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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.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Christy Moore sings final song as Martin McGuinness laid to rest
Irish President Michael D Higgins and his predecessor, Mary McAleese, attended the funeral, as did Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Irish premiers Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen After the service, thousands followed the coffin of Mr McGuinness onward to the republican plot of the City Cemetery. Elected members of Sinn Fein formed a guard of honour as he was carried on his final journey. For more details & video clip, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Cruinniú na Cásca - a day for culture and creativity nationwide
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys (pictured)were joined by RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes today to announce Cruinniú na Cásca, a new national day of culture and creativity, to take place on Easter Monday in every county nationwide, as part of the Creative Ireland programme. Cruinniú na Cásca aims to celebrate culture and creativity in contemporary Irish society through a variety of events. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Dairy-free, gluten-free & certified vegan Baileys unveiled
“We respect vegans and veganism, want to be fully transparent, and offer Irish cream that everyone can enjoy,” Baileys representative Dominic Benigno said. The company also boasts that the Vegan drink has the same amount of calories as the average five-ounce glass of wine. The new and improved vegan drink is currently available in North America. Word on the street/internet is that it teams up perfectly with coconut water. To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Ireland's largest windfarm begins powering 50,000 homes
The farm at Meenadreen in south Donegal, has begun to supply power to homes and businesses across Ireland. It contains 38 turbines and is capable of producing enough electricity to power 50,000 homes. The culmination of years of development work and construction, which started in 2014, it took 26 months to complete. Meenadreen is expected to reduce Ireland’s carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 tonnes each year. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Crystal engineering: Irish universities lead the way
Crystal engineering refers to the design and synthesis of molecular solid-state structures with intended properties. One of the most promising innovations from the field are what’s known as metal organic frameworks (MOFs). “MOFs are a new class of porous materials made by using an approach similar to Lego or Meccano, where building blocks or linkers are made between the organic and inorganic,” explains Prof Mike Zaworotko (pictured), Bernal chair of crystal engineering at the University of Limerick. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit, related story & video clip: University of Limerick

Period home in Monkstown, Dublin on the market for €3.5m
Period homes in the Scots baronial revival style are as sparse as hen's teeth in Ireland, but on Alma Road in Monkstown, Co Dublin, we see an even greater rarity - a set of semi-detached houses both built in the baronial revival format. Such was architect Sir Thomas Drew's attention to craft and detail, it took him eight years to build his own abode - Gortnadrew - which was completed in 1875. Then he finished Gortinore, its near identical twin in 1877. For more details & photos, please click Irish Independent.

LÉ Aisling sells for ‘bargain’ €110k
A Dutch businessman has picked up decommissioned Naval Service ship LÉ Aisling for the bargain basement price of €110,000. The successful bidder was Dick Van Der Kamp, who has run a shipping sales company in Holland for the past 29 years. He viewed the vessel only hours before the auction took place yesterday at the Carrigaline Court Hotel in Co Cork. Mr Van Der Kamp now plans on towing the ship back to his dockyard in the Netherlands. For more details, pics & video clip, please click Irish Examiner.

Watch the moment Reese Witherspoon found out she’s 63% Irish
March, that time of the year when everybody who is anybody pops on a green hat, a bad Irish accent and claim that they indeed are as Irish as the Irish. Although these days, some people have upped their game and decided to take part in DNA genetic testing to prove their heritage once and for all. One of these people just happen to be, Reese Witherspoon. The Hollywood actress recently took the test and discovered she was 63% Irish. She was very excited about her discovery! To watch the video clip, please click Irish Examiner.

Donegal boxer Jason Quigley maintains unbeaten record
Unbeaten Donegal fighter Jason Quigley clinched the North American Boxing Federation middleweight title to earn his 13th straight win. Quigley earned a unanimous points win over Glen Tapia after a tough contest in California. The Ballybofey man, a silver medallist at the world amateur championships in 2013, earned a 100-90, 99-91, 98-92 verdict in Indio. Jason, whose career is being steered by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, is currently ranked 10th by the World Boxing Association. For more details, please click BBC.

