Irish Seattle News
Dé Máirt, 29 Samhain     2016    Tuesday, November 29
In This Issue
The Father of Vanessa Peterson of the Seattle Gaels died yesterday - arrangements pending

Paul LeBrun, 89, whose wife Lily is from Co. Donegal, died in Edmonds November 4  
Kathleen Fitzgerald, 78, a native of Co. Kerry, died in Prosser October 23  
Marie Donohoe, 91, whose late husband was from Co. Leitrim, died in Seattle October 18  
Hugh Doherty, 91, a native of Co. Donegal, died in Brier October 15
Margaret Owens, the mother of Dermot Owens of Seattle, died in Belfast October 13  
Colleen Morgan, longtime Irish Water Spaniel Club organizer, died in Seattle September 20  

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 
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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 Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland is ready to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023
Ireland is ready to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023

Ireland's Oldest Ice Cream Man
Mr Ripple, Ireland's Oldest Ice Cream Man
Ireland's South West
Ireland's South West

Irish Seniors'
Christmas Luncheon
Daidí na Nollag
The Irish Seniors' Christmas Luncheon, a sit-down lunch w/ choice of Ham or Turkey at $10 per person ($20 non-seniors), is at Noon this Saturday, December 3, at F X McRory's, 419 Occidental Ave S, Seattle. All seniors of Irish birth, descent or interest are welcome along with their spouses and friends. Our Special Guest on the day is Daidí na Nollag (Father Christmas) and there'll be Irish music and singing along with Irish Christmas Cake for dessert. Over 400 different Irish seniors have attended these luncheons over the past six years. Reservations ASAP to with names of all guests and lunch choices. 

Irish Network Christmas Party
You're invited to attend the annual Irish Network Seattle Christmas Party on Saturday, December 10 from 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm at the RView, 515 Madison St, 28th Floor, 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 2017 Nollaig na mBan (Women's Christmas) celebration will be on the traditional holiday (the 12th Day of Christmas) which in 2017 falls on Friday, January 6. The celebration will be held at the Wilde Rover, 111 Central Way, Kirkland. 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 3 course meal and one drink (beer or wine) for $35 per person, incl. tax & tip. Visit for more details and to make reservations.
Other Seattle News

DAMIEN McGINTY - Irish singer and actor Damian McGinty, star of Glee and Celtic Thunder, performs on Wednesday, December 7, at 8 pm at Shoreline Community College Theater , 16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline. The concert will feature several songs from his new CD, This Christmas Time, as well as favorites from Damian's time with Glee and Celtic Thunder and his solo career.  Both Meet & Greet and General Admission tickets are available - visit .
CELTIC YULETIDE - Magical Strings' 38th Annual Celtic Yuletide Concert series has it's Seattle concert December 10 with Tacoma's December 9. 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
IRISH TENORS - The Irish Tenors Holiday Concert is Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30 pm in Seattle's Benaroya Hall. Ronan Tynan, Anthony Kearns, and Finbar Wright sing beautiful holiday favorites performed with a full concert orchestra, the perfect start for the holiday season. The concert benefits the programs and services of Ballard NW Senior Center and tickets are already on sale at
CELTIC CHRISTMAS - Geoffrey Castle's Celtic Christmas on Saturday, December 17, is a wonderful new Northwest holiday tradition, a high energy stage show that brings the joy and magic of the holidays to the Northshore Performing Arts Center , 18125 92nd Ave NE, Bothell. Ticket prices range from $15 to $25 at .
SEATTLE ARCHIVES - The Celtic Connection newspaper, available for free at your local Irish pub, has reported on the Irish and Celtic communities of the Pacific Northwest since 1991. Thanks to Vancouver's Simon Fraser University, you can now search 12 years of back issues of The Celtic Connection, from 1991 up to 2004, to see if you're mentioned there or if you show up in an old photo, etc. Just go to celticconnection-collection. At the moment the basic keyword search takes you to each relevant issue (starting at the first page) rather than the actual page(s) on which the term appears. That comes later!
ISSAQUAH GAA - The entire Issaquah School District has adopted the Irish games of Gaelic Football and Hurling as mainstream PhysEd sports. Skyline HS, Issaquah HS and Liberty HS all now teach Gaelic Football and Hurling to boys and girls as part of their PE curriculum. This is solid evidence that schools are fertile ground for growing Gaelic Games in the US, and Issaquah may be the first School District in the US teaching the games at all of their High Schools.
*  For information on the next Irish Book Club meeting, contact
*  An Ireland Video by Seattleite Sam Cleary  won an award at the recent Ethnic Heritage Council Film Festival
*  On The Edge: An Odyssey, a p aperback  by UW grad Stephen Murphy, is a memoir of risk-taking, poignancy and redemption
*  Former Seattle resident Nancy Blanton has a new novel set in 1634 Ireland, The Prince of Glencurragh, which just won Florida's Royal Palm Literary Award for historicals, a vailable from online retailers 

