Irish Seattle News
Dé Céadaoin, 5 Deireadh Fómhair         2016        Wednesday, October 5
In This Issue
Catherine Hughes, 79, a native of Ireland, died in Seattle on August 22

Rosie Stapleton, wife of Brian and who has been very involved in the Irish community for over 20 years, died in Seattle September 8

Margaret Tormey, 87, an aunt of Seattle's Mark Tormey and whose late husband was from Co. Mayo, died September 2 in Spokane

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha dílse

May their faithful souls rest at God's right hand


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Irish Heritage Club Affiliated Programs
Seattle Area Irish Resources
Irish Harp
Consulate General of Ireland,
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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
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Irish Dancing Schools
Irish Musicians, Classes & Sessions
Irish Language
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Claddagh Ring
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Are you eligible to apply for Irish Citizenship?
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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
This Thursday & Friday

SISTER CITIES RECEPTION - This Thursday evening, October 6, 6-8 pm, you're invited to join the  Seattle Galway Sister City Association at a Sister Cities Reception   at Seattle City Hall, with Host Seattle  Mayor Ed Murray, Keynote Speaker Rick Steves, and MC Jean Enersen. Enjoy wonderful food and wine tasting, world class entertainment and a Hungarian dance troupe . Raffle & auction, including a Norwegian cruise for two. F or tickets ($25 pp) and more information, email

 - Skyline High School and Eastlake High School will compete in two Gaelic Football games this coming Friday morning, October 7, at Eastlake HS,  400 228th Ave NE, Sammamish . The first game starts at 7.30 am and the second at 8.30 am, and the Irish Presidential Trophy will be presented afterwards to the winner. The trophy was donated by Irish President Michael D. Higgins when he visited Skyline High School in 2015.
This Weekend
IRISH REELS - The Seattle Irish Reels Film Festival 2016 is this weekend, Friday-Sunday, October 7-9, at the SIFF Film Center, near the International Fountain at the Seattle Center, with another wonderful collection of refreshing and exciting new works in Irish cinema. The Opening Night Gala Reception is Friday evening at 6 pm followed at 7:30 pm by the feature presentation of  My Name is Emily. Saturday and Sunday films are at 1, 3, 5 and 7 pm each day, and a Closing Night Party at T S McHugh's on Sunday at 9 pm. For details on all the films, visit
SENIOR FILMS - The Festival features two Special Senior Presentations with a senior admission charge of $5  and seniors who contact Mary at the Irish Immigrant Support Group (  or 425-244-5147) can get FREE admission tickets left for them at Will Call
SATURDAY at 1 pm,  Older Than Ireland
is screened. Often funny and at times poignant, this wonderful film tells the story of a hundred years of a life as seen through the eyes of thirty Irishborn men and women aged 100 or over. The film's Director Alex Fegan will be present to answer questions afterwards. 
SUNDAY at 1 pm, A Doctor's Sword  follows a family's journey to Japan to uncover the origin of the Japanese Samurai sword which hangs in MacCarthy's Bar in Castletownbere, Co. Cork.
More details at IRISHREELS.ORG.
Other  Seattle News

