Irish Seattle News
Sathairn, 28 Eanáir     2017    Saturday, January 28
In This Issue
Sr. Meg O'Farrell, 91, a native of Dublin, died in Seattle January 17. Funeral Mass this Monday 
Robin Horrell, 72, a native of Dublin, died in Redmond January 12
Marcus Murphy, 65, a native of Dublin, died in Bellevue January 10
Michael Duffy , brother of Seattle's Sr. Mary Duffy, died January 4 in Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon
George O'Malley, 96, brother of Martin O'Malley and Una Majeska who both live in Edmonds, died in Co. Mayo December 5
Larry Peterson, the father of Vanessa Peterson of the Seattle Gaels, died suddenly in Virginia  November 28 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha dílse

May their faithful souls rest at God's right hand
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Irish Seattle
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The Celtic Connection
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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

Vee Pass & Knockmealdown Mountains, Co. Tipperary
Vee Pass & Knockmealdown Mountains, Co. Tipperary

International Dance Day in Co. Leitrim
International Dance Day in Co. Leitrim

An Irish 800 mile 4-day Roadtrip
An Irish 800 mile 4-day Roadtrip

7 days in Ireland
7 days in Ireland

You don't just arrive in Ireland
You don't just arrive in Ireland

Drone's view of West Clare
Drone's view of West Clare

Views of some of Ireland's national treasures
Views of some of Ireland's national treasures

Dancing at Galway's Trad on the Prom
Dancing at Galway's Trad on the Prom

Ring of Kerry
Ring of Kerry

BYU Vocal Point's Danny Boy
BYU Vocal Point's Danny Boy

2016 Easter Rising Tribute from Japan
2016 Easter Rising Tribute from Japan

1934 travelogue about Ireland
1934 travelogue about Ireland

Donegal's Grianán of Aileach
Donegal's Grianán of Aileach

Donegal Sea Stack Climbing
Donegal Sea Stack Climbing

"Green Fields of France", Finbar Furey & Aslan's Christy Digna

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Seattle News  

PRESS GANG - The traditional Irish quartet The Press Gang in concert on February 7 at 7:30 pm at the Mother Aerie Eagle's Hall, 8201 Lake City Way NE, Seattle.  The Press Gang fuses the talents of squeezebox player Christian "Junior" Stevens, fiddler Alden Robinson, flute-player and vocalist Hanz Araki, and guitarist Owen Marshall into a high-octane musical partnership. The quartet blends their skill and fluency in traditional Irish music with their curiosity and aptitude for other styles.  