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.

US Presidential Election
LEADERS' CALL - The day after the US election, Irish Taoiseach (PM) Enda Kenny had a 10 minute telephone conversation with President-elect Donald Trump in which an invitation was extended to the Taoiseach to come to the White House for St Patrick's Day 2017 to take part in the traditional St Patrick's Day Shamrock ceremony. Trump had been heavily criticized by Irish political establishment figures during the campaign, with Kenny calling some of his comments "racist and dangerous". However, Kenny was the first European Union leader to receive a call from Trump, something which was considered a snub   by the leaders of Britain and Germany .
PENCE CALL - Taoiseach Kenny also spoke with Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Kenny said that Pence "certainly knows Ireland and the issues that matter to our people."  Kenny said they spoke about the economic ties between the two countries, including the long-standing and productive relationship Ireland has with many US companies, as well as the fact that Irish companies in the US employ more than 100,000 Americans.
IRISH CONNECTIONS - Vice President-elect Mike Pence is a proud Irish American who spent many summers in Ireland as a child. Growing up, Pence was close to his Irish-born grandfather who had emigrated to the US from Tubercurry, Co Sligo in 1923 and who ended up working as a bus driver in Chicago. Pence's great-grandmother came from Doonbeg, Co. Clare, the small town where Donald Trump in 2014 bought the Doonbeg Golf Resort for $16.8 million and renamed it Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland .
TAX CHANGES? - One of President-elect Trump's promises is to cut the US corporate tax rate from its current level of 35% to 15%, something which would significantly reduce Ireland's advantage in attracting foreign investment. Although there are other elements that attract foreign firms to Ireland, such as its location within the EU, the ease of doing business and so on, Ireland's 12.5% company tax rate is unquestionably one of the reasons why the country has been so successful at attracting foreign investment. To date, Ireland has benefited hugely from the US's high tax rate, with US companies employing about 140,000 people in Ireland.
UNDOCUMENTED IRISH - The Washington Post says Trump's victory has Ireland worried about its illegal immigrants in the US.   The status of the undocumented Irish workers is an emotive issue at home. Skype phone calls and video conferences for funerals, weddings and other family events are now a familiar phenomenon in parts of Ireland, with relatives in the United States unable to leave out of fear of being barred re-entry.
Brexit News
BREAKUP DATES - Under the terms of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - the legal mechanism for quitting the EU - a departing member state is granted two years to negotiate a new relationship with the bloc. British PM Theresa May is committed to triggering Article 50 by the end of March 2017, putting Britain on course for an EU exit in April 2019. However, Irish Taoiseach (PM) Enda Kenny believes that a transitional deal will take "longer than expected", hinting at an expectation among EU leaders that initial Brexit talks will drag on past 2019. "I think there's a growing feeling in Europe there should be a transition period and that transition period might well be longer than those two years."
BREXIT TAKEOVERS - Irish companies are beginning to eye UK takeover opportunities to take advantage of the weakness of the pound and to explore ways to skirt possible trade obstacles post-Brexit. The prospect of tariffs being imposed on goods and services being traded between the UK and the EU has increased after British prime minister Theresa May outlined a tough stance on immigration controls, putting the country on course for a so-called "hard Brexit".
TOO BIG TO FAIL - claims that Ireland has signaled to several large investment banks that it would be reluctant to host large trading operations, despite Dublin's desire to attract financial sector jobs from London after Britain leaves the EU. "Ireland's central bank has indicated in talks with the banks that they would face high hurdles to win regulatory approval for such operations, which involve huge sums when compared with the relatively small size of the country's economy.
LAND DISPUTES - Brexit has reignited a dispute between Ireland and Britain over ownership of Lough Foyle , which has a coastline bordering counties Donegal in the Republic of Ireland and Derry in Northern Ireland. The issue of territory and fishing rights in Lough Foyle has been a matter of dispute between Dublin and London since Ireland was partitioned in 1922 with t he UK Government claiming that all of Lough Foyle is within the UK. The Irish government has never accepted that and the area is currently regulated by a cross-border body set up under the Good Friday Agreement. Similar jurisdictional issues also relate to Carlingford Lough which borders counties Down and Louth.
GDP DAMAGE - Reuters  states that a British exit from the European Union could knock about 3.5% off Ireland's gross domestic product within a decade. The article notes that Ireland is widely seen as the EU economy with most to lose from Brexit and the Irish government has cut its economic growth forecasts for 2016 and 2017 by 0.7 and 0.4% as a result of Britain's June vote to leave.
UNIFICATION VOTE - Irish Taoiseach (PM) Enda Kenny says that Brexit could trigger a requirement for a border referendum to be held to decide on whether or not to unite the two parts of Ireland. If there is "clear evidence of a majority of people wishing to leave the UK and join the Republic", the clause in the Good Friday Agreement spelling out the conditions for a unification vote might be triggered. At the same time, the UK's Northern Ireland secretary has ruled out any unification vote.
SCOTTISH SUPPORT  - Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says that Scotland will back the retention of an open border on the island of Ireland regardless of what happens during the Brexit negotiations. "We fully understand that for reasons of geography, history and the simple preservation of peace, Ireland's circumstances demand close and particular attention," she said during an address to the Irish Seanead (Senate) in Dublin. In June, Irish President Michael D Higgins addressed the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. 

