Irish Seattle News
Dé Domhnaigh, 3 Nollaig         2017       Sunday, December 3
In This Issue
Rosaleen Sweeney, 98, a native of Co. Leitrim, died in Seattle November 24. 

Angela Gaynor, 79, a sister of Camilla Barrett and Marie Bradshaw of Edmonds, died in England November 26. Memorial Mass at  St. Thomas More in Lynnwood December 27 at 11 am

Paul Kosche, 90, the father of Irish Heritage Club's Ralph Kosche, passed away last week. Service arrangements are pending for January 7

Linda Walline, 67, mother of Ara Walline and mother-in-law of Dermot Randles, died on November 7

Nuala Lyons, 79, a native of Dublin, died November 9 in Spokane 

Maureen Walker, 91, a native of Dublin, died in Marysville November 2

Michael James McCleary, 49, brother of Suzanne McCleary, died October 27 in Kennewick 

Mary Hughes, mother of Kirkland resident Barbara Hughes, died October 17 in Derry

Tracy O'Day, 70, co-owner of the Wee Bit O'Ireland store which operated in Seattle's Pioneer Square from 1970 to 1986, died in Seattle October 25

Sr. Kieran Kennedy, CSJP, 89, a native of Galway, died in Bellevue October 28

Merle Braden, 83, whose daughter Donna Ó Murchadha lives in Cork, died in Centralia October 26

Maureen Fitzpatrick, 93, a native of Dublin, died in Seattle October 13

Ron Plummer, 73, Irish Dancing teacher and adjudicator, died October 9 in Ontario, Canada

Sr. Frances Cusack OP, 89, a native of Co. Mayo, died September 11, in Burien

Anne Kennedy, 92, a longtime member of the Irish Heritage Club, both of whose parents were Irish immigrants, died in Seattle June 8

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha dílse

May their faithful souls rest at God's right hand
for Christmas?
The offerings and the prices are exactly the same, but if you shop at 
AmazonSmile  rather than at, then 0.5% of the purchase price is donated to the Irish Heritage Club. Bookmark this link for AmazonSmile:
and support the IHC every time you shop at Amazon. It does not cost you even one cent extra!
Irish Passport
Renew your Irish Passport, either online or via mail
Irish Heritage Club Affiliated Programs
Seattle Area Irish Resources
Irish Harp
Consulate General of Ireland,
San Francisco
Seattle Consulate Logo
Honorary Consul of Ireland,  Seattle
Handling questions regarding Irish  passports or Irish citizenship
Fr. John Madigan
Seattle's Irish Community Chaplain
serving emigrants of all faiths and none
2010 Festival
Irish Dancing Schools
Irish Musicians, Classes & Sessions
Irish Language
Irish Language Classes
Claddagh Ring
Irish Imports
Guinness Pint
Irish Pubs & Restaurants
Other Irish Links
Irish Passport
Are you eligible to apply for Irish Citizenship?
Green Card
If you'r an Irish citizen with a US Green Card, why wait to apply for dual US-Irish citizenship?
Ireland Study
Would you like to study  in Ireland?
Images of Ireland
Living & Working in Ireland / Moving to Ireland
Connect Ireland
Through your connections, help create jobs in Ireland and receive a reward from the Irish Government
Irish Seattle Book Cover
Irish Seattle
A pictorial history of the Irish in Seattle from 1851 to the 1990s
The Celtic Connection
The Celtic Connection Newspaper
The voice of Celts around the Pacific Northwest. Pick up a free copy each month at your local Seattle-area Irish Pub or Restaurant, or read the latest issue online for free!
Irish Books written in the Irish Language
Books in English about small localities in Ireland
The Faddan More Psalter, a  1,200 year old Irish manuscript found in a bog

Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers celebrates over 20 years of service

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan tries to teach Stephen Colbert an Irish accent

A young Ellen DeGeneres fan from Galway got her wish

Aer Lingus lists Some of Seattle's Greatest Hits to go with their direct  Dublin to Seattle flights

The Vagabrothers' Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in Ireland

Ireland's countryside and ever-changing cities and towns

Edwina & Michael's Irish Honeymoon

When Irish nationalists and unionists fought together in Flanders during WW-1

The Aurora Borealis over Slieve League, Co. Donegal

Drone Alone at Christmas

TradFest, January 24-28, 2018, Ireland's largest traditional music festival
Irish Seniors'
Christmas Luncheon
Daidí na Nollag
The Irish Seniors' Christmas Luncheon is at Noon this Saturday, December 9, at Assumption Church Hall, 6201 33rd Ave NE, 8-10 blocks north of University Village Mall. All seniors of Irish birth, descent or interest are welcome along with their spouses and friends. Our Special Guests on the day include Irish Consul General Robert O'Driscoll, his wife (and former Irish TV journalist)  Caoimhe Ní Chonchoille, as well as Daidí na Nollag (Father Christmas). All are welcome at $10 per person, but please make reservations ASAP to with names of all guests. Who's a Senior? Probably anyone old enough to remember JFK! 

Seattle Gaels
Awards Banquet 
Seattle Gaels You're invited to join the Seattle Gaels at their Awards Banquet  this Friday, December 8, 6 - 9 pm at their sponsor pub, St. Andrews Bar and Grill on 74th and Aurora in Seattle. The Gaels have had another very good year and we hope you can join the fun on Friday evening. For more details, email or visit Facebook.

