IN THIS ISSUE
Popular Articles from Recent Newsletters:
- News from Ireland
- Mess Buachalla - The Incredible Beauty of Myth
- The Haughty Princess by Patrick Kennedy (1801-1873)
- Irish Newspapers Revisited: The Titanic's Tralee Doctor
- Gaelic Phrases of the Month
- Monthly Free Competition Result
Hello again from Ireland where one controversy seems to quickly follow another. The appalling revelations of the buried bodies at Tuam Children's Home were quickly followed by the ongoing revelations of corruption in An Garda Siochana (Irish police force) and have now been overtaken by the problems with the National Maternity Hospital (see the opinion piece below).
This month you can also read about the fabulous Mess Buachala, one of the most beautiful women of Irish mythology. We also have a cautionary tale from the nineteenth century that is still relevant today: The Haughty Princess.
If you have a story or article you would like to contribute please do send it in.
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NEWS FROM IRELAND
OPINION: NATIONAL MATERNITY HOSPITAL DEBACLE BEGGARS BELIEF
OPINION POLLS TURN AGAINST IRISH GOVERNMENT
Fianna Fail were the big winners in the recent opinion poll of the intentions of Irish voters.
Despite the value of polling being seriously damaged by recent events (polling on Brexit consistently had the UK proposal to leave the EU easily defeated; In the US Donald Trump consistently trailed his Democratic rival right up until election day), the polls have looked good for Fianna Fail for quite a while now.
The Sunday Business Post Red C Survey found that Fianna Fail were on 28%, Fine Gael on 24%, with Sinn Fein on 18%. It is fair now to include the Labour Party as a fringe entity, occupying 6% of the minds of those polled, while the Solidarity-PBP left-wing party polled at 4%.
Fine Gael currently hold the reins of power at the behest of Fianna Fail who agreed not to topple the Government once their core values were respected. However, in the game of politics it is only a matter of timing before the plug is pulled and the current Government collapsed. Such an occurrence would almost definitely mark the end of Enda Kenny's reign as Taoiseach, with Fine Gael left to wonder just what they had squandered their incredible 2011 election mandate on.
BOXER KATIE TAYLOR SET FOR WORLD TITLE TILT
Former Olympic champion Katie Taylor claimed the WBA inter-continental belt in her most recent bout by defeating German Nina Meinke.
In only her fifth professional bout the Bray native was very impressive and according to her promoter Eddie Hearn is well on course for glory:
'I think it's an eight or ten-rounder next in America and then I'll bring her to Dublin in October November for the world title. Her first belt, she got a huge reception at Wembley, a great performance and it's America next.'
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GALLERY OF IRISH COATS OF ARMS
MESS BUACHALLA - ABANDONED BY HER FATHER, HER FATE WOULD BE INCREDIBLE
Mess Buachalla was the daughter of King Cormac Mac Airt, the great High King of Ireland. She was disowned by her father who had been fooled into an incestuous affair with his own daughter, believing that his daughter was in fact his wife, Etain.
The King ordered his servants to cast the girl-child into a pit, but the baby smiled up at them with such love and trust that they could not bear to harm her. Against the King's orders, they took her to the cow-herders at Tara, who fostered her and loved her dearly. From this she acquired her name: Mess Buachalla means 'the cowherds' fosterchild'.
Mess Buachalla's life was still in danger though. If her father ever found out that she was still alive, he might complete his task of destroying her. Her foster family built a house for her to keep her safe and hidden. The walls were of high wicker, and there were no doors, only a window and a skylight. Despite these precautions she was discovered!
One day, one of King Eterscel's people happened by and looked in the window, expecting to see some food or stores that the cow-herders kept. Instead he saw the most beautiful maiden he had ever laid eyes on!
When the King heard of her, he was determined to make Mess Buachalla his wife. He sent his men to break down her house and carry her off without even notice to the cow-herders. It had been previously been prophesized to King Eterscel that a woman of unknown race would bear him a son, and he was certain that the woman in the prophecy was this beautiful and mysterious maiden.
