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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.

Thursday, October 23, 2014



Dublin ambulance log from 1916 gives vivid account of Rising
A log kept by Dublin Fire Brigade’s ambulance service during the 1916 Easter Rising has come to light after almost 100 years. The hand-written duty log book, described by the auctioneer as “probably the first substantive written record of the events of the Rising, compiled as they happened” will be sold in Whyte’s auction of historical memorabilia in Dublin next month. According to Stuart Purcell of Whyte’s: “The vendor’s grandfather worked in Dublin Corporation and rescued the log from a skip as it was being dumped in an office clearance”. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Lie-flat beds, HD screens and touch-button massages...
Welcome to the new Aer Lingus Business Class which, according to details just unveiled, "will provide an unrivalled customer journey" and "the best shot of sleep" on direct flights to San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, the airline said. Due to roll out on its A330 aircraft from January next year, the new Business Class boasts snazzy new features that should see it combine with US Customs and Border pre-clearance at Dublin Airport to steal a march on transatlantic competitors. For more details, a virtual tour of the cabin and a launch video, please click Irish Independent.

Spectacular cliff path one step closer to reopening
A huge 20-metre steel bridge has been lowered off a sheer cliff edge to form one of the first sections of the Gobbins cliff path on Islandmagee. Built in 1902, the Gobbins Cliff Path was a major feat of engineering that once attracted more tourists than the Giant's Causeway, but it fell prey to the elements and had to be closed in 1954. Now it's hoped that the restored path will welcome its first visitors in the New Year. John Glass of McLaughlin and Harvey which is carrying out the cliff path reconstruction said "The Gobbins path will be an excellent tourist attraction for Northern Ireland..." For more details & photos, please click Belfast Telgraph.
Video Clip: Belfast Telegraph

Maureen O’Hara's Cork estate on offer
Legendary Irish actor Maureen O’Hara has placed her beloved west Cork home, Lugdine Park just out side the town of Glengariff, on the market for €2.3 million. The house, though a little dated and relatively modest by international celebrity standards, is set in one of the most picturesque locations in the country. Surrounded by woodland, it overlooks Glengarriff Bay and its own private island in the foreground with the Cork/Kerry mountains in the distance. In 2012 the 94-year-old star of the silver screen left west Cork for the last time to be nearer family in the US. For more details, video clip and photos, please click Irish Times.

Calvary composer up for world award
Irish composer Patrick Cassidy is among the nominees for the Discovery of the Year Award at the World Soundtrack Awards for his score for the film Calvary, which was recorded with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Commenting on working with director John Michael McDonagh on Calvary, Cassidy said: "John did not want the score to sound ethnic because, although the film is set in Ireland, the story is universal." He continued: "I did, however, use quite a lot of voices, which I felt would convey tenderness and a sense of spiritual goodness." For more details, please click RTÉ.

Moon Boy creator Chris O’Dowd accepts freedom of Roscommon
Chris O’Dowd sounded amazed. Freeman of Roscommon? “I was not aware Roscommon had enslaved me”, he told the sea of familiar faces gathered in King House, Boyle to see the honour bestowed. The star of Broadway and Hollywood, who was once more familiar locally as a goalie on the Roscommon minor football team, has a clear case of Stockholm syndrome, he insisted, captivated by his captor. “I am a sick man and Roscommon is to blame”. On the night his gracious acceptance speech was like a love letter to his home town - with a little bit of slagging thrown in. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Brian Farrell

Cecelia Ahern's latest novel shoots to top of the book charts
The Dublin novelist's popularity shows no signs of abating and her 11th novel is in the top 10 in both Ireland and the UK. "Amazing news today; The Year I Met You is number 1 in Ireland and number 5 in the UK. Thank you, thank you everybody," Cecelia said. The daughter of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Cecelia has already written her 12th novel. "I love it. I can't tell you anything about it but I wrote it in six weeks. "I have always felt compelled to write. Putting things on paper is my way of sorting things out," she said. For more details, please click Irish Herald.
Photo credit: Fantastic Fiction

End of an era as iconic Royal Hotel closes its doors
It's one of Northern Ireland's oldest hotels. But now the revolving doors of the Royal Hotel in Bangor are to be closed for the last time. The seaside hotel, which overlooks the picturesque marina, has been synonymous with Bangor over two-and-a-half-centuries and has gathered some very famous names in its guest book, including Van Morrison. The Royal Hotel was built 241 years ago in 1773 and then rebuilt in 1932 by the O'Hara family - who ran it until it was taken over by the Donnagan family in the early Nineties. For more details and photo gallery, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Northern Ireland lead Republic in FIFA rankings
Northern Ireland have soared 28 places in the rankings to 43rd after a superb start to their qualifying campaign yielded three victories. Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland have risen one place to 61st following the side’s Euro 2016 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Germany. The team routed Gibraltar 7-0 but no ranking points were awarded for the victory as FIFA has yet to admit the British overseas territory to its organisation. For more details, please click RTÉ.



Past Two Weeks
October 22
Trinity €600m plan to break back into world elite
Trinity College Dublin has set itself an ambitious target to be among the top 20 universities in Europe and the top 50 in the world with state-of-the-art buildings and student residences, more international students and building its reputation for world-leading research among the key planks of the college's Strategic Plan 2014-19, being launched today by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. TCD Provost Dr Paddy Prendergast said the aim was to secure Trinity's future as "one of the great universities". For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Two Irish hotels take top slots in travel magazine poll
The awards, which are chosen by Condé Nast Traveler readers, saw Irish resorts beat those in France, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Britain. The magazine’s Best Resorts in Europe: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014 put Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, Co Kerry, at the top spot, closely followed by Ashford Castle in Cong, Co Mayo. Kildare Hotel at the K Club came in fourth place, followed by Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, which came eighth. The reader nominations follow a slew of recent similar accolades for Irish hotels and tourist regions. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

Groupon to create 100 jobs in Dublin
The e-commerce giant today announced that it is expanding its Irish base, with the establishment of an international engineering and marketing centre in Dublin. The company said it was seeking highly-skilled staff for the new research and development hub, bringing its total Irish workforce to 200 within the next two years. It is hiring experienced professionals for roles in software engineering, data analysis and digital marketing. The US multinational, which was established in 2009, serves 500 markets in 48 countries. For more on this news item, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Daily Media

Ireland's Supermac's has a new ad campaign - in Times Square
Irish purveyor of cheese-and-curry chips Supermac's has started a brand new ad campaign targeted at a different audience - New Yorkers. The fast-food chain has set up an enormous billboard in the heart of the big apple at tourist hotspot Times Square. And it is huge, taking up the height of a skyscraper. The giant billboard claims "Next Supermac's 2,963 miles … and totally worth it!" and urges potential tourists to "come for the scenery and stay for the food". For more on this news item, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Irish film Patrick's Day claims hat trick at awards in US
Patrick's Day, the new film from Irish writer-director Terry McMahon, has won three awards at the Woodstock Film Festival, including the Maverick Award for Best Feature Narrative. The film also won the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography (Michael Lavelle) and the James Lyons Award for Best Editing of a Feature Narrative (Emer Reynolds). Patrick's Day stars Kerry Fox, Waterford actor Moe Dunford in his first major film role, Catherine Walker and Philip Jackson. For more details, plwase click RTÉ.

Meath Street: outpost of a disappearing Dublin
The foreigners say it’s European. The old-timers say it’s declining. The guide books say it’s the real Dublin. And the artists say it’s, like, far too dear to get a flat in the area. Whatever Meath Street is, it’s not boring. In just a few hundred metres bustling with personality, you will find ancient churches abutting secular Steiner schools; charity shops alongside with three bookmakers and a casino; two greengrocers, a fishmonger’s, a chicken shop – and enough butchers’ to feed a small pride of lions. You will also find a street in transition. For more details, pics & video clip please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Alan Betson

Co Down record label puts musician on track for award
It's a David and Goliath story. A Co Down musician is hoping to grow his small independent record label internationally after one of its artists was nominated for a prestigious Music of Black Origin (MOBO) award. Lyte Records, founded by 30-year-old David Lyttle, from Waringstown, released renowned jazz artist Jason Rebello's latest album Anything But Look. It has landed Rebello a nomination in the best jazz act category at the 2014 MOBO Awards, which is scheduled to take place at the SSE Arena, in Wembley, London. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Happy ending for stranded puppies
The story of four puppies stranded in a Cork mineshaft ended happily today. Three of the puppies were rescued earlier and this afternoon members of the Toe Head Coast Guard revisited the mine to check if the remaining dog had made its way out. In an update posted to facebook the rescue crew said, "we tried to gain entrance to the mine from lower down the hill but it had collapsed so we lowered the owner and one of our climbers down. The dog came straight up to his owner and all were hauled out safely." So all's well that ends well. To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.

VIDEO: UCC students making a song and dance over graduation
Just when you thought you’d seen the last of all those ’Happy’ videos, UCC students pull another one out of the bag. Those attending today's conferrings at the university got a bit of a surprise when a group of graduates burst into a Pharrell Williams- inspired rendition of hit song 'Happy'. And it should come as no surprise that the participants were Drama and Theatre Studies graduates, who broke into the high-energy routine immediately after their ceremony. For more details and to watch the video, please click Irish Examiner.

