IN THIS ISSUE
~~~~~ Keep us Free!
~~~~~ New Free resources at the site
~~~~~ News Snaps from Ireland
~~~~~ The Southern Irish during the Civil War by David Donehoo
~~~~~ Return to Gola by Anne Phelan
~~~~~ Irish Quotations of the Month
~~~~~ Irish Film Review: The Field by Dawn Hayden
~~~~~ Gaelic Phrases of the Month
~~~~~ Searcher Site of the Month: Genealogy Forum
~~~~~ Monthly free competition result
A belated happy new year from Ireland where the worst of the
Winter seems to have passed and the mood is one of
anticipation of a slower year to follow. The Irish economy
has been booming in recent years but there are signs that
the growth rate is starting to slow down.
These last 5 years in Ireland have been unprecedented.
Emigrants are returning home to work. For the first time in
our history we have an influx of refugees from other
countries seeking work and a better life. Unemployment and
the national debt are at all-time lows.
Of course there are the usual problems associated with a
modern society but there is also the real sense that
Ireland has, in the last few years, finally become a 'real'
We seem to have finally shaken off our 'inferiority complex'.
On a different note we are glad to include a couple of new
regular features in this months edition: Irish Quotations
and Irish Movie reviews - hope you enjoy.
If you have an article, poem or review about Ireland then
let us know. If you would like to see something offered at
our websites or in this newsletter then please don't keep
it a secret.
Your opinion is like gold to us.
Until the next time, BEST WISHES FROM IRELAND!
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NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
HUNDREDS OF NEW CLUES ADDED TO IRISH HANGMAN GAME:
Can you save 'Myles the Slasher' from the dreaded noose?
Play our interactive hangman game online at the address
below. Plenty of fun for those aged 8 to 88!
NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY:
The following 17 coats of arms images and family history
details have been added to the Gallery:
C: McCallion, Copeland
D: Driscoll, Downing, O'Daniel
H: Houlihan, Harvey
P: Parker, Phillips, Pigott
L: Lanigan, O'Lanigan
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
IRISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT SENT TO JAIL
The independent Fianna Fail T.D. Liam Lawlor has been sent
to Mountjoy prison for 1 week and fined IR£10,000 for
refusing to co-operate with the investigative tribunal that
is dealing with corruption in the planning process in
Dublin. The volatile T.D. had angry exchanges with Justice
Flood of the tribunal who concluded that he had not
complied sufficiently with a court order compelling him to
provide details about his financial affairs.
The T.D. will now have to fully comply with the court order
or else face a further 3 months in jail as well as further
hefty fines. Whilst Liam Lawlor has resigned from Fianna
Fail in the wake of the affair the matter does not reflect
well on Bertie Ahearn's party and makes the possibility of a
2001 general election even less likely. All the indications
are that the current Government will see outs its term of
office before 'going to the polls' in 2002.
TEACHERS STRIKE CONTINUES
The strike by a teachers union that has threatened to
cripple the state held examinations has escalated in recent
weeks with further 1-day stoppages and the withdrawal of
supervisory duties by teachers being their main weapon. The
Department of Education responded by docking the Teachers pay
at Christmas in a response that only worsened the crisis.
The ASTI union is outside of the recently agreed wage
agreement whilst 2 other teacher unions are within in's
ambit. This makes it very difficult for the government to
agree to the ASTIs 30% pay claim without wrecking their
agreement with the other unions as well as comparable unions
outside the teaching profession.
Talks have resumed but no end to the bitter dispute is
RYANAIR TO FACE COMPETITION IN THE 'NO-FRILLS' AIRLINE STAKES
Ryanair is to have some competition at the cheaper end of the
Irish airline market. It has been announced that Aer Rianta,
who control Dublin Airport, are in talks with Easy Jet and
Go, the British Airways airline. The Dutch airline Buzz,
is also thought to be considering a move into the Irish
At Aer Lingus cabin crew look certain to strike again
following what there union officials described as a miserly
offer from management. Previous strike action by cabin crew
staff resulted in the complete cancellation of all Aer
IRISH SOCCER STADIUM MAY GO AHEAD
The plans for an Irish soccer stadium have taken a lot of
criticism in recent months especially as the estimated costs
have spiraled to over IR£120 Million. The project may be
saved however as it appears that there are new investors
waiting in the wings.
