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
=== Irish Recipes and Irish Songs - Free Download
=== Biography of Saint Patrick
=== The Rose of Portavogie
=== The Shamrock Triad by Michael Gorman
=== An Irish Hill by Jeremiah J. Shea
=== Gaelic Phrases of the Month
=== Monthly free competition result
Happy Saint Patrick's day from Ireland to all
our readers worldwide.
Please be sure to check out the links below where
you can download a free ebook of Irish Recipes
and another free ebook with the lyrics and music
to Irish songs. You can even send an email
postcard with the ebooks free to any friends or
Beannachtai na Feile Padraig!
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NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
IRISH ECONOMY UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
The Irish economy which has boomed in recent
years is facing new challenges as the domestic
growth stabilises and international markets
Analysts are still confident in the overall health
of the economy with growth of 5% expected by most
economists. There have been a number of
high-profile job losses in recent months however,
as some companies relocated away from Irish shores
where the cost of labour remains stubbornly high.
Unemployment has hovered at about 4.5% for several
years and there have been frequent reports of not
enough staff to fill all the vacancies, especially
in the service industry. Huge immigration has
helped to fill the void but should the economy go
bust there will be a huge bill to pay in the form
of welfare and elevated worker expectations. It is
then that the multinationals who have fuelled much
of Ireland's growth over the last 15 years may
decide to bail out.
Turmoil in the world oil markets and devastation
in the stock market could hasten the decline in
the economy which for the next few years at least,
looks set to prosper. Analysts who are taking the
long-term view point out that a severe decline in
the economy is inevitable and that there is an
entire generation of Irish youth who have never
known anything but 'boom times', full employment
and plenty of cash in their pockets. It is
speculated that it is this generation who will be
hit hardest, especially those who fail to make it
onto the pricey property market in advance of the
crash, be it in 1 year or 10 years time.
NORTHERN ASSEMBLY TO BE RECONVENED, MAYBE
The recent elections held in Northern Ireland saw
big gains for Sinn Fein and the DUP as the radical
wings of Nationalism and Unionism cemented their
positions in the Province. The DUP won 36 seats,
Sinn Fein got 28, the UUP won 18 seats while the
SDLP got 15. 108 new members of the Northern
Assembly are expected to form a new parliament by
March 26th but it is still unclear if the DUP will
engage with Sinn Fein in this process.
DEMAND FOR IRISH-SPEAKING SCHOOLS INCREASES
Waiting lists for some Irish-speaking schools
have now stretched to the year 2011 as new-found
interest in the Irish language and tradition has
emerged out of the materialism of the boom-years
of the Irish economy. As many as 65 new
'Gaelscoils' have opened in the last decade.
OLD LIGHT BULBS MAY BE SCRAPPED
A European Union proposal to replace all old
style incandescent light bulbs with modern and more
efficient fluorescent bulbs is being considered.
EU Ministers have already agreed that 20% of all
EU energy needs must be from renewable sources
by the year 2020. The 'green vote' in Ireland is
likely to grow significantly at the next general
election to be held in 2 months time. The current
international focus on the issue has highlighted
Ireland's likely failure to meet its obligations
under the Kyoto Protocol. The booming Irish
economy and especially the growth in private car
ownership and the massive increase in construction
activity in the last decade are the main reasons
for the fines that are likely to be imposed on
Ireland when the Kyoto bill is tallied.
IRISH RUGBY TEAM CLAIM TRIPLE CROWN
The Irish rugby team recovered from their Croke
Park debut defeat to France to beat England and
then Scotland to record their third Triple Crown
in the last 4 years.
Voice your opinion on these news issues here:
NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
FREE KIDS GAMES TO PRINT:
Go here to print off some simple games to teach
kids about Ireland:
FIND OUT ABOUT SAINT PATRICK HERE:
NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY:
The following 6 coats of arms images and family
history details have been added to the Gallery:
S: Shaw, Shank
View the Gallery here:
THE PERFECT WEDDING, ANNIVERSARY OR BIRTHDAY GIFT!
We now have over 100,000 worldwide names available.
Get the Coat of Arms Print, Claddagh Ring,
Screensaver, Watch, T-Shirt Transfer or Clock for
your name at:
IRISH RECIPES AND IRISH SONGS - FREE DOWNLOAD
Our free Irish Recipes electronic book is packed
with 25 of the very best Irish Recipes to try
out on Saint Patrick's Day. Corned beef and
cabbage, Irish Pound Cake, Wicklow Pancakes
- try them all!
You can download it from here:
You can send these ebooks to a friend from here:
You can view the lyrics to 74 of Ireland's most
popular traditional, drinking and folk songs AND
you can listen to the music online too.