Past Two Weeks
March 23
Ireland's longest rope bridge opens in Kerry
First,it hosted Luke Skywalker and Star Wars. Now, Kerry's Skellig Coast has opened its own 'Skywalk' rope bridge. The 112-foot (34m) structure, straddling the River Delligeenagh at Kells Bay House & Gardens, is claimed to be Ireland's longest rope bridge. By contrast, Northern Ireland's Carrick-a-Rede bridge stretches 20m (66 feet). Budding Skywalkers will be able to cross the river 36 feet in the air, once the attraction officially opens to the public this April 8. For more details & photos, please click Irish Independent.

The four richest counties in Ireland
Only four counties in the Republic of Ireland have a disposable income per person greater than the State’s average. They are Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and Kildare. Disposable income includes primary income plus social welfare payments minus taxes and social insurance contributions. The results are contained in figures released by the Central Statistics Office for the year of 2014 and also show that the gap between the richest region and the poorest has widened. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: The English Studio

Life on the road with U2: ‘There were supermodels everywhere’
When a phenomenon like U2 accelerates, it tends to carry others along with it as it steamrolls its way around the globe. While minding her own business and repeating her Leaving Cert in 1987, Suzanne Doyle was plucked from anonymity and taken on tour with the band, a role which kicked off a lifetime working in the music industry, often in the orbit of one of the biggest bands in the world. How she got there in the first place was luck, chance and a Geography teacher. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Rooney Mara shines in The Secret Scripture
In Jim Sheridan's adaptation of Sebastian Barry's novel, Rooney Mara plays the young Protestant woman Roseanne McNulty, neé Clear who flees Belfast bombs during the Second World War. She returns to her home village of Ballytivan in Co Sligo where her aunt Eleanor (Aisling O’Sullivan) takes her on at her Temperance Hotel as a waitress. Pretty, candid and unconventional, Rose is soon turning heads and attracting the attentions of the young men of the village, including the local priest. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Irish schools chosen to speak to astronauts on space station
Students from two Irish schools will make history this year as they become the first in the country to make direct radio contact with the International Space Station (ISS) while in orbit. Pupils from Glanmire Community College and Tallaght Community School will take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which will see Irish students from the schools speaking to Italian astronaut Paulo Nespoli. Due to the uncertain nature of life in space, there is no confirmed date for this cosmic event. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Mural tribute to the heroes of east Belfast unveiled
The Luminaries and Legends mural created by local artist Dee Craig (pictured) on the gable wall of the EastSide Visitor Centre at the junction of the Upper Newtownards Road and Connswater Street features well-known faces and places connected to east Belfast. They include blues legend Sir Van Morrison, Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis, Northern Ireland international footballers George Best and Danny Blanchflower, Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore, and musician David Holmes. To read this news item & many others, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Killeavy Castle to be turned into luxury hotel
A plan to develop a luxury hotel and spa on the slopes of Slieve Gullion in County Armagh is to benefit from a grant of almost £1m from Invest NI. The project will involve the restoration of the Grade A listed Killeavy Castle and its outbuildings. The castle was bought in 2013 by Jaramas Investments NI. The firm is controlled by Mick Boyle (pictured), an Australian with family roots in the Killeavy region. The development is expected to create over 80 new jobs in the area. For more details, please click BBC.

Armagh off-licence flooded with orders for Buckfast Easter eggs
D-Bees, in Lurgan, Co Armagh, took more than 2,000 orders within 24 hours of advertising a special Buckfast Easter egg package, according to owner Derek Brennan. Mr Brennan, who has promoted novel "Bucky" products in the past, said the idea grew out of the shop's "massively successful" Christmas and Valentine's hampers. The package includes a 140g chocolate egg with a miniature 5cl Buckfast bottle as well as a Buckfast-branded pen, lighter and magnet. Mr Brennan said he has 20,000 eggs to sell. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