Irish Network Christmas Party
You're invited to attend the annual Irish Network Seattle Christmas Party on Saturday, December 9 from 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm at the RView, 515 Madison St, Seattle. The RView is on the 28th floor of the Renaissance Seattle Hotel, with great views of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle. Heavy appetizers and a free drink will be served to all attendees. For details and reservations, visit Irish Network Seattle.

Irish Women's Christmas
The Seattle area's 2018 Nollaig na mBan (Women's Christmas) dinner is being planned for the traditional holiday, Saturday, January 6 (the 12th Day of Christmas) at 7:30 pm at JJ Mahoneys Irish Pub, 8932 161st Ave NE, Redmond. While this is a celebration for the women in our lives, men are also welcome to attend and enjoy the Irish music and singing, the food, good company, and to share the craic. Enjoy a meal and a drink (beer or wine) for $35 per person, incl. tax & tip. Contact for more details or for reservations go to
Starting Friday, May 18, 2018 , Irish airline Aer Lingus will fly from Seattle direct to Dublin four times weekly: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. R/T fares for the 9 hours 15 minute flight are quoted as starting at about $610. Passengers from Seattle can fly on from Dublin to 24 other European cities. On the return trip, passengers will be pre-cleared in Dublin by US Customs and Immigration so that when travelers arrive in Seattle they do not have to go through customs and passport control.
*  Read the Irish Independent's story 
*  Read the Seattle Times story
*   Seamless to Seattle on Aer Lingus 
*  Aer Lingus lists Seven reasons for Irish people to visit Seattle
Taoiseach's Visit
The first official visit to the US by Ireland's new Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Leo Varadkar, was to Seattle where he had meetings on November 1 with Microsoft and Amazon, both of which employ thousands in Ireland. At a lunch at the Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Center, he told business leaders and Irish community representatives that companies like Amazon and Microsoft make an important economic contribution to Ireland.

The full text of the Taoiseach's speech
Irish RTÉ news report on the visit
Geekwire's coverage of the lunch
Other Seattle News

CHRISTMAS CONCERT -A Celtic Christmas Concert by Irish group Affiniti with Howard Crosby is this Friday, December 8 at 8 pm at the Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave . Affiniti is a powerhouse female group composed of vocalist Emer Barry (Soprano), Aisling Ennis (Harp) and Mary McCague (Violin), all classically trained, and the show also features Howard Crosby, nephew of Bing Crosby. Combining the mystery of Celtic Music with the Magic of Christmas, tickets at the KPC box office. To enter a drawing for two free tickets, send your first/last name to by 10 pm Tuesday.
CELTIC YULETIDE - Magical Strings' 39th Annual Celtic Yuletide Concert series includes Seattle's concert this Saturday, December 9 with Tacoma's on December 8. Concerts will also be held in Kent, Mount Vernon, Bellevue, Portland and Leavenworth. Featuring the lyrical and joyful sounds of Celtic harps, hammered dulcimers, violins, cello, whistles, concertina, percussion and more, this grand gala of Celtic-inspired holiday music is filled with Irish singing, dancing, juggling, caroling and storytelling. For the details, visit
THE HARP - Best wishes to the new Irish bar in Kent, The Harp Bar & Restaurant  located on the Riverbend Golf Course at 24437 Russell Road, Suite 117, Kent. Opened last May by Belfast native Lorraine Torres, it's a family friendly location catering to families, groups and kids' sports teams who want a fun, safe environment to enjoy a tasty meal . Visit them on Facebook
100th BIRTHDAY CONGRATULATIONS - To Sr. Ellen Caldwell, a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace who was born in Co. Cavan on November 16, 1917 and who celebrated her 100th birthday in the Order's retirement home on Killarney Way in Bellevue where she has lived since retiring 8 years ago. She left Ireland as a Novice in 1936 and has served since then mainly at St. Joseph Hospital, Bellingham but also at Ketchikan General Hospital in Alaska. As a Centenarian, she receives a congratulatory letter from Irish President Michael D. Higgins and the Centenarian's Bounty, a check for €2,540 (about $3,000) sent to all Irish-born centenarians on their 100th birthday . Congratulations also to another Irish-born sister in the same community, Sr. Rose Donoghue, a native of Co. Leitrim, who recently celebrated her 103rd birthday.
US CITIZEN - Becoming a US citizen affords people numerous benefits, as well as permanence, yet many eligible Irish nationals do not take advantage of the citizenship process. It is estimated that there are more than 30,000 Irish legal permanent residents throughout the US who are eligible to apply for citizenship, yet only around 4,000 applied for naturalization in the period 2013 through 2015. For advice, etc., contact Seattle Irish Immigrant Support at
HS GAA GAME - Skyline High School and Eastlake High School recently competed in six abbreviated Gaelic Football games at Skyline High School in Sammamish , and afterwards the Irish Presidential Trophy was presented to the winner, Eastlake HS. The schools were about even on skill but Eastlake showed tremendous physicality and speed. The Irish Presidential Trophy was donated by President Michael D. Higgins when he visited Skyline High School in 2015. Last year's trophy winner was Skyline HS. 
*  For information on the next Irish Book Club meeting, contact
*  Geoffrey Castle's Celtic Christmas on Saturday, December 23, at the Northshore Performing Arts Center 18125 92nd Ave NE, Bothell
*  Congratulations to Tom Lagan of the Tacoma Rangers, recently elected Registrar of the North American GAA
*  Best wishes to Carmel Kelly, the Dublin Librarian who lectured on W B Yeats at Seattle's 2015 Irish Festival, whose children's book "Man of the People: Fr William Doyle SJ" was recently launched in Dublin

IRISH FLAGMAKERS - Buy any Irish-themed flag from our Seattle partner, C. Anderson & Co., and they will make a donation to the Irish Heritage Club to support our activities.