GAVIN CONCERTS - Frankie Gavin is synonymous with DeDannan, the globally renowned band he founded in the mid-1970s and Frankie will be in Concert February 18, 7:30 pm in Seattle at the
Phinney Center Concert Hall, 6532 Phinney Ave N. There are also shows in Portland 2/17 -; Olympia 2/19 - 360-705-2819; Vashon Island 2/21 -; Bellingham 2/22 -; and Port Townsend 2/23 - 360-379-3136. There is no more exciting fiddle or flute player in the world of Irish music today, and the Guinness Book of Records lists Frankie as the world's fastest fiddle player, clocking him at 150 beats per minute.
GAAGO - When signing up to watch live Gaelic Football and Hurling games from Ireland at GAAGO, please make sure to use the Seattle Gaels GAAGO club code  096CS17 when signing up. That way the Gaels will get credit. For the $149 fee you can watch a package of 125 GAA games live (or watch them later) on your own computer.
U2 CONCERT - Irish rock group U2 will play Century Link Field in Seattle on Sunday, May 14, touring 'The Joshua Tree' album in celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the band's seminal album. Each show on the tour will include a performance of The Joshua Tree in its entirety, the album which in 1987 catapulted U2 into super-stardom and which went on to sell 25 million copies.
JOE HEANEY FILM - The life story of legendary seannós singer Joe Heaney is being brought to the screen in THE SONG IN GRANITE, an exploration of the man and his music. With an approach that marries traditional narrative episodes with documentary footage, the film celebrates the music that Joe Heaney created while also painting an unflinching portrait of Heaney, the man. Shot in black-and-white, several Irish actors are portraying Heaney at various ages starting in his native Connemara on the west coast of Ireland. The first non-American to be awarded funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, Heaney wrote more than 500 songs before his death in Seattle in 1984 at the age of 64. At the time he was attached to the Musicology Department at the University of Washington.
HUGH DUFFY, SJ - Best wishes to Fr. Hugh Duffy, the Jesuit priest and Gaelic scholar from Dublin who was a Professor at Seattle University for many years until his return to Ireland three years ago. He had successful aortic valve replacement heart surgery in Dublin just before Christmas and appears to be recovering nicely. If you'd like to drop a note of encouragement, write him at:  Fr. Hugh Duffy, S.J., Jesuit House of Writers, 35-36 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
AVIATION & IRELAND - Washington State's economy is very much tied to the Irish economy. 3 planes each month being built in Boeing's Renton plant have been purchased by Irish airline Ryanair. And that's through 2023, maintaining at least 10,000 jobs in the state for the next six years! Nine of the world's top 10 airplane leasing companies are headquartered in Ireland. According to the Irish Times , the Aviation sector contributes more than €4 billion to Irish economy.