NI sailor chosen as a skipper for world's largest ocean race
Conall Morrison is one of 12 who will lead a team in the next edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The 35-year-old from Londonderry began sailing on Lough Swilly at the age of 11. He has watched the clipper race fleet arrive into Derry for all previous three editions - and is now going to take a leading role in the 40,000 nautical mile race, which starts in August. "It's always been a dream of mine to circumnavigate the globe," said Conall. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

March 22
Vigils held for Martin McGuinness, RIP
Vigils have been held across the island of Ireland for Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness. His body was returned to his Derry home on Tuesday afternoon. Hundreds of people accompanied the coffin, draped with an Irish tricolour, as it was carried through the Bogside area. The ex-IRA leader turned politician died in Altnagelvin Hospital overnight aged 66. It is understood he had been suffering from a rare heart condition. His funeral will be on Thursday. For more details, please click BBC.

235 new jobs announced across four companies in Dublin, Cork and Galway
The majority of the new roles will be created at Fenergo, a banking software solutions firm, in Dublin. The company said that "due to rapid global expansion" it will increase its global employee base to 500, with 200 new jobs for the Irish capital. Speaking at the jobs announcement event held in its global headquarters in Dublin’s Docklands, CEO Marc Murphy said “I am delighted to announce the creation of 200 new high value jobs for the Irish economy." For more details, please click Irish Mirror.

Stunning timelapse of Northern Lights as seen from Ireland last night
Kathleen Millar recorded this beautiful timelapse video of the Northern Lights in all it's glory in Portballintrae, Co. Antrim last night. The phenomenon, which appears as a result of increased solar activity, meant that Antrim got a glimpse of the celestial light show usually reserved for Nordic countries. The natural wonder, also called the Aurora Borealis, caused quite the stir overnight, with many users on social media in Ireland posting stunning photographs. To watch the time lapse, please click Irish Independent.

Spy novel set in Dublin chosen as this year's One City One Book
Echoland, by Joe Joyce, follows novels such as Dubliners, Dracula and Strumpet City to be chosen for the festival. Now in its 12th year, this year’s chosen book focuses on the Emergency in Dublin during the 1940s during the period of World War Two. While essentially a spy novel telling a story of espionage in a neutral Ireland, Joyce said that the city of Dublin is an integral part of the story. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Irish brothers causing a storm in the US
Three young brothers from Co Donegal are causing a storm in the US with their Irish trad performances in the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando. Luca, Finn and Dempsey also known as The Byrne Brothers performed alongside their father Tommy Byrne in Downtown Disney’s Raglan Road pub for St. Patrick’s Day. "We've just finished two weeks of shows in Orlando and every day the Americans went crazy for us," Tommy said. The boys are doing an interactive show with Irish trad music, Irish dancing and even seven-year-old Dempsey can rap the Rattlin Bog. For more details, pics & video clip, please click Irish Independent.

Still feeling chipper at 103
One of Northern Ireland's oldest men - John McGeown - celebrated his 103rd birthday yesterday by tucking into a fish supper at a famous Belfast chippy that's the same age as him. Mr McGeown, who was given a bus tour of Belfast as a birthday treat, attributed his longevity to "clean living". "I've never had a drink or a cigarette," said the ex-showband musician as he enjoyed his favourite meal at John Long's restaurant in Athol Street. For more details & pics, please click Belfast Telegraph.

'Soggy moggy' rescued from River Liffey
Dublin Fire Brigade teamed up with the Dublin SPCA to rescue a very unhappy cat from the River Liffy this morning. Units from Tara Street station came to the cat's aid and it was taken from the river at Burgh Quay. The fire brigade shared the story on Twitter, and added that the 'soggy moggy' was placed into a carrier while being removed from the water. The 'feisty feline' is now being looked after by the DSPCA. To watch the video clip, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Irish skiers claim four medals at Special Olympics
Team Ireland secured their first medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria on Tuesday.bCyril Walker from Co Armagh took bronze in the Giant Slalom Novice finals, while 16-year-old Laoise Kenny from Dublin secured 4th place. “It’s the best day of her life,” said Laoise’s dad Austin. “She cut her bends really well, picked up speed along the course and some good pole work helped her to improve her time at the end.” For more details, please click Irish Times.