Brexit News
IRISH DEMANDS - The Guardian says The Irish border problem is the ultimate barrier to a hard Brexit. The Irish government wants a guarantee that there will be no hard border with Northern Ireland, in effect, keeping Northern Ireland within the EU single market and customs union. The UK's PM, Theresa May, has repeatedly declared Britain will leave the single market and customs union, and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist party, whose support is propping up May's government, says it will never accept a deal that effectively sees the customs border erected between it and the rest of the UK.
HARD BREXIT? - The Irish border today is essentially open  with 110 million border crossings each year and 13,000 commercial vehicles crossing the border each day. A hard Brexit will mean special permits, extra investment, more paperwork and potential delays. Ports and airports will need extra staff and infrastructure for customs and clearance, for Post Offices to manage customs checks on parcels, etc. But this is more than about goods crossing the border. It's about people's lives and their livelihoods and the abilities of communities and businesses in the border region to develop and prosper together.
CROSS-BORDER AGREEMENTS - There are 142 cross-border activities on the island of Ireland that would be negatively impacted by a hard Brexit. Activities now available to people from either jurisdiction include heart surgery in Dublin, cancer treatments in Derry, cellphone roaming charges at local rates across the entire island, special needs education for autistic children, joint initiatives on shared waterways, access to medicine, and the entire island is treated as one entity for the purpose of controlling animal or human diseases. Patients can fill prescriptions at any pharmacy north or south, and ambulances can cross the border to attend to emergencies. With a hard border, it's feared those cross-border activities cannot continue.
IRELAND'S NEW TÁNAISTE (Deputy Prime Minister): "The truth is that Northern Ireland is different from other parts of the United Kingdom because we agree to do things on an all-Ireland basis - in other words it's different to Wales and Scotland, and that's just a pragmatic difference."
EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT Donald Tusk this p ast Thursday : "Let me say very clearly, if the U.K. offer is unacceptable for Ireland, it will also be unacceptable for the EU."
SKY NEWS: For the first time in the seven or eight century relationship between Britain and Ireland, the Irish exercise power over its larger neighbor.
RTÉ NEWS: T he Irish border, long seen as a somewhat exotic complication, has now moved into poll position as  the most intractable  

THE GUARDIAN: One unintended consequence of Brexit is that Ireland finds itself for the first time in its history on the stronger side of the table in negotiations with the UK.
RTÉ NEWS: Theresa May depends on the DUP for her survival. They are adamant that they see any move towards the North staying within EU structures as weakening the British Union.
THE GUARDIAN: Reviving that deep-dyed, centuries-old contempt for the Irish, they (the UK government) have dismissed it with an imperial fly-whisk as a minor irritation. No longer. On 14 December, the time comes when the EU decides whether the UK has made "sufficient progress" on cash, citizens' rights ... and the Irish border.
NEW STATESMAN - Of all the issues that must be resolved before Britain can begin new trade talks with the EU, the Irish Question is proving the most intractable. ... Peace in Northern Ireland, which has had no government since March, is not permanent; it must be assiduously renewed. Far worse than the possibility that the Brexiteers do not know this is another explanation: they do not care.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN? It is for the British government to announce it will remain in a customs union with Dublin. Since Dublin's Varadkar means to stay in the EU, that means no trading barrier between Northern Ireland and the EU. But since May must retain Unionist support, she cannot admit any trading barrier between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Ergo, there can then be no trading barrier between the UK and the EU.  

BLOOMBERG:   Why Ireland's Border Is Brexit's Stubborn Puzzle  

IRISH GOVERNMENT REPORTSome EU figures talk of "chaos" in the British government
10 PREDICTIONS:  The UK will end up paying €50bn and with a hard Irish border  