Apart from Croke Park, which is owned by the Gaelic Athletic
Association and Landsdowne Road, which is the home of the
Irish Rugby fraternity, there are no other stadia capable of
holding crowds in excess of 35,000 in the Irish Republic.
The Government is pressing ahead with its plans to build its
own multi-purpose stadium despite the FAI having announced
similar plans for its soccer only venue.
These new stadia will be good news if any serious attempt to
host a major international sporting championship is to be
launched. The possibility of Ireland hosting the 2008
European soccer championships in conjunction with Holland,
Wales and Scotland has already been mooted.
RTE TO AXE 'GLENROE'
The longest running TV drama on Irish television is to be
axed. 'Glenroe' is a rural drama set in the Wicklow
countryside and is a descendant of both 'Bracken' (which
starred Gabriel Byrne) and 'The Riordans'. The cast were
informed that the show is to be wound up because of the
falling numbers of viewers.
One possible reason for its demise is the fact that it only
aired once weekly whereas 'Fair City', RTE's Dublin drama is
now to be shown 4 times weekly in an attempt to wrestle
Irish viewers away from English soaps such as 'Coronation
Street', 'Eastenders' and 'Brookside'.
RTE is under serious pressure in the ratings war from
independent station TV3, which survives without the aid of
the licence fee that RTE enjoys.
INFLATION RATE DROPS BUT IS THE BOOM OVER?
Inflation has fallen back from a recent high of 7% to 5.9%
and will continue to fall, experts say. The recent reduction
of VAT (sales tax) as well as the fall in oil prices have
helped Bertie Ahearn's government to stabilise what was
looking like an increasingly difficult situation.
Some financial experts are predicting that the Irish economy
will slow down and achieve growth rates in excess of 5% over
each of the next 2 years. Inflation is expected to drop
below 3% by the end of the year. Unemployment is at 4%
whilst nearly two thirds of women now work outside the home.
The slowdown in the US economy will also result in a drying
up of the heavy investment by American companies in Ireland.
The US dollar has also lost much of its recent strength
against the Irish pound. It is now worth approximately 81
IRISH INTERNET COMPANY GOES BUST
Irish internet technology company Ebeon became the first
high profile Irish casualty of the realignment of
expectations for Internet startups. 170 jobs were lost at
the Dublin office with 40 more in London and 20 in America
also axed. Ebeon is 51% owned by Eircom who had refused to
bail the company out.
EASTER RISING DECLARATION SELLS FOR IR£56,000
Padraig Pearse read out the famous words at the foot of
the GPO in Dublin's O'Connell Street in 1916 that signalled
the start of the Easter Rising. The War of Independence,
the Free State, The Civil War and Independence were to
follow but each can be traced back to the original
declaration made by Pearse.
It is estimated that only about 20 of the original
declaration documents survived as it was an offence to own
the document in 1916. The most recently found specimen was
mud-stained and had pinholes in it but still fetched the
remarkable auction price of IR£56,000.
SOCCER: GRANDMOTHER RULE IS AN OPTION FOR MORRISON
Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison may decide to play
for the Irish international soccer team despite being also
eligible for England, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The
21 year old centre-forward had been in excellent form this
season and is a target for a number of top-flight clubs.
Irish fans are hopeful that he will ally himself with his
grandmother's country and form a goalscoring partnership
with Robbie Keane, now of Leeds United.
SNOOKER: IRELAND BEATEN BY SCOTLAND IN NATIONS CUP
The Irish snooker team of Ken Doherty, Michael Judge and
Fergal O'Brien were soundly beaten 6-2 in the final of the
Nations cup but not before there was controversy in the
frame between Fergal O'Brien and John Higgins. With the
overall score standing at 4-1 the Dubliner was well
poised to clinch the frame but was warned by the referee
to speed up his play. O'Brien was clearly flustered at
this most unusual turn of events and missed a relatively
easy shot and ultimately the frame. A disgusted O'Brien
refused to shake hands with the referee who had played a
big part in handing the title to the Scots.