Irish-language GAA clubs hoping to help revive the language
“There are thousands of people coming out of the education system every year, fluent in Irish”, according Daithí de Buitléir, a member of Na Gaeil Óga in Dublin. “The problem is that there’s nowhere for them to speak it.” Na Gaeil Óga are a Dublin GAA club, based in Lucan, that operate solely through Irish, from training sessions to matches to team nights out.For more details, pic and video clip, please click Journal Ireland.

March 21
Martin McGuinness, RIP
Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister, has died aged 66. It is understood he had been suffering from a rare heart condition. The former IRA leader turned peacemaker worked at the heart of the power-sharing government following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He became deputy first minister in 2007, standing alongside Democratic Unionist Party leaders Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster. For more details, pics & video clip, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Independent
Photo Credit: Pail Faith/PA

Five hundred jobs to be created with development of Bolands Quay
Around 500 construction jobs will be created following the selection of BAM Ireland as the builders of the new Bolands Quay development in Dublin. The development will eventually have around 400,000 square foot of office space in three separate buildings. The development will also involve the restoration of a number of protected mill buildings and the creation of a new plaza at Grand Canal Dock. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Business World Ireland

The world's happiest countries - where does Ireland rank?
Ireland has ranked 15th in the list of the happiest countries in the world. The World Happiness Report 2017 – published by the United Nations today as part of the International Day of Happiness – ranked Ireland ahead of the United Kingdom (19) and just behind the United States (14). Under the report heading ‘Social Foundations of Resilience’ the report remarked on how Ireland’s happiness levels have remained fairly constant, even during harsh economic times. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Leah Farrell/

The Táin by Thomas Kinsella: A beautiful rigour
Thomas Kinsella is a poet of great restraint and intensity. Much of his poetry is forged by an intelligence and a philosophical exactness, never avoiding the long arc of history nor the anabasis of the self, that epic journey from the coast to the interior of the human experience begun with Nightwalker and continuing, with a late renewal of vigour and intensity which has not abated. Even in his early traditional verses, formal and elegant, there is no forcing. To read this review, please click Irish Times.

Limerick man world's youngest self-made billionaire
Irish entrepreneur John Collison has been named the world’s youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes. John, 26, and his brother Patrick, 28, co-founded Stripe, an online payment processing service. Forbes estimates that the savvy siblings are each worth around €1.02 billion after their firm raised around €8.57 billion in 2016. Just days after St Patrick’ Day it seems there’s a lot of pots of gold going around as eight Irish people were listed as billionaires on the prestigious list. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.
Photo Credit: Brian Ach/Getty Images

Colin Farrell to play Oliver North in story of US arms scandal
Colin Farrell is reuniting with The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos for a new series about former US Marines Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver North and the Iran-Contra arms scandal of the 1980s. Entertainment trade publication Variety, which first reported the story, says Farrell will portray North in the as-yet-untitled Amazon series, which will chronicle how US officials facilitated the secret sale of arms to Iran in the 1980s. Iran was under an arms embargo at the time. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Here’s what the world's biggest lottery jackpots could buy you in Ireland
Ever find yourself slowly drifting away from your desk to your home on a porcelain-coloured beach in the Seychelles? If you’d like that dream to become a reality, you’re going to need to win a very big lottery indeed. Like the EuroMillions or the US PowerBall, which together currently have a combined jackpot of €169 million – a level of wealth that not many of us can truly fathom. For this very reason, here are a few unusual ways to spend your winnings, including 23 pints for everyone in Dublin. For more on this story please click Irish Journal.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Waraporn Chokchaiworarat

