Irish Seattle News
Dé Céadaoin, 27ú Bealtaine    2015    Wednesday, May 27th
TOMORROW
Thursday, May 28
A PINT FOR SINÉAD
A fundraising auction and raffle is being held from  6 pm - 1 am, tomorrow, Thursday, May 28, at Fad ó Irish Pub , 1st & Columbia, downtown Seattle, with  live Music by The Kennedy Brothers If you have been to Seattle's Fadó Irish Pub at 1st & Columbia in the past 10 years, or the Owl n' Thistle or the Irish Emigrant in the years before that, you have probably met bartender Sinéad Cadden (formerly Sinéad Walsh). From Co. Clare, Sinéad has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and her friends are trying to raise money to help cover her medical expenses and to provide support. Check the event out on Facebook or donate online at gofundme.com.
In This Issue

AMAZON SHOPPING?

The offerings and the prices are exactly the same, but if you shop at
AmazonSmile rather than at Amazon.com, 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.

SHACKLETON PAINTINGS

Irish-born explorer Ernest Shackleton is one of the principal figures of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Artist Austin Dwyer, a Co. Tipperary native who lives in Mukilteo, has available for sale 4 limited edition signed Shackleton prints that have been faithfully reproduced on the highest quality archival paper. See details at AustinDwyer.com.

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
Fiddle
Irish Musicians, Classes & Sessions
Irish Language
Irish Language Classes
Claddagh Ring
Irish Imports
Guinness Pint
Irish Pubs & Restaurants
Shamrock
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!
Litriocht.com
Irish Books written in the Irish Language
LocalBooks.ie
Books in English about small localities in Ireland
Following the referendum, it's all about love in Ireland
Following the referendum, it's all about love in Ireland!
Taking the nitelink bus to the Dublin suburb of Celbridge is a different experience when there's an Uilleann Piper on board
Taking the nitelink bus to the Dublin suburb of Celbridge is a different experience when there's an Uilleann Piper on board.
The Sheep's Head Peninsula in Co. Cork
The Sheep's Head Peninsula in Co. Cork
Irish Kids Talk About 'Ireland's Weather'
Irish Kids Talk About 'Ireland's Weather'
US Citizenship Meeting
This Saturday  
Green Card  
FROM GREEN CARD TO CITIZENSHIP

This coming Saturday, May 30, at 1 pm at F X McRory's, 419 Occidental Ave S, there will be a free informational US Citizenship Meeting for those members and friends of the Irish community who want to find out what's involved in becoming a US citizen. If you have held a Green card for several years, or you know someone who does, you and/or they should plan to attend. In some cases you can apply for US citizenship after you have been here just 3 years. There are many good reasons why you should not wait any longer than necessary to apply. This meeting is intended to answer questions, outline the application process, explain how to apply, what documents are required, what's involved in taking the "test", the ramifications of dual Irish-US-citizenship, etc. Christine Trigg with Immigrant Legal Services at St. James Cathedral will lead the program with assistance from immigration attorney Tahmina Watson and a representative from USCIS. Call 425-290-7839 or email citizenship@irishclub.org for more details. This event is organized by Seattle Irish Immigrant Support.


Luby & Thomson, Certified Public Accountants
providing a full spectrum of tax and accounting services
Irish Seattle News & Events

 

HERITAGE CLUB AGM - The Irish Heritage Club's Annual General Meeting and Election of Officers will be on Sunday, June 7 at 6 pm at Assumption Church Hall, 6201 33rd Ave NE (north of University Village), Seattle. Pizza will be available at 6 pm and the meeting starts at 6:30 pm. All members and prospective members are invited to attend. For information, to volunteer, etc., email DavidJ@irishclub.org or call 206-412-2960.

 

CHAMPIONS' BREAKFAST - Friday, June 12, 7:30 am - 9:00 am, Matt Talbot Center, 2313 3rd Ave, Seattle, join former UW and NFL star Damon Huard, UW Quarterback Jeff Lindquist, and some Seattle Seahawks' 2015 rookies, at the Matt Talbot Center for our Annual Downtown Business Breakfast! Hear messages from businesspersons and local athletes on being successful on and off the field, and how you can support the Matt Talbot Center's programs to provide healing, hope and restoration in our community. 

