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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, November 27, 2014

Author and director Anita Notaro, RIP
The best-selling author and former RTÉ director Anita Notaro has died after a long illness. Anita Notaro's works included Back After the Break, Behind the Scenes, The WWW Club, Take a Look at Me Now, No Ordinary Love and A Moment Like This. She was the winner of the Popular Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2008 for Take a Look at Me Now. Her RTÉ Television directing credits included Fair City, the Eurovision Song Contest from Millstreet in 1993, General Election coverage and The Movie Show. Anita Notaro is survived by her husband Gerry McGuinness and sisters Madeline, Lorraine and Jean. To read this news item and other stories, please click RTÉ.

Co Mayo author wins Guardian first book award
Colin Barrett has won the 2014 Guardian first book award with his short story collection, Young Skins, crowning a remarkable year in which he has already won the 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, becoming only the second Irish writer to do so after Edna O’Brien. Barrett, who was born in 1982 and grew up in Co Mayo, was championed by Declan Meade, editor of the Stinging Fly magazine, which first published him in 2009. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Mary Costello’s ‘Academy Street’ named Eason Novel of the Year
Mary Costello received the Eason Novel of the Year honour at the ninth annual Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards last night for her debut work Academy Street. Before the ceremony, attended by a host of stellar names in literature, she said she was simply delighted to be nominated. “I feel very lucky to be among my five co-nominees,” she said. “It’s always nice to get this attention, especially for a first book, so I’m thrilled.” Academy Street follows the experiences of Tess, growing up in the west of 1940s Ireland, and her later life in Manhattan. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Aidan Crawley
Related Story: Journal Ireland - These are the best books in Ireland right now

Tracked down: The twin toy testers from the 1988 Toy Show
Yesterday, the RTÉ Archives department put out a call to identify these identical twins, who appeared as toy testers on The Late Late Toy Show in 1988. It didn’t take long. They are Cabinteely girls Carolyn and Bronwyn Boyle, who were ten years old when they joined Uncle Gaybo in the festive RTÉ studio. Their sister George spotted them on and got in touch, while Bronwyn began receiving notifications from friends when they recognised the twins from the picture. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

App rescues photos hidden inside smartphones
A renowned Irish landscape photographer has launched an app which will let anyone print and frame photographs directly from a smartphone and post them anywhere in the world. Giles Norman and his wife Catherine, who began working on the business idea last year, said people had thousands of precious images stored on their phones which were at risk of being lost forever. They surveyed 1,000 people and found that Just over 60% of Irish people now rely on smartphones, rather than cameras, to capture special occasions. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Emma Jervis

Tourists try and translate Irish slang
The folks over at Facts have made another of their very popular videos where they clash cultures together for comedic effect. Previously, we've had Irish people trying out American snacks and sodas and a dramatic reading of Nicki Minaj's Anaconda as Gaeilge. This is the second time they've asked tourists in Dublin to have a go at reading and explaining Irish slang and our colourful phrases leave the visitors as bewildered as ever. Mostly, they just think what they're being asked to read is probably a bit off-color. And, fair warning, they’re right. To watch the video, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Irish couple star in new Christmas ad
An Irish couple are the stars of the Stella Artois Christmas ad. The advert, titled 'Piano' features Brendan and Maeve, who are living in London. Maeve moved to to the city so she could be with Brendan after they met in a Galway pub, with Brendan first seeing her playing the piano. Maeve who is a "passionate pianist" was forced to leave her piano in Dublin and hasn't played since. But Brendan, along with Stella Artois, have managed to plan a romantic evening for Maeve where he pulls off quite the Christmas surprise. To watch the ad, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Asterix and Tintin conquer a new language
As well as defending their small corner of Gaul from the Roman Empire, Asterix and Obelix have also been conquering Irish. Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock teamed up with translator Antain Mac Lochlainn to translate Asterix in Gaul, and Asterix and the Golden Sickle into Irish. Crime-fighting journalist Tintin, and his faithful dog Snowy, have also been given a Gaelic makeover in Cigars of the Pharaoh. Asterix was first published in 1961, and the series has sold over 250 million copies around the world. Much of the books' humour comes from word play, which makes it difficult to translate. For more details, please click BBC.

Rugby stars hope to score with to score with new fine wine
Ulster Rugby stars Ruan Pienaar and Robbie Diack have teamed up with family-owned Direct Wine Shipments, which is celebrating 60 years in business in Belfast. At the launch of Ballybosch, Robbie and Ruan said they had the idea for their own wine over a glass of red while delayed in Italy after an international match. Ruan is excited about the new venture, something the men hope to develop when they retire from sport. "People in Belfast enjoy good food, good wine and they enjoy their rugby, so I think the three of them go together really well," he said. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Past Two Weeks
November 26
‘Tens of thousands’ of Irish may benefit from US immigration move
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said that “tens of thousands’’ of undocumented Irish in the US could benefit from president Barack Obama’s immigration reforms. He said the president’s initiative represented progress, albeit with further important steps to be achieved. “I am happy that progress is real and I am determined that as many Irish nationals as possible will benefit from these changes,’’ he added. In all, he said, there were an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the US. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Employment up to highest point in five years
Employment is up by 10,400 in just three months, as jobless figures fall to their lowest in five years. Today's quarterly national household survey from the CSO shows the national unemployment rate is at 11.1%, down from 11.5% in June. That means employment is at its highest level since 2009, and represents an annual increase of 1.5% - or 27,700 extra jobs. The total number of people in employment is now almost two million, with 245,500 unemployed. The long-term unemployment rate also fell from 7.6% to 6.4%. To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Nóirin O'Sullivan becomes first woman Garda Commissioner
The Dublin native is the first woman to hold such a rank in the gardaí and is now the first female to be appointed as Garda Commissioner. The Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, announced the decision following today's Cabinet meeting. He said "The focus must now be to ensure public confidence in policing in Ireland and to support the men and women An Garda Síochána in their day-to-day work of keeping our communities and country safe." For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Related Story: Irish Times/Women holding key positions in legal fields

Watch The Late Late Toy Show around the world!
Not living in Ireland? Don’t worry you can still watch The Late Late Toy Show live on the RTÉ Player. And if for some strange reason you miss it this Friday night, it will be available to watch for 21 days after it airs. The Late Late Toy Show, one of the most watched TV events in Ireland, will be available for Irish families around the world to watch on RTÉ Player this Friday (November 28) at 9:35pm (Irish Standard Time). This unique cultural phenomenon, which first aired on RTÉ in the early 1970s, is a stand-out childhood highlight for generations of Irish people and continues to attract record audiences. For more details, plea click RTÉ.

Heartwarming social media craze we can all get behind
Between the Ice Bucket challenges and #nomakeupselfies, 2014 has been a somewhat trying year to be on social media. The latest viral charity initiative is #Kiss4Crumlin, a social media campaign that invites people to share a selfie of themselves kissing someone or something that’s close to their hearts, all in honour of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Hundreds of people have tweeted selfies using the hashtag since the campaign launched on Monday and each one is lovelier than the next. To take a look, please click Journal Ireland.

This house in rural Cork is rent-free for potential tenants
Here's something you don't see everyday. This house in Cork is offering free rent in exchange for caretaking duties in the house and grounds. The ground floor of a two storey house in Shanballymore is up for rent, but the owner would rather receive practical support than financial. Although the house is priced at a mere €100 per month the description states that it is actually rent free - as long as the tenant looks after the property while they live there. It is an an innovative approach and one that could become more popular among landlords and tenants, specially since homelessness is a growing concern in Ireland. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Breeding project for sea eagles to build on success
A project to reintroduce white-tailed sea eagles to Ireland is being seen as successful with a viable breeding population having been established. Of the 100 birds released in Killarney National Park over a five-year period, 30 didn't make it, but pairs continue to form and several could hatch chicks in 2015, according to the Departments of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Four new territories have been set up this year, but any further deaths could “slow or even halt’’ the creation of a viable population, says project manager Allan Mee, in a report for 2014. For more detail, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Bird Watch Ireland

Fourteen years in the making: Boat built by brothers finally launched
Marine engineers Raymond and Samuel Patterson, from the coastal Co Down town, built the Steadfast for their eldest brother, skipper Kenneth He had only been fishing from Kilkeel Harbour for six years when he decided he needed a bigger boat. The brothers travelled to Scotland to buy a larger vessel, but couldn't find one to satisfy them. Their initial plans were more modest, to buy a hull and fit it out - something Raymond had tackled before. Kenneth said: "The shipyard said a whole boat or no boat, so then it was: 'Right, we'll build the whole boat ourselves'." For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Legendary boxer Katie returns with fifth gold medal
Katie arrived home to victorious scenes in Dublin Airport last night, after securing a record-equalling fifth successive win in the women's world boxing championships in South Korea on Monday. The boxing legend said that while she is now planning ahead for a sixth title and entering the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as world champion, first on the cards is a two-week celebratory break with tea and biscuits in her grandmother's house being the first of port of call. For more details, plea click Irish Herald.