WHAT BREXIT SLUMP? - Many Irish firms are more than weathering the Brexit storm by increasing exports of goods into Britain despite the slump in sterling's value. Sterling's drop of almost 18% since the UK referendum 16 months ago should have put up fierce headwinds because selling across the Irish Sea makes exports more expensive and considerably less profitable. The ill-effects for Ireland have been limited so far and the Irish economy has continued to be very buoyant on both sides of the Irish border since the Brexit vote took place.
INCOMING COMPANIES - Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, three international law firms based in London have confirmed plans to open offices in Dublin. In addition, English-qualified solicitors (attorneys) have been joining the Irish roll of solicitors in increasing numbers. According to the Irish Law Society, 459 solicitors from England and Wales were admitted to the Irish roll of solicitors so far in 2017, while 806 were admitted in 2016. Prior to the Brexit vote, about 50 to 100 would join the roll in a typical year.
Northern Ireland
STALEMATE - Northern Ireland has lacked a government since January when the late Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin 's leader in the Assembly, resigned as deputy first minister. Cuts to funding for a small Irish-language program, against the backdrop of the loss of hundreds of millions of pounds in a mismanaged green-energy project, provoked McGuinness's resignation.  Sinn Féin has refused to appoint a replacement and, without a republican deputy first minister, the devolved government was automatically suspended. The New York Times says the nearly yearlong standoff has paralyzed its institutions and is threatening a 1998 treaty that largely ended three decades of fighting. It adds that some now question whether the agreement "has in essence collapsed, and fear, if not a return to anything like a full-blown conflict, then at least a rise in sporadic acts of paramilitary intimidation."
NORTHERN TOURISM - An NPR feature on the strong tourism growth for Northern Ireland. " For decades, Northern Ireland was synonymous with violence from the conflict known as the 'Troubles.' In recent years, though, it's enjoyed a tourism renaissance due to a state-of-the-art museum devoted to the Titanic, which was built in Belfast, and the popularity of HBO's Game of Thrones series - which is shot along the coast north of the city."
WEAK STERLING - Southern Irish fears have been raised that shoppers will flock north across the Irish border this Christmas to take advantage of a weak sterling which has nosedived since Brexit was announced. The value of sterling is so low that consumers can now save more than 40% on some items by shopping in the North. Some 18 months ago stg£1 was worth $1.55, but today the British pound is equal to just $1.35 as a result of Brexit uncertainty.
GERRY ADAMS - On the announcement that Gerry Adams was stepping down as Sinn Féin leader, the NY Times  writes that "r eviled by many as the face of the Irish Republican Army during its campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland, Mr. Adams reinvented himself as a peacemaker in the troubled region and then as a populist opposition member of the Irish Parliament." CNN reported that Adams, 69, used his address at the party's annual conference to call for unification and labelled the UK's decision to leave the European Union as "the single greatest threat to the Irish people in generations."
CATHOLIC INTIMIDATION - The NY Times   reports on the recent intimidation of Catholic families in Cantrell Close, Belfast, a flagship housing project that was built last year specifically to accommodate people from all backgrounds. The article comments that the recent incidents made headlines because they occurred in a place that was intended to be a foundation stone for a post-sectarian society. "It has also raised concerns about certain politicians' commitment to the process of integration, and about the ability of the Northern Irish police to curb the influence of sectarian paramilitary groups."
"IRA JOURNEY" - Tony Doherty was nine years old when his father, Patrick, was killed in Derry on Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972 The 2010 Saville Report found that Patrick had been shot and mortally wounded as he tried to crawl to safety. There was "no doubt", Lord Saville wrote, that Soldier F shot Patrick Doherty, firing "either in the belief that no-one in the area...was posing a threat, or not caring". Tony says, "My journey towards the IRA started on that day".
JOHN HUME - Former deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland , Seamus Mallon, writes in the Guardian, It was John Hume, not Sinn Féin, who steered Northern Ireland to peace. The fallout from Hume's unremitting efforts could be seen in the Sunningdale agreement of 1973, and the signing of the Anglo-Irish agreement. For the first time, the British government agreed to a role for the Irish government in a search for a solution. Equally fundamental was that for the first time the unionist veto on Northern Ireland affairs was broken.
More News from Ireland
ELECTION AVOIDED - Ireland's Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) resigned this past week in order to avoid bringing down the government. The existing "confidence and supply" agreement between Ireland's two largest parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, was breaking down over a row about a police whistle blower and a leaked 2015 email that was copied to the Tánaiste . The ruling party, Fine Gael, had been insisting the Tánaiste would not be forced out of office, but her resignation came ahead of a motion of no confidence proposed by Fianna Fáil that was due to be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday .
MOVING HOME SURVEY - The Irish government has launched a survey to help inform a government report to assist Irish people moving back to Ireland. If you or anyone you know is planning or considering moving home, or has moved home, ask them to complete the survey so that the government is informed about how it can improve the process. It will only take two minutes!
TECH/LIFE IRELAND - Tech/Life Ireland is a government-funded marketing initiative to brand Ireland as a top destination to pursue a career in technology. The intent is to attract talented and experienced tech experts to Ireland and to promote top tech career opportunities in Ireland. Ireland is one of the tech capitals of the world. There are currently about 80,000 top tech professionals working in tech throughout Ireland, particularly in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, and a further 8,000 IT jobs in Ireland are forecast to open each year.
