IN THIS ISSUE
~~~~~ Keep us Free!
~~~~~ New Free resources at the site
~~~~~ News Snaps from Ireland
~~~~~ Irish Photographs in Print
~~~~~ Reading the Irish Landscape by Andrea Santillo
~~~~~ Irish Quotations of the Month
~~~~~ Tragedy in the Dunes by Anne Phelan
~~~~~ A Lament for Padraig Pearse by Amanda McFadden
~~~~~ Irish Film Review: Into the West by Elle Beck
~~~~~ Gaelic Phrases of the Month
~~~~~ Readers Noticeboard
~~~~~ Shamrock Site of the Month: All-Ireland.com
~~~~~ Searcher Site of the Month: IrishGenealogy.com
~~~~~ Monthly free competition result
Hello again from Ireland! Well the weather here is finally
showing signs of breaking into Spring but the problems faced
by a modern country continue despite the permanent rain.
The report on teenage use of alcohol and drugs in the 'News
Snaps' section in this month's issue makes grim reading.
The increase in prosperity in Ireland has certainly caused
some problems that seem to be exaggerated in Ireland because
of our culture and historical attitudes.
On a more cheerful note I am glad to be able to let you know
that the Saint Patrick's Day issue of the newsletter is well
advanced and will include a 'crock of gold' worth of
freebies, resources and information.
We had a great response to the new 'film review' feature
included for the first time in the January issue. Glad you
like it! Why not write a review yourself and send it in to
Many thanks to our contributors of poems and reviews.
Wonderful. All from all women this month. Well, females
are the better communicators, right?
Until Saint Patrick's Day, BEST WISHES FROM IRELAND!
PLEASE - send this newsletter on to your friend's or
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NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY:
The following 7 coats of arms images and family history
details have been added to the Gallery:
B: Boylan, Barnett, Barton
View the Gallery here:
We now have over 20,000 worldwide names available.
Get the Coat of Arms Print, Screensaver, Watch, T-Shirt
Transfer, Clock or Claddagh Ring for your name at:
NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
ABBEY THEATRE TO MOVE
The proposal by the management of the world famous Abbey
Theatre in Dublin to move the theatre to a new building
near Pearse Street adjacent to the River Liffey has
disappointed Taoiseach Bertie Ahearn who wants the
historical building to be refurbished and expanded instead.
The cream of Irish literary and acting talent have appeared
at the Dublin venue since its creation early last century.
The more cynical observer may conclude that the announcement
to move the Theatre is merely a plot to secure extra funding
to expand the thespian venue, but the possibility of the
closure of the spiritual home of Irish acting is still very
UNEMPLOYMENT IN IRELAND IS AT IT'S LOWEST LEVEL EVER
The number of unemployed in Ireland is now below 4% which
represents the lowest recorded level in the history of the
country. Joblessness in Dublin is even lower at 3%. More
than 63,000 extra people found work in the year 2000.
There are fears of problems in the I.T. sector however as
the US economy slows down. Intel is one of Ireland's most
important foreign companies and has already curtailed
overtime and pay as PC sales slump worldwide.
Many companies are still finding it very difficult to get
staff, especially in the 'service industries' such as
tourism, shops, restaurants, etc.
A recent employment conference has been told that some
companies are investing heavily in retaining their key
staff to the extent that they even offer a weekly massage
and a personal concierge service that involves motor tax
renewal and even collection of their employee's laundry.
IRISH ECONOMIC BOOM TAKES ITS TOLL ON THE ENVIRONMENT
A recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency has
clearly shown the advance of the Irish economy as well as
the consequences of prosperity on the environment.
* In the last 20 years the number of motor vehicles in
Ireland has doubled.
* Energy consumed by the Transport Sector accounts for over
one third of all demand and has increased by 50% in the
* The number of people cycling to work decreased by 25% in
the last decade.
* Employees traveled an average of 4.8 miles to work in
1991 but this had increased to 6.7 miles in 1996.
* More than 26,000 people died on Irish roads last century.
* Carbon Dioxide emissions from the Transport sector have
increased by over 40% in the last decade.