MORE RE-UNIFICATION - In an article headlined   Brexit: Why Scotland and Ireland's Remain Votes Cannot Be Silenced , Newsweek says, " The possible consequences in Northern Ireland could include growing calls to remain in the European Union through reunification with Ireland. If faced with significant economic decline these calls could become very convincing if the U.K. is seen to be acting in a detrimental manner and failing to take the peace process seriously."
NI PEACE - The New York Times features an op-ed highlighting the new energy in Belfast today, a spirit that is in stark contrast to a troubled past. However, Brexit could unravel this momentum. An EU border "will run between Northern Ireland and the Republic, most probably with checkpoints and customs controls. Psychologically, this would be a dangerous throwback to an era most thought had passed. For Northern Ireland's radical fringe, on both sides, it might even reactivate well-rehearsed stimulus-response patterns of decades past - of violent attacks and counterattacks."
DROPPING VALUE - The value of the British pound has fallen dramatically from a value of 76p per euro before the Brexit referendum to about 85p today. The drop in value is having a negative impact on Irish retailers near the border with Northern Ireland as more shoppers travel to Northern Ireland looking for bargains. Exports from Ireland to the UK are becoming less competitive and the situation is particularly damaging for the agri-food sector with five of Ireland's 60 mushroom farms having gone out of business since the referendum. 
More News from Ireland
NO VOTE - Irish Taoiseach (PM) Enda Kenny says there will not be a referendum in Ireland before the next presidential election in 2018 to determine if Northern-Irish and Irish citizens abroad can vote in Irish presidential elections. He blames the delay on the need to determine who should be included in a new franchise, what categories of people would be covered, and the cost. In November last year the Joint Oireachtas (Parliamentary) Committee on European Affairs recommended that voting rights be extended. Today, Irish voters who move abroad retain the right to vote for 18 months after leaving but must return to Ireland on election day in order to vote.
PAPAL VISIT - Pope Francis will visit Ireland to attend the World Meeting of Families being held in Dublin from 22-26 August, 2018. The visit was confirmed this week when Irish Taoiseach (PM) Enda Kenny had a meeting with the pope in the Vatican, a meeting held following the invitation to the pope from the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. The 2018 Irish papal visit, the first by a sitting Pope since John Paul II visited Ireland in September, 1979, will this time include a visit to Northern Ireland.
EU PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT - Irish politician Mairead McGuinness is one of the leading candidates for president of the European Parliament. McGuinness has been an MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for 12 years representing Ireland's Midlands and North-West. The European Parliament is the only directly-elected body in the EU with its members elected every five years by 500 million voters across the 28 member states of the EU.  McGuinness has been serving as vice- president of the European Parliament since 2014 and the parliament's 751 MEPs elect a new president in January.
ADOPTEE RIGHTS - New Irish government legislation will see adoptees given the right to get their full birth certificates, getting details that were previously prohibited under privacy laws. However, before a birth cert is handed over, the adopted person will be required to make a statutory declaration to respect the privacy of their birth parent and not attempt to contact them unless it is through official channels. Similarly, a birth parent will be able to seek information about their adopted child and be able to make contact, if the adopted person also agrees.
IRISH POPULATION - Preliminary data from the 2016 Irish Census shows that the population of the Republic of Ireland is now 4,757,976, an increase of 169,724, or 3.7%, since the last census in 2011. The figures show a net migration of -28,558 and a natural increase of 198,282.
BEST TOWN - Clonakilty, Co. Cork, was declared best town in the UK and Ireland at a recent ceremony in London. The town in south Cork, with a population of around 5,000, beat Blackpool in Northwest England and Todmorden in West Yorkshire to the "Great Town" prize at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. The quality of the design and maintenance of the public areas of Clonakilty was singled out for praise by the judging panel. The annual award is made by the Academy of Urbanism, an independent collection of European planners, architects and engineers.
