The Information about Ireland Site Newsletter
The Newsletter for people interested in Ireland
Now received by over 50,000 people worldwide
Copyright (C) 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
=== News Snaps from Ireland
=== New free resources at the site
=== The changes in Northern Ireland
=== Ireland by Jayne Nieb
=== Origin of the Irish Rouen Surname
=== Holinshed Theory on the Origin of the Irish
=== Killarney by Barbara Botch
=== Gaelic Phrases of the Month
=== Monthly free competition result
Hello again from Ireland where unseasonable
downpours have threatened to turn the usual
changeable Irish Summer into a deluge!
The news has been dominated by the formation of a
new government on foot of the recent general
election. Economist have advised the administration
that Ireland looks to be facing into a more
challenging economic outlook, after years of
Until next month, very best from Ireland
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NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
BERTIE AHERN FORMS A NEW GOVERNMENT
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has formed a third
successive Government with his ruling Fianna
Fail party entering into a coalition with the
Green Party and the PDs. His Government will also
be supported by 4 independent T.D.s which means
that the new coalition has a very comfortable
The formation of the new Government was a historic
moment for the Green Party. After protracted
negotiations they finally reached a deal with
Fianna Fail which sees them at the helm of power
for the first time in Ireland. Their inclusion in
the coalition was not strictly necessary with
Fianna Fail having sufficient numbers to return to
power with the help of the PDs and the
independents. Clearly Bertie Ahern wanted the
guarantee of the extra stability that the 6 Green
Party T.D.s provide so the deal was done.
Despite holding out hopes of patching together a
broad alliance to form a new Government both Fine
Gael and Labour seem destined to another 5 years
on the opposition benches.
HOUSE PRICES BEGIN TO DECLINE
The recent series of interest rate hikes by the
European Central Bank seem to be having a cooling
effect on the Irish property market. Prices have
declined by as much as 1.8% in the month of May
alone in certain sectors of the market but Dublin
prices seem to be holding up. Some regions have
dropped as much as 3.6% from January to April
which would give an annual decrease of nearly
11% should the trend continue.
Uncertainty about the intentions of the new
Government towards property stamp duty has
also certainly contributed to the slowdown.
That uncertainty has now been removed, with the
new Government abolishing stamp duty for
first-time buyers. It remains to be seen if
there will be a property crash in Ireland or
if the much more likely scenario of a 'soft
landing' pans out.
SLOWDOWN IN THE ECONOMY IS EXPECTED
The marked slowdown in activity in the construction
sector is likely to impact on the number of new
jobs created in the Irish economy in 2007. The
labour force grew by 4.5% in 2006, boosted to a
large part by migrant workers from Poland, Latvia
and the other new EU members. This figure is
expected to drop significantly as migration slows
and the economy cools down.
EU BLOCKS RYANAIR TAKEOVER OF AER LINGUS
The European Commission of the EU has blocked the
planned takeover of Aer Lingus by rival airline
Ryanair. The proposed 1.4 B-illion euro deal has
been scuppered on 'anti-competition' grounds.
Ryanair have previously stated that they will
take legal action the EU should the merger be
FURTHER DISCOVERIES MADE AT TARA MOTORWAY SITE
The new motorway under construction in the
valley that houses the ancient Hill of Tara has
been dogged by fresh controversy when it emerged
that further archaeological remains have been
found, including an underground chamber and a
series of ancient tunnels.
The newly appointed Minister for the Environment
is a Green Party T.D., John Gormley, and it is he
who has been given the job of facing down the
protestors while also protecting the historical
artifacts in the valley.
Opponents of the motorway claim that the
development is destroying the ancient heritage of
the site. Those in favour of the new much needed
motorway point out that the new road is further
away from the actual Hill of Tara than the
existing road is today.
Further legal challenges are expected.
GUINNESS MAY MOVE OUT OF DUBLIN
It has been reported that Diageo, the company that
manufactures Guinness at the famous St. James Gate
site in Dublin, is likely to move the facility to
the outskirts of the city. It is easy to see the
motivation for such a move as property prices in
Ireland have risen dramatically in recent years.