BOEING ORDER - GE Capital Aviation Services ( GECAS ), an Irish-American commercial aircraft financing and leasing company has placed an order for 75 MAX 8s, valued at about $3.8 billion, boosting Boeing's net order tally for 2016 to more than 600 airplanes. GECAS is the largest commercial airline leasing/financing company in the world. The company was based in Ireland and originally staffed by former Guinness Peat Aviation employees, but now has three global headquarters, located in  Shannon, Co. Clare, Singapore, and Norwalk, Connecticut.
MINISTERIAL VISIT - Dara Murphy TD, the Irish government Minister of State for European Affairs, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection , visited Seattle in late January for meetings with IT companies in the Seattle area. While here the minister was hosted by Irish Network Seattle at a wine and cheese Reception, and participated in a Panel Discussion and audience Q&A on the theme "Brexit, Data Control and the EU: European Business in the new, Old World." See photos and a video at
FOSP ENTERTAINMENT - Renowned violinist and producer Geoffrey Castle has been producing his "St. Patrick's Celebration" for the past 12 years and his Celtic Christmas Celebrations for the past 9 years. He and his band will be performing for the Friends of St. Patrick at their Annual Banquet which this year is on Sunday, March 12 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Capitol Hill. Special guests at the Banquet include Galway Mayor Noel Larkin, and Pulitzer-prize winning author Tim Egan. More details at
SEATTLE-IRELAND FLIGHTS - Flights from Seattle to Dublin for $390 R/T are listed as being available in September and October of this year. The drawback is that you mustn't mind extra stops or date restrictions. But if you want to visit Ireland, have plenty of time but not that much money, it may be worthwhile checking out.
*  The Irish Book Club will discuss The Thing About December by Donal Ryan at their meeting on Tuesday, March 7 - email
*  Emmet Cahill, award-winning Irish tenor with Celtic Thunder, performs Saturday, February 25 at 7 pm at Town Hall Seattle
*  Best wishes to local Irish politician, Snohomish County Councilman Brian Sullivan, who has announced he is running for Mayor of Everett
*  Sunday, June 25, is this year's Irish Day Stakes at Emerald Downs
*  Sunday, July 16, Irish Community Picnic at Lake Sammamish State Park
*  Tuesday, July 25, is this year's Irish Night at the Seattle Mariners, vs. the Red Sox 
Irish Week 2017
** Saturday, February 25
Irish Soda Bread Cooking Class
** Saturday, March 4
Irish Soda Bread Contest
** Friday, March 10
Mayor of Galway's Sister City Association Breakfast
St. Patrick meets The Pirates of the Emerald Isle
Green Stripe Laying on 4th Ave
** Saturday, March 11
Irish Flag-Raising
Irish Network Seattle Party
** Sunday, March 12
** Friday, March 17
St. Patrick's Day Mass for Peace
** Saturday, March 25
**  Sunday, March 26
Seattle Gaels Field Day

See all the details on any of the above events at:

The Emerald City's Top St. Paddy's Day Celebration as determined by 

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.

