IN THIS ISSUE
~~~~~ Keep us Free!
~~~~~ New Free resources at the site
~~~~~ News Snaps from Ireland
~~~~~ Celtic.com - an email address for everyone
~~~~~ Emblems of Ireland: The Harp by Bridget Haggerty
~~~~~ More Cara Irish Penpal Success Stories!
~~~~~ Christmas Gift ideas from irishnation.com
~~~~~ Gaelic Phrases of the Month
~~~~~ Readers Noticeboard : Any Boland's out there?
~~~~~ Shamrock Site of the Month: Celtic.com
~~~~~ Searcher Site of the Month: Centres in Ireland
~~~~~ Monthly free competition result
Well, the talk in Ireland is of a General Election, which is
kind of like a US Presidential Election except without the
law suits and we usually do get a verdict!
The Government are preparing the annual 'budget' which this
year will probably be a bumper give-away package aimed at
The response to our new website and free email offer have
been terrific. If you are looking for a great email address
then www.irishnation.com is the place to go and if you do
not find what you want there then try www.celtic.com - they
have hundreds of addresses!
PLEASE - send this newsletter on to your friends or
relatives who you think are interested in Ireland. By doing
this you are helping to keep us 'free'.
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best of luck from Ireland,
(and please try not to over-spend in the run up to Christmas!)
KEEP US FREE!
You can help us to continue supplying free resources and
information from Ireland and it won't cost you a penny!
Simply sign up to receive more great free information:
NEW FREE RESOURCES AT THE SITE
NEW COATS OF ARMS ADDED TO THE GALLERY:
The following 27 coats of arms images and family history
details have been added to the Gallery:
B: Boden, Brophy
C: Coogan, Coyle
F: Fairchild, Feeney, McFarland
H: Haughey, O'Hara
K: Kellett, McKelvey
M: Madigan, Mahoney, Montague, Mullen, Mulrooney
N: Neligan, Norris
R: Reilly, Rock, Roe
S: Shanley, Sullivan
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
INFLATION FIGURES WORSEN
The rate of inflation in the Irish economy since the start
of the year has risen to 6.8%, the highest it has been since
1984. Despite the excellent progress of the economy
generally the cost of living has risen greatly, caused to a
large part by the weaknesses with the EURO and the
global-wide hike in fuel costs.
Since the start of the year:
* the cost of motor fuel has increased by 20%
* the average cost of a house has jumped by 22%
* mortgage interest payments have increased by 48%
* child-minding fees have jumped 21%
* home heating costs have increased by 61%
Finance minister Charlie McCreevy is preparing a major
budget which will not only seek to distribute the spoils of
the booming economy but will also attempt to combat the
high inflation rate, save the Labour deal (the PPF) and
seek to keep the public happy as a General Election draws
MASSIVE INCREASE IN PUBLIC SPENDING FUELS ELECTION TALK
Despite claims by Bertie Ahearn's Government that it will
remain in office until 2002 the public spending 'estimates'
that have been unveiled reveal a level of investment that
has only typically been seen prior to a general election.
The Health service was the big winner with a IR£718 Million
increase bring its annual budget to over IR£5 Billion. The
poor state of the Health service and the long Hospital
waiting lists are considered as a real political minefield
and is sure to be a major issue at the next General
Election. The Department of Health and Children hope to
bring an extra 3000 workers into the public health system
over the next year and it seems clear than many of these
workers will arrive from outside Ireland.
BABY BOOM ENDING!
One of the Ireland's largest maternity hospitals, the
Rotunda, has revealed that it delivered 6338 babies in 1999,
500 of which were born to asylum seekers. The national
figure of 53,400 births in 1999 compared to 53,600 births
in 1998 is further proof that the previously booming arrival
of babies has begun to level off and even decline. The
excellent state of the economy has been cited as one of the
main reasons for the recent increase in the number of births.
The preference for smaller families has continued with half
of all 1999 births being to first time mothers. Despite
this the size of an Irish family is still among the largest
in Europe. 1 in 6 Irish births in 1999 were conducted by
Caesarean section which is slightly ahead of the recommended
maximum level of 15% set by the World Health Organisation.
The Government has ordered an investigation into the high
level of Caesarean births which it regards as too high. The
US rate is nearly 25%.
RYANAIR GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
The low-cost no frills airline has seen its profits jump to
Eur72.5 million and passenger numbers increase by 33% in
the first half of the year, employing nearly 4000 staff and
flying 5.6 Million passengers. A huge part of the reason
for the improved performance is that 90% of Ryanair travel
bookings are now conducted at its website or by telephone.
By way of contrast, Aer Lingus made a profit of Eur52
million, employing over 7000 staff to transport 6.3 Million
passengers so it is easy to see why the proposed sale of
the national airline may be postponed for some time yet.
FOXHUNTING ANARCHISTS SET TO INVADE IRELAND
It appears likely that foxhunting will be banned in England
and this has led to fears that hunt enthusiasts will flock
to the Irish countryside and be followed by the militant
Animal Liberation Front.
