of Molloy Malone at the bottom of Grafton Street (the tart with the cart) or to the now defunct clock that was placed in the river Liffey (the chime in the slime). One of the selectors of the structure quoted Plato as saying that beauty, style, harmony and grace all derived from simplicity. It seems that Dublin Corporation is composed of very simple people indeed.
THE FAMINE IN IRELAND, 1845-1849
The great famine that occurred in Ireland during the 1840s was a pivotal event in World as well as Irish history. This may seem like a very broad statement but it is true with regard to the dispersal of Irish emigrants (the diaspora) to every corner of the globe, and to America, Canada and Australia in particular.
Irish nationalism was changed forever also as, for the first time the majority of Irish people realised that it was necessary for them to take charge of their own affairs. The success of Parnell in the Land War was due in part to the Famine which morally broke the hold that the English had on the country. Landlordism and the Cottier class of peasants also disappeared as small holdings were kept for the eldest son only whilst the rest of the offspring often had to take the emigrant boat.
Emigration during the famine was oftern a worse choice than starvation especially as the infamous 'Coffin' Ships arrived with less than half of their human cargo alive. Over 1 million people had died and a further million had emigrated by the time the famine had run its course.
The Information about Ireland Site has prepared a special report on this subject which is free for your use. It can be downloaded from
I am proude to be able to offer a full set of 6 prints that feature genuine Irish postage stamps commemorating this subject. To view these superb items:
ARTICLE ABOUT FRANK MCCOURTS BOOK - ANGELA'S ASHES
"Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood,"
so writes Frank McCourt in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel. This is a story of extreme poverty and hardship that is not for the faint hearted. Indeed it sometimes traverses the line between entertainment and enlightenment.
This is a story of the fight against poverty. The McCourt family moved back from America where they had gone to make a life and returned to Limerick city at a time when Ireland had little to offer them. When disease, hunger and malnutrition takes his brothers and sisters from him, young Frankie and his brother Malachy grow up little realising that life has more to offer than old potatoes and bolied pigs head for Christmas dinner. The family were crammed into a tenement slum. The upstairs room was 'Italy', warm and dry. Downstairs was Ireland, wet and cold. The rats, the death, the shared latrine and the smell of poverty and neglect pervade evey paragraph of this powerful book.
If young Frank is the hero of the story then it is difficult to regard his father as an anti-hero. His drunkeness and eventual abandonment of his family are upsetting and yet we still cannot quite condemn him. Frankies mother, Angela, is regarded with little emotion by the author and the description of her struggle and humiliation are only very occasionally tinged with anything approaching pity.
This typical tale of an Irish childhood is soon to be the subject of a major motion picture to be directed by Alan Parker with Robert Carlyle and Emily Lloyd in the lead roles. If the cinema release succeeds in capturing the essence of the written telling, then this will be a very powerful production indeed.
For details of a discounted price to ge this book from Amazon click here.
PLANNING A VISIT TO IRELAND?
Okay, I know it is a bit early to be thinking of next years vacation but if you have any intention of visiting the Emerald Isle then now is the time to start making arrangements. Seriously, the hotels and guesthouses are booked up early and you should be making your accommodatino arrangements now. I am often asked if it is worthwile visiting Ireland in the non-Summer months and I have to reply that there is no such thing as an Irish Summer. March and November can oftern be better than July and August. Indeed March and April are excellent months for exploring Ireland as the tourist season will only be in its infancy and the weather can often be suprisingly good. Remember that March 17th is Saint Patricks day and the country is invaded with merry-makers.
You can download our free tourist report from here. If you want to give somebody a hint that you want to go then you can send them the report from free by clicking here.
CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS AND A READERS-ONLY SPECIAL OFFER
How often have you said that so-and -so is impossible to shop for. Don't do it. Don't buy the six-pack of black socks or the bottle of perfume that is more effective on bad paintwork than turpentine. Help me to keep the Informaiton about Ireland Site alive by giving any of these unusual gifts for Christmas presents:
- An Irish family name Screensaver - Kelly, Murphy, Sullivan... .over 750 names now available
- Books delivered to your door:
Angelas Ashes, The Ginger Man, Philadelphia Here I Come, Echoes
Click here for more details.
- Irish History Prints with genuine Irish postage stamps, from US$10
- Report: How to start the search for your Irish roots, only US$6
- Tourist Report: Ireland, 100 Places to See, 500 Places to Stay, Only US$12
Special Christmas Offer # 1: Get US$48 off the full set of 8 Irish History Prints at a discount price of US$55 and get an Irish family name Screensaver (a US$8 value) AND our Genealogy Report How to start the search for your Irish Roots (a US$6 value) absolutely free.
Special Christmas Offer # 2: Order any 2 Irish family name Screensavers (US$8 each) and get a third Screensaver free (a US$8 value).
Special Christmas Offer # 3: Order the Irish Tourist Report (US$12) and the Genealogy Report How to start the search for your Irish Roots (US$6) and get a free Irish family name Screensaver of your choice (a US$8 value).
To avail of these special offers simply visit the secure Order Form by clicking here.
OCTOBER COMPETITION RESULT
The winner was: email@example.com
who will receive either of the following:
Our Superb 1798 Rebellion Print
Click here to view
An Irish family name Screensaver of the winners choice
Click here for more information
Well Done! Remember that all subscribers to this
newsletter are automatically entered into the competition every time.
Until the next time,
The Information about Ireland Site.
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