October 21
Hospitable Ireland is ‘the real deal’
That's according to Lonely Planet which has declared Ireland one of the best countries in the world for 2015. Ireland receives the accolade in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015, the collection of the world’s hottest trends, destinations, and experiences for the year ahead. According to the book, the country is “the real deal”, saying: “Ireland is stunningly scenic, its traditions — music, dance, whiskey, and beer — firmly intact and the cosmopolitan, contemporary Irish are just as friendly and welcoming as their forebears were known to be.” For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Independent

Tech firm announces more than 500 jobs for Donegal
The jobs are being created at Randox Laboratories in Co Donegal. The company has announced it is expanding its facility in Dungloe over the next six years. It specialises in developing tests for conditions like Alzheimers, kidney disease and some forms of cancer. Dr Kieran Richardson, Research and Development Manager at Randox, told Highland Radio News that while some of the jobs will require specialised qualifications and experience, many others will be filled from within the local community. To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Irish 'have the best phone etiquette in the world'
That's according to a study by travel firms, Expedia and Egencia, which found that Irish people are more at ease with acceptable mobile phone use than other nationalities. The companies said that this could explain why Irish people are also the least tolerant in the world when it comes to people being rude with their phones. Making calls on a speakerphone while travelling is considered the biggest faux pas. Playing music, games and videos without headphones is considered the second most offensive type of behaviour. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Irish Stock Exchange worth €207m a year to the economy
Economic consultants Indecon have carried out a major study on the benefits of Ireland having its own stock exchange. Over 2,000 people are employed in the securities industry in Ireland with a further 97,000 jobs supported by ISE listed companies. The study also found that the Irish Stock Exchange was the third biggest exchange in the world in 2013 for debt listings, while it is also the second biggest exchange in Europe in 2013 for volumes of new debt listings. It is also the fourth biggest exchange in the world in 2013 for fund listings. For more details, please click RTÉ.

13 Irish answers to the meaning of life
What is it to be alive in the 21st century? What is the meaning of life? What will your legacy be? Do you believe in the afterlife and does that affect how you live in this world? These questions were put to Irish people from varying walks of life, not all well-known but all thinkers – writers, poets, philosophers, academics, journalists and teachers, religious and charity workers, and self-proclaimed show-offs, among others. Their answers are in a new book - Taken from Saol – Thoughts from Ireland on Life and Living by Catherine Conlon. To read some of what they said, please click Irish Times.

Moynsha House in west Limerick up for sale
The Irish home of the late business tycoon, Patsy Byrne, has come on the market in Abbeyfeale in West Limerick with a guide price of €1.65m. The completely renovated eight-bedroomed Georgian residence boasts well-proportioned, elegant reception rooms and sits on an elevated site overlooking the River Feale. The house is being sold, along with 70 acres, and is located near Patsy Byrne’s beloved Duagh village, where he was born before making his fortune in London. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: My Home Ireland

VIDEO: Surprise wedding prank on the streets of Dublin
This poor girl was just sitting outside in Dublin minding her own business when - all af a sudden - her wedding happened all around with a groom she had never met. The surprise wedding prank was filmed for RTÉ's The Fear and despite the mortification you feel for the unassuming bride, it's actually quite uplifting. We just can't believe she went with it - she even allowed complete strangers to put her in a wedding dress , while they sang at her. Fair play to her now, in fairness. To watch the video, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll: I knew I wanted to marry Amy...
Rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll says he knew he wanted to marry Amy Huberman after just eight weeks together. The former Leinster and Ireland star he engineered a meeting with the actress after seeing her on TV. O'Driscoll details their first meeting in his new book The Test - and he said he knew Amy was the woman for him. “People say: ‘When you know, you know’. Genuinely.” To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.

A Kerry senior and minor footballer keep heir promise to Donal
Donal Walsh's battle with cancer was a nationwide story last year due to the teenager’s bravery when dealing with the illness. Before he died Barry-John Keane and Cormac Coffey, clubmates of Walsh at Kerins O’Rahilly’s, promised they would win the senior and minor All-Ireland titles to honour his memory. Both Kerry teams kept up their end of the bargain and Keane and Coffey brought the trophies to Walsh’s grave to pay their respects. To read this news item, please click Journal Ireland.

October 20
More than 800 people join family at special service for Ian Paisley, RIP
The family and guests heard Rev David McIlveen call him "a faithful preacher, a people's politician and a distinguished leader". "Dr Paisley's life has cast an influential shadow over at least three generations: as a faithful preacher of God's word, as a people's politician and as a distinguished leader in church and state." Baroness Paisley said that her 58-year marriage was "not a dictatorship, but a partnership". "Ian was often referred to as 'the big man', and he was certainly that! He was a big man with a big heart," she said. For more details, please click BBC.

Tricolour from Easter Rising could sell for up to €50,000
The home-made flag, assembled from panels of green, white and orange cloth, and painted with the slogan “Sinn Fein go deo” (Sinn Féin forever) was reputedly flown over one of the buildings occupied by the Irish Volunteers during the Rising. It was recovered from Dublin Castle Yard, where it had been dumped by British troops. The flag is expected to sell for up to €50,000 in a sale of historical memorabilia by Whyte’s auctioneers in Dublin on November 8th. For more details, plese click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Adams

Arts Council announces longlist for Irish laureate award
The longlist for the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction has been announced, with 34 writers eligible for the award. Launched by the Arts Council over the summer, the award of €150,000 over three years is also supported by UCD and New York University (NYU). It aims to find a writer who has made a significant contribution to Irish literature and with an internationally recognised body of work. Eligible writers include stalwarts such as Anne Enright(pictured), Roddy Doyle and William Trevor, as well as newer names such as Eimear McBride and Donal Ryan. For more details and the complete list, please click Irish Times.

Marine scientist discovers new sponge species off Irish coast
Christine Picton was investigating coral reefs at the edge of the continental shelf off the west coast of Ireland when a sample collected by a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) turned out to be rather unusual. Christine said it was a tiny thin encrusting sponge found growing on a piece of coral in a canyon. It was only later, when it was compared to other specimens, that it was found to be new to science. "Most people are not aware that coral reefs can be found off the west coast of Ireland," she said. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Irish teen Fiona donates hair to to make wig for Keeva
Fifteen year old Fiona Murphy donated her ponytail to the Rapunzel Foundation, an Irish charity that supports alopecia sufferers like eight-year-old Keeva Murphy. Keeva, from Mohill in Leitrim travelled to Dublin with her parents to watch Fiona donate over 14in of hair to be used in the making of a Freedom wig, which will be ready in time for her communion next year. “I had really really long hair and some people have diseases that don’t allow them to have hair like mine, which is why I decided to give it away to someone that really wants it, like Keeva,” said Fiona. For more details and video, please click Irish Independent.

Kilkenny animator joining staff of hit US comedy South Park
David O’Reilly has established himself as an internationally acclaimed animator, whose previous works include inserts for films, a music video for U2, and an episode of the Cartoon Network series ‘Adventure Time’. Having moved to LA three years ago, David was asked to create the fictional Alien Child video game that appeared in the Oscar-winning film Her. He has since released his own game, Mountain, and created a series of critically acclaimed short films. Now, joining the writing team of South Park is a dream come true for him. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Animation World Network

Winning Streak presenter Sinead Kennedy ties the knot
Winning Streak presenter Sinead Kennedy married her boyfriend of eight years, naval officer Conor Kirwin, over the weekend. Family and close friends gathered at St Michael's Church in Sneem, Co. Kerry to watch the happy couple exchange their vows. Sinead looked stunning in a floor length gown which was draped with silver embellishments around the neckline. Conor looked dapper decked out in his navy uniform. Sinead is expected back on Irish screens this weekend For more details,photos, and please click RTÉ.

12 words and phrases that have a totally different meaning in the Irish Midlands
Ah the Midlands. Home to Joe Dolan, Electric Picnic and a load of peat. It’s also home to some distinctive words and phrases which might leave non-Midlands folk scratching their heads… Like Snobby wedder. What it usually means: The weather isn’t great today/the weather isn’t being kind too us today. What it means in the Midlands: I know you saw me waving at you on the street, are you ignoring me? For the rest of the list and accompanying photos, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Spam Friday/Getty Images

Spooky Dublin pub prank will chill you to the bone
Having been invited into a ‘new’, happening pub, unsuspecting customers were in for a bit of a shock. They take their seats and are greeted by a kindly barman, however they also meet the foreboding regular 'Ralf'. Ralf plays the part of the awkward drunk guy perfectly, warning the unsuspecting victims that they “shouldn’t be here.” After telling the people they are all “doomed” Ralf is made to sling his hook by the bar staff and then the lights go out …To watch what happens next, please click Breaking News Ireland.

October 19
Memorial service for former first minister Ian Paisley, RIP
A memorial service for Northern Ireland's former first minister Ian Paisley is to be held in Belfast today. October 19. Mr Paisley died on 12 September at the age of 88. The founder of the Democratic Unionist Party was buried following a private service at his family home in east Belfast. At the time, his family said there would be a memorial service so that the public could pay their respects. Sunday's memorial service will be held at 15:00 BST at the Ulster Hall in Belfast and will be broadcast live on BBC Two Northern Ireland. For more details, please click BBC
.Photo Credit: Irish Independent

Dublin the fifth friendliest city on earth
That's according to readers of Condé Nast Traveler, the prestigious US travel magazine. "Dublin is a “vibrant city” that’s a “bibliophile’s dream”, one reader said. Another commented: "Apart from being “green, lush, and very walkable,” it’s also “the kind of place you stop in for a drink in a local pub, only to end up chatting with the locals for the next five hours.” Lists of the world's friendliest and unfriendliest cites were culled from Condé Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Survey For more details & video clip, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit & More Details: BBC

Exhibition sheds new light on Oscar Wilde’s life in Reading Gaol
Documents found in the Reading Prison archives have revealed a photograph of an inmate thought to have been admired by Oscar Wilde. The image shows Henry Bushnell, who was imprisoned in Reading Gaol while Wilde served a two year sentence after being convicted for engaging in homosexual acts in 1895. It was uncovered by the University of Reading’s Professor Peter Stoneley, who has researched the archives to “shed new light” on the men who helped Wilde through his imprisonment and inspired The Ballad of Reading Gaol. For more details, please click Irish Post.

