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Todays' Irish News

Yes, there are many news items not included here. We deliberately avoid: politics, death, disaster and other mayhem.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Last winter the stormiest in 143 years
That's according to Climatologists at NUI Maynooth. The research by Dr Tom Matthews, Dr Conor Murphy and Shaun Harrigan from NUI Maynooth’s Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units together with Prof. Rob Wilby of the UK's Loughborough University used long-running atmospheric datasets to characterise winter storminess over the North Atlantic for the last 66 years and as far back as winter 1871-1872 for Ireland and the UK. The results indicated that last winter was the stormiest in the 66 year record across the North Atlantic due to the unprecedented strength and number of cyclones over the mid- and high-latitude North Atlantic respectively. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

The returned emigrant: ‘I realised how much I missed home’
Within 12 months of moving to Canada in 2009, Pete O’Sullivan had secured permanent residency, had just changed careers from finance to IT sales, and thought he’d never move back to Dublin. But sometime last year, he began to change his mind about spending his future in Vancouver. “I came home last Christmas for the first time since I left, and I realised then how much I missed home – my family, and friends who were getting married and having babies. I’m 33, I had been there five years, and the question was, do I want to live there forever? The answer was no. So I decided to move back.” For more details, please click Irish Times.

Oul' Lammas Fair: sizzling good time had by all
Yellow Man, dulse and horses were centre stage in Ballycastle once again as the 2014 Oul' Lammas Fair returned. Thousands of people from all over Northern Ireland and beyond showed up for two days of festivities at the historic market in the picturesque Co Antrim seaside town. Taking place on the last Monday and Tuesday of August, it is understood to be the oldest traditional fair on the island of Ireland, and takes place to mark the end of the summer and beginning of the harvest. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Lonely Planet
ED. NOTE: To read our article, please click Ould Lammas Fair

Matchmaker Willie hopes for bumper wedding year
Matchmaking “for near on 50 years”, Willie said yesterday that the conditions are right for a bumper year for weddings for those looking for love at the festival “after a bumper harvest year for farmers”. The month-long festival gets under way this weekend and is billed as Europe’s largest singles festival. Willie said that women are due to come in good numbers from overseas to meet Irish farmers at the festival. “There is quite an interest in the Irish male. He is a very pure kind of person — maybe it is living on an island — but that is a scarce enough commodity in the world right now." For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
ED. NOTE: T oead our article, please click Making a Match in Lisdoonvarna

Want to brush up on your Irish - or even start from scratch?
More than 6,000 people have signed up to a new Irish course on Duolingo, a popular language learning course, since it was made available last night. The course, which is currently in beta mode alongside Danish and Dutch, is only available on desktop for now, but includes the same features associated with the service. If you’ve studied a course on Duolingo before, then you will be familiar with the format. For those who aren’t, lessons are broken up into small games, usually involving pronunciation, spelling, and matching words to pictures. For more on this news item, please click Journal Ireland.

Dublin's Generator Hostel third-best on earth
That's according to hotel price comparison website, which trawled its database of over 800,000 properties in a recent survey, listing the 10 most popular hostels in the world over the past 18 months. Generator Dublin - part of an upmarket chain with hostels in Copenhagen, Barcelona and other European cities - is located in Smithfield, next to the Jameson Distillery. It hosts over 500 beds, but it is far from a grubby, overcrowded affair. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Cork's Fota Wildlife Park helps three species avoid extinction
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums has published a list of the top 10 reptiles and amphibians to benefit from the aid of its members in Ireland and the UK. Three residents of Fota Wildlife Park’s Tropical House - the mountain chicken, axolotl (pictured) and the Morelet’s leaf frog - have all made it on to the list. The mountain chicken, one of the world’s biggest frogs, got its name as it is commonly hunted for food. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Triumphant return for Cillian
Cork actor Cillian Murphy made a triumphant return to his hometown last night when he led a stellar cast at the opening of Enda Walsh’s Ballyturk at Cork Opera House. It was Murphy’s first appearance on a Leeside stage since he first broke through in 1996 in another of Walsh’s plays, Disco Pigs. The boy from Ballintemple has grown into a 38-year-old star with such films as 28 Days Later and three Batman movies under his belt, and it was nice to see a hefty contingent of his family in the audience as part of the homecoming. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Graeme McDowell posts first picture of baby daughter
The 2010 US Open champion uploaded a family snapshot to Twitter of himself kissing his little girl on the head as she is cradled by her mum. G-Mac wrote alongside the picture: "Welcome to the world to our beautiful daughter. 7lbs 4oz at 6.04am, August 25th 2014. Name to be confirmed!" The Portrush golfer has had many exciting times during his successful career, but he said the birth of his baby has topped them all. "Thanks so much for all the well wishes. Mum and baby girl are happy and healthy. Happiest moment of my life hands down." For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Past Two Weeks
August 26
An ordinary and extraordinary farewell to Albert Reynolds, RIP
“My door is always open,’” he used to say. “The table is there. Varnished or unvarnished.” For people to sit around and talk peace. Or maybe play a hand of poker. Yesterday, the church door opened for Albert Reynolds and that table was there again, now draped in white linen with the gifts of his full life spread out on it. Strangers might wonder: what class of statesman was he at all, with a deck of cards, a book of dancehall tickets, an old newspaper, a can of dog food and a well-thumbed race-card taking up so much space. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Maxwells

Emigration of Irish nationals falls 20% in year to April
There are indications that the wave of mass emigration out of Ireland prompted by the downturn may be slowing down, with the number of Irish people leaving the country last year falling 20 per cent compared to the previous 12 months. Figures published by the Central Statistics office today show outward migration remains high however, with 40,700 Irish people moving abroad in the 12 months to April, compared to 50,900 in 2012/13. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Landmark events to celebrate the life of of Seamus Heaney, RIP
This weekend the people of Bellaghy and further afield will gather in the poet's home village to remember the life of the Nobel Laureate in an event entitled The Poetry House. It comes after the announcement last week that the new Seamus Heaney Centre has been approved for Bellaghy. Starting on Saturday morning, Bellaghy Bawn will be centre stage for the weekend's events which take place on the first anniversary of the poet's passing. Mr Heaney died on August 30, 2013. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

NI sanctuary for WWII Jewish children to be preserved
A sleepy farm on the Ards peninsula that is renowned worldwide as a refuge for children escaping the Holocaust is to be preserved. The Department of the Environment has confirmed that the former houses and stable block at the farm on the Ballywalter Road near Millisle have been listed as buildings of "special architectural or historic interest". Around 300 Jewish children found sanctuary at the farm between 1938 and 1948 after they were saved by the Kinder transport movement. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

The two Belfast teens who made the ultimate sacrifice 100 years ago today
John McKean Simms and Samuel Hoy died in the face of German gunfire hundreds of miles away in France. The 19-year-olds, members of 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, lost their lives in the August 1914 Battle of Le Cateau alongside 34 comrades. Michael Nugent, of WWI Research Ireland, explained: "When war broke out, the prevailing view was that it would be over by Christmas. A lot of people rushed to join to 'get some war in' before it ended. This was a big adventure. You're a 19-year-old from east Belfast in 1914. Given the chance to go to France, you'd jump at it!" For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit, More Pics & Related Story: British Battles

10 facts that put into perspective just how small Ireland is
Some might say that it's easy for the Emerald Isle to get too big for its britches when superlative terms like “the best small country in the world” get thrown around the place willy-nilly. But just how small is it? Very small. A mere blip on the Earth’s surface, in fact. Here are some facts to illustrate just how tiny it is: urkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan all have larger populations than Ireland. Butte, Montana is nearly 6 times the size of Dublin. And you could squeeze Louth into Texas 843 times. To read all the facts, please click Journal Ireland.

No Monday blues for €3.9m jackpot-winning syndicate
A group of 14 staff at a law firm had been playing the Lotto for more than 20 years but had "never even matched five numbers" before winning a €3.9m jackpot. The syndicate from Bourke Carrigg and Loftus Solicitors in Ballina, Co Mayo, have won about €279,000 each after taking home a staggering €3,919,939 in last weekend's draw. But it wasn't until they arrived in work yesterday that staff realised that their weekly Lotto-playing routine had finally paid off. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Irish mammy ice bucket challenge: the sequel
We've had one Irish mother who didn't quite understand how the ice bucket challenge worked. This mammy however, had problems of a different kind. Maura O’Neill gave her mother the job of filming her ice bucket challenge, but the camera seemed too much for mammy to handle. It might be unfair to say that some of the older generations have a difficulty coming to terms with new technology with "The Facebook" and the "Twitter thingy", but we are grateful for the hilarity it brings. Videos like this also go to show that Irish Mammys are the best in the world. To watch , please click Irish Examiner.

Ireland’s Ciara Ginty wins boxing silver at the Youth Olympics
Ginty, from Geesala BC in Mayo, lost the lightweight final on a unanimous decision against America’s Jajaira Gonzalez. Her silver medal, which she won this morning, adds to what has already been a successful tournament for the Irish team, managed by Stephen Connelly and coached by Billy McClean. Donegal’s Michael Gallagher won bronze in the heavyweight division while Cork middleweight Christina Desmond just missed out on a bronze medal in a box-off. For more on this news item, please click Journal ireland.