 

2015 GAELIC GAMES - On Saturday June 13, 10 am - 6 pm at Seattle's Magnuson Park, join the Seattle Gaels for the largest Irish sports tournament in the Pacific Northwest, the 8th Annual Seattle Gaelic Games featuring games of Men's & Women's Gaelic Football, Camogie, and Hurling. Participating teams will be participating from Alberta and Vancouver, Canada; Portland and Corvallis, Oregon; Missoula, Montana; and Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Game schedules and times will be posted at seattlegaels.com. The After Party will be at Murphy's Pub in Wallingford. No admission fee at any of the day's events.

 

BLOOMSDAY 1 - Kirkland holds its 4th annual Ulysses celebration on Saturday, June 13, 11:30 am - 4:30 pm at Parkplace Books, 348 Parkplace Center, just off Central Way in downtown Kirkland. Bloomsday refers to June 16, 1904 as lived by Leopold Bloom, the main character in the Joyce novel, Ulysses, a book that many believe to be one of the greatest ever works of fiction. UW Professor Gary Handwerk will offer a short lecture entitled "Beyond Ulysses: Where to Go Next with Joyce." There will also be Celtic music, Irish tea and a soda bread contest, readings from Ulysses, a presentation on Irish genealogy, readings of works by WB Yeats and other Irish poets, and a special screening of the 1967 film Ulysses. Visit facebook.com for details.

 

CRUISE LUNCH - Join us on Monday, June 15, for the Catholic Seafarer Center's Annual Cruise Ship Luncheon. See all the details at catholicseafarercenter.org. Enjoy a 4-course meal with wine aboard Holland America Line's ms Statendam with the opportunity to tour the cruise ship after lunch. $50 pp, and tickets must be purchased by June 5. Parking and boarding at Pier 91 Smith Cove Cruise Terminal.

 

IRISH BASEBALL - Irish Night at the Seattle Mariners is Wednesday, June 17, 7:10 pm, for the game vs. the World Series Champs, the San Francisco Giants. The reduced price tickets include a free Irish Night Mariners Cap (see design at left) while supplies last, Irish entertainment in center field before the game by the Tara Academy Irish Dancers and the Seattle Police Pipes and Drums, and Seattle's Irish Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole throwing out the First Pitch. For tickets and more details, visit mariners.com/Irish.

 

IRISH SENIORS' LUNCHEON - The next Irish Seniors' Luncheon is Saturday, June 20, at 12 Noon at the Wilde Rover, 111 Central Way, in downtown Kirkland. Please join us on June 20, and feel free to also invite other Senior guests to attend with you. The cost of the buffet lunch is $10 per person and reservations are requested. The Wilde Rover is 1 mile west of I-405 and 2 1/2 miles north of Hwy 520, and a public parking lot at the rear of the building has FREE parking on Saturdays for up to 3 hours. Email lunch@irishclub.org for reservations or call Lorraine at 206-915-1878.

 

BLOOMSDAY 2 - Seattle's Wild Geese Players will celebrate Bloomsday on Saturday June 20 from 2 - 3:30 pm by reading Chapters 2 and 5 of Ulysses at the downtown Seattle Central Library. This is the eighteenth year for the Wild Geese Players to be reading Ulysses, and 2015 sees a staged reading of Chapter 2, "Nestor", and Chapter 5, "The Lotus Eaters". Ulysses takes place on June 16, 1904, the date now known worldwide as Bloomsday. It follows the wanderings of Leopold Bloom, a Jewish everyman, and Stephen Dedalus, a young writer and Joyce's alter ego, as they wander the streets of Dublin. Visit wildgeeseseattle.org for more details.

 

IRISH RACES - In a couple of weeks, you will be emailed a coupon good for two Free Admission Passes and two free Race Programs for Irish Day at Emerald Downs in Auburn on Sunday, June 28. Print and use as many copies of the coupon as needed and feel free to share the coupon with friends. Irish Day features Thoroughbred Racing with Irish Music and Stepdancers, Free Kids Activities (Pony Rides, Inflatable Slide, Face Painters), etc. Free parking - 1st Race 2 PM. For reserved seating/dining reservations, or for more information on Emerald Downs, call 253-288-7711 or visit emeralddowns.com.

 

JULY 19 PICNIC - Seattle's Irish Community Picnic is Noon-6 pm, Sunday, July 19, at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah (exit # 15 off I-90). Games and fun for the entire family, and all are welcome. Free hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided but bring your own drink and a dessert to be shared. Free Park Admission to those who attend the Irish Heritage Club's Annual General Meeting on June 7 (see details above). Email info@irishclub.org for more details.