* Two thirds of the cost of a litre of petrol and one third
of the cost of a new car is tax.
GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION STARTS TO BITE
Applications for asylum by foreign people who have arrived
in Ireland has seen a monthly fall for the first time in 6
years. 840 applications were received in January 2001. The
readmission treaty with Romania is partly responsible for the
reduction. Ireland is third in the EU listing of countries
receiving asylum applications (relative to population),
behind Belgium and Slovenia. Airline and Ferry companies
face fines of up to £10,000 per person if found to be
responsible for aiding immigrants, whether knowingly or not.
IRISH TEENAGE DRINK AND DRUGS EPIDEMIC IS EXPOSED
A major new report of European attitudes to drink and drug
use has highlighted one of the major social problems facing
* 22% of boys and 21% of girls have used inhalants (glues,
chemicals, etc.). This figure is the highest in Europe and
higher than that of the USA.
* Use of alcohol 20 times or more in the last year, has
increased to 39% which is the second highest figure in
Europe, Denmark being highest. England was third highest
* Teenagers who have been drunk 20 or more times in their
lifetime has increased to 25% (from 19%) which is the
fourth highest in Europe behind Denmark, England and
* 32% of Irish girls aged 15 or 16 age engage in binge
drinking, the highest in Europe, with England in second
* Experience of illegal drugs has decreased to 32% (from
37%) but this figure is still the third highest in Europe,
behind England and the Czech Republic.
* Smoking in Ireland has increased by 4% with the country
being the ninth highest in Europe.
ONLY 6 PUBS CLOSED DOWN FOR SERVING ALCOHOL TO TEENAGERS
New legislation has had a very limited impact with only 6
public houses being temporarily closed down (for 3 to 7
days) for serving alcohol to underage drinkers, since its
creation. Proceedings against 80 other premises are ongoing.
Despite the limited success the Irish Government has
described the legislation as the most progressive and
strongest in Europe as they attempt to tackle the teenage
alcohol problem head-on.
Advertising by alcohol companies at sporting events is
likely to be completely banned in the near future.
ALLIED IRISH BANK POSTS RECORD PROFITS
Allied Irish Bank is Ireland's leading financial institution
and has just posted profits over nearly IR£1 billion for the
financial year just past. The increase in profitability is
largely due to the banks oversea investments including a
large investment in Maryland in the US as well as an
expansion of its operations in Poland. AIB now has more
bank branches in Poland than it does in Ireland and England
SOCCER: Ireland's David O'Leary is an Irish sporting legend
and will always be remembered for scoring the penalty kick
that took Ireland through to the quarter-finals of the 1990
World Cup. Now the Dubliner has steered Leeds United into
the quarter-finals of the European Champions League (the
European cup) where they have every chance of progressing
in the knockout stage to follow. The most recent win was a
4-1 demolition away to Anderlecht with Irishman Ian Harte
scoring the fourth goal from the penalty spot. The omens
look good for Leeds.
RUGBY: Ireland defeated Italy and France in the annual
'six-nations' tournament. The Irish rubgy team have made
their best start to the competition for 20 years.
Scotland are the next team to face Warren Gatlan's men.
PLEASE SUPPORT OUR SPONSOR:
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IRISH PHOTOGRAPHS IN PRINT by Jack Dolan
Foreword: Jack Dolan is an Irish photographer who has
managed to put together a superb collection of Irish
photographs. He has been involved in photography for the
past twenty years and together with his passion for outdoor
pursuits, mountaineering, hillwalking, rock climbing, has
managed to put his visions into print.
Jack previously spent 12 years as a graphic artist and has
gone to great lengths to ensure that his work is as good
as it can be. This is what Jack had to say:
As you may have gathered I Have an avid interest in
photography and the great outdoors. I have never had a
problem trying to capture the abundant natural beauty of
the Irish countryside but when it came to reproducing
this beauty on paper I was always less than satisfied
with printers and development labs.
So I decided to take control of the production myself and
invest in the latest and best photo printing equipment. I
still use the labs to develop my negatives but other than
that I have full control of the finished article.