November 25
"You’re one of us"
That's what Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald told more than 800 new Irish citizens yesterday as UCC hosted its first citizenship ceremonies. He also urged the new citizens from 88 different counties to bring with them the stories and traditions from their old countries to enrich their new country. UCC hosted three citizenship ceremonies during the day. The ceremonies brought to 99 the total number of citizenship ceremonies held in Ireland yesterday and to more than 57,000 the number of people from over 160 countries who have become citizens through the process. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Des Barry

Time to raise a glass, with ice, to Irish hero Ernest Shackleton
High on the wall of a terraced house in Dublin’s Donnybrook district, is a small circular plaque commemorating the Irish-born explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. The curiosity is not that Shackleton’s incredible life in the remote Antarctic wilderness is remembered in a leafy Dublin suburb where he lived briefly as a child. Even more remarkable is that the modest little plaque is the only official memorial in Ireland to an Irishman whose feats place him alongside history’s great explorers such as Christopher Columbus, James Cook and Roald Amundsen. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Historic visitor numbers for National Museum
This is the fourth consecutive year the total number of visitors to the Museum's four sites has topped the one million mark. And it looks as is if the final visitor figure for 2014 will be an all-time record. Among the highlights so far this year is the exhibition "Clontarf 1014: Brian Boru and the Battle for Dublin'' in the Archaeology Museum in Kildare Street, which will be on view until the end of 2015. It marks the one thousandth anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf, fought on Good Friday, 1014. The exhibition seeks to dispel some popular myths surrounding one of the seminal events in Irish history. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Merrion Square

Final issue of Connacht Sentinel put to bed
After nearly 90 years of news, the Connacht Sentinel has printed its final issue. The putting to bed of the Galway newspaper has been described as the “end of an era” by publisher Connacht Tribune Group. The editor of the Sentinel, Brendan Carroll, said “it’s been a blast”. In a statement, the group said that this week marks “the beginning of a new dawn"…times are changing and so is the newspaper industry. And from next week, everything that made the Sentinel such a favourite with its readers can be found in an expanded Galway City Tribune. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Storyful to create 30 jobs in Dublin
Storyful, the Irish social news agency that was acquired last year by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, has announced the provision of 30 new jobs at its Dublin headquarters. The jobs will be backed by the State through the IDA. Storyful acquires video content it considers newsworthy and sells licenses for their use to organisations such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and ABC. Announcing the new jobs, Storyful Chief Executive Officer Mark Little said: "We have ambitious plans for growth and innovation across platforms, and these new roles are critical to achieving our vision over the coming years. "Dublin is our home, and we are excited at what's to come." For more details, please click RTÉ.

First bike rental scheme outside of Dublin rolled out in Galway
The National Transport Authority is hoping the environmentally friendly plan will take off in Galway city and follow the success of the initiative in Dublin in recent years. Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe pointed out that further stations in outlying areas, such as Salthill, could be added in time. When the scheme is fully operational in the western capital, there will be 195 bikes for hire at 19 stations, all of them in and around the city centre. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Belfast street to be named after physicist
Belfast City Council is to name a street after John Stewart Bell, one of Northern Ireland's most eminent scientists. However, his full name will not be used, as the council has "traditionally avoided using the names of people" when deciding on street names. Instead, the street in the city's Titanic Quarter will be called Bell's Theorem Way or Bell's Theorem Crescent. His theory continues to have a lasting impact on modern physics, and is said to have laid the foundation for quantum information technology. Dr Bell was born in Belfast in 1928 and rose to become one of the world's greatest quantum physicists. For more details, please click BBC.

Cork’s most famous country house hits back at unfavourable review
Renowned food critic Adrian Anthony Gill, who writes under the name AA Gill, visited the restaurant at Ballymaloe recently. Writing in The Sunday Times Magazine, he complained about the layout of the car park, the items for sale in the kitchen shop, and the fact there were more women than men eating in the restaurant. Eventually turning his critical gaze towards the food, Gill admitted the carrots were excellent — but there were too many of them for his taste, apparently. He also found fault with the seasoning and flavouring, describing them as “timid”. To read the response from Ballymaloe, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Ballymaloe House

McIlroy up for BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Rory McIlroy is a strong favourite to round off the most successful spell of his career with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after being confirmed among the 10 shortlisted contenders today. McIlroy, who won the final two majors of the year as well as helping Europe retain the Ryder Cup, will bid to become the first golfer to win the prestigious award since Nick Faldo in 1989. But McIlroy could face a stern challenge from Lewis Hamilton, who claimed his second Formula One world title in Abu Dhabi at the weekend and finished second in the voting in both 2007 and 2008. For more details, please click RTÉ.

November 24
Five Irish novelists in running for IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award
Five Irish novels have been nominated along with 137 other titles by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award. Nominations include 49 novels in translation with works by 37 American, 19 British, nine Canadian, nine Australian and seven Italian authors. The Irish titles are The Herbalist by Niamh Boyce, The Guts by Roddy Doyle, TransAtlantic by Colum McCann, The Rising of Bella Casey by Mary Morrissy, and The Thing About December by Donal Ryan. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & related Story: Irish Times/Alan Betson

Two companies announce 150 jobs
A food company is investing €26m in a facility in Wexford with the creation of 50 jobs and a specialist healthcare recruitment group is to create 100 jobs as part of a €5m investment in its operations. Danone says its number of employees in Ireland will soon stand at 400. The 50 new roles are in areas such as quality, food science, operations, engineering and supply chain and logistics. Recruitment is currently under way. Meanwhile, specialist recruitment group TTM Healthcare is to create 100 jobs as part of a €5m investment in its operations. Most of the jobs will be at its headquarters in Ennis but they will be recruiting some for their Cork, Dublin, London and Berlin offices. Fir more details, please click RTÉ.

Which supermarket in Ireland will come out on top?
Competition is the hottest it has ever been for Ireland’s top supermarket slot. Tesco, Supevalue and Dunnes are all vying for bragging rights as Ireland’s favourite supermarket chain coming into the key Christmas shopping period. New consumer spending figures for the 12 weeks to early November showed UK import Tesco has dropped to its lowest share of the grocery market in years from its previous perch as the clear market leader. Meanwhile, the onward march of German outlets Aldi and Lidl continues with both posting double-digit increases in their trade on the equivalent period in 2013. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Cow pats but no bull: a cultural meeting place for myth and reality
What connects a block of ice at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, a cow pat in Carlow, the poetry of WB Yeats and Tom Murphy’s play Bailegangaire? The answer is myth. A source of material, as well as a more indefinable set of inspirations, mythology spreads across the art forms, making its presence known in sometimes unexpected ways. At its most extreme and populist, the success of Game of Thrones; and the Marvel Avengers franchise, which features frequent dips into the mythological Norse world of Asgard, demonstrate the enormous appetite for myth in contemporary culture. For more details, please click Irish Times.

One Direction win three awards at 2014 AMAs
The boy bands were clear winners in the top award categories at the 2014 American Music Awards, held in Los Angeles on Sunday. One Direction led the celebrations with three accolades, bagging the top award of the night for artist of the year, as well as fan-voted awards for favourite album and favourite band, duo or group in the pop/rock genre. “It’s amazing because we worked so hard on these last two albums,” band member Liam Payne said. The five-piece performed its latest single Night Changes against a night-time forest backdrop. For more details & video clip, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ/Getty Images

Young Chef of the Year announced
Dublin-based chef Matt Logan has won the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year title. The 22-year-old chef de partie at Chapter One, Dublin, trumped his rivals with a Japanese-inspired dish of poached turbot with seaweed butte. One of Logan’s co-finalist Ian McHale also works as a chef de partie at Chapter One. The five finalists put finishing touches to their work at Cooks Academy in Dublin on Sunday. The country’s best young chefs aged 18 to 26 were competing for a prize of two weeks of work experience at the two Michelin-star London restaurant The Square. They were trying to impress judges before preparing dinner for 200 guests. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Julien Behal/ Maxwells

Story of unexpected act of kindness in Dublin Spar going viral
One man's story of an unpleasant encounter in a Dublin Spar - and an unexpected act of kindness - has gone viral on Facebook after being shared by Panti Bliss.The man - identified only as Colm - was in a Baggot Street branch of Spar when another customer used a homophobic slur against him. That might have been the end of it if it hadn't been for the guy working behind the counter who wasn't going to let him get away with it. To read the story, please click Breaking News Ireland.
ED. NOTE: Spar is one of Ireland's largest retail food store chains

Pet Expo attracts all creatures great and small
It was a dog lover's paradise, with over 40 breeds on show - from rare breeds like the Leonberger, Saluki and Keeshond to more familiar and cuddly pooches. But cat aficionados were also catered for, with the World of Cats proving a strictly dog-free zone in order to keep feline tempers happy. Over 15,000 people visited the eighth annual Pet Expo, which was held at the Simmons court Pavilion over two days. at the Pet Expo and 400 pals to sniff have left her a little tired." To read this news item as well as many other stories and features, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: El Keegan

Katie Taylor wins fifth world title
Katie Taylor won her fifth consecutive world title on a unanimous verdict at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Jeju, South Korea. The Bray woman secured the gold medal by beating Yana Allekseevana of Azerbaijan in the lightweight final. The 28-year-old's stunning achievement brings her level with Indian boxer Mary Kom on five world crowns. The 2012 Olympic champion has also won six European and five EU titles for a total of 17 major titles. Taylor was aggressive from the opening bell but her taller, southpaw opponent countered well in the first round. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ

November 23
Pope officially accepts Archbishop of Cashel's resignation
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Dermot Clifford. Archbishop Clifford resigned on the grounds of age, as is a requirement of Canon Law. Cork-native Bishop Kieran O'Reilly has been appointed as his successor. In a statement, Archbishop Clifford said of Bishop O'Reilly:"That he is a scholar I learned from others, that he is a gentleman I have found out for myself". To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Archdioces of Cashel & Emly

The 33 men and a boy who kept 10,000-strong English army at bay in Cork
At 6pm on 21 September, 1601, Spanish forces invaded the Co Cork harbour town of Kinsale in response to a plea for help from Irish insurgents. What followed was one of the greatest siege dramas in world history – an epic confrontation that deserves to rank alongside The Alamo and Rorke’s Drift. The Spanish troops held out for 100 days – enduring a crippling siege, ravaged by hunger and dysentery, and shivering through the harshest winter in living memory – before sailing home undefeated. This fascinating story is told in The Last Armada (O’Brien Press) the new true-life history book from Des Ekin, author of The Stolen Village. To read an extract, please click Journal Ireland.

