The Information about Ireland Site Newsletter
The Newsletter for people interested in Ireland
Now received by over 50,000 people worldwide
Copyright (C) 2005
IN THIS ISSUE
=== News Snaps from Ireland
=== New free resources at the site
=== Play the Irish Lotto
=== 85th Anniversary of the Death of Kevin Barry
=== What's in a Word? by Mary Ellen Lewis
=== Irish Halloween Traditions
=== Unusual things to do on your Irish Vacation #5
=== A Poem for Ireland by Margel Harbaugh
=== A little bit of Dublin - #7
=== Gaelic Phrases of the Month
=== Monthly free competition result
It is hard to believe that Halloween is upon us
again. Back in my day (now I feel old!), it was
the custom to visit house to house in the local
neighbourhood asking for sweets and fruit to
'Help the Halloween Party'. Nowadays 'Trick or
Treat' is more likely to be uttered by the
various goblins and fairies that darken our doors.
Another change from my day is the carving of
'jack-o-lanterns'. In recent years Pumpkins have
become widely available in Ireland, even grown
here, which is a far cry from the turnips that
were originally used in days long since gone....
until next month!
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NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
HOUSING CRASH VERY UNLIKELY
A report from one of Ireland's largest banks, AIB,
has indicated that a crash in the Irish housing
market is very unlikely. A recent slow-down in the
rate of increase in house price inflation has ended
and prompted the bank to predict a 7% growth rate
The Irish love affair with property looks set to
continue with as much as 30% of new homes being
snapped up by investors. Over 75,000 new housing
units were built in 2004 and this figure looks set
to be repeated in 2005. Low inflation, high rates
of employment as well as the release of SSIA funds
(savings) in April 2006 are among the main reasons
for the continued optimism.
GOVERNMENT MAY INTRODUCE COMPULSORY PENSIONS
Despite widespread advertising of the need for
citizens to have adequate pensions, the uptake
in private pensions is so low that the Irish
Government may make pensions compulsory.
A recent survey has revealed that 47% of the
workforce have no pension cover, with 60% of
women in employment having no pension cover.
TITANIC DISINTEGRATING RAPIDLY
A deep-sea dive by Irish diver Rory Golden, has
further revealed the extent of damage to the
world's most famous shipwreck. Located in two
pieces, hundreds of yards apart beneath 2.5 miles
of ocean, the Belfast-built ship is disintegrating
at a rapid pace.
A commemorative plaque from Harland and Wolff
shipyard was placed on the wreckage during the
VESTMENTS OF FAMOUS DUBLIN CHOIR THRASHED
The world famous choir of the historic
Christchurch Cathedral, located in the heart of
Dublin City centre, are having to make alternative
arrangements for their clothing, after their
vestments were thrown out with the thrash.
The red cassocks and white surplices were being
stored in black plastic bin bags prior to a
visit to the dry cleaners. An over-enthusiastic
helper seems to have put them out with the trash
for collection by the City garbage trucks. Valued
at over EURO 20,000 the Choir administrators are
hoping that an insurance claim will cover at least
part of the cost.
The Cathedral is located in the heart of 'Viking'
Dublin and has a history of performing music since
1493. It has existed since the eleventh century
although the current building dates to 1172, the
year of the Strongbow invasion.
ANTI-BIRD FLU MEASURES ARE TIGHTENED
The EU has implemented a complete ban on all
birds into the EU, apart from commercial poultry.
Private owners who wish to import birds from
approved countries must place them in quarantine
for 35 days.
Further regulations are expected in the global
expansion of the measures to prevent the
spread of avian flu.
IRELAND CRASH OUT OF WORLD CUP
The Irish soccer team crashed out of the World
Cup and will not be playing in the finals in
Germany in 2006. A hard-fought 1-0 victory over
Cyprus was followed up by a disappointing 0-0
draw against Switzerland at Landsdowne Road, who
reached the 'play-offs' after finishing second
in the group to France.