RTE TO SEEK LICENCE FEE HIKE
The national television broadcaster has confirmed that it
is seeking a IR£50 increase in the cost of a television
licence fee which would push the cost up to IR£120, the
same amount currently being charged in England by the BBC.
The station has suffered greatly in recent years with the
success of rival station TV3 which receives no help from
the State and has to rely on advertising revenue to survive.
RTE also has extensive advertising during its programming
which includes the newly launched 'Who wants to be a
Millionaire?', hosted by Gay Byrne.
Despite this success the national station is still reeling
from the loss of the ever popular 'Coronation Street' and
Champions League Soccer to its rival.
IRISH PRISON POPULATION JUMPS BY 50%
Despite having one of the lowest percentage prison
populations in Europe, the number of inmates in the Irish
prison system have swelled by over 50% in recent years,
from 2000 inmates to 3000, 97% of which are male. Of these,
nearly half are under the age of 25 years, while 80% are
serving a term of more than 1 year.
INTERVIEW ROOMS IN GARDA STATIONS TO BE MONITORED
In a long anticipated move Irish Garda Stations are to have
their interview rooms fitted out with survellience and
video recording equipment. New measures will also allow
Garda to detain suspects for up to 48 hours in cases where
the suspected crime is punishable by a minimum sentence of
10 years. The 'right to silence' will also be amended and
new powers will allow law enforcers to use reasonable force
to acquire DNA samples.
SOCCER: KILBANE MAY PLAY UP FRONT FOR IRELAND
Ireland defeated Finland 3-0 in a soccer friendly at
Landsdowne Road where a real attacking possibility for the
future emerged in the form of Sunderland winger Kevin
Kilbane, who scored Ireland's second goal with a thumping
header from 5 yards out.
The manner in which Kilbane attacked Jason McAteer's
excellent cross was more than enough to indicate that the
strong and quick winger is well capable of being an
effective target man up front. Kilbane usually plays on the
left wing but Ireland are already well served in this
department by Manchester City's Mark Kennedy who is hoping
to re-start his international career after paying a fine
to a Dublin Garda following his late night antics with Phil
Babb prior to the World Cup qualifier with Holland.
Ireland manager Mick McCarthy was very pleased with the win
against the team that England drew 0-0 with in a World Cup
qualifier in Helsinki recently. It extends the team's
unbeaten run to 7 matches.
GOLF: DARREN CLARKE SECOND IN EUROPEAN ORDER OF MERIT
Irish golfer Darren Clarke has finished second on the
European order of merit to England's Lee Westwood following
the final qualifying tournament.
CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS FROM IRISHNATION.COM
We have over 20,000 names available and can send a gift on
your behalf at no extra charge.
* Family Crest Prints (singles and doubles)
* A unique Watch or Clock with the Family Crest on it
* Superb hand-crafted Jewellery including Claddagh Rings
* Irish Paintings on Canvas
* Tee-Shirt and Flag Transfers
* Irish Prints
* First Name History Scrolls
............and lots more
Here is a Subscribers-only bonus available until November
30th.:- Buy 1 family crest print and get a second one free!
This offer is available to subscribers to this newsletter
only! That means you!
When you place your order send us an email and let us know
that you want to avail of the 2 for 1 offer. You can email
us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Celtic.com is an important Irish site as it offers literally
hundreds of Irish related email addresses. There is fun to
be had there too as you can choose from over 2000 different
electronic postcards to send - very handy to know with the
holiday season nearly upon us!
* Choose from 1200 free Irish and Celtic interest email domains!
* Choose from over 2000 free virtual postcards!
* Choose from 500 free Irish wallpapers!
* 50,000 Members Already - www.celtic.com - the spiral gateway
You can access the site at:
EMBLEMS OF IRELAND: THE HARP by Bridget Haggerty
It once graced the flag of the Republic, it still appears on
official government documents as well as the Presidential
flag, and it is displayed on Irish coins. For centuries, the
harp has been a beloved emblem of Ireland. In fact, it is
said that the Irish concentrated so much of their musical
ability into playing the harp, that for many years, the
development of music in Ireland was brought to a relative
So, how did it become an emblem synonymous with the Emerald
Isle? According to tradition, an early king of Ireland whose
name was David, took the harp of the Psalmist as his badge.