Shannon Duty Free - one of the shrewdest legislative decisions in Irish history?
Local woman Kitty took up her job at Shannon Airport, selling souvenirs and other bric-a-brac in the world's first duty-free shop under the new parliamentary initiative. And it gave her a gilt-edged opportunity to get up close and personal with JFK, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and a host of other Hollywood stars. Soon the quaint souvenirs were joined by perfumes from the best French fashion houses and Aran hand-knits which became an overnight success and renewed the craft industry along the west coast. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Have Irish-language books fallen off the shelf?
Irish-language publishing is remarkably active; this is just as well, as the visibility of Irish-language books in bookshops is often minimal. Having failed to find Anamlón Bliana – the award-winning extracts from the diaries of Seán Ó Ríordáin in her local bookshop, Doireann Ní Bhriain resorted as she often does to litrí, and the book is on the way. Also available for those whose Irish is limited, are a growing number of books of fiction in Irish – both original fiction and translations designed specifically for learner. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Amazing cockpit video from a plane landing in thick fog at Dublin Airport
The video shows the plane being landed at Dublin Airport in conditions of heavy fog, as seen from the cockpit. Autopilot systems guide the jet into the runway – which is only visible when the pilots are less than 100 metres above it (about 325 feet). Watch it, and think about how incredible it is to travel successfully through the air in a giant metal tube, then land it on the ground at hundreds of kilometres per hour. The video was uploaded yesterday, so may have been taken in the very foggy conditions late last week – although this is not clear. For more details and to watch the video, please click Journal Ireland.

Watch what happens when Irish people sip American sodas
They've had Americans tasting Irish food, so now the lads at Fact thought they'd get Irish people slurping down some American sodas. It seems as if the Irish, if you're to judge from the reactions in this video clip, don't have as much of a sweet tooth as their American cousins. But we think you will love some of the descriptions - this one in particular: he "You could shave with that." To watch the video please click Breaking News Ireland.

Robbie Williams launches high street range
Robbie Williams' menswear brand Farrell has teamed up with a high street giant to launch a new 30-piece collection. The singer has collaborated with Primark for a capsule collection inspired by his grandfather Jack Farrell. The range features classic pieces such as double-breasted pea coats, tweed jackets, polo shirts and slim leg jeans. Williams said of the collection: “I’m delighted that Farrell has been invited into Primark. What a great collaboration. Let’s have it!” For more photos and to read this news item on line, please click RTÉ.

Ireland edge Australia 26-23 to complete autumn sweep
Ireland backed up their win over South Africa two weeks ago as they held off a determined Australia fight-back to edge victory in a thrilling game in Dublin. Joe Schmidt's Irish looked in control after Simon Zebo's try an Tommy Bowe's breakaway score helped them lead 17-0. However, the strong-running Wallabies fought back to lead after two Nick Phipps tries and a Bernard Foley score. Sexton's penalty levelled before the break and his two second-half penalties proved enough for the Irish.The victory was a big turnaround from their 32-15 walloping by the Wallabies 12 months ago. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: InPho

Taylor on course for fifth world title
Irish Olympic star Katie Taylor is now just one step away from her fifth World Championship title in a row after defeating China’s Junhua Yin in this morning’s semi-final. The Bray native will now face Azerbaijan’s Yana Allekseevana the final of the AIBA Women’s World Championships in Jeju, South Korea. Two of the three judges had Taylor ahead before her opponent’s corner threw in the towel at the start of the fourth round due to an elbow injury. Taylor qualified for the semi-final after her opponent, Sofya Ochigava of Russia, pulled out. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Times/ Doug McDermott/INPHO

November 22
Irish groups welcome Obama order on undocumented
Ireland’s Catholic bishops, Irish immigration centres in the United States and business interests there have welcomed President Barack Obama’s executive order on Thursday changing US deportation laws. The chairman of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Council for Emigrants, Bishop John Kirby said " Undocumented emigrants “faced great personal turmoil and pain as they have been prevented from participating in key moments of family life back home such as baptisms, marriages and when a loved one is seriously ill or has died.” For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Think Progress/AP

Why thatched cottages are not for the faint-hearted
Ireland is world famous for its picturesque thatched cottages. But for generations they've been disappearing - either succumbing to modern conversion with more conventional roofing replacing the thatch or becoming run down and melting as the thatch gives way and rain washes the mortar out from between the stones, leaving the house-shaped piles of dry rock. Sometimes they can be saved with strenuous intervention. But with traditional Irish cottage construction often at odds with modern building techniques, what does it take? And even more importantly, what might it cost? For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Barn in Patrick Kavanagh poem for sale
A barn made famous in an Irish poem has gone up for sale in Inniskeen, County Monaghan. Patrick Kavanagh referred to Billy Brennan's barn in his 1936 poem Inniskeen Road: July Evening. The barn was used for unofficial dances in the 1930s and 1940s. It was bought by a farmer in the town about ten years ago. He is now selling the barn along with three acres of land, but is keeping the farmhouse next to it.The poem is well-known among generations of Leaving Certificate students in the Republic of Ireland, as it has featured in the Irish curriculum since the early 1970s. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Gartlan O'Rourke

Eimear McBride wins Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize
The winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize 2013 is A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride. The judges were Deirdre Madden, Patrick Neale and Gaby Wood. Madden said: “A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is literature of the highest order and a true work of art. It displays a remarkable understanding of language and form and is technically brilliant. An important novel, which breaks new ground.” Neale said "This book demonstrates there are exceptional voices and stories out there. It has opened a new door for literature.” For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Dave Meehan

Fota Wildlife Park wins top award
The non-profit organisation, which is one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions, won the first place in the Eircom Spiders’ Travel and Leisure category. This is the second time Fota has won the top award in the category. Stephen Ryan, head of marketing at the wildlife park, said it was fantastic to win again. “We totally changed the website two years ago, keeping the tourist in mind,” said Stephen. “We looked at what people actually wanted and took a lot of risks but it was worth it.” A total of 24 awards were presented, honouring online and digital achievement. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & More Pics: Trip Advisor

Ryan Tubridy models hand-knit jumper sent in by viewer
Ryan has been inundated with hand-knitted jumpers from all over the country, as viewers responded magnificently to his request for a homemade Christmas jumper for this year’s Late, Late Toy Show. The one he's wearing was sent in by Fionnuala Hayward from County Wicklow. Speaking about the jumper, Tubridy said "This jumper from Fionnuala is one of our favourites so far…" In seven days all will be revealed as to which jumper was finally selected for the show. To read this news item, please click RTÉ.

Belfast man is picture perfect
One Belfast man proved to be 'picture perfect' to play the role of a body double for acting star Jamie Dornan. Daniel Smith's 'Paul Spector' potential was spotted as he watched scenes of the popular BBC series The Fall being filmed close to his south Belfast home. An eagle-eyed production member sized him up as the right fit to stand in for the former Calvin Klein model during the second series in the hit pyschological thriller. Daniel turned out to have the same measurements as the ex-Methody pupil and within 24 hours was wearing the serial killer's signature black body warmer, grey hoodie and black jogging bottoms. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Cork bar pulls off the best hidden camera interview prank
While interviewing for some new staff, they came up with the evil idea of messing with the applicants and capturing it all on hidden cameras (with help from the Dog Day Media crew). From rapping to rubbing baby oil on a bald man, the potential employees handle the increasingly bizarre interview tasks surprisingly well - better than we would, that's for sure. But the tables turn when it all becomes too much for one poor lad. To watch the video, please click Breaking News Ireland.

McIlroy back in the swing of it
Rory McIlroy could not contain his excitement at getting back into competitive action after a six-week lay-off, although his competitors probably did not feel the same way as he claimed a share of the lead in the DP World Tour Championship. The world number one carded six birdies and no bogeys in a flawless 66 to finish alongside Shane Lowry in the £5.1million event in Dubai. That took the 25-year-old to an amazing 80 under par for his 21 rounds to date in this event, after previous finishes of third, fifth, 11th, first and fifth on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. For more details, please click Irish Herald.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Nikhil Monteiro
Related Video: Shane lowry his his first hole in one. Please click Journal Ireland

November 21
President Obama paves way for illegal Irish immigrants to visit home
President Barack Obama has unveiled temporary measures allowing millions of illegal immigrants, including, it is estimated, thousands of Irish, to live and work in the US without the risk of being deported. The proposals include a relaxation of restrictions allowing qualifying Irish immigrants to travel between the US and Ireland, ending – for some – years of missing important family occasions. In the face of strong opposition from Republicans in Congress, Mr Obama is bypassing his political opponents with executive action. For more details and video clip, please click Irish Times.
Photo credit: Mike Blake/Reuters

Exhibition explores many different sides of the Great War
The exhibition at the National Library of Ireland on Dublin's Kildare Street features letter, diaries, newspapers and literature from the library's collections. "Irish people had very diverse and complex reactions to World War I," said curator Nikki Ralston. "We felt one of the best ways to illustrate how Ireland experienced the war was to explore a range of themes through real-life stories," she said. Sir Jack Leslie of Glaslough, Co Monaghan, attended the launch with a sword brought to war as the only weapon of his uncle, Norman Leslie. He was shot and killed while charging a German machine gun. It was considered ungentlemanly for officers to carry a gun. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Irish tech company Xanadu to create 120 jobs in Cork
Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced the new jobs at the company's headquarters this morning. Mr Kenny also attended a ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on a 200,000 sq.ft office block at Albert Quay. The company was set up three years ago with just eight employees. It was founded in 2011 to provide technical support to clients such as, a leading sports betting exchange. The company helps handle the massive amounts of data created by these businesses, enhancing their ability to identify patterns and analyse consumer trends. For more on this news item, please click RTÉ.

Sinéad McCoole on writing "Easter Widows"
Author Sinéad McCoole takes the well-worn tale of the Rising and its aftermath and reconstructed it from the viewpoint of the seven widows of the executed leaders of the Rising. In recounting the biographies of the seven women – Kathleen Daly Clarke, Maud Gonne MacBride, Muriel Gifford MacDonagh, Grace Gifford Plunkett, Fanny O’Brennan (whose married name was Áine Ceannt), Agnes Hickey Mallin and Lillie Reynolds Connolly – her aim was to bring the social history of this period to life. To read her first person account about writing the book, please click Irish Times.