The Football Association of Ireland have confirmed
that they will not be renewing the contract of
manager Brian Kerr who must surely be ruing the
points that were dropped by his team in the two
drawn matches against Israel.
Voice your opinion on these news issues here:
NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY:
The following 6 coats of arms images and family
history details have been added to the Gallery:
A: Archer, Ashe
G: Garvin, Gavaghan
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
34 M-illionaires were created by the Irish lottery
in 2003! You could be next - especially if you use
the service provided by 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 so this site
is considered as being among the most reliable
lottery sites on the web.
Their website is now totally revamped!
The Irish lotto jackpot is never lower than
US$1,500,000 and is frequently worth in excess of
US$5,000,000. It can rise to $12,000,000 and more.
You don't have to live in Ireland to play and all
winnings are Tax Free!
The draw takes place every Wednesday and Saturday
night on national television (RTE). The jackpot
is won by matching the first six numbers
drawn (1 to 42).
A seventh number is also drawn and is called the
'bonus' number. Money can also be won by matching
five numbers, five numbers plus the bonus number,
four numbers, four numbers plus the bonus number
or three numbers plus the bonus number.
Although people tend to pick their own lucky
numbers, a 'quick pick' option is available which
instructs the Lotto computer to select the entry
numbers. Winnings are tax-free and are paid out in
one lump sum.
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. No one will know
that you have bought a ticket and no one will know
that you have won - except you!
The entry fees include all postage, handling and
Got a question? Email the friendly staff at
email@example.com or visit the website at:
85TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF KEVIN BARRY
Kevin Barry was 18 years old when he was hanged
in Mountjoy Jail on November 1st 1920.
His death at such a young age is possibly the
most poignant in recent Irish history.
He was born in 1902 in Dublin and grew up both
in the capital and in County Carlow. He enrolled
in Belvedere College in 1916 and joined the Irish
Volunteers, a nationalist organisation. In 1919
he enrolled in Dublin University to study
medicine. The Michael Collins led War of
Independence was developing and Barry, as Section
Commander, played his part in various raids
around Dublin city.
On September 20th 1920 he took part in one such
raid that went badly wrong. A street gun battle
ensued and three British soldiers were killed.
This was very significant in that these were the
first British soldier deaths in Ireland since the
1916 Easter Rising led by Pearse and Connolly.
Barry hid under a truck as the British searched
for him but was discovered when a passer-by,
concerned for his safety underneath the huge
vehicle, inadvertently warned the soldiers of
Reports of his torture in Mountjoy Jail soon
circulated but Barry refused to name his comrades.
He was given a death sentence but it was widely
believed that this sentence would be commuted, and
that the British authorities would not dare to
execute an eighteen year-old.
As the deadline approached it became clear that
Kevin Barry would be executed. A planned rescue
by Michael Collins came to nothing when
reinforcements from Dublin Castle were ordered to
the prison because of the large crowds that had
gathered outside. It was reported that Barry had
requested to be shot by firing squad rather than
hanged, which he viewed as a death not befitting
a soldier. The hangman, Ellis, had to be brought
into the country from England, as no-one in
Ireland could be found for the job. The calmness
and bravery the young Barry showed in the hours
leading up to his execution has become the
stuff of legends. Despite protestations from
clerics and politicians alike he was hanged in
Mountjoy Jail on November 1st, 1920.
Just as in the aftermath of the 1916 Easter Rising
the British military in Ireland had badly
misjudged the situation. Had they simply
imprisoned the leaders of 1916 it is likely that
the huge upsurge in support for Irish nationalism
would not have taken place. By executing someone
as young as Kevin Barry in 1920 they handed the
Irish Republican Army a huge propaganda victory.
Young recruits flocked to join the IRA in the War
of Independence, which in turn led to the Treaty,
The partition of Ireland, the Civil War,
Independence and all that has occurred since.
It was reported that, for the rest of his life,
Michael Collins bitterly regretted not being able
to save the young soldier.