August 25
Papal tribute for former Taoiseach
As mourners gather for a state funeral in Dublin for the politician and businessman, the pontiff sent a telegram in praise of his efforts to promote reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Hundreds of politicians, business figures and dignitaries are attending requiem mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook, along with the extended family, friends and supporters. Among those attending the funeral are Sir John Major, who signed the Downing Street Declaration with Mr Reynolds in 1993 and paved the way for peace talks. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit: RTÉ

Rugged scenery and friendly welcome lure tourists back to Dingle
Half of the people surveyed during a visit to Dingle Peninsula said they would recommend it as a holiday destination. The Fáilte Ireland study also found 28% said they would definitely return, while it emerged the rugged scenery was by far the main source of visitor satisfaction with the peninsula. Almost 90% said scenery was the main attraction, followed at 66% by the friendliness of the locals. This year, the number of visitors to Ireland is reported to be up by 10%, with many areas, including Dingle, enjoying an excellent season. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Stunning Irish animation has myths, legend… and Brendan Gleeson
Ben has a little sister called Saoirse – and she’s not your average younger sibling. She’s the last Seal-child, and she’s soon to be called on a journey back to their home by the Sea. Their story is told in this stunning Irish animated film, Song of the Sea, which will get its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. Jam-packed with voices of people like Brendan Gleeson, Pat Shortt, Lisa Hannigan, Jon Kenny, and Fionnula Flanagan, it also features music by composer Bruno Coulais and the band Kíla. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Carlow's Bryan Burroughs wins Stage Award for Acting Excellence
He was honoured for his debut in Beowulf: The Blockbuster at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The actor said of his win: "I'm delighted to receive the prestigious Stage Award for Acting Excellence and to be bringing it home to Ireland. It's been a brilliant Festival for all of the Irish Theatre practitioners and the support from and towards each other has been palpable. A massive thank you to Team Beowulf and to everyone who made my debut at Edinburgh such a wonderful experience." For more details, please click RTÉ.

First Irish language play since 1967 to be shown at Dublin Theatre Festival
Singer and actor Clíona Ní Chiosáin will play the role of Réiltín in the production of the same name. Composed by Simon Noble, with lyrics by Paul Mercier, and produced by Fíbín Theatre Company, Réiltín is the first Irish language production to be part of Dublin Theatre Festival in 17 years. Réiltín’s story is told through music, video and performance. To read this news item, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & More Details: Dublin Theatre Festival

The Abbey Theatre’s offstage costume drama
As head of the costume department of the Abbey Theatre, Niamh Lunny plays a supporting role to the drama onstage. Her desk is hidden to the rear, piled with reading material for the theatre’s forthcoming production, George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House. Before Lunny starts designing, she reads the script once for pleasure, then again to read the characters, “to find out who they are, what you want to tell the audience and what you don’t want to tell them..." For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Eric Luke

Redhead Convention taking place in County Cork
Held over three days, the celebrations include crowning the ginger King and Queen, competitions for the best red eyebrows and most freckles per square inch. Red hair is the rarest of hair colours, and accounts for only 2% of the world's population. The highest percentage of natural redheads in the world live in Scotland, with 13%. Ireland comes in second at 10%. The festival was the brainchild of redhead brother and sister Joleen and Denis Cronin. BBC News went to find out why redheads are so unique. To watch the video, please click BBC.
Video Journalist: Dan Curtis
Photo Credit & Related Details: Redhead Convention

VIDEO: Donegal man takes the Ice Bucket Challenge a step further
Not only did Niall Gillespie complete his challenge on top of a partially-built skyscraper above New York, but he also used a construction bucket holding hundreds of gallons of freezing water. On the video, Niall can be heard nominating his friends, including Mark Sweeney. Another construction worker then throws a bucket of water over the pair. But Niall then quips: “I think we need a bigger bucket.” Suddenly a huge construction bucket appears across the skyline of the Big Apple, lining up to unleash the huge deluge on Niall and his buddy.For more details and to watch the video , please click Irish Examiner.

Kerry and Mayo draw in classic encounter
Kerry and 14-man Mayo finished level on 1-16 each in an epic All-Ireland Football Championship semi-final at Croke Park. Eight different players were on target as Kerry moved ahead by 0-09 to 0-05 by half-time, with the westerners losing Lee Keegan to a straight red on 33 minutes. Mayo’s passion brought them back, and they went ahead with Cillian O’Connor’s 59th-minute penalty goal. But Kerry reeled them in and sub Kieran O’Leary kicked a stoppage-time equaliser to force a replay, scheduled for the Gaelic Grounds next Saturday. For more details and video clip, please click RTÉ.

August 24
Removal service held for former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds
Hundreds attended the formal reception of the Taoiseach's remains at the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook - including present and former Taoisigh, Ministers and members of the Dáil. Defence Forces and Garda motorcade and guard of honour escorted his tricolour coffin to the Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook. The coffin was carried into the church by members of the army - while a guard of honour formed outside. Preparations are ongoing for his state funeral on Monday. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland,

The funeral of Gerry Anderson, RIP
Mourners at the funeral of broadcaster Gerry Anderson have heard that he was "a man who knew who he was" and "a man who could rename a city". Requiem Mass for the radio presenter was held at St Eugene's Cathedral, in his home of Derry/Londonderry - the place he renamed "stroke city". The Derry native started his 30-year career in the city, working as a radio presenter at Radio Foyle in 1984. He went on to become a household name in Northern Ireland. For more details, please click BBC.

Ireland's involvement in the Battle of Mons
100 years ago today, the Battle of Mons broke out. Fifteen thousand Irishmen formed part of the British Expeditionary Force who arrived at Belgian town in August 1914. A video by Ronan McGreevy recounts how an Irishman fired the British Army’s first shot of the war and how Irish Lieutenant Maurice Dease manned a machine gun to hold a railway bridge across the Mons-Condé Canal outside Mons. Today, Mons is marking the battle, which saw around 1,600 British and over 5,000 German soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice. To watch the video, please click Journal Ireland.

Thousands sign up for Trinity’s first free online course
Trinity College Dublin’s first free online course has already attracted more than 10,000 students, with still one week to go before it begins. The university said that more than half of the applicants are from outside Ireland, with particularly strong demand in countries with high numbers of Irish emigrants such as the UK and the US. The course is titled ‘Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland’s History 1912-1923’. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Trinity College

Accolade for historic market
Always a hub of chatter and commotion, St George's Market in Belfast stood unusually still yesterday as news broke that it had lifted the title of Best UK Heritage Project in the National Lottery Awards. Lord mayor Nichola Mallon made a surprise lunch-time visit to the historic attraction to present the award which comes with a £2,000 cash prize. One of Belfast's oldest visitor attractions dating back to the 1890s, the market is home to more than 170 traders, as well as six shop units and a restaurant. The facility was shortlisted from more than 750 entries. For more details, please click The irish News.

Irish mammy really doesn’t understand ice bucket challenge
With the Ice Bucket Challenge sweeping the nation to raise awareness and funds for motor neuron disease, Keith Storey from Rathfarnham asked his mammy to take the coveted role of dumper. Mammy Storey however didn’t really get how this works and was too quick on the draw for poor Keith and the family pooch. This really is one of the funniest ones to date. Ben wasn’t the only one taking the challenge today. To view this video and several others, please click Breaking News Ireland.

'Dublin Bay Prawn: 'the best in the world'
That's according to legendary BBC television presenter and food writer Rick Stein who also said that while both he and his wife Sarah have never had a better prawn, Ireland's bountiful fishing waters are not utilised enough. "It’s a problem because historically, both in Ireland and where I’m from in Cornwall, we don’t have a culture where people ate a lot of fish, despite having some of the richest fishing waters on earth. I’m making a plea for us all to eat more of our local prawns.” For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit & Related Detsild: Irish Langoustine

One winner of the €4m lotto jackpot
Living in Mayo or passed through there recently and bought a lotto ticket? Well, you better check your wallet or down the couch, as there was just one winner of last night’s lotto jackpot of €4 million. The winning ticket was sold in Ballina in County Mayo on Thursday. There was also one winner of the Lotto Plus 1. Someone who bought a quick pick €4 ticket in Centra on Lower William Street in Limerick will pocket a not too shabby €350,000. The ticket was bought yesterday. To read this news item, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit and to play on line, please click Irish Lottery

Cavan clinch first All-Ireland junior title for 87 years
A goal in either half from hero Tom Hayes proved to be decisive as the Breffni men beat Kerry 2-14 to 0-14. There was little to choose between the sides in a tight first half in Portlaoise with Hayes’ first on 20 minutes giving Cavan a four-point advantage at the break, 1-7 to 0-6. A second from the Cootehill man stretched that gap to seven with 21 minutes to play. But even with a slight wind at their backs, Kerry found each of their scores matched by Cavan in that second half. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Cavan Co Board GAA via Twitter

August 23
Irish Times photographer David Sleator, RIP
David Sleator, who died suddenly last Monday, was a big, multitalented man of patient ways. He was, as Irish Times Editor Kevin O’Sullivan said at an impromptu gathering of stunned colleagues in the newsroom that afternoon, “blessed with a tremendous feel for compelling imagery in terms of the pictures he took, and in editing photographs to heighten their news and visual impact”. He said that, as Joint Picture Editor at the newspaper, David – whose funeral Mass took place yesterday – was also “from the school of gentle management which came with charm and great, understated efficiency”. For more details and samples of Mr Sleator's work, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Provision