Restored Killarney House to be opened to the public in 2015
Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys has confirmed that Killarney House, once the home of the Earls of Kenmare and the McShain family, will act as an interpretive centre for Killarney National Park and will also be a venue for exhibitions and cultural events. Ornamental grounds and gardens surrounding the house are also being restored, creating landscaped areas that will merge into the natural areas of the park and provide vistas linking the town to the scenery of mountain, wood and lakes. Phase one of the €7.1m restoration was completed in February 2012. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Killarney Insight

Festival celebrates life and works of CS Lewis
A four-day festival celebrating the life of Chronicles of Narnia creator CS Lewis got under-way in Belfast yesterday. The second ever CS Lewis Festival, which runs until Sunday, marks the 51st anniversary of the death of the world-famous author, theologian and academic, who was born in east Belfast. Kicking off the festival yesterday was a Narnia Breakfast at the Park Avenue Hotel in east Belfast. Ticketholders were able to enjoy breakfast while listening to guest speakers talk about Lewis's life, beliefs and relevance today.This was followed with a CS Lewis Bus Tour. For more details, please click Irish News.

Irish surgeon whose trauma unit inspired the show ER to be recognised
Leading surgeon and gunshot wounds expert, Dr John Barrett will be among five distinguished UCC graduates to receive an Alumni Achievement Award from the university at a gala black-tie dinner in UCC. Originally from Turner’s Cross, Dr Barrett is the former director and chairman of trauma at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, on which the hit medical drama ER, starring George Clooney, was based. He was appointed director of the trauma unit in 1982 and under his direction, it became a separate department within the hospital structure in 1995. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

NI teen wins a top prize in the Texaco Children's Art Competition
An intricate drawing of a scene in rural Northern Ireland has won top prize in one of the categories in the Texaco Children's Art Competition. Drawn by teenager Ryan Hazley after just one look at the landscape, the drawing of a Hillsborough lake was sketched entirely from memory. Ryan was inspired by a walk around the Co Down lake but it was not until he returned home that he decided to depict the scene."I walked around the lake in Hillsborough and when I went home I imagined me going around it and drew it from my mind," Ryan said. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Katie Taylor reaches semi-finals of World Championships - without throwing a punch.
Katie earned a victory by walkover to reach the semi-finals of the AIBA World Championships in Jeju, South Korea today. The Bray native was set to face Sofya Ochigava for a spot in the final four, only for the Russian to pull out with a knee injury. Barring any further improbable mishaps, Taylor will now compete against Jinhua Yin of China on Sunday for a spot in the final. Yin beat Denista Eliseeva of Bulgaria on a split decision this morning to set up her encounter with Taylor, who is now guaranteed a bronze medal. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

November 20
Citi creates 600 jobs in Belfast
The global financial services company Citi is creating 600 new jobs in Belfast, in an investment worth £54m. The firm already employs about 1,500 staff at its office in the Titanic Quarter. First Minister Peter Robinson said: "This announcement by one of the most prestigious financial companies in the world reflects the firm's confidence in its Belfast operation." Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "Citi ramping up its presence here is outstanding news." IFor more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & related Story: Belfast Telegraph

Inside the first new hotel to open in Dublin for nearly 2 years
Dublin is about to get its first new hotel for nearly two years – and from basement to penthouse it’s tailor-made for hipsters. Cashed-up ones. After a €5.5 million fit-out, three Georgian terraces in Dublin’s Harcourt St, once the staid offices of the ICC Bank, will open tomorrow as the 52-bedroom The Dean Hotel. The hotel is the latest venue launched by the Press Up Entertainment Group, the same group behind bringing the Wagamama chain to Ireland, as well as Dublin’s Bison Bar & BBQ and The Liquor Rooms. For more details & photos, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Leo Byrne

Report on young native Irish speakers highlights concerns
A new report has found that children who are native Irish speakers have better linguistic competency in English than in Irish. The research was carried out by an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), an agency of the Department of Education which provides supports to Irish schools around the country. Researchers examined the linguistic ability of 50 children, aged between seven and 12, whose home language is exclusively Irish. They found that their competence in English significantly surpassed that in Irish. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Ireland's ‘Love/Hate’ goes global
RTÉ’s homemade crime drama Love/Hate will be available in 35 countries with international voice-over actors in the roles of Nidge, Fran, and others. In a first for the series, it will be dubbed into French and German in a new deal with on-demand film and TV service Netflix. The broadcaster said all five seasons of the hit series would be streamed on Netflix in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. It also emerged Love/Hate has already been sold to 30 countries, including the UK, Norway, Australia, the Middle East, Singapore, South Korea, Israel, Brazil. along with Hulu, Netflix and Amazon in the US. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Office block housing Facbook HQ in Dublin on the market
Facebook's European headquarters in Dublin has been placed on the market with an asking price of €163.8m (£131m). The price tag would make it the most expensive single office block to hit the market in the Republic since the days of the boom. The social media giant moved into the building at Grand Canal Square earlier this year, in what is top of the line office accommodation in the Irish capital. The fact that the property now has a top-level tenant with global recognition is likely to help attract a range of international buyers. It is thought that Facebook itself, which will not be affected by the sale, may bid for the office. For more details, plw=ease click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit: Dani Leigh

Playwright Seán O’Casey's former home on offer
Hawthorn Terrace is between West Road and Church Road in East Wall in Dublin 3, and is most notable for being playwright Seán O’Casey’s home for his first 17 years, until 1897. Inspired by a hawthorn tree that grew at the top of the street and heralded spring to O’Casey and the neighbourhood, he penned the story The Hawthorn Tree. His former residence, number 25, was a single-storey house painted magenta and a gatepost bears a plaque dedicated to the playwright. The current owner bought the house for €115,250 and employed his uncle, Adrian Richards of Claremont Construction, to renovate and extend the house adding a second storey to it. For more details, please click Irish Times.

One Direction's Niall Horan pays off his mom's mortgage
The generous Irish singer and the rest of the boyband were recently named the richest stars under 30 in Britain, having made a staggering combined fortune of €97m in only four years. The 21-year-old said his London pad is his most extravagant purchase since he became rich and famous. However, Niall, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson all revealed in OK magazine this week that they've also written cheques to pay off their families' homes. Meanwhile, the Irish heart-throb said he'd be interested in a judging spot on the X Factor panel."I'd consider it. It's been great with Simon. I've noticed recently he's been asking us our opinion on the show, what we think of different songs," he said. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

A new lifeboat for the Gaeltacht
Liam Clancy would have smiled to hear his son Donal singing Home from the Sea on the pier in Helvick Head recently when a new lifeboat was launched. The occasion was peppered with speeches, prayers, bunting, bubbles of champagne, hymns, cheers and applause. The day in west Co Waterford brought a lump to the throats of many as they recalled those family members who had died or been lost at sea. When the local all-male choir, Cór Fear na nDéise, sang an emotive Ave Maria, it was hard to keep back the tears and then the new lifeboat was launched onto the choppy waters of the harbour. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Kilkenny hurler Tommy Walsh retires at the top of his game
The nine-time All-Ireland winner and Tullaroan clubman released a statement this morning which said. "For the last 13 years I have had the time of my life, lived my dream and have memories that will stay with me forever." He said he had been "very fortunate and privileged to play alongside terrific teammates and I thank them for being just that. It was also an absolute honour to play against many outstanding hurlers from all over the country. My club Tullaroan has always been very special to me. I owe them for the amazing opportunity I got to play for Kilkenny." For more details, please click RTÉ.

November 19
Jimmy Fallon and the Roots nail cover of U2's 'Desire'
Details have been emerging of just how banged up Bono is after that bicycle accident in New York. He really hurt himself. So it was clear he wasn't going to be able to show up for U2's week-long residency at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and it has been postponed for the foreseeable future. Jimmy was left with no musical guest for his show so he had only one option. He became Bono. Backed by the immensely talented house band, The Roots, armed with Bono's signature sunglasses, hat and arm movements, it's an uncanny cover of the U2 classic, 'Desire'. To watch it, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Related story about Bobo's accident: RTÉ

Who is the US billionaire buying up half of Ireland’s hotels?
He owns a swathe of land in the US spanning nearly two-thirds the territory of all Northern Ireland and sits on a fortune worth an estimated $7.4 billion (€5.9 billion). And he’s been buying up big lately in the Republic. The Limerick Strand Hotel, overlooking the Shannon River, is the latest Irish property to be snapped up by American billionaire John Malone, the biggest private landowner in the US. The deal caps a period in which Malone has also picked up three Dublin hotels. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Julie Jacobson/AP/Press Association Images

Archaeologists exploring a 17th century shipwreck in Kerry
A 17th century wreck has risen above water level in Co Kerry for the first time in nearly 50 years and Connie Kelleher, one of the State’s three underwater archaeologists, headed down immediately. There is freshly broken pottery lying on the wet sand. The bottom of a brandy magnum appears too, the dark glass shining in the morning sun. All part of the cargo from a 17th century wreck being excavated by the Underwater Archaeology Unit, at the edge of where the sands meet the sea at Ballyheigue in North Kerry. It is the last neap tide of the year and time is against the team doing the digging. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Windmill Lane Sessions featuring int'l and Irish acts launching
The Windmill Lane Sessions featuring acts including Mundy and the Original Rude Boys will launch on this weekend. Sessions will include exclusive live performances as well as the artists giving some of their most in-depth interviews to date. Six top acts - Mundy, Hot Sprockets, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ham Sandwich, The Walls and the Original Rude Boys - will go out on Sunday. Each Sunday from now until February, the service will feature one international or Irish act performing an original track and a cover. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Little Museum of Dublin to go on tour abroad, beginning with New York
The Little Museum of Dublin has secured sponsorship from the Ireland Funds that will enable it to tour some of its exhibitions abroad, beginning with New York in late 2015.Museum director Trevor White has told The Irish Times that the Ireland Funds has agreed a two-year deal worth €100,000, which will give it the naming rights for the ground floor of its premises at St Stephen’s Green and allow it host functions there.“The Ireland Funds has agreed to underwrite our exhibition programme for the next two years,” Mr White explained. “We’re very giddy with excitement at the deal. Our goal is to create a long-term partnership with them.” Fo more detail,s, please clickIrish Times.