Online archive of Irishmen’s WW1 experiences launched
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, launched the fully searchable online database which holds a collection of 453 letters from 56 different servicemen, as well as images. At the outbreak of the war, Monica Roberts of Stillorgan, Co. Dublin, established the ‘Band of Helpers for the Soldiers’ with her friends to send small gifts to the men of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Royal Flying Corps. Roberts included letters with her presents and usually the soldiers wrote to thank her. For more details, please click Irish World.

Tribute paid to Irish troops who lost their lives in Lebanon
Deputy Chief of Staff Operations Major General James visited the personnel of the 45th Infantry Group deployed to the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon yesterday where he presented the troops with medals in recognition of their work there for the Irish Defence Forces. Tribute was also paid to the 47 Irish troops who lost their lives in Lebanon over the past three decades. Addressing the troops on parade, he said that the area has suffered more than its fair share of violence, but the Irish Defence Forces, on behalf of the Irish people have stood steadfast as a beacon of light and hope to so many. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Irish wake tradition flourishing
Ask anyone about death and the Irish and they will say that they do it well. So well that, assuming death arrives after a full life, some who like a good, uncontrived celebration say they prefer funerals to weddings. The tradition of the wake is flourishing. They may not cover the mirrors or stop the clocks any more, but the traditional removal to church on eve of burial is vanishing in favour of keeping the person at home for a last night, laid out in an open coffin or on a bed, surrounded by family, friends and a steady flow of sympathisers often queuing out of the door and down the street. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: McGinty's Wake/The Film Company of Ireland and the Irish-American Press

We visited Tullamore, Ireland and drank all their whiskey
Editor of online site Complex writes “Too much of anything is bad," Mark Twain said. "But too much good whiskey is barely enough.” How Twain came to that conclusion without, to my knowledge, ever having visiting Ireland remains a mystery. Unlike Twain, however, I have and finally have the authority (and the liver damage) to officially concur. Here's the story of one Complex editor getting really drunk for three days on Irish whiskey. For more details, please click Complex.

An Irishman;s Diary: Dublin's lesser known parks
Located in the middle of Dublin, beside the Four Courts, Chancery Park is a small but perfectly formed example of everything that’s good and bad about the city. Well, maybe not everything. But a lot. On the plus side, it’s a charming little garden – a railed-off refuge from the busy streets around it, with a fountain, a pool, and manicured shrubs. Its Art Deco trimmings wouldn’t be out of place in Paris, or Vienna, or any of the better kept cities of Europe. The downside is that you’ve probably never been in it. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Downton Abbey's Lady Mary shows her support for Munster
Actress Michelle Dockery showed her support for Munster in yesterday's European Champions Cup clash with Sale by donning the team's full strip.* Michelle, whose father, Michael Francis Dockery, hails from Athlone, plays Lady Mary Crawley in the bespoke soap and she proudly showed her allegiance to Ireland during yesterday's match, which Munster won by one point. She certainly didn't scare the horses but what would the Dowager Countess think? To read this news item and many others, please click RTÉ.
*ED. NOTE: The terms "kit", "strip" and uniform are used interchangeably in Association Football

October 18
Pope Francis allows Sistine Chapel to be rented out for private corporate event
The event is a concert to be amid the splendour of Michelangelo's frescoes which will be attended by a select group of about 40 high-paying tourists who have signed up to an exclusive tour of Italy organised by Porsche. The proceeds to go to charities working with the poor and homeless. The Vatican would not divulge how much it will earn from the event, but the five-day tour of Rome arranged by the Porsche Travel Club costs up to 5,000 euros per head, meaning an overall price of 200,000 euros.For more details, please click The Telegraph.
Photo Credit: Alamy

Daniel O'Connell: 'The Nelson Mandela of his age'
Irish political giant Daniel O'Connell has been remembered as the Nelson Mandela of his day, as the newest of London's blue plaques was unveiled in his honour. The commemoration to O'Connell stands in Albemarle Street. The Kerry man was known as The Liberator for his battle for the right of Catholics to sit in the British Parliament. The plaque marks his former home in the capital's Mayfair district. Outside the house, Prof Martin Daunton of English Heritage, which issues the honours, said "His campaign for Catholic emancipation and his principled opposition to slavery was - and still is - admired around the world." For more details, please click BBC.
Photo credit & Related Story: Irish Independent

WWI soldiers, including 9,000 Irish remembered at Ypres ceremony
The names of the 600,000 soldiers who died in the killing fields of Flanders were remembered last night in a huge display of lights 85km long. The Ypres Salient - the area around Ypres in northern Belgium which was the scene of some of the worst fighting in the first World War - covers an area smaller than Co Louth. The dead of 30 nations are buried there, including Ireland which lost at least 9,000 men in the fighting. Some 8,400 torch bearers formed a human chain from the coast at Nieuwpoort to the memorial to the missing at Ploegsteert where Belgium’s King Philippe and his wife Mathilde lit a candle for those who died. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Journal Ireland/AP/Press Association Images

Heritage Ireland: This may be the most stunning location for a castle
Spectacularly positioned on the cliffs overlooking the North Atlantic, Dunluce Castle has to be one of the most picturesque heritage sites on the island. The earliest parts of the castle are thought to date to the 14th century, but the majority of visible remains date to the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was the fortress of the MacQuillans and later the MacDonnells, who were descended from a powerful Scottish clan. These families were embroiled in near constant conflict to control the area of North Antrim known as ‘The Route’ which extended between the Rivers Bann and Bush. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Behind the facades: an alternative history of Dublin
While working as a tour guide in Dublin city centre, covering 2,000 years of Irish history, Lisa Marie Griffith began to see the city’s iconic buildings as a gateway to the past. Through the buildings it was possible to build a narrative, to describe past events and to draw a picture of the people who walked the streets in different eras. Seeing these buildings through the eyes of tourists gave her a fresh perspective, which became the basis for Stones of Dublin: A History of Dublin in Ten Buildings. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Hozier breaks U2's 27-year Irish Number One run
Hozier has denied U2's new album, Songs of Innocence, the top album position in Ireland, breaking the veteran band's 27-year No 1 run of first week Irish number one albums. In a sign of the changing of the guard, the Bray singer's self-titled debut stays at the top of the Irish charts for the fourth week leaving Songs of Innocence at No 2, the first time U2 have not debuted at No 1 in Ireland since the release of The Joshua Tree in 1987. In the UK, Songs of Innocence is set to debut at U2's lowest chart position for 30 years this Monday. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Eight Oscar Wilde gems for modern life
October 16th marks Oscar Wilde’s 160th birthday. Quite apart from being one of Ireland’s greatest writers of all time, and his infamy for one of the most shocking trials of the era, Wilde was also famous for his ability to condense pearls of wisdom into short and snappy one-liners. That, of course, was all in the late 1800s - but Wilde’s advice is still perfectly applicable to modern life. Here's eight we feel apply just as well now as they did in the late 1800s. For example, I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. To read the other seven, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Co Louth bakery creates largest soda bread loaf on record
McCloskey’s Bakery in Drogheda debuted the enormous loaf, on Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green this morning. The traditional, if slightly larger than usual, loaf took 3.5 hours to bake and weighed in at over 250kg - Nearly 50 lbs. The loaf was created in celebration of Ireland’s National Bread Week, which launched on Monday. President of the Flour, Confectioners and Bakers Association Patrick McCluskey said that soda bread has a huge significance in Irish culture. For more details please click Irish Independent.

Ryanair revs up Irish HQ with custom-made jet engine table
The budget carrier has been furbishing its new headquarters in Swords, north Dublin, creating a working environment not dissimilar to the famous Google offices. Among the fittings that have been included in the office is a large slide, a pool table, giant chessboard, computer games and a jet engine covered with a glass top as the centrepiece for an impressive meeting table. It is understood the company has spent more than €5m fitting out the new headquarters out and staff moved in early this year. For more details and photos, please click Irish Independent.

October 17
Fáilte Ireland targets far flung regions in bid to boost visitor numbers
Ireland is an increasingly popular destination for tourists from India, China, South Africa, and the Middle East and today, a group of 45 of the most prominent travel agents from those countries as well as South Africa have arrived in Ireland and are being pitched to by members of Ireland’s tourism industry. The drive to grow visitor numbers from these regions takes place as Fáilte Ireland hosts a workshop for these target markets in the Grand Hotel, Malahide. Martina Bromley, head of sales with Fáilte Ireland, said the countries targeted will be the fastest-growing markets for Irish tourism in the next decade. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Gentlemen Marketing Agency

WWI Irish-Australia database goes online
A database of Irish-born people who served with the Australian forces in the World War I has gone online today. The database is publicly available and will allow Irish and Australian people to trace the records of their relatives who served in the war. The project was compiled by the Australian University of New South Wales in partnership with University College Dublin. The database will be publicly available and will allow Irish and Australian people to trace the records of their relatives who served in the War, known today as “Anzacs”. For details of yesterday's launch and a link to the database, please click Merrion Street.
Photo Credit: RTÉ.

10 ways to be Grand – The Irish woman’s guide
“Irish women say they’re ‘Grand’ about a million times a day”. Comedian Tara Flynn has taken this as the starting point for her new book: You’re Grand – The Irishwoman’s Secret Guide to Life. And just in case you are, a) under any illusions, or b) a tourist, “Grand simply means the bare bones of fine. “Irish women have been around for ages," she says "Some would say almost as long as Irish men,. We’ve learned a lot in that time, but, until now, we haven’t shared it. Perhaps being shushed by priests/foreign invaders/the wind for too long has taken its toll." For more details, please click Irish Times.