'No alcohol, cigarettes or husbands' are the keys to long life
She has lived through the 1916 Rising and was alive before the Titanic was built - but Dublin's oldest citizen still sings Molly Malone with as much verve as ever, at the impressive age of 105. Susan Jackson, from Maryland in the Liberties, has still not grown tired of blowing out candles and even had a special celebration at the Mansion House with Dublin's first citizen, Lord Mayor Brendan Carr. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

See what happens when Tipperary boy climbs into toy machine
A mischievous Tipperary boy became trapped in a toy machine at his local play centre after climbing inside to try and get his hands on a teddy. Jamie Bracken-Murphy was disappointed not to win a toy and decided to climb inside in order to get his loot. Unfortunately, he found himself trapped behind the glass, unable to get out. Luckily for Jamie, an off-duty fireman happened to be in the play centre at the time and came to the little boy's rescue. To watch the video, please click Irish Independent.

March 20
Irish writer Sally Rooney shortlisted for £30,000 story prize
Young Irish author Sally Rooney, whose debut novel Conversations with Friends will be published by Faber in June, has made the shortlist for the £30,000 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, along with four American writers and one British author. At £30,000 for the winner, this is the world’s richest and most prestigious prize for an English-language single short story; previous winners include Ireland's Kevin Barry in 2012. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Dublin-based technology company to hire 250 new staff
The global headquarters of technology company eShop World is being officially opened in Swords today as the company announces plans to hire 250 new staff over the next three years. Founded by Tommy Kelly pictured, the company was launched in Dublin in 2010 with six staff. It currently employs 150 staff mainly in Swords but also in Newry, the US, Singapore and the Netherlands. eShopWorld says it has already started recruiting to fill these full-time, highly skilled roles. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ

A food revolution in Ireland
Soda bread is a traditional taste of Ireland -- one that graced many a table this past St. Patrick’s Day. But, here’s a loaded question: If you hear “Irish cuisine,” do you automatically think, “You’re kidding, right?” Well, live and learn. “I think a lot of people still think we live on corned beef and cabbage here in Ireland, but gradually the word is getting out,” said Darina Allen. The word is, Ireland is producing food so good that it’s become a food destination. For more details & pics, please click CBS.

People who eat more cheese are thinner, Irish study shows
A new study has found that cheese is in fact better for us than previously accepted - or at least not as bad. The research from University College Dublin has concluded that people who eat a lot of cheese are thinner than those who don’t, and it doesn’t actually raise cholesterol levels. Scientists studied the impact of eating dairy products - milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and cream - on 1,500 people aged between 18 and 90. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: BathKnight

€500k St Patrick's Day EuroMillions Plus ticket sold in Carlow
There were no winners of the St Patrick's Day EuroMillions draw worth an eye-watering €17 million. But one Irish person did strike it rich when their numbers were drawn in the EuroMillions Plus. The ticket holder has scooped a life-changing €500,000 after matching the winning numbers 01, 04, 10, 20 and 28. Lotto bosses say the winning Quick Pick ticket was sold at O'Reilly Stores in Moffat Street in Hacketstown, Co Carlow on the night of the draw. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.

Susan Sarandon wished for romance with 'perfect' Liam Neeson
Susan Sarandan has described Liam Neeson as the "perfect man" and wished the rumours that the pair were dating were true. Last year, Neeson had fans in a tizzy over the identity of an "incredibly famous" woman he said he was dating, before revealing that it was a joke. Sarandon was among the famous names linked to the star and she has now said it was "possibly the best" rumour that has ever been written about her throughout her career. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Revealed: The best town to live in Northern Ireland
According to the Sunday Times, it's the seaside town of Ballycastle which often features on the best places to live list and also came out on top in last year's guide. Portstewart, Rostrevor, Enniskillen, south Belfast and Cultra had made the Sunday Times shortlist this year. The annual supplements combine data and statistics such as crime rates, house prices and school performance, with the input of Sunday Times writers. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

"Spaghetti Junction" Irish workers identified
An appeal to identify Irish construction workers from a photograph at one of England's best-known motorway junctions has ended in success. The Birmingham Irish Association has identified all 24 men who worked on Spaghetti Junction in 1972. "We had people contacting us about the Spaghetti Junction photograph the world over, from Australia and America," said Yvonne Price, behind the project. Their stories are now being told in an exhibition in the city. For more details, please click BBC.

