Ireland Newsletter - Life of Wolfe Tone
    Online version here: http://www.ireland-information.com/may15.htm
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    ============
    IN THIS ISSUE
    ============

    === News Snaps from Ireland
    === My Marvelous Trip To Ireland by Cornelius Quinn
    === The Legend of Fionn MacCumhaill
    === Gaelic Phrases of the Month
    === Monthly Free Competition Result

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    ==========
    FOREWORD
    ==========

    Hello again from Dublin in Ireland where all the votes have all been counted in the historic same-sex marriage Referendum and the answer is 'yes'! At times the campaign was quite bitter and divisive but in the end the victory was certainly comprehensive.

    This month we have our Ireland news round-up, a holiday report and an article about the legendary Fionn MacCumhaill (Finn McCool to some!).

    Until next month,

    Michael



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    ==========================
    NEWS SNAPS FROM IRELAND
    ==========================

    SIDE-EFFECTS OF THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE REFERENDUM IN IRELAND

    There are some quite unexpected and potentially long-lasting side-effects of the recent passing of the Referendum to allow same-sex marriage in Ireland...
    Read more at the Ireland News Blog

    Gay Marriage Referendum in Ireland

    NO LIKELIHOOD OF ABORTION REFERENDUM

    With the same-sex Referendum done and dusted the focus has shifted to the Abortion issue in Ireland...
    Read more at the Ireland News Blog

    Abortion in Ireland

    ECONOMIC RECOVERY UNDER WAY ACCORDING TO BUSINESS START-UP STATS

    With unemployment falling below 10% all the indications are there that the Irish economy is finally recovering...
    Read more at the Ireland News Blog

    Unemployment Rate in Ireland

    LABOUR PARTY ATTEMPTS TO BUY VOTES BY SQUANDERING MILLIONS

    It is politics as usual as the increasingly desperate Labour Party in Ireland is attempting to buy votes...
    Read more at the Ireland News Blog

    BIZARRE RANT AGAINST IRELAND ON AUSTRALIAN TV

    Appalling hate-filled rant by Australian politician who said that the Irish...
    Read more at the Ireland News Blog

    Irish Shamrocks

    PHONE BOXES MAY BE REMOVED FROM IRISH STREETS

    One of the iconic symbols of 1970's Ireland looks set to disappear forever...
    Read more at the Ireland News Blog

    Irish Telephone Box



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    =============================
    MY MARVELOUS TRIP TO IRELAND
    by Cornelius Quinn
    =============================


    Are you planning a trip to Ireland?

    I'm back from a nice two weeks in Ireland. Some friends asked me for information about my trip as they were planning a trip in the future. Dublin is a great place to start. Don't rent a car for the first couple of days. Driving in Dublin is dangerous and in addition to daily rental fee you may have to pay 10 Euros or more per day to park. There is good public transportation from the airport to downtown Dublin. We took a cab to our B&B for about 30 euros. There is a lot to do and see in Dublin and the best way to do that is to take the 'Hop-on Hop-off' bus which stops at all the key places. The trip ticket is good for two days and is a good value. You can't see everything in just two days so you must decide your priorities.



    If you are interested in history, the Irish National Museum at Collins Barracks is the best place to get a feel for the history of Ireland's struggle for independence. When you first walk into the wide open plaza you can almost see the British Calvary and the soldiers standing at muster. There is a detailed section on the War for Independence. In the back of the Museum is the Gun-running ship 'The Asgard'. For a quiet few minutes be sure to visit the Cemetery in back where many who were killed in the 1916 rising are buried.

    Dublin Castle, where in the movie 'Michael Collins' you see the Colors being turned over to the Irish Government, has a very bloody history. Its tour is very interesting. Kilmainham Gaol where many political prisoners were held is another important site. Ask about the Donegal Corner where my Uncle was a guest of the British!

    The General Post Office and the area around is a nice short walk to nearby places for Irish souvenirs. Trinity College, Guinness Storehouse, Old Jameson Distillery and Brazen Head (the Oldest Pub in Ireland) are all worth the time. They all are on the Hop-on bus route.

    The Temple Bar area for evening entertainment is fun if you like a lot of young kids and a big crowd. A nice Irish dinner and a beer at the Temple Bar Pub was enough for me. The Arlington Hotel is still the best Irish show in Dublin. I stayed at the Phoenix Park B&B. Its location is great, right on the bus lines and across the street from the Heuston Rail Station if you are taking a train or bus to other parts of Ireland. The accommodations are clean and modern. It's a family run business and Joe and Mary Smith will help you with anything you need. There is a full restaurant and pub on premises run by their son Liam.

    From Dublin it's a short drive to Belfast and the museum about the Titanic is worth the trip. Then it's about an hours drive to historic Derry. The highlight of the trip to Derry was a walk on the Wall with Adrian Callan. He is well versed in the history of old Derry and the underlying causes for the civil rights fights in that area. He gave a detailed history of the City. Adrian is an expert in the issues leading up to Bloody Sunday. It is an emotional and sad history of that time. We stayed at the Abbey B&B run by Seamus Kennedy and it is the only B&B in Bogside. Its location is right next to the area where Bloody Sunday occurred. The accommodations are clean and Seamus is a fine host. Be sure to book a walking tour of the Wall.



