P.J. Francis's Blog – June 2014 Archive (9)

The Chieftains at the Coronado

Tempus fugit. Time definitely does fly. It is hard to believe the Chieftains have been around for half a century. Since their formation they have brought Irish music to audiences all over the world. As well as playing the usual major venues they have played at the Great Wall of China, played for Pope John Paul and were the first group to give a concert in the Capital Building in Washington, DC.

  Despite their longevity and my enthusiasm for Irish music I never saw them live…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 28, 2014 at 1:34am — No Comments

Whiskey for Breakfast

I gave a tour to a group of people at Midway Village Museum in Rockford, Illinois. Of course, when they heard my accent they told me about their trip to Ireland. They had gone on a hill-walking vacation. That is an extremely popular activity with locals and tourists alike. There are…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 21, 2014 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Ford Anglia

Most of us older readers remember the ubiquitous Ford Anglia. It was produced in four versions from 1939 until 1967. About 1.5 million of them were made. The 100E model lasted from 1953 to 1959. The engine was a 1,172 cc 4 cylinder unit mated to a three-speed gearbox. While there were some variations on the type of body most people bought the basic two-door, box-shaped model which had a top speed of approximately 70 miles per hour and returned about 30 miles to a gallon of petrol. A heater…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 21, 2014 at 12:07pm — No Comments

Off To See The Dubliners

It was one of those beautifully mild summer evenings in Ireland. The Dubliners were playing at the Merriman Tavern in Scariff and I was not working until the following evening. Perhaps my brother, Tony, would like to join me so I headed the 50 or so miles for North Clare from my…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 19, 2014 at 1:00am — No Comments

This Stonefield Is Not In Ireland

One could be forgiven for assuming a place named Stonefield would be located in Ireland. There are many stony fields particularly in the Burren region of County Clare where I grew up.

The Stonefield of this article is located at 12195 County Hwy VV, Cassville, Wisconsin, USA close to the Mighty Mississippi.…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 18, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

'Water Is For Bathing

I made an early start from my home in County Clare to catch the ferry boat at Larne which would take me to Scotland. The most direct distance was about 400 km (250 miles) but I took a somewhat longer route to avoid large towns. Better to deal with the rural mileage than the urban traffic congestion. It was before motorways linked main towns. The year was 1993 and…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 18, 2014 at 11:00pm — 3 Comments

A Visit to the University of Limerick

A lot of changes can occur in a place in 20 years. That is how long since I last visited the University of Limerick. At that time it was relatively easy to find ones way around the campus. Parking was plentiful.…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 18, 2014 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

To Drive or Not to Drive

My apologies to William Shakespeare who never had to make that decision.

When vacationing in Ireland is it best to hire a car, utilize public transportation or join an organized tour? The ability to come…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 12, 2014 at 4:30pm — 7 Comments

Farewell to The Celtic Tiger

Ireland has recently received criticism for offering favorable tax rates to American companies who relocate there. The governor of California was particularly scathing. Other EEC countries see it as being unfair to them. Everyone concerned has a valid point but it is difficult right now for the Irish government to change its policy. The fake economic boom known as the Celtic…


Added by P.J. Francis on June 10, 2014 at 8:30pm — 5 Comments

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