CELTIC HARP CLASSES - The School of Magical Strings is offering beginning and intermediate classes in Celtic Harp this fall in Seattle and Olalla, with c lasses starting Monday, October 10 in Seattle, and Tuesday, October 11 in Olalla. For the past thirty-seven years Philip and Pam Boulding have built instruments, taught classes, and provided their unique blend of Celtic and original music to audiences throughout the Northwest and on their tours across the nation and abroad. Visit for details.
Crosses GAELIC MASS - Seattle's Mass of Remembrance in the Irish (Gaelic) language will be celebrated Friday, October 14, at 7:30 PM, at St. Patrick's Church, 2702 Broadway Ave E (just off I-5 at Roanoke St). This Mass commemorates the deceased members of Seattle's Irish Community, especially those who have passed away in the past 12 months whose names will be read out loud. Mass booklets in Irish and English provided. To submit names to be remembered or for more information, email
Ciarán O Maonaigh and Caitlín Nic Gabhann
Ciarán O Maonaigh and
Caitlín Nic Gabhann
IRISH CONCERT - Sunday, October 30, at 8pm at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, 8008 35th Ave NE, Seattle, Ceol Cascadia Irish Music Association presents in concert Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán O Maonaigh for some fantastic concertina, fiddle and dancing from two of Ireland's finest young musicians. Three time All-Ireland champion on concertina, Caitlín Nic Gabhann is also a renowned dancer, combining sean-nós (Irish for "old style") and set-dancing steps into a completely original style. A former recipient of TG4 Young Musician of the Year, fiddle player Ciarán Ó Maonaigh is also a member of the band Fidil. Tickets $10-16 at the door or in advance at
CASCADE YOUTH GAA - Over 7,000 teens have played Gaelic football and hurling in Seattle-area PE classes over the past 8 years through an innovative high school Gaelic-games-in-PE-Class program that has been an internationally recognized success. The program has now grown into its own organization within the Irish Heritage Club, dedicated exclusively to advancing Gaelic games for youth under the name Cascade Youth Gaelic Games. Instructional events will be held throughout the school year using volunteer instructors who are mostly former Seattle Gaels Gaelic games players. For more information, and to volunteer for a school event, contact Cascade Youth Chair Terry Lynch at Based in Seattle, Terry is also the Youth Coach Leader for the North American County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association.
SISTER CITY ASSOCIATION - After 30 years, the Seattle Galway Sister City Association has a new president. Mick McHugh, who has been president since the sister city agreement was signed in 1986, will assume the role of President Emeritus while Noreen McCormack becomes the new President. Noreen is a former Secretary of the Irish Heritage Club and until recently was President of Irish Network Seattle. She has been to Galway several times, most recently this past April, and has served for the past three years on the Seattle Sister Cities Coordinating Council to which she was appointed by Seattle's Mayor. She is really hoping to get more people involved in the Sister City Association and would like to hear from anyone interested - email Noreen at