 

IRISH STORY - Send for Me: The McCleary Story - From Northern Ireland in 1850 to today's western United States is the saga of the author's grandparents, an immigrant couple who began their odyssey in Ballymena in the hill country of Co. Antrim. Into the coal fields of Scotland, then across the sea to Canada, the McClearys' story takes them to the US, to Detroit, Butte, and finally to Washington State. James McCleary was in the wave of workers for the war effort that arrived at the Hanford Site in the 1940s. Plagued by obstacles and hardships, but bolstered by their courage, humor and tenacity, the McClearys came all the way west to start a new life for their family. This memoir is based on interviews and family lore that the author began gathering in 1986. Available at amazon.com and Kindle, or contact the author at suzanneranee@hotmail.com

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Ceol Cascadia's Irish Music Week is July 20 - 25 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia. If you're thinking of registering don't delay while there is still room. 
  • For more information on a yoga-nature-culture Irish Retreat with Seattleite Kat Koch, go to retreattoireland.com or watch YouTube.
  • Celtic Thunder's Emmet Cahill performs in Seattle on August 6
  • Carmel Kelly, the author who spoke at the Irish Festival in Seattle in March, recently launched her new children's book "An Tolg Draíochta - The Magic Sofa" in Dublin
  • Congratulations to Fr. Tom Marti, a Seattle-born Irish Maryknoll priest who celebrates the 50th anniversary of his ordination at an 11am Mass on June 15 at St. Edwards Church in Seattle.
  • Join the Irish language choir which will be singing in October for the Mass in Gaelic. Contact miriamjdoyle@gmail.com

IRISH FLAGS - Buy any Irish-themed flag from our Seattle partner, Seattle Flagmakers, and they will make a donation to the Irish Heritage Club to support our activities.

IRISH REFERENDUMS

Irish voters went to the polls last Friday to vote on two referendums, one to approve same-sex marriage in Ireland, and the other to lower the minimum age of presidential candidates.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE - While Americans are still waiting for the US Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage, last Friday Irish voters approved same-sex marriage by popular vote, becoming the first nation in the world to do so and placing the country at the vanguard of social change. Ireland passed the same-sex marriage referendum by 1,201,607 votes to 734,300, a 62.1% yes to 37.9% no vote, with a total electorate turnout of 60.5%. Even those who had argued against the measure said that the outcome was a resounding endorsement of the constitutional amendment. As the paper ballots were being counted, thousands of people gathered to celebrate in the courtyard of Dublin Castle amid a carnival-like atmosphere.

 

VOTERS - Over 1.9 million turned out to vote in the same-sex marriage referendum, more than in any other referendum since the foundation of the State in 1922. That number was partly because of the growth in the size of the electorate but also because of the involvement of young people. Tens of thousands of young people registered, campaigned and voted - many for the first time. Irish citizens outside Ireland cannot cast an absentee ballot in an election or referendum, but thousands of expats traveled home to Ireland to vote.

 

YOUNG ENTHUSIASM - The enthusiasm of the young was infectious and undoubtedly convinced many older, skeptical Irish voters to vote Yes. Young voters traveled from all over Europe with many groups getting the train from London to Holyhead and then via the ferry to Dun Laoghaire. Determined not to be excluded, others traveled at great expense of time, effort and finances, flying to Ireland to vote from every continent, from Sydney, Kenya, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok and even Seattle. Twitter's #hometovote provides a visualization of how the Irish living abroad were paying attention, while on Friday alone there were over 400,000 tweets about the referendum using #MarRef.

 

2nd WEDDING - Irish Senator Katherine Zappone, a Seattle native who has been living in Ireland since 1983, during a live TV interview proposed to Ann Louise Gilligan who accepted the proposal. They are already married, but Zappone said she wants to be married in this "new Ireland". The couple, who have been together since 1981, married in Canada in 2003 and went on to fight a series of unsuccessful legal battles in the Irish courts to have their union officially recognized in Ireland.

 

COMING OUT - Before the referendum campaign got underway, Ireland's minister for health, Leo Varadkar, who is widely seen as a possible future Taoiseach (PM), announced that he was gay. The only negative reactions were good-humored expressions of disappointment from female admirers, while some men joked on social media that their mothers were urging them to marry the minister.

 

SOME STATS

* Out of 43 constituencies, only one constituency recorded a narrow "no" majority.

* Of the 226 Oireachtas members (members of the Dáil and Seanad Éireann, the Irish Parliament) who publicly declared their voting intentions, 188 declared their support for the referendum while only six members publicly opposed it.

* Most people were proud of the tone of the debate, which greatly contrasted with the rancor that has typified similar processes elsewhere.

* The overwhelming sentiment heard after the referendum passed was "It's a great day to be Irish."