Advances in printer technology have given me the confidence
to introduce my work to the world wide web. My prints come
with a 100 year 'no-fade' promise! They will last a
lifetime and will still be good enough to pass on to your
children - and if you can prove to me that they have faded
in 100 years time, send them back and I'll reprint them
for free! ;-)
We are delighted to offer Jack's superb works at our site:
READING THE IRISH LANDSCAPE by Andrea Santillo
As an American with no Irish ancestry you might wonder what
I am doing here in Sligo on this wonderful January afternoon.
I have the best of landscape with Knocknear in the back yard
and Ben Bulben up the road but surely, the history of Ireland
is 'write' in the names of the towns and counties.
The prefix 'drum' in a name indicates a 'fort' and there
were plenty of forts in Ireland. For example, near Cookstown
are Drummond, Drumard, Drumgarrell, Drumearn, Drumcarn,
Drumraw and Drumballyhugh. In Dublin we have Drumcondra and
Leitrim which is also known for its ridges has its Drumshanbo
and Drumahair which is where I went to visit the famous abbey.
But see how much more the name can tell us about a place:
Kildare is the church of oak
('cill' in Irish means 'church', 'dara' means 'oak')
Kilkenny is the church of St. Candice.
Donegal is the fort of the foreigner
('gall' in Irish means foreigner)
Sligo is named after the Shelly River.
Dublin has its black pool in the Phoenix Park
(Dubh-Linn, from Gaelic, 'the black mire')
Derry is Doire, the oak again.
Ardboe in the North means 'hill of the cow'
(from the Irish word 'bo' meaning cow).
Lissan means 'Anne's Lis' who was a Fairy Queen and
guardian spirit of the O'Connor family.
The Irish word for Ulster is 'ulidia' meaning
'the land east of the river Bann'.
Tyrone is from 'tir Owen' - the land of Owen.
(in Irish 'tir' means 'land')
Lough Swilly is the lake of shadows.
Tulluhogue is the hill of youth
(in Irish og, ogue, means 'young')
Howth in Dublin is derived from the Danish hoved or head
(The Vikings landed here!)
Glendalough in Wicklow is the valley of the two lakes
Naas in Kildare is really 'Nas Na Ri', Naas of the kings
Meath, a central county is 'Midhe'- the middle,
Dowth is from the Irish for 'darkness', found at Newgrange
Cork is from 'Coraigh', a marshy place
Killarney is from 'Cill Airne', the church of the sloe
Omagh is the seat of the chiefs
Belmullet in Mayo is 'Beal a Mhuirthead',
the mouth of the Mullet.
Reading the landscape can give one an insight into what has
gone before. I urge all people coming to Ireland to get off
the beaten path and look into the least traveled sections
of this, my adopted home - somewhere where you can have your
own personal link with the past.
IRISH QUOTATIONS OF THE MONTH
I felt, if ever we were to part, it would be easier
for us both, especially for me, to do it soon,
because later it would be bitter for me.
But I'd love you just the same.
Kitty Kiernan, letter to Michael Collins, 1921
To love oneself is the beginning of
a lifelong romance
Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband, 1895
Oh I loved too much, and by such, by such,
is happiness thrown away
Patrick Kavanagh, On Raglan Road
TRAGEDY IN THE DUNES by Anne Phelan
Just a mile from my own front door
I strolled along on the glistening shore
Until I arrived at the tiered sand dunes
Where an age -old myth tells of fairy-tunes.
My mind wandered back to a fog-laden night,
After a Search and Rescue flight,
When a stricken helicopter tried to land
Just yards from the safety of the smoothened sand.
Their mission ended in a terrible crash .
They hit a high dune with a horrible smash.
Four families are left broken and sad
Each of them missing a fine young lad.
Our little town joins in their unbearable grief.
A frightful memory now enshrouds our beach.
Four Air Corps heroes lost their lives,
On that foggy and tragic July night,
In the lovely sand dunes of Tramore
So close to the safety of the golden shore.