Mayo News named European Newspaper of the Year
Editors and staff at the Mayo News are celebrating after the local weekly paper was today given the honour of European Newspaper of the Year for 2014. Managing Editor Neill O’Neill earlier described his “great pride” at hearing that the newspaper had beaten 193 titles from 27 countries to be named the continent’s top local paper. "For an independent newspaper from the west of Ireland to be singled out is no small feat, and one we are all justifiably proud of." Mr O'Neill said. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Thumbs For Hire

Belfast's first urban beach could bring seaside to Titanic Quarter
The Titanic Foundation is celebrating after its ambitious plan to create an urban beach in Titanic Quarter was shortlisted for a potential £50,000 prize from the People's Millions, a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and ITV. The inspirational plan would see 400 tonnes of sand carted to Queen's Island, where it will be used to create a man-made beach on the lawn close to the Titanic Belfast building, A boardwalk will also be built round the site, along with a string of colourful beach huts to evoke a seaside atmosphere whatever the weather. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Fr Ted star Pauline McLynn knits wooly jumpers for featherless hens
A campaign to knit jumpers for rescued hens is being led by Fr Ted star Pauline McLynn, better known as Mrs Doyle from the TV sit-com. Instead of making the tea, she is making woollen body warmers for the featherless birds, as thousands are due to be rescued from battery farms. Having spent their lives in cages, the hens do not have feathers to keep warm. Ms McLynn is patron of an Irish animal rescue sanctuary, which is trying to re-home more than 7,000 battery hens. Ms McLynn "There's a band of ladies and gentlemen all round Ireland knitting little jumpers at the moment for these hens." For more details, please click BBC.

Republic of Ireland beats the United States 4-1
In the first meeting between the two countries in 12 years, two goals from Robbie Brady and one each from Anthony Pilkington and James McClean helped the Republic of Ireland to victory over the United States. Pilkington deftly chipped the ball over Bill Hamid for the opener, but Max Diskerud poked home the equaliser from close range. Brady's tidy left-foot finish nudged the Republic ahead and James McClean's deflected effort made it 3-1. A left-foot free-kick over the wall by Brady sealed the Republic win. For more details, pleas click BBC.
Photo Credit & Video: RTÉ

November 18
Poet Michael Smith, RIP
The poet Michael Smith has died in Dublin at the age of 72. As well as his own poetry, most of which was inspired by he working class Dublin of his childhood and youth, his work as a translator of Spanish and Latin American poetry won wide acclaim and earned him the European Academy Medal for distinguished work in translation in 2001. For many years he taught English, Latin and Spanish at St Paul’s College in Raheny. He co-founded the influential small publishing house New Writers’ Press in 1967, out of which came a series of publications under the Zozimus imprint, as well as the journal the Lace Curtain. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Shearsman Books/Niall Hartnett

Visit by Pope Francis to Ireland is 'possible', says Papal Nuncio
On a visit to Moyross, Limerick, the pope's representative in Ireland Archbishop Charles Browne said there were "many links" between Pope Francis and the Irish people. "Ireland is close to his heart. He studied here in the 1970s," he said. "I was with Pope Francis in July and had a long meeting with him, just the two of us, and he spoke with great affection about Ireland. About the vist, he said "Nothing would give me greater joy, as Papal Nuncio, to have that happen... (Pope Francis) loves Ireland, and he loves Our Lady, and he loves the Irish people." For more details, please click Irish Herald.

It seems that the Celtic Tiger was good for something…
While the Celtic Tiger may now be reflected on forlornly in the knowledge that it sowed the seed for years of austerity – it seems that its legacy may hold one benefit. The high level of digging during the Boom to facilitate building projects has made Ireland a hot spot for archaeological excavations. Thanks to this, researchers from a number of universities across the UK and Ireland, including University College Cork and Queen’s University in Belfast, have discovered that a huge population drop that occurred in the Bronze Age was NOT related to climate change. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Ireland's most weird and wonderful Airbnb rentals
Airbnb is an online community marketplace which allows guests to book accommodation directly from hosts. Since its foundation in San Francisco in 2008, the company has grown to 190 countries... including Ireland. From a former Church of Ireland Chapel built in 1808 to a unique tree house in Galway, Airbnb throws up every kind of accommodation imaginable, including Conroy's Old Bar, Aglish, Co. Tipperary which is self-catering, yes, seriously. Or may be you'd prefer Dublin's 'Finest Historic Penthouse' overlooking O'Connell Bridge? For more details , please click Irish Independent.

Previous generations would be astounded at attitudes to churches in Ireland today
Life has changed radically in the last 60 or so years. For those of us who are older, if our parents, or certainly our grandparents were to return for a glimpse of the world in which we live, what are the things they would marvel at most - TV emote controls, mobile phones, the internet? In the opinion of Irish Times contributor, Patrick Semple,. he feels that parents and grandparents would notice and be most surprised at the changed condition of religion in Irish society. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Daily Mail/For illustration purposes only

NI woman wins £12,935,936.30 on the Euromillions draw
At a press conference this morning at the Culloden Hotel, NI's latest lottery millionaire Mary Hamilton enjoyed a glass of Champagne to mark her big win.The furniture store employee from Newtownabbey said she and husband Alexander are going to "spend it" and her first purchase will be a mobile phone; and she and her husband - known as Sandy- are planning to enjoy Christmas in style. Mary has been playing the lottery for 20 years.and is now one of more than 3,700 millionaires created by the lottery since the first draw took place on Saturday November 19 1994. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit: Arthur Allison

Lighthouses to blaze a new trail along Wild Atlantic Way
For those who think the Wild Atlantic Way isn’t quite wild enough, the All-Island Lighthouse Trail might be just the thing. Under the proposal, up to 20 lighthouses north and south will form part of the trail, and phase one involves five lighthouse stations in Antrim, Donegal, and Down. A tender issued last week on the Government’s etenders website sought creative consultancy ITT services for the project. As well as offering accommodation, those behind the project also want to provide onsite services for visitors and an online educational learning zone. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Stefan Schnebelt/Fanad Head Lighthouse, Donegal

Simpsons' creator steps in to save Mayo's gay bull
A campaign was started last week by animal rights groups ARAN and PETA in conjunction with TheGayUK digital magazine to save Benjy from the slaughterhouse. They needed to raise £5000 (€6367) to send the bull to a sanctuary in England to live out the rest of his days in peace. Fundraising pages were set up and petitions started - and now help has come from the most unexpected of places. Sam Simon is one of the co-creators of 'The Simpsons' and is suffering from terminal cancer. He has devoted his last days to philanthropy - focusing on children and animal charities. And he's pledged the £5,000 needed to save Benjy. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Rickie Fowler to play in Irish Open at Royal County Down
American star Rickie Fowler has confirmed his entry for the Irish Open at Royal County Down next May. Fowler, who secured top-five finishes in all four majors this year, is a friend of world number one and Co Down man Rory McIlroy.Their friendship began when the pair played at the venue in the Walker Cup in 2007 ."I really look forward to him joining me at Royal County Down, one of the world's finest links," said McIlroy. McIlroy piped Fowler to the Open and USPGA titles this year and defeated the American in the Ryder Cup singles in September. "I am delighted that Rickie has decided to add the Irish Open to his schedule next year," added McIlroy. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

November 17
Racing great Dessie Hughes, RIP
Racehorse trainer Dessie Hughes has died at the age of 71. Based in the Curragh, Hughes was hugely successful both as a jockey and trainer. During his riding career he partnered Monksfield to victory in the Champion Hurdle and Davy Lad in the Gold Cup. As a trainer his many successes included victory in the Champion Hurdle with Hardy Eustace. Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, tweeted: "RIP Dessie Hughes. A great trainer, great jockey and an absolute gentleman..." Hughes, who had been battling illness, is survived by his wife Eileen, son and three-time English Champion Flat Jockey Richard and daughter Sandra. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Winston Churchill spoke of his hopes for a united Ireland
Winston Churchill expressed his hopes for a united Ireland in 1946, in a conversation with the Irish ambassador to the Britain, John W Dulanty. Only a year after his bad-tempered joust with Eamon de Valera over the role neutral Ireland had played during the second World War, Churchill told Dulanty of his warm feelings for this country. He spoke to Dulanty after the annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in London, during which the Irish diplomat laid a wreath in memory to the fallen of the two world wars. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Band Aid 30 song sales have ‘gone manic’, says Geldof
Band Aid organiser Bob Geldof said sales had “gone manic” as the reworked version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? became available for the first time today. He added that the volume of pre-orders for the track ensured it had raised in excess of £1 million within minutes of the song being premiered on the X Factor last night. Stars including Bono, Sinead O’Connor, One Direction, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and singer Ellie Goulding were among the figures who gathered to record a new version of the track in response to the Ebola crisis threatening west Africa. For more details, please click Irish Times.
To watch the premiere music video: RTÉ

Googled Irish leaves language lovers speechless
An Irish government website marking 100 years since the Easter Rising carried text in the Irish language straight out of Google Translate and excerpts contained basic mistakes in the translation. A spokesperson for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed that Google Translate had been used. The spokesperson said the mistake happened because the government department sent the English text to a company that was contracted to design the website. It used Google Translate to get a draft to see how much space it would require, The draft was supposed to be replaced - but wasn't. For more details, please click BBC.