Octogenerian wins gold at Community Games awards
Lily Kavanagh from Co Wicklow, has dedicated her life to sports and cultural activities. Now she has been honoured with a Golden Jubilee Volunteer Award, in a ceremony attended by legendary RTÉ commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Mrs Kavanagh said "every volunteer there deserved it" as she picked up the award. With the help of friends, she staged the first athletics finals in Bray in 1973. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Tony Gavin

March 19
One of Mercury’s most prominent features named as Gaeilge
Dr Paul Byrne, a an Irish planetary scientist based in the US, said he was so excited that the International Astronomical Union (IAU) had approved his proposal to name a large lava plain on the planet as Mearcair Planitia. “To get this news in St Patrick’s week was absolutely brilliant,” he said. Mearcair is the Irish word for Mercury, while Planitia is the Latin term for a plain. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: NASA

How Donegal refuge of Garbo and Chaplin was left to Ireland
The extraordinary story of how an American millionaire bequeathed a magnificent castle and stunning gardens to the nation has been told in a fascinating new documentary. Henry McIlhenny: Master of Glenveagh reveals that the philanthropist was motivated by a sense of atonement, after hearing of the evictions that took place for the estate to be built a century before. The former US Navy officer fell in love with Glenveagh Castle while visiting a friend before World War II. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

An iconic Dublin building takes a trip down memory lane
The Custom House Visitor's Centre is once again open to members of the public. The re-opening of the centre last Thursday is part of a longer term project to provide public access to one of Dublin’s most iconic buildings. Custom House was designed by renowned architect James Gandon and was completed in 1791 after a 10-year construction period and, as part of the Decade of Centenaries, an exhibition running at the centre describes events in the building during Easter Week 1916. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Globe-trotting Irishman visits 'every country in the world'
Johnny Ward from Northern Ireland has spent the last 10 years visiting every country on the planet. Although he started out with little or no cash, he made himself rich along the way and claims to have earned more than $1.5m (£1.2m) from a travel blog. But it wasn't one long beach-hopping holiday - the blog recounts his path through war-torn states, no-fly zones, and pirate-controlled seas. For more details & pics, please click BBC.

The most expensive hotel sold in Ireland last year
A record one for hotel deals, as several big-ticket sales materialised towards the end of 2016. According to research from Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial partner in Ireland for Sherry FitzGerald, 51 Irish hotels worth over €720 million changed hands. The biggest deal was sale of the four-star DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, formerly called the Burlington, in south Dublin. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Double Tree by Hilton

Saga begins as first of 65 cruise liners to arrive in Cobh
Saga Cruises’ MV Saga Pearl 2 will be the first cruise ship of the season to arrive in Cork tomorrow, with a further 64 ships, containing 160,000 passengers and crew, set to follow in her wake. Last year Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise review site and online cruise community, announced the winners of its inaugural cruisers’ choice awards with Cobh ranked second favourite cruise destination in the British Isles and western Europe. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Why Irish people plant their spuds around St Paddy’s Day
Michael Kelly writes "It seems appropriate to have a bit of a chat about potatoes what with it being St Patrick’s Day weekend and all. Traditionally, Irish people put their spuds in the ground on or around St Patrick’s Day, believing it to be an auspicious day on which to do so. We have somewhat of a pre-parade tradition in the Kelly household of sowing spuds with the children. Since it’s always the first outside sowing I do each year, it’s always exciting after a long winter hibernation." For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/TwilightArtPictures