IRISH NETWORK - Aly Gardner-Shelby is the new President of Irish Network Seattle, taking over from Noreen McCormack who was President for the past two years. A Program Manager with Microsoft, Dubliner Aly has lived in Seattle since 1993 and is passionate about helping people in the Irish community support each other in their professional lives, while strengthening the economic, social and cultural ties between American and Irish businesses in Washington State and Ireland - and at the same time having some fun! For more information, visit

CONGRATULATIONS - Helen O'Toole, a Seattle artist who is a native of Co. Sligo, is the recipient of a 2016 Contemporary Northwest Art Award , a Pollock Krasner Award, the Jack and Grace Pruzan Endowed Faculty Fellowship, and numerous other awards and research grants. Her work is currently featured in the "Contemporary Northwest Art Awards" exhibition at the Portland Art Museum. She is currently Professor of Art and Chair of the Painting and Drawing Program at the University of Washington.
NEW BOOK - "Rising from Obscurity" is a new book co-authored by Seattleite Kim Burkhart and her cousin Brian Ellis about their great-great grandmother, Harriet Susannah Ellis. The book chronicles Harriet's life from birth in Co. Sligo in 1863 to emigration to the US in 1913 and her death in 1939. Details about Irish life and genealogical research are woven into the tale. For more information, visit HarrietSusannahEllis. Kim Burkhart will be speaking about the book at the Seattle Genealogical Society meeting at 1 pm on Saturday, December 10, at the SGS Library, 6200 Sand Point Way NE - admission is free and all are invited.
Seattle Gaels 2016 Junior C Hurling Champions
NORTH AMERICAN GAA FINALS - The Seattle Gaels hosted the North American GAA Championship Finals in Seattle on the Labor Day weekend,
the first time ever that the finals in the Irish sports of men's and women's Gaelic Football, hurling and camogie have been held in Seattle. 85 teams and over 1,500 players from all across the USA, Canada and the Caribbean competed on five fields at Seattle's Magnuson Park over the three days to determine the North American Champions in 17 different Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie competitions.
Seattle Gaels 2016 Junior Camogie Champions
CHAMPIONS - The Seattle Gaels Hurling and Camogie teams had tremendous success at the 2016 Finals with Seattle's hurlers winning the North American Junior C Hurling Championship while t he Seattle Gaels Camogie team won the North American Junior Camogie Championship. For a full report and pictures from the weekend, see the Celtic Connection online or on
MONTANA IRISH - The University of Montana hosts the American Conference for Irish Studies in Missoula, MT, from October 21 - 22. It has become a bit more than a conference, however, as the Irish Ambassador to the US, Anne Anderson, will attend and address the conference, as will the Governor of Montana, Steve Bullock. The theme of the conference, Her Exile Children: Ireland and Irish America, looks at the role Irish America played in the struggle for Irish freedom. The conference strives to locate the examination and study of Irish history, culture, and politics within the context of the Diaspora, the Irish who had emigrated and settled through the world but who retained a deep and committed concern for the welfare of their homeland. See a photo of Irish Revolutionary leader Eamon de Valera in Butte in November, 1919. 