Ireland's Gleeson brothers rock nostalgic in a brilliant video
The brothers Gleeson recreate some magical childhood memories in this mash-up video. The duo teamed up with Dublin band Squarehead for the video to accompany the song 2025. It intersperses old home videos of the Gleeson brothers growing up (maybe dad Brendan shot the vids?) with modern footage of the lads recreating their childhood adventures. The video is published on the Immunity For Charity YouTube channel and in a post on the Squarehead facebook page, where the band say :"Here's a new video our mates Domhnall and Brian made for us!" To watch the video, please click Btreaking News Ireland.

Portrait of an accountant-backpacker in 1,600 selfies
Patrick Hamilton Walsh has taken a selfie every day at the same time for the past four and a half years. Some 1,600 ‘phoneographs’ later, he has a unique portrait of his life and travels around the world. Originally from Strabane, Co Tyrone, Patrick decided to start documenting his life in May 2010. Calling the project ‘This is Me@3’, he took a photo of himself every day at 3pm as he travelled the globe, broke a world record, graduated from two courses, published two books — and married the woman of his dreams. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Leon the turtle needs a lift
Leon, the loggerhead turtle was washed up almost dead during last winter's storms It has been nursed back to health only to be stranded in Ireland. It now needs transportation back to the warmer waters off the Canary Islands. While all the necessary paperwork to transport the turtle is in order, its rescuers are struggling to find an appropriate means of transport. Commercial flights are not an option as temperatures in the cargo hold can drop to zero and would kill it. Matthew Harkins of Galway Atlantaquaria, which is caring for Leon, said it is appealing for any help including those with private jets at their disposal. For more details. please click Irish Independent.

Ireland prove too much for dogged Georgians
Six-try Ireland have dismantled an organised but limited Georgia side to record a 49-7 victory in their international Test clash at Aviva Stadium. The visiting Lelos proved hugely physical and difficult opponents in the opening 40 as Ireland limped to a 9-0 advantage through three Ian Madigan penalties, with errors ruining some free-flowing rugby from Joe Schmidt’s team. However, after the interval, the men in green cut loose running home six tries from Dave Kilcoyne, Richardt Strauss, Simon Zebo, Felix Jones (2) and Stuart Olding. For more details & Video Clip, please click RTÉ.

Rory McIlroy wins Race to Dubai title
Rory McIlroy has won the European Tour's Race to Dubai for the second time in three years after Brooks Koepka triumphed at the Turkish Airlines Open. McIlroy did not play but took the title because Sergio Garcia, Marcel Siem and Jamie Donaldson failed to win the Turkish Airlines Open which was claimed by Brooks Koepka, pictured. England's Ian Poulter missed a six-foot putt to force a play-off as Koepka shot a seven-under 65 to win on 17 under. Four-time major winner McIlroy will return to action in the final event of the season, which begins on Thursday. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo credit: Getty Images

November 16
Cadet who laid last poppy is descendant of fallen Irish WW1 soldier
The 13-year-old Berkshire cadet who lay the final poppy at the Tower of London is a descendant of a Co. Mayo soldier who was killed in action just weeks before the end of the First World War. Harry Hayes comes from a long line of men who served in the British Army, and laid the 888,246th poppy at the memorial having been selected for being the youngest member of the force after signing up as an Army Cadet when he turned 13. His father Des, who proudly tweeted a picture of himself and his son on the day, served in the British Army for 11 years and is now employed as the Operations and Safety Manager at the Tower of London. For more details, please click Irish World.

Cork rebel first to name the 'United States of America'
According to new evidence published by the New York Historical Society, Stephen Moylan, an immigrant who became acting Secretary to George Washington - the first President of the United States - coined the phrase in a letter dated January 2, 1776. In the letter, posted online for the first time last week, Mr Moylan writes to George Washington's personal assistant, Colonel Joseph Reed, seeking foreign assistance in the Revolutionary War against Britain. "I should like vastly to go with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain," he wrote. For more details, please click Irish Independence.

The Wexford Carols as they have never been heard before
A familiar silhouette is framed within a large window. The man is tall, almost statuesque, with a grey beard. And then there is that voice: a rich, velvety baritone with strong hints of the Welsh valleys. “I love that sun,” says Tom Jones. “It makes you feel so good, doesn’t it?” Rewind: we are in Grouse Lodge Residential Recording Studios in Co Westmeath, the month is July. The reason why Tom Jones, Roseanne Cash, Dónal Lunny and Joe Henry are tucked away in a studio in broiling sunshine is for a recording of the Wexford Carols. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Stained glass will last for a thousand years...
...if you maintain it. At Abbey Stained Glass in old Kilmainham, two massive ovens, one a baker’s oven salvaged from Boland’s Mill, paint is fused on to glass at temperatures of 600 degrees Centigrade, firing up to five times to get the right depth, texture and colour, such is the precision demanded. Anchored on easels in the workshop on the day of Deirdre McQuillan's visit are two magnificent stained glass windows from the Harry Clarke studios, which have just been restored for the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary in Cavan. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Alan Betson

A rare glimpse inside Dublin’s last, great Georgian mansion
Journal ireland's favourite photographer of mysterious homes, Dublin man Donal Moloney, has found a fascinating property closer to home. The man who took us inside Birdie’s home and Veronica’s Big House has brought us on another tour. Here’s what he has to say about his latest find, Aldborough House in Dublin – a glimpse of what Dublin once was. “I have passed by this building for a number of years and have always wanted to photograph its interior. It’s now in a pretty poor state which makes it even more interesting for an urban explorer/photographer like myself.” For more details and photos, please click Journal Ireland.

Con Carey and the Twelve Apostles
Saturday April 1st 1978 was an ordinary day in the village of Brosna, Co. Kerry. The village was busy that day - there was a burial in the parish – a local man had died. As was normal, friends and relations of the man and his family dug the grave. One of the men to dig the grave that day was Con Carey. The following morning Con Carey himself was found dead on the outskirts of Brosna. His burial would be rushed. Having died in the early hours of Sunday morning, April 2nd, he was buried the following day, Monday April 3rd, 1978. Unusually quick. The talk was that Con had not been properly prepared for interment.For more details, please click RTÉ.

App to help feed homeless earns Dubliner Time Magazine accolade
Feeding the homeless population of Ireland is a daunting task, but it’s all in a day’s work for social entrepreneur Iseult Ward who has just been named as one of Time magazine’s ‘Next Generation Leaders’. Earlier this week her company FoodCloud, which connects businesses with charities, won a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland award and a €140,000 investment. She said: “From a personal perspective it’s pretty overwhelming, but it’s brilliant to get so much recognition for the team..."For more details, Please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Video Clip: Time Magazine

Nicely done, Pizza Hut, Finglas, Dublin
In the past few days, Ireland has had well more than its fair share of gales and sheeting rain. No doubt, many were looking for some - ANYTHING to raise the spirits. One such individual took action. He battened down the hatches and and ordered pizza. He also asked his local Pizza Hut to “write something nice on the box since it was a crappy rainy day” - and they obliged with a very on-message note " Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass! It's about learning to dance in the rain. Happy Tuesday!" To read this snippit on line, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Americans watch hurling for the first time
The mysteries of the scoring system, the “H in the corner”, and whether or not there are any rules are among the topics tackled by these first-time viewers of our national game. Seen through their eyes, it’s pretty wild alright. This group of young Americans were watching this year’s All Ireland Final between Kilkenny and Tipperary, as fine a contest as the sport has recently offered. Surrounded by Taytos and a glass or two of Guinness - authentically recreating the spectating experience - they are encouraged to riff on the game as it unfolds. For more details and video clip, please click Breaking News Ireland.

November 15
Irish art & architecture study to be launched
The most comprehensive study of Irish art and architecture ever undertaken is being launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny this weekend. The Royal Irish Academy's "Art and Architecture of Ireland" is in five illustrated volumes and took six years to complete. Exploring 1,600 years of Irish art and architecture from the medieval period to the year 2000 - from high crosses to installation art, from Georgian houses to illuminated manuscripts, from watercolours and sculptures to photographs, oil paintings, video art and tapestries. It represents the work of ten editors and over 2,500 contributors. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Thirty years on, Bob Geldof reprises Band-Aid song for a worthy cause
The production team aim to get the track, which features lyrics reworked to reflect the Ebola crisis, completed in time for its first public performance during tomorrow night’s X Factor show. “It really doesn’t matter if you don’t like this song. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t like the artists, it really doesn’t matter if it turns out to be a lousy recording – what you have to do is buy this thing,” said Geldof of the track. “The record . . . (is) an event,and the next stage now is to turn this into a phenomenon like it was in the ’80s." For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Etc Northeast

Daniel Day-Lewis knighted for his services to drama
Multiple Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis has been knighted by Prince William at Buckingham Palace. Clean-shaven and wearing traditional morning dress, the acclaimed and notably private Anglo-Irish actor declined to speak to the media after being honoured. He was made a knight in Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honours, in June, saying at the time he was “entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure”. He is the only person to win an Academy Award for best actor three times; his first was for My Left Foot and a second was for There Will Be Blood. He completed his hat-trick by playing assassinated US president Abraham Lincoln in 2012. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Irish academic hospital first in world to earn Green Flag
Cork University Hospital is the first academic healthcare organisation in the world to reach international Green Flag status for efforts to reduce its environmental impact. The accolade solidifies the CUH as a leader in how the green campus model is applied to healthcare institutions and follows a rigorous evaluation of the hospital’s waste, energy, water, travel, and biodiversity impact. Paschal Kent, the sustainable environment officer for CUH, said the flag represented the culmination of years of hard work. For more detail, please click Irish Examiner.

