Archive for the ‘Reference’ Category

Irish Wolfhound

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on Irish Wolfhound

The Irish wolfhound is a breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris), specifically a sighthound. The name originates from its purpose (wolf hunting) rather than from its appearance. Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest dog breed on average. Built like a very muscular greyhound, the Irish wolfhound male can attain the stature of a small pony. Its large, long head tapers to a medium point and is held high. Ears are small and stay close to the head except during moments of intensity. Strong shoulders, a muscular neck, a deep chest and a retracted abdomen give the dog its characteristic body shape. Paws are large and round. The tail is carried between the legs, curving slightly upward. The coat is rough, shaggy, wiry and especially bushy over the eyes and under the jaw. ...read more

Irish Music Sessions (seisiún)

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The general session (seisiún) scheme is that someone starts a tune, and those who know it join in. Good session etiquette requires not playing if one does not know the tune, and waiting until a tune one knows comes along. In an “open” session, anyone who is able to play Irish music is welcome. Most often there are more-or-less recognized session leaders; sometimes there are no leaders. At times a song will be sung or a slow air played by a single musician between sets. The objective in a session is not to provide music for an audience of passive listeners; although the punters (non-playing attendees) often come for the express purpose of listening, the music is most of all for the musicians themselves. “Audience” requests for a particular song or tune of the players can be considered rude. The session is an experience that’s shared, not a performance that’s bought and sold. ...read more

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh – Listen to 10 Minutes of Spoken Irish (with English Sub-titles)

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh – Listen to 10 Minutes of Spoken Irish (with English Sub-titles)

Irish (Gaeilge) originated in Ireland and was historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language only by a small minority of the Irish population, and as a second language by a larger minority. However, it is widely considered to be an important part of the island’s culture and heritage. It enjoys constitutional status as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland. It is also an official language of the European Union and an officially recognized minority language in Northern Ireland. Irish was the predominant language of the Irish people for most of their recorded history, and they brought their Gaelic speech with them to other countries, notably Scotland and the Isle of Man where it gave rise to Scottish Gaelic and Manx. It has the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe. ...read more

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh – “Voice of Gaelic Games” (3 videos)

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Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh – born 20 August 1930 in Dún Síon, Dingle, County Kerry, (Irish Free State) is an Irish Gaelic games commentator for Raidió Teilifís Éireann. In a career that has spanned six decades he has come to be regarded as the natural successor of Michael O’Hehir as the “voice of Gaelic games.” ...read more

Bog Snorkelling (and you thought the Irish just did Riverdance…)

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on Bog Snorkelling (and you thought the Irish just did Riverdance…)

A CHAMPION is still a champion — even if they are covered in mud. Yesterday, a new winner — and world record holder — was crowned when Peter Cunningham shaved six seconds off the previous record, in the annual bog snorkelling championships. Peter (29), from Blackrock, Dublin, was one of 60 people taking part in the annual event just outside Castleblaney, Co Monaghan. The men’s event was closely fought with the winning time of 1 min 24 secs by Mr Cunningham, which exceeded the world record of 1 min 30 secs. ...read more

The Irish Flag

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The national flag of Ireland (Irish: bratach na hÉireann / suaitheantas na hÉireann) is a vertical tricolor of green (at the hoist), white, and orange.  It is also known as the Irish tricolour. The flag proportion is 1:2 (length twice the width). Officially the flag has no meaning in the Irish Constitution, but a common interpretation is that the green represents the Irish nationalist tradition of Ireland and the orange represents the Orange tradition in Ireland, with white representing peace between them. The white in the center would thus signify a lasting truce between the ‘Green’ and the ‘Orange’. ...read more

Gaelic Football – “Gah”

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Gaelic football (Irish: Peil, Peil Ghaelach, or Caid), commonly referred to as “Football”, “Gaelic”, or “Gah” is a form of football played mainly in Ireland. It is, together with hurling, one of the two most popular spectator sports in Ireland. Football is played by teams of 15 on a rectangular grass pitch with H-shaped goals at each end. The primary object is to score by kicking or striking the ball with the hand and getting it through the goals. The team with the highest score at the end of the match wins. ...read more

I Can’t Believe it’s Bog Butter!