Irish start-up lands €15 million from secret millionaire after meeting in a pub
Mayo Digital TV start-up Irish TV will launch its full content schedule next Tuesday, targeting the Irish diaspora with original and syndicated content. However, it could have worked out differently for husband and wife team Pierce and Mairead O’Reilly, who founded the company in 2011, were it not for a meeting in a London pub with London multi-millionaire John Griffin. “We were at rock bottom with a great project”, Mairead O’Reilly said. ”We sent Pierce over with only a few bob in his pocket and he met (Griffin) in a bar through a mutual friend.” For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Replica to mark repatriation of world’s oldest birchbark canoe
The native American Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) tribe who take their name from the Wolastoq or St John river in New Brunswick, Canada, are planning to build a replica to present to Ireland as a mark of thanks for repatriating the world’s oldest surviving birchbark canoe of its type. It has been over five years since President Michael D Higgins, then Labour’s Galway West TD, intervened to back an appeal by Chief Paul for the canoe to be sent home. "He recognised its importance as a “spiritual and cultural artefact”, Chief Paul, said. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Van Morrison goes back to Orangefield High School
The last time Morrison trod the boards of Orangefield High, he would have been ‘Van the Boy'. last night, Van the Manreturned, every inch the conquering hero. After the customary Celtic Swing intro set the mood, the first words out of the singer's mouth were the opening lines of Got To Go Back. “When I was a young boy back in Orangefield,” crooned the portly figure in black, “I used to look out my classroom window and dream.” A capacity crowd, which included former teachers and students, shelled out £85 a head to see the local legend. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Beardy Irish men...
It seems facial hair is having its cultural moment in the sun, particularly on Irish shores. Apparently it's de rigeur these days for Irish men to eschew the razor and let their prickly facial fuzz loose. For a while it was only true hipsters rocking full-on beards, leaving regular Irish lads to a spot of designer stubble or even just a lazy fortnight between shaves. Now, though, the full beard has become ubiquitous - so much so that the hipsters are so over it, and are now turning to groomed moustaches instead. But why has the Irish male taken to full fuzz with such force lately?. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Whale of a time promised for keen watchers
The arrival of large numbers of minke whales along Irish inshore waters seems like a good omen for all-Island whale watch day tomorrow. Taking place on 20 headlands all around the coast, the purpose of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group whale watch day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans — porpoises, dolphins and whales — that have been recorded in Irish waters. The event is part of Heritage Week, coordinated by the Heritage Council. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Rory McIlroy fights back at The Barclays PGA Tour play-off event
The Northern Ireland player fought back from a rusty start with a second-round 65 to ease into contention in the first of the four PGA Tour play-off events. The world number one surged to three under to trail Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale by five shots. McIlroy, who opened with a 74 in the aftermath of his US PGA win, hit six birdies to reignite his bid for a fourth straight win. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ

Ireland's James McGee qualifies for US Open
Dubliner James McGee defied cramp and missed opportunities to defeat Zhang Ze and qualify for the main draw of the US Open. It is the first time he has come through qualifying at a grand slam and there was no shortage of drama on a packed Court 8 at Flushing Meadows during his 0-6 6-4 6-4 victory. McGee, no doubt benefiting from the close ties between New York and Ireland, was a crowd favourite from the start. The victory guarantees him a pay day worth at least $36,000 - the biggest of his life and a quarter of all the prize money he has earned during his career.For more details, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Journal Ireland/Donall Farmer/INPHO

Darts champion to donate gold medal to brother
Kerry darts ace Sean Marshall, who struck gold at the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Poland this week, is to give his medal to his "amazing" donor brother. Sean, received a bone marrow transplant from his brother Paudie four years ago when he had leukaemia. The chances of him surviving the procedure were very slim. He is now looking forward to presenting Paudie with his gold medal from his first transplant championship when he returns home. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Maxwells

August 22
State funeral planned for former taoiseach Albert Reynolds, RIP
The State funeral of former taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Albert Reynolds is to take place on Monday. Politicians in Ireland, Britain and the US have paid tributes to the former taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader whose passing was announced yesterday. He was 81. His family said last year that he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. His remains will lie in repose in the Mansion House on Saturday afternoon to allow members of the public to file past the coffin and pay their respects. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Site devoted to the man and his career. Please click Albert Reynolds

Wild Atlantic Way named as top attraction in world travel bible
The country's newest tourist attraction, the Wild Atlantic Way, is being called "Ireland's Route 66" by the world-renowned publication. "More and more visitors are now taking on the Wild Atlantic Way, the world's longest road trip, around the Emerald Isle's craggy west coast," reads the article. It was compared to Italy's Amalfi Coast and California's Pacific Highway. So impressed was the magazine with Ireland's latest tourist offering that it said it, "is set to join the prestigious list of the world's best car journeys". For more details, please click Irish Herald.

Clifden, Co Galway: a pony tale going back 2,500 years
The iconic Connemara Pony was hailed by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney yesterday as a national treasure — a part of Ireland’s heritage and a great source of pride. Mr Coveney, who was officially opening the Connemara Pony Show also said the breed was renowned for its hardiness, docility and versatility. The pony has been exported worldwide and is in much demand, with breeder societies in 17 countries. Delegates from these societies returned this week to the traditional home of Ireland’s only native pony breed. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Andrew Downes
To read our article please click The Connemara Pony

Once-in-a-lifetime spectacle set for Irish skies tonight
Comet Jacques could be the most patriotic comet to grace Irish skies. The luminous green comet will be visible from Ireland this weekend as it is set to pass within 50 million miles of Earth. The comet, discovered this year by Brazilian astronomers, is a bright, emerald colour because of the cyanide gas it releases in its wake. It should be easy for the naked eye to spot this weekend, but telescopes should be able to spot it for weeks to come. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Trying to stay connected to rural Ireland
Ask Padraig McKeon where he is from and the reply is immediate: “Sligo,” he says without a moment’s hesitation, although he hasn’t lived in the county in over 30 years, has no immediate family living there and intends spending the rest of his days in Dublin. More than 165,000 Irish people living in Dublin were born elsewhere in Ireland, according to the 2011 census. However, for many of those born outside the city the fact that they live in Dublin has not diminished their connection to where they grew up. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Rose of Tralee takes Ice Bucket Challenge
Following her nomination by RTÉ 2fm's Breakfast Republic, the new Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh has successfully completed the Ice Bucket Challenge. After completing the challenge, Walsh nominated three former Roses of Tralee: Alice O'Sullivan (1959), Sinéad Boyle (1989) and Aoibhinn Ní Shuilleabháin (2005). The Ice Bucket Challenge, which was designed to build awareness and raise funds for Motor Neuron Disease or ALS. has become a world-wide phonomenon. To watch Maria take on the challenge, please click RTÉ.

On the Van Morrison trail
Belfast's biggest musical star whose songs put the city on the map around the world now has a map all of his own. Created to help fans find the places mentioned in his songs, the self-guided trail called Mystic Of The East has been launched just hours before Van returns to his roots by playing concerts at his old school at Orangefield as part of the EastSide Arts Festival. Speaking at The Hollow, which inspired Brown Eyed Girl, the singer said that all the locations in the guide bring back happy memories of his years in the east. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

NI's top 100 firms make £1bn profit for the first time
That's according to information compiled by business information firm Dun & Bradstreet for Ulster Business magazine which reveals that profits rose 60% over the past 12 months. Ranking companies by turnover, poultry processor Moy Park topped the magazine's survey for the third year running. "This year's list shows Northern Ireland's biggest companies have emerged from the downturn with renewed vigour," said David Elliott, editor of Ulster Business. "It is the jump in profit which really stands out." For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Moy Park

Jason Smyth wins second gold medal
Jason Smyth earned his second gold medal at the IPC European Athletics Championships in Swansea as he clinched the T12 200 metres title. Smyth's winning time of 21.67 seconds left him well ahead of Spanish runner Joan Munar who clocked 22.28. The Northern Irishman won the T12 100m on Tuesday after his reclassification on the eve of the championships saw him forced to move from T13 competition. Smyth achieved sprint doubles at the Beijing and London Paralympics. For more details and video clip, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Journal Ireland/Jason Smyth in Twitter

August 21
Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, RIP
Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds who is being remembered as a courageous peacemaker, has passed away. Former British prime minister Sir John Major, who signed the 1993 Downing Street Delcaration with Mr Reynolds that paved the way for the Good Friday Agreement and lasting peace, remembered him as the leader who made things happen. “Albert Reynolds was at the heart of the success of the Irish peace process. Without Albert, it may never have started..." For more detail, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Related Story: Irish Times/Albert Reynolds’s political career

Broadcaster Gerry Anderson, RIP
Gerry Anderson, one of Northern Ireland's best-known presenters, has died following a long illness. In a career spanning 30 years, he hosted radio and TV programmes for BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Foyle and BBC Radio 4. He has been described as a "true legend of the industry" by the director of BBC Northern Ireland, Peter Johnston. He said he was a "man of great wit and mischief" who would be sadly missed by his BBC colleagues and loyal listeners. For more details an photos, please click BBC.
Photo Credit, gallery and related story: Belfast Telegraph

What happened in Knock, 135 years ago on this date
On the night of Thursday, 21 August 1879, a group of local people saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist at the south gable of the church at Knock, Co Mayo. The night of 21 August 1879 was a dark and rainy one – coincidentally, a Thursday. Between around 7pm and 9.30 pm, people from the town reported seeing something incredible against one of the outside walls of the parish church. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
ED. NOTE: To read our article, please click Our Lady of Knock Shrine - Place of Mystery and Miracles

