IN THIS ISSUE
~~~ Keep us Free!
~~~ News Snaps from Ireland
~~~ New free resources at the site
~~~ Christmas in Australia by Susan Hoogenboom
~~~ An Irish Odyssey by Carole Kenney
~~~ Irish Penpals Success Story by Larry Young
~~~ Touring Ireland by Car by Keith & Peg Turner
~~~ Play the Irish Draw
~~~ Gaelic phrases of the month
~~~ Monthly free competition result
A new year in Ireland has sen a new monument for
Dublin. The Spire is finally completed and is
the world's tallest sculpture! See the News
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NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
NEW ECONOMIC DEAL IS PROPOSED
Despite a background of job cuts and an economic
slowdown, a new national pay deal between
employers and staff unions moved several steps
closer with the announcement of a set of
proposals to break the deadlock.
The new deal proposes the following:
* 7% paid in three stages over the next 18 months
* Minimum Wage to be increased by 10%
* Benchmarking to be paid over 3 years in return
for a public sector pay-pause.
* Statutory redundancy payments to be doubled
* Social housing to receive extra funds
* Inflation to be tackled by Employers and Unions
HOUSE PRICES RISE AGAIN IN 2002
The slowdown in growth in the price of houses in
2001 was reversed dramatically in 2002. House
prices rose by over 13% last year and mortgage
lenders are predicting an 8% rise in 2003. This
compares with the modest 4.1% growth rate in 2001.
County Mayo is the cheapest County in Ireland to
buy a house at an average cost of EURO 150,000.
Dublin 4 is the most expensive area with an
average cost of EURO 520,000.
LANDMARK LEGAL RULING ON ASYLUM SEEKERS
A significant ruling by the Supreme Court in
Ireland is expected to have a serious effect on
the number of immigrants who have the right to
claim citizenship. Previously the parents of any
child born in Ireland had the right to stay with
the child, because the child was entitled to Irish
citizenship. this resulted in a huge influx of
heavily pregnant immigrants and caused severe
difficulties for maternity hospitals, especially
those in Dublin.
The new ruling means that parents of a child born
here no linger have an automatic right to stay
and face deportation if their case for asylum is
proven to be unfounded. It is widely accepted that
the majority of the 10,000 families who have made
applications based on the rights of their child's
citizenship are not genuine asylum seekers, but
are in fact, economic migrants who are attracted
to Ireland's much improved economy and welfare
The Minister for Justice has rejected calls by
refugee groups for an amnesty for those applicants
who have applied for citizenship before the
Supreme COurt ruling. nevertheless, he has made
it clear that each case will be dealt with in a
humane manner. It seems unlikely therefore that
those applicants who already have their children
in primary school will face deportation.
The new rules will make Ireland a less attractive
option for economic migrants and especially if the
right to welfare payments to those applicants who
have just given birth are removed by thr
Government. Refugees arriving here are currently
entitled to accommodation, food, and to health
and education services while their application is
WORLDS TALLEST SCULPTURE IS NOW IN DUBLIN
The newly created 'Spire of Dublin' is 120 metres
tall and is the world's tallest free-standing
sculpture. Although considerably smaller than the
Eiffel Tower (300 metres) or the Empire STate
Building (381 metres), it does hold the record
as the world's tallest sculpture.
The Spire is located on O'Connell Street only
yards from the General Post Office where Padraig
Pearse read the famous 1916 Declaration of
Independence prior to the Easter Rising. The
latest rising on the street was achieved at a
cost of 4.6 Million Euro and is to be officially
opened on Saint Patrick's Day. A modern plaza
involving wider walkways and extensive tree
planting is to be continued on O'Connell street
over the next year.
Dublin City Council is expected to raise
millions from the sale of miniature replicas
of the Spire, when they acquire the copyright
from the architect.
SMOKING MAY BE BANNED IN PUBLIC PLACES
A new report that highlights the link between
passive smoking and cancer is likely to lead to
a complete ban on smoking in pubs, clubs and
workplaces. The Minister for Health has recently
announced plans to ban smoking in restaurants and
in pubs where food is served but the new report
may make a total ban inevitable.
Tourist bodies and pub owners have warned of the
economic cost to the country of a complete ban.
Health bodies have highlighted the huge cost of
future health care if the issue is not tackled.
CATHOLIC CHURCH TO ADVERTISE FOR PRIESTS
An advertising campaign is to be instigated by
the Catholic Church in Ireland to try to get more
men to join the priesthood. Recent years have
seen a dramatic falloff in those taking up a
religious vocation. The ads will ne placed on
buses and at train stations in Dublin.
NEW IRISH SOCCER MANAGER TO BE UNVEILED
Brian Kerr has been named as the new manager of
the Irish international Soccer team. The successor
to Mick McCarthy has an excellent record at
underage level leading Ireland to European
under-18 and under-16 glory in 1998, and taking
the bronze medal in the to World under-20
competition in Malaysia. Chris Hughton is
expected to be named as his assistant.