IRISH JOBS - As Ireland approaches full employment, many of the country's most successful indigenous and foreign tech firms are looking abroad for talented staff. One of the problems is that Dublin, where most of the largest employers are located, is ranked the second most expensive city in the eurozone . Despite increasing cost-of-living pressures, particularly in Dublin, none of the employers interviewed by Fora said they had an issue attracting staff to Ireland. A big draw for engineers and developers coming to Dublin is the city's vibrant meet-up scene.
PATERNITY LEAVE - 27,307 Irish fathers have taken paternity leave since the scheme was introduced in September 2016. The initiative allows fathers to take two weeks off work within six months of the birth of their child, receiving a government payment of about $280 per week. The benefit is paid to employed and self-employed fathers who satisfy certain tax contribution conditions. There is no statutory obligation on employers to supplement the government payment so that the person gets a normal salary during paternity leave, but many companies do contribute.
SWIFT FESTIVAL - This weekend's Jonathan Swift Festival in Dublin celebrates 35o years since the author and satirist was born in Dublin on  November 30, 1667 . Swift was only 14 when he started his undergraduate studies at Dublin's Trinity College. Ordained an Anglican priest in 1695, he took the post of dean at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin in 1713, but it was his political satire that earned him a reputation in London. In 1726 he published Gulliver's Travels which became the most popular Irish book ever written. It was an immediate success, and hasn't been out of print since its first run. Swift was a world renowned celebrity when he died in Dublin in 1745 and is buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral.
TOURISM OVERKILL - Tourists are being diverted away from some of Ireland's most iconic monuments in a bid to protect them from getting damaged due to ever-rising visitor volumes. The agency responsible for managing heritage sites plans to gradually entice visitors to visit peripheral attractions so it can avoid the "nuclear option" of having to close some venues in the future. Online booking will soon be introduced to Clonmacnoise in order to better manage the crowds.
ROHINGYA SUPPORT - Live Aid founder and Irish musician Bob Geldof has handed back his Freedom of the City of Dublin award as a protest against Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese Nobel peace laureate who was previously presented the award. Geldof said he was a "proud Dubliner" but could not continue to keep the symbol while Suu Kyi also held it. He blasted the Burmese leader who has faced widespread criticism over her country's treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority.
SHAMROCK POPPY - Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been praised by unionist politicians in Northern Ireland for wearing a 'shamrock poppy' in recognition of the Irish soldiers who fought and died in World War I. The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower commonly worn in countries that were formerly part of the British Empire to commemorate those who died in war, especially in WW-1. An almost obligatory adornment by public figures in the UK, wearing the poppy is not at all common in the Irish Republic The move is symbolic of the greater recognition now afforded in Ireland to the 206,000 Irishmen who fought and the 26,500 Irishmen who died serving in the British Army in WW-1.
IRISH PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS - Four US recipients were honored recently with an Irish presidential award - Journalist Patricia Harty, actor Liam Neeson, Project Children founder Denis Mulcahy, and Nobel laureate Dr. William Campbell. Patricia Harty co-founded Irish America magazine in 1985 and has been editor-in-chief for over 30 years. A native of Co. Donegal, Dr. William Campbell became the first Irish-born scientist to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine. The Presidential Distinguished Service Award was established by the Irish government as a means to recognize the contribution of members of the Irish diaspora.
IRELAND NATION BRAND - According to a new report by Brand Finance, the value of Ireland's national brand jumped 24% in the space of a year from $344 billion to $427 billion as the country is viewed as an oasis of calm by business leaders around the world. Ireland and Iceland are seen as having the fastest-growing nation brands of 2017.
DATA CENTER - After nearly three years, Apple has been granted final approval to proceed with plans to build a $1 billion data center near Athenry, Co. Galway. A court has approve the center going ahead despite local complaints about potential traffic problems and environmental impact from the 116,000 sq m facility. Apple recently had warned Irish officials that the lengthy delays could jeopardize the future of the project. Ireland's cool but consistent climate saves energy costs in running such facilities while Ireland is also seen as offering a more business-friendly environment when it comes to data protection regulations.
BOMBARDIER FALLOUT - The NY Times  about Northern Irish workers, "Yet now that fate looms over Mr. Burnside and around 4,200 other Belfast-based employees of Bombardier, a Montreal-based airplane maker, after the Trump administration, under pressure from Boeing, proposed a nearly 300% tariff on imports of Bombardier's newest plane." The article comments that the ruling is rattling Britain, "undermining claims of those who support the country's withdrawal from the European Union about the ease of negotiating trade agreements after it leaves the bloc."
ANGLO-IRISH - There has been a surge in first-time passport applications to the Irish Embassy in London since the Brexit referendum in June, 2016. The number more than tripled from 4,086 in the first half of 2016 to 14,177 in the second half of the year. Applications rose again in the first half of this year, to 15,421. The figures are in line with an overall increase in the volume of all applications. Overall, the passport service has seen a 14.8% increase in applications in the year to the end of August, and it is on course to receive about 800,000 applications for Irish passports this year, the most ever in a year.
BLOCKING PEDOPHILES - Ireland could soon become the first country in Europe to cancel passports of convicted pedophiles in a bid to prevent them traveling overseas. The campaign championing this idea for Ireland is being led by Irish priest Fr. Shay Cullen, a four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee who runs People's Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA), a child abuse charity in the Philippines. The new legislation would mean that convicted pedophiles would be prohibited from traveling overseas on an Irish passport.