Children in Need: NI raises more than £700,000
People in Northern Ireland have donated more than £700,000 to Children in Need during the annual BBC fundraiser.The overall UK total stood at £32.6m when phone lines closed on Saturday morning, but that figure is expected to rise when all donations are submitted. One of the highlights of the night was when 150 children from Northern Ireland joined more than 2,000 others from across the UK to form a choir taking part in a nationwide live performance of 'I'll Stand By You'. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Belfast Telegraph

Mission to save horses from rising river successful
Teams trying to rescue a group of 17 horses stranded in rising waters on the Slaney near Enniscorthy are reporting success tonight. Earlier, around 12 horses were transported to safety at another location on the river. In the latest operation, volunteers from the Wexford Search and Rescue brought two dinghies out on the river to try and guide the animals to safety. Earlier, the other group of horses (pictured) found their own way to safety, after a number of attempts to reach them. For more details and photos, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Miller

Meet the twins behind the happiest, healthiest restaurant in Ireland
Identical twins David and Stephen Flynn are the happy pair behind the Happy Pear, a buzzing and bright grocery store and restaurant in Greystones, Co Wicklow. Followers of their Twitter or Facebook accounts will know that they get up before sunrise (which they usually capture on camera and joyfully show to their fans), bring their kids to work, feed them and their little ones a nutritious smoothie for breakfast, and then get down to running the show. For more details, please click Journal ireland.

Want to win the lottery? Stop using birthdays as lucky numbers
That's according to University College Dublin statistics lecturer Dr Andrew Parnell who suggests that players are better off picking 'non-birthday' numbers between 32 and 45. This means they will be less likely to share their winnings if they win."My guess is that selecting birthdays for the Lotto is not a great idea," Dr Parnell told. "The numbers will be in the range one to 31 and lots of other people will be picking these numbers. "This means that, in the very unlikely event that you do win, you'll have to share your winnings with lots of other people." For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Mac Innes Photography

Going that extra mile to capture the Mournes
Leslie Hanthorne will do anything for that elusive perfect shot of the Mourne Mountains. And that includes leaving the house at 2am and climbing Northern Ireland's highest peaks in the dead of night so that he can capture the sunrise bathing the High Mournes. Leslie explains: "I live in Portadown which is half an hour's drive from the mountains. The Mournes are almost beside me - every time I walk the dog I'm looking directly into the mountains. "I walk up the mountain in the dark to be there in time for the sunrise. Or I walk up in time for sunset." For more details & photos, please click Belfast Telegraph.

November 14
President Higgins arrives in South Africa
The resident and his wife Sabina arrived in Johannesburg on the final leg of their three-country official visit to Africa. South Africa is Ireland's second largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and much of the President's visit will focus on enhancing economic relations between the two countries. Later this evening, President Higgins will attend a Business Ireland South Africa networking event, where he will deliver some remarks on trade and investment relations between the countries. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Pharmaceutical firm announces major expansion in Dublin
Up to 400 new jobs are on the way at Bristol Myers Squibb, which already employs around 600 at its manufacturing plant at Cruiserath in Dublin 15. A thousand jobs will also be created during the construction phase which expected to be completed in 2018. Tánaiste Joan Burton said "Today's announcement highlights Ireland's strong performance in the pharmaceutical sector. It's very much about confidence in the Irish economy." To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Article: Bristol Myers Squibb

How the Garda Band took the US by storm
Approximately 50 years ago this week, an unlikely group of musical superstars returned in triumph from their first and only tour of the US and Canada. Beatlemania and Greenwich Village were in full swing, with the Velvet Underground to follow. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem were influencing Bob Dylan and nailing a flag to the Billboard 100. But these returned conquistadores were, of all things, the Garda Band. In a two-month tour of the US and Canada, they played Madison Square Garden for five nights and then traveled to Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and as far west as Dubuque, Iowa. For more details, please click Irish Times.

When airplanes grow Mo's...
Aer Lingus, Cityjet and Qantas have taken fundraising to new heights, painting three planes with moustaches for Movember. The 'taches are titillating plane-spotters, and all for a good cause. The airlines are joining Mo' Bros and the Mo' Sistas all over the globe to raise money and awareness for the Movember campaign in aid of men's health. Last year, Aer Lingus says it set a new Irish Cancer Society collections record with a €44,000 donation. It is described as "the highest fundraiser in Movember Ireland history" on the Movember Foundation's YouTube page. For more details and video clip, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit & related Story: Website for Irish Women

Award-winning pudding earns Kerryman a French "knighthood"
John Paul O’Connor, who founded Sásta Sausages and Puddings with his wife, Kathleen, near Killorglin, Co Kerry, in 2012, will travel to France next week to accept the award from the Commanderie des Fins Goustiers du Duché d’Alencon during a ceremony organised by a brotherhood which recognises Europe’s top gourmet meat products. Dubbed the European Championships for artisan butchers and pork food producers, it is widely acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards in the culinary world. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

No eggs in space, US astronaut tells Limerick schoolboy
On a visit to Limerick Institute of Technology, Shuttle member, Gregory Johnson was grilled by students on several topics, from how he slept in zero gravity, to what food he ate in space - a question whuch came which came from Liam, 12, from Monaleen National School. The astronaut told Liam: “Pretty much every kind of food you can have here on earth. What I can tell you is hamburgers were tasty but the scrambled eggs not so good!” For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Police wade through flood waters to retrieve wedding dress
Caroline Bramwell is marrying Gerard Crossin in Co Monaghan on Friday afternoon. She had hoped to pick up her dress in Newry, County Down on Thursday, but the bridal shop in Bridge Street was inaccessible due to severe flooding. "I was running a bit late because of the traffic in Newry and I phoned the bridal shop. "I phoned the bridal shop. The lady in the shop answered and said, 'no Caroline, you will not get near the shop. It has been flooded, but your dress is safe and no matter what happens, I will get it to you' For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: BBC

Reflecting on 230 years of stone cutting
Stonecutter Barry Feely owes a great deal to Pope John XXIII. Over many generations, headstones were “the bread and butter” of Feelystone, the family business which has been based in Boyle, Co Roscommon, for more than 230 years. But in the 1960s it was Pope John who provided “the jam” when he decreed that priests should face, rather than turn their backs on, their congregations, causing a flurry of altar refitting up and down the country. For more details, please click Irish Times.

The day is finally here for Tartan Army to host the Boys in Green
They say that familiarity can often breed contempt but that isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to tonight’s much-anticipated meeting of Scotland and Ireland. Undoubtedly, it is hard to get away from the fact that the Euro 2016 Group D qualifier will have the feel of a local derby about it as there are countless close ties between the nations, the managers, the players and the fans involved. Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan have attempted to play down their own personal rivalry but both ex-Celtic bosses will be itching to get one over on the other on the return to the home of their former club. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Donall Farmer/INPHO

November 13
Details of 1916 ceremony unveiled
Relatives of 1916 rebels are due to lead a military parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the uprising, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has announced. Mr Kenny said the nationwide celebrations would be built around the themes of remembrance, reconciliation, imagination, creativity and achievement. Permanent reminders of anniversary will be erected at seven sites at a cost of €22m, as well as commemorative stamps and coins depicting the rebel leaders. The military ceremony will be held on Easter Sunday, 2016, with a separate commemoration at Arbour Hill on the actual day of the uprising on April 24. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

President Higgins: Famine memory plays major role in Irish overseas aid

Such was the devastating effect of the Famine on the Irish people that they have yet to find language to describe it, the president said in a keynote address at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi. “The terrible vulnerability of hunger is something that reaches deep into our Irish psyche as our national history remains shadowed by the dark chapter that was the Irish Famine, An Gorta Mór or the Great Hunger in our native language." For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Chris Bellew /Photography 2014

Recommendation to extend voting rights to Irish abroad
An Oireachtas committee has recommended that voting rights should be extended to Irish citizens living outside the Republic of Ireland.. The Joint Committee on European Affairs also recommended that an electoral commission be set up to establish how best such voting rights could be implemented. Earlier this month, Minister of State for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan said that Irish citizens abroad should be able to vote in Irish Presidential elections. The Constitutional Convention last year voted in favour of recommending the extension of voting rights in Presidential elections for Irish citizens living overseas. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Rosetta jitters turn to joy for Queen's University professor
For a moment it seemed that the whole world held its breath. Then the anxious flight directors glued to their monitors at the European Space Agency (ESA) in Darmstadt, Germany, gave the thumbs-up and everyone was on their feet applauding. Back in Belfast, the packed John Stewart Bell lecture theatre erupted in cheers and applause, and one of the most relieved was Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, leader of a team that has been studying the comet since before it was even chosen as the target for the Rosetta mission. For more details & photos, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Irishman makes his mark on Euro space exploration
Laurence O'Rourke has come a long way from his days drawing rockets and observing the skies from his boyhood home in Westmeath. Now one of two science operations co-ordinators for the Rosetta mission, the 44-year-old has really made a name for himself amongst the stars - the asteroid '9524 O'Rourke' was named in his honour in July. As joint leader of a team of around 25 people at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, Mr O'Rourke was right in the thick of things as the Rosetta mission finally made its landing yesterday. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Co Tyrone's Cookstown bag generating selfies across the globe
From Sydney Opera House to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor to the ski slopes of the Alps, globe trotters all want a "selfie" with their Cookstown bag. It's a craze that has propelled the small country town onto the world stage. There are photographs of the big bag perched elegantly on the Bridge of Sighs in Venice and luxuriating in the sunshine of Noosa beach, Australia. The idea of advertising the mid-Ulster town on a free bag was the brainchild of Cookstown District Council to promote the town. For more details, please click BBC.

New York Times spends 36 hours in Dublin, makes it look stunning
Today, the York Times has published a glossy video and article about the wonders of Dublin, from the drink to the history to the grub. Here's just some of what the article and video revealed: Not all pubs serve Guinness; You better drink some Guinness though; Dublin’s old. Real old; It’s not all about bacon and cabbage; the Northside is where it’s at; and stop at one of the city's bridges, each of which tells a story. For more details, photos and video link, please click Journal Ireland.

