Q & A: Ireland’s Great Famine… Recommended Reading
Aug03

Q & A: Ireland’s Great Famine… Recommended Reading

Do you have any recommendations for a good book on the potato famine? — Dana S via Twitter Ireland suffered more than one famine in its history, but the years between 1845 and 1852 mark the era many call the Irish Potato Famine. A million died and another million emigrated… quite a grim time in Irish history. Yet, it is also the period in which many of the Irish diaspora recognize as their family’s direct ties to...

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The Irish Festival of Lughnasa
Jul30

The Irish Festival of Lughnasa

The first weekend in August marks Ireland’s changing-of-the-season festival of Lughnasa. You may recognize the name from the title of the Meryl Streep film “Dancing at Lughnasa” based on the play by Brian Friel. Felicity Hayes-McCoy delves into the festival’s tradition in Corca Dhuibhne, Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula. Read The Festival Of Lughnasa >> Felicity also recommends Máire MacNeill book The...

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Frank McCourt Museum Opens in Limerick
Jul15

Frank McCourt Museum Opens in Limerick

The city of Limerick opens a new museum honoring Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt on the site of the school referenced in his book Angela’s Ashes. After years of grumbling about the author’s gritty depiction of Limerick in the 1930s, the city appears to have finally embraced its McCourt connections. Here we link to several articles on its opening: In Frank’s footsteps: McCourt museum opens – Irish...

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In Gratitude to Lady Gregory
Jul01

In Gratitude to Lady Gregory

If you love old Irish stories and tales, chances are you’ve heard one through the storytelling of Lady Gregory. Who Was Lady Gregory? Born Isabella Augusta Persee on March 5, 1852 in County Galway, she married Sir W.H. Gregory, a widower who was several decades old than she. They lived in London where they were often visited by such creative minds of the age as Robert Browning, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Sir John Everett Millais, and Henry...

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Sunwise Walking
Jun21

Sunwise Walking

Happy Summer Solstice! Thinking about the sun (and I’m not currently seeing it where I am!) made me think about the ancient Celtic tradition of turning sunwise or deisol, as P. W. Joyce puts it in his A Social History of Ancient Ireland. To be fair, Joyce points out that this tradition was not only practiced by the Celts, but by other ancient people as well (Latins and Greeks.) He says it was just as common among the Christians as it...

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Book Wars in Ireland
Jun10

Book Wars in Ireland

You probably like reading. You’re reading this blog, after all. Many of you are book lovers, like me. Can you imagine a war being fought over a book? This was not a religious war, even though the book was a book of scripture. A Man Who Loved Books It happened in Ireland in the 6th century. Columba, who would later found Iona along with many monasteries in Ireland, loved books. He supposedly said, “That I might search the...

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