The Information about Ireland Site Newsletter
January 2000 1999


The Newsletter for people interested in Ireland
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Copyright (C) 2000

    
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    			IN THIS ISSUE
    ~~~~~ Foreword
    ~~~~~ Support us for free
    ~~~~~ New free resources at the site
    ~~~~~ News Snaps from Ireland
    ~~~~~ Thinking of working in Ireland?
    ~~~~~ Readers Articles:
    	Observations on Irish Comedy in the US
    	Twilight Castle: A Poem about Connemara
    	A Request for Ideas
    	The 12th Of July (Lament for the Children)
    ~~~~~ Searcher Site of the Month: THE IGSI
    ~~~~~ Monthly free competition result
    
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    FOREWORD
    ~~~~~~~~
    
    The Millennium Bug Strikes! The influenza bug that is, and
    it has hit hard with hospitals being forced to postpone less
    urgent operations and procedures as they get to grips
    with a coughing and spluttering population. The 'Small Firms
    Association' has claimed that up to one third of the sick are
    using the near-epidemic as an opportunity to lengthen their
    Christmas holidays. Naah - that wouldn't be the Irish 'way'
    now, would it?
    
    I am delighted to be able to include a flurry of readers
    contributions this month - keep them coming.
    
    Got something to say? Don't keep it to yourself!
    Why don't you submit an article for inclusion
    in the next edition? Email to:	
    
    newsletterarticle@ireland-information.com
    
    This newsletter is available on-line at:
    
    http://www.ireland-information.com/jan00.htm
    
    PLEASE DO: Feel free to forward this newsletter in its
    entirety to anyone you think might be interested. Drop me
    a line if you have any queries - I love getting feedback.
    
    The only way that you could have been subscribed to this
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    If you wish to unsubscribe then go here:
    
    http://www.ireland-information.com/newsletter.htm
    
    ......but you'll be missing out!
    
    best regards from Ireland,
    
    Michael.
    
    
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    SUPPORT US FOR FREE
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
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    Do the 1,2,......
    
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    NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    CARA: THE IRISH PENPAL SERVICE LAUNCHED
    
    The new penpal service is up and running with over 1000
    penpals from around the world to get to know! I suspect that
    this makes CARA the largest free source of Irish penpals on
    the web (unless anyone knows better?)
    
    WEBTV users have been experiencing a few problems however,
    and this is being investigated.
    
    Sign up for free at:
    
    http://www.irishpenpals.com
    
    NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY:
    
    The following coats of arms images and family history details
    have been added to the gallery:
    
    A: McArdle
    B: Brogan Butler Buckley Boyce
    C: Close Caldwell Cahill McCormick Connolly Curry
       Conner Craig
    D: Dunphy Donlevy Delaney O'Donnell Dillon Dolan O'Driscoll
    E: Ellis
    F: O'Flaherty Flanagan 
    G: Gillespie Gaffney McGovern Gavin Grogan
    H: Halpin Hearne McHugh Hyland
    J: Jameson
    K: Kavanagh McKeown
    L: Lewis Lucas
    M: O'Malley Maguire Mitchell Mangan
    N: McNally O'Neill
    O: Owen
    P: Parker
    R: Rogers
    S: Saunders Shane McShane
    T: Treacy Thornton Timmons Timmins Tuohy
    W: Williams
    
    View them at:
    
    http://www.ireland-information.com/heraldichall/gm.htm
    
    Get the screensaver featuring YOUR family name (or send it
    to a friend or relative as a gift) at:
    
    http://www.ireland-information.com/irishnamescreensavers.htm
    
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    NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    DECOMMISSIONING DEADLINE LOOMS IN NORTHERN IRELAND:
    
    Real pressure is now being put on to Sinn Fein and the IRA
    in the North of Ireland as the deadline set by the Ulster
    Unionists with regard to the destruction of paramilitary
    weapons draws ever closer. David Thrimble has essentially
    put his credibility on the line and if there is not real
    progress on this issue then the new Northern Assembly
    would appear to be under threat.
    
    Sinn Fein have insisted that the entire decommissioning
    process should be left to General John de Chastelain,
    chairman of the International Commission on Decommissioning.
    
    IRISH TAXI DRIVERS UNDER PRESSURE
    
    In a double-whammy for the Irish taxi industry (some would
    call it a cartel) the Government have decided to introduce
    3100 new taxi licenses into the Dublin market later in the
    year. The taxi drivers look set to strike in protest,
    stating that the new licenses will destroy their business.
    
    A further dressing down was received from the Dublin
    tourism chief, Frank Magee, who has called for new standards
    and codes of practices to modernise the taxi industry
    including the issuing of printed receipts to taxi customers
    and a compulsory code of dress (not quite a uniform but at
    least an improvement on the current situation).
    
    HOUSE PRICES TO RISE BY 17% in 2000
    
    The latest flurry of predictions about the booming Irish
    property market have angered the Government who have
    complained that the hype surrounding the nations property
    prices has caused some prospective property owners into
    panic buying.
    
    A previous prediction stated that prices could rise by as
    much as 20% given the compelling factors for house price
    inflation, specifically, a lack of supply and an abundance
    of both demand and cheap money to borrow.
    