Meet Miler Magrath - the married Franciscan who fathered nine children
It may be time to rehabilitate Miler Magrath as Ireland’s pioneering ecumenist. He managed to be simultaneously a Catholic and a Protestant bishop, a Franciscan friar with vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, a married man with nine children and more. His first episcopal post was Catholic bishop of Down and Connor in 1565. Queen Elizabeth, who greatly admired him, appointed him Protestant bishop of nearby Clogher in 1570. A year later she promoted him to be archbishop of Cashel, where he remained until his death in 1622 at the age of 100. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Doyle's Dublin trilogy is festival's top choice
The casts of The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van are being invited to Dublin to celebrate Roddy Doyle's Barrytown Trilogy being selected for the 2015 One City One Book festival. Man Booker Prize winner Dolyle said he is over the moon that his books, charting the trials and tribulations of the Rabbitte family, will be celebrated as the city's favoured book next year. "Twenty-eight years after I started writing the novels that make up the trilogy, I'm delighted - and proud..." For more details, please click Irish Herald.
Photo Credit: Inside Left/Mark Nixon

Cliffs of Moher voted top heritage site to take tourists
The Cliffs of Moher have been selected as the county's top choice when showing overseas visitors heritage sites in Ireland. According to the fifth National Heritage survey, 33% of people said they would take tourists to see the world famous cliffs in Co Clare. Overall, Newgrange in Co Meath was voted the favourite heritage site for the fifth consecutive year while the Giant’s Causeway was awarded the top place to take a date. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

"Colin Farrell can play me in movie"
He prefers spaghetti to lasagne and he admitted having "too many" drinks from the Claret Jug following his triumph at The Open. Four-time Major winning golfer Rory McIlroy shared this and more during an online question and answer session with fans. Yesterday on the PGA Tour Facebook page he gave fans a rare insight into his life, responding with ease to a broad range of queries from people all around the globe. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Belfast Telegraph

Philly Rose hoping for Mayo win
She is the newly crowned Rose of Tralee representing Kerry, the festival and Irish communities abroad - but all bets are off as she dons her Mayo jersey for Sunday's semi final at Croke Park. The 2014 International Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh says she's in the process of extending her trip so she can wipe the smirk off host and Kerryman Daithi O Se's face when his side are beaten by Mayo. Studio manager with Philadelphia clothing company Anthropologie Group, she had planned to be back at work on Monday. For more details and video clips, please click Irish Independent.

Antrim man Michael McKillop takes gold in Swansea
Ireland’s Michael McKillop has won gold in the T38 800m at the IPC Athletics European Championships. The reigning double Paralympic champion and world record holder clocked one minute 58.16 seconds. McKillop led from the gun, but Russia's Chermen Kobesov was always in close pursuit. Speaking after the win a delighted McKillop said: “I won’t lie, that was tough, but I’m delighted to win the medal." Kobesov clung on to second, while Ukraine’s Valentyn Miedviediev took bronze. For more details, please click RTÉ.

August 20
Philadelphia Rose crowned 2014 Rose of Tralee
Philadelphia Rose Maria Walsh was last night crowned as the 2014 Rose of Tralee. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Ms Walsh moved to the south Mayo village of Shrule in 1994. She studied journalism and visual media in Griffith College Dublin and graduated in 2009. Speaking after host Daithi Ó Sé made the announcement, Ms Walsh said she was “absolutely shocked” by the result. The Philadelphia Rose had however been the overwhelming favourite with the bookies. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Details: Breaking News Ireland

Ten great books by Irish women
In the final part of an Irish Times series on influential books by women writers, the focus on Irish authors and what is considered to be their most influential books, including The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien (pictured), Scarlett Feather by Maeve Binchy, The Gathering by Anne Enright, and the oldest title, The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen. To view photos of the authors and read the complete list of books with accompanying descriptions, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Dara Mac Dónaill

Phil Lynott's Birthday Tribute
The late, great Phil Lynott, bass guitarist and vocalist for Thin Lizzy, would have celebrated his 65th birthday today and RTÉ has gathered together a playlist of some of his finest moments to mark the life and times of a fallen rock hero To watch and listen, please click RTÉ.
ED NOTE: Thin Lizzy are an Irish rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist/vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. For more details, plese click Wikipedia

Irish cinema in the early 1900s - what were they worried about?
The use and abuse of the cinema was an emerging topic in early 1900s Ireland. There were concerns about the safety of the cinemas, and who was visiting them. And in 1909, the Cinematograph Act was introduced in the UK, which meant that worries about fire safety and petty crime could be tackled. It was eventually superseded by another act dominated by “the need for proper censorship so as to ensure, in the case of children in particular, that no improper or disturbing representations shall take place." For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Liam O'Leary Archive

Stereotypical? Lonely Planet recommends unusual Irish hangover cure
Lonely Planet has urged its millions of readers to take in a game of hurling as part of the perfect Irish hangover cure. The travel bible, which sees 11 million visitors every month, recommends taking in the game described as “hockey on steroids” to help ease a sore head. The Irish capital is world famous for its nightlife and pubs, prompting the travel site to issue the ultimate guide to Dublin On A Hangover. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
ED NOTE: Maybe we're being overly sensitive, but we think this guide is a tad bit stereotypical. What do you think?
Photo Credit & Related Story: Lonely Planet/Paolo Trabattoni

Rory putts it beyond any doubt - he is now 'The Man'
The melding of sport and light entertainment is a popular device for TV shows looking to piggy back a "phenom" engaged in historic plunder. A golfer with four majors at 25, two of those bagged in the space of three weeks this summer, the golden bookends in a hat-trick of massive tournament wins, was perfect fodder for busy, young producers of The Tonight Show hosted by Jimmy Fallon wanting to get in on the hottest property in golf. McIlroy did not need an introduction. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Video Clip: Golf Channel
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Irish snooker players waiting for confirmation on new Guinness record
Two exhausted and aching amateur snooker players have celebrated a new Guinness world record after completing the longest ever match by racking up a total of 191 frames over 83 hours. DCU psychology student Gordon O’Loughlin and truck driver Kieran Ferns, both from Ennis, smashed the previous record by almost eight hours and are now in the frame for a new Guinness World Record; but they have to wait for confirmation from the Guinness officials. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Tony O'Loughlin/Press22

Jason Smyth clinches 100m gold
Jason Smyth regrouped from the upheaval of his category reclassification to win his first event at the IPC European Athletics Championships in Swansea. Visually-impaired Smyth has dominated T13 sprinting at world level since 2006 but was moved into the T12 category on the eve of the Swansea championships. However, Northern Irishman Smyth took a dominant victory in the 100m on Tuesday. The Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games representative will chase 200m gold on Thursday. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Belfast Newsletter

McMahon makes medley semi-final in Berlin
Sycerika McMahon has progressed to the semi-finals of the 200m individual medley at the European Swimming Championships in Berlin.McMahon, a silver medalist at the Europeans two years ago in Hungary, finished fourth in the final heat. Speaking after today's race she said: "It was a hard enough race for me this morning, it wasn’t as fast as I was looking for obviously but I get a second swim tonight, and that’s what it’s all about." For more details and interview video clip, please click RTÉ.

August 19
Scientists claim breakthrough in fight against hospital superbugs
A research team at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) have developed an innovative antibacterial gel which could provide an alternative to removing infected implants and causing further pain and discomfort. Research team leaderDr Garry Laverty said "Our gels are unique as they target and kill the most resistant forms of hospital superbugs. This is further evidence of Queen's research advancing knowledge and changing lives." For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit, Video Clip & Related Story: Belfast Telegraph

Rose host gamely agrees to accept ice bucket challenge
The Rose of Tralee is usually immune to every passing fad, but this year it has decided to make an exception. Host Dáithí Ó Sé had a bucket of iced water poured over his head at the end of a humid night in the Dome where the first 16 Roses made their appearance. The ice bucket challenge is a charity craze which has swept the world and has helped to both highlight and raise funds to combat ALS, a motor neuron disease. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Video Clips: RTÉ

Historic barge returns to River Lagan
An original 1871 barge has been delivered to the River Lagan in Belfast as part of a new tourism project. Barges, known as "lighters", were an important feature of industrial life on the Lagan, and the historic barge was used for decades in the linen industry. The 150-year-old barge has a rich cultural legacy, but in recent years it fell into disrepair and ended up abandoned in the Republic of Ireland. It was found on waste ground beside the River Shannon, County Roscommon. For more details & video clip, please click BBC.

Tracking the elusive Irish stoat
The Irish stoat is the focus of a new research project just launched by the Animal Ecology and Conservation group at NUI Galway. It will rely on “citizen science” inputs to gather crucial information on the ecology of this elusive mammal. In some parts of the world, stoats are bred for their white winter coat, the ermine. The Irish stoat need not worry about that particular problem, as the absence of sitting snow here ensures it can retain its brown-orange colour on its back all year round. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Dermot Breen

A quest with Game of Thrones fans through a fantastical land – Co Antrim
Game of Thrones, which has a passionate fanbase, is shot in Northern Ireland. Thus, a whole selection of location tours have sprouted up, one of which is guided by Game of Thrones fanatic Philip McComb. Today he leads a bus filled with twenty- and thirty somethings from around the world. Unlike ordinary coach tours, it starts with a spoiler alert. “I have to assume everyone has seen up to season four,” says McComb. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Phot Credit: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker

WATCH: Video brings 1950s Dublin to life
Nelson's Pillar, Carlton Theatre, and little boys gazing in the window of a cake shop – they all feature in what appears to be a newly-released video of Dublin in the 1950s. And all in color. The footage, published by Dutch filmmaker Michael Rogge captures a number of the city’s landmarks. Rogge says in the video description that it’s 16mm amateur footage from 60 years ago, but as of yet,it's not exactly certain when it was shot, and by whom. For more details and to watch the video, please click Journal Ireland.