*  For details on the next meeting of Seattle's Irish Book Club, contact
*  Saturday, October 22, Irish author Emma Donoghue reads at Seattle's Elliott Bay Books from her new book The Wonder
*   Black Irish Texas , a very original, calamitous, petulant, party mix of Irish folk, punk, spaghetti western, and fun, at the Owl 'n Thistle this Friday evening, October 7, at 9 pm
*  December 17 at 7:30 pm, Geoffrey Castle's Celtic Christmas at Bothell's Northshore Performing Arts Center
*  Congratulations to the Harp and Shamrock Society of Texas  based in San Antonio which celebrated its 50th anniversary last month  

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

Brexit News from Ireland

BREXIT EXIT - The International NY Times  reports on a KPMG survey saying that a majority of British chief executives are considering moving their headquarters or some of their operations outside Britain as a result of Brexit. The article quotes senior KPMG Partner, Simon Collins who said: "In our own work, we have seen international clients who had been considering basing European headquarters in the UK opt for Ireland instead." One hundred chief executives in manufacturing, retail, telecommunications and other sectors in Britain were interviewed for the KPMG survey. The new survey data came as the pound fell to a five-week low against the dollar and other major currencies.
SHIFTING OPERATIONS - Reuters reports that Irish recruiters are already filling jobs for financial services firms which are shifting some operations from the United Kingdom. "While France has begun courting bankers with new tax breaks for expatriates and Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Luxembourg are also making pitches, Ireland is presenting itself as the only English-speaking country that offers a base in the euro zone and a future in the EU." The article highlights that Brexit presents opportunities for Ireland, "which has decades of experience in attracting multinational investment, and it is determined to seize them".
WILD CARD - The Washington Post claims that Ireland may be the Brexit wild card . The article says "a clear majority in Northern Ireland wanted to stay in the union - 56% voted to remain, while 44% voted leave ", and notes that "kids go to schools on either side (of the border with the Irish Republic). Farmers till land that straddles the line. A local veterinarian said it's a morning's work to treat a cow in the north and a sheep in the south."
COURT CHALLENGE - Irish Central  reports that a High Court in Belfast yesterday was told that Northern Ireland could veto the UK's departure from the European Union despite the Brexit vote. "In a legal challenge presented on Tuesday, October 4, by a cross-party group of politicians from Northern Ireland and other anti-Brexit campaigners, the high court heard how Northern Ireland's departure from the EU would massively undermine the work of the Belfast Agreement (Good Friday Agreement), the peace process, and would be extremely damaging to Northern Ireland, according to the group's lawyer Ronan Lavery."
WHAT'S NEXT? - The New York Times  writes that partly as a result of their shared membership in the European Union, "London and Dublin have largely put aside historical animosities and developed a tightly woven relationship. Now Britain's exit from the bloc holds the risk of introducing new friction, from the economy to the management of Northern Ireland's sectarian tensions to the familial, social and cultural ties that bind the inhabitants of the islands." The article quotes Minister Flanagan on Brexit: "Ireland, he said, has become "a totally different place" from the country that joined the forerunner of the European Union on the same day as Britain in 1973. Yet even an economically transformed Ireland, he said, cannot escape the ramifications of a referendum by a large neighbor with whom it shares centuries of troubled history."
MINISTERS' INTERVIEW - Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade , Charlie Flanagan, was interviewed recently   by reporter Jake Tapper, who is CNN's Chief Washington Correspondent. The Apple ruling, Brexit, the refugee crisis and the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants were the main topics covered.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS - In an article published in the Huffington Post , Minister Flanagan  wrote, Ireland will continue to serve as a gateway to the EU - we offer an English-speaking, business-friendly, competitive environment. We have a track record in innovation, and most of all, a highly-educated and talented workforce. Our economy is growing steadily. We are open for business! In the wake of Brexit, Enterprise Ireland has upped the number of international trade missions, with 26 ministerial-led trips set to take place by year end.
NORTHERN IRELAND - British prime minister Theresa May said in Belfast that she wants a "practical solution" to the problems caused by Brexit and that no one wants a return "to the borders of the past". 56% of the people of Northern Ireland voted for the UK to remain within the European Union, but she made clear there would be no attempt to alter the UK referendum decision to quit Europe. She also said that "of course Northern Ireland will have a border with the Republic of Ireland". Ireland is a key trading partner for the UK, representing its fifth-largest export market with bilateral trade totaling $38.7 billion.
SOFT BORDER - Ireland's Taoiseach and the British prime minister have agreed there will be no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit. They have also agreed to find "creative and imaginative" ways to deal with customs checks. Speaking after meeting with the PM, the Taoiseach said they agreed a joint approach to the future of the Border. A 'soft' border could be run by technology, and the Taoiseach indicated that he was open to exploring models such as those in Canada, whereby vehicles' registration plates are screened automatically as they approach a border.