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THE SOUTHERN IRISH DURING THE CIVIL WAR by David Donehoo
Although it is quite well known there were several Irish
brigades who fought for the North, little has been said
about the contribution the Irish made to the Southern cause.
This of course seems odd to us who are of Irish heritage
with deep roots in the South, since a large percentage of
the people around us were also of Irish descent. Names like
Coleman, Farrell, Adams, Campbell, Reed, Thompson, Sullivan,
Early, so on and so on, made up a majority of the people in
our little north Georgia town.
The fact is that probably over 90% of the Southern
population were of Scot/Irish/English descent. Because of
this, and because these individuals groups were so well
assimilated into the culture, there was little call or
desire for brigades made up of particular nationalities.
It has been noted that the South was the only region in the
United States that ever developed a unique and homogeneous
culture. That of course, is because of the common heritage
that was shared by those who originally settled in this
area. Attributes like chivalry, honor, loyalty and civility
were simply considered a part of life. Those of Irish
descent, as a result, were not thought of as an individual
group to be looked down on or separated. On the contrary,
they were thought of as the backbone of the South, it is no
mistake that the heroin of Gone With The Wind was Scarlett
The Irish of the North and South, although similar in many
ways, did have some major differences. Most of the Irish in
the South were descendants of the 'dispossessed Ulster
Presbyterians of the Eighteenth Century'. Thus, they were
among the early settlers in the Southern States. By the
1780s my particular family 'Donehoo' had settled in South
Carolina. Later on, before the Civil War began, they packed
up and moved into North Georgia. The Irish in the South were
extremely patriotic toward their newfound home. According to
John Mitchel, a Protestant Irish nationalist of the time,
they viewed the Confederacy as 'a surrogate Ireland, an
agricultural society fighting for its way of life for self
rule, against an Anglo-Protestant industrial state, much
Most of the Irish in the North, unlike their brothers of
the South, migrated to their newfound home in the nineteenth
century, just prior to the War, and were Catholic. Being a
minority at the time, many doors were closed to them and
they experienced quite a bit of discrimination. When the war
came along they saw an opportunity not only to distinguish
themselves as Irish Americans, but also to carve out a place
in Northern society. Several Irish brigades were established
as a result, and were honored for their bravery and loyalty.
No one can deny the great contribution these men made to
their country, but the Irish of the South were fighting for
They were fighting for their way for life, for their homes,
and for their families and neighbors. I know that there are
those who place a special emphasis on the fact that the
North had several Irish Brigades made up of individuals who
were actually born in Ireland. However, we in the South who
are of Irish blood, also take great pride in the fact that
our forefathers had the courage to fight an enemy who
overwhelmed them in numbers and were better armed. In spite
of the odds, these brave Irishmen fought and won many
battles until they could simply go no further. My Grandfather
described for me in detail what his Grandfather had told him
about the terrifying sound of the 'rebel yell' as it would
grow to a deafening crescendo across the battlefield. In my
mind's eye I can see those ancient Irish warriors charging
across a vast open field, swords and lances in hand, to do
battle with a great Roman army. We Southern Protestant Irish
are very proud of our ancestors who were so willing to give
their all for their homeland.
RETURN TO GOLA by Anne Phelan
The craggy-faced fishermen return to visit
their former island home
Where ten generations of their families had
eked out an existence.
The Island of Gola lies a mile from the Donegal coast.
Their little boat beats its way through the choppy sea
Heading towards the lonely shore,
Where waves cream and foam over grey rocks.
A school of porpoises rolls around the boat.
The travellers land at the deserted pier
Where lobster pots still line the little quay.
The visitors stroll sadly along the empty streets and
Towards the crumbling cottages with their empty hearths
Where turf fires used to glow
Warming the islanders gathered to hear the tales of the
In the schoolhouse desks still stand in forlorn rows.