Any sale of the Dublin city centre property could
earn the company as much as 3 b-illion Euro. The
production plant that is just a couple of miles
from O'Connell Street has been in operation since
WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLES RE-INTRODUCED TO IRELAND
The re-introduction of 15 white-tailed eagles
into Ireland has prompted protests from a Kerry
farming group who are concerned the eagles will
prey on their lambs. The eagles were bred in
Norway and can grow up to a metre in length.
They were hunted to extinction in Ireland a
century ago but have been re-introduced in the
hope that they will become established once more.
Voice your opinion on these news issues here:
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THE CHANGES IN NORTHERN IRELAND
by Thomas F. Dunleavy
I was recently on my 11th visit to Ireland, but
it was my first time in Northern Ireland. We flew
into Belfast and went by bus to Derry for 2 days.
We stayed at The Derry City Hotel and took a tour
of the walled city and the surrounding bogside
surroundings. The tour guide was a Scot whose
ancestors came with the Plantations. His name is
Tony Henderson and I recommend his service
unqualifiedly. He even allowed that if we
visited the Museum at the last gate on the wall,
they may present some facts slightly different
from his version, but he said, 'I'm allowed.'
His knowledge and his honest presentation of
past events, the present happenings, and future
hopes were very interesting and exciting. His
descriptions of the murals, their derivations,
and the artists were fascinating. He also managed
to convey how remarkable it was that Ian Paisley
was sitting down with former IRA enemies and
trying to form a united government. He painted
fairly, I thought, Bernadette Devlin, Ian Paisley,
and the long, dangerous times that divided
neighbors and former friends along religious
We also toured in Belfast and stopped to hear many
like stories at the murals in both formerly
The best impression that I came away with was the
combined feeling of hope in all parties, coupled
with a demonstrated desire for peace and
prosperity. Progress is evident everywhere: new
hotels are underway and the promise of the riches
of tourism are fueling growth. Of course, as is
true everywhere, Northern Ireland will now see
the monumental traffic jams that accompany
renewal. It will be far superior to military
checkpoints and fear of snipers, however.
We visited Giants Causeway and came down through
the Glens of Antrim and stopped in Dundalk on the
way to Dublin. From Dublin, we spent 2 days in
Kinsale and finished with 3 days in Killarney,
my favorite town in Ireland.
I always enjoy The Republic but I was absolutely
smitten with what Northern Ireland promises to
become. While it may take a generation to breed
away the seeds of hate, things are well on their
way to accommodation, the first necessary step.
Perhaps someday, Ireland will be re-united, but
even if that never happens, free access and
rekindled unity will be far better than the past.
KEEP THIS NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
IRELAND by Jayne Nieb
When I see your emerald hills my lonely heart
starts to think,
For you see you and I we share a special link.
Though I've never set foot on your blessed shores,
I know I'd be welcomed with open doors.
I can see in your dance, hear it in your song,
I can see it in your many faces,
I know they can't be wrong.
If I had the chance, I'd be with you now.
If I had the chance, but I don't know how.
I'd stay forever, never stray,
I'd stay forever and a day.
Alone here now, a soul with empty space.
Would you hold for me a special place?
This homesick heart with a pull so strong,
I'll be home soon, it won't be long.
ORIGIN OF THE 'IRISH' ROUEN SURNAME
(May 2007, by Thomas Brady Coles,
husband of Nancy Rouen since 9 June 1956)
I heard for years, 'ROUEN is really an Irish name'
because 'it had once been O'Rooney or Rooney, or
something like that! I also heard that Nancy's
great aunt Julia had a French-type millinery shop
in Detroit in the late 1800's and early 1900's and t
hat she changed the surname. I decided to do some
investigating a few years ago. In the meantime, I
kidded my wife (with four Irish grandparents) and
her siblings with, 'Sure, ROUEN is Irish. Your
grandfather was Maurice Rouen and that sure sounds
Irish to me!'