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.

Apple's Taxes
TAX RULING - Apple has been ordered by the European commission to pay almost $15 billion in back taxes to Ireland, but both Apple and the Irish government reject the ruling and plan to appeal. Many Irish campaigners are calling for the windfall to be invested in public housing. Apple chose the Irish city of Cork as its European base 30 years ago and had expanded from 60 workers to almost 6,000 in Ireland. The US Treasury department also rejects the ruling saying the commission departed from international tax norms and that the ruling would affect US companies disproportionately.
RULING APPEAL - The Wall Street Journal  reports that the Irish government will appeal the European Commission's ruling about Apple's taxes. "But the ruling has nonetheless raised questions, inside and outside the country, about the importance of taxes to an economic-growth model that Ireland has followed". The article quotes Taoiseach Enda Kenny who said: "Yes we compete, and we compete hard, but we do so within the rules". The article also quotes comments from opposition party leader, Michael Martin who said that some European countries unfairly blamed Ireland's tax system for their own failures to attract investment. "He also wondered aloud why the commission hadn't launched similar investigations in France, given that it effectively taxes companies at a lower rate than Ireland."
WHY REJECT MONEY? - The Irish government wants the ruling reversed   because it wants to preserve  its status as a low-tax base for overseas companies. The government claims the low-tax rate has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and that the iPhone-maker is one of more than 700 U.S. companies that have units in Ireland, employing a combined 140,000 people. Altogether, over 300,000 people are employed directly or indirectly in Foreign Direct Investment companies in Ireland. The international dispute centers on the more than $2 trillion in overseas profits that US corporations have refused to bring back to the US where they would face a hefty tax bill. Apple repeatedly claims that it pays all of the taxes it owes and is the largest taxpayer in the world.
APPLE EXPANSION - Apple has completed a merger of its Luxembourg-based company with Apple Distribution International located in Cork, which means that operations previously overseen by the Luxembourg division, including the iTunes music service, has now shifted to Cork. Earlier this year, Apple was granted planning permission to build on at its site in Hollyhill, Cork and announced plans to hire up to 1,000 more staff in Ireland.
More Ireland News
JAILING BANKERS - In July, an Irish court convicted three top bankers   for their roles in the 2008 financial crisis, sentencing the trio to prison for 2-4 years for "dishonest and corrupt" actions that helped cripple the country's economy.  The convictions represent a rare instance of prison sentences for actual individuals, and come as no executives in Britain or the US have been jailed for their roles in the crisis. All three bankers were convicted of conspiring to dupe clients through what the judge called "sham transactions" and a "very serious crime." Another two banking senior executives await trial on similar fraud charges.
GOOD REPUTATION - Ireland is at number nine in a global ranking of reputations, according to the annual Country RepTrak 2016 study which ranks 55 countries based on levels of trust, esteem, admiration and good feeling. Being welcoming, safe and beautiful are the top three drivers of a country's reputation, and nations with strong reputations such as Ireland are better positioned to welcome more tourists, increase exports, improve diplomacy and attract foreign direct investment, knowledge and talent.
SOCIAL PROGRESS - Ireland is the 12th best place in the world to live when it comes to basic human needs such as health, education and equality, according to an expansive global index of 133 countries published recently. The Social Progress Index uses 12 categories, including quality of water and shelter, access to healthcare and education and the ability people in the countries surveyed have to improve their lives through equality and personal rights.
8TH AMENDMENT - Several pro-choice activists gathered in Seattle on September 24 to call for a referendum on the Irish constitution's eighth amendment which prohibits abortion in Ireland unless there is an immediate threat to the woman's life . The rally was one of many held in solidarity with Ireland's own March for Choice held the same day which was organized by Ireland's Abortion Rights Campaign. Over 20,000 campaigners took to the streets of Dublin agitating for a referendum. Other cities in the US participating in the campaign included New York, San Francisco, and Portland. Half of Irish people in a recent survey said they want the eighth amendment  repealed .
AIRLINE APPROVAL - Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been pressuring President Obama to grant final approval for the Irish-based airline, Norwegian Air International, to fly direct from Ireland to USA. Norwegian requested approval almost three years ago and has tentatively booked slots to fly from Cork to Boston starting March 2017. It plans to offer $69 one-way flights to the US from Cork and other airports in Europe using 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.
TAX INCENTIVES - Highly-skilled emigrants who left Ireland to find work overseas are to be lured home with a special tax deal potentially worth thousands of euro. The Irish government is considering offering a 30% tax rate to a range of graduates and entrepreneurs living overseas in a bid to become more competitive in the post-Brexit environment. The lower tax rate would be aimed at those earning in excess of about $85,000 in specialist jobs in areas like medicine, science, IT and finance, and would also apply to entrepreneurs in specialist sectors. The move is in response to complaints from highly-skilled workers living overseas that the marginal tax rate of just under 50% is putting them off from returning home.
Bloody Sunday in Derry, 1972
Bloody Sunday in Derry, 1972