Mess Buachalla knew nothing of the forces that were being set against her. Before the King ever arrived, a magical bird flew through her skylight, and when he landed on the floor, he cast off his birdskin. This beautiful otherworldly man lay the night with Mess Buachalla. In the morning he told her that King Eterscel's people were coming for her, but that the son she would bear would be his, and she was to call him Conaire and instruct him to never ever kill birds.
Mess Buachalla kept her word and when she was brought to the King, he gave her every kind of luxury and signs of respect.
Even her fosterers, the cow-herders, were raised up and made Chieftains. When eventually her son was born, she named him Conaire, son of Mess Buachalla, and sent him to be fostered among three households so that he could be loved and cared for three times over, and learn all that he could. This was an incredible act of kindness and wisdom.
And so it was that Conaire, the son of Mess Buachalla and the mysterious bird-man from the Otherworld, would eventually fulfil his destiny and become the High King of all Ireland.
Fantastic Mother's Day Gifts from Ireland
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The Haughty Princess
By Patrick Kennedy (1801-1873)
There was once a very worthy King, whose daughter was the greatest beauty that could be seen far or near, but she was as proud as the Devil, and no King or prince would she agree to marry.
Her father was tired out at last, and invited every King, and prince, and duke, and earl that he knew or didn't know to come to his court to give her one trial more. They all came, and next day after breakfast they stood in a row in the lawn, and the Princess walked along in the front of them to make her choice.
One was fat, and says she: 'I won't have you, Beer-barrel!'
One was tall and thin, and to him she said, 'I won't have you, Ramrod!'
To a white-faced man she said, 'I won't have you, Pale Death!' and to a red-cheeked man she said,
'I won't have you, Cockscomb!'
She stopped a little before the last of all, for he was a fine man in face and form. She wanted to find some problem in him, but he had nothing remarkable but a ring of brown curling hair under his chin. She admired him a little, and then carried it off with, 'I won't have you, Whiskers!'
So all went away, and the King was so annoyed, he said to her, 'Now to punish your stubbornness, I'll give you to the first beggar-man or singing waster that calls' and, as sure as you know, a fellow all over wearing rags, with hair that came to his shoulders, and a bushy red beard all over his face, came next morning, and began to sing before the parlor window.
When the song was over, the hall-door was opened, the singer asked in, the priest brought, and the Princess married to Beardy. She roared and she shouted, but her father didn't mind her. 'There,' says he to the bridegroom, 'is five guineas for you. Take your wife out of my sight, and never let me lay eyes on you or her again.'
Off he led her, and dismal enough she was. The only thing that gave her relief was the tones of her husband's voice and his genteel manners. 'Whose wood is this?' said she, as they were going through one. 'It belongs to the King you called Whiskers yesterday.' He gave her the same answer about meadows and cornfields, and at last a fine city. 'Ah, what a fool I was!' said she to herself. 'He was a fine man, and I might have had him for a husband.' At last they were coming up to a poor cabin. 'Why are you bringing me here?' says the poor lady. 'This was my house,' said he, 'and now it's yours.' She began to cry, but she was tired and hungry, and she went in with him.
Goodness! There was neither a table laid out, nor a fire burning, and she was obliged to help her husband to light it, and boil their dinner, and clean up the place after; and next day he made her put on a rough gown and a cotton handkerchief. When she had her house readied up, and no business to keep her busy, he brought home willow branches, peeled them, and showed her how to make baskets. But the hard twigs bruised her delicate fingers, and she began to cry. Well, then he asked her to mend their clothes, but the needle drew blood from her fingers, and she cried again. He couldn't bear to see her tears, so he bought a basket of pottery, and sent her to the market to sell them. This was the hardest job of all, but she looked so lovely and sorrowful, and had such a nice air about her, that all her pans, and jugs, and plates, and dishes were gone before noon, and the only mark of her old pride she showed was a slap she gave a fellow across the face when he asked her to go in an' take share of a quart.
