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Hi again. Well, Saint Patricks Day is nearly upon us. It has to be the most widely celebrated holiday worldwide (that is specific to a country). It is great to see the Irish culture being commemorated in so many different countries. You have to face it, the Irish get around!
I am again able to offer you a new freebie in this issue as well as an insight into Irish life abroad (Brazil) as well as a roundup of the news headlines from the Emerald Isle.
As always, if I can be of any assistance to you please send me an email and I will do my best to help.
All the very best,
This newsletter is available on-line at:
Feel free to forward this newsletter in its entirety to
anyone you think might be interested. Drop me a line if
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......but you'll be missing out!
In this issue:-
~~~~~ New free resources at the site
~~~~~ News Snaps from Ireland
~~~~~ The Irish in Brazil
~~~~~ Monthly free competition result
NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
Celtic Clipart Collection
A clipart collection to spice up your Saint Patricks Day page is now free for you to download courtesty of Angel-Pie Mouse who can be found at:
This is a real gift because some of these images are fantastic. I have even added a few to the postcard gallery so that you can send a very special Saint Patricks Day greeting by
Download the lot in a single zip file
by going here.
Spice up your web site or add these images to your Clipart Collection and use them in your WORD documents, create your own personalised postcards and stationery, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Thanks a lot Angel-Pie Mouse!
Don't forget that you can get our super Saint Patricks Day Screensaver that features images of the Saint as well as a history of his life for free at the site.
There will be more freebies in our special March 17th edition so keep an eye out for it!
NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
Bizarre events at the Flood Tribunal:
The ongoing 'payments to politicians' tribunal has descended into farce with temper tantrums being thrown by witnesses, barristers and even the presiding judge.
Justice Flood suspended proceedings last week when the counsel for JMSE Construction (who are accused of bribing politicians to gain favourable planning permission for new building projects), Mr. Cooney, declared that the Judge was biased towards the main witness, James Gogarty. Cooney stated that there was no way that his clients could get a fair hearing and that the would not continue to represent them. He later apologised to the Judge who had previously stormed out of the chamber in Dublin Castle to a round of applause from the packed but bewildered gallery.
Gogarty is well capable of some amateur dramatics himself. On one occasion he simply left the witness stand because he did not like the way the questioning was going.
All of this is costing the Irish taxpayer over £100,000 PER DAY, and the possibility of anyone being prosecuted as a result of any findings are minimal since the information will be in the public domain and consequently any jury could not be considered to be impartial. The Tribunal itself has no powers to imprison or fine anyone and will end up being a considerable drain on public revenue.
There really is a Housing Crisis: A sure sign that there really is a crisis in the housing market in Ireland is when the Government actually takes some action. The new proposal is to provide a cheap loan to anyone with an annual income of under £20000 (about US$30000).
Michelle de Bruin appeal receives a boost: The triple Olympic Gold Medal winner, swimmer Michelle de Bruin, has finally had some good news concerning her appeal against a 4 year ban imposed on her by the world swimming authority - FINA.
Michele was accused of tampering with a urine sample by adding whiskey to it. No banned drugs of any kind have ever been found in any sample provided by Michelle de Bruin but despite this the powers that be banned here for 4 years, effectively ending her swimming career. Certain aspects of the Irish media disgracefully used the opportunity to vent their own frustrations and failures and further accused the European and Olympic champion.
The good news for Michelle is that the laboratory who processed the urine samples have finally admitted that the samples COULD have been tampered with. Prior to this they dismissed the idea as impossible.
There is a strong opinion that there is a general media conspiracy against the woman from Rathcoole because of the fact that she confined her in-depth reports during the Olympics to a single newspaper to whom she was contracted.
The Irish are famous for being 'begrudgers' and this is a case in point. Although I predict that Michelle will be reinstated and allowed to compete in the Sydney Olympics it appears that severe damage to her reputation has already been done and that there will always be the hint of suspicion about her. So much for being innocent until proven guilty.
Anglo-Irish tourists arrested after mid-air brawl: In a story that hit the international headlines, a group of English tourists of Irish descent wee thrown off a flight from London to Jamaica for causing a mid-air brawl and endangering the aircraft. Despite repeatedely claiming their innocence their behaviour after departing the airplane did them no good whatsoever and there is very little sympathy for them in Ireland. It is possible that they may face a bill of up to IR£20000 to cover the extra fuel that the aircraft had to use by its diversion to Virginia.