Ireland faces a tough task of qualifying for the
European Championships in Portugal in 2004 having
lost the first two games. Brian Kerr has been
given a three year contract which will include
the qualifying tournament for the 2006 World Cup
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NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY:
The following 18 coats of arms images and family
history details have been added to the Gallery:
B: Baggott, Bentley
C: Crampsie, McCade, McClinton
G: Goff, McGlinchey
L: Landes, Larrett
P: Portor, Pumphrey
T: Thornberry, Tracy
View the Gallery here:
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CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA by Susan Hoogenboom
Here we are in a climate as different as can be
from what you experience at Christmas in Ireland.
On Christmas Day we have lunch on our verandah,
usually with three fans going to keep cool. Being
a nation of immigrants, our traditions are mixed.
Most families have the traditional hot dinner of
turkey or pork, with chicken and ham, vegetables,
plum pudding and custard.
We say from time to time that this is really
stupid, but every year, there we are, perspiring
as we cook, pulling our Christmas Crackers,
drinking large amounts to help keep cool, but in
fact becoming a bit tipsy along the way.
Some Aussies have changed that and are camping at
the beach, eating off picnic tables, their
Christmas dinner being cold meat and salad.
Seafood of all types has become popular and
crayfish, prawns etc., are in huge demand.
I read with interest about St.Stephen's Day on the
26th. It is Boxing Day for us, and a public
holiday, except for shop assistants who can
volunteer to work or not. The huge post Christmas
sales start, but I keep away. For my husband and I
it is a day of relaxation after the mad rush
before Christmas. When I was a child in the 1950s,
and even up until the 1960s we had pantomimes, but
sadly they seem to have disappeared. We have
'Pirates of Penzance' every year for the last few
years, plus 'Wind in the Willows' performed
outdoors, we have twilight concerts at the zoo,
movies on large screens in the Botanical Gardens,
and as a lot of people take holidays now,
including the school children, a general slowing
My ancestors came from Clare, Limerick and Wexford,
arriving in Australia in the 1840s and 1850s. When
my husband and I were lucky enough to visit Ireland
in 1998, I cried as we approached Dublin airport. I
felt like I was coming home. Never in my life had I
seen such greens, our lawns in Australia at this
time of the year are brown, especially with water
restrictions which we now have. Even in winter our
greens are never like those of Ireland.
Here was all my history, and what a feeling to
stand in the towns where my ancestors trod and
made the momentous decision to go so far away to
start again. Imagine how their first Christmases
were, in hot and sunny conditions instead of cold
My husband was born in Holland and for him,
Christmas is snow, midnight Mass and gathering
around the fire to keep warm while opening
presents. Strangely enough here in Australia most
of our Christmas cards until recent years featured
snow scenes and sleighs. That is gradually
changing. Maybe we have this secret longing to
experience such a Christmas. As I write this it is
37 degrees celsius, and my family is heading for
Maybe one day I will be lucky enough to visit
Ireland again as the ties remain strong and not
diminished in any way by my one visit.
Small parts of the Irish traditions have stayed
with those of us of Irish descent. There has
always been a certain pride in Australia when
saying that 'my ancestors are Irish'. They fight
for justice and causes and are strong people.
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AN IRISH ODYSSEY BY CAROLE KENNEY
I wrote this humorous verse about my grandmother
(May) and her three sisters who leaving Ireland
in 1910 and coming to Boston, California and
Carole Kenney, USA
An Irish Odyssey
Baby, Bee, May and Kitty,
Oh, those Irish girls were pretty,
Prancing 'long the River Liffey
Knowing that they looked quite spiffy.
Long white gloves and a wide-brimmed hat,
And no crossed knees when e'er they sat,
Young ladies all - two short, two tall -
But then the rain began to fall.
Dad and Mother sadly died,
The shop would close,
The hams were dried,
Poetry gave way to prose
But the Irish spirit hadn't died.
They bought a boat that seated four,
A shamrock painted on each oar,
And headed for the bold, new world,
Their frocks all pressed, their hair all curled.
The dock master who shoved them out
Offered them a pint of Stout,
'Out Damned Stout' - May's paraphrase
'I'd sooner go to my death,'
The dock master was not impressed,
He hadn't heard of MacBeth.
Bee, the eldest, splashed holy water,
'Oh, no' squealed Baby, 'You really oughta
Pass Sloan's New Linament to me,
I've never rowed much, can't you see!'
So they left green hills - the little four,
And left behind their very core,
The future can't be held at bay,
As Robert Frost knew how to say
'Nothing gold can ever stay.'
Kitty, scanning aft and fore
Was first to spy the eastern shore,
'Faster, row with all your might',
She clutched her box of chocolates tight.
May mustered all her Irish ire
And rowed like her prayer book was on fire.
They sudden landed with a thud
That spattered all their frocks with mud
And catapulted Kit and Babe toward
San Francisco Bay.
Said flying Kit to little Babe, 'Where goeth Bee?'
Said Babe, 'Why don't you ask her,
Oh, I think that she just took a right and is
headed for Alaska.'