TUAM BABIES - The NY Times carried an article on "The Lost Children of Tuam". The article profiles Catherine Corless who after tireless research drew up a spreadsheet that "listed the names, ages, and death dates of all the 'illegitimate' children who had died in the home during its 36-year existence. The sobering final tally: 796."
LOUDMOUTH IRISH-AMERICANS - Newsweek features an opinion piece by a historian headlined " Why Are All The Conservative Loudmouths Irish-American? " , referring to Pat Buchanan, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Steve Bannon . The writer ultimately concludes that neither Buchanan, O'Reilly, Hannity or Bannon have any real connection to Ireland or organized Irish-American life. "They are conspicuously absent from the pro- Sinn Féin milieu of the Irish Echo , or even the Ancient Order of Hibernians. I doubt whether any of them would recognize Gerry Adams if they ran into him."
FIRST FEMALE MP - UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said that it was important to mark the centenary of the first female member of the UK House of Commons. However, May probably forgot that the first and only woman elected MP in the 1918 general election was Irish suffragette and 1916 rebel leader Constance Markievicz. As Ireland was still ruled by the UK at the time, Markievicz was entitled to take her seat in Westminster, but taking her seat would have required her to swear an oath of allegiance to the crown, something she refused to do. The 1918 election was also the first time in the then UK that women were allowed to vote.
CANNABIS RESEARCH - Dublin-headquartered Greenlight Medicines, a pharmaceutical startup that specializes in medicinal cannabis research, is opening a new facility in Donegal in 2018. Founded in 2015, Greenlight is a research and development outfit that explores the potential medical use of cannabis and its main elements, which are called cannabinoids. The company has so far partnered with 13 universities located in Ireland, the UK and the US to study different therapeutic uses for it. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is marketed as a food substance, although some believe that it has medicinal benefits.
SPIRITED O'HARA - The recent sexual assault allegations against numerous Hollywood bigwigs has resurrected a newspaper clipping from 1945   of Irish actress Maureen O'Hara complaining about sexism by studio heads in Hollywood. S he later said that during her career she had rebuffed advances from Howard Hughes and Errol Flynn , saying "I wouldn't throw myself on the casting couch, and I know that cost me parts."
SKELLIG PORGS - The Porgs, the new stars of 'Star Wars', are based on the puffins that live on Skellig Michael in Co. Kerry where the last two Star Wars film s have been shot The furry space-puffin puppets riding in the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca were created in the film's creature shop after film director Rian Johnson saw the island seabirds while scouting locations for the film's final scene. "If you go to Skellig at the right time of year, it's just covered in puffins, and they're the most adorable things in the world," says Johnson, adding: "So the Porgs are in that realm."
GAELIC KICKER - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Pat Murray played Gaelic football with Rockland GAA in New York before his kicking talent was developed at a High School in New Jersey. His uncle Ciarán captained the Monaghan Gaelic football team to an Ulster title in 1988 with his father Brendan also on the team.
ALL-IRELAND MOVE - The 2018 All-Ireland Gaelic Football final, originally scheduled for August 26, has been pushed back to September 2 to facilitate a visit to Ireland by Pope Francis . The six-day World Meeting of Families celebration is being held in Dublin and will conclude with a Papal Mass at Croke Park on August 26. The All-Ireland Hurling final is at Croke Park on August 19.
BALCONY COLLAPSE SETTLEMENT - The families of six Irish college students who died in a balcony collapse at an apartment complex in Berkeley, California in 2015 have reached a settlement with the owners of the apartment building. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but it also applies to seven of the other students injured on the night of June 16, 2015.
RE-APPEARING STRAND - After vanishing 12 years ago, a golden strand has returned to Ashleam Bay on the southern coast of Achill island in Co. Mayo. The new beach is nestled below picturesque white cliffs in a prime scenic location. Earlier this year another beach at nearby Dooagh reappeared after an absence of 33 years. Achill Island tourism has increased by 67% this year, with dozens of new jobs created.
FINDING CHOCOLATE - In 1971, when Irishwoman Connie Doody got married, she was forced to retire from her civil service job working for the Irish Post Office even though she was just 23. While the marriage ban was lifted in 1973, in the meantime Doody had co-founded Lir Chocolates, now one of Ireland's best-known chocolate businesses with sales of almost $31.5 million in 2015. The UK is the Lir's second biggest market, followed by continental Europe and the US.
FINDING FAIRIES - Ireland is one of the world's ultimate storybook locations for children, according to Lonely Planet which lists Ireland as one of the top 10 places that bring children's literature to life. Ireland may be gorgeously green, but kids will get more from the Emerald Isle if they think there are fairies in the undergrowth. Even better if the fairies have buzz batons and bio bombs. Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl made fairy stories edgy, and the eponymous hero's grand, neglected Fowl Manor could be any of a dozen country houses dotted around the Irish countryside.
GUEVARA STAMP - The Irish post office has released a stamp commemorating Che Guevara   the revolutionary whose family left Ireland for Argentina in the mid-1700's. Guevara fought alongside Castro and others to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Born in Argentina, he became a minister in the new Cuban government, but he was killed when captured in Bolivia in 1967. A quote from Guevara's father features on a First Day Cover envelope. It says "... in my son's veins flowed the blood of Irish rebels".
SCIENTOLOGISTS - The Church of Scientology is opening a European base in Dublin after refurbishing a large community center and church.  It now has a number of large meeting rooms and a designated place of worship which can hold over 1,200 people. The Church of Scientology in Ireland currently operates out of two small hubs, both based in Dublin city center. Census figures put the number of Scientologists in Ireland at 87. However, about 250 members from around the world have recently moved to Ireland to operate the new premises.