    PROPOSED BAN ON SMOKING IN IRISH PUBS TO BE FOUGHT
    
    The Vintners' Federation of Ireland has stated that a ban
    on smoking in Irish pubs would be completely unacceptable to
    publicans and customers alike and that the real solution is
    to improve the ventilation in the vast number of licensed
    premises.
    
    A recent survey by the Eastern Health Board has indicated
    that up to 60% of Irish pub-goers would prefer that at least
    a portion of a public houses' premises be designated
    'non-smoking'.
    
    ANGELA'S ASHES FILM OPENS IN DUBLIN
    
    The much anticipated film version of the novel by Frank
    McCourt has finally opened in Dublin. The film stars Robert
    Carlisle and Emily Watson and tells the story of the
    authors childhood upbringing in the slums of Limerick city.
    The director has commented on the recent begrudgery
    surrounding the author's success and in particular the
    assertion that life in Limerick during the forties was
    really not as bad as McCourt has depicted:
    
    'It is a storm in a tea cup' he said, and, in a remark that
    is very insightful of the Irish psyche: 'You are obsessed in
    this country with disecting anything that has any success.' 
    
    'Accuracy is a question that only Frank can answer. But it
    is a book, a childhood memoir, an impression. This author
    has won a Pulitzer prize and produced probably one of the
    best pieces of writing in the last 30 years. But instead of
    celebrating that achievement, you give credibility to some
    disc jockey down in Limerick who doesn't like it. I am
    amazed that you get so obsessed over here. The criticisms
    are so irrelevant it's not true.' 
    
    DUBLIN IN TOP TEN PLACES TO LIVE
    
    In a report that has surprised many Dubliners, the
    international human resources consultancy firm of William M
    Mercer Ltd. has declared that Dublin is in joint tenth place
    when it comes to 'best places on the planet to live'. 
    
    The company ranks Dublin behind London, Calgary and Atlanta
    but ahead of Washington, Pittsburgh, New York, Boston and
    Madrid. Vancouver, Zurich, Vienna and Berne were rated best.
    
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    THINKING OF WORKING IN IRELAND?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    In case you haven't heard: The Irish economy is booming! 
    
    The unparalleled sight of an Irish jobs agency petitioning
    emigrants who had returned home for Christmas to 'stay for
    good' was witnessed at Dublin Airport over the recent
    holidays.
    
    The tax situation has improved in recent years and there are
    'positions vacant' to be found everywhere.
    
    The following is provided by the Government Department of
    Enterprise, Trade and Employment:
    
    	A work permit is required by an employer to employ
    	any person who is not a national of an EU/EEA State.
    	The Employment Regulation Section examines
    	applications from employers and issues permits
    	where appropriate. Official policy in this area is
    	to ensure that job opportunities which arise in the
    	State are, as far as possible, reserved for Irish or
    	EU/EEA nationals. A scale of fees ranging from 25
    	to 125 applies depending on the duration of a permit. 
    
    	Applications for Work Permits should be made to the
    	Employment Regulation Section of the Department of
    	Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Davitt House,
    	Adelaide Road, Dublin 2. Application must be made on
    	the specified form - which is available from the
    	Employment Regulation Section and must be accompanied
    	by two recently taken passport-sized photographs of
    	the person whose employment is sought as well as
    	documentary evidence of the employers efforts to
    	recruit an Irish or other EEA national.
    
    Here are some of the many recruitment sites to check out:
    
    http://www.key.ie/
    
    
    
    http://www.cpl.ie/
    
    http://www.onlineinternational.ie/
    
    
    
    http://www.parc.ie/technology/
    
    http://www.john-harty-associates.ie/
    
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    OBSERVATIONS ON IRISH COMEDY IN THE US
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    Last year your symphony orchestra 'Spirit of Ireland'
    appeared here in San Diego, California and gave the most
    wonderful performance to a packed house. I often think that
    all we got in the past were your comedians with their Irish
    jokes about drunks.
    
    Well about 2 years ago we had 8 hours of TV covering the
    Irish in New York City at the turn of the last century.
    Well, the people of that time got tired of two comedians in
    particular (Russell was their name I believe), who told
    drunken Irish jokes. I wrote to the Irish Times at that time
    and suggested they keep those comedians at home, we have
    enough here to insult the Irish without the Irish themselves
    doing it. We Irish Americans have been trying to live down
    what is presumed to be our reputation of drunks or fools.
    
    I have been in your country five times and when I took your
    quiz I came up with number 9. It was laughable when you said
    I must have been a foreigner to know that much of Ireland. I
    never feel like a foreigner in your country, I feel right at
    home. My father was Thomas Kennedy from Curry, Sligo and my
    mother Catherine Spollen from Ballykillmurray, Tullamore,
    Ireland. I am very emotionally attached to Ireland and I am
    tremendously happy that prosperity has come to Ireland now
    known as the Celtic Tiger. It was so long overdue.
      