The music tune is supplied in MIDI files that are
easily understood by the majority of Internet
* Make sure that your PC speakers are connected
* Turn the Volume up
* Select the song you want
* All together now....
'in Dublin's fair city
where the girl's are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on
sweet Molloy Malone...'
You can download ALL of the Music files and ALL
of the Lyrics onto your PC in the form of a free
'ebook' that you can print off and keep forever!
You can even send the ebook to your friends and
relatives or offer it at your website.
ALL COMPLETELY FREE!
Here are some of the songs available:
* Amhran na bhFiann (the Irish National Anthem)
* She Moved Through the Fair
(Julia Roberts sang this in the film 'Michael Collins')
* Back Home in Derry (Bobby Sands)
* Black is the Colour (of my true love's hair)
* An Irish Lullaby
(Barney Gumble sang this in 'The Simpsons')
* Cockles and Mussels (alive-alive-oh!)
* Erin Go Bragh
* I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
* Rocky Road to Dublin
* The Fields of Athenry
* The Rose of Tralee
* When Irish Eyes are Smiling
* Whiskey in the Jar (Thin Lizzy classic)
........and over 60 more!
View and Listen here:
BIOGRAPHY OF SAINT PATRICK
The Patron Saint of Ireland was born into Roman
Britain in the fourth century. He was captured as
a teenager by Niall of the Nine Hostages who was
to become a King of all Ireland.
He was sold into slavery in Ireland and put to
work as a shepherd. He worked in terrible
conditions for six years drawing comfort in the
Christian faith that so many of his people had
abandoned under Roman rule.
Patrick had a dream that encouraged him to flee
his captivity and to head South where a ship was
to be waiting for him. He traveled over 200
miles from his Northern captivity to Wexford
town where, sure enough, a ship was waiting to
enable his escape.
Upon arrival in England he was captured by
brigands and returned to slavery. He escaped
after two months and spent the next seven years
traveling Europe seeking his destiny.
During this time he furthered his education and
studied Christianity in the Lerin Monastery in
France. He returned to England as a priest.
Again a dream greatly influenced him when he
became convinced that the Irish people were
calling out to him to return to the land of
He went to the Monastery in Auxerre where it
was decided that a mission should be sent to
Ireland. Patrick was not selected for this task
to his great disappointment. The monk that was
selected was called Paladius, but he died before
he could reach Ireland and a second mission was
Patrick was made a Bishop by Pope Celestine in
the year 432 and, together with a small band of
followers, he traveled to Ireland to commence
Patrick confronted the most powerful man in
Ireland, Laoghaire, The High King of Tara, as
he knew that if he could gain his support then
he would be safe to spread the word throughout
Ireland. To get his attention Patrick and his
followers lit a huge fire to mark the commencement
of Spring. Tradition had it that no fire was to
be lit until the King's fire was complete, but
Patrick defied this rule and courted the
confrontation with the King.
The King rushed into action and traveled with the
intention of making war on the holy delegation.
Patrick calmed the King and with quiet composure
impressed upon him that he had no intention other
than that of spreading the word of the Gospel.
The King accepted the missionary, much to the
dismay of the Druids who feared for their own
power and position in the face of this new threat.
They commanded that he make snow fall. Patrick
declined to do so stating that this was God's
work. Immediately it began to snow, only stopping
when Patrick blessed himself.
Still trying to convince the King of his religion
Patrick grasped at some Shamrock growing on the
ground. He explained that there was but one stem
on the plant, but three branches of the leaf,
representing the Blessed Trinity. The King was
impressed with his sincerity and granted him
permission to spread the word of his faith,
although he did not convert to Christianity
Patrick and his followers were free to spread
their faith throughout Ireland and did so to great
effect. He drove paganism (symbolised by the
snake) from the lands of Eireann.
Patrick was tempted by the Devil whilst on a
pilgrimage at Croagh Patrick. For his refusal to
be tempted, God rewarded him with a wish. Patrick
asked that the Irish be spared the horror of
Judgment Day and that he himself be allowed to
judge his flock. Thus, the legend that Ireland
will disappear under a sea of water seven years
before the final judgment, was born.
Patrick died on March 17th in the year 461 at the
age of 76. It is not known for sure where his
remains were laid although Downpatrick in County
Down in the North of Ireland is thought to be
his final resting place.