Meet the people making poetry cool again in Ireland
The Lingo Festival is all about breaking down barriers when it comes to the spoken and written word, and this weekend its events in Dublin will see a range of wordsmiths performing their own work or chatting about their favourite poems. One of the organisers behind Lingo is poet and writer-in-residence at DLR Lexicon in Dun Laoghaire, Colm Keegan. "About a year ago a bunch of poets got together and decided we wanted to do the festival. The scene was amazing and a little bit underground. There was so much going on, it was time to shine a light on it." For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Connemara corners and Norway’s fjords to host ‘pop-up’ film project
The Cinémobile, Ireland’s ‘pop-up’ picture house on wheels, is twinning with four other countries to bring independent film to some of northern Europe’s farthest corners. Connemara community halls, Norwegian fjords and Scottish islands are among the 27 venues chosen for some 28 films which will be “swopped” between Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Scotland and Norway and shown free to audiences. John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, Dieter Auner’s Dreams of a Clown and Risteard Ó Dómhnaill’s The Pipe are among the Irish features, documentaries and shorts selected. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: David Sleator

Open House weekend in Dublin
Organised each year by the Irish Architecture Foundation, the hugely popular event gives Dubliners and visitors to the capital a once-off opportunity to poke their noses into the buildings they've always wanted to explore - but can't usually get into. The doors will be thrown open to a diverse range of built gems and oddities, but it's often the houses which prove most popular. This year's list features historic and grand city abodes and estate homes of one-time Dublin-based aristocracy and high society members. Pictured is Farmleigh House in Dublin's Phoenix Park which is where guests of the nation are welcome to stay. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

U2's Bono: "Why I always wear shades"
U2 frontman Bono has revealed he has suffered from glaucoma for many years, prompting his continual use of dark glasses. The star said he has had the condition - a build-up of pressure in the eyeball which can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness if not treated - for around two decades. Many had assumed his ever-present sunglasses - even indoors - were a rock star affectation, but he explained they are to help with his vision problem. He commented "I have good treatments and I am going to be fine." But "You're not going to get this out of your head now and you will be saying 'Ah, poor old blind Bono.". For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo credit: Front Page Mag

Irish women's pursuit team finish with record
Ireland Women’s Team Pursuit Team finished with an Irish record in eighth place at the 2014 UEC Track Elite European Championships in Baie-Mahault, Guadaloupe last night. The newly formed quartet qualified for the finals in the opening rounds, securing vital qualifying points towards the Rio Olympics. In the seventh/eighth place final the Irish team finished with their fastest time of 4.50.218.In the Men’s Scratch Race Javan Nulty and Martyn Irvine were in action, with Nulty finishing in 17th place in his senior debut, and Irvine finishing in 28th place.For more details, please click RTÉ.

Irish Roller derby team does the nation proud
John O’Shea’s last minute equaliser in Gelsenkirchen wasn’t the only significant Irish sporting event in the last week. The soccer team refused to be rolled over and another Irish team is aiming to do ‘wheelie’ good on the international scene. The All-Ireland Men's Roller Derby team played their first ever fixture on home soil defeating Scotland by 194-111 in a thrilling encounter at the home of the East Coast Cyclones in Co. Wicklow. For more details, video clips and photos, please click Irish Examiner.

October 16
New cancer treatment shows substantial benefits for patients
A pioneering cancer treatment, essentially surgery without a scalpel, is showing substantial benefits for patients, including increased life expectancy, a new Irish study has shown. An analysis of outcomes for 881 patients who underwent radiosurgery at Dublin’s Beacon Hospital between 2006-2014 showed an average 15-month increase in the life expectancy of 86 patients with secondary brain tumours, when compared to conventional radiotherapy treatment. The study, conducted by the hospital’s consultant radiation oncology team is led by Professor John Armstrong. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Details: Beacon Hosital, Dublin

One Young World summit gets under way in Dublin
The three-day event, described as “a platform to give brilliant young people a catalyst to drive change in the world” will see attendees present on and discuss a broad range of topics on major issues facing the world. The founders of One Young World - David Jones and Kate Robertson - explained why Dublin was chosen as the host of this year’s event: because “whether it was from the North or whether it’s from the great recession, its story is one of a triumph, it’s one of society, it’s one of communal values, it’s one of people...pulling through,” Ms Robertson said. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Journal Ireland/Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

The Irishman who destroyed the Houses of Parliament - and lived to tell the tale
Guy Fawkes remains as infamous as ever in Britain, four centuries on, even though his attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament failed. But strange to say, almost nobody now remembers the Irishman Patrick Furlong who, 180 years ago today, succeeded in destroying the Houses of Parliament, albeit by accident. There was no gunpowder involved on that occasion. The agent of destruction was fire, started in furnaces under the House of Lords. Even so, without meaning to, Furlong and an accomplice achieved what Fawkes and Company could not. By nightfall on October 16th, 1834, the Palace of Westminster was in ashes. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Five NI sites make 'rock star list'
Five of Northern Ireland's most popular tourist attractions have made it onto a list of the top 100 geological sites in the UK and Ireland. They include Northern Ireland's most famous landmark, the Giant's Causeway, and the Marble Arch caves. The rocky shore of Portrush, Co Antrim, and Slieve Gullion mountain, Co Armagh, are also on the Geological Society of London's list. And Loughareema, a "disappearing" lake in Co Antrim, was included in the top 100 as well. For more details, please click BBC.

New British-Irish travel Visa Scheme will boost tourism
Britain's Secretary Teresa May and Ireland’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald have launched a new British-Irish Visa Scheme at the Irish Embassy in London. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding allowing international visitors to travel freely within the Common Travel Area using a single visa issued by either Ireland or Britain. Travellers from China and India will be the first to benefit from the landmark scheme, which is hoped will provide an economic tourism boost for both islands when it comes into effect later this month. For more details, please click Irish Post.
Photo credit: Malcolm McNally

The £11.5m plan to make HMS Caroline a tourist mecca in Belfast
The last surviving warship from the Battle of Jutland is to be transformed into a heritage visitor attraction in time for the battle's centenary in 2016. Plans to restore HMS Caroline are full steam ahead thanks to a £11.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant awarded to the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Pictured is Captain John Rees, NMRN's chief of staff and chairman of the HMS Caroline Project Board, who said the ship was a key piece of the jigsaw that can turn the Titanic Quarter into a world-class maritime heritage destination. For more details & video clip, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Hozier debuts at No 2 in US Billboard 200 chart
Hozier has debuted at No 2 in the US Billboard 200 chart with his self-titled debut album. With first-week sales of 57,859 copies, the Bray singer has become the second highest-charting new artist of 2014 in the US. Elsewhere, Hozier entered the Canadian Album Chart at No 2, the Belgian Album Chart at No 3 and UK Album Chart at No 5. He also secured Top 15 chart positions in Denmark (No 9), Holland (No 11) and Germany (NO 14). Hozier enjoyed his third week at No 1 in the Irish album charts last week. For more on this news item, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish herald

Tipperary family win the 'Sam Maguire of Farming'
Thomas Dwan and his parents Edmund and Ann won the the National Dairy Council & Kerrygold Quality Milk Award for their 105-cow farm in Bohernamona, near Thurles, Co Tipperary, which produces milk on a very eco-friendly farm. The family were presented with their €5,000 prize by Kilkenny hurling legend Henry Shefflin, at an awards ceremony in Dublin's RDS. They were selected from 15 short-listed dairy farms after a rigorous judging process by experts, including UCD Professor Patrick Wall. To read this news item, please click Irish Indepenendent.

World’s fastest growing watersport to beam Sligo into 50 million homes
Heard of SUP? You soon will, as the sport is set to showcase Sligo in millions of households around the world. A cross between surfing and kayaking that sees participants standing on large boards to propel themselves through waterways and waves – is reported to be one of the fastest growing sports on the planet. SUP, short for Stand Up Paddle boarding, has been growing apace in Ireland, and is now offered by adventure companies throughout the country - but it’s set to receive a major boost in early 2015. That’s when 'Facing Waves', a US TV series beamed into over 50 million homes in 25 countries around the world, will go live with an episode recorded in Sligo. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

October 15
Budget 2013 - the end of austerity?
Arriving in Leinster House yesterday morning, it didn’t take long to realise that this was going to be a lot different to previous years. Government backbenchers were running around with smiles on their faces as more of the Budget measures to be announced by Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin began to leak into the public domain. Even if there were arguments to be made against the Budget measures – and of course there are plenty – the government wasn’t listening. This was the day austerity officially ended and the next general election campaign began in exactly the way the government would have wanted it to. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: RTÉ.

Extra funding for 1916 commemoration
The Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht has been given an additional €4m to roll out an "integrated plan" to commemorate 1916. The allocation is on top of a €22m capital programme announced earlier this year for major commemorative projects in 2015, including a new interpretative centre at the GPO in Dublin. The department received an budget allocation of €274m for 2015 which, it pointed out, was first increase for current expenditure in six years. Arts Minister Heather Humphreys said: “Securing significant funding for the Commemorations programme... will support a comprehensive national programme of events... " For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Easter Rising 1916

Paralympian Kelly Gallagher & partner honoured at Buckingham Palace
Northern Ireland's Winter Paralympic hero Kelly Gallagher has been warded an MBE following her historic victory. Gallagher, a visually impaired skier, and Charlotte Evans, her sighted partner, became the first Britons to win an Olympic or Paralympic title on snow when they came first in the women's visually impaired Super-G event in Sochi, Russia, earlier this year. peaking after the investiture ceremony hosted by the Princess Royal, Gallagher said: "We've been really lucky to win a Paralympic medal but to be honoured in this way is incredible." For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Moneygall's growing cottage Industry as Obama's ancestral home
Although its population of roughly 320 people is smaller than the typical entourage of an American president on a foreign state visit, Moneygall has wholeheartedly embraced its most famous great-great-great-grandson. American flags and Irish tricolors line the village’s main street, which is crammed with as much Obamiana as the place can take. For example, There’s the Obama Cafe and Gift Shop, which sells T-shirts reading “Is Feidir Linn” (Gaelic for “Yes We Can”), hurling sticks with the president’s face and reproductions of Shepard Fairey’s famous Obama portrait superimposed over pictures of Moneygall - amd more.. For more details, please click NBC News.