 

NEW TOURISM VIDEO - ABC News highlight's Tourism Ireland's new promotional video and notes that "one day after an overwhelming majority voted yes to gay marriage in a historic referendum in Ireland, a new campaign from Tourism Ireland is already targeting the LGBT community by endorsing the country as a prime place to tie the knot. The video, titled 'Ireland Says I Do', promotes the most beautiful destinations for Irish weddings as well as LGBT events like The Outing, the world's first ever same-sex matchmaking festival."

 

WORLDWIDE INTEREST - There was media coverage of the vote all over the world. The Washington Post wrote that Irish expats are crossing borders and seas to get #hometovote in historic same-sex marriage referendum. Politico called the vote "a defining statement of a mature society". The Washington Times interviewed Ben Conroy, spokesperson for the Iona Institute which opposed the referendum. A close aide to Pope Francis denounced the vote, calling it a "defeat for humanity." However, a column by a Catholic priest in USA Today is entitled: Ireland is for gay marriage because it is Catholic, and a similar column in Time magazine said that Many who voted 'yes' on gay marriage did so because of their (Catholic) faith-not in spite of it.

 

AGE REFERENDUM - The other referendum before Irish voters last Friday, to reduce the minimum age of Irish presidential candidates, was rejected with 73.1% voting No and 26.9% voting Yes, and with all constituencies rejecting the proposal. Voters were deciding on a proposal to reduce the minimum age to 21 years, and the rejection means that the age of eligibility to serve as Irish President remains at 35.

ROYAL VISITORS

Accompanied by his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, Britain's Prince Charles made a four-day visit to the island of Ireland last week, spending two days in the Irish Republic and two days in Northern Ireland.

SLIGO & GALWAY - In Sligo, Charles visited WB Yeats's grave and Mullaghmore where his great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed in 1979. He afterwards visited Galway University, Galway's Marine Institute and the Burren area of County Clare. In a speech in Sligo, Charles asserted that he understood Ireland's "agonies" all too well."Those directly affected do not easily forget the pain. Recent years have shown us, though, that healing is possible even when the heartache continues." He also spoke of "the extraordinary kindness, the welcome, the enthusiasm and indeed the fun of being in Ireland." In Belfast, he visited St Patrick's Catholic Church which has witnessed some of the worst of the Troubles, and more recently has seen loyalist bandsmen accused of acting in a sectarian fashion when passing the church.

 

HISTORIC HANDSHAKE - Before he visited Galway, Prince Charles visited the Sligo harbor of Mullaghmore where his great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten died in an IRA bombing in 1979. Among those he shook hands with in Galway was Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, long suspected of being an IRA commander when Mountbatten was killed, although Adams has always denied it. Adams and his Sinn Féin colleague Martin McGuinness also had a 15-minute private meeting with Prince Charles. The New York Times called the handshake "a small gesture, but one with historic resonance, and it was not easy to say which man had reached farther to make it."

 

ATLANTIC ISLANDS - When speaking in Sligo, Prince Charles referred to "all of us who inhabit these Atlantic islands". Many commentators noted his use of the words "Atlantic islands" as opposed to using the controversial term 'British Isles', a name that to many Irish people is seen as implying British ownership of Ireland. The term "British Isles" is not used by the Irish government and even the UK government more often uses the term "these islands" to refer to the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. 

Other news from Ireland

 

AER LINGUS SALE - The Irish government has agreed to sell its 25% stake in Irish airline Aer Lingus to British Airways owner IAG which promises to keep Aer Lingus as a separate brand, to reserve its valuable landing slots at London's Heathrow Airport for Aer Lingus use, and several other conditions. One of the remaining hurdles for IAG before the sale can be finalized includes persuading Irish airline Ryanair, which owns 30% of Aer Lingus, to accept the price. Ireland's business and tourism chiefs believe the sale would be an economic boon for Ireland which is highly dependent on air links to its two main trading partners, Britain and the US. IAG would be adding Aer Lingus as a fourth brand to its existing three airlines (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling).

 

IRISH UNEMPLOYMENT - Data from Ireland's Central Statistics Office show that the Irish unemployment rate dropped to 9.9% in the first quarter of 2015, the first time that the rate fell below 10% since the 2007-2008 crash and the eleventh quarter in succession where the Irish unemployment rate has declined. The total number of unemployed people in Ireland is 212,800.