A LAMENT FOR PADRAIG PEARSE by Amanda McFadden
I read the poem Padraig Pearse wrote on the night of
his execution, and so in response I wrote this:
Sorrowfuly, you went upon your way,
For a shadow casted over your dream,
Things young and happy ceased to exist, the beauty
Like an eclipse, darkness descended upon your soul,
Sorrowfully you accepted your fate.
Dreams live in the soul, your soul survived,
The rising of the sun lifted the shadow from your
Things young and happy blossomed in the light.
Like the sun, energy radiated from your dream.
Transcending time, your dream lived on,
I feel the beauty of your soul in my heart.
Your aspirations, intellect, and courage inspired me,
You are a hero, my hero.
IRISH MOVIE REVIEW: INTO THE WEST by Elle Beck
'Into the West' is a romantic vision of the life experienced
by Ireland's traveling community. It centers around two
small boys, Tayto and Ozzie, who are sons to John Reilly who
was once 'the king of the travelers'. Gabriel Byrne plays
the lead as a man who wants to settle down and who has turned
his back on his previous life after his wife died.
This film is very much seen through the eyes of the two
young children who are immersed in the old Gaelic folklore
by their Grandfather who tells them the tales of Tir na nOg
(the land of the young). They own a white horse which leads
them away from the Dublin slums and into the countryside on
a journey of discovery.
The law is not far behind though and a ruthless Garda played
by Brendan Gleeson follows then across the country at the
behest of a racehorse mogul who wants the horse for himself.
John Reilly's fellow travelers are played by Ellen Barkin
and Colm Meaney who accompany the boy's father as they
revisit their old haunts, reliving their old adventures and
drawing ever nearer to the West coast of Ireland, their
This is a very entertaining film, perfectly suitable for
children's viewing and is not without humour. The fact that
it displays a very sanitised version of the life experienced
by many travelers and by the people they encounter is in
many respects irrelevant. This is not meant to be a
documentary about the rights and wrongs, the good and the
bad of Travelers.
Rather, it is an adventure, brilliantly played by the cast,
especially the two child actors, who lead us from the worst
of urban Dublin to the best of the countryside and onto the
beauty of the Irish West coast and it's emotional conclusion.
The message is simple, be yourself, for in the end, we
cannot be anything but.
GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
PHRASE: Tá tart mór orm?
PRONOUNCED: taw tart mure urm?
MEANING: I am very thirsty?
PHRASE: Cá bhfuil an teach pobail? ostán, airgead
PRONOUNCED: caw will on chock pub/ill? us/tawn, are/igid
MEANING: Where is the Pub? hotel, money
MEANING: Health! (Cheers!)
View the archive of phrases here:
HIBERNIANS ANNUAL LIMERICK CONTEST
Our annual Limerick Contest in once again accepting entries.
We have always enjoyed getting some entries from around the
country and world. Sometimes we have winners from far away.
The 2001 Contest Rules and Entry Form are available by
contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline for entry is
March 9th, 2001.
Frank 'Mac' Quinn,
A lifetime dream and painstaking research is about to be
brought to fruition. A volume about all the happenings of
bygone years in the Parish of Rosbercon in County Kilkenny
and its environs, is about to be released. Contact me at
email@example.com for further deails.
SHAMROCK SITE OF THE MONTH
This Irish travel site is staffed by travel consultants who
can prepare a personalised itinerary for your trip to
Ireland. The site also has other useful resources such as
a currency converter and weather link. FAQs about money,
driving, Taxis, etc. are also useful when considering your
SEARCHER SITE OF THE MONTH
If you are doing a genealogy search then check out this site
that has a large number of useful resources including
searchable databases as well as an 'Irish in America'
SUPPORT THE INFORMATION ABOUT IRELAND SITE
HELP US TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FREE RESOURCES
Get family crest gifts and plenty of Saint Patrick's day
gift ideas right here:
FEBRUARY COMPETITION RESULT
The winner was: firstname.lastname@example.org
who will receive the following:
A Single Family Crest Print (decorative) (US$19.99 value)
Send us an email to claim your prize, and well done!
Remember that all subscribers to this newsletter are
automatically entered into the competition every time.
I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
Please keep the feedback coming!
Until the next time,
The Information about Ireland Site.
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