Northern Ireland
NI ELECTION - The NY Times  reports that voters in Northern Ireland will go to the polls on March 2 in a snap election "that was forced by the main Catholic party, Sinn Féin, after the collapse of a regional government in which Catholics and Protestants shared power." The article comments that the election will be held in the shadow of uncertainty over Britain's planned withdrawal from the European Union, a move that is broadly unpopular in Northern Ireland. "Though a majority of Britons voted in a June referendum for "Brexit," as the withdrawal is known, the vote in Northern Ireland was 56 to 44 percent against." The election is expected to go well for Sinn Féin as observers say they have caught a wave of discontent aimed at the DUP party.
"CASH FOR ASH" - The move to new elections came after First Minister Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP, ignored calls for her to step aside while an investigation is carried out into the long-running Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or 'cash for ash' scandal. As part of Northern Ireland's plan to meet renewable energy targets, the RHI aimed to encourage businesses and individuals to switch to more environmentally-friendly heating methods in return for subsidies. However, it ended up that the more heating energy a business used, the higher the subsidy it received and at the time, now First Minister Arlene Foster was the department's minister.
POWER VACUUM - Time magazine  reports that a power vacuum in Northern Ireland just as the UK begins talks on EU withdrawal could have serious consequences. "Northern Ireland is facing its worst political crisis in at least a decade, as a senior minister's shock resignation looks set to dissolve the government, threatening the Good Friday power-sharing agreement that has helped keep peace for almost two decades."
McGUINNESS RETIRES - Martin McGuinness is stepping away from politics and will not run in the upcoming elections in Northern Ireland. The crisis in the Assembly and his current ill-health sped up his planned time frame for retirement. The outgoing Deputy First Minister resigned his position on January 9 over the ongoing 'cash for ash' scandal which has embroiled the DUP leader Arlene Foster. Elections will now be held on March 2.
MARTIN McGUINNESS - McGuinness acknowledges that he was once a member of the IRA and ended up occupying one of the highest offices in Northern Ireland when he became its Deputy First Minister in 2007. Born in 1950 in Derry, McGuinness was second-in-command of the IRA in Derry at the age of 21. He claims that he left the IRA two years later, in 1974. McGuinness played a key role in the Northern Ireland peace process, and was chief negotiator for Sinn Féin in the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement and a new era for the north. " I'm an Irish republican and absolutely dedicated to ending partition and bringing about the unity of the people of the north with the south. "
Other Irish News
BREXIT - UK prime minister Theresa May has promised that the UK government would seek to avoid a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic when Brexit occurs . She said specifically that maintaining the Common Travel Area with Ireland is an important priority for the UK in the talks ahead. It is also very important to the Irish government.
FREE MOVEMENT - A House of Lords committee has called Brexit a huge challenge for Ireland, and appealed for the forthcoming UK-EU negotiations to recognize the special nature of UK-Irish relations. The report recommends power over freedom of movement to EU nationals within Northern Ireland be devolved to Stormont post Brexit. It says that the new treaty should also maintain the Common Travel Area and the right of free movement within the area for UK and Irish citizens.
MORE EXITING - An Irish Central Bank official says that "several" UK-based firms have started the application process to be authorized in Ireland in the wake of UK's Brexit vote. Several have moved into the pre-application or application phase, and this is likely to continue in the coming months as UK firms prepare for the possibility of a loss of passporting rights into the EU. Irish financial services sector could grow "to a significant extent" as a result of the UK exiting the EU and that the Central Bank was "committed to meeting the challenge".
BANK MOVE - Douglas Flint, chairman of the UK-headquartered HSBC bank, said that his financial institution would move its activities from the UK to either Ireland or France if London's exit from the European Union has a negative impact on the bank.
SOLICITORS ROLL - Since 1991, qualified solicitors (attorneys) from England and Wales have been allowed to register in Ireland, and vice versa, after qualifications from both jurisdictions were recognized by the other. 1,347 new solicitors were added to the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland in 2016 mainly because UK-based solicitors want to be able to practice in Ireland after the Brexit vote. Of the 1,347 new solicitors registered in Ireland in 2016, 810 were from England.
IRELAND-UK TIES - More than a fifth (21.8%) of Irish people emigrating from Ireland go to live in the UK, while the UK is responsible for about 41% of all incoming visitors to Ireland. Also, 13,800 immigrants arrived in the Republic from the UK in 2016, or 17% of the 79,300 total that moved to Ireland. As of 2011 there were 112,259 UK nationals living in the Republic of Ireland. Ireland imports about $31 billion worth of goods and services from the UK annually while the UK accounts for $35.3 billion of Irish exports.
TRUMP INAUGURATION - Michael Flatley's Irish dance group, Lord of the Dance, performed at President Trump's Inaugural Ball , even though many acts refused to take part because of the new president's past controversial statements. A close friend of the Clintons, Flatley has also been friendly with Trump in the past and the now president had previously attended the Lord of the Dance show. On inauguration day in Ireland, anti-Trump marches in Dublin drew many thousands with similar marches held in Galway, Belfast, Castlebar and elsewhere. A Donald Trump inauguration celebration in the Pavilion Bar in Trinity College Dublin reportedly drew only five Trump supporters.
FDI INVESTMENT - Dublin has been ranked in third place in a list of the top cities in Europe for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). The bi-annual index, which is published by the Financial Times, looks at the success of individual cities and their government in attracting overseas investment. Galway was ranked first of all micro cities in Business Friendliness and had the highest level of growth in FDI job creation of any Irish or micro city. Belfast was the leading city in the UK for job creation from inward investment, after London.  