 

IRISH EXPORTS - The value of Ireland's export trade jump to over $9.83 billion in March - its highest level in 13 years, led by a spike in pharmaceutical exports which are the bedrock of Ireland's export trade, accounting for nearly 60% of goods exports. The last time the value of exports was higher was in May 2002, when it reached $9.84 billion. Chemicals and related products account for roughly three-fifths of Irish merchandise exports.

 

DUBLIN JOBS - Seattle technology company Tableau Software is expanding its European operations in Dublin and is hiring to increase its current Dublin staff of 33 people. The jobs include technical support, engineering support managers and technical account managers. Tableau, which pioneered the concept of visual analytics in 2003, helps people to quickly visualize and understand data and to share information.

 

GROWING ECONOMY - The European Commission says Ireland's economy grew by 4.8% last year, and will grow by around 3.5% this year and next as the Irish economy re-emerges as one of Europe's "top performers". Announcing its Spring Economic Forecast today, the Commission said that exports and private sector investment were continuing to drive growth.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE - The Irish government believes London could be breaching the terms of the Belfast Agreement if British PM David Cameron carries through on plans to scrap the UK's Human Rights Act. The Act protects fifteen fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to life, privacy and free speech, which must be upheld by all public bodies, and British courts and tribunals must interpret legislation in a way that is compatible with the rights enshrined in the convention. The 1998 Belfast Agreement expressly committed London to incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights into Northern Ireland law, providing direct access to the courts and allowing judges to overrule Northern Assembly legislation on grounds of inconsistency with human rights law.

 

TOP COMPANIES - Microsoft, which employs about 2,000 people in Dublin, has become Ireland's top performing company for the first time, knocking Irish construction materials company CRH into second place. That's according to the Irish Times Top 1000 Guide to Irish Business. Others in the top ten largest companies include Google, DCC, Ingersoll Rand, Actavis, Dell, Oracle, and Irish-headquartered companies Medtronic and Smurfit Kappa. 54% of the Top 1000 companies in Ireland are Irish headquartered companies that account for 68% of the top 1000's jobs, while US companies account for 14.5% of those jobs and UK companies 11%.

 

ORIGIN GREEN - The Summer issue of World Wildlife Magazine says, "In 2012, Ireland became the first country to commit to third-party-verified, 100% sustainable food exports by 2016. This groundbreaking national commitment offers a new model of forward-thinking agriculture-the kind of ambitious, sustainable approach WWF is crafting in coordination with communities, companies and countries around the world. The effort is called Origin Green and has been embraced by nearly 400 food companies. It has the potential to become a roadmap for the sustainable production of food worldwide."

 

EBOLA TEAM - A team of Irish Defense Force medics returned last week from Sierra Leone where they had worked with British, Cuban and Sierra Leonean medics as part of the international response to stem the spread of Ebola. The team was based for the past four months in Kerry Town on the east coast of Serra Leone from where they were also dispatched to response centers in more remote regions to look after village quarantines.

 

TIPPERARY PEACE AWARD - Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, was awarded the 2015 Tipperary International Peace Award for his role in tackling climate change, global conflicts and natural disasters. The prize was presented on Sunday at a ceremony in Tipperary and Ban said in his speech that the Irish referendum sent a message to the world, adding "This is a truly historic moment." Previous recipients of the Tipperary Peace Award include former South African president Nelson Mandela, Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof, former US president Bill Clinton, former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, and Pakistani Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai.

 

SCIENCE & MATH - Ireland has ranked 15th highest out of 76 countries for mathematics and science test scores in a new report published by the OECD, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). PISA is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. In the latest PISA tests, only 15% of 15-year-old Irish students were deemed not to have reached basic skill levels in math and science compared to 19.6% of UK 15-year-olds and 23.5% of US 15-year-olds.

 

NOTRE DAME & KYLEMORE - Notre Dame University in Indiana is creating a spiritual center with the Benedictine community at Kylemore Abbey in Co Galway. About 40 students from Notre Dame will annually attend summer classes at Kylemore every July and August starting in 2016. The program will complement Notre Dame's Dublin campus, where 2,500 students have passed through the university's Irish studies program since 1998. In 2009, the Benedictine nuns at Kylemore closed the boarding school they had run there since the early 1920s after leaving their abbey in Ypres, Belgium, in 1914 during WW-1.

 

WOMEN'S RUGBY - Dublin and Belfast will host the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 after World Rugby awarded the hosting rights for the prestigious tournament to the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU). Ireland won the Women's Six Nations Grand Slam in 2013 and again claimed the Six Nations title this year. There are now more than 1.7 million women and girls playing women's rugby around the world.