Irish sprinters power into European 100 metre finals
Heather Jameson and Jason Smyth sealed their place in respective 100 metre finals at the IPC European Championships in Swansea. Smyth, now competing in the T12 classification, finished first pulling up in a time of 11.40 seconds. Earlier, Jameson took her place in the T37 100m final scheduled for this afternoon after finishing fifth in the stronger of the two semi-finals. Later this evening, John McCarthy will line up for the T51 400m final. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Yahoo/Euro/Jeff Crow

Stephen Roche back in the saddle for Leinster Loop
Tour de France winner Stephen Roche led nearly 1,800 cyclists on the Leinster Loop charity cycle at the weekend. And there was a 33pc increase in the number of people taking part from last year. Cyclists had a choice of four routes around Kildare, Laois and Carlow, with varying degrees of difficulty. Roche flew back from France, where he's currently living. For more on this news item, please click Irish Independent.

The suit that put Rory deep in the fashion bunker?
Suits you? The jury is out on the attire he wore when Rory went to Old Trafford to show off his Claret Jugg. The Northern Ireland golfer set Twitter alight for all the wrong reasons at the weekend - his fans took their eyes off the ball and focused on his three-piece. And some of them said Rory had landed himself deep in the fashion bunker. However, Belfast gentleman's tailor Chris Suitor said the suit was well made from very fine fabric. "It wouldn't be what I would have worn, but maybe Rory is going to become a style icon," he said. For more details, please click BBC.

August 18
Ireland's towns continue to get cleaner but...
...the main cities are still littered according to the latest survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter. Areas of Dublin, Cork and Limerick occupy the six lowest positions in the table of 40 areas surveyed. 75% of towns and cities were found to be as clean as, or cleaner than European norms. Kilkenny and Cavan were once again Ireland's cleanest towns, followed by Killarney, Tramore and Longford. They were among 18 towns deemed to be cleaner than the European average. For more on this news item, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit: Jane Lyons/Kilkenny

A Rosy evening - or an icy one - beckons for Daithí in Tralee
The lead-up to the first part of nominations in the Rose of Tralee Festival tonight is heating up - or in the case of host Daithí Ó Sé, it could be a serious cooling off. The star has been nominated to carry out an Ice Bucket Challenge in aid of charity for the show, and he is mulling over how realistic it could be to execute the plan safely. His Facebook page states that his “Mother-n-law has nominated me for an ice bucket challenge.. lovely!” For more on this news item, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Dubliner wins Emmy for lighting design at Sochi Olympics ceremonies
Peter Canning, pictured, owner of High Resolution Lighting Limited, won the Creative Arts Emmy award last night in the Nokia Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. Mr Canning was associate lighting designer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics 2014 Sochi in Russia. He has also designed the lighting for 'Skyfest' for Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival, and for 'Heartbeat of Home', the new theatre show from the creators of 'Riverdance'. For more details, pease click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & Related Story: High Res

Mela world cultures festival - the real face of Belfast
Belfast Mela is a celebration of not just the Indian community but all of Northern Ireland's minority ethnic communities. The event – now in its eighth year – will take place at Botanic Gardens on Sunday, August 24 bringing together a host of performers from across the world with an ethnic food experience and global souk (bazaar). Last year it was attended by 20,000 people. For more details & video clips, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Scorpion: How an Irish genius saved the world
A drama series based on the life of an Irishman with one of the highest IQs ever recorded is set to make its debut. Created by the CBS network, it is the story of Walter O’Brien, pictured, a computing genius who, after hacking into Nasa computers at the age of 13, was welcomed to the US on the same type of “extraordinary ability” visa that was granted to Albert Einstein. O’Brien, who is now 39, heads Scorpion Computer Services, which specialises in international security. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Lisette M Azar/CBS

Burger vans banned from Community Games
One of the great Irish traditions kicked off over the weekend, with the annual Community Games taking place at Athlone Institute of Technology. While the thousands of spectators and 2,800 competitors experienced the same pride and joy that has made the event special for 50-odd years, there was one notable absence – junk food. The decision by the HSE* to get rid of the summertime ritual of the burger van is all part of a new initiative called Healthy Ireland, which encourages physical activity and healthy eating, especially among children. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
* Health Service Executive
Photo Credit & Related Story: Daily Mail/For illustration purposes only

Hurling: Tipp crush Cork to secure final berth
Eamon O’Shea’s Tipperary demolished Munster champions Cork by ten points in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Séamus Callanan scored 2-04 and John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer added six points from play for the rampant Premier County. Cork were simply outclassed. In front of 68,728 spectators at GAA HQ, Tipp were just two points clear at half-time, 1-07 to 0-08, but they ran riot in the second half to book a final showdown with Kilkenny on September 7. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Ireland successfully defends equsstrian eventing title
Ireland successfully defended its Junior Eventing European Championship title at Bishop Burton in England today with a gold medal secured by the final clear show jumping round of Galway's Cathal Daniels on Rioghan Rua. His fellow medal winners were Susie Berry with Carsonstown Athena (ISH), Nessa Briody with Tomboy and Lucy Latta with Cleo Ferro. Daniels also took the individual silver medal. He aid: “It was all very tight at the top coming into today and all team members knew that we had to jump clear in order to take gold." To read this news item, please click RTÉ.

First gold medals for Irish transplant athletes
Ireland took three gold medals, one silver, and five bronze at the opening day of the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Poland. Veteran Charlie Ryan from Cobh came first in the 60-69 age category in the Petanque event. A liver transplant recipient, Charlie said he was delighted to receive a gold medal in Krakow. “It was outstanding. I beat the French at their own game. Up the Rebels!” he said. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Donate Life

August 17
Michael Collins commemoration taking place today
The 92nd annual commemoration of Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith will be held today – the first of a series of commemorations. The event will take place at the burial places of both men in Glasnevin Cemetery at 12 noon, Irish Time. For the first time in recent decades the Irish Defence Forces will be represented and, as part of their participation, the Sliabh na mBan armoured car pictured will be in attendance. It formed part of Michael Collins’ convoy which was ambushed, resulting in his death. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Enniscorthy Directory

This year's crop of Roses are in Tralee and ready to compete
After five days of touring some of the country’s most famous tourist landmarks, this year’s crop of Roses have finally planted themselves in the home of the world renowned competition. More than 200,000 are expected to flock to the Kerry town to enjoy the best of the 2014 Rose of Tralee International Festival before this year’s winner is crowned next Tuesday evening. Last night, the Roses attended the Kerrygold Rose Ball in the Festival Dome — the first official event of this year’s festival. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
ED. Note: RTÉ will be streaming the competition world wide. For more details, please click Rose of Tralee
Photo credit: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

NI's Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band wins tenth world title
The most successful pipe band of all time has won a tenth world title at the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland. The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band has now defended its title in the top division for the fourth year in a row. Based in Lisburn, County Antrim, the band was founded almost 70 years ago. Another band from Northern Ireland, Bleary and District from County Down, also performed well, coming second in grade two of the competition. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Reuters

Maureen O’Hara tipped for Oscars lifetime award
The Irish screen legend, who turns 94 tomorrow (today), has never received an Academy Award despite starring in 64 movies, including taking the leading roles in timeless classics such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, How Green Was My Valley, Miracle on 34th Street, and her most famous film, The Quiet Man. However, the flame-haired Dubliner, one of the last survivors of Hollywood’s golden era, is understood to be the likely recipient of next year’s honorary Oscar. And, according to a close friend, despite her advanced years, Ms O’Hara remains “in good health”, with a “mind that’s as sharp as ever.” For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ

Curses in Irish - "more musical and malevolent"
That's according to Pól Ó Muirí, Irish-Language Editor of The Irish Times. On a recent train journey, a fellow passenger was effing mad about everything - and letting everyone on the train know it. So Pól put in his headphones and hoped that the music would drown out the effing effer and his effing English. You see , that’s the problem with swearing in English – it is so effing boring and so effing one dimensional. So much so that Mr Ó Muirí felt like offering the effer a few phrases in Irish because, truth be told, cursing in Irish is both more musical and more malevolent than swearing in English. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Focus Forward/For illustration only

Here’s how graves were protected from bodysnatchers in 1800s Cork…
The idea of bodysnatching might seem like the stuff of fictional horror, but it was a worry back in early 1800s Ireland. Corpses were robbed and sold to medical experts to satisfy their need to perform autopsies to learn more about human anatomy, and to educate their students. Was this legal? It wasn’t – but it didn’t carry the penalty of execution, only a fine and imprisonment, so people risked it. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Michael O'Leary via Cork City Libraries/Cork Past and Present

Men's 400m relay team reach Euro final
Ireland men’s 4x400m relay team put in a magnificent performance to qualify for Sunday’s final and break the Irish record at the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich. Brian Gregan got the team off to the perfect start, Brian Murphy took over and moved the team up to third place, Richard Morrissey took over on leg three and ran a superb tactical race, and then, Waterford’s Thomas Barr led home the quartet to a third-place finish in their semi-final. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Ireland's Joyce claims third successive European gold
David Oliver Joyce claimed his third successive European Union Elite Championships gold medal in Sofia, Bulgaria, beating Georgia’s Otar Eranosyan in their lightweight final. The St Michael’s Athy lightweight, who won featherweight gold at this level in 2008 and 2009, beat Eranosyan on a unanimous decision to finish on top of the lightweight podium and seal an historic hat-trick for Irish boxing. While Joyce claimed Ireland's sole gold medal, Irish captain Darren O’Neill and Michael O’Reilly had to settle for silver. For more details, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Breaking News Ireland