Richard Flanagan wins 2014 Man Booker Prize
He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Tasmania during the Great Famine, and now, Richard Flanagan has won this year’s Man Booker Prize for his majestic sixth novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. It is an intensely satisfying triumph for the gifted 53-year-old as well as for literature and the art of storytelling; for readers who have been presented with a serious winner worthy of their attention and for a judging panel who, despite the various omissions along the way, ultimately chose probably the finest novel in English this year.For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Ulf Andersen/Chatto & Windus/PA Wire

Ireland’s Hozier Wins international music award
Hozier's international success is continuing, just days after he knocked it out of the park on Saturday Night Live. The Wicklow lad has now won a pan-European award given to artists who ‘break borders’ with their work. The European Border Breakers Awards (EBBAs) are given to ten artists from around Europe. The awards are designed to reward artists whose work breaks the language barrier and achieves success across Europe. A press statement said. This year’s other winners include Germany’s Milky Chance and Norwegian DJ Todd Terje. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Top model Georgia Salpa planning big fat Irish wedding
The Spain-based beauty will seal the deal with her partner of three years, Joe Penna, at a ceremony in early summer 2015. A source close to the well-known clothes horse said they're in the final stages of firming up details for their big day - with no expense spared to ensure it's an affair to remember. Her lavish wedding ceremony is expected to take place in Ireland after she confirmed that they have been looking at some of the five-star hotels around the country. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Germans stunned by Irish recovery
It isn’t a bad way to celebrate your 100th appearance for your country. On one of those classic nights of Irish football defiance, John O’Shea nipped past big Mats Hummels to score a goal against Germany that was 94 minutes, and as many years, in coming. Just like that, Ireland got their first ever competitive result on a German football field and left the reigning world champions perplexed while the Irish bench was overjoyed; Roy Keane hugged more Irish players last night than he ever did in his playing days. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Herald

Northern Ireland defeat Greece 2-0
NI produced a heroic performance to defeat Greece and begin a qualifying campaign with three successive wins for the first time. Beating the top seeds keeps Northern Ireland two points clear at the top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group F. Michael O'Neill's side now head to Romania with plenty of confidence and momentum as they seek to qualify for a European Championship for the first time and for their first tournament since the 1986 World Cup finals. For more details, please click BBC.

October 14
Remembrance Sunday: Irish government invited to Cenotaph
The Irish government has accepted an invitation to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday next month. The UK government said it recognised "the immense contribution and shared sacrifice" of thousands of Irish people who served in British forces. The Irish ambassador to the UK, Daniel Mulhall, said he was pleased to accept the invitation. The Queen will lead the Remembrance Sunday commemorations on Sunday, November 9th. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: BBC 2010 Remembrance Sunday
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ

Cork teens listed among 25 most influential in the world
Three students from Cork have made it into Time Magazine's list of the top 25 most influential teenagers in the world. Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow scooped the top prize at the Google Science Fair in California last month for their discovery of bacteria that deposits nitrogen from the atmosphere into soil. The girls from Kinsale Community College join the likes of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and the daughters of US President Barack Obama on the list. To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Times/Aidan Crawley

Never-before-seen 1916 memorabilia on display for one day
Previously unseen gun holsters and medals from the 1916 Rising were put on display for one day in Dublin as 300 relatives of those who fought in the rebellion held their first meeting to express their disappointment at the Government's centenary plans. Part of the memorabilia included a Na Fianna medal worn on April 24, 1916. Usually the medal remains in a private hands but it is not known who the medal belonged to. Also on display was a leather gun holster. Again it is not known who used the holster but it made its way to Ireland after the Boer War. For more details, please click Irish Herald.

Irish items among Viking hoard found in Scottish field
A man armed with a metal detector has made a significant discovery of a Viking hoard in Scotland, and some of the items in it are thought to be Irish. Scotland's Treasure Trove Unit reported that retired businessman Derek McLennan found the hoard in a field in Dumfries. Head of the Treasure Trove Unit, Stuart Campbell said that the find consisted of a range of objects, including arm rings that are thought to be Irish. There is also a complete metal vessel (pictured) containing more objects. This has not yet been emptied yet, and the first step will be to examine it by x-ray. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Privately-held photos of Titanic launch shown for first time
They are old sepia pictures that show the ship they called unsinkable taking to the water prior to her maiden voage. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century as the Titanic edged out of her birthplace in Belfast, a crowd cheered and chased her down the slipway. The images capture the euphoria and optimism of that moment when the liner set out. The photos are contined in an album which is going on display at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. For more details & photos, please click BBC.

Irish botanist Matilda Knowles honoured after 150 years
One of the world’s great lichen experts of the 20th century, Irishwoman Matilda Knowles, has been honoured with a commemorative plaque at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin 150 years after her birth. Knowles made a number of important scientific discoveries during her academic career including the discovery of several new species of lichens, and was the first to realise that lichens by the seashore grow in distinct tidal zones. She became the acknowledged expert on Irish lichens, and in 1929 published a definitive guide. For more details, please click Silicon Republic.

Baboró and beyond: Irish kids’ theatre comes of age
Earlier this year, Sara Keating saw a performance of Human Child, a play for children aged eight years and over, performed by Collapsing Horse Theatre Company at the Project Arts Centre in advance of a tour to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The auditorium was more than half full and resoundingly appreciative. However, apart from two underage infants, snuck in by brave parents, there wasn’t a single other child in attendance. This is not entirely unusual. For more details, please click Irish Times.

First-time lucky for Lotto syndicate
A syndicate of six young men playing the EuroMillions lottery for the first time was celebrating yesterday after winning a cool €500,000. The group, who all work in the Asset Management Department in Price Waterhouse Coopers in Dublin's IFSC, took the afternoon off work yesterday to go and pick up their cheque from National Lottery headquarters. The 'First Timers Group' decided to buy a ticket after lunch last Friday after recently seeing another Irish syndicate win €87m. Brendan Treacy from Dublin was thrilled with his €83,000 share but said he had a nerve-wracking weekend looking after the ticket. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Selection is key as Ireland take on world champions
Martin O’Neill has some big decisions to make ahead of Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualification clash with Germany in Gelsenkirchen. Almost a year into the job, the Derry man will experience his first real test as Ireland manager as his side takes on the World Cup winners in this vital Group D match at the Veltins Stadium. O’Neill must decide whether to select Robbie Keane to start tonight’s game with many pundits calling for the Irish captain and record goalscorer to be dropped for the energy and pace of Shane Long. For more details, please click RTÉ.

October 13
House-building grows at fastest rate in at least 14 years
The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index reveals that the pace of new homes being built was the fastest since the bank began the index in 2000. The index showed a reading of 61.5 for September, broadly unchanged from the reading of 61.4 in August. It marked the 13th month in a row of gains. Simon Barry, Ulster Bank's chief economist, said that the recovery in the Irish construction continues to gain strength and that further "very solid gains" in overall activity seem likely in the months ahead. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Novena selfies have a mass appeal
For those who no longer believe religion is the opiate of the masses, an argument to the contrary could be made in one Co Louth parish. Not only are they turning up in droves to the Redemptorists’ novena in Dundalk, they’re also uploading photos of their devotion onto the Redemptorists’ Facebook page, starting a whole new ‘novena selfie’ craze. And not only is Jesus in the house, so is Mickey Mouse. This is a novena with a difference, perhaps explaining why 10,000 people are attending daily, filling the Redemptorist Church at each of the nine daily novenas to St Gerard. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Ciara Wilkinson

Buyers from US, UK & China snapping up Irish trophy homes
Ireland's stately homes are going to international buyers as the relative cut-price going rates for the country’s rural estates attract cashed-up property shoppers from the US, Europe and Asia. Property agents Ganly Walters said ex-pat buyers were dominating the top end of the market for country homes and nearly 80% of interest in a typical estate was coming from outside Ireland. Ganly said many big estates were going to wealthy ex-pats who wanted to bring their children to Ireland to take advantage of the country’s school system or to plan for their retirement. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Next Top Model star Lisa Madden wins Miss Universe Ireland
Lisa Madden, from the Old Mallow Road in Cork, is the latest Irish woman to win Andrea Roche’s beauty pageant. The 21-year-old was selected as the winner by Roche, and other judges including Debbie McQuillan of Vanity X Makeup academy, former Miss World Rosanna Davison, and Miss Universe Ireland 2012 Adrienne Murphy. The 5’10” brunette, who is a 3rd year Dentistry student at University College Cork, will represent Ireland at the final of the Miss Universe in Doral, Miami on January 25th 2015. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

In memory of Mad Aunt Celia: painter, Home Ruler and lover of Hugh Lane
Earlier this year Anne Chisholm found herself in the ruined priory at Holywood, Co Down, placing a bunch of spring flowers on the grave of her paternal great-uncle, Henry Harrison, journalist and campaigner, who when he died in 1954 was described as Parnell’s last lieutenant. A few weeks later, Anne was in the archives in Dublin, looking through the records for traces of his sister, her great-aunt SC Harrison, always known as Celia, a respected portrait painter who was the first woman elected, in 1912, to Dublin City Council. She is buried in Mount Jerome cemetery; the inscription reads simply “Artist and Friend of the Poor”. For more details, please click Irish Times.

"Kinsale doesn’t really do austerity"
That's according to one one fashionable lady, holding a glass of champagne as she nibbled on a dainty morsel of pâté de fois gras. Standing in the lobby of Acton’s Hotel watching the happy antics of another throng of Gourmet Food Festival revellers this weekend, it was hard to disagree with her sentiment. It felt — just for a moment — like Boom Time 2006 all over again. Now in its 38th year, the Kinsale Gourmet Festival glories as Ireland’s oldest food festival. Unlike other foodie gatherings that often grow stale after a decade, the longevity of this unique stew of merriment is as much down to fun and conviviality as it is to the menu and wine list. For more details and video clip, please click Irish Independent.