TREVOR PASSING - William Trevor, 88, an award-winning Irish novelist, playwright, and one of the greatest contemporary writers of short stories in the English language , died November 21. Born in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, he was described by fellow Irish author John Banville as "at his best the equal of Chekhov and Babel." Trevor won the Whitbread Award three times, the O. Henry Award four times, and was a five-time nominee for the Booker Prize, most recently in 2009. He accepted an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth in 2002 for services to literature, but he always considered himself to be "Irish in every vein".
DRINKING DOWN - Irish teenagers are drinking far less than the average European of the same age, according to a new OECD study which examined national data across 36 European countries. The number of 15 year olds who have experienced drunkenness at least twice was 16% in Ireland compared to 24% across Europe. The number of adults drinking in Ireland also declined with the OECD reporting the average Irish consumption fell from 14 liters in 2000 to 11 liters in 2014.
GRAFTON STREET - Dublin's Grafton Street remains one of the most expensive streets in the world on which to rent. The annual Main Streets Across the World report tracks 462 of the top retail streets around the globe, ranking them by their prime rental value. Overall, Grafton Street is the 13th most expensive street to rent on worldwide. New York's Upper 5th Avenue remains the world's most expensive retail street while the annual cost per square meter on Grafton Street is now $3,525.
Game highlights
Game highlights
CURSE LIFTED - After 111 years of trying, Ireland's rugby team has defeated the All Blacks, the New Zealand national rugby team. The All Blacks first played Ireland in 1905, beating them 15-0 in Dublin. Since then, the two teams have played each other 28 times, with the All Blacks winning 27 of them, one game ended in a tie, and Ireland finally on November 5 won the 30th game played between the two teams by a score of 40-29. That game was played in Chicago before a sold-out crowd of 62,300 mainly Irish fans. The previous month, the All Blacks had set a world record for consecutive victories with their 18th win in a row.
BONO AWARD - Among the winners of this year's  Women of the Year Awards bestowed by Glamour magazine was Bono, the lead singer of Irish rock band U2. The rock star was cited for his creation of Poverty is Sexist, a campaign focused on documenting the link between gender and poverty and offering support to the world's poorest women. It's the first time in the awards' 27 years that Glamour has enshrined a man alongside its annual roster of accomplished women.
TIPPERARY PEACE AWARD - US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Ireland in October to receive the 2015 Tipperary International Peace Award, honoring his attempts to end conflicts around the world.  Established in 1984, the Tipperary Peace Convention annually honors a figure believed to have made great efforts towards achieving peace. Previous recipients of the award include Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, George Mitchell, Bill Clinton, Benazir Bhutto, Mary McAleese and, most recently, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
KERRY ROOTS? - Despite the Irish last name, US Secretary of State John  Kerry has  no Irish roots. When Kerry's grandfather Fritz Kohn and Fritz's brother Otto were living in Vienna in 1901, they suffered greatly from anti-Semitic sentiment and decided to change their Jewish-sounding name. Dropping a pencil on a map of the world, it landed on Co. Kerry and that's when Fritz Kohn became Frederick Kerry.
STUDYING IN IRELAND - The NY Times says about studying i n Ireland, "Irish universities roll out the red carpet, too. International students are even assigned advisers to help bridge gaps. A 2015 survey by Study Portals of 17,000 international students found they were happiest on the Emerald Isle, appreciative of the community atmosphere, support structures for foreigners and vibrant student life. (Of 18 countries, Britain polled a lowly 10th; students gripe about high living costs and subpar housing. France came in dead last on account of poor student services.)"
OLDER THAN IRELAND - Recently screened at Seattle's Irish Reels Film Festival, the Irish documentary film, Older than Ireland, has become the highest grossing Irish documentary of all time . The landmark film tells the story of one hundred years of life as seen through the eyes of thirty Irish-born centenarians, aged 100-113. It explores each centenarian's journey, from their birth at the dawn of Irish independence to their life as a centenarian in modern day Ireland; reflecting on such key events as the day they got their first pair of shoes, the thrill of their first kiss, from the magic of their wedding day to the tragic loss of their loved ones.

