October 2015 Blog Posts (42)

'Why Keep Irish Alive?' Douglas Hyde Responds, Takes Action

It is well known that Douglas Hyde (January 17, 1860-July 12, 1949) was the first president of the Irish Republic. What may not be as well known is that he was a fluent speaker of the Irish language, a wonderful poet and an avid collector of Irish folklore. He fiercely objected to the ongoing "Anglicising" of…

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Added by Jim Hawkins on October 17, 2015 at 4:30pm — 3 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: October 18 - October 24

LUAIN -- On October 19, 1751, Charles Edward (Jennings) Kilmaine, general in the French army, was born at Saul's Court, Dublin. His father was a physician from County Galway. Though the family name was Jennings, Charles became known as Kilmaine in France after the area of County Mayo which had been…

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Added by The Wild Geese on October 17, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Fringe Finale: Mystery Breakfast Roll, Songs ... Magic

It’s now the third and final day for me at the festival.

The Sunday morning after the night before with all its festivities was tricky. I was so tired I managed to sleep through a giant party in the pub downstairs. Anytime I did stir, I listened to the band downstairs and marvelled at their harmonies and the tightness of…

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Added by The Last Torch on October 15, 2015 at 4:00am — 2 Comments

County Clare's John Phillip Holland and The Fenian Ram

The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Virginia) or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies. It was fought March 8–9, 1862, in Hampton…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 14, 2015 at 2:30am — 2 Comments

Swans, Armada, and Taphophilia Grab Me in Sligo

It was Monday morning and I was having trouble packing. I woke with a brass band in my head, as Jim says.  After sitting in the shower for a while, I took a panadol, drank some water and went back to sleep. I woke an hour later and slowly started to get ready to go.

It was very, very difficult. I called mum, I felt lonely…

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Added by The Last Torch on October 14, 2015 at 2:00am — 3 Comments

The Volunteers, 'For It Is My Sad Fate' -- Pt. 2: Trauma at The Burgery

Irish Volunteer, athlete and poet Pat Keating (pictured) of Comeragh, according to younger sister Lena, "had a simple and homely manner that endeared him to all ... and was a great favourite wherever he went."  

My father, George Lennon, related an incident in which he and Pat

"were walking along a road…

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Added by Ivan Lennon on October 11, 2015 at 12:30pm — 5 Comments

Mayo Man Louis Brennan: Inventor of the Guided Missile

An Irishman walking along the bank of a slow moving river near Castlebar, Co. Mayo, rod in hand, fishing bag comfortably positioned over his shoulder, wondered if that day would be the day he caught the big one. He…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 10, 2015 at 7:00pm — 7 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: October 11 - October 17

Courtesy of the late Lt. Col. Ken Powers, historian, 69th Regiment, New York Infantry

The 'Prince of Wales flag,' presented by grateful Irish citizens on March 16, 1861, to the 69th Regiment "in commemoration of the 11th Oct. 1860." The flag has…
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Added by The Wild Geese on October 10, 2015 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Harking to the Call of the O'Rourkes

(Sligo street art)

I was stranded for a second day in Grange. When I woke up, I had breakfast on my mind and enjoyed an Irish breakfast with a beautiful view. I had to be out by 11 a.m. as the painter was coming and the owner had to visit someone in hospital.

Having tried the…

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Added by The Last Torch on October 10, 2015 at 8:30am — 7 Comments

'Straddling the English and Irish Worlds, Separated by Class and Culture' -- Meet 'The Lockwoods of Clonakilty'

Dhia dhuit, all,

Now that all the final editing is done (including one version in which the title town was spelled 'Conakilty'...argg) my novel "The Lockwoods of Clonakilty" is available through Amazon or any bookstore's online ordering.

I'll be working with TheWildGeese.Irish to share some of the content, and…

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Added by Mark Bois on October 10, 2015 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

My Spoken Word Debut Draws Emotions, Specs, ‘Killer Heels'

Presentation Arts Centre in Enniscorthy is the most perfect building. An old convent, the conversion to secular building retains the stained glass windows and ornate carved wooden beams arching overhead. When one walks into the hall, it is breath-taking, literally, in its beauty. And, as with all ecclesiastical architecture, the…

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Added by Jillian Godsil on October 9, 2015 at 5:30am — 3 Comments

Agnes Mary Clerke: From Skibbereen to the Moon.

The next time you look up at the full moon to make your wish, direct your gaze toward the southeast portion and locate the area known as the Mare Serenitatis (Sea of Serenity). There you will observe the valley where Apollo 17, the last in a series of lunar missions, landed Dec. 10, 1972. Nearby,…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 8, 2015 at 8:30pm — 6 Comments

The Charms of Filming 'Jimmy's Hall' in Ireland: Rebecca O'Brien

The following perspectives from Sixteen Films partner and producer Rebecca O'Brien (above) are drawn largely from the studio's Production Notes for the studio's latest film, the biopic "Jimmy's Hall," directed by her…

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Added by The Wild Geese on October 8, 2015 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Connecting With Roots, Loss, in Belfast the Beautiful

The whole day that I spent in Belfast and the evenings on either side really need more than one blog post. That day we went to so many places and I was shown so many things. It was mind-blowing and at times very emotional. Belfast is a lovely place and I was certainly shown a good time.  We started with breakfast, as the…

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Added by The Last Torch on October 6, 2015 at 3:30am — 4 Comments

Dubliner Alexander Mitchell: The Blind Engineer

In 1798, influenced by the American and French revolutions, the Irish people, unable and unwilling to endure oppressive British rule any longer, once again answered the call to arms and rose up in armed defiance. Led by Dublin-born Theobald Wolfe Tone, this event became known as the ‘Rebellion of ’98.’ During this…

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Added by John Anthony Brennan on October 4, 2015 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

O'Brien Press Prospers By Championing Intrinsic Value of Books

In the 1940s it was tough being a communist in Ireland. All card carrying members were followed by the Special Branch, tended to be boycotted by the establishment and were refused jobs. Thomas O’Brien had returned from fighting in the International Brigade in Spain against Franco. As a vocal and proud communist, and poet, he was faced with certain unemployment. Perhaps influenced by Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, he…

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Added by Jillian Godsil on October 4, 2015 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: October 4 - October 10

DOMHNAIGH-- On October 4, 1693, units of the Irish Brigade of France fought in Italy at the battle of Marsaglia. Prince Eugene of Savoy commanded the allies of William of Orange, who opposed them. During the battle Irish dragoons were reported to have ……

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Added by The Wild Geese on October 3, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Newgrange, Dowth Notebook: 'Who's Watching Whom?'

No trip to Ireland is complete without a trip to Newgrange, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, located about 1 km north of the River Boyne. As I drove from Belfast, there were places I wanted to stop that…

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Added by The Last Torch on October 3, 2015 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Ireland and My Grandmother's Faith

My father’s mother was named Helen Ford. She was long and lithe, narrow and fluid, and gifted with a full head of wavy hair that turned, in her later years, to a color that by-passed gray completely to shine an enviable white. Her family hailed from Tuam, County Galway, and as I write, I’m glancing up at the…

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Added by Claire Fullerton on October 2, 2015 at 7:00pm — 27 Comments


Founding Member
2 Upcoming Screenings of Shalom Ireland

There's going to be two San Francisco screenings of "Shalom Ireland," a documentary film about Ireland's remarkable, yet little known Jewish community.

During the Beth Israel Judea screening, we will show a short sneak preview clip from "The Long Ride," a soon-to-be released documentary about the Immigrant Workers Freedom…

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Added by Valerie Lapin Ganley on October 1, 2015 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

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