SCHOOLING TESTS - Second-level Irish students are performing near the top of the world in reading literacy and significantly above average in science and maths, according to the OECD PISA report 2015. The report compares the performances of 15-year-old students in 72 countries across the globe. In reading, Irish students ranked 3rd out of 35 OECD countries, 2nd among EU countries. In science, Irish students ranked 13th out of 35 OECD countries; In mathematics, Irish students ranked 13th of 35 OECD countries. All three test domains (reading, maths and science) showed some gender differences in results, with girls performing better than boys in reading and boys performing better than girls in mathematics and science.
J1 VISA - In December, Ireland and the US signed an agreement extending the 12-month J1 visa for another three years. The program permits students and recent graduates to spend up to 12 months working in the other country. The bilateral agreement relates only to the 12-month J1 visa and not the four-month program which most Irish students use to spend a summer working in the US and which President Trump could shut down by executive order. The 12-month J1 program is a bilateral arrangement between the Irish and US governments, and would be more difficult to end. In 2015, 1,319 Irish people availed of the 12-month J1 visa, while around 7,000 took part in the four-month program.
NEW COIN - Ireland's Central Bank has issued a €10 collector coin celebrating renowned Irish designer and architect Eileen Gray (1878-1976). The coin is the first ever issued by the Central Bank commemorating the achievements of an Irish woman. Gray was as an Irish furniture designer and architect and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. An armchair of hers, 'Fauteuil aux dragons', sold at auction in 2009 for more than $23 million.
US AMBASSADOR - The Boston Globe profiled Brian Burns, a pal of President Trump's who is widely expected to be nominated as US Ambassador to Ireland. The article notes that Burns is considered well-qualified even by Democrats. "Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts said Burns is a 'smart choice' to tackle Ireland's challenges and strengthen the United States' relationship with the country." The article states that although Burns's nomination and confirmation have not been scheduled, Burns said he hopes to move to Ireland before St. Patrick's Day. "He added he plans to invite Trump to visit Ireland".
ABORTION CHANGE? - The NY Times  reports that an assembly of Irish citizens convened by Parliament is considering changes to one of the most divisive policies in the country: "the near-total ban on abortions, which has been enshrined in Ireland's Constitution since 1983." The article states that the group, a 100-member Citizens' Assembly led by a Supreme Court judge, does not have the power to change the law. "But its mandate from Parliament - to examine the full range of medical, legal and ethical issues surrounding abortion - suggests a willingness to revisit the ban, one of the most stringent in the Western world."
SNAIL POWER - The NY Times  reported that of all President-elect Donald J. Trump's rivals over the past year, the tiny narrow-mouthed whorl snail must be the smallest and "now it appears that the snail has prevailed". The article highlights that Trump's real estate organization had planned to build a long sea wall off the Irish coast to protect its golf course in Co. Clare. "But the wall faced opposition from environmental groups who said they feared that it would threaten the two-millimeter-long whorl snail, or vertigo angustior, which lives in the area, as well as coastal dunes." The sea wall plan has now been scrapped.
TRUMP RESORT - Donald Trump resigned on January 19 as director of the companies that own his golf resort and hotel in Doonbeg, Co Clare. In a  recent interview with The London Times, Trump cited planning difficulties at Doonbeg as an example of EU bureaucracy and said he now "couldn't care less" about the property. He said " ... they were using environmental tricks to stop a project from being built. I found it to be a very unpleasant experience." T he Trump Organization's representatives had used rising seawater caused by climate change as a rationale for building a sea wall, even though Trump has previously referred to climate change as a hoax. 
BIDEN MEDAL - When President Obama presented Vice President Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom last month, both the President and Vice President quoted Irish poets in their speeches. Biden has often quoted Seamus Heaney in the past, so Obama decided to pay respect to his vice-president by quoting the words of WB Yeats. "As Yeats put it - because I had to quote an Irish poet, and Seamus Heaney was taken: 'Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends'." Biden - on accepting the honor - quoted Heaney. "And Seamus Heaney in one of his poems said - when you can find someone who says it better, use it - he said: 'You carried your own burdens, and very soon, the creeping symptoms of privilege disappeared'."
