Ryan O'Rourke's Blog (45)

The Siege of Parke's Castle in the Wild West of Ireland

When visiting the West of Ireland, consider making time to explore County Leitrim.  This lesser-known gem is the homeland of my ancestors, and I first traveled there in 2008.  In…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on June 1, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

'Christmas Flavors' Challenge: Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Whether or not it is true, I have long been of the opinion that God never intended cabbage for human consumption.  The rubbery leaves seem more suited to adorn the bottom of brogues than to be cooked up alongside more…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on December 4, 2014 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

The Irishman Every Baseball Fan Should Know

John P. Joyce is a name that would not be familiar to most people around the world, and even in his native Ireland.  Born in County Galway in 1839, Joyce was a pioneer in the development of professional…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on November 22, 2014 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

American University to Study Irish Tongue ... Literally

“Although we all have tongues, we are surprisingly bad at knowing precisely what they're doing or conveying that to others,” says UC Santa Cruz professor of linguistics Jaye Padgett.

Tongue motion, it turns…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on September 23, 2014 at 1:14pm — 3 Comments

91 Years and Counting: Connemara and its Pony

The Annual Connemara Pony Festival takes place in Clifden, County Galway from Sunday the 27th through Sunday the 24th of August. The highlight of the festival is the Connemara Pony Show on Thursday and Friday. To mark…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on August 11, 2014 at 12:00pm — 10 Comments

Manhattan's Duffy Square: The Man Behind the Name

Duffy Square as it was in 1904…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on August 7, 2014 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Queen Elizabeth's Irish Phrasebook

In the 1560s, Queen Elizabeth I began to see the value in becoming familiar with the Irish language.  The Queen was already well versed in the French, Italian, Latin and Greek languages.  There can be little doubt that her…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on June 4, 2014 at 3:00am — 5 Comments

Magnificent Cromwell-Era Maps of Ireland Unveiled

Ireland in the 1650s lay in ruins. Twelve years of calamitous warfare had destroyed the country's infrastructure and resulted in the death of over 20% of the Irish population.

In August 1649 the New Model Army, led by Oliver Cromwell, went to Ireland to re-occupy the country following the Irish Rebellion of…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on May 26, 2014 at 3:00am — No Comments

Find Your Irish Family in the Late Middle Ages

Maps ... I love them.  My grandfather instilled a tremendous appreciation for the art / science of cartography, and the essentiality of being proficient in geography.  He was neither a professional cartographer…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on May 7, 2014 at 5:00am — 4 Comments

Picturing Ireland's First High King

If your mind is anything like mine, you have wondered and imagined what important historical figures may have looked like in the flesh. Before the photograph came into play -- and even centuries before its forerunner, the Daguerrotype, came on the scene -- men and women of high status and important positions were posed for portraits by the best painters of their own days.…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on April 23, 2014 at 10:00am — 4 Comments

Priceless Easter Rising Footage Made Available Online

A priceless film archive which includes extensive footage of the Easter Rising and its aftermath has been released online by British Pathé.

The multimedia resource has made its entire archive, consisting…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on April 22, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

How the Battle of Clontarf Unfolded

April 23, 2014 will mark the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf. The battle was fought between the forces of Brian Boru and the forces led by the King of Leinster, Máel Mórda mac Murchada: composed mainly of his own men, Viking mercenaries from Dublin and the…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on April 10, 2014 at 4:30am — 2 Comments

Ireland's Midland Great Western Railway

I recently came across the lovely and nostalgic promotional poster from Ireland's Midland Great Western Railway shown above.  Although I live one of the areas formerly served by this grand old railroad, I didn't know much…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on April 9, 2014 at 5:30am — 3 Comments

Catching Up on Cúirt with Festival Director Dani Gill

I recently sat down with the Director of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, Dani Gill (picture above).  The Cúirt festival is in its 29th year here in Galway, and they have gone from strength to strength as one…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on April 8, 2014 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

How Irish Are You?

I recently saw this fun flowchart graphic from the folks at TheIrishStore.com.  I wanted to…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on March 14, 2014 at 8:00am — 16 Comments

'One Great Irish Spot': Rome's Trinity College Irish Pub

Italian culture is strong -- endearingly strong.  I wouldn't want it any other way, because Italians do many things right.  Food, coffee, art, family ... the list could be a rather lengthy one.  So when a small bit of…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on March 7, 2014 at 2:00am — No Comments

Celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge 2014

Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week) is an international Irish language festival and one of the biggest celebrations of our native language and culture that takes place each year in Ireland and in many…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on February 26, 2014 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Six Weeks to Learn the Irish Language

Colaiste Lurgan, the creative and ever-blossoming Irish language school in Connemara, is preparing for the March 3rd launch of their massive initiative to help people who would like to learn the Irish language.

Here's Lurgan's description of the initiative they're calling “Sé Seachtaini” (six…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on February 21, 2014 at 4:30am — 2 Comments

Orangeman Claims 'Irish Language has Become Political'

An Irish language development officer in east Belfast says many people there are upset by…

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Added by Ryan O'Rourke on February 20, 2014 at 3:30am — 22 Comments

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