 

TRADE MARK - The Irish Times is suing the London Times Newspaper over the alleged intended use by the UK publisher of the title 'The Times Ireland' for a new online news publication. The Irish Times claims the use of the title for a digital paper, which it claims is due to start publishing "imminently", amounts to a breach of the Irish Times trade mark and infringes its copyright.

 

SAILING RECORD - A new round-Ireland record by sail has been set by an Omani trimaran that is the flagship of the Sultanate of Oman. The circumnavigation of Ireland, a distance of about 681 miles, took 40 hours 51 minutes and 57 seconds, reaching reported speeds of 38 knots off the west coast. The time, which is subject to verification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, is almost four hours under the record set by the late US businessman Steve Fossett in 1993. 

 

NORTHERN AFFILIATIONS - December 2012 census results showed that for the first time the Protestant population (or people growing up with a Protestant background) in Northern Ireland had fallen below 50%. Today the Protestant population is about 48% and the Catholic population (or people growing up with a Catholic background) is about 45%. However, of those, 38% regard themselves as British, 25% as Irish and 20% as Northern Irish.

 

LEGLESS-IN-DUBLIN - The website blog LeglessinDublin.com started as an access review blog for wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility, but has become a guide to navigating Dublin (and other places) whether you use a wheelchair or not. The site reviews bars, clubs, restaurants, music festivals, cafes and whatever else in terms of access but it also reviews the food, the music, the 'craic' and the atmosphere.

 

ST. PATRICK JEWELS - Ceremonial jewels worn by the Viceroy of Ireland 120 years ago are being sold this week at an auction in London. The insignia of the "Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick" were worn by Lord Houghton while serving as Queen Victoria's lord lieutenant of Ireland in Dublin during the 1890s. The Order of St. Patrick was the British monarchy's order of chivalry - a branch of the honors system - used to reward those in high office in Ireland. The Order of St. Patrick became dormant in 1922 following Ireland's independence but still exists even though the last Knight of St. Patrick died in 1974.

 

SOCCER "FRIENDLY" - UK police plan to prevent hundreds of English soccer hoodlums from attending next month's international soccer friendly against Ireland in Dublin. The game on June 7 is the English team's first visit to Dublin since the infamous 1995 clash which was abandoned following rioting by English supporters after Ireland went ahead 1-0. This move by the Police follows a "significant amount" of disorderly behavior at England's last four away games.

 

ARDUOUS SWIM - On June 1, two Irishmen will begin a 360 Swim around Ireland, a 932 mile swim which has never before been completed. Their swim is expected to take between 90 and 120 days, with the duo set to be backed by a land-based and water-based support team. They have already cycled 4660 miles from Istanbul to Kathmandu, run 620 miles in 26 days across the Tibetan Plateau, and kayaked the Yangtze, the world's third longest river, all the way to Shanghai.

 

JUST DESSERTS? - When a Dublin burglar recently pleaded guilty to three burglaries at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, he found he had ended up in court before a judge whose home he had burglarized. Once the judge found out, he referred the case to a different judge for sentencing.

 

MOTHERS' AGES - Irish first-time mothers are among the oldest mothers in Europe and the age of first time mothers in Ireland has continued to rise over the past decade. The average age for an Irish woman to have her first child is 29, while the majority of Irish women who gave birth to their first child in 2013 were in their 30s. Ireland has one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates in the EU, with 4.7% of first-time mothers aged under 20 in 2013 compared to a European average of 5.4%.

 

DRUG TESTING - A Gaelic football player from Co. Monaghan is believed to have recently tested positive for a steroid and is currently under investigation. This would be just the second positive test in 14 years since the GAA began drug-testing the all-amateur senior inter-county Gaelic Football and Hurling players in 2001. In 2014, 89 drug tests were administered - 44 in competition and 45 out of competition. The only previous adverse finding was when a player tested positive for Salbutamol, a banned substance which is commonly found in inhalers. As the player in questions was a lifelong asthma sufferer, he was subsequently granted a therapeutic use exemption and did not face any sanction.

 

REASONABLE STANDARD - The American Ireland Fund, the Irish-American philanthropic organization, honored Senator George Mitchell at its 40th anniversary gala dinner in New York recently, paying tribute to his contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland. In his speech, Mitchell said, "Will you point out to me what society in the world, particularly democracies, functions without dispute, without disagreement and without some degree of violence? Don't hold Northern Ireland to a standard that no other society has ever or will ever meet."

