Kelly O'Rourke's Blog (18)

Irish Bog Archaeology: Fadden More Psalter

The Fadden More Psalter, a book of psalms as old as the Book of Kells, was found by turf cutters in a Tipperary bog in 2006.  It is written in Latin and includes illuminated letters and other decoration.  Dr. Eamonn Kelly and his team at The National Museum of Ireland dated the book to around 800 AD, and spent five years restoring it. 

The find was very exciting to Irish…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on May 5, 2015 at 4:00am — No Comments

Irish Bog Archaeology: Meet the Bog Bodies

Turf cutters have unearthed more than home heating fuel from Ireland's bogs.  Bog bodies - naturally preserved human remains - are a fascinating study.  The chemical composition of the bog has antibiotic properties which kill the bacteria that would normally break down the flesh.  The…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on May 4, 2015 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

Free Printable Irish Valentine!

Make your own Valentine card with an Irish twist!

I think that shamrocks and hearts play very nicely with each other as design elements.  What do you say?…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on February 7, 2015 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Nollaig na mBan Men’s Chore List

Alright, lads. Your lady is out celebrating Nollaig na mBan (Women’s Christmas) with her girlfriends. Traditionally, this is your turn to take on a larger share of the household chores. Here are a…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on January 5, 2015 at 6:30am — 9 Comments

WW1 Photos by Irish Rifleman Uncovered

Amateur photographer George Hackney was sent to the war from his home in Belfast in 1915, taking his camera with him.  The photo above was taken in 1916 in Belgium.  The collection contains very impressive rare images, including surrendering German troops during the Battle…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on November 19, 2014 at 4:00am — 2 Comments

Are YOU an Expert?

Are YOU an expert?

I’ll save you the suspense. The answer is: YES!

The Wild Geese community is a diverse and enthusiastic group of…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on November 5, 2014 at 5:00am — No Comments

Jim Sheridan's Must-See Films

If you are an Irish movie buff, you are certainly familiar with the films of celebrated Dublin-born director Jim Sheridan.  If you have a bowl of popcorn and a night-in planned, you may find this list of Sheridan films helpful.  I have seen all of his early work, and I am now…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on September 23, 2014 at 6:00am — 6 Comments

Irish Mezzo-Soprano Insulted by Critics

Irish mezzo soprano Tara Erraught has been turning heads in the international opera scene since 2011.  The Dundalk-born Erraught received her classical training from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, and has already established herself as one of the opera world's hottest…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on June 5, 2014 at 8:00am — 15 Comments

Recapping the 2014 Cúirt International Festival of Literature

The Cúirt Literature Festival in Galway thrilled bibliophiles again this year.  Here is a recap of a few events that I was able to enjoy:

'Noir by Noir West'

This event was the launch of a collection of short fiction by 30 Irish authors.  The book’s…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on April 18, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

Great Irish Romances: Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan

The story of Kitty Kiernan and Michael Collins evokes ancient themes from Greek or Shakespearean tragedy, and also reminds us that “It’s Complicated” applied to relationships long before the internet age. 

Kitty’s family owned the…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on January 30, 2014 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

The Legendary Christmastime Curiosity of a Young Irish-American

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial on September 21, 1897. The response by Francis Pharcellus Church, a former Civil War correspondent, has since become history's most…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on December 24, 2013 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

JFK Not the Only Great Loss on November 22, 1963

Today (November 22, 2013), the world commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Irish-American president John F. Kennedy.  You may not know that Belfast-born author and theologian, C.S. Lewis, passed on the very same day.  Fifty years after his death, Lewis is even more influential than he was during his lifetime.  His popular "Chronicles of Narnia"…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on November 22, 2013 at 11:00pm — 3 Comments

MyIrelandBox: Great Things in Small Packages

I love unique Irish gifts ... things you won’t find in every “Plastic Paddy” souvenir shop in the country.

Today I received a package of goodies from MyIrelandBox.

Here’s what husband-and-wife team, Katharine and Thomas Barrett, have to say about their…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on November 7, 2013 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

What's an 'Ubh'?

Sometimes, my husband has these crazy ideas:

"Let’s move to Ireland!” 

“Okaaaaay ...”

“It would be cool to get some chickens!” 


“I bet you could decorate these egg shells somehow.”  

“Umm ... I think I could!”

Sometimes, my husband has really good crazy ideas, and that last one was the…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on October 5, 2013 at 11:56am — 9 Comments

'Blood From a Shadow' Is a Wild Ride

I recently finished Gerard Cappa’s thriller, "Blood From a Shadow."  If you had been with me at the time, you would have heard a loud exhale as the little readometer on my…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on September 17, 2013 at 5:30pm — 4 Comments

Education System Failing Irish Language Learners

Mícheál Ó Foighil (left) manages Coláiste Lurgan, the Irish language summer camp for teens, located just around the corner from our house.  You may have heard of Lurgan because of their wildly successful music videos, some of which have been posted on The Wild…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on August 20, 2013 at 2:30am — 19 Comments

'Over the Edge' at Cúirt

My qualifications for reviewing modern Irish literature are limited to:

    - I live in Ireland, and,

    - I like books

With that disclaimer...

The Over the Edge Showcase was, for me, a highlight of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.  The event was billed as giving “a platform to emerging poets and…


Added by Kelly O'Rourke on April 29, 2013 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

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