BISHOP DALY, RIP - Former Bishop of Derry Edward Daly, who spoke at Seattle's annual St. Patrick's Day Mass for Peace in 2002,  died in Derry on August 8 aged 82. More than 25,000 people visited Derry's Cathedral to pay their respects and a message of condolence was read out at his funeral from Pope Francis. On Bloody Sunday in 1972, the then 39-year-old Fr. Daly was filmed while waving a blood-stained handkerchief as he tried to assist the mortally wounded Jackie Duddy after British paratroopers had killed 13 unarmed civilians and injured another 13 during a civil rights march in Derry. Daly said that he was running from the soldiers alongside Duddy when the 17-year-old was shot in the back. He later said: "Many young people I have talked to in prison have told me they would have never joined the IRA had it not been for what they witnessed on Bloody Sunday". In 2010, British PM Cameron  formally apologized on behalf of the British Government for the deaths and injuries that happened on Bloody Sunday.
FAVORITE AIRLINE - Irish airline Ryanair claims to be the 'world's favorite airline' after new figures show the airline carried over 101.4 million international passengers in 2015, the first airline in the world to carry more than 100 million international customers in one year. To celebrate, Ryanair has released 100,000 seats for sale across its European network priced from €19.99 (about $22) for travel in October and November.
FRIENDLY CITIES - Dublin and Galway have been voted among the top six friendliest cities in the world, according to Condé Nast Traveler magazine. The annual reader survey of the US travel magazine put Dublin in third position, with Galway in sixth place. Galway impressed readers with "live music in the pubs and in the street, the food," and the vibe.  
CAMPAIGN ATTACKS - US presidential candidate Donald Trump has attacked Hillary Clinton because of her relationship with Irish businessman Denis O'Brien. While Clinton was US secretary of state, O'Brien was awarded funding to develop mobile phone services in Haiti from a fund administered by the US Agency for International Development which is overseen by the State Department. The funds were, however, provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
MORE ATTACKS - The Trump campaign also criticized 19 countries that have donated to the Clinton Foundation, including Ireland. In response, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs issued documents showing that Irish Aid has been involved in three separate memorandums of understanding with the Clinton Foundation through which $175 million was donated for projects in Mozambique and Lesotho. The funds were used to fund Aids and HIV prevention, treatment and support programs, and general health initiatives aimed at children. Irish Aid supports work in a large number of countries throughout the developing world, but its main focus is on sub-Saharan Africa.
IRISH FILM - A film called Dare To Be Wild is an inspiring tale of Irish gardener (Mary Reynolds) who despite many odds stacked against her won the Chelsea Flower Show in 2002. Reynolds was 28 when her Celtic creation won a gold medal at Chelsea - making her the youngest winner ever. She managed it despite not having the $190,000 sponsorship needed - and having to go to Africa to convince Christy Collard to work with her. Reynolds is a sister of Seattle's Paul Reynolds.
ANOTHER FILM - Another new film, The Siege of Jadotville, has its worldwide release this week. The siege happened in September 1961, during the UN intervention in the Congo, when a company of 155  lightly-armed Irish UN troops were suddenly attacked by between 3,000 and 5,000 troops loyal to the Katangese Prime Minister. In the fighting, about 300 of the attackers were killed, including 30 mercenaries, and an estimated 300 to 1,000 were wounded. However, no Irish soldiers were killed and only five were injured. Forced to surrender after six days when ammunition and food supplies were exhausted, the Irish soldiers were held as prisoners of war for a month before being released.
THE DEAD - The New York Times  features the upcoming production of Joyce's story "The Dead" by the Irish Repertory Theatre at a New York Upper East Side townhouse owned by the American Irish Historical Society. The article states that the company "is planning an immersive production of James Joyce's famous short story "The Dead" at a historic house in which some theatergoers will participate in the holiday meal at the heart of the tale."
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
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - Maynooth University in Co. Kildare has created a crowd-sourced digital collection of letters written around the time of the 1916 Easter Rising, and is looking for volunteers to help transcribe them, something that can be done at home by anyone with a computer and an internet connection. There are hundreds of letters connecting thousands of lives commenting on a myriad of topics including the Easter Rising, literature and art, the Great War, politics, business, and ordinary life. To volunteer to help with transcribing or editing a letter, go to You can also explore the collection or even add to the collection a letter from your family allowing their story to become part of a national narrative.
PEACEFUL PARADES - This summer in  Northern Ireland was notable for what did not happen - there was a peaceful marching season, or as the Irish Times put it: "even the violence had passed off peacefully." That makes three marching seasons in a row considered peaceful or quiet.