GAEILGE24  CHALLENGE - Irish speaking students at a high school near Toronto, Canada joined thousands of students across Ireland in the annual Gaeilge24 challenge, promising to speak for 24 hours as gaeilge, using only the Irish language to communicate with each other. An estimated 30,000 students in Ireland this year took part in Gaeilge24 as part of the annual Conradh na Gaeilge fundraiser. Conradh na Gaeilge is a social and cultural organization which promotes the Irish language in Ireland and worldwide.
LEARN IRISH - Since 2015, over 2.3 million people using language app Duolingo chose Irish as a language they wanted to learn. The FREE language app is a social as well as a learning tool - people can monitor their friends' progress, partake in forums around languages and share results of various tests with each other. It's simple to use, teaches vocabulary, grammatical tenses, and gives aural tests with a practical approach in mind.
PHOTO ARCHIVES - University College Cork has acquired the 30,000 image archive of photographer John Minihan whose photo images feature famous names such as Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Princess Diana and Francis Bacon. Minihan was raised in Athy, Co Kildare, but worked for 35 years in London where he took some of the most iconic photographs of the era. Minihan also became friendly with artists like William S Burroughs and Beckett. The photographer is now based in west Cork and you can view some of his photos at
IRISH LIGHTHOUSES - The golden age of lighthouse construction is long gone, but in its wake are beautiful vistas and stories that bring modern Irish history to life.   These historic landmarks are finding new life with the help of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, a tourism trail introduced in 2015 that highlights 12 exceptional examples. If you rent the former keepers' quarters in Galley Head Lighthouse in County Cork, you'll not only have a scenic base for beach walks and dolphin watching, but you will also see the vantage point where lightkeepers witnessed the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915.
LUSITANIA ARTIFACT - One of the telegraph machines from the Lusitania has been recovered from the ocean floor off the coast of Cork. On May 7, 1915, six days after leaving New York, the Lusitania was attacked and struck by a torpedo fired by a German submarine and it sank in just 18 minutes with the loss of 1,198 lives. In 1967 the wreck of the Lusitania was sold by the Liverpool & London War Risks Insurance Association to former US Navy diver John Light for £1,000 (about $20,000 today) and the wreck is now owned by Gregg Bemis.
EMMET OBELISK - A New York obelisk monument honoring Irish patriot and former Attorney General of New York, Thomas Addis Emmet, was rededicated on October 27 with a new plaque added. Located at St. Paul's Chapel at Broadway and Fulton Street in downtown Manhattan, the obelisk was erected in 1827 by Emmet's friends and is inscribed with tributes to Emmet in Gaelic, Latin and English. A brother of  Robert Emmet, Thomas Addis Emmet died in 1826 and the law firm he established in 1805, Emmet, Marvin & Martin LLP, still practices today as one of the oldest companies in the US .
EMMET PARK - The Robert Emmet Park Act, re-designating the small park located at 24th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington, DC, as "Robert Emmet Park," was recently passed by the US House of Representatives. Located just 3 blocks from the Irish Embassy, the park commemorates a man who was hanged and beheaded by the British in 1803 after leading a failed uprising in Dublin . The park features a 99-year-old statue of Emmet which was  gifted to the Smithsonian in 1917 and erected in the tiny park by the National Park Service in 1966.
TREE CROSS - The Celtic Cross at Bogay Hill in Co. Donegal was planted by a forester who created the effect using two different types of trees. Called the "Emmery Celtic Cross" after its creator who died six years ago, it was forgotten about since not many knew about the special plantings. However in the last year, passengers flying into Derry airport can't miss the cross which is at least 400 feet in length and 150 feet wide.