Fifteen quirky Northern Ireland escapes
From cruisers to castles and gypsy caravans to glamping, Northern Ireland is jam-packed with unusual places to stay for a short break. Pictured is Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House, Co Antrim. Blackhead is a fully restored lighthouse boasting bright rooms with antique furniture and lighthouse paraphernalia. Built during the heyday of Belfast shipping in the early 20th century, the lighthouse was responsible for guiding ships including the Titanic through Belfast Lough. For more quirky places and photos, please click Belfast Telegraph.

A glorious weekend for sports fans
World boxing champion Carl Frampton said he is booking his ticket to France after Northern Ireland topped their European Championship qualifying group with a home victory. The 2-0 win against the Faroe Islands was one of several sporting wins that were being toasted by football, rugby and motorsport fans over the weekend. Boxing hero Frampton got caught up in the feelgood fever sweeping the Windsor Park terraces as he took to the turf. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Twomey takes speed horse victory at Horse of the Year Show
Billy Twomey recorded Ireland's fourth win of the weekend at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in Birmingham on Sunday when he claimed victory in the Speed Horse of the Year competition with Ardcollum Duke. Cork-born Twomey and Joe Flynn's Irish sport horse stopped the clock just under a second faster than Britain's John Whitaker and Lord Of Arabia to collect the first prize of €4,000. Wexford's Bertram Allen also took a fifth place in the British Grand Prix, while in Germany Denis Lynch was runner-up in the Kiel Grand Prix. For more details, please click RTÉ.

October 12
Catholic Church in Ireland ‘moving from more rigorous tradition’
That's according to the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin who is attending an extraordinary synod of bishops currently underway in Rome. He was also critical of the slow pace of annulment procedures in the Irish Church. Speaking in the Holy See press office at a media briefing on synod discussions, he remarked how Pope Francis in his interview with Italian Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica had spoken about “rigorism and laxism and we have both in the church”. For more on this story , please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Times/Max Rossi/Reuters

Pews to pints: Pub chain JD Wetherspoon buys landmark Belfast church
Dwindling congregation numbers led to to the demise of this red brick Methodist church in south Belfast. But now it's set to be resurrected as a pub following its purchase by budget pub chain JD Wetherspoon for £800,000 – twice the original asking price. Wetherspoon's chairman and founder Tim Martin said that it was part of a major expansion in Northern Ireland, and revealed the company had been doing very well since opening in Belfast in 2000. It now has nine pubs across the region. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

US tycoon seals Lough Erne Resort deal
Billionaire American business tycoon, Tony Saliba, has completed a cut-price deal for the luxurious Lough Erne Resort. And the Enniskillen hotel's award-winning golf course is likely to ensure the new owner is a regular visitor due to his family's much-publicised love for the game. The five-star hotel enjoyed global exposure last year when it hosted the G8 leaders, including US president Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin. The price paid for the resort, was not revealed although it is understood to have been sold for less than £8m – a fraction of the original £30m asking price. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Documentary: In search of Ireland's mystery beasts
Tibet has the Yeti. Scotland has Nessie. Russia has the Almasty. But have you ever wondered about Ireland's mystery animals, and have you ever actually gone in search of one? In 'Fantastic Beasts and the People who Love Them', Shane Dunphy talks to people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of strange, unusual and mythical animals, and learns where in Ireland one might come across them. He goes on a monster-hunting tour of the country and chats to Zoologists and Folklorists about the hard facts behind some sensational stories. To listen to the documentary, please click RTÉ.
Photo credit & Quote: Dick Raynor/Yeats
"There are marten cats and badgers and foxes in the enchanted woods but there are of a certainty, mightier creatures, and the lake hides what neither line nor net can take."
-William Bulter Yeats, The Celtic Twilight

Ireland's Song of the Sea an Oscars contender
Ahead of its European premiere at the London Film Festival next weekend, the Irish animated feature Song of the Sea from Kilkenny's Cartoon Saloon has been tipped by US website Indiewire as a contender for the Oscars shortlist. In its Oscar predictions, Indiewire says Song of the Sea, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Mr Peabody & Sherman and The Boxtrolls have "very good shots" at making the shortlist. Directed by Cartoon Saloon's Tomm Moore, and based around the legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea follows the adventures of Saoirse and her brother Ben. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Taking over the screen, one paw at a time
Meet Fudge, Toddy and Robbie - Ireland's leading animal stars who are leaving budding actors on the tail-end of the casting couch. From seasoned performers to sprightly newcomers, the animals of Fircroft Kennels and Training Centre have shared scenes with serious Hollywood heavyweights Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg. And other dogs, cats, horses, sheep, cows, goldfish and even snails, have made their big break in national advertising and marketing campaigns. Owner Mary Owens says training the animals can take from hours to days to weeks and the most difficult to train are cats. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Tony Gavin

More than a game: how sport stars’ memoirs took over the bestseller lists
Sport is the new show business. Both front and back pages of newspapers in Ireland this week were given over to coverage of Roy Keane’s autobiography The Second Half, while in Britain the cricketer Kevin Pietersen’s revelations about the England team he once captained transfixed the public. Or the media, anyway. Coming up over the next few weeks are Brian O’Driscoll’s autobiography, the golfer Ian Poulter telling us what he really thinks about Tiger Woods and Colin Montgomerie – spoiler alert: it’s not conciliatory. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo credit, Video Clip & Gallery: Birmingham Mail

The year that the GAA conquered the British sporting public?
2014...It's been the year the British forged a surprising love affair with GAA sports from the safe distance of their TV screens. Sky Sports ventured into unchartered, and risky, waters earlier in the summer when the broadcaster started covering Ireland’s indigenous sports for the first time.But TV viewers’ overwhelmingly positive, if somewhat bemused reaction, to action-packed games such as the two hurling finals between Kilkenny and Tipperary and the football showdown between Donegal and Kerry, seems to have paid off. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Northern Ireland move to top of their 2016 qualifying group
Northern Ireland beat the Faroe Islands to make it two wins from two games and move to the top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group F - their best start to any campaign since 1968. The victory means Michael O'Neill's side travel to face Greece on Tuesday with a perfect record, having beaten Hungary in their opener last month. Northern Ireland had been held to a draw twice in four previous meetings with the Faroes but a sixth win in 41 competitive games always looked on the cards thanks to two goals in the opening 20 minutes. For more details, please click BBC.
Related Story: RTÉ/Republic of Ireland hammer Gibraltar 7-0

October 11
New US ambassador to Ireland says he is the envy of every Irish American
Speaking on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane Show he said it is a thrill for him to be back in the land of his ancestors, where his grandparents left for Chicago over 100 years ago. “I am the luckiest guy in the United States,” said O’Malley, who arrived in Ireland four days ago. "On Wednesday, as I stood on steps of your president’s home, looking over at the front of my new home, as they played my national anthem, it was everything I could do thinking of my grandparents and their courage and my Mom and Dad and their dedication, it was everything I could do not to tear up and cry..."For more details & Photos, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: US Embassy

Honouring Ireland’s war dead – by counting them accurately at last
Irish Army veteran Tom Burnell is a man with a mission – to establish the true death toll of Irish soldiers in the first World War. Several years ago, he set out to rewrite Ireland’s memorial records. The memorial records, which were compiled in 1923, list the names of 49,400 Irishmen who died in the first World War. That figure has been accepted as definitive by many people, especially politicians, though it is wrong. To date, his research has found that the Irish Memorial Records has underestimated the number of Irish war dead by at least 50 per cent. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Samuel Beckett’s intriguing postcards to his friends
The Nobel prize winner, author and playwright wrote many letters and postcards throughout his life. Now Trinity College Library Dublin has just purchased the most extensive collection of Samuel Beckett letters and postcards ever to have been offered for public sale. t’s quite fitting, given that Beckett is one of Trinity’s most famous alumni. The letters and cards were sent from the author to artists Henri and Josette Hayden and the collection reveals that Beckett was generous towards his friends. He bought paints for Hayden, and when Hayden fell ill, Beckett dealt with the couple’s taxes and ensured their rent was paid. For more details and photos, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Trinity College, Dublin

Leading writers take on a different canvas
In 1944 George Bernard Shaw wrote from England to Thomas Bodkin, a former director of the National Gallery of Ireland, to ask whether the institution had a special fund for buying pictures. If so, Shaw was considering leaving a bequest, as he owed the gallery “much of the only real education I got as a boy in Eire”. The National Gallery is 150 years old this year. To mark the anniversary, 56 Irish writers were asked to write a piece inspired by a painting in its collection. Writings and paintings have been gathered into a book, Lines of Vision. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Lough Erne Resort tops Huffington Post' “Best Hotels for Winter 2014-2015"
The Huffington Post has 65 million readers in the United States. Any hotel featured on the website gets serious eyeballs, in other words - and this week, those eyeballs will be on the Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. The reason? The five-star hotel has just topped travel writer Richard Bangs' list of the '11 Best Hotels for Winter 2014/15'. "I love a surprise, and what a revelation to find a hotel of this caliber and style in the quiet countryside of Northern Ireland," Bangs writes. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

‘Toy Show’ ticket worth weight in gold
The Late Late Toy Show — consistently one of the most-watched programmes on Irish television — is as much a part of Christmas as turkey dinners and drunk uncles. With just over a month to go until the annual yuletide extravaganza, the race is now on for 200 golden tickets. Applications opened yesterday and, if the social media buzz is anything to go by, throngs of people have already put their names forward. Over 40,000 people applied last year. Not even host Ryan Tubridy can hook you up — apparently he doesn’t have any tickets either. For more details and video clip, please click Irish Examiner.