    Dr. Kathleen Veronica Patricia Kennedy Cronin
    
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    TWILIGHT CASTLE: A POEM ABOUT CONNEMARA
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    Here is a poem I wrote after a visit to Ireland a few 
    years ago. Of all the places visited, Connemara was my
    favorite. 
    
    Frances Moore
    Oakland, CA
    
    		Twilight Castle
    
    	In Connemara, County Galway,
    	Down a long and winding road,
    	We set out for Oughterard Castle;
    	It was evening as we strolled.
    	The September air was fragrant,
    	Everywhere we looked was green.
    	Cows and sheep were grazing happ'ly;
    	Such a quiet, peaceful scene.
    	We passed a golf course on the left
    	And a peat bog on the right.
    	A thatch-roofed cottage stood alone,
    	Vacant, weed-grown, a lonely sight.
    	The thatch was broken through in places,
    	But through the untrimmed hedge was seen
    	A window box with myriad flowers
    	Blooming gaily 'mid leaves of green.
    	We trudged along for near an hour,
    	Catching glimpses through the trees
    	Of the castle, so majestic,
    	Grey stone, ancient, a sight to please.
    	We came at last to a cul-de-sac 
    	And were met there by a goat.
    	A friendly fellow, he nodded and turned,
    	Leading us across the moat.
    	He uttered one solemn, parting 'baa',
    	Then turned and went his way,
    	As if he were the gate-keeper,
    	Guiding tourists every day.
    	There in front of us the castle
    	Stood in all its beauty stark, 
    	A lonely, melancholy sight,
    	Haunting in th'encroaching dark.
    	The memory is with me still;
    	Its a mem'ry that will last
    	Of this land so rich in hist'ry -
    	Ireland's present is its past.
    
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    A REQUEST FOR IDEAS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    At the suggestion of my college English professor, I am
    going to write a research paper about 'something to do with
    the Irish.' This paper is to be submitted to the Irish
    Cultural Society in San Antonio, TX USA. The best paper wins
    a college scholarship and will be read to the society members.
    
    I do not want to write the same paper everyone else does
    (St. Patrick was Really a Roman, the Story Behind the
    Shamrock, Swift: What a Guy). I can and will write something
    more unique. Please help me!  Would you suggest a subject
    that is important to Irish history and culture but has been
    woefully under-emphasized? One that would shed light on the
    importance of the Irish people in the great scheme of
    things. Your help would be greatly appreciated and of course
    be documented in the research paper.
    
    I thank you in advance for your wisdom and generosity,
    A lost and confused Irish soul who wants to set the record
    straight,
    
    Jeannette MacLean MacKay
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    
    email: JEN2277225@aol.com 
    
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    THE 12TH OF JULY (LAMENT FOR THE CHILDREN)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    I'm a big fan of Sean Tyrrell, an Irish musician and singer
    from Co. Clare. This piece is found on his first album 'Cry
    Of A Dreamer' and I find it especially pertinent today.
    It was written by Jahn Frazier(1804-1852), buried in
    Glasnevin in an unmarked grave.
    
    Although I will never believe that lasting peace will be
    achieved through legislation, I do believe that we are
    finally on the path towards that end.
    
    Mary Lou Faherty.
    
    The 12th Of July (Lament for the Children)
    
    Come pledge again your heart and your hand
    One grasp that never will sever
    Our password be our native land
    Our motto 'love forever'
    And let the Orange lily be
    Your badge my patriot brother
    The everlasting green for me
    And we for one another
    
    Behold how green the galant stem
    On which the flower is blooming
    How in one heavenly breeze and beam
    Both flower and stem are glowing
    The same good soil sustaining both
    Makes both united flourish
    But cannot give the orange growth
    And cease the green to nourish.
    
    The more the hand that plucks the flower
    Will vainly strive to cherish
    But in that hour the stem blooms on
    The flower it begins to perish
    Regard them then of equal worth
    While last their genial weather
    The time's at hand when deep in earth
    They will both sink together.
    
    And even though it be in our country's cause
    Our party feelings blended
    'Til lasting peace from equal laws
    On both will have descended
    'Til then the Orange lily be
    Your badge my patriot brother
    The everlasting green for me
    And we for one another.
    
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    SEARCHER SITE OF THE MONTH
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    IRISH GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY, INTERNATIONAL (IGSI):
    
    ' We are a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting
    members in genealogical research of Irish and Scots-Irish
    ancestry. We try to put members in touch with others
    researching the same surnames. Our resources are
    specifically selected to assist members in finding
    information and resources on ancestors in both the North
    and South of Ireland. '
    
    Visit at:
    
    
    http://www.rootsweb.com/~irish/index.html
    
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    JANUARY COMPETITION RESULT
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    
    The winner was: nashmaureen@hotmail.com
    who will receive the following:
    
    Our 6-Pack of Irish Screensavers (US$42 value)
    
    Well Done! Remember that all subscribers to this newsletter
    are automatically entered into the competition every time. 
    
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    I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
    Please keep the feedback coming!
    
    Until the next time,
    
    Be Good!
    
    Michael Green,
    Editor,
    The Information about Ireland Site.
    
    http://www.ireland-information.com/
    
    michael@ireland-information.com
    

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