HELLFIRE CLUB - O n an isolated hilltop overlooking Dublin city sits a derelict stone building from the 1700s that down through the years has been linked with everything from wild debauchery, a haunting by a massive black cat, to an appearance from Satan himself. The building is said to have been cursed from the very beginning as an ancient passage grave once stood at the site but was torn down and the stone used to build what was called the Hellfire Club. Now archaeologists are exploring the site.
SKELLIG RING - Not as famous as the Ring of Kerry, the Skellig Ring has been named by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten regions travelers should visit in 2017. It is a 20-mile drive serving as the gateway to Skellig Michael and the Little Skellig, the small, steep, rocky islands lying about 8 miles off the Iveragh Peninsula in Co. Kerry T he Skellig Ring is wilder than the Ring of Kerry, shows untamed landscapes, and, best of all, there are fewer buses.
1920 BLOODY SUNDAY - November 21 was the 96th anniversary of the events of Bloody Sunday on November 21, 1920 when 14 people were killed at Dublin's Croke Park and at least 60 wounded when British Army Forces opened fire on players and spectators at a Dublin versus Tipperary Gaelic Football game. Among those killed that day were three schoolboys aged 10, 11 and 14. The Gaelic Athletic Association named one of the stands in Croke Park the 'Hogan Stand' in memory of Michael Hogan, a football player who was one of those killed in the attack which occurred during the  Irish War of Independence. The attack was a reprisal for the killing of 14 undercover British intelligence agents in Dublin earlier that day.
GOODY GLOVER - In 1988, Boston City Council proclaimed November 16 as 'Goody Glover Day'. Glover was deported from Ireland in the 1650s following the Cromwellian invasion, and sent to Barbados as an indentured servant alongside African slaves. By 1680 she and her daughter were settled in Boston, employed as housekeepers by John Goodwin. In the summer of 1688, four of the five Goodwin children fell ill and their doctor concluded "nothing but a hellish Witchcraft could be the origin of these maladies." The Irish-speaking Glover was arrested and tried, and became the last woman to be hanged in Boston as a witch.
IRISH LINEN - In the late 1700s, an ambitious scheme to encourage flax farming in Ireland supplied spinning wheels and other linen manufacturing implements to more than 60,000 individuals all over Ireland. Spinning wheels were awarded based on the number of acres of flax planted. People who planted one acre were awarded 4 spinning wheels and those growing 5 acres were awarded a loom. Thanks to this, the tradition of high-quality Irish linen is still alive and well today. The names and localities of the 60,000 individuals were published by the Irish Linen Board in 1796 and that list can now be searched online at
  • Irish surnames are among Europe's oldest with the custom of surnames developing in Ireland as early as the tenth century.
  • The earliest recorded Irish surname is Ó Cléirigh, meaning descendent or son of the cleric
  • More Murphys live in Britain than in Ireland, with the highest concentration in Liverpool.
  • There are more than 300,000 Murphys in the US, compared to 55,000 in Ireland.
  • There's a tombstone in Ireland with the surnames for a family of six spelled variously as McEneaney, McAneany, McAneny, McEnaney, McEneany and Bird (from the mistaken belief that the name originated from the Irish word éan, a bird)
  • In the mid-1500s, Shane O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, was causing so many problems for the English crown that Elizabeth I banned the name O'Neill, on punishment of death and forfeiture of property.