So I went to the Stratford, Ontario library for
help. The 'Rouens' had lived in that area in the
mid-1800's. The 1848 Perth County, Ontario,
Assessment Return has a Thimety (sic) RUIN. The
1851 census lists a Timithy (sic) RUIN with a wife,
Catherine Murphy, both born in Ireland. The 1871
census has the name as RUINN and Catherine is a
widow. I am guessing that adding an 'n' was to
change a not-so-good word for a surname, RUIN, to
a non-word, RUINN.
Children and birth years of Timothy and Catherine,
from the census records, are: Edward (1839), John
(1840), James (1843), Morris (1845), Timothy
(1847), Michael (1849), Julia (1852), and Patrick
(1855). The years are approximate, being based on
the ages listed in the censuses.
Using the Detroit City (Michigan) Directory, I
discovered that Julia owned as many as three
millinery shops in Detroit from 1884 to at least
1911. She was known as Madame Rouen Hunt. It is
circumstantial but it is likely that she changed
the name from RUINN to ROUEN because it looked
better for a French-type millinery shop! Whether
RUIN, RUINN, or ROUEN, the name would have been
pronounced pretty much the same in Detroit,
Michigan. A sister-in-law of Morris and Julia, the
wife of Patrick Ruinn/Rouen, also had a millinery
shop in Detroit and she was known as Madame Rouen.
Morris RUINN, Nancy's grandfather, apparently
took the opportunity (when he moved from
Stratford, Ontario to Detroit) to change his
first name to Maurice. I understand many people
will pronounce Morris and Maurice about the same.
Morris' fourth son, Francis (Frank) Rouen, was
born 1892 in Detroit and he is Nancy Rouen's
It is my belief that someone (of English
ancestry?) heard the man from Ireland say his
name and then wrote it phonetically as 'Thimety
Ruin' when in reality it was Ruan or Ruane or
Rowan or something similar. I understand Ruan,
Ruane, and Rowan are old Irish names. Maybe
someone reading this can tell me which name might
be most likely pronounced 'ruin' by the Irish-born
Timothy so that 'Ruin' is what was recorded on
the 1848 Perth County, Ontario, Assessment Return.
It is interesting that a James Ruin was lessor or
owner of land next to Timothy's near Mitchell,
Ontario. He was also born in Ireland, about 10
years younger, and a brother, we think, of
Thimety/Timothy Ruin. He went to Beloit, Kansas in
about 1880 with his family to farm. A couple of
James' daughters came to Detroit around 1890 to
work in Julia's millinery shop(s).
Of Timothy's eight children, the two oldest,
Edward and John, went to Minnesota. James and
Michael went to Chicago. Timothy 'Jr' went to
Chicago and then Utah. Morris, Julia, and Patrick
came to Detroit. All these Ruinns changed their
names to Rouen, wherever they were, probably
because of Julia owning French-type millinery
shops in Detroit and changing her surname from
Ruinn to Rouen?
The family of James Ruin/Ruinn/Rouen (who went
to Beloit, Kansas) passed on information that
the family was from County Mayo. Based on what
the Ontario census has re country of origin for
Timothy's children, they left Ireland for Canada
between 1840 (second child) and 1843 (third child).
KEEP THIS NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
HOLINSHED THEORY ON THE ORIGIN OF IRISH
What follows is a brief synopsis of my
discovery of Holinshed's theory about where
the Scots and Irish came from.
I stumbled upon Holinshed's books, a set of
four, in the University Library in Laramie in
Wyoming. How they'd found their way there, I do
not know. It seems that in 1570, Mr. Hollinger,
whom I understand was either a clerk of some
sort, or just a learned man of some means, was
commissioned by the King of England to go about
the country-side of Britain, Ireland, Scotland,
Wales and the near European countries and search
out old records then kept in various churches,
castles and so on. He was then to record or copy
these records, especially since many of them were
in sad shape and were in danger of being lost.