The famous song 'Kevin Barry' was penned shortly
after his death and is still revived in ballad
sessions in Ireland to this very day:
In Mountjoy jail one Monday morning
High upon the gallows tree,
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty.
But a lad of eighteen summers,
Still there's no one can deny,
As he walked to death that morning,
He proudly held his head on high.
2. Just before he faced the hangman,
In his dreary prison cell,
The Black and Tans tortured Barry,
Just because he wouldn't tell.
The names of his brave comrades,
And other things they wished to know.
'Turn informer and we'll free you'
Kevin Barry answered, 'No'.
3. 'Shoot me like a soldier.
Do not hang me like a dog,
For I fought to free old Ireland
On that still September morn.
'All around the little bakery
Where we fought them hand to hand,
Shoot me like a brave soldier,
For I fought for Ireland.'
4. 'Kevin Barry, do not leave us,
On the scaffold you must die!'
Cried his broken-hearted mother
As she bade her son good-bye.
Kevin turned to her in silence
Saying, 'Mother, do not weep,
For it's all for dear old Ireland
And it's all for freedom's sake.'
5. Calmly standing to attention
While he bade his last farewell
To his broken hearted mother
Whose grief no one can tell.
For the cause he proudly cherished
This sad parting had to be
Then to death walked softly smiling
That old Ireland might be free.
6. Another martyr for old Ireland,
Another murder for the crown,
Whose brutal laws to crush the Irish,
Could not keep their spirit down.
Lads like Barry are no cowards.
From the foe they will not fly.
Lads like Barry will free Ireland,
For her sake they'll live and die.
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:
WHAT'S IN A WORD? by Mary Ellen Lewis
We all learned a bit of Irish as we toured that
lovely isle, with its forty shades of green. As we
rode along the highway on the left side of the
road, we learned to be aware of 'Calming Traffic
Ahead', and even to go 'Dead Slow'. We observed
'Diversion' signs, found 'Car Parks' and places
where our coach could 'Set Down Only'.
We discovered 'Family Butchers' who are really
peaceful folks, and we enjoyed 'Carvery Meals' and
'Take Aways', and 'Pubs', and, sure, a glass of
Guinness to 'take us over the top'. At Kathleen's
Pub we found 'ceoil' and 'craic' meaning music and
good atmosphere, a lovely way to spend the time.
We knew when house-deals were made by the sign
'Sale Agreed', and we learned to set our clocks
at 'half four', and 'To Let' meant a house is
We started each day with 'Dia Duith' and learned
to 'go with the flow'.
I am sure you can each add some phrases you
picked up along the way. It was a great time
all-together, wasn't it?
Compiled by Sister Mary Ken, S.L and her sister
Mary Ellen Lewis after a bus tour in Ireland.
The actual Irish weather report is really a
recording made in 1922 which no one has had
occasion to change:
'Scattered showers, periods of sunshine'
IRISH HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS
The Celts celebrated Halloween as Samhain, 'All
Hallowtide' - the 'Feast of the Dead', when the
dead revisited the mortal world. The celebration
marked the end of Summer and the start of the
During the eighth century the Catholic Church
designated the first day of November as 'All
Saints Day' ('All Hallows') - a day of
commemoration for those Saints that did not have
a specific day of remembrance. The night before
was known as 'All Hallows Eve' which, over time,
became known as Halloween.
Here are the most notable Irish Halloween
Colcannon for Dinner: Boiled Potato, Curly Kale
(a cabbage) and raw Onions are provided as the
traditional Irish Halloween dinner. Clean coins
are wrapped in baking paper and placed in the
potato for children to find and keep.
The Barnbrack Cake: The traditional Halloween
cake in Ireland is the barnbrack which is a
fruit bread. Each member of the family gets a
slice. Great interest is taken in the outcome as
there is a piece of rag, a coin and a ring in
each cake. If you get the rag then your financial
future is doubtful. If you get the coin then you
can look forward to a prosperous year. Getting
the ring is a sure sign of impending romance
or continued happiness.
