Please use this thread to introduce yourself to your fellow Wild Geese. In particular, we would love to hear your Irish story. What are your ties to Ireland? Have you or are you in the midst of uncovering your genealogy? What are your particular Irish interests? The arts? Cooking? Literature? Travel?

Please tell us also about yourself. What are your occupations and hobbies? What are your goals and ambitions? Where are you from?

And finally we would love to hear what brought you to The Wild Geese and how can we help you uncover, share, and preserve your Irish Story!

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Edmund, hope you join us as we gather together those interested in furthering their Irish language skills. Stay tuned for more on that in the weeks ahead. Tell us about your most interesting surname, which doesn't seem very common in Ireland. 

My wife and I moved from America to Galway City about two and one-half years ago.  We're here doing many different kinds of work.  So how did we get here?

I grew up with a strong sense of "Irishness" thanks to my mother.  She was good about reminding me why my name is Ryan Patrick O'Rourke, and why I have red hair. :-)  She'd put Irish traditional music on ye olde record player, and we'd dance around the house.  I always felt proud to wear my green and my "Kiss me, I'm Irish" badge to school on March 17th -- yes, it's "plastic Paddy," but I didn't know any better at the time. :-)

As I moved into my teenage and early adult years, I took it upon myself to learn more about my roots.  My paternal ancestors were the great O'Rourkes of Bréifne.  I've done a great deal of genealogical research -- even DNA testing -- and I'm in the process of narrowing down which of the O'Rourkes still living in the territory of old Bréifne are long-lost relations of mine.  

We have since moved from Galway City into the Connemara Gaeltacht where we have completely embraced the unique Connemara lifestyle in just about every aspect.  We're working toward fluency in the Irish language, we own Connemara Ponies, and I'm studying and performing sean nós dance.  We do so not only because we love genuine Irish culture, but because we feel an obligation to help preserve it inasmuch as we're living in one of the few extant and thriving Gaeltachts.

Here's a photo of one of our Connemara Ponies ... her name is Bród na Bréifne (Pride of Bréifne).

That's a terrific story Ryan!  You're an inspiration to some of us who dream of doing the same!

Dia Dhuit!

My name is Tom Besore.  I live right downtown in the City of Chicago near Lake Michigan.  My maternal grandparents (now deceased) emigrated to the United States from County Kerry around 1910 and never looked back.  Over the past few year's I've gained an interest in my Irish Heritage.  I traced my grandparents  back to the County Kerry communities of Farranfore, Firies, Whitegate (near Castlemaine) and Annascaul. When the Irish government could not assist me with birth certificates, I found reference to the records online and asked again!  I succeeded in the mountain of paperwork to attain my own citizenship and then set forth to visit last fall.  It was a moving experience when the immigration agent at the airport glanced at my passport and said "Welcome Home" on my first visit.   What a grand adventure this was personally visiting not only the villages but the churches in which my grandparents and great grandparents were baptised and married so long ago.  I've uploaded some of my photographs to the site, including this one of me and my new hero Tom Crean who likely spent time contemporaneously with my family in Annascaul.

Like so many others who have taken this road before, I've developed an intense love of my heritage; I cannot wait to go back again; and I have strange dreams of actually moving back there!  I then pinch myself, remind myself of all the obstacles to that crazy plan and put it out of my mind for a while .....  until it recurs over and over again.  Is there a name for this condition?  

I look forward to meeting lots of people on this site and participating in this terrific resource!

Tom, go raibh maith agat for sharing your story here, and your passion for your roots! That's what helps make this community so dynamic -- the passion and commitment of its members to explore and celebrate their Irish ancestry. Ger

Hi! My Irish roots go back to Downpatrick,County Down, Northern Ireland, in the 18th century. My ancestors (so far as I've been able to tell) have been in America since right before the Revolutionary War. I live in Ohio but I've been to Ireland twice, most recently last April. I'm a genealogy enthusiast and I write for genealogy magazines. I am also the author of several Irish-themed books, including my recently published novel, Grace's Pictures. It's about an Irish immigrant girl who comes through Ellis Island. She uses the newly introduced Brownie camera and gets in trouble when gangsters don't want their faces known to the police. I hope you'll check it out. I've recently advertised the book on the Green Pages. I look forward to connecting with folks here who share interests! Here is my website if anyone is interested: www.cindyswriting.com

Hi I am a Connemara artist and enjoy using different styles and mediums in painting. My husband and I started a currach club in our area and we enjoy training and going to races in the gaeltach during to summer months.

Brilliant, Bernie!  I'm in Connemara as well.  Really like the painting there in your profile pic.  And I'd be very interested in speaking with you about the currach club.  I've been trying to find a club to row with for a couple years now, and I've been unsuccessful.  Mind if I ask where your club is based?  I'm in Indreabhán, and I'd love to learn to row a currach ... can't beat that workout!

We were at the Roundstone Regatta this past Sunday.  Did you make it there?

Thanks Ryan. I did that picture on a graphic tablet a while back. Our club is small and we are full at the moment but I think there is one in Carraroe. If I hear of anything closer I will let you know.

Hello everybody.

I'm from Dublin's Liberties, born and bred, and fiercely proud of my area in spite of its troubles. So if you find yourself in Dublin, give me a shout and I'll give you the Liberties tour (gratis of course. It's a labour of love,) and show you some of the often missed gems.

Declan. :)

I loved walking that part of Dublin, Declan, 39 years ago, when a student at Trinity. How would you say it's changed since that time?

Hi, Gerry.

In some parts it's hardly changed. The strip of road that leads from Thomas Street onto James's Street has hardly changed at all. With the exception of the Vicar Street venue all the buildings are still the same, just different proprietors. High Street and Wood Quay, on the other hand have undergone massive change. Most of the buildings on High Street from 30-40 years ago have been demolished and replaced and in the 80s the Wood Quay site -on the river side of Christchurch Cathedral- underwent two huge developments for Dublin City Council. There was a bit of furor over the original development as a Viking settlement was  found on the site, and there wasn't really a thorough excavation by archaeologists. 

I think you'd be able to find your way around easily enough, though, Gerry.

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