December 2015 Blog Posts (42)

Irish New Year Traditions

New Year's Eve (Oíche Chinn Bliana)

These days, when we think of New Year, parties, champagne and celebration spring to mind. Once upon a time however, it was more about getting through a quiet night. The New Year was never really a big festival in Ireland, with the focus more on the necessities…


Added by Brían Hoban on December 31, 2015 at 3:30pm — 8 Comments

Poem for Christmas: Cuireadh do Mhuire / An Invitation to Mary

Cuireadh do Mhuire was composed by Máirtín Ó Direáin (1910 – 1988), the great Irish language poet from the village of Sruthán, on Inis Mór (Inishmore), the largest of the Aran Islands, in Galway Bay.

Ó Direáin penned this beautiful and delicate verse at Christmas 1942, when the whole world was at war and his…


Added by Brian Nolan on December 31, 2015 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Facing British Reprisals -- Part 7: Trauma at The Burgery

Prior to the firing squad death of Hickey, there appear to have been few reprisals for I.R.A. ambushes -- with the notable exception of the Hampshires running amok in Youghal after the November 1920 Piltown Cross engagement. This may very well have been attributable to the general chivalry displayed by Lennon’s…


Added by Ivan Lennon on December 28, 2015 at 7:00pm — No Comments

History of the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar, County Mayo

The Church of the Holy Rosary was dedicated on Rosary Sunday 7th October 1901.

The need for a new church had been acknowledged as far back as the 1860’s. Cannon Mc Gee like his predecessor Archdeacon Brown was an enthusiastic and talented man. He saw the need for a new church and set about the task of raising funds for the establishment of a new church. As…


Added by Brían Hoban on December 27, 2015 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Why You Won't Find Crow on the Holiday Menu

It was well past sundown in a village named Bethlehem, just beyond Jerusalem, in the hills of Judea, on a surprisingly mild winter’s night.

Now the Roman occupiers of the kingdom of Israel required that all men go to their own towns…


Added by Gerry Regan on December 26, 2015 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: December 27 - January 2

DOMHNAIGH -- On December 27, 1969, Dan Breen, one of the most famous IRA leaders during Ireland's War of Independence, died in Dublin. Breen was born in Grange, Donohill, Co. Tipperary, on Aug. 11, 1894. He joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1912 and the Irish Volunteers in 1914.…


Added by The Wild Geese on December 26, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Heritage Partner
Celebrating the Joys of Family at Christmas

When I lost my Mum and my husband within two days of each other, my whole life crumbled around me.  I very slowly learned how to live again, with the help of my then two teenage boys and my grandchildren. Since then, my Christmas has changed, with my daughter now being the host of Christmas lunch, with family coming…


Added by That's Just How It Was on December 25, 2015 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

Cooking Your Way To Christmas: Day Five

It’s not too late to make this delicious dessert, a riff on steamed pudding and gingerbread. Similar to a one served at the Meyrick Hotel (Eyre Square, Galway), this pudding starts with deliciously gooey pears on the bottom and finishes when the cake is turned upside down to reveal them as a deliciously gooey top! In…


Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 22, 2015 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

'Spotlight' The Movie: When Boston's Wall of Silence Crumpled

The film "Spotlight" was recently released, based on the true story of the Boston Globe’s investigation of the Boston Archdiocese’s willful coverup of child molestation and abuse. The reviews have been, like the movie itself, scattered.

This is, without a doubt, a shattering film. Well made and well acted, it…


Added by Sarah Nagle on December 21, 2015 at 7:00pm — 16 Comments

A Once-In-a-Lifetime Visit to The Skelligs

photo of Skellig by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

The Gods were smiling on us that day, long ago when we travelled out to the windswept island of Sceilg Mhichíl (or Skellig Michael)eleven kilometres off the coast of Kerry.  What a special place!  Sacred. Unique. Awesome.

It is not known when the monks first arrived on the…


Added by Eoin Mac Lochlainn on December 21, 2015 at 4:00pm — 10 Comments

Cooking Your Way To Christmas: Day Four

There’s the turkey, of course, but oh those sides! Roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, boiled onions — the list goes on and on for favorite dishes to serve at Christmas. Without relinquishing any family favorites, you might want to try this recipe from my new cookbook “Favorite Flavors of…


Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 20, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments

The Night Baby Jesus Was Absconded

In light of all the terrific Christmas-flavored postings lately, I've been prompted to share an excerpt from my historical novel "The Lockwoods of Clonakilty," a scene based on a little adventure my own family had a few…


Added by Mark Bois on December 20, 2015 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

The Memoirs of Thomas Francis

My father, Thomas Francis, was born in 1901. He lived his entire life on a farm situated in the townland of Muckinish West between Ballyvaughan and Bell Harbour in the Burren region of County Clare. He died in 1991. He left a copybook containing his memoirs. The following extract was written July, 1989. P.J.…


Added by P.J. Francis on December 19, 2015 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: December 20 - December 26

DEARDAOIN -- On December 20, 1865Maud Gonne  was born in Aldershot, England. Her father…


Added by The Wild Geese on December 19, 2015 at 3:00pm — No Comments

The Slain Become Pawns — Part 6: Trauma at the Burgery

The authorities took Hickey’s remains to the barracks of the Royal Irish Constabulary, in Dungarvan, where the body of Sean Fitzgerald lay. He was duly conveyed, on Tuesday the 22nd, to the new section of the cemetery at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Dungarvan. No civilians, except…


Added by Ivan Lennon on December 16, 2015 at 7:30pm — 1 Comment

Cooking Your Way To Christmas: Day Three

After my last post, I received a request for old-fashioned potato stuffing for turkey. You’ll find this recipe for roast goose with potato-bacon stuffing in my “Christmas Flavors of Ireland” cookbook, easy enough to use in your Christmas turkey as well.  For some other classics, order my newest book “Favorite…


Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 14, 2015 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Silent Radical: Winifred Carney (Documentary From NV TV)

I would love all of you to see a very recent film piece about my Aunt Winifred.  Here she is for a posed photograph with her mother (Sarah Cassidy Carney) and her two sisters, Mabel and Maud, who later become nuns.  She is standing between her two sisters.  Winnie also had four brothers:  Alfred, Ernest,…


Added by Joan Austin on December 13, 2015 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

Irish Dance Halls Gone, But the Marriages and Music Live On

The number if married couples in Ireland who met in dance halls is considerable. That is particularly true of people who were married in the '60s and '70s. At that time, dancing was Ireland’s most popular pastime among young people. It was not confined to youth, as many people, including married couples, enjoyed the music,…


Added by P.J. Francis on December 13, 2015 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

Ernie O'Malley: Mayo-Born Freedom Fighter and Writer

Ernie O' Malley was born in Castlebar on the 26th of May 1897. His family moved to Dublin in 1906. He was educated at O'Connell's Schools and attended UCD, where he studied medicine.

He was a member of The Irish Volunteers and he joined the rebels on the Thursday of the Easter Rising in 1916 and was…


Added by Brían Hoban on December 13, 2015 at 11:00am — 4 Comments

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