The Ivy Leaf: Each member of the family places a
perfect ivy leaf into a cup of water and it is
then left undisturbed overnight. If, in the
morning, a leaf is still perfect and has not
developed any spots then the person who placed the
leaf in the cup can be sure of 12 months health
until the following Halloween. If not.....
The Pumpkin: Carving Pumpkins dates back to the
eighteenth century and to an Irish blacksmith
named Jack who colluded with the Devil and was
denied entry to Heaven. He was condemned to
wander the earth but asked the Devil for some
light. He was given a burning coal ember which he
placed inside a turnip that he had gouged out.
Thus, the tradition of Jack O'Lanterns was born
- the bearer being the wandering blacksmith - a
damned soul. Villagers in Ireland hoped that the
lantern in their window would keep the wanderer
away. When the Irish emigrated in their millions
to America there was not a great supply of turnips
so pumpkins were used instead.
Halloween Costumes: On Halloween night children
would dress up in scary costumes and go house to
house. 'Help the Halloween Party' and 'Trick or
Treat' were the cries to be heard at each door.
This tradition of wearing costumes also dates back
to Celtic times. On the special night when the
living and the dead were at their closest the
Celtic Druids would dress up in elaborate costumes
to disguise themselves as spirits and devils in
case they encountered other devils and spirits
during the night. By disguising they hoped that
they would be able to avoid being carried away at
the end of the night. This explains why witches,
goblins and ghosts remain the most popular
choices for the costumes.
Snap Apple: After the visits to the neighbours the
Halloween games begin, the most popular of which
is Snap Apple. An apple is suspended from a string
and children are blindfolded. The first child to
get a decent bite of the apple gets to keep their
prize. The same game can be played by placing
apples in a basin of water and trying to get a
grip on the apple without too much mess!
The Bonfire: The Halloween bonfire is a tradition
to encourage dreams of who your future husband or
wife is going to be. The idea was to drop a
cutting of your hair into the burning embers and
then dream of you future loved one. Halloween was
one of the Celt 'fire' celebrations.
Blind Date: Blindfolded local girls would go out
into the fields and pull up the first cabbage they
could find. If their cabbage had a substantial
amount of earth attached to the roots then their
future loved one would have money. Eating the
cabbage would reveal the nature of their future
husband - bitter or sweet!
Another way of finding your future spouse is to
peel an apple in one go. If done successfully the
single apple peel could be dropped on the floor
to reveal the initials of the future-intended.
Anti-Fairy Measures: Fairies and goblins try to
collect as many souls as they can at Halloween but
if they met a person who threw the dust from under
their feet at the Fairy then they would be obliged
to release any souls that they held captive.
Holy water was sometimes anointed on farm animals
to keep them safe during the night. If the animals
were showing signs of ill health on All Hallows
Eve then they would be spat on to try to ward off
any evil spirits.
Happy Halloween from Ireland!
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UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO ON YOUR IRISH VACATION #5
Rock-climbing in Ireland, like most adventure
pursuits, has greatly increased in popularity
in recent years. A hugely popular climbing
destination can be found at Dalkey Quarry,
along the south coast of the Dublin city, beyond
Dun Laoghaire. More than 300 climbs have been
developed in the quarry making it the most popular
climbing destination in the country. The Irish
Mountaineering Club holds Thursday evening
sessions for beginners.
Streaky Slab is another fine climbing destination
located near Bray, County Wicklow, not far along
the coast from Dalkey. Nearby Glendalough in
Wicklow, home to the famous monastic settlements,
also has 300-foot climbs, while a greater
challenge can be found at the coastline off the
Burren, near the Cliffs of Moher. Perhaps the
ultimate challenge for climbers in Ireland can be
found on Achill Island, which is home to some of
Europe's tallest sea-cliffs.
For those who want to try some indoor climbing
there are facilities at Dublin City University
(Santry, North-City Dublin), UCD (Belfield,
South-City, Dublin) and at the University of
Limerick at Plassey (just outside the city at
Castletroy on the Dublin Road).