Ireland’s sensational golfing twins heading for the USA
Lisa and Leona Maguire are heading Stateside after top results in the Leaving Certificate. The 17-year-old girls, from Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, were sought after by all of the top US colleges as a result of hugely impressive results in the amateur game from their early teens. The girls, who attended Loreto College in Cavan, received letters of intent from Ivy League college Duke University earlier this year and, following their Leaving Certificate results on Wednesday, flew out to the US on golf scholarships yesterday. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty

August 16
Pope Francis urges affluent to hear ‘cry of the poor’
Pope Francis this morning celebrated a huge open-air Mass in the centre of Seoul, where he denounced the growing gap between the haves and have nots, urging people in affluent societies to listen to “the cry of the poor” among them. The pope made his remarks in the homily of a Mass where he beatified 124 Korean martyrs who were killed in the 18th and 19th centuries for refusing to renounce Christianity. Beatification is the last step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: EPA

Another ratings agency gives Ireland an A
Ratings agency Fitch has upgraded Ireland’s debt from BBB+ to A- in a move that will make it easier still for Ireland to borrow from international markets. The move has been welcomed, with the NTMA noting that Ireland now has A ratings from two of the three major ratings agencies. In a note published this morning, financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald said that Ireland has made “substantial progress..." The news should make the man pictured - Finance Minister Michael Noonan - very happy. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Thousands of music lovers take over the streets of Sligo
An estimated 30pc of the 350,000 visitors to Sligo this week for the 63rd Fleadh Cheoil are from overseas, mainly from Britain and America, but they also include dedicated Irish music lovers from as far away as Australia, Japan and Korea. With large parts of the centre now a pedestrian-only zone, visitors parked their cars up to two kilometres away from the town and took special buses to enjoy sessions of traditional music and dance in dozens of pubs. And Buskers from eight to 80 fiddled, whistled and tapped their bodhrans along the banks of the Garavogue River, which flows through the town centre.For more details, please click Irish Independent.

An Irishman’s Diary on the fetishised revival of an old-style Irish pub
A recent addition to the pubs of Dublin is one called Mary’s in Wicklow Street. It’s a designer bar based on the concept, once commonplace in Irish towns, of a pub that is also a grocery and hardware store. It does actually sell some hardware, as well as drinks. If you get taken short for a packet of Brillo pads, they can probably oblige. But as a tribute to the real thing, columnist Frank suspects its main aim is to charm tourists, some of whom may fall for the notion that it’s a genuine relic of old Ireland. For more details, please click Irish Times.

After the dream comes true, it’s off to Lottery HQ for champagne and sage advice
You may dream of it, but what really happens when you win the lottery? A team of advisers at National Lottery headquarters says the first thing you should do is...nothing. They encourage winners to let the news sink in for up to six months. “Coming into millions of euros overnight takes a little bit of handling,” says lottery spokeswoman Paula McEvoy. “Those who have taken time – who haven’t made rash decisions – are the people who have ended up the happiest.” For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Mac Innes
Related Story: Who wants to be a millionaire? Move to Dublin or Louth

Stepping out of the fast lane - relocating from city to country
Jim Connolly never wanted to start Rural Resettlement Ireland. It came to him like an inspired dream, a chance to save the rural Ireland he loved, while also offering Dublin families a slice of life on the wild Atlantic coast. The problem was that, once he started dreaming, he couldn’t stop. Over the past two decades, Rural Resettlement Ireland has helped more than 770 Dublin families make a new life for themselves in the countryside. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

What living person does Galway milliner admire most?
The living person milliner Philip Treacy most admires is “The Queen (of England), because she's kept hats alive in the imagination of people all over the world.” Treacy’s hats are worn by royalty as well as Madonna and Lady Gaga, pictured; but he was once also asked by Buckingham Palace to make a star for the Queen's Christmas tree. "When I met her, she said, "But I thought you made hats?" I said, "I do, but today I've made you a star." I didn't know what else to say.“ For more on this news item, plese click RTÉ.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Letterkenny's Mark English secures bronze in Zurich
Mark English won a bronze medal for Ireland in Friday's 800m final at the European Championships in Zurich. The Letterkenny athlete, who is the fifth Irishman ever to win a medal at the championships, ran a season's best of 1:45.03 in an impressive run. "It was fantastic. To finish in the home straight with the team in the corner was fantastic," said English. He added: "I've been training for the last few years to get a medal on this stage. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: & Related Story: Journal Ireland/Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Corkman D'Arcy takes silver in sailing championship
Adam D’Arcy has beaten 132 competitors from France, Great Britain, India, Japan, Malta, and South Africa to claim silver at the International Topper Sailing World Championships in Pwllheli, Wales. A total of 11 races were sailed during the regatta in a mixture of weather conditions. The 16-year-old from Fermoy amassed a total of 27 points to draw with Calum Rosie from the UK. In the end it was Calum Rosie who took the final race win and with it the world title. For more details, please click RTÉ.

August 15
In anticipation of 75th birthday, Cardinal Brady offers resignation
The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Séan Brady, has offered his resignation to the pope. Dr Brady, who has been the leader of Ireland's Catholics for 18 years, confirmed that he offered his resignation to Pope Francis last month. All cardinals are obliged to offer to resign when they reach 75 birthday, but the pope decides whether to accept it. In a statement, Cardinal Brady said "Last month I offered my resignation to Pope Francis in accordance with the requirement of Canon Law. I did so in anticipation of my 75th birthday which I will celebrate tomorrow." For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Belfast Telegraph/PA

Culture Night details announced
Heather Humphreys probably didn’t expect to spend part of her afternoon face-to-face with sword-wielding pirates, but the joy of her new Arts Minister post is an eclectic schedule. She had to spend time with the mustachioed men – as well as ballet dancers, fencers and some adorable children wearing not so adorable masks – in St Patrick’s Park in Dublin today to launch this year’s Culture Night. The national event spans the whole of the island of Ireland and will see the evening of Friday 19 September turning the country into a hotbed of cultural activity. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Chiquita Rejects takeover bid & sticks to merger plan with Irish firm Fyffes
The board of Chiquita turned down the $13 a share, $611m cash offer for all of its stock made on Monday by Cutrale, a global power in fruit juices, and Safra, the wealthy Brazilian investment bank. The offer "is inadequate and not in the best interests of Chiquita shareholders," the board said. Having made such a determination, he board also said it would continue to back the merger with Fyffes, which would create the world's largest banana purveyor, with $4.6 billion in annual revenues. For more details, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & Related Story: This Is Money

Family of Northern Ireland RAF hero found
A war hero from Northern Ireland, who was shot down over Belgium by the Luftwaffe 70 years ago, is now set to have a street named after him after his family were finally traced. RAF Flight Engineer Charles Philip Kelly, known as Philip, died on April 25, 1944, while taking part in a bombing raid on a key German transportation system. A group of Belgians were so touched by the east Belfast man's story of sacrifice that they are creating a memorial to him – and even naming a street after him. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Historic treasure on Dublin’s Aungier Street being restored
Behind a very ordinary 1940s facade, on an unprepossessing Dublin street, lies medieval treasure. Number 9/9a Aungier Street, which celebrates its 350th birthday this year, is considered the oldest, most intact domestic building in the city. It is one of the first buildings erected in the Aungier Estate, Dublin’s first planned development, pre-dating the construction of Georgian Dublin. Yet less than 20 years ago, it was on the verge of collapse. For more details. please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Times/Brenda Fitzsimons

Rose of Tralee is more than a 'lovely girls' competition
That's according to Mayo's Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, who won the contest in 2005. "I've always thanked the festival because I never planned going into broadcasting, I just fell into it after being in the Rose of Tralee and it gave me a platform; I owe them a lot and I'm grateful," she said. Aoibhinn is currently completing her PhD in Mathematics at Trinity College, so gave up her post as a co-presenter of travel series Getaways in order to finish it within three years. For more details, please click Irish Herald.
Photo Credit & related Story: Science 140

West Cork food start-up cleans up at ‘Food Oscars’
A small company specialising in sea salt products, based on the Beara Penninsula in West Cork, has won three gold stars at the prestigious Great Taste Awards this year. O’Neill’s Irish Atlantic Sea Salt was set up in 2010, and landed its first gold star at the same awards in 2012. While its first win was for a simple sea salt flake product, the company has expanded in recent years into more diverse products like “infused” sea salt. - a flavoured salt; The dill pollen sea salt landed three gold stars, with the oak smoked sea salt winning one gold star. For more details, please click Journal ireland.
Photo Credit & More Details: Irish Atlantic Sea Salt

More possible Viking remains found under College Green
The remains were found by archeologists working for Rubicon Heritage Services, who are carrying out digs as part of works for the Railway Procurement Agency on proposed Luas lines. The first discovery was made on July 16, with four more sets of remains found subsequently. Rubicon site director Nikolah Gilligan, who led the excavation said “It is too early to confirm the date of the human remains, though the possibility that they are Viking cannot be discounted, given previously recorded Viking activity in the area.” For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: Rubicon Heritage

Hurling - the championship weekend at a glance
Age-old rivals Cork and Tipperary do battle for the right to meet Kilkenny in the All-Ireland hurling final on 7 September. What can we expect? The common view is that it will be close and the weather will be more benign than was the case in the first semi-final. Cork were within seconds of winning last year's All-Ireland final, despite playing second fiddle for much of the drawn encounter with Clare. And there is no doubt that the side is much stronger this year with the addition of Aidan Walsh, Damien Cahalane, Mark Ellis and Alan Cadogan For more details, please click RTÉ.