MC & MAC - There is almost no difference between the surname prefixes Mac and Mc as both of them derive from mac, the Irish language word for son. The contraction of Mac to Mc is found more often in Ireland than in Scotland, with two out of three Mc surnames originating in Ireland, and two out of three Mac surnames originating in Scotland. In the 1600s, when English rule intensified in Ireland, the surname prefixes O and Mac were widely dropped because it was easier to find work if you had a non-Irish sounding name. When in the 1800s many families reinstated the O and Mac prefixes, they sometimes re-adopted the wrong prefix by adding an O where the original was Mac or Mc, and vice versa. 
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
  • Missoula, Montana's KPAX-TV covered the visit to Montana in October by Irish Ambassador to the US Anne Anderson
  • Ireland is the 18th best country in the world according to a ranking announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
  • Michael George, a Wall Street businessman and native of Belfast, is tipped to be appointed the new US Ambassador to Ireland
  • The Belfast Agreement acknowledges that Northern Ireland's membership of the United Kingdom is contingent and purely voluntary
  • An Irish home where Michael Jackson and his family lived for 5 months in 2006 is available for $380,000
  • There are now 110,000 residents in Ireland with wealth above $1 million
  • Average wages in the Irish Republic are $39,200, versus $27,000 in Northern Ireland
  • Ireland also has 1,623,000 people with wealth over $100,000 while the median Irish resident today is worth $80,668
  • Ireland's unemployment rate has fallen to an eight-year low of 7.5%, a level last seen during the Celtic Tiger economy
  • An Irish waiter at a restaurant in Houston, Texas, recently received a tip of $750 dollars with a note saying, "hopefully, this will get you back to Ireland for the holidays"
  • Hidden Gems of South Ulster you haven't heard about
  • The Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge near Ballintoy, Co. Antrim, was first erected by salmon fishermen in 1755 and offers views of Rathlin Island and Scotland
  • Beautiful photos of Ireland by photographer Gareth Wray
  • The value of the euro has surged more than 17% to about 90p since British voters decided on June 23rd to quit the European Union
  • Former UK PM Tony Blair has said that British voters should be given the chance to reconsider Brexit once the terms of the UK government's new deal with the EU are known
  • WOW Air, the Icelandic low-cost airline, is starting transatlantic services between eight North American cities and Cork Airport for as little as $163 one way
  • Since 1995, the EU has donated 1.3 billion euro to support peace in Northern Ireland
  • Marilyn Monroe had to drop her Irish name, Dougherty, the surname of her first husband, because 20th Century Fox thought it too difficult for American movie-goers to pronounce
  • The Wall Street Journal features a story on Irish whiskey saying that rising demand has turned Irish whiskey into the world's fastest-growing major spirit
  • Condé Nast Traveller's list of their "50 Best Hotels in the World" has three Irish hotels in the top ten - Ballyfin (at No 1), Waterford Castle, and the Lodge at Ashford Castle
  • The Seamus Heaney Home Place is a 21,000-square-foot arts center in Bellaghy honoring the Nobel Prize-winning poet who died in 2013
  • Rathcroghan, one of the most significant but least appreciated archaeological landscapes in Ireland
  • Hidden Gems in Southern Connacht you probably haven't heard about...

Irish Heritage Club

2017 Membership

We invite you to renew your membership in the Irish Heritage Club for 2017. All 2016 memberships expire on December 31 although 2016 members remain in good standing with the organization until March 31, 2017. 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

Nollaig bhreá a dhéanann reilig teann
A fat Christmas makes for a tight graveyard 

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.