His influence is still felt to this day as Nations
the world over commemorate him on March 17th of
Saint Patrick screensavers, pictures to color and
more can be found here:
KEEP THIS NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
THE ROSE OF PORTAVOGIE (Song from County Down)
by Mrs Charlotte Jobling (1890)
Oh, the girl I love is an Irish girl
For Irish girls are rare ones
And there's not a place in all the world
Could equal Ireland's fair ones
And not a foot of Irish ground
Has ever chanced to show me
For she lives in the Co. Down
In a place called Portavogie
Oh I have travelled far and wide
And in many a foreign nation
But a girl like her I ne'er had spied
In any other situation
For all the countries I've been in
There's not a one to show me
A girl the match of Essie Quinn
The Rose of Portavogie
Now her face is fair with a flirtive flair
And tall she is and stately
And her dancing feet are as light as air
But fain to go sedately
When near her every hour has wings
When far but they go slowly
And sweet voiced as the linnet sings
Is my Rose of Portavogie
Though I'm a man from Ballycran
Oh,our backgrounds they may differ
For her parents they would spoil our plans
And deny the love I'd give her
But let her parents curse and swear
For sure they'll not provoke me
As my love for her is beyond compare
For my Rose of Portavogie
And so proud am I that Essie Quinn
The girl I love so dearly
Is the girl my heart longs to win
Loves me as well or nearly
Oh would the months but hasten on
For they go for me too slowly
Till I can wed the girl I've won
My Rose of Portavogie
Repeat first verse.
THE SHAMROCK TRIAD by Michael Gorman
The Triad is a social custom and teaching tool
that was used to explain abstract concepts by the
ancient Druids. In addition, many of the early
deities, including Ireland's patroness, the
Goddess Brigit, were considered 'triple Goddesses'
or 'triple Gods'. They represented various stages
of life (youth, parent, elder) as well as aspects
specific to one deity. For instance, the Goddess
Brigit was/is the patroness of the Hearth, the
Forge, and the Arts. The Sun God Lugh was also a
triple deity, as were Manannan Mac Lir and the
Morigeuse. The most likely explanation for the use
of the shamrock as a teaching tool is that the
Druids used it in discussing the nature of these
tri-part deities. Celtic Christianity embraced
many traditions from the old ways, and this
is most likely one of them.
Michael R. Gorman
Author and Poet
KEEP THIS NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
AN IRISH HILL by Jeremiah J. Shea
Alone with God on an Irish hill
At the close of a harvest day
Looking down on the little town
And the white road by the bay,
While faint and sweet comes the anvil beat
Through the forge's open door,
Sweet as the knell of a fairie bell
Across the silent moor.
The fragrance of the new mown hay
On the hush of a harvest sigh,
The smoke that snakes and curls and breaks
From chimney top to sky,
Contented cows that homeward browse
Through the fields on the valley floor
The milkmaid's song as she swings along
The beach by the verdant shore.
The little fleet of fishing boats
Tied up in the shady cove
The flying corps of rooks that soar
Above the woodland grove,
The cry of the hound along the sound
On the heels of the bleating flock,
The creak of the mill comes up the hill
With the chimes of the old town clock.
The abbey ruin beside the lake
All mouldering in decay
The blessed mound of holy ground
Where monks once knelt to pray,
The grey round tower looks grim and dour
On ancient churchyard stones
Neat the alder shade where of old were laid
The ancient martyrs bones.
The setting sun behind the hill
Proclaims the end of day
As twilight grows and shadow flows
O'er vale, and town and bay;
And lights agleam from windows stream
Like stars above alight
The harvest day has slipped away
Inside of the cloak of night.
The plaintive call of the goureen rhu
In the marshes far away,
Mysterious call ne'er heard at all
In the light of any day
The moonlight bright through the starry night
Bring laughter with romance
While the fiddler plays 'neath the silver rays
For the throng at the crossroads dance.
Alone with God on a green hillside
At the close of a harvest day,
Ah would that he might suffer me
When life has flown away,
To watch once more my native shore
From a hillside looking down
O'er the vale and the glen, free of care and sin
O'er the bay and the little town.
Jeremiah J. Shea
YOU CAN HELP TO KEEP THIS FREE NEWSLETTER ALIVE!
where you can get great Irish gifts, prints,
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Wendy Walker of Columbia, Missouri got a
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I received by registered mail today the ring I
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THE PERFECT WEDDING, ANNIVERSARY OR BIRTHDAY GIFT!
See here for family crest gifts:
GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
MEANING: Good Health!
PHRASE: Eireann go braugh (bráth)
PRONOUNCED: air-in go braw
MEANING: Ireland forever!
PHRASE: Beannachtai na Feile Padraig
PRONOUNCED: bann/ockt/tee nih fail/eh pawd/rig
MEANING: Happy Saint Patrick's Day
View the archive of phrases here:
MARCH 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 print, and well
done! Remember that all subscribers to this
newsletter are automatically entered into the
competition every time.
I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
Until next month,
The Information about Ireland Site.
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