WHITAKER DEATH - Dr. T K Whitaker, once voted Irishman of the 20th century, has died aged 100.  A man of great vision and integrity, he had a pivotal role in the economic development of Ireland. In 1958 he wrote a document called Economic Development which became the blueprint for economic stability and prosperity in Ireland. It mapped out a path for the country to move from the depressed economy of the 1950s into a modern era of growth and sharing of benefits. Known as the 'Grey Book', the document analyzed every corner of Ireland's economic "rut" - from agriculture to tourism to trade - and formed the core of the Programme for Economic Expansion that helped Ireland drag itself out of the mire. Born in Co. Down, Whitaker grew up in Co. Louth and remained emotionally invested in the Northern Ireland peace process throughout his life. He celebrated his 100th birthday just last month.
NI TORTURER - B ob Stewart, a senior British MP and former Army officer, has admitted he had been "kind of a torturer" when he served as a British army officer in  Northern Ireland . "Of course it was acceptable then. It's now unacceptable and now it's defined as torture." Stewart completed seven operational tours of Northern Ireland during The Troubles. Stewart was speaking on BBC 5 Live and said that torture is sometimes "justified".
IRISH-ETHIOPIAN - Actress Ruth Negga, nominated in the Best Actress category at this year's Academy Awards for her performance in the civil rights film "Loving", was born in Ethiopia to an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father. She lived in Addis Ababa until she was four and then lived in Limerick (with spells in London) until she was 24. She has been living in London for the past eleven years.
COOLEST DESTINATION - Co. Donegal has been named the world's ' coolest destination' for 2017, topping the National Geographic Traveler magazine's "Cool List" of must-see "culture capitals, hipster hotspots and wild escapes". Donegal was celebrated for its "weather-nibbled coast spotted with sea stacks, Blue Flag beaches and offshore islands". The magazine, which described the county as "a land that feels undiscovered", said there was an "array of reasons to visit", that "wilderness always feels just a stone's throw away. And it is wilderness... world-class wilderness." Part of Star Wars: Episode VIII was filmed on Donegal's Inishowen peninsula .
More News from Ireland
ELLIS ISLAND - The Washington Post tells the story of tiny Ellis Island, the immigration hub that opened its doors in 1892, 125 years ago. Before closing in 1954, Ellis Island welcomed more than 12 million people to America's shores. The first immigrant to register  at Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 17 year-old from Co. Cork, who stepped ashore on New Year's Day 1892. An estimated 40 percent of U.S. citizens can trace their family through at least one person who arrived at Ellis Island.
SING STREET - USA Today includes the Irish 2016  musical comedy-drama film "Sing Street" in its list of contenders for an Oscar Best Picture. " Two musically tinged flicks might be too many in such a limited field, but deserving to be in there is Sing Street , John Carney's 1980s-set feel-good coming-of-age story about a boy, a girl and the ramshackle yet talented band he puts together to impress her." The film was partly shot was at its namesake school in DublinSynge Street CBS (Christian Brothers School).
GAELIC KORAN - Members of the Islamic community in Galway City are continuing efforts to produce an Irish-language version of the Koran (Qur'an), the holy book of their faith. Foras na Gaeilge, the Irish government body charged with promoting and preserving the Irish language, are co-operating with the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland to translate the Koran directly from Arabic to Irish. The problem is finding a translator who is proficient in both languages.
2016 CHILD - A 13-year-old filmmaker from Limerick was named the 2016 'Child of the Year' by a French Newspaper. Luke Culhane hit the headlines when his short film 'Cyber Bullying: Create No Hate'   went viral in February, being viewed more than 577,000 times on Youtube.  The film recounts Luke's own experience with cyber bullying and aims to raise awareness of the issues facing teenagers online today
POTTY BREAK - A British Airways/Open Skies flight from Newark bound for Paris was forced to makes an emergency  stopover at Shannon Airport so that passengers could use the restroom. Contacting air traffic control with their unusual request, the pilot said the plane had "serious problem with their toilets". The crew reported that the toilets on board the 26 years old aircraft were "unserviceable" and that there were passengers with an "urgent need" to relieve themselves.