August 14
Tourist visits to Ireland up by 10% in first half of 2014
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show there was an additional 324,000 visitors when compared to the same period last year. The number of tourists from the UK grew by 14% and there was an 11% rise in the number of visitors from North America. The figures also show there was a 6% increase in tourists from mainland Europe. Tourism Ireland Chief Executive Niall Gibbons said he was delighted with the growth. For video clip and related stories, please click RTÉ.

Thousands arriving in Knock for annual pilgrimage
Tens of thousands are making their way to Knock, Co Mayo today for the Annual Novena at the Basilica of Our Lady of Knock. Organisers have estimated that up to 150,000 people will travel from across Ireland for the nine-day pilgrimage at the site where 15 locals claim to have had a miraculous apparition of the Virgin May, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist, in 1879. The novena, now in its 38th year, consists of daily mass and prayer as well as seminars and workshops. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Photocall Ireland
ED. NOTE: To read our articles, please click Our Lady of Knock Shrine - Place of Mystery and Miracles
and The Annual Novena at Our Lady of Knock

Who are the longest-married couple in Ireland?
We all know or once knew at least one dear old couple who have been together through war, loss, grandkids, great-grandkids, and have had countless birthdays, thousands of arguments, and only one best friend. But who’s been married longer than anyone else in Ireland? That’s the question being asked by the Catholic Grandparents Association, who have put out a call for the most durable marriage in the country. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo credit: Candida.Performa via Flickr

Ancient tradition of ‘sean-nós’ strikes chord with young people
That's according to an expert in what was a dying art. Teacher and singer Máire Ní Chéileachair says the opportunity to learn sean-nós — traditional unaccompanied singing in Irish and English — should be offered to all primary and post-primary students. Ms Ní Chéileachair — who will perform sean-nós at the prestigious Masters of Tradition festival in Bantry next week — credits a special rural initiative for a wave of renewed interest in this style of singing. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo credit & related Story: Folk Radio
ED. NOTE: Tp read our article, please click Sean-nós: The music of what happens

Only in Ireland - shopfronts too ‘traditional’ for Temple Bar?
Dublin City Council has said the unauthorised shopfronts of Supermac’s and its sister outlet Papa John’s at 26-27, Essex Street East, are inappropriate on what is an important thoroughfare through the conservation area of Temple Bar. In its appeal to An Bord Pleanála, Supermac’s said its shopfronts were made of wood with a “colourful presentation” that was much more in keeping with the street than the steel finish of the original building. For more details on this 'most read in news' story, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Eric Luke

Pharmaceutical firm creates 348 jobs
Headquartered in Craigavon, Co Armagh, the Pharmaceutical firm Almac is creating 3488 jubs - 141 positions in Pharma, a division that provides contract development and manufacturing, and 181 in Clinical which provides packaging, labelling and logistics services to the pharmaceutical industry. A further 26 jobs have also been created within the group. The company already employs more than 3,300 people in Northern Ireland and at facilities in the UK, US and Asia. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo credit: Almac Discovery

Watch! Leaving Cert students party
The brown envelopes had been opened, the Leaving Cert points totted up and now it was finally time to celebrate with their fellow school-leavers. Thousands of celebrating students descended on the pubs and clubs of Dublin city centre yesterday evening with one objective in mind – to have a good time. The Palace Nightclub on Camden Street and Copper Face Jacks and Dicey’s on Harcourt Street were the hot spots of choice as the crowds arrived in their droves from 10pm onwards. For more details, pics and video clip, please click Irish Independent.

Bronze Age sword found by diver
A Bronze Age sword has been found in the River Shannon near Banagher in Co Offaly by a local scuba diver. Michael O’Rourke, who is a member of the Shannonside Sub Aqua Club, found the sword during a routine search and recovery exercise on the river. Dr Andy Halpin, Assistant Keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Musuem of Ireland, said the sword likely dates to between 1050 to 1500 BC and is an important find. Members of the club have also recovered both Viking and Iron Age swords in the past. To read this news item and others, please click RTÉ.

Trainer pays tribute to hero dog Charco
A sniffer dog that travelled the world finding people buried underneath rubble after major earthquakes and building collapses has passed away at the age of 15. Charco was trained in collapsed structure searches by his handler Neil Powell from Co Down. Mr Powell described Charco as a wonderful dog with a unique personality. "All we're doing really is using their natural instinct as hunting dogs, and he was trained to search for live people and that's what he excelled at," he said. Fo more details, please click BBC.

August 13
Irish-funded study finds aspirin may halt spread of breast cancer
The study found that women who have been prescribed aspirin regularly, before being diagnosed with breast cancer, are less likely to have cancer that spreads, than women not on prescription aspirin. In examining data from over 2,700 women with various stages of breast cancer, it found that aspirin may reduce death from breast cancer, by preventing the cancer spreading to the lymph nodes. The research was funded by the Health Research Board and the Irish Cancer Society and is published in Cancer Journal by the American Association for Cancer Research. For more details, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Retired supreme court judge tells gripping tale of hero uncle
The story of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, who grew up in Co Kerry, was recounted yesterday by his nephew and namesake at the Parnell Summer School in Avondale, Co Wicklow. Mr Justice Hugh O'Flaherty spoke poignantly about how his uncle helped organise an underground escape route in Rome which helped saves the lives of over 6,500people, who belonged to 25 different nationalities. According to the retired judge, his uncle's success stemmed from his courage and wit. "He had more compassion than anyone I've ever known," he said. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Annual Rose of Tralee Festival officially launched
This year’s Rose of Tralee festival kicked off in its now traditional, eclectic style at Dublin Airport yesterday, with the usual mix of the best and most bizarre of Irish life on display. Among those competing will be Dublin’s Róisín Lyons and Nottingham’s Claire Regan, whose separate performances with Michael Flatley’s Riverdance and Lord of the Dance have sparked rumours of a Rose of Tralee dance-off. The week-long festival culminates in two live TV shows next Monday and Tuesday night. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ
To read our stories please click The Rose of Tralee - How the Ballad came to be and The Rose of Tralee festival

Leaving Cert student says ‘nothing could prepare him’ for nine A1s
Conor Gallagher from St Michael’s College, Dublin 4 said “nothing could prepare him” for achieving the best result in the Republic of Ireland. Conor, who was among 13 candidates to receive all A1s, said his principal gave him the result at school this morning. He took English, Irish, Maths, Biology, Economics, History, Spanish, Business and French and will go on to study Business and Law at University College Dublin. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Eric Luke

Rural Resettlement Ireland on quest to keep village schools open
The organization has been inundated with requests from schools wishing to "order" families with children in a bid to keep local schools open. Founder Jim Connolly, said “We get requests like this from schools from all over the west — in recent weeks we have requests from schools in Tipperary, Mayo and Clare. It’s like they are ordering families off a menu. We have three villages in west Clare who are getting new families this summer, all with young children." For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Surge in number of corncrakes continues
In a further victory in the battle to save the bird from national extinction, the Department of Arts and Heritage confirmed that preliminary figures from its 2014 census show 230 calling corncrake males were recorded this summer — a 24% increase on the 185 recorded last year, which represented an increase of up to 40% on 2012 — the highest percentage rise in almost 20 years. The largest concentration this year is located in Co Donegal where 156 calling males were counted. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Northern Ireland's fish & chip shops battle for national title
Northern Ireland's top six fish and chip shops are hoping to prove they're the catch of the day in the ultimate battle of the batters. The local shops are in the race to be crowned regional Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year at the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards. The chippies, part of the top 60 shortlisted across the UK, will compete against each other to become NI's regional winner. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Big Hospitality

Irish athletes through to semi finals in Zurich
There are several Irish involved today in the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich. Christine McMahon finished third in the 400m hurdles. McMahon ran a time of 57.16 to go through to the semi-finals tomorrow at 5.10pm Irish time. The rest of the Irish action takes place this evening with Thomas Barr in the 400m hurdles semi-final at 5.05pm. Amy Foster runs the 100m hurdles semi-final at 5.20pm after qualifying as one of four fastest losers. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Rory McIlroy joins select club
It is a select band of golfers who know the feeling of winning back-to-back majors. US Ryder Cup skipper Tom Watson won the 1982 US Open and followed it with Open success at Royal Troon - he is perfectly qualified to assess the scale of McIlroy's achievements. The eight-times major champion has joined a growing list of observers who believe the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland is on a fast-track to golfing greatness. For more details, please click BBC.

August 12
Are the midlands of Ireland a cultural wasteland?
The region has long suffered the jibes of city slickers who see it as an arts Siberia. But from artists’ communes to dance, and from bog poetry to the ‘Irish Hollywood’ that is Offaly, the place is teeming with cultural life. For example, Longford has become an international cenwtre for contemporary dance, spearheaded by the presence of Shawbrook Dance School in Legan, Co Longford, for 30 years. This former dairy farm has established itself as the centre for innovative contemporary dance and ballet in Ireland, attracting renoned choreographers to train students who travel from afar. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Bird’s-eye view of remote Clare routes on Google
If you’re the kind of traveller who has no interest in boldly going where no one’s gone before and Clare is on your list of destinations, then Google’s latest Street View offering is just the ticket. Every step of a 12km trail along the Cliffs of Moher, linking Liscannor to Doolin, is presented in a collection of scenic photographs captured by an intrepid walker armed with the Google Trekker, a 42-pound backpack containing 15 lenses — the upshots of which are 360-degree panoramic views of some of Clare’s most famous landscapes. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
To take the full virtual walk, please click Google

Watch! When Robin Williams met Zig and Zag
Robin Williams had a hilarious encounter with Zig and Zag on Chris Evans' Big Breakfast Show. The extraterrestrial twins from the planet Zog asked the comedy legend a number of odd questions, and he was well able to handle them. To watch the video clip, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit, related story & clips from some of his best roles: Irish Times
ED. NOTE: Zig and Zag are an Irish puppet duo performed by Mick O'Hara and Ciaran Morrison.