CHAD'S IRISH TOURS
Chad's Irish Tours is a Certified Ireland
Specialist with Tourism Ireland. Plan a group
trip or self-drive vacation.
Call today 1-877-6-IRELAND.
Click to Visit: http://www.chadsirishtours.com
YOU CAN HELP TO KEEP THIS FREE NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
where you can get great Irish gifts, prints,
claddagh jewellery, engraved glassware and
Wendy Walker of Columbia, Missouri got a
family crest signet ring with the Donnelly family
crest engraved on it for her son
I received by registered mail today the ring I
ordered for my son with the Donnelly family crest.
I am very impressed and thrilled with the ring.
It is beautiful and the service I received
throughout the whole process of ordering and
receiving this unique gift has been superb. Thank
you for all your assistance and prompt responses
to my questions.
I will most certainly order other items from you
and will highly recommend you.
THE PERFECT WEDDING, ANNIVERSARY OR BIRTHDAY GIFT!
See here for family crest gifts:
A POEM FOR IRELAND by Margel Harbaugh
Note: The Irish word for Ireland is Eire which
is pronounced 'air-eh'.
On a cliff in Eire, just thinking,
One sides blue, one sides green,
There's things unheard of & places unseen.
A little man hiding, making a shoe for a fairy,
They're called leprechauns from the land of Eire.
Saint Patrick, Saint Patrick, by the Eire lakes,
He was kidnapped by pirates and drove out the snakes.
Families of Eire can hear a banshee's cry,
Most O's and Macs, she tells, someone will die.
The three leaf clover special and green,
A lot of different things could mean what it means.
A big nice rock, called the blarney stone,
Bend back, kiss it, and you'll never be alone.
The flag, the flag, orange, green and white,
Protestant, Catholic, they'll always fight.
Unity, unity, stop fighting each other,
Tis' Eire your friend just like it's your other.
A LITTLE BIT OF DUBLIN - #7
The famous victory by Brian Boru over the Vikings
at Clontarf in the year 1014 marked the end of
the Viking raids on Ireland. By this time however,
the Vikings had already begun to assimilate into,
and make their mark on Gaelic society.
One such Viking was Sitric Silkenbeard, the King
of Dublin. Despite the reputation of the Vikings
Silkenbeard was a devout Christian and was
responsible for the founding of the famous
Christchurch Cathedral at the top of Dame Street
in Dublin City Centre. His reign saw the first
coins ever minted in Ireland. They bore his
image on one side and a cross on the other. He
remained in power until 1036 and spent the last
of his days on the island of Iona, Scotland.
GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
PHRASE: Oiche Shamhna
PRONOUNCED: ee-ha how-nah
MEANING: Halloween (the night before Samhain)
PHRASE: Tabhair feirin dom no buailfidh me bob ort!
PRONOUNCED: tour ferr-een dum no booligg may bob urt
MEANING: Trick or Treat
(give me a treat or I will play a trick on you!)
PHRASE: Tine cramha/Cailleach/Taibhse
PRONOUNCED: tinneh cravh-sheh/coll-yuk/tavh-sheh
View the archive of phrases here:
SHAMROCK SITE OF THE MONTH: CELTICATTIC.COM
Shop online for everything you need to decorate
your home and life with a Celtic Twist: Art,
Crafts, Irish & Scottish Baskets, Suncatchers,
Wind-Chimes, Music and Celtic Gifts. We offer a
delightful variety of Celtic Jewelry: Pendants,
Crosses, Rings, Hair Ties & more. All your
Irish Bath, Beauty and Herbal needs are in one
convenient location! The Majority of our products
are Irish, Scottish, Welsh made.
Phone orders 360-765-0186
OCTOBER COMPETITION RESULT
The winner was: firstname.lastname@example.org
who will receive the following:
A Single Family Crest Print (decorative)
Send us an email to claim your print, and well
done! Remember that all subscribers to this
newsletter are automatically entered into the
competition every time.
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I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
Until next time, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
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