The last lesson is still clearly chalked on the blackboard.
The rollbook lists in copperplate handwriting
The names of former pupils -
Where are these lads now ?
Do the next generation know of their long family history?
A storm lantern stands on a sturdy table.
A cartwheel leans against a dry stone wall
Where fishing nets still hang forever drying
An anchor and chain lie in the little yard
Where hens used to scratch.
Bartley steps reluctantly into his old home.
A picture-less frame still hangs on the wall.
He sits in the chair where his grandfather used to sit,
Smoking his dudeen.
Outside again, weeds flourish in the garden,
Once so carefully cultivated and fertilised
With seaweed laboriously drawn from the beach.
A stackeen of turf, footed by his father still stands
by the gable.
The thatched roof is falling in.
Bartley and Donal recall how the island once teemed
On Summer Sundays children paddled on the beaches
Mothers knitted and chatted and watched the boys and girls
Who roamed the island fearless and free.
The menfolk talked of the weather and the fishing
The way island fishermen do.
Wearily the men return to the pier.
As their wee boat cuts through the waves
They stand and watch
As the island seems to get smaller and smaller.
A silent tear courses down Bartley's weather-beaten cheek.
Then they take a deep breath
And in unison, as though rehearsed,
They turn to face the mainland,
Looking forward to arriving home to their new cottages
On the coast of Donegal
Where a warm fire and a kettle on the hob will greet them.
IRISH QUOTATIONS OF THE MONTH
Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning,
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives genius a better discerning
Oliver Goldsmith, 1728-74 'She Stoops to Conquer'
'There are two kinds of priests', he declared.
'There are priests who made themselves and the
kind who are made by their mothers'.
John B. Keane, 1928- 'Letters of an Irish Parish Priest'
No longer shall our children, like our cattle,
be brought up for export.
Eamon de Valera, 1882-1975 speech in Dail Eireann, 1934
IRISH MOVIE REVIEW: THE FIELD by Dawn Hayden
Virtually everyone loves the movie 'The Quiet Man'. The sad
thing is that there are probably millions of people who
think that this film starring John Wayne really is the way
Ireland exists today. There is nothing wrong with that at
all. A bit of sentimentality towards the land of our
ancestors is not such a bad thing. But when the sentiment
starts replacing reality then something has to be done!
A much more realistic impression of Ireland can be found by
viewing 'The Field'. Richard Harris plays 'Bull McCabe', a
rugged, tough countryman who lives with his wife (Brenda
Fricker) who he has not spoken to for years and with his son
(Sean Bean) who is confused regarding his place in the world
especially since his older brother killed himself when he
was just a young lad. It is the 1930's.
Together they toil over a small plot of land (the field)
which they nourish with seaweed in the time-honored
tradition. But they do not own the field. They rent it from
a widow who is clearly an outsider in the community.
Trouble brews when an American (Tom Berenger) returns to the
village to seek out his roots. Suspicion of outsiders is
strong and the visitor causes a problem when he makes it
clear that he wants to buy the field to allow access to a
stone quarry he wants to build.
The 'Bull' is enraged and a plot ensues to ensure that the
rightful owner, the man who 'made a living thing out of it',
retains his ownership of the precious field.
This is a tremendous and powerful film and is based on an
actual character that the author, John B. Keane, knew in
County Kerry earlier in the century. It explores the lengths
to which Irish people will go to secure their home and thus
resonates with tones from the land war of the late 1800's,
the famine earlier in that century, emigration, the fight
for independence and the brutal existence that many Irish
country people have endured for centuries.
In many ways this film is the reverse of 'The Quiet Man'.
It shows what Irish people can really be like.
It is brutal, fantastically acted and completely brilliant.
GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
PHRASE: Cé as tú?
MEANING: Where are you from?
PHRASE: As America, is tú féin?
MEANING: From America, and yourself?
PHRASE: As Australia
MEANING: From Australia
View the archive of phrases here:
SEARCHER SITE OF THE MONTH
Irsh Genealogy Forum:
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