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The high acid content of the soil gives bogs great preservative qualities. It turns out that between the 6th and 19th centuries A.D., people in Ireland and Scotland buried their butter in bogs, making butter one of the most widespread archaeological items found in bogs. ...read more

There was Riverdance and then there was Stavros Flatley

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RIVERDANCE, the thunderous celebration of Irish music, song and dance that has tapped its way onto the world stage thrilling millions of people around the globe…Composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, to date, RIVERDANCE has played over 10,000 performances, been seen live by more than 22 million people in over 350 venues throughout 32 countries across 4 continents. ...read more

Hurling – Everything you ever wanted to know, but never dared ask! (3 Part Video)

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on Hurling – Everything you ever wanted to know, but never dared ask! (3 Part Video)

Hurling has been described variously as ‘field hockey in the air,’ ‘brutal field hockey,’ ‘like lacross but with solid sticks’ etc. None of these descriptions really do the game justice. To truly get a feel for the spirit of the sport requires that you see it in action. It exhibits a unique combination of skill, athleticism, stamina and speed that few sports can match. It is acknowledged as the fastest field game on earth. It has the speed and continuous flowing action of ice hockey but on grass. ...read more

Hurling – Fastest Team Sport in the World (Video Demonstrations)

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on Hurling – Fastest Team Sport in the World (Video Demonstrations)

Hurling is an outdoor team sport of ancient Gaelic origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association, and played with sticks called hurleys and a ball called a sliotar. The game, played primarily in Ireland, has prehistoric origins and is thought to be the world’s fastest field team sport in terms of game play. One of Ireland’s native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, number of players, and much terminology. There is a similar game for women called camogie (camógaíocht). It shares a common Gaelic root with the sport of shinty (camanachd) which is played predominantly in Scotland. ...read more

Irish and English National Anthems Played at “Crokers”

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on Irish and English National Anthems Played at “Crokers”

A rugby match between Ireland and England on 24 February 2007 was politically symbolic because of the events of Bloody Sunday in 1920. There was considerable concern as to what reaction there would be to the singing of the British National Anthem God Save the Queen. Ultimately the anthem was sung without interruption or incident, and applauded by both sets of supporters at the match, which Ireland won by 43-13 (their largest ever win over England in rugby). ...read more

No Go: Free Derry

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on No Go: Free Derry

Free Derry (Irish: SaorDhoire) was a self-declared autonomous nationalist area of Derry, Northern Ireland, between 1969 and 1972. Its name was taken from a sign painted on a gable wall in the Bogside in January 1969 which read, “You are now entering Free Derry”. The area, which included the Bogside and Creggan  neighborhoods, was secured by community activists for the first time on 5 January 1969 following an incursion into the Bogside by members of the police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Residents built barricades and carried clubs and similar arms to prevent the RUC from entering. ...read more

DeValera – Churchill (6 videos)

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In June 1940, during and after the Battle of France, Britain offered to end the Partition of Ireland  quickly if Ireland would abandon its neutrality and join the war against Germany and Italy. De Valera had campaigned against partition and the 1937 Constitution drafted by him had an irredentist  clause describing the State as the “whole island of Ireland”, but he declined the offer. After the war he again called repeatedly for the ending of partition. The offer and his rejection remained secret until a biography was published in 1970. ...read more

Speaking with an Irish Accent

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Very few Irish people sound rampantly Irish, so don’t try to overdo it like the man in this video. The best way to sound like a native Irish is to slip in a few potent Irishisms into your speech, playing the role of someone whose Irish accent is waning after a few years in America, rather than playing the Mick fresh off the boat. You’ll also need to learn phrases and the different mannerisms, and not simply the accent. For example, Irish people might say “I’m only just after getting home” where as someone else might say “I just got home”. ...read more

War and Peace in Ireland (9 videos)

Posted by Tim Murray    Comments Off on War and Peace in Ireland (9 videos)

WAR AND PEACE IN IRELAND – (A Film by Arthur Mac Caig) retraces the conflict in Northern Ireland from 1968 up until the present day peace process. ...read more

The Catalpa Rescue (6 Videos)

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This documentary film tells the story of one of the greatest prison escapes in history. A celebrated story in its day, this 150-year-old story has long since been forgotten. Set amid the background of a period of great change in world history – the last days of Colonial Britain – the remnants of their time resonate today in the British policy towards Northern Ireland. ...read more

Catalpa (The Rescue)

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A BRIEF COMPILATION OF THE MAJOR POINTS OF THE CATALPA RESCUE STORY by Paul T. Meagher

The bare bones of the story of the Catalpa Rescue is familiar to most members of the Friendly Sons. It tells of the escape, on 18 April, 1876, of six Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) prisoners from the Convict Establishment (now Fremantle Prison) in the British Penal Colony of Western Australia. It describes their successful evasion of recapture aboard a New Bedford whaling bark, Catalpa, and their triumphant reception in the USA and subsequent freedom. ...read more

Robert Emmet

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Robert Emmet (4 March 1778 – 20 September 1803) was an Irish nationalist rebel leader. He led an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803 and was captured, tried and executed for high treason. ...read more

Ireland, My Ireland by Arnold J. Meagher – (Book Review)

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For anyone with an interest in how daily life was experienced in rural Ireland, in the mid-20th Century, a wonderful new resource is now available.  Ireland, My Ireland, by Arnold J. Meagher (Publish America Books, $19.95) is a warm personal account of the life of a growing boy, on a small farm in County Longford, in the 1940s and ‘50s. ...read more