IRELAND-UK TUNNEL - A tunnel physically linking Ireland and the UK was f irst proposed over 100 years ago . Routes from Rosslare to Fishguard in Wales, or Dublin to Holyhead, Wales, would be around 62 miles long, while a Northern route from Antrim to Mull of Kintyre would be the shortest, about 12 miles. As heavy traffic would be needed to justify the cost, the Dublin and Holyhead route is seen as the more desirable option as it is relatively close to Manchester and Liverpool. It's one of the most ambitious Irish projects ever proposed, and also one of the most unlikely to ever see the light of day.
1916 LINK - Dorothea Findlater, who saw Dublin burning during the Easter Rising, has died at the age of 107, probably the last surviving witness to the 1916 Rising. As a child of seven, she was taken by her mother to the top of the water tower in the Curragh Camp to see the flames of Dublin burning in the distance. Her British soldier father was present at the surrender of rebel leader Patrick Pearse and is pictured opposite Pearse in the famous, grainy picture of the surrender. Her father later developed a friendship with Éamon de Valera and Séan T O'Kelly, both Easter Rising rebels who went on to become presidents of Ireland. In 2016, Dorothea was one of the stars of the documentary film, Older than Ireland, which was shown at Seattle's Irish Reels Film Festival.
200 YEARS - 2017 is the 200th Anniversary of Guinness in US. Founded in 1759, it only took another 58 years for Guinness to be introduced to the US when, o n October 16, 1817, the first eight barrels of Guinness porter arrived in South Carolina. Now the first Guinness brewery on US soil in more than 60 years is scheduled to open in 2018 in Maryland. Currently, all Guinness sold in the US is brewed at the St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin.
RTÉ ARCHIVES - In 1985, Irish TV station RTÉ moved from using film to videotape and about 1,500 news stories filmed between March and December, 1985, are now available for viewing on the RTÉ website . T he films include stories on the signing of the breakthrough 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement and the crash of an Air India 747 jet aircraft off the coast of Co Kerry with the loss of over 329 lives. The original video tapes were sent to Amsterdam to be baked in specially designed ovens to recover the picture and sound quality before final digitization. 13,332 tapes, featuring approximately 9,000 hours of news content, have been digitally preserved, and new material covering the period up to 1999 will be posted to the website when available.
LATE FEE? - The oldest public library in Ireland, Marsh's Library in Dublin city center, has just had a book returned to it after 177 years. A copy of The Book of Common Prayer that was printed and published in 1666 and which had been borrowed in 1840, was returned to Marsh's Library the first week of November, 2017. Found recently in a Church of Ireland rectory, the 1666 Cambridge University Press edition is valued at almost $900. No word on any late fees being charged.
FAMINE JUSTICE- A Dublin news report in the Freeman's Journal dated September 16, 1847 during the Great Irish Famine - "A poor little girl Bridget Beddings was charged by one of the Park rangers named Duffy who stated that he found her gathering boyhanno (the dried droppings of cows and horses) which the poor use for fuel in the park. He gave her in custody to the police. Mr O Callaghan [judge] said he was obliged under the law to fine the girl and he would inflict a penalty of 1 shilling or in default of payment one hour imprisonment."
WORLD'S SMALLEST LANE - In the early 1800's, the widow Peg Washington watched anxiously as new buildings were erected between her home in Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny and the Duiske River. Fearing that these buildings would cut off her water supply, she asked the town's Chief Magistrate for a gap between the buildings to allow her access to the water. When asked what width was required she replied 'Just the width of myself' and so Peg Washington's Lane was created.   
BEER RATIONS - Evidence from household accounts, soldiers' rations and port books from 16th century Ireland show that beer was ranked alongside bread as a most important dietary staple. Records from January 1565 show that stonemasons working at a quarry in Clontarf were provided with an allowance of 14 pints of ale per day by the proctor of Christ Church Cathedral. Dublin Castle, the seat of British power in Ireland from the 12th century until 1922, provided its household staff 264,000 pints of beer in 1590, an average of about eight pints per person per day - about the same as what was then typically consumed in England.
WW-1 LANGEMARCK  - The WW-1 Battle of Langemarck in August 1917, the second Allied general attack of the Third Battle of Ypres, was "an absolute bloody disaster" in which the two Irish divisions, the 16th (mainly Irish Catholics) and the 36th (mainly Ulster Protestants), were slaughtered. "The blame for this debacle rests with the commander of the Fifth Army, Gen Sir Hubert Gough, an Eton-educated Anglo-Irish toff. His callous disregard for the fate of his men and his sloppy preparation would have tragic consequences for those under his command including the 1,200 men from the Irish divisions killed on August 16th, 1917." Altogether, over ½ million soldiers, 310,000 British, 260,000 German, died during the Third Battle of Ypres.
1917 DUBLIN - Read a detailed account of an Englishwoman's visit to Dublin in late summer 1917 . The account is from letters written to the woman's husband who was in the British Army fighting the Turks in Mesopotamia. After WW-1 ended, the writer and her husband became leading lights in the Irish Dominion League, a movement in Britain and Ireland which in 1919 advocated Dominion status for Ireland within the British Empire, and which also opposed the partition of Ireland
GALWAY RENTAL - Fully furnished townhouse for rent in Galway City, Ireland, located in Lower Salthill just 400 yards from the Seapoint Promenade on Galway Bay and close to downtown Galway. 3 furnished bedrooms, sleeps six. 10% discount for Irish Heritage Club members. See photos and details at, or contact Mike or Sheila at
Blooming Wildflower Cottage B&B is located on the shores of Dingle Bay in Co. Kerry, close to Killarney and other areas where much of the latest Star Wars film was shot. This traditional stone cottage is a cosy, quiet, safe retreat in downtown Dingle, two streets away from gourmet restaurants, traditional pubs, craft shops, art galleries, harbor tours, etc. The Seattle-born owner of this lovely B&B is eager to host you. More details at
*  63,897 babies were born in Ireland, with 36.5% of them born outside marriage
*  There were 22,626 marriages, including 1,056 same-sex marriages
*  16% of people had never used the internet