They landed hard - each of the three,
The Richter leaped too high to see.
'So when you slide into the sea'
Spake May to the western scenery,
'Blame Kit and Babe and Bee - not me!'
And she dropped the oars quite pompously.
CARA IRISH PENPALS SUCCESS STORY by Larry Young
I've been a member of Cara for at least five
years, perhaps longer. I'm not exactly sure when
I became a member. Cara is a different type chat
room than any I've found elsewhere. It's
structured differently and takes some getting
used to; but there are always, always friendly
and interesting people there. As an American, I
didn't know what to expect and I was pleasantly
surprised at what I did find.
About four years or so ago, I met a wonderful
woman there named Morag. Now, as I understand it,
and my memory serves me correctly, that's the
Gaelic word for Sarah. We've been conversing
for almost all that time and I've learned a
great deal about Scotland, at least the part
where she lives, about Sarah herself, and I've
come to understand the way she thinks. At least,
I hope I have.
We're different, she and I. I'm a male, a
journalist, and quite a bit older than she and
while I should be outgoing, I find I'm a bit
reclusive, preferring to watch other people as
they parade through their lives. Morag, on the
other hand, is beautiful, outspoken, vivacious
and just fun! She's taken some getting used to,
that's for sure. She speaks her mind! I'm used
to offensive politicians and public officials,
to boorish folk, it's part of the job… I've
also had the luck to meet wonderful people,
sometimes, colorful people who make their whole
better. Morag is like that. She just makes the
space around her glow.
We've gone through loves, lovers and broken
relationships together, Morag and I. We've
gotten drunk, had fights, somberly and sometimes
painfully made up. Sometimes I don't know
whether she's my girlfriend, wife, sister,
daughter or mother at times. But she's always my
friend. I've met a lot of people in my life and
career, a former governor who became president,
an ex-convict who's constructed log cabins in
small apple cider bottles that he sold in small
shops and lots of others great and small. They
all have a place in the photo album of my life.
But I have to thank Cara for giving me the
vehicle through which I met Morag. Sarah. I've
never known anyone who is combination of some of
all these experiences. So, thank you, Michael
Green and thank you, Cara members all.
You can join Cara Irish Penpals for free here:
TOURING IRELAND BY CAR by Keith & Peg Turner
Looking for something different for a holiday and
not too bothered if the sun doesn't shine all week,
my wife and I decided to hire a cottage in Ireland,
the Dingle Peninsula to be exact, in the Summer of
1992. What a week of laughs!
Driving off the ferry at Dublin, we headed west on
the N7 to Dingle arriving at our superb new lodge
late in the Afternoon. The Atlantic Ocean was about
the length of a football pitch from our back door.
Some of the memories of that week will stick in our
Taking the Connor Pass route from Tralee to Dingle
and the viewing platform on top of the mountain.
We couldn't see our car in the park for mist.
Driving past Inch beach at 7.30 in the morning and
seeing not a sole on the magnificent sands
stretching as far as the eye could see. Arriving
in Cork for the first time in rain which you would
have expected in the tropics - it was brilliant.
And getting a puncture repaired at a village
garage in the ring of Kerry. What a laugh, when we
left, we only had 2 wheel studs intact on our
front wheel, the garage owner had cross threaded
the other two, and told us not to go too fast and
we would be OK. We had to get the AA man out!
When that holiday was over, we were smitten by
the Ireland bug. Someday we would be back.
8 years later along with our 21 year old daughter
we hired a house in Arklow. By the end of that
week she was smitten too and 6 months later we
rented a house in Waterford. What a beautiful
city. So much to do. The drive from Waterford to
Cork on the N25 has to be one of the 10 great
drives I have ever done, and I have been all over
the place. September 11th early afternoon in a
Dunnes Shopping Store in Clonmel we heard the news
from New York. People will most probably have been
in more exotic places at that time, but for the
three of us, we could not have wished to be
anywhere else. Clonmel, that day, was the world's
We have since hired a house in Birr and the
Blackwater Valley, been up to Sligo and are
eagerly awaiting our next visit in May 2003 to
Carrick-on-Shannon. There's still loads to see and
lots of people to meet in your wonderful Country.
Anybody reading this that has never been across
the sea to Ireland, give yourself a treat and go
IT'S THE BIZ!
Keith & Peg Turner.
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GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
PHRASE: Ni h-e la na baisti la na bpaisti
PRONOUNCED: nee hay law na bawshtee law na bawshtee
MEANING: A rainy day isn't a day for the children
PHRASE: Is e do bhaile do chaislean
PRONOUNCED: iss ay duh vol-yah duh cosh-lawn
MEANING: Your house is your castle
PHRASE: Tir gan teanga, tir gan anam
PRONOUNCED: teer gon tyong-ga, teer gon on-umm
MEANING: A country (land) without a language,
a country without a soul
JANUARY COMPETITION RESULT
The winner was: firstname.lastname@example.org
who will receive the following:
A Single Family Crest Print (decorative)
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.
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I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
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Until next time,
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