Hollinger recorded that a few of them even fell
apart as he was copying them, crumbling into
ruin and lost.
The volume on Ireland alone was about an inch
and a half thick, 16 inches high and 14 inches
wide. It was very small writing, too. I regret
I was unable to read much of this volume before
I moved away. I did convince the library to put
them in the preservatory, rather than leaving
them out with the general population of books.
The volume on Scotland (which, yes, I know you're
Irish, but this is HISTORY and it has an impact
on Ireland, too), was much larger - almost three
inches thick, with the same small writing and
fewer illustrations. It was here I found an
interesting theory on the origin of the Scots
which Hollinger had recorded from decaying
parchments found under someplace in or around
Here it goes:
The ancient Scots claim descendency from Japheth,
the third son of Noah. At the time of Moses,
Japheth was still alive, was General of an army
made up of his own descendants, under the
direction of Pharaoh. Most of the battles they
fought were on the African side of Egypt, and he
was very successful.
Japheth was married to Pharaoh's niece, a woman
named Scoti. He loved her deeply.
It was mentioned that Japheth knew Moses as an
able general and architect, responsible for
designing and building many of the monuments and
government buildings of the day - before he ran
for his life, that is.
When Moses returned, he did his thing with the
plagues and Pharaoh decided to let the people go,
Japheth and his people decided to go with them.
In the scriptures, they were numbered among the
'others that went with them also.'
They all wandered around together for a while
until the '40 years of wandering in the
wilderness' thing - whereupon Japheth said 'No way.
We'll go this way. We didn't make God mad. You can
wander around if you want to, we're leaving.'
Somehow they ended up following the northern edge
of Africa, until reaching the point where the
Mediterranean meets the Atlantic. They built boats,
went across to Spain, up the western coast and hit
the ocean there. Since there weren't too many
people in the region there, they decided to settle
in. A number of years went by, about a hundred and
twenty-eight or so.
Japheth still ruled, sitting on a naturally carved
stone that made a great seat (Stone of Scone,
anyone?) By now, Japheth and his wife were pretty
old. The surrounding natives were not too keen on
Japheth's kin by now, since they were proliferating
by leaps and bounds and were outnumbering the
natives. The natives began to run small attacks on
the settlements, stealing, burning crops, etc.
Somewhere, things began to accelerate.
Japheth said no to war, and sold the people on the
idea of leaving, and they began to build boats.
The attacks stopped, once the people saw Japheth
was serious about leaving.
While the boats were being built, Scoti died.
Japheth was so overwhelmed, that his son Magnus
took command. They finished the boats, including
a reinforced one in which they put the Stone of
Scone, and left. Just before they left, the
people talked among themselves. It was obvious
that they were a singular people. They were not
like the natives in this land. They hadn't been
like the Egyptians, or the Hebrews or the Hamites.
They needed a name - an identity. Finally, it was
voted upon by the family heads, that they would
call themselves Scots, after Scoti, whom they
They travelled northward, following the coast of
France. Occasionally they made landings on the
shores and went in a little bit, but found the
people unfriendly and the land wanting, so they
continued on. They sent scouts ahead, who came
back to report two large islands, with several
smaller ones. The first island was rocky, but
okay, but the second one was green and the
people were friendly. They would welcome the
strangers, and let them find a place to call
That was Ireland. Though they didn't stay, the
Scots did intermingle and intermarry. They
taught farming and learned hunting. It took them
over three hundred years, but they still moved
northwards, making friends and enemies along the
way as people do, until they came to the northern
end of the island. Some chose to stay there, and
some chose to go over to the northern end of what
is now Scotland. The record shows that Japheth
finally died somewhere along the way, and Magnus
was an old man by the time they came over to
Scotland, dying not long after. All that time,
they took the Stone with them, because it was a
reminder of Japheth and Scoti, and how he had
judged them fairly and brought them safely all
Magnus' son was not a god-fearing man. He often
went by the name of Magus, instead. He was a
dictatorial, selfish ruler and people feared him.