CHEAPER FLIGHTS - Norwegian Air has been granted a permit for US-Ireland flights, paving the way for the first low-cost transatlantic flights from Ireland. T he Irish-based airline will begin offering $69 one way introductory flights to Cork from Stewart International Airport, 60 miles north of Manhattan. Prices will eventually be in the $300 R/T range, close to half of the fares of major airlines on similar routes.
AMAZING FIND - A recent donation of a box of historical documents to the Irish State included a royal seal of Queen Elizabeth I with a royal document affixed and dated 1578, a seal of King Charles I affixed to a document dating from the 1630/40s, and another royal seal and a document bearing the seal of King James I of England/VI of Scotland dated 1625. The donation includes ancient maps, royal letters of patent issued by King George I featuring the king's portrait and an illuminated script from the deed of settlement of William Conolly of Castletown dated 1705. Connolly was speaker of the Irish House of Parliament and a commissioner of the revenue from 1715 to his death as Ireland's wealthiest man in 1729. The contents of the significant box had lain un-examined over the past 40 years since three friends out walking retrieved it from a Dublin dumpster.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND - Archaeologists have identified bone fragments found in March 2014 in a cave on Knocknarea mountain not far from Sligo, as being those of a Stone Age child and adult from 5,500 years ago. The bones were discovered by chance while the researchers were investigating several little-known caves on the slopes of the mountain. These fragments were probably accidentally left behind as the find provided new evidence of Knocknarea's Neolithic links and the prehistoric practice known as "excoriation," where a corpse is laid in the cave and after decomposition, the bones are transferred elsewhere.  
150TH ANNIVERSARY - 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Fenian Rebellion organized by the IRB, the Irish Republican Brotherhood. On March 5, 1867, the IRB Proclamation  declared: " We appeal to force as a last resort. ... unable to endure any longer the curse of a monarchical government, we aim at founding a Republic based on universal suffrage, which shall secure to all the intrinsic value of their labour. The soil of Ireland, at present in possession of an oligarchy, belongs to us, the Irish people and to us it must be restored. We declare also in favour of absolute liberty of conscience and the separation of Church and State. We intend no war against the people of England; our war is against the aristocratic locusts, whether English or Irish, who have eaten the verdure of our fields ."
CATALPA STORY - If you don't know the Catalpa story , you need to read The Smithsonian's story of The Most Audacious Australian Prison Break of 1876 , about an American whaling ship with an oddball crew on a dangerous mission to free six Irishmen from a British jail in western Australia. The story of the Catalpa and the prisoners' escape reinvigorated the spirits of their fellow Irish nationalists at home and abroad and contributed to the 1916 Easter Rising just 40 years later.
FAMINE DONATIONS - Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the US, was one of 15,000 people worldwide who donated money to Ireland  during the Great Irish Famine, donating $10 (about $500 in today's money). Then American President James L. Polk also donated $50, as did Britain's Queen Victoria. Lincoln was a newly elected politician to the House of Representatives in 1847 when he made his donation. Lincoln was familiar with Ireland and knew and could recite Robert Emmet's famous speech from the dock. One of his favorite ballads was 'The Lament of the Irish Emigrant'.
WHO NAMED USA? - The New York Historical Society answers the question, Who Coined the Phrase 'United States of America'? Their answer is Irishman Stephen Moylan in January 1776 . A native of Cork, Moylan had settled in 1768 in Philadelphia, where in 1771 he was elected the first president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. During the Revolutionary War, Moylan served as Secretary and Aide-de-camp to General  George Washington, and Commander of the Cavalry of the Continental Army. After the war, he remained close to George Washington, and in 1793 was appointed Commissioner of Loans in Philadelphia. Moylan, an unincorporated area west of Philadelphia, is named for him.
GUINNESS STARTS - In 1752, Arthur Guinness was left £100 (about US$21,500 today) in the will of his Godfather, Archbishop Price of Cashel. Arthur signed a 9,000-year lease at £45 annually on an unused brewery at St. James's Gate, Dublin and spent the £100 refurbishing the property. The brewery covered four acres and consists of a copper, a kieve, a mill, two malthouses, stabling for 12 horses and a loft to hold 200 tons of hay, and the lease included crucial water rights. Today Guinness is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide .

St Michan's Vaults
St Michan's Vaults
ST. MICHAN'S - Built on the site of a Danish chapel founded in  1095 , St. Michan's Church in Dublin was for centuries the only parish church on the north side of the River Liffey. Now an Anglican Church, it was built in 1095 to serve the Viking population which had been expelled from within the Dublin city walls after the Battle of Clontarf. Rebuilt in  1685  and restored in 1998, i ts organ was used by Handel to compose his Messiah in 1741. It is believed that Bram Stoker's Dracula was inspired in part by the author's childhood visits to the macabre vault. The church and vaults are open to tours on Saturdays, and seasonally on some weekdays. 
GENEALOGY RECORDS - Another 29,738 Church records of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials were recently added to the website These records include 17,667 Roman Catholic Church records from Bandon (Cork and Ross RC), 11,411 Roman Catholic Church Records from Iveleary (Cork and Ross RC) and 660 Church of Ireland Records from St. Michaels (Dublin COI). Access to the records is free and all of them come with an accompanying image.
$17,000 VIEW HOUSE - Recently offered for sale in Ireland with a listing price of about $17,000 was a small two story house with a kitchen, dining room, living room and bedroom on the ground floor, and a loft-style bedroom and bathroom upstairs. T he property included almost an acre of garden overlooking Clonderlaw Bay and the Shannon Estuary in Co. Clare , and the sale drew international attention when it was listed. The house finally sold at auction for under $85,000 and you can see what you missed at
CLANN ALERT - Over 2000 children were adopted from Ireland to the US between the late 1940s and early 1970s. Now Clann, a joint initiative by Adoption Rights Alliance and Justice for Magdalenes Research, is trying to contact any individual who was affected by any of the 170 institutions, organizations, or agencies involved with Ireland's unmarried mothers and their children. Adoptees, or relatives of adoptees, are invited to contribute to the public record if they wish to tell their story. The project's purpose is to help establish the truth of what happened to unmarried mothers and their children in 20th century Ireland. If you are interested in more information or if you know someone who might be interested, please visit
STAG HUNTING - There are reports of at least one instance where a Killarney red stag was shot by a hunter tourist, who said he paid thousands of euro to a commercial company for the experience. The US hunter claims to have paid $5,350 to a commercial company to shoot a "Kerry mountain red stag". The 6,000-year-old Killarney deer are a unique subspecies and of international importance. From near extinction in the early 1970s, when numbers had fallen to just 60 animals, they have since recovered and are now estimated at somewhere between 600 and 700 animals.
NEW SPONSORS - Littlewoods Ireland, an online department store, will sponsor the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and the Camogie National League for the next three seasons.  Littlewoods Ireland hosts over 70,000 products from more than 1,300 brands, with its website receiving an average of 2.5 million visits each month.
DONEGAL HARLEYS? - Several family members of the Harley family from The Rosses area of Co. Donegal left Ireland in late 1800s and early 1900s and moved to New York. They later moved on to the Butte Mines of Montana and on to California. Last contact was a John Harley in Palo Alto in the early 1980s. If you have any info to add, contact
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
*  More tourists visited Ireland in 2016 than ever before, about 1.6 million American and Canadian visitors, delivering revenue of $1.5 billion for the economy
*  The Irish Passport service issued a record 730,000 passports in 2016, a 9% increase on 2015 
*  President Barack Obama is coming back to Ireland in the next 12 months, according to outgoing US ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O'Malley
*  Six members of the Clarke family from Loughrea in Co Galway are currently each over 100 years old!
*  It has been said that if it had been possible to lay a slab to commemorate every Irish person who died at sea leaving Ireland during the Great Famine, one could walk dry-shod to America
*  Solar Bones, a book written in one single 223-page sentence describing one man's Day of the Dead in Co. Mayo, has been voted Ireland's best book of 2016
*  Politico magazine named Ireland's Michael O'Leary, the Ryanair boss, as one of its 28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe
*  Ronald Reagan once stated that March 17 was the day on which St Patrick died in the year 461, and added " Leave it to the Irish to be carrying on a wake for 1,500 years"
*  The travel industry's Travel Weekly named Ireland as Europe's 'best destination'
*  The NY Times explores Ancient Ireland's Mysterious Tombs
*  20 Secrets of North Leinster you have to discover...
*  TOP 10: Weirdest Tourist Attractions in Ireland
*  After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I've learned
The real history of how the English invaded Ireland , an excerpt from Garvan Grant's "True(ish) History of Ireland"
*  The New York Times writes about Two Irish Girls Who Made It to New York
*  The 32 Best things to do in Ireland's 32 counties 
* lists Killarney as one of The World's 10 Best Places to Retire
*  Stunning photos of Dublin at Christmastime
*  Free online genealogy magazine, Irish Lives remembered
*  10-year-old Irish school girl singing Hallelujah
*  Top reasons to make the move to Ireland
*  In a tiny Irish village, one man will always be President
Irish Heritage Club
2017 Membership
We invite you to renew your membership in the Irish Heritage Club for 2017. Membership is open to anyone interested in "Things Irish" and the funds are used to support all IHC activities throughout the year, including the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Irish Festival. We simply cannot operate without membership support. 
Dues are $20 (single membership), $30 (family membership), or $100 (business membership), and you can pay by cash, check, or Credit Card. V isit or email .
All 2016 memberships expired on December 31, 2016 although 2016 members remain in good standing with the organization until March 31, 2017. 
Seanfhocal - Proverb

Ní bhíonn an rath ach mar a mbíonn an smacht
There's no prosperity without discipline 

John Keane 
Seanfhocal - Proverb

Ní bhíonn an rath ach mar a mbíonn an smacht
There's no prosperity without discipline 

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.