Archbishop Desmond Connell attackes 'artificial' motherhood': In yet another example of just how far removed from public opinion the Catholic Church in Ireland really is, Archbishop Desmond Connell has caused an uproar.
The religious leader stated that children born from artifical insemination or via test-tube treatment were mere 'products' and that these children were far more likely to be disruptive as teenagers and consequently are inferior to children born without the aid of fertilisation treatments.
The Archbishop also attacked contraception saying that it demeaned womanhood and that only families who strictly followed the teachings of the Church could consider themselves Catholics.
Needless to say, the response from media and the public alike has been swift.
Naked teenager assaults Garda: It is unclear if the young man who decided to brave the February cold and strip to this birthday suit knew quite what was in store form him when he was spotted by a Garda in Dublin recently.
What is clear is that several other youths got involved and a number of arrests were made after a fracas. It is possible that this was the conclusion to a 'stag' party (a bachelor party prior to a wedding) and that the naked youth was simply in high spirits. It is also possible that his was simply a cry for help prior to his impending nuptials. He was last seen racing naked towards O'Connell Street at about 3am on February 28th. Any further sightings should be reported to Store Street Garda Station immediately.
THE IRISH IN BRAZIL by Liam Gallagher
There is a small but active Irish community in Brazil. The group I am involved with is based in Sao Paulo and we are running an event to raise some funds for an educational project in a Sao Paulo shanty town, or 'favela', as it is known in this country. There is another active group in Rio de Janeiro who keep very much to themselves, although we have contributed funds on a joint basis to one or two causes.
The Irish in Brazil are quite far flung - according to Mr. Campbell there are over 400 priests/missionaries and assorted nuns. They tend to be found more in the remote parts of the country. Here in Sao Paulo we have an active group of about 10 to 12 including supporters, enough to
organize our Paddy's Day fling, which will be held on Saturday, March 13. Its easier to get people to buy tickets for these events if they are held at weekends. There will of course be a traditional March 17th romp at the pseudo-Irish bar in Sao Paulo, Finnegans. It used to be run by two Iirsh
associates. One left for Peru, and the other sold out to concentrate on other, more profitable activities.
We are also looking to set up a Bloomsday event in conjunction with the Irish Studies centre at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, a very well run department under the direction of Mrs. Munira Mutran. We are optimistc of convincing Seamus Heaney to pay a visit to Sao Paulo when he comes to Brazil in May.
The group is fortunate to count on the assistance and sponsorship from British Airways, whose local sales manager is a Dubliner called Declan Peppard, as well as John McCambridge, sales manager for Pernod-Rickard who
are about to begin distributing Jameson whiskey in Brazil.
Last week I was invited to lunch by the new Irish ambassador, John Campbell, who was passing through Sao Paulo on his way to present his credentials in Brasilia.
Its silly really, the Irish Embassy is in Lisbon, in Portugal, but I detected from Mr. Campbell that he recognises the need for something a bit more aggressive than the Honorary Consulate in Sao Paulo. This is even more
important given that the Taioseach will be here at the end of July for an EMU/Mercosur heads of state meeting. Maybe our fledgling Sao Paulo group will be the acorn from which the Oak Tree will grow, if I may wax poetically.
We are not an officially registered charity yet, so we
are not looking for financial support, but any material support in the way of Irish emblems, logos etc. would be welcome.
Happy Saint Patricks Day!
FEBRUARY COMPETITION RESULT
The winner was: RVBailey@bellatlantic.net
who will receive the following:
Our new Irish Authors from the Past Screensaver
Click here for more information
Our excellent Report: How to start the search for your Irish roots
Well Done! Remember that all subscribers to this
newsletter are automatically entered into the competition every time. Keep an eye out for some special prizes in the next few months!
If you are interested in Irish music then CDIRELAND is the place to go. They offer a free newsletter to keep you up to date with the Irish music scene and an excellent on-line service.
To visit click here.
I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
Please keep the feedback coming!
Until the next time,
(and keep a look out for the special Saint Patricks Day edition).
The Information about Ireland Site.