PEACE LINES - The 16-foot walls and fences dividing many Catholic and Protestant communities in the North will be gone by 2023. Peace Walls, physical barriers dividing communities, are one of the most visual remaining symbols of division in Northern Ireland.  North Belfast has 16 of them, walls, fences or gates. In total in the North, there are around 50 still in operation. They cut through housing developments and are most prevalent in the hearts of Belfast and Derry. The Peace Walls Program was started in 2012 and continues to remove the barriers.
ALL-IRELAND WINNERS - Cork beat Dublin to become the 2016 All-Ireland ladies senior Gaelic football champions with a narrow one-point victory in front of a record 34,445 attendance at Croke Park. That's the largest attendance ever in Europe at a women's sporting event. In the men's senior football game, Dublin defeated Mayo by one point in a replay after the first game played two weeks earlier had ended in a tie. In the senior Hurling Final, Tipperary defeated Kilkenny in an upset. All the games were played in Croke Park stadium and the three men's games all had attendances of over 82,000.
McALEESE CALL - Former Irish president Mary McAleese has called on the  Catholic Church and Pope Francis to end the ban on contraception saying women have been "infantilized and robbed" by the continuing ban. McAleese, who was president of Ireland for fourteen years from 1997 to 2011, has close Vatican ties but has adopted a liberal Catholic stance on many issues, most notably supporting the referendum to allow gay marriage in Ireland.
REFUGEE SYMPATHY - In a poll of 12 European countries carried out by The International Rescue Committee, Irish people have been ranked as the most sympathetic towards the arrival of Syrian refugees. The overall findings of the data show that levels of sympathy towards Syrian refugees are generally high across Europe, with three out of four people expressing some degree of compassion towards their plight.
IRISH RETIREMENT - The Irish government is proposing changes to its policy regarding non-citizen retirees from outside Europe (mainly from the US) who wish to retire in Ireland. Some of the proposed changes include: reducing the net annual income requirement for applicants from €50,000 ($56,000) per applicant to €40,000($45,000) per applicant, or €60,000 ($67,500) for a couple; mandatory pre-clearance for applicants rather than allowing applications only from within the country as is presently the case; and limit the scheme to retirees who can demonstrate a close connection to Ireland. Anyone interested is welcome at share their views before October 31 at
FREE CIVIL RECORDS - There is now free online access at to Irish Civil Records since 1864, which includes over 2.5 million records of births, marriages and deaths. Images of the records cover births from 1864 to 1915, marriages from 1882 to 1940, and deaths from 1891 to 1965. The birth registers include date and place of birth, name and sex of the child, name, surname and dwelling place of father, name, surname and maiden surname of mother, rank or profession of father, signature, qualification and residence of the informant, when registered and the signature of the registrar. If you need any help in understanding the information you find - post in the Ireland XO Message Board at and they promise to do their best to help you find what you are looking for.
CENSUS ARCHIVES - The 1901 and 1911 Irish census database has been a massive hit with historians, researchers and genealogists alike, receiving 20 million unique users and more than 1 billion hits since the site was first launched in December 2007 (before both complete censuses had been fully digitized). The 1911 census was made available first since the film of the census pages was of better quality. The census records can be searched here free of charge.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS - Titanic Belfast was named Europe's leading tourist attraction in 2016 - an award won in 2015 by Dublin's Guinness Storehouse. Titanic Belfast now goes forward to the Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2016, where it will vie with other regional winners for the title of World's Leading Attraction. The ceremony will be held in the Maldives on December 12.
HIGHEST WATERFALL - At 500 feet, the Sruth In Aghaidh An Aird waterfall in Co. Sligo, is Ireland's highest waterfall. The water doesn't flow the whole year and is reduced to a small trickle during dry periods. Also called The Devil's Chimney, the name Sruth In Aghaidh An Aird means "stream against the height", because when the wind blows from the south west, the water often blows upwards and back over the edge. 
250TH ANNIVERSARY - One of Dublin's most famous pubs, The Long Hall bar, a favorite of both the late Phil Lynott and of Bruce Springsteen, is celebrating its 250th birthday. The bar license was first granted in 1766, just seven years after Arthur Guinness founded his brewery. In the 1800s the pub was a recruitment center for the Fenians and the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
OLYMPIC WINNERS - Brothers Gary and Paul O'Donovan won the silver medal in the men's lightweight double sculls final rowing competition during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Slate magazine writes that Every Interview With These Silver-Winning Irish Rowers Is Pure Gold The Washington Post story about the brothers ends with Seriously, doesn't this make you want to grab your podium pants and hop on the next Aer Lingus nonstop to Dublin?
OLYMPICS CONSPIRACY - Brazilian authorities claim a conspiracy was hatched to profit from above-cost ticket touting at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.  They allege the scheme involved among others Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey and the claim is that some tickets were being sold for 18 times their face value.  Brazilian police have arrested Hickey, and if charged and convicted he could face up to seven years in prison.