48 Hours in Dun Laoghaire
Growing up on the other side of Dublin Bay, for Ed Leahy, Dun Laoghaire was only ever a place to go to get somewhere else – the short hop to Holyhead in Wales, the gateway to many a childhood adventure throughout England, France and beyond. And here he is again, rolling down the ramp at Dun Laoghaire marina into the still harbour waters, but this time it was not a ferry that he was boarding but rather hopping onto what looked like an oversized surfboard for an introductory lesson in the art of Stand-Up Paddleboarding. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Antrim Grammar student a class apart
Sixteen year old Ben Collister has just discovered that he came top in Northern Ireland in a staggering four GCSE subjects. Ben, who received 10 A*s in the exams, has just discovered that he beat 16,950 students to the top spot in GCSE Maths, as well as thousands in Physics, Further Maths and ICT.He must have had an off day in Spanish, as he only came third. But Ben's success hasn't gone to his head, he modestly describes himself as "ordinary" and "lucky". Teacher Janet Wilkinson, who taught "wonderful mathematician" Ben for three of the subjects, said: "If he hadn't made first, I would've wanted to know who had!" For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Alex Ferguson: Roy Keane was the 'best player in Europe'
They say that the strongest person is the first one to forgive, and so between feuding football legends Roy Keane and Alex Ferguson, this round went to the Scotsman. Both men were in the capital yesterday - Keane for the launch his new book in the Aviva Stadium, and Fergie at the National Convention Centre for an address to Dublin Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner. But while the Irish assistant manager took his old gaffer to task early on in the day, when the ex-Manchester United boss addressed business leaders later in the evening he had nothing but praise for his former club captain. For more details, please click Irish Herald.

October 10
Exploring the life of a pivotal cultural figure
The life of the writer, singer and actor Richard Hayward, who died 50 years ago this month, is to be the subject of a BBC NI documentary. In a busy singing career he recorded 150 records and took part in many recitals in the BBC in Belfast. A series of events is being held to commemorate the anniversary of his death. Hayward grew up in Larne, Co Antrim, and later lived in Belfast where he devoted his days to promoting Ireland. After his death in October, 1964, Hayward's name disappeared. Author Paul Clements, who has written a biography of Hayward, described him as "one of the most popular singers and actors of his generation". For more details and photos, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

Family archive captures daily impact of Great War
The day-to-day impact of the First World War on the lives of a Co Tipperary family is captured in an unique archive project opened at the University of Limerick. ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary — An Irish Story of the Great War’, launched yesterday by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, involves an active online collection following the lives of the Armstrong family of Moyaliffe Castle, in weekly bulletins throughout the Great War. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Ireland, home of adventure capitalism?
Ireland has proven to be a major hit, with some of the biggest adventure travel specialists in the world heaping praise on the country. This week saw Killarney in Co Kerry host the prestigious Adventure Travel World Summit — a gathering of the biggest names in the travel industry. Some 700 delegates kayaked, climbed and cycled around many of the best outdoors venues in Ireland. It’s the first time the event has been held in Ireland and promises to be a huge boost to Ireland’s growing adventure travel market. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: OutdoorsIreland

Stamp of approval for Young Ireland leader
An Post has issued a stamp honouring the life of revolutionary writer and Young Ireland leader Thomas Davis to mark the bicentenary of his birth. It was one of several events which took place in Dublin yesterday to mark the link between Davis’ birthplace in Mallow, Co Cork, and his later education and life in Dublin. The unveiling of the stamp was described by the bicentenary organisers as one the highlights in their year-long calendar of commemorative events. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Lissadell House to stage first concert since winning rights of way battle
Owners Eddie Walsh and Constance Cassidy are planning a Harvest Home Day on Sunday, October 19, the first of its kind there in a century. Also, Irish singer Mundy will perform at the coach house two days earlier, on Friday October 17. "As a family our year has seen an incredible return to Lissadell and we have loved every minute of it,” their daughter Elanor said. “The estate closes now next weekend with the harvest home day but we thought we’d try to have a music night too." For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit& Related Story: Breaking News Ireland

Ireland submits An Bronntanas - The Gift - for Oscar
The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) has announced that the feature film, An Bronntanas will be Ireland’s submission for the Foreign Language category at the 87th aannual Academy Awards of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences next year. Directed by Tom Collins, An Bronntanas is a contemporary thriller set against the background of a local independent lifeboat crew working off the coast of Connemara, in the West of Ireland. The film premiered as the closing film at the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year. For more details and offical trailer, please click RTÉ.

What do your eggs say about you?
New research from Bord Bia reveals how we take our eggs says a lot about our character. It's all part of World Egg Day today. Fans of boiled eggs are generally women, and health conscious, while if you are a scrambler, you are a loyal friend, and a bit conservative. The poacher is energetic, friendly and can be a perfectionist. Lovers of fried eggs, with the sunny side up, tend to be more curious, creative and imaginative, but over easy people are more shy types and creatures of habit. To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: & Related Story: Journal/Gordon Flood

Major expansion planned for one of Dublin’s last Victorian pubs
One of Dublin’s last surviving Victorian pubs, Bowe’s on Fleet Street, is facing its biggest change in 160 years under plans for a three-fold expansion of the premises. A planning application has been made to Dublin City Council to expand the pub at 31 Fleet Street into the ground floor and basement of the neighbouring buildings at 29 and 30 Fleet Street, formerly a branch of bookmakers Ladbrokes. The pubs and the former bookmakers were built between 1798 and 1812. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Dara MacDónaill

Meet the world's oldest best man
At exactly 96 years and 89 days-old, Ronald Hornby has entered the Guinness Book of World Records after doing the honours for his nephew James Beattie on his big day. A 93-year-old American had previously held the unusual title, but now Ronald has a certificate to prove the record is his. James the groom, and his new wife Isobel were married at Corrick House in Clogher on January 2. Ronald was chosen as best man and his wife Frankie was picked for matron of honour duties because, as well as being relatives, "they are also our really good friends", James said. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

October 9
US ambassador presents credentials
Ireland’s new US ambassador has formally presented his credentials to President Michael D Higgins in a ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin. Kevin F O’Malley, a Missouri lawyer who practiced for more than 35 years, has taken up the post after it lay empty following the departure of Dan Rooney in December 2012. He was joined at yesterday’s ceremony by his wife Dena with whom he has two sons, Brendan and Ryan. The new ambassador also met with Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan. Afterwards, Mr Flanagan said they discussed how to further strengthen the economic and trading relationship between the two countries. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Irish Pub documentary secures US release
The documentary, which was directed, produced, filmed and edited by Alex Fegan will begin a minimum week-long run in six cinemas before being rolled-out across North America from October 24. Released last year in Ireland, The Irish Pub is a humorous and poignant celebration of third-generation pubs around Ireland and the publicans who own them, exploring how the pub acts as a key pillar in tight knit Irish communities. "It's a huge achievement for everyone involved to take this tiny documentary to cinemas in North America," says director Alex Fegan. For more details and official trailer, please click RTÉ.

LinkedIn to build new headquarters in Dublin
Recruitment social network LinkedIn is to double its Irish workforce after it bought a new international headquarters in the city centre. The company already employs 600 people in Dublin, and says it plans to see this figure grow to 1,200 in the coming years. The new international headquarters will be located at Wilton Place along Dublin’s Grand Canal, beside the company’s current offices and construction is to begin next May. The building is expected to be completed in early 2017. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Tony O’Reilly’s Castlemartin estate goes on the market
On a sunlit summer evening about a dozen years ago, several hundred guests drove through Castlemartin’s elaborate old, wrought-iron gates, up a long, winding avenue through rolling park and farmland and lazy herds of Belted Galloway cattle, through ancient stands of giant oaks and chestnut trees and the river Liffey suddenly glinting around a bend, and finally, to the beech hedge forecourt of the historic, old manor house where Sir Anthony and Lady Chryss O’Reilly stood waiting. For more details and photo gallery, please click Irish Times.

It's a millionaire's market in Northern Ireland
The recovering property market is being fuelled by an unexpected rush for houses worth more than £1m, according to a prominent estate agent. The Belfast-based Templeton Robinson estate agents says it has 12 would-be buyers just itching to invest up to £2m in their dream home – so much so they can't keep up. Director Beth Robinson said "Right now, we have up to a dozen clients looking to buy in the £1-2m bracket. Their search for suitable properties is proving challenging. For more details & photos, please click Belfast Independent.

Dubliner Simone Rocha: one of the hottest young designers on earth
That's according to fashion bible Vogue which named her among "the eight anti-diva design stars who are transforming fashion now". Superstars like Rihanna and Lady Gaga are among the celebrities who have been stepping out in her ultra feminine creations. Meanwhile, Derry designer Jonathan Anderson is also named among the eight designers helping to change the face of fashion. He was commissioned to create his own collection for Topshop after fashion trendsetter Alexa Chung and Hollywood actress Kirsten Dunst started wearing his androgynous creations.For more details, please click Irish Herald.
Photo Credit: FT Photo Diary

Super Thursday boost for book shops
Book shops are hoping to receive a boost from today - dubbed Super Thursday - as it will see the largest number of titles published in 2014 on a single day, including new titles from Kevin Pietersen, John Cleese and Heston Blumenthal and Roy Keane's updated autobiography The Second Half. Bob Johnston from Dublin’s Gutter Bookshop said ""Many Irish bookshops will host 'Big Bookshop' parties on Saturday October 11 to celebrate the new offers and show why bookshops are still so important to our main streets." To read this news item, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit, Related Story & More Photos: Gutter Bookshop

Eureka! Rugby star Jamie Heaslip launches science week
Rugby star Jamie Heaslip's love of Lego bricks kick started his fascination with the science world. "Like most guys, I remember playing with Lego when I was a kid, I've always been quite a methodical person and loved maths so I'm delighted to be involved in Science Week" hr said. Heaslip studied Medical Engineering at DCU and is the new ambassador for National Science Week which runs from November 9 - 16. It hopes to inspire young people to pursue careers in the fields of science, engineering and mathematics. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Cricket: Ireland clinch double in Canberra
Ireland chased down a daunting target of 306 to beat ACT Comets for the second time in three days in Canberra. Matthew Condon hit 126 from 128 balls while Andrew Harriott added 62 as the hosts posted 305-5 from their 50 overs. An opening partnership of 75 between William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien set a solid foundation for the Irish before Andy Balbirnie's impressive 86. John Mooney (46) and Stuart Poynter (23 not out) helped Ireland reach 306-9 in 48.2 overs for a one-wicket victory. For more details, please click BBC.