He reigned for 14 years before his son killed him
and took over. Magnus' grandson was better. He
remembered the lessons of his grandfather about
God and nature and natural laws. According to
this document, he was the one to set up the first
college on the Isle of Mann, that later became four:
Mathematics, Natural Science, Agriculture and
Literature. Because the colleges often fought
against the controlling practices of the new
Church, the original colleges were burned to the
ground, their walls knocked down and the students
driven into the countryside. The founders and
teachers were denounced as witches, heretics and
deserving of death. These are what we call
druids, now, according to Hollinger.
Hollinger offered several observations to support
1) Similarity of dress between the Scots and
Egyptians. Both wore pleated, kilt-like garments.
The only difference being adaptations to weather
and material availability.
2) The Scots came from the northern end of
Scotland and ran into the different tribes.
3) Many Scots are dark-haired, like the Egyptians.
Red and blond hair were genetically introduced by
intermarriage with other peoples.
4) Many property and inheritance rights were
allowed the women, unlike other peoples. While
Egypt didn't do this, the people's love of Scoti
probably influenced this.
Of course, this is the opinion of a man 400 years
gone, but he was an intelligent man, and was as
objective as possible in his work, giving caveats
to information he thought was shaky, and admitting
his own frailty in being able to tell the truth of
a matter. (He believed there were 200 ft tall
giants, while admitting he'd never actually seen
the leg-bone supposedly belonging to this giant
- only seeing the report.)
Anyway, there it is. He states several times that
the reason he is recording these things is for
future generations who will not have access to
the records he has access to, simply because the
passage of time will obliterate them. The volume
on Scotland was the first he wrote, and the others
seemed to get better with time. The last volume
was published in 1607, and was the last book
SUBSEQUENT READERS CONTRIBUTION ABOUT THE ABOVE ARTICLE:
the Holinshed Chronnicles were an incompleted commissioned work to tie in English pseudo-history replete with the bibiical timeline in the Holyland. Much of what Diana paraphrased is really an English nationalistic rewrite of a 12th c. redaction (copy) of an older Irish equally nationalistic text, Lebor Gabála Érenn, the Book of the Takings of Ireland.
When Irish monkls realized they weren't footnoted in the Bible, they got irritated and reworte history to make a place for themselves in Christianity. I particularly lke the story of how the Irish teanga was created by Nial from the best bits of the 72 languages invented after the fall of the Tower of Babel.
Modeled after Edward the I's PR tactics where he revised historical texts to support his rightful claims to overlordship, Queen Elizabeth too rewrote history as she saw fit when she hired Holinshed. Holinshed freely borrowed text and modeled his books after the Irish Annals and Doomsday Books, as did the compilers of the Angllo Saxon Chronicles, the Venerable Bede and Geoffrey of Monmouth who wove fanciful versions of the English origin-myth.
Shakespeare used the Holinshed Chronicles to write his plays, King Lear, Cymbeline, and Macbeth, in particular, relies heavily on the corrupted historical bloodlines written in the Holinshed Chronicles. In those days, most people got the news and historical gleanings from plays, ballads and poems, not newspapers (or CNN). In case the targeted audience didn't get the point, blood is mentioned some 42 times in The Scottish Play. "Blood will have blood." And so the ancient royal bloodlines of Britain were ameliorated into English history.
As for Scota, the daughter of the Pharoh, Nechtan, who was married to Nil or Nail, scholar of languages, born, no less, in the Tower of Babel) there needed to be a plausable Egyptian connection to tie in with the Biblcal Book of Genisis and Exodus. But timelines are collapsed to fit this historical house of cards. A funny aside, is that if one were to accept the if/then syllogism that the origin myths verbatum, then, one might have to conclude that Scota was Black!
Archaeologically speaking, after the death of Alexander the Great at age 33 (323 BC), Egypt was inherited by and administered by some 15 dynasties of Greek Ptolemys. Celtic military armour was found in the desert. Perhaps mercenary legions were hired by the Ptolemys (their name means: warlike). It is concevable that some solders were Iberian Celts whose descendants (sons of Mil) migrated to Ireland via Brecan's Tor in Galicia.