*  The average annual earnings for full-time employees was $54.074, while part-time employees earned $19,676 on average
*  Irish people spent $7.7 billion on 7.6 million trips abroad
*  There were 141,931 new private cars licensed
*  32.7 million passengers passed through Ireland's five main airports on 247,000 flights
  • 430 Irish companies employ close to 100,000 Americans across all fifty US States
  • More than 5,000 files have recently been released online from Ireland's Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection
  • The Ten Most Scenic Places to have a Coffee in Ireland
  • 10 Famous Irish Songs About Places In Ireland 
  • 35 American-born children have been adopted by families in Ireland since 2013
  • Coffee drinkers in Ireland may soon incur an extra fee for using throw-away cups
  • Regulations banning wild animals in circuses in Ireland take effect January 1
  • Galway city, Seattle's Irish Sister City
  • Britain's Irish community includes 750,000 Irish-born living in the UK, and millions more who are first or second generation
  • "We have no national government. We are ruled by Englishmen and servants of Englishmen" - Society of United Irishmen, 1791
  • ESPN says that Baltimore Ravens (and former Seahawk) running-back Alex Collins sidesteps defenders using Irish dancing moves
  • Ireland missed out on becoming the new home of the European Banking Agency in a result that was literally a toss-up
  • Britain's Channel Four got some crazy answers when they asked Britons to draw a line on a map of Ireland to mark the Northern Ireland border
  • An Irish bride from Co. Tipperary and her "Yankee" groom produced a tongue-in-cheek Irish/US slang translator to help their wedding guests better understand each other
  • A new Irish consulate will open in Vancouver, BC in 2018
  • Northern Ireland makes up 3% of the UK population but gets almost 10% of its European Union farm subsidies
  • Up to 360 Irish post offices to close in the next four years
  • Former US Vice-President Joe Biden: James Joyce wrote, "When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart." Well, Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart. But Ireland will be written on my soul
  • The Kurds of Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, "a thriving group of Kurds who adopted this small town as their own"
  • Some UK viewers were horrified by ITV drama's 'brutal' Irish Famine episode
  • A third of a million Irish emigrated to Australia between 1840 and 1914. Today, more than 90,000 Irish-born people live there
  • There are 1.73 million Irish citizens living outside the island of Ireland
  • In the last decade, almost one million passports (including renewals) were issued to people who reside outside Ireland
  • A 233-year-old cut-stone one bedroom house in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, built as a lockhouse on the Grand Canal, can be yours for about $82,000 
  • USA Today says that Ireland beckons with low prices, elevated beauty
  • Ireland has almost 1900 miles of coastline, over 40 mountain ranges, 37 rivers, 6 national parks and countless glorious beaches
  • Irish unemployment has fallen steadily from a peak of over 15% in early-2012 to 6% in October 2017
  • 22 years ago, on Nov. 30, 1995, President Clinton became the first sitting US President to visit Northern Ireland
  • The Boston Globe praises duty free shopping at Irish airports
  • Dublin has been named by National Geographic's Traveler magazine as one of the Places You Need to Visit in 2018
  • At least 223 companies from the US West Coast have operations in Ireland, employing 46,540 people
  • CNN reports on how the Skellig Islands in the Star Wars films has been a boost for tourism
  • Ireland is the largest European contributor to peacekeeping in per capita terms and has continuously served on UN peacekeeping missions since June 1958
  • Over 850,000 Irish-born people live outside Ireland
  • In 2016 Enterprise Ireland invested €32m in 229 innovative and export oriented start-up companies, 63 of which were female-led
  • There are approximately 155,000 Irish citizens living in the US
  • Approximately 700,000 people born on the Island of Ireland live in England, Scotland and Wales
  • 600,000 New Zealanders are of Irish ancestry
  • 4.5 million Canadians are of Irish heritage
  • Over 700 events marking the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising were held in 2016 in 156 different cities and 60 countries across the globe
  • 2018 sees the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement; the 50th anniversary of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement; the centenary of the end of the First World War and the centenary of the December 1918 General Election
  • 30 Irish companies secured over €12.5m in European Space Agency contracts in 2016 with Enterprise Ireland support
  • Over 1,300 foreign-owned companies operate in Ireland employing 10% of the Irish workforce
  • Ireland has the youngest population in the EU with 33% under 25
  • 52% of Irish people aged 30-34 have successfully completed third-level studies
  • Irish IT specialists are the best educated in the EU with 82% having a third-level qualification
  • Irish Tourism employs more than 220,000 people across Ireland
  • In 2016, there were over 9.5 million overseas visitors to Ireland, an increase of 11% over 2015
  • Ireland is the largest net exporter of beef in the EU and the Northern Hemisphere, exporting nearly 90% of what is produced each year
  • Aviation contributes more than $4.88 billion directly to Ireland's GDP
  • There over 9,500 pilots and 11,500 cabin crew licensed in Ireland
  • Over 60% share of the global airline leasing market is based in Ireland with a total estimated value around $125 billion
  • Ennis in Co. Clare has been named the friendliest place in Ireland
  • The professional bullfighter who loves hurling

Irish Heritage Club

2018 Membership

It's time to renew your membership in the Irish Heritage Club for 2018. All 2017 memberships expire on December 31 although 2017 members remain in good standing with the organization until March 31, 2018. Membership is used to support all IHC activities throughout the year, including the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Irish Festival, and is open to anyone interested in "Things Irish". Dues are $20 (single membership), $30 (family membership), or $100 (business membership), and you can pay by cash, check, or Credit Card. For more information,
 email  or visit .
Seanfhocal - Proverb

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine
Under the shelter of each other, people survive 

John Keane 
Buy any Irish-themed flag from our Seattle partner, C. Anderson & Co., and they will make a donation to the Irish Heritage Club to support our activities.