Well, her husband was so glad, he sent her with another basket the next day; but, oh dear! her luck was after deserting her. A drunken huntsman came up riding, and his beast got in among her ware, and made mess of every one of them. She went home crying, and her husband wasn't at all pleased. 'I see,' said he, 'you're not fit for business. Come along, I'll get you a kitchen-maid's place in the palace. I know the cook.'
So the poor thing was obliged to stifle her pride once more. She was kept very busy, and the footman and the butler would be very cheeky about looKing for a kiss, but she let a screech out of her the first attempt was made, and the cook gave the fellow such a thrashing with the broom that he made no second offer. She went home to her husband every night, and she carried broken food wrapped in papers in her side pockets.
A week after she got service there was great bustle in the kitchen. The King was going to be married, but no one knew who the bride was to be. Well, in the evening the cook filled the Princess's pockets with cold meat and puddings, and, says she, 'Before you go, let us have a look at the great doings in the big parlor.'
So they came near the door to get a peep, and who should come out but the King himself, as handsome as you please, and no other but King Whiskers himself.
'Your handsome helper must pay for her peeping,' said he to the cook, 'and dance a jig with me.' Whether she would or no, he held her hand and brought her into the parlor.
The fiddlers struck up, and away went him with her. But they hadn't danced two steps when the meat and the puddings flew out of her pockets. Every one roared out, and she flew to the door, crying piteously. But she was soon caught by the King, and taken into the back parlor.
'Don't you know me, my darling?' said he. 'I'm both King Whiskers, your husband the ballad-singer, and the drunken huntsman. Your father knew me well enough when he gave you to me, and all was to drive your pride out of you.'
Well, she didn't know how she was, with fright, and shame, and joy.
Love was uppermost, anyhow, for she laid her head on her husband's breast and cried like a child. The maids-of-honor soon had her away and dressed her as fine as hands and pins could do it; and there were her mother and father, too.
While the company were wondering what would be the end of the handsome girl and the King, he and his Queen, who they didn't know in her fine clothes, came in, and such rejoicings and fine doings as there was, none of us will ever see, anyway.
IRISH NEWSPAPERS REVISITED
THE TITANIC'S TRALEE DOCTOR
The Kerry Sentinel, 25 May 1912
It is a pleasure to know that the many memorials which are to be raised in connection with the Titanic disaster, the popular Irish physician, Dr F N O'Loughlin is not to be forgotten. In him the White Star Company lost the doyen of their medical service—their loved Commodore, one of the most lovable of men. Although well advanced in years, Dr O'Loughlin was full of the ardour of youth. He knew no dull moments and always looked at the bright side of things.
One of the last scenes on the deck of the Titanic is said to have been a sad one, namely that of a group of officers, including Dr O'Loughlin, the two pursers of [sic] their assistants, and some others, all joined in arms waited the final plunge of the great ship they were on.
The following notice of the proposed memorial to Dr O'Loughlin appears in the 'New York Herald':
As a memorial to the late Dr William Francis Norman O'Loughlin, surgeon of the Titanic, friends in New York have put under way a movement to establish a pathological laboratory at St Vincent's Hospital, Seventh avenue and Eleventh-street. For this institution, Dr O'Loughlin had a special affection, and to it he sent his patients when in port.
Already several subscriptions have been promised, and the committee hopes that the many friends of Dr O'Loughlin in America, Ireland, England and France will join in the project. A tablet is to be placed in the laboratory commemorative of Dr O'Loughlin's life and heroic death, and expressing something of the affection in which his memory is cherished.
GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
||an Samhradh, an Fhomhair, an Geimhreadh, an tEarrach
||on sow-rah, on o-wirr, on geh-rahh, on tarrack
||Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
||ta se gaofar/fuar/ag cur baisti
||taw shay gayfur/foor/egg curr bah-stee
||It is windy/cold/raining
||La brea ata ann
||lah brah ahtaw ow-inn
||It's a lovely day
View the Archive of Irish Phrases here:
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by Michael Green,
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