HOLIDAY RESORT - Center Parcs has been given the green light to develop a $260m holiday resort in Co Longford. The Longford Forest holiday village will sit on a 405-acre site near Ballymahon and will create approximately 750 jobs during construction. Once open it will cater for up to 2,500 guests and employ up to 1,000 people in permanent jobs. Center Parcs Longford Forest will have up to 500 lodges, more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, a spa, a range of restaurants and cafés and a Subtropical Swimming Paradise.
FACEBOOK LAWSUIT - The President of the African state of Djibouti has brought Irish High Court proceedings against Facebook Ireland over what he claims are offensive posts on the social media site about him. Facebook Ireland Ltd is the social media's designated data processor for all accounts outside the US and Canada.
IRISH V-P - Tim Kaine takes a keen interest in his roots and has been described as "81.25% Irish and the rest Scottish." He attends Irish events regularly, most recently the American Ireland Fund dinner in Washington, DC, where he was honored. A member of the Congressional Friend s of Ireland, Kaine has Irish-born great-grandparents on both sides of the family, and he traces his Irish roots to Longford and Kilkenny. His father was of Scottish and Irish descent, while his mother is of mainly Irish ancestry.
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, or contact Mike or Sheila at
  • The Irish Times lists 22 twentysomething young Irish people who are likely to influence Ireland - and the world - in the coming years
  • The New Yorker writes about How Apple helped create Ireland's economies, real and fantastical
  • Every week trade worth more than a billion euro is conducted between Ireland and the UK, sustaining more than 400,000 jobs directly, and more in the supply chain
  • There are 50,000 Irish-born directors of UK companies
  • Ireland to England is one of the busiest international air routes in the world, with almost 2,000 flights a week 
  • Because of a 26% jump in GDP in 2015, Ireland may have to contribute an extra $314 million to the EU treasury
  • Britain exports more to Ireland than it exports to China, India, Brazil and Russia combined
  • There are almost 32,000 millionaires in Dublin, one in every 40 people
  • At the same time, there are 4,473 homeless people in Dublin
  • The Pittsburgh Post Gazette says, Both U.S. presidential candidates have links to Ireland
  • Preliminary 2016 census data shows the population of the Republic of Ireland has grown to 4,757,976, up 3.7% since the 2011 census
  • 507,400 more tourists visited Ireland in the first six months of 2016 compared to 2015
  • The Irish government plans to ban the estimated 6,000 cigarette machines in Ireland
  • At least 500,000 of Northern Ireland's 1.8m citizens hold an Irish passport
  • The Washington Post says, Our first black president plays up his Scots-Irish heritage
  • 5 great Ireland Road Trips
  • An estimated 750,000 people live in poverty in Ireland, with an income of $235 per week or less, which is 60% of the median income of $393 weekly
  • The McDonald's in Dublin's Temple Bar pays an annual rent of $393,000
  • It is estimated that the average cost to Irish parents of outfitting their child for school following the summer holidays is about $1,300
  • For those who got caught in the rain while visiting Ireland, the Irish Rainwater Company sells 25mls of Irish rainwater in a glass vial for $15
  • An American sailor has set a new world record for the fastest sail around the island of Ireland, 36 hours and 52 minutes, beating the previous record by more than one hour and 45 minutes.
  • Roger Casement, the last 1916 leader executed, was hanged in Pentonville Prison in London on August 3, 1916
  • 14 Reasons why Ireland is the worst place on Earth
  • The Irish Times writes about the myth of Irish slaves being sent to the US
  • Watch a flashmob breaking out in a Dublin assisted living center
  • Vehicles with five or more axles are banned from entering Dublin city between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm
  • Ireland now has its first luxury sleeper train, with 10 carriages, 20 en-suite cabins, two dining cars and an observation car
  • Check out some of Ireland's unusual pubs
  • A Sky Sports News presenter has apologized for referring to the game between Dublin and Mayo in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship as being the "All-England Final"
  • No stranger to strong opinions, Irish musician Bono says "Donald Trump is potentially the worst idea that ever happened to America
  • Read a Dutch journalist's impressions after watching hurling for the first time
  • The Top 10 places to see in County Mayo before you die
  • A barman has resigned from his job in a well-known Cork pub after the owner told him he was forbidden from speaking Irish on the premises
  • The New York Times writes about The Irish Alps, also known as The Irish Catskills
  • Arriving for the handover of Dublin Castle on January 16, 1922, and being told by a British Officer that he was seven minutes late, Michael Collins replied. "We've been waiting 700 years, you can have the seven minutes" 

Irish Heritage Club Membership

We invite you to renew your membership in the Irish Heritage Club for 2016. 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

Seacht seachtaine ramhra ó Shamhain go Nollaig
Seven fat weeks from Samhain to Christmas 

John Keane