The weepiest Christmas ad yet?
This might be it. And while it's for Sainsburys - a supermarket chain that they don't even have in Ireland - the emotional punch and the general Christmas cheer make it worth the watch. Based on the famous Christmas Truce that took place at the beginning of World War 1 on Christmas Eve, 1914 it features soldiers from both the German and British sides who called a halt to the fighting to bury their dead; but some also exchanged Christmas gifts, sang carols, played football and chatted before being ordered to return to the trenches For more details and to watch the ad, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Stephanie Roche on Fifa's shortlist for best goals 2014
A stunning volley for Peamount United has earned Stephanie Roche a spot on Fifa's shortlist for goal of the year alongside fellow strikers Robin van Persie and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The 25-year-old, who scored against Wexford, is one of 10 in the running.Three World Cup efforts feature - Van Persie's header against Spain, Tim Cahill's volley against the Dutch and James Rodriguez's goal against Uruguay. Ibrahimovic's backheel volley for PSG against Bastia also makes the list. For the complete list, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & related Story: Journal Ireland/INPHO/Donall Farmer

November 12
President welcomes sending Irish soldiers to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone
The Irish soldiers will carry out assignments in the areas of security, logistics and emergency planning over a three-month period. President Higgins said “The very best contribution you can make is in terms of logistics and I know myself that not only are the Army in a very good position to provide such experts, but they have fantastically sensitive intercultural and interpersonal skills.” The president and his wife Sabina are pictured arriving in Malawi on the second leg of his official visit to South Africa. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

First Irish soldier to die in WWI remembered in France
Father John MacLellan stood over the grave of Private Stephen Kennedy and addressed him directly, 100 years after Kennedy, who was born in Ardoughan, Ballina, Co Mayo, became the first Irish man to die in the first World War. “Stephen, we are here for you today,” the priest from Co Meath intoned in flawless French. “You are what brought us together. I hope that wherever you are, you hear us, even see us... We remember all of you young men who gave your lives for Europe, for peace.” For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Des Harris

Irish shoppers to spend over €1.5bn this Christmas season
New data from shows spending this Christmas will be up 3.5% on last year. More than €800m will be spent on presents with the average budget being €578. The average Irish consumer will spend around 12 hours shopping - a mix of in-store buying and online sales - while the tradition of sending Christmas cards is still alive with 68% saying they will send cards this year. To read this news item on line as well as many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Sligo-based Nick Miller wins inaugural Hennessy Portrait Prize
The inaugural Hennessy Portrait Prize has been awarded to Sligo-based painter Nick Miller. He was selected from a shortlist of 12 for his painting Last Sitting, a portrait of the late Barrie Cooke, who died earlier this year. The two artists were neighbours for many years in rural Co Sligo and were good friends. “There was an awareness during this last sitting,” Miller said of the painting, “that the end of his road was approaching.” Nonetheless Cooke teased the painter about the unresolved background, whereupon Miller handed him a brush to set it right. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Cyril Byrne

A gentle poke at Yeats’s lifelong crush on Maud Gonne
The popular perception of WB as a man who suffered a lifelong unrequited passion for revolutionary Maud Gonne has inspired a tongue-in-cheek book of illustrations from artist Annie West. West, who lives in the heart of Yeats country in Sligo and whose grandmother played the church organ at the poet’s funeral, has taken scenes from the Maud and William story and poked fun at the high-mindedness of the poetry they inspired. Yeats in Love will be launched this Friday night in Dublin, and the following Friday, 21 November, in Sligo. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Luxury Waterford Castle resort on offer
Waterford Castle, a hotel and resort on an island in the River Suir two miles from Waterford City, has just been publicly placed on the international market guiding over €4.5m. Reached by a short ferry ride, the romantic island idyll has a grounded business base that includes a four-star 20-bed castle hotel with an 800-year history, 43 five-star guest lodges, over 300 acres of land with grazing Sika deer, and a Des Smyth-designed golf course (with 430 members) on 200 acres which opened in 1992. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Stunning aerial footage of Limerick shows off the city at its best
Limerick photographer and videographer Tony Grehan has captured some of the most stunning imagery of Limerick city ever filmed in a series of Youtube videos. Using the GoPro camera mounted on a quadcopter, Tony's videos show the capital of the mid-west as you've never seen it before. See the famous King John's Castle, the People's Park, the University of Limerick and the Old Cleeves Factory from a bird's eye view. These are not be missed for anyone who has a soft spot for Limerick. To read this news item on line and view several videos, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Lord of the Dance and wife Niamh to be made honorary Corkonians
The Flatleys will receive their awards on January 16 at the 22nd annual Cork Person of the Year Awards in tribute to their ambassadorial work on behalf of their adopted city and county. This news was revealed by the founder of the awards, Manus O’Callaghan, as a special book was launched in City Hall which traces the 21 years of the event. He said the Flatleys were also receiving the award for restoring one of the country’s great houses, Castlehyde, near Fermoy, Co Cork. It is now one of their family homes. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Ireland winger Andrew Trimble wins player of year award
Ulster and Ireland winger Andrew Trimble has been named 2014 player of the year at the Rugby Writers of Ireland's awards ceremony in Dublin. Trimble scored two tries in Ireland's triumphant Six Nations campaign and also got six touchdowns for Ulster during the year. Commenting on the award, he said it was nice to pick up an individual award but stressed it was down to being part of a successful Ireland side. For more details, pleaase click BBC.
Photo Credit & Video Clips: Breaking News Ireland

November 11
Ireland’s oldest man Luke Dolan, RIP
Luke Dolan, from Cloonfree, Strokestown, Co Roscommon, passed away on Sunday at Cloverhill nursing home. He was 108. He had lived at home on the family farm until he was over 100. A keen GAA man, he attributed his longevity to a boiled egg every day, plenty of sugar in his tea and a devoted wife. He was also off the cigarettes for almost 50 years, having kicked the habit at 60. One of seven children, he had one sister, Mary-Kate, who had lived to the age of 106. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Newstalk/GAA

Irish soldiers in the Great War: Tracing your family history in WWI
One hundred years ago, World War One was under way, changing the landscape of families both in the UK and Ireland. No matter what your views of the War are, the fact remains that 150,000 Irish men enlisted to fight in the British Army and 49,000 of those Irish men, many with families, died overseas. Irish volunteers came from all backgrounds and religions, from every county in Ireland, with many enlisting for different reasons. This year, marking the centenary, many people are looking back into their family history to find out what links they have to World War One. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

In pictures: 96 years ago today, WW1 ended
Today marks 96 years since the signing of the First Armistice at Compiégne, the document that effectively ended World War I. It went into effect at 11 am on 11 November 1918, and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although they never technically surrendered. The armistice, named for the forest in which it was signed, led to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which would officially end hostilities in western Europe. To view the gallery, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: AP

Ceremony to mark Armistice Day at Glasnevin Cemetery
Today is Armistice Day, which marks the end of the First World War. Thousands of Irish men fought in the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918. This afternoon, the Annual Armistice Day Commemoration will take place at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin, which will also see the opening of an exhibition on the war. Wreaths will be laid at the Cross of Sacrifice, which has been erected to commemorate those who fought in both World Wars. To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.

New exhibition opens to remember the ‘posh pals’ of WWI
An exhibition to remember 39 players from Lansdowne rugby club who did not return from fighting in the the first World War will open this evening. The so-called posh pals were mostly drawn from the middle class and educated sections of Dublin society. They signed up in their hundreds after a call from the IRFU president Frank Browning in August 1914. Some 300 rugby players answered the call to report to Lansdowne Road in September 1914 to sign up for the war effort. Approximately 130 never came back. For more details, please click Irish Times.

World War One: Belfast soldiers' letters inspire short film
World War letters written by 10 young soldiers from Belfast as they served on the Western Front in early 1918 have inspired a new short film. The soldiers were all members of the Church of Ireland parish of St Mark's, Dundela, in the east of the city. The notes contain the troops' messages of thanks for Christmas parcels sent to the trenches by people of the parish. The letters were discovered almost a century later in a former bishop's residence in the Republic of Ireland. For more details and to view an extract from the new documentary, please click BBC.

Singer Chris De Burgh pays tribute to fallen Irish soldiers of WWI
Singer Chris De Burgh has led the tributes to the fallen Irish soldiers who lost their lives in World War One at a special concert and floral remembrance ceremony. The Wicklow resident opened the ‘Christmas 1914 Concert of Remembrance’ in the Christ Church in Bray last night, where he spoke to the several hundred people in attendance about his family’s involvement in the war. The ‘Lady in Red’ singer spoke movingly about his grandfather, General Eric De Burgh, and his three grand-uncles, who battled on the frontline in the Great War. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Irish brothers in arms: the soldier and the film director
When the Hitchcocks left Ireland in the 1910s they went on very different paths. One, Rex Ingram, became a Hollywood great, directing ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’. The other, Frank Hitchcock, became a distinguished soldier and chronicler of life in the trenches. As the children of a Church of Ireland rector – the redoubtable Francis Ryan Montgomery Hitchcock, Trinity classics scholar and boxing enthusiast – Rex and Frank moved from rectory to rectory before the family settled in Kinnitty, in Co Offaly. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Don't mention the war
They say the past is a foreign country, and to tens of thousands of Irishmen over the past century, it must have felt very foreign indeed. These were the men who, over the course of two world wars, chose to fight for the British military, and whose experiences were subsequently written out of the history of their country. Declan Lawn's grandfather, Liam, was one of them. Growing up, Declan was always aware that his grandfather had served in the RAF during the war, but details of what he did were scant. Like many men of his generation, he chose not to discuss his experiences. For more details, please click BBC.

Thu, Nov 27, 2014

From Bog Land to Turf Fire

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

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

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Links to the latest news from Ireland

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

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

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Inside Ireland

Lie of the Land
by Fintan O’Toole

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


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