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°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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 °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 newsletter is by filling out a subscription form at the site whereupon a confirmation notice would have been issued. 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. °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø SUPPORT US FOR FREE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Want to support us, keep us alive? Well you can and it won't cost you a penny! Do the 1,2,...... 1. VISIT THE LINK BELOW AND SIGN UP FOR MORE GREAT INFO, (ITS FREE!): http://www.ireland-information.com/cgi-bin/list.html 2. AND HERE IS ANOTHER GREAT SOURCE FOR FREE INFORMATION: http://www.ireland-information.com/cgi-bin/zmedia.htm °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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 °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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. °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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 employer’s 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/ °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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 °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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. °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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 °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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. °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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 °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø SUPPORT THE INFORMATION ABOUT IRELAND SITE HELP US TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FREE RESOURCES BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THESE SPECIAL OFFERS * Get YOUR Irish family name Screensaver: Kelly, Murphy, Sullivan.... over 750 names now available Only US$10 with free bonuses To order visit here: http://www.ireland-information.com/irishnamescreensavers.htm * Report: How to start the search for your Irish roots, Only US$9 To order visit here: http://www.ireland-information.com/heraldichall/irishgenealogyguide.htm * Tourist Report: Ireland, 100 Places to See, 500 Places to Stay. Only US$9 To order visit here: http://www.ireland-information.com/irishtourismdownload.htm or visit our Gift Shop at: http://www.ireland-information.com/irishshop.htm °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø JANUARY COMPETITION RESULT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The winner was: email@example.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. °´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø,¸¸,ø*°´°*ø 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/ firstname.lastname@example.org