October 8
Nearly everyone in Ireland will have a job again by 2020
Ireland will hit ”full employment” and its jobless rate will crash to 5% before the end of the decade, economists have said. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has delivered the most optimistic major unemployment forecast yet – predicting the jobless queues will drop to well below 10% of the workforce next year. In its latest outlook, ESRI economists said the unemployment rate would fall to 9.6% in 2015, down from its last prediction, and keep on dropping assuming the country didn’t suffer any more economic shocks. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: CycleSure/Reuters

Trinity buys collection of Beckett's letters
Trinity College Library Dublin has announced that it has purchased the most extensive collection of Samuel Beckett letters ever to have been offered for public sale. The library said it "now holds the largest collection of Beckett letters of any research library in the world". It added: "It is a fitting home for the correspondence of one of Trinity College Dublin's most famous alumni." The letters and cards were sent from the Nobel-prizewinning author to artists Henri and Josette Hayden. Beckett and his wife, Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil, met the Haydens when both couples were in southern France evading discovery by the Nazis during the WWII. For more on this news item, please click RTÉ.

Historic waterway unearthed
The historic waterway that used to power the biggest paper mill in the country has been uncovered during works to repair storm damage on the River Dodder in south Dublin. Back in the early 1700s a channel was constructed at the weir in Firhouse to feed water down a millrace to the Bella Vista paper mill in Templeogue. The water travelled through a series of sluice gates which controlled the level and flow and then carried on past the Bella Vista Mill to other mills in the region. But after the mill fell into disrepair and the M50 was constructed, much of the old features were covered-up and became overgrown. For more details and photos, please click Irish Herald.

One of these Dublin landmarks is missing this morning…
Famine ship and museum the Jeanie Johnston, which has been moored at Custom House Quay for the last nine years, is being taken for a two-week overhaul a short distance away at Dublin Port. It’s the first step towards having the vessel re-certified for a passenger licence so she can taken out to the open seas again, Jeanie Johnston manager John O’Neill said. It’s now run as a tourist attraction on the Authority’s behalf by Aiseanna Mara Teoranta, and played host to 20,000 visitors last year, according to Mr. O’Neill. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

TI Gallaher: The firm's history in Northern Ireland
It was announced yesterday that the firm is closing, ending an important erain the history of Ballymena and east Belfast. In this we video, we learn that Gallahers began making cigarettes in Northern Ireland in the latter part of the 1800s and grew into the largest independent purchaser of heavy tobacco in the world. The company was founded by Thomas Gallaher, after he started his own one-man business selling hand-rolled tobacco from a push cart. a. To watch this video and a series of others about the closing, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Archiseek

12 Irish hotels to put on your Bucket List
From castles and stately homes to heavenly havens that have no TVs or Wi-Fi, here is a round up of the best of the ultimate in accommodations. The list includes Ashford Castle in Cong, Co Mayo which was built in 1228. This is where the cast and crew of the Oscar winning movie The quiet Man stayed and enjoyed gorgeous views, fine dining, luxurious rooms and good old-fashioned Irish hospitality. For details about all twelve hotels on the list with accompanying photos, please click Irish Independent.

Good Food Ireland to use Web Summit as showcase for Irish food
Good Food Ireland members will serve three meals a day to more than 20,000 delegates from in excess of 100 countries attending the Web Summit in Dublin on November 4th-6th. The catering hub will be a 100,000 sq ft purpose-built structure in Herbert Park, Dublin 4, adjacent to the Web Summit venue at the RDS. This will also be the venue for Food Summit, a new strand to the programme of events that will feature demonstrations and discussions on food technology, production and ethics. For more details, please click Irish Times.

The Irish sisters putting the OPSH into online shopping
The McGinns’ website, Opsh.com, is seeking to cut the noise and uncertainty out of online shopping. Jennie explains: “On a very basic, ‘this is what happens’ kind of level, I would come on to OPSH ...I’m prompted to input my size, so waist size, bust size, shoe size. And then I’m prompted to select my preferred retailers and products. The idea is that from the very outset, you have the opportunity to start controlling what you see. Once I start to do a search on something from OPSH, the whole personalisation aspect starts to kick in. For more details, please click Irish Times.

FishCity in Ballynahinch out to batter rest at UK awards
Cooking mouth-watering and perfectly golden battered fish and chips is something of an art form.And it seems FishCity in Ballynahinch knows the secret to frying success, as it has just been named Northern Ireland's best fish and chip shop. The Co Down chippie, on the Belfast Road, is one of 10 from across the UK competing to be crowned Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year as part of the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

October 7
Consumer sentiment at 7 year high
That's according to according to a survey by KBC Bank Ireland and the ESRI, as optimism grew about the economy ahead of Budget 2015. This puts sentiment at its highest point since the start of 2007, according to the bank. KBC Bank’s chief economist Austin Hughes said much of the rise could be attributed to domestic factors, as similar surveys in other countries had not seen similar gains. This could be a reaction to the economy’s strengthening recovery, he said, as well as the anticipation of a “less threatening” budget in a week’s time. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Were your relatives involved in the 1916 Rising?
And have you long heard family stories about what role your relatives played? Members of the public with direct links to the Rising are urged to come forward and get in touch with the 1916 Relatives Association, who say they want to make sure that as many relatives as possible are involved in the centenary plans. Families can contact 1916 Relatives Association by email or visit their Facebook page. You can email them at: 1916relatives@gmail.com. If you're in Dublin city, a meeting will take place this Sunday 12 October 2014, at the Alexander Hotel on Fenian Street, from 2pm-5pm. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Irish College unveils plaque for Irish who served France WWII
Seventy years after they fought, spied, sabotaged and – in some cases – died for France, 50 Irish men and women who worked for the French Resistance were officially recognised for the first time yesterday, at a subdued but moving ceremony in the Irish College in Paris. Some 750 Irish people lived in France when the second World War started. “Irish people became involved in the full range of Resistance activities,” said David Murphy, professor of military history at NUI Maynooth. “In intelligence-gathering, the best known was Samuel Beckett..." For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Des Harris/Picture Desk

Corkman’s son wins Nobel Prize for medicine
Scientist John O’Keefe, whose father hailed from Newmarket, Co Cork, and Norwegian married couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser, have won the Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering the "inner GPS" that helps the brain navigate through the world. Mr O’Keefe’s father was from Scarteen Lower, New market, and his mother was from Co Mayo. He is to receive an honorary doctorate from University College Cork (UCC) on December 5 in recognition of his enormous contributions to neuroscience.For more detsils, please click Irish Examiner.

Collins’ museum and Mizen centre among Top 10 Irish attractions
The Michael Collins Centre near Clonakilty and the Mizen Head Visitor Centre near Goleen have received a 2014 Travellers’ Choice Award from TripAdvisor. The two centres share the award with eight well-known cultural centres, such as The National Museum of Ireland, The Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and Famine Museum, The Little Museum of Dublin, and the Waterford Treasures. Also included in the list is the Croke Park Stadium and GAA Museum and the Shackleton exhibition in Dun Laoghaire. For more detail, please click Irish Examiner.

Rory McIlroy opens child cancer centre on home turf
The world number one golfer returned to Northern Ireland and the picturesque surroundings of Newcastle, Co Down, to unveil Daisy Lodge - a therapeutic short-break centre to which his charitable foundation has given £1 million.It is is the first centre of its kind in the UK and Ireland and will provide every family affected by childhood cancer in the UK with a free therapeutic short break. It will also cater for youngsters from the Republic. McIlroy said it was touching to be involved. "It is about giving back and being able to help others," he said. For more details & Video Clip, please click Irish Independent.

Cecelia centre stage at premiere of Love Rosie
Her own cameo may have been cut from the film, but Cecelia Ahern was centre stage at the glitzy London premiere of Love Rosie. The film, based on Cecelia's 2004 novel Where Rainbows End, stars Lily Collins, Sam Claflin and Suki Waterhouse. Cecelia looked stunning as she walked the red carpet in Leicester Square. She was joined at the premiere by husband David Keoghan, her dad Bertie and her mum Miriam. Lily Collins, plays Rosie whose whole life seems ahead of her until she gets pregnant in a one-night stand . For more details, please click Irish Herald.
Photo Credit: Zimbio

When pigs fly: New sculpture hogs Castleblayney roadside
The leaping pig - which, at a cost of over €56,000, has been controversial since its announcement - was finally put on the roadside yesterday afternoon. But perhaps the most important question for motorists passing by is why? The local area at Castleblaney feature the ruins of a church on the east side of Lough Muckno - and the legend of its construction features a pig heavily. To read the legend, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Cricket: Ireland coast to victory over ACT Comets
Ireland chalked up their first win of their tour in Australia and New Zealand by beating the ACT Comets on Tuesday. Leicestershire wicket-keeper Niall Brien scored 88 off 79 ball as Ireland reached 302-8 in their 50-overs. The Australian Capital Territories side were well behind the needed run-rate and were out for 178, Craig Young and Peter Chase each taking three wickets. The Irish are preparing for next year's World Cup, which includes a match against South Africa at the Manuka Oval on 3 March. For more details, please click BBC.



Thu, Oct 23, 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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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.

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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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