This might explain why it was once called a cruit which can
Folklore says that the first harp was owned by Dagda, a
chief among the Tuatha De Danaan. The De Danaan were at war
with the Fomorians and the harp was taken from Dagda by the
gods of cold and darkness. Two other gods, Lugh representing
light, and Ogma representing art, penetrated the Fomorian
fortress, recovered the harp and restored it to Dagda. The
gods in returning the harp to him, pronounced two secret
names for the instrument and, at the same time, called forth
summer and winter. From that point on, when Dagda played, he
could produce a melody so poignant, it would make his
audience weep, an air so jubilant it would make everyone
smile, or a sound so tranquil, it would lull all who
listened to sleep. Thus, with its secret or magical names,
the instrument became the dispenser of Sorrow, Gladness
Whichever way the harp became Ireland's own unique
instrument, and subsequently, its national emblem, history
tells us that the people who played it were highly trained
professionals who usually performed for the nobility. They
were held in very high regard and were often asked to
accompany a bardic poet who was giving a reading. However,
with the emigration of Ireland's leading families in the
17th and early 18th century, there was a steep decline in
the harping tradition and the last traditionally-trained
harpist died in the mid-19th century. Interestingly, these
superb musicians played with their fingernails and not with
the flesh of the fingertips as is done today. It's also
interesting to note that new families of English descent
were hospitable to well-known harpists such as O'Carolan,
and it was a man from the north, Dr. Michael MacDonnell,
and an Englishman, Edward Bunting, who assembled the last
harpers in Belfast in 1792. Even though very generous fees
were offered, they were able to attract only 11 players
from the whole country. Bunting attempted to write down as
much of the music as he could and his collection is
incredibly important because it contains the only remaining
remnants of what the ancient tradition must have been like.
So, while this oldest emblem of Ireland is still very much
apparent - even to appearing on the Guinness label - most
of the ancient airs and melodies it once produced are long
gone. Perhaps the first verse of a famous poem by Thomas
Moore says it best:
The harp that once through Tara's halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls,
as if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory's thrill is o'er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more.
About the Author: Bridget Haggerty is the author of 'The
Traditional Irish Wedding' and is now working on a second
book which is scheduled to be released next October. This
one will focus on memories of an Irish childhood - a
compilation of recollections from people who were either
born and raised in Ireland or who grew up in an Irish
family. She welcomes any and all anecdotes for the book
and will give contributors full credit.
Contact her by email at: email@example.com
Visit Irish Landscape Artists Studios for superb Irish
Paintings shipped directly from the artists studio to
your home. Many beautiful scenes to choose from.
Shop for unique Irish gifts for your friends & family from
the luxury of your recliner or computer chair this season &
let US do all of the work!! AND, shop early to get a special
$15 discount on all orders over $80.00!!
MORE CARA IRISH PENPALS SUCCESS STORIES
Following on from last month's success story we received
these two emails that demonstrates what a really positive
thing the World-Wide-Web can be:
From Frances Moore in California:
Some time ago I filled out the info required to be on that
list. Last month I got a letter from a woman in Tullamore
who is originally from my same state of California. We have
begun corresponding and find with each letter that we have
more and more in common. Its amazing. We will try to get
together when she and her husband visits here next year. I
am positive that I have a new, life-long friend thanks to
From Fran in Indiana:
Hello, My name is Fran, and I am from the USA. My fiance and
I met on your website. I placed a profile on your website
and corresponded with a few people from Ireland. I was not
looking for romance. My original intent was to just talk
with some people about an upcoming visit I had planned to
Ireland. Then I met John. I did not know what to think about
him at first. He was so different from anyone I had ever
met. Over time we emailed back and forth. Then the first
telephone call. Oh what a wonderful sound!! He said
'I love your accent!' and I responded 'I thought you were
the one with the accent!' LOL One thing led to another. To
make a long story short, I am going to Ireland to meet his
family in February and he is coming here in the spring to
meet mine. We are planning 2 weddings, one in Indiana and
one in Dublin. Love is in the air!!
Thank You for bringing us together.
P.S. I am 46 and John is 54. It just goes to show, you are
never too old. :)
You can visit Cara Irish Penpals here:
GAELIC PHRASES OF THE MONTH
PHRASE: Michael is ainm dom
PRONOUNCED: Michael is ann/um dum
MEANING: My name is Michael
PHRASE: Cad is ainm duit?
PRONOUNCED: cod is ann/um dwit?
MEANING: What is your name?
PHRASE: Is as Éire dom
PRONOUNCED: iss oss air/eh dum
MEANING: I am from Ireland
View the archive of phrases here:
ANY BOLAND'S OUT THERE?
Santiago Boland is the organiser of the 'Festiboland' that
runs every two years in Argentina. It is a celebration of
all things Boland!
He will be in Sydney, Australia from 9th to 17th of December
and wants to meet any Bolands. Contact him at:
SHAMROCK SITE OF THE MONTH
Celtic.com: So much free stuff!
SEARCHER SITE OF THE MONTH
Listing of County based Genealogical Centres
These centres hold indexes of parish registers for the whole
of their county. Some hold indexes of other genealogical
SUPPORT THE INFORMATION ABOUT IRELAND SITE
HELP US TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FREE RESOURCES
Visit our Online Store at:
NOVEMBER COMPETITION RESULT
The winner was:
who will receive the following:
A Single Family Crest Print (decorative) (US$19.99 value)
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.
I hope that you have enjoyed this issue.
Please keep the feedback coming!
Until the next time,
BEST WISHES FROM IRELAND!
The Information about Ireland Site.
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