 

GERMAN RUNAWAYS - A major police alert was recently sparked in Germany after two children, aged eight and six, went missing near Nuremberg only to be found trying to hitchhike to Ireland. The adventurous pair had packed themselves a backpack with essentials for their trip - food, a torch, an alarm clock and a book. The children told their parents that they went to the motorway in the hopes of finding a truck bound for Ireland.

 

ARCHEOLOGICAL 3D MODELS - The Discovery Program is an Irish public institution set up to pursue advanced research in Irish archaeology and its goal includes introducing new technologies and new techniques into the operation of Irish archaeology. The Discovery Program's Centre for Advanced Irish Archaeological Research is using online 3D models of ancient Irish monuments to permit the viewer to examine the sites from all angles. Visit discoveryprogramme for more information.

 

NEWGRANGE MODEL - The base of the 5,000- year-old Neolithic monument at Newgrange, Co Meath, is to be X-rayed by a researcher in a bid to determine the origin of its granite boulders. To examine an online 3D model of Newgrange and look all around the inside passageway and chamber, visit sketchfab.com.

 

ARGENTINIAN PATRIOT - The man who raised both Irish flags over the General Post Office at Easter 1916 was Eamon Bulfin, a native of Argentina who was born in Buenos Aires in 1892 and returned to Ireland with his family at the age of 16. He attended Padraig Pearse's school, St Enda's, and UCD, where he joined the Irish Volunteers and captained the 1915 Fitzgibbon Cup-winning hurling team. Bulfin hoisted the Irish Tricolour of green, white and orange at one corner and a green flag with the inscription "Irish Republic" at the other corner. After the Rising, Bulfin was sentenced to death, but - like Eamon de Valera - his foreign passport saved him.

 

MEAGHER BRIDGE - The new N25 bridge being built over the River Suir in Waterford is being named in honor of Thomas Francis Meagher, the man credited with first bringing the green, white and orange tricolor to Ireland in 1848. After Meagher was accused of high treason for his part in the 1848 Young Ireland Rebellion, he was sentenced to death which was commuted to transportation for life to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in Australia. After escaping from Australia, he served in the US Civil War as a brigadier general in the Irish Brigade, became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln and after the war was appointed Acting governor of Montana. In 1867, Meagher drowned in the Missouri River and since 1905 a statue of him on horseback with sword raised stands on the front lawn of the Montana Capitol grounds in Helena.

 

FAMINE POPULATION - An article in the May-June issue of History Ireland magazine claims that census figures from 1841 and 1871 prove that the population of Ireland in 1841 was 9,018,799 which by 1871 had dropped to 5,412,377, a net loss in population of over 3.7 million. That's a loss in the space of just 30 years of two of every five people in an area about half the size of the state of Washington. The drop in population is attributed to deaths during the Irish Famine from 1845-1852, emigration, a declining marriage rate and a declining birth rate. Today's population of the island of Ireland is about 6.4 million.

 

MANSION HOUSE - Dublin's Mansion House this year celebrates its 300th anniversary as the official residence of Dublin's Lord Mayor. Built between 1705-1710, it is older than London's Mansion House and is the oldest free-standing house in Dublin. It was purchased for £3,500 by the corporation in 1715 to be the lord mayor's residence. The purchase agreement included an annual rent of 40 shillings and each Christmas the provision of two fat capons and a loaf of double-refined sugar weighing six pounds. In return, it was agreed to build on an extra room to the house, which could be used for civic receptions - the famous Oak Room. The Round Room at the back was built in 1821 to receive King George IV. In January 1919, the first Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) met in the same room. Famous visitors over the 300 years include Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco, Pope John Paul II & Queen Victoria.

 

EARLY DIET - Despite an "extraordinarily high" number of cattle in Ireland from earliest times and an abundance of fish in the waters, research shows that Irish people ate very little beef or fish but lived primarily on dairy and cereal products. According to the Journal of Irish Archaeology, Irish people ate "tons of butter, cheese, curds and whey and when it came to cereal products they ate an awful lot of bread and porridge".

 

NOWHERE'S CHILD - An Irish woman living an ordinary suburban life in Dublin was 64 years old when she discovered that she was raised in Germany as part of Lebensborn, a secret SS project designed to create a so-called Aryan race of blond-haired, blue-eyed children who would be the future leaders of the Third Reich. Born in Norway, she was kept for the first year of her life with other children chosen for Himmler's scheme, but when the war ended in 1945, she was adopted and grew up in Sweden and eventually found a home in Ireland. She has now written Nowhere's Child about her life.