    From Derry you could head to Donegal. A nice side-trip there is on the Donegal Bay Waterbus located in Donegal town. It covers a lot of history of the area including Coffin Ships used during the Great Famine. Don't miss the seals sleeping on a sandy beach. Say hello to my Cousin Sean Quinn who is usually serving nice Irish Coffee on the Waterbus.

    Departing Donegal it is a half-day drive on good roads to Our Lady of Knock Shrine in County Mayo. Then a drive to Connemara where a stop at Kylemore Abbey is nice. Heading South to Galway I recommend staying outside the city. Depending on your time and interest next are the Ring of Kerry and/or Kinsale in the most Southern part of Ireland. A lot of history about the 160 Siege of Kinsale is centered there. Kinsale also has great restaurants while Kinsale Glass is as good as Waterford and a lot cheaper.

    It's then a short trip to Blarney Castle and finally back to Dublin or Shannon for a flight home. There is still so much to see or do that I hope to make on my next trip!

    Cornelius Quinn



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    =================================
    THE LEGENDARY FIONN MacCUMHAILL
    =================================


    Fionn MacCumhaill was an ancient Irish legendary figure. His name has a number of different anglicized forms including Finn McCool and Fionn MacUmaill. The name Fionn is taken from a Gaelic word that translates as 'fair' likely referring to his lightly coloured hair. Fionn was the son of Cumhaill and who leader of the ancient Fianna, a band of mercenary warriors who lived apart from the rest of Gaelic society.



    His mother, Muirne, was daughter to Tadg Mac Nuadat, who was a druid. Cumhaill kidnapped Muirne when her father refused him permission to wed. Outlawed by the High King of the time, Conn of the Hundred Battles, the subsequent battle of Cnucha resulted in the demise of Cumhaill by Goll MacMorna, who assumed leadership of the Fianna.

    Muirne was exiled and was placed under the care of Fiacal MacConchinn, Cumhaills brother-in-law. After bearing a child Muirne left him in the care of his new family and a warrior woman named Liath Luachra, who was responsible for teaching him the ways of war and the Fianna. He was also tutored by Finnegas, the druid poet who had spent years searching for the 'salmon of knowledge', a mythical create that could endow all of the knowledge of the world. Eventually he caught the fish and instructed the young Fionn to cook it for him. While cooking the fish over the fire he scalded his thumb on the hot flesh and instinctively put the thumb to his mouth, instantly gaining the wisdom long sought after by Finnegas.



    When an adult Fionn traveled to Tara, seat of the famous High Kings of Ireland. For 23 years the fairy Aillen razed the site to the ground every Samhain having first lulled its guards into slumber with her music. Fionn managed to defeat Aileen however, by keeping himself awake by piercing his own skin with the point of his spear. His nobility was recognized and Goll MacMorna, who was still leader of the Fianna, stepped aside to allow Fionn assume his rightful place. Gol even gave Fionn his home at the Hill of Almu as recompense for the death of his father.



    Fionn's most famous wife was Sadbh who had been turned into a deer by the druid Fer Doirich. While out hunting, the hounds of Fionn, Bran and Sceolang, recognized the deer as a once-human form, since they too had once been human. Fionn did not kill the deer who was immediately transformed into his beautiful wife. She bore him a son, Oisin, who later became one of the greatest of all of the Fianna. The druid Fer Doirich returned however and re-cast Sadbh as a deer who then vanished into the forest forever.

    The reigning High King, Cormac Mac Airt, later promised Fionn the hand of his daughter Grainne. It was not to be however as Grainne and Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, another of the Fianna, eloped with Fionn in desperate pursuit. The mater was resolved when Fionn allowed the lovers to be together, only for him to take revenge in later life by not using his powers to heal Diarmuid and prevent his death, after he had been gored by a boar.

    Fionn's deeds are indeed legendary. He is credited with creating the Giants Causeway as stepping stones from the North of Ireland to Scotland. Another legend tells how he threw a large piece of the land into the sea at an enemy, that piece of land becoming the Isle of Man. The hole left behind by the clump of land he threw became Lough Neagh.

    How Fionn MacCumhaill met his death is shrouded in mystery. One legend suggests that he is not dead but merely sleeping in a cave under Dublin, ready to strike back against Ireland's enemies, should the need ever arise.



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    ================================
    GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
    ================================


    PHRASE: Ca bhfuil mo sheomra leapa?
    PRONOUNCED: caw will muh showm-rah lappah
    MEANING: Where is my bedroom?
    PHRASE: Ta se thuas an staighre.
    PRONOUNCED: taw shay who-iss on sty-reh
    MEANING: It is upstairs
    PHRASE: Ta an leaba salach, briste, fuar, bhog, garbh
    PRONOUNCED: taw on lab-ah sol-ock, brish-teh, foor, bog, garv
    MEANING: The bed is dirty, broken, cold, soft, rough,

    Archive of Irish Phrases
    View the archive of phrases here:
    http://www.ireland-information.com/irishphrases.htm




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    I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.



    by Michael Green,
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