Unobtrusive, unassuming but oddly iconic...
A former toilet block in the heart of south Dublin was being knocked down today more than a year after council chiefs made a call for ideas on its future. The one-storey red brick building is on the corner of Angelsea Road and the Merrion Road, where it has stood for more than 70 years. It is understood the former public convenience may remain at the heart of the community and reopen as a café. A plaque marking its build in 1943 will be one of the few pieces of the original building that will remain. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Dublin-London now second busiest international air route
That's according to new figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA)which show that total of 3.6 million passengers travelled between the two cities last year - a 6.9% rise on the figure for 2012. The new statistics also showed that the busiest international route in 2013 was Hong Kong to Chinese Taipei on which 4.9 million travelled last year. To read this news item, please click RTÉ.

Energy firm creates 143 call centre jobs
Energy firm SSE Airtricity is creating 143 new jobs in Belfast with an expansion of its customer services centre.The firm will consolidate its two existing offices into new premises at Great Victoria Street. The call centre jobs will be supported with Invest NI grants of almost £700,000. SSE Airtricity is Northern Ireland’s second largest energy provider, supplying natural gas and greener electricity to over 300,000 Northern Irish homes and businesses. The firm is owned by SSE plc, the broadest-based energy utility in the UK, with interests and experience in electricity and gas production, distribution, supply and services. To read this news item, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Airtricity

Watch! Glen Hansard sings with Once cast
Once star and songwriter Glen Hansard joined the cast of Once the Musical at Pantages Theater in Hollywood on Friday August 8 for an epic rendition of The Auld Triangle . Introducing the song, Hansard said: "We decided to sing you a Dublin song, and this is a song written by a great Irish writer called Brendan Behan...It's about a man, sitting in a prison cell, missing his girlfriend. He's in prison for political reasons, an Irishman – you can put one and one together." To watch the video, please click RTÉ.

U2: Stuck in a moment
It has been five years since U2’s last album, and their new one still isn’t quite ready. That hasn’t stopped Bono playing it to passing holidaymakers. A fan-site link to last month’s leaked music says the track recorded on the beach was Song for Someone (which Bono has already confirmed will be on the new album). It goes on to say that the beach was full of people at the time and that Bono was playing the song “really loud . . . It seems like he’s trying to tell us something – that the new album is coming soon.” For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Bono's villa in France by Ciao Traveler

Women's Rugby World Cup: Kiwi conquerors to face England
Head coach Philip Doyle has named the same Ireland side that overcame New Zealand in the pool stages for the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup semi-final against England. Niamh Briggs (pictured), Ireland's top scorer in France with 25 points, makes up the back three along with wingers Ashleigh Baxter and Alison Miller. Speaking ahead of the semi-final, Doyle said: "We have had a fantastic campaign so far and that has only come from hard work and dedication. We don't intend for it to end here." The match takes place on Wednesday at 5pm Irish Time. For more details, please click RTÉ.

August 11
Francis Ford Coppola chooses Ireland as his most underrated destination
The legendary director made the comment in an interview with The Wall Street Journal saying "It's a beautiful country, and the people are extraordinary. They have such a wonderful literary tradition, one of warmth and humour." And he added "Also, Irish ice cream is among the best in the world, which no one knows." He went on to say "The The first time I visit a city I like to book one of those tour buses that stop at all the hotels picking up guests that signed up, and then a guide talks you through all the areas of the city. The second day I like to go with a car to the areas I found interesting." To read the interview in its entirety, please click The Wall Street Journal.
Photo Credit: New York Times

Thousands expected to attend Fleadh Cheoi in Sligo
While the town waited yesterday afternoon for President Michael D Higgins to arrive and start Fleadh Cheoil 2014, a group of young buskers gave a taste of what was to come at the feast of traditional Irish music. The children playing a selection of reels outside Mullaney’s shop on Sligo’s O’Connell Street were so intent on making music they did not even glance at the cascade of coins landing in their instrument cases. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Indepndent/James Connolly

Supermoon lights up skies across the world
A supermoon lit up the sky across Ireland and many parts of the world last night as stargazers enjoyed the Perseid meteor shower - one of the year’s most dramatic lunar events. The moon appeared 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than normal as it reached the point in its orbit closest to the Earth, known as ‘perigee’. Many enthusiasts grabbed their mobile phones to take a snapshot of the spectacle, which comes two days before the meteor shower reaches its peak. To read this news item and view a video clip, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Gemma Carew/Moon over Oldcastle, Co Meath

‘King of the Travellers’ stops traffic for last time
Thousands of the Travelling community, from home and abroad, journeyed to Limerick on Saturday to pay respects to “King of the Travellers” Charlie the Great Clarke. As seven horse-drawn carriages and a dozen sulkies escorted his coffin to his final resting place, his niece, Joanne Clarke said: “It’s a sad time for all the family but we are also remembering Charlie as a great character. He was known for causing traffic jams when he was on the road with his horses, and he did it one last time on his final journey; we all smiled at that.” For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo credit & related Story: Irish Times/Brenda Fitzsimons

Poor Clares celebrate centenary in city of Cork
Contemplative nuns who live a hidden life of prayer behind closed doors will thank the people of Cork in person today for their support as they mark the centenary of their monastery in the city. The Poor Clare Colettines, best-known as the Poor Clares, will celebrate the feast day of their founder, St Clare, at 10am Mass today bringing to an end a weekend of special ceremonies at their College Road monastery, marking the milestone. Mother Abbess, Sr Colette Marie, said the nuns will be on hand afterwards to meet, greet and thank people through a grille in one of their parlours. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Denis Scannel

Weather fails to stop thousands attending Tullamore Show
More than 50,000 people have made their way to the Tullamore Show for the biggest one-day event of the farming year. Mucky conditions underfoot didn't stop visitors pouring in from all over Ireland from early morning. Torrential downpours drove many into the marquee events ranging from fashion shows to bakery and floral competitions. But as always it was animals which took centre stage at what's been described as the "olympics of Irish farming". For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Steve Humphreys

"A summer beyond his "wildest dreams"
Rory McIlroy says he is playing "the best golf" of his life and enjoying a summer beyond his "wildest dreams" after securing the US PGA Championship and landing his second major in as many months. He said the manner of his latest victory was particularly satisfying. "I gutted it out." McIlroy, who wrapped up victory in the gathering gloom by one shot, explained "It was different from my previous major wins..."I'm going to celebrate and share it with the people who are close to me. I'll be back home in Northern Ireland at the end of the week." For more details, please click BBC.

Hurling: Walls of Limerick tumble down as Cats claw to victory
Through the torrents of water that alternately poured and drizzled onto the heads of over 45,000 faithful fans, the fire of the Treaty side blazed on. But it was just no match for the experience of the Cats. The Phoenix of Kilkenny rose from the ashes of last year's championship and though Limerick battled ferociously onwards, the feat to take on a side that could find their way around Croke Park blind-folded even if they were spun around three times became an impossible one. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Journal Ireland/Donall Farmer/INPHO

Over 50 medals scooped for NI athletes in UK Transplant Games
Gold, silver and bronze medals will be making their way back to Northern Ireland today after a team of inspirational athletes won more than 50 medals at the UK Transplant Games. Over four days 35 athletes – six children and 29 adults – who have undergone organ donation competed in a range of events including swimming, athletics, golf and 10-pin bowling. They will fly back to Northern Ireland with an impressive 53 medals: 17 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Wed, Aug 27, 2014

From Bog Land to Turf Fire

Ireland contains more bog land, relatively speaking, than any country in Europe, except Finland. For people in rural areas, turf cut from the bog is still a natural source of heat. Turf cutting begins in spring and then the turf is spread and rickled . Rickled means to pile the turf up in small mounds. By summer, the turf is dry and it's time to bring it home. Everything has to be prepared before the winter comes, or even earlier, because the rain would wet the turf too much. It has to be dry and in the shed before Autumn. Then and only then, can an irish country family look foreward to the cozy warmth of "a turf fire in the cabin."

Resources: The Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape
Image: Spirited ireland

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Up the minute forecasts provided by Ireland's official source for all weather-related news. Please click Met Eireann.

Links to the latest news from Ireland

Here you will find all the stories making headlines throughout the Republic of Ireland and the six counties to the north. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list. These are the main sources we check every day to bring you those headlines we think you will enjoy reading.

BBC Northern Ireland
Belfast Telegraph
Breaking News Ireland
Irish Emigrant
Irish Examiner
Irish Herald
Irish Independent
Irish News
Irish Times
Irish Post
The Irish World

The Journal Ireland
Inside Ireland

Lie of the Land
by Fintan O’Toole

A regular contributor to the irish Times and The Guardian, O’Toole applies his eagle journalistic eye to the state of ireland at the end of the 20th century. It’s a riveting read as O’Toole examines with in-insight, humour and a bit of the blarney, the repercussions of a booming economy which has thrust ireland into the ranks of the richest European countries.
Click here for Lie of the land.


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