Scots, or Scotti would not refer to Scotland as Scotia Major was the Roman name for Ireland, and Scotia Minor later became Scotland. Nial of the Nine Hostages is referred to as a Scot, (pl.) Scotti, a term used by Classical Romans (see the chronicles of Ammianus Marcellinus b. 330 AD, a follower of Tacitus, who served in Gaul ). i.e., an Irish pirate or raider from the Ulster Kingdom of Dal Riata. This word Scotti, was later applied to the Irish invaders who settled Argyll and Caledonia (Scotland). Hence the origin of the name, Scotland.
According to my professor, Chair of Celtic Studies at UC Berkekey, Dr. Daniel F. Melia, the real king MacBeth, was no murderous villian, he was a good and upstanding Catholic king buried in Iona, in consecrated gorund. Historical English royal bloodlines and history needed a spin doctor with a Ph.D. in yellow journalism in order to make a solid claim to the throne. Holinshed was the man for the job. Much like the modern day PR revisionists cribbing away in President Bush's press cabinet.
Raphael Holinshed (died c. 1580) was an English chronicler, whose
work, commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, was one of the major
sources used by William Shakespeare for a number of his plays. Raphael
Holinshed, or Raphael Hollingshead, probably belonged to a Cheshire
family. Relatively little is known about him. He is thought to have
come from Cheshire, but lived in London, where he worked as a
translator for the printer Reginald Wolfe.
Wolfe gave him the project of compiling a world history from the Flood
to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. This ambitious project was never
finished, but one portion was published as The Chronicles of England,
Scotland, and Ireland in 1577. Holinshed was only one contributor to
this work; others involved in its production included William
Harrison, Richard Stanyhurst, and John Hooker.
Shakespeare used the revised second edition of the Chronicles
(published in 1587) as the source for most of his history plays, the
plot of Macbeth, and for portions of King Lear and Cymbeline.
Not much is known about Raphael Holinshed's life. There is no source
which states his date of birth, for instance. He became known only by
the Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland and all the
information we have about him is related to this work.
Although Vernon Snow remarks that Holinshed was an experienced
Cambridge-educated translator, other works by Holinshed are available.
Reginald Wolfe had employed him to be the editor of a set of
Chronicles Wolfe was planning to produce. A few months after this work
had been licensed, Holinshed retired to the countryside near Warwick. Raphael Holinshed died in 1580 and his will was proven on 24 April 1582. Nothing is known about Holinshed's civil duties, other scholarly achievements or work for the Church.
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KILLARNEY by Barbara Botch
You cried when I arrived that day,
I wasn't surprised, you often did.
You had music and a Guinness
ready and waiting when I was.
Gifts and warm hugs were always your
with your lush - rolling hills.
Looking back on that Sunday
in the pouring rain,
with all your shops and pubs alight,
folks scurrying about full of life,
I remember you
Barbara Botch is a freelance writer, poet and
travel photographer. Much of her writing is
inspired by her strong Irish roots and her
love for the Emerald Isle.
Visit www.poetscrossing.com for more information
on her recently published book of poetry.
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GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
PHRASE: Ticead amhain go dti an Gaillaimh, le do thoil
PRONOUNCED: tick-aid ah-wann guh dee on gall-yibh leh duh hull
MEANING: One ticket to Galway please
PHRASE: Baile Atha Cliath/an Corcaigh/an Gaillaimh/an Port Lairge/Ciarrai
PRONOUNCED: ball-yeh aq-hah klee-ah/on core-kig/on goll-yivh/on port lor-ih-geh/keer-ee
PHRASE: Cathain a bhainfidh an traenach/bus amach i Cill Airne
PRONOUNCED: kohh-inn a bwin-igg on tray-nock/bus ah-mock i kil arney
MEANING: When does this train/bus arrive in Killarney?
View the archive of phrases here:
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