 

PRICE OF PINTS - In 1922 the price of a pint of Guinness in Ireland was the equivalent of around $2.10 (valued in today's money). Fifteen years later in 1937, the price was around $3.75; in 1945 around $2.61; in 1999 was around $4.27; in 2002 was around $4.36; and today the average price of a pint is around $4.70.

 

WALK MULLAGHMEEN- The Irish Times found the woods at Mullaghmeen "a delight to walk through. These are graceful trees whose branches also reach upwards, turning the paths into stately avenues." An Mullach Min (The Smooth Hill) is, at 846ft, the highest point in Co Westmeath. This makes it the lowest county top in Ireland, but its slopes are home to the largest beech plantation in Europe.

 

MUNSTERS' ABSOLUTION - A memorial has been unveiled in France marking the exact location which inspired the famous painting The Last General Absolution of the Munsters at Rue du Bois. Before going into battle in May 1915 during WW-I, Irish chaplain Fr.Francis Gleeson gave the Munsters a last general absolution at what was then the remains of a church that had been destroyed by shelling. Next day's Battle of Aubers Ridge cost the British Army 11,000 casualties without any breakthrough. An account of the general absolution was converted into a painting by a war artist

 

ATLANTIC WAY - The longest defined coastal touring route in the world, the Wild Atlantic Way is a 1,553 mile long driving route along the west coast of Ireland that passes through nine counties and three provinces, stretching from Malin Head, Ireland's most northerly point at the top of Co. Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula, to Kinsale, Co. Cork in the southeast. For more information, visit ireland.com.
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. 3 furnished bedrooms, sleeps six. Available in May and June 2015 for $425 per week (plus an additional 10% reduction for IHC members). See photos and more details at montcrehan.club, or contact Mike or Sheila at Tansymc@aol.com.
Tid-Bits
  • In the recent UK General Election in Northern Ireland, the unionists gained a seat from Sinn Féin leaving the overall result, 11 unionist MPs and 7 nationalist
  • Former Maryland Governor and longshot US presidential candidate, Martin O'Malley, was in Dublin this past weekend. A talented musician and fan of Irish music, the former governor has his own Irish rock band, O'Malley's March
  • The World Happiness Report 2015 has Ireland in 18th place out of the 158 countries surveyed, with the US in 15th place and the UK 21st
  • Including revenue from all activities - ranging from hard-core adventurers to mountain-climbing to families on bikes - the adventure travel sector in Ireland is valued at $930 million annually
  • At $9.45 per hour, Ireland has the fourth highest minimum wage of all of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries
  • A professor of economics at Trinity College Dublin maintains that living standards in Ireland "are still well above those in Britain and most other EU countries
  • The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin features in a CNN list of the world's top ten most legendary luxury hotels
  • Plans by a number of companies to erect more than 150 wind turbines in north Co. Mayo have hit a roadblock with plans for an initial 48-turbine wind farm being refused planning permission
  • 40 of the 262 civilians killed during the 1916 Easter Rising were children
  • Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Dublin's first working whiskey distillery since 1976, is also the first whiskey distillery to open in Dublin in over 125 years
  • The Deadman's Inn, in Palmerstown, a Dublin suburb, is so named because of its proximity to the old tramline in the days of the steam trams when fatal accidents involving pedestrians were common
  • Ireland in Pictures - a selection of photos from around Ireland
  • The NY Times writes of the passing of an Irish father
  • A Travel blogger says "We're back from our six days in Ireland & I seriously could not be more in love with the Emerald Isle
  • Founded in 1875, The Southern Cross, an Irish newspaper published in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the oldest continuously-published Irish newspaper in the world outside Ireland
  • By coincidence, the recent Israeli general election was held on St Patrick's Day, with Israel's opposition Labour Party being led by Isaac Herzog who was born in Belfast. Isaac is the son of Chaim Herzog, the former Israeli president who was also born in Belfast
  • The group that includes Waterford Wedgwood is being purchased by Fiskars which claims to be the oldest company in Finland, established in 1649
  • Lonely Planet was founded by Belfast woman Maureen Wheeler and husband Tony and sold to the BBC in 2011
  • When Barbara Streisand recently told the Irish Ambassador about her love of Irish soda bread, Ambassador Anne Anderson the next day brought Streisand a gift of a soda bread loaf she had baked herself

Irish Heritage Club Membership

We invite you to renew your membership in the Irish Heritage Club for 2015. Membership is used to support all IHC activities throughout the year, 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  Membership@irishclub.org  or visit  www.irishclub.org .

Seanfhocal - Proverb

 

Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí
 
Praise the young and they will thrive 

 

John Keane