Six Nations 2017: Ireland 13-9 England
Ireland wrecked England's Grand Slam dream and ended their world record run of victories with a dramatic win at a rejoicing Aviva Stadium. The home side overwhelmed the Six Nations champions with their intensity and physicality, just as they had in Slam deciders in 2011 and 2001. In the process they also halted England's winning run at a record 18 Tests, leaving them level with New Zealand, who were also beaten by Ireland to bring to an end their record run back in November. For more details & video clip, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & related Story: Irish Independent/Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Limerick man Andy Lee earns unanimous decision
Andy Lee has won his 39th professional bout against Alabama middleweight KeAndrae Leatherwood at Madison Square Garden. Less than 24 hours after Michael Conlan made a victorious debut at the same venue’s Theater arena. Limerick native Lee claimed a unanimous points win after a cagey and fairly unexciting fight in New York. It was by no means a poor performance from the Irishman, but it was certainly not overly impressive. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/INPHO

March 18
St Patrick's Day events around the world
Festivities in the Republic of Ireland included a parade in Dublin, while thousands lined Manhattan's Fifth Avenue for New York's annual parade. In London, the Duchess of Cambridge sipped a pint of Guinness after watching a parade of the Irish Guards with Prince William. And, many landmarks around the world were illuminated with green lighting overnight, as part of Tourism Ireland's global greening project. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Video Clip: BelfastTelegraph
Photo Galleries: Breaking News Ireland

Begorrah! The Best and Worst of Oirish Movie Accents
The Emerald Isle has always been well represented on the big screen, though maybe not best served when it comes to the tricky Irish accent. To be sure, to be sure if there is one thing da stars can’t seem to get right it’s the 'aul Irish brogue. Begosh and, indeed, begorrah, by far and away, the worst is Tom Cruise. If ye can bear to listen to a pile-up at Oirish cliché central, please click RTÉ. For more details & video clips, please click RTÉ.

The daftest Tripadvisor reviews about Ireland
As tourists flood in from around the world to join in the St Patrick's Day celebrations, it seems some past visitors were a bit unenthused by the sights or maybe should have read a guidebook before going. A choice example from a Tripadvisor reviewer about the Book of Kells: "Who really wants to see an old book. Yeah, it's an old book. Yeah it's a nice library.. Is it worth the price? Absolutely not." To read more comments, please click RTÉ.

The business behind the one-day-a-year shamrock industry
When people think of shamrocks sprouting, the first image to come to mind might be an outcrop in some rain-swept rural landscape. But it's more likely to have been grown from a hydroponic gel in a greenhouse than any muddy glen. Some 20 years ago, a group of Irish farmers pooled their resources to create the modern shamrock-growing industry after attending a Teagasc workshop about how to grow the iconic Irish symbol. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Irish stars set to rise in 2017
As we celebrate all things Irish this St Patrick's Day, RTÉ shines a light on the Irish stars of tomorrow in film, television, music, fashion, social media, theatre and literature. They include Seána Kerslake: What a difference a year makes. Last March the name Seána Kerslake wasn't ringing bells with too many people but how things have changed come 2017. For a newcomer to get one brilliant breakout role is really something, to have two, well... For more details, please click RTÉ.

Having a whale of time filming wildlife
Rowing a small wooden boat as sharks swim beneath you is not everyone's idea of fun, but it is all in a day's work for cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson. He got up close and personal with basking sharks and majestic humpback whales as he paddled along Ireland's wild Atlantic shoreline. The Emmy-award winning programme-maker travels the coast from Kerry to Antrim for a new BBC Northern Ireland TV show - Wild Ireland: The Edge of The World . For more details and photos, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Nick Massett

Inside Dublin's €11 million new Jameson Distillery experience
Dublin's Jameson Distillery has re-opened in Smithfield following an €11 million refurbishment. Its multi-million euro reboot combines traditional whiskey tastings with "state-of-the-art storytelling techniques" led by BRC Imagination Arts, an experience design outfit that has worked with World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. For more details, video clip and photo gallery, please click Irish Independent.

Dublin's senior hurling team win the All-Ireland club final
Thousands of ecstatic fans thronged the streets of Dalkey late last night as the victorious team made the short journey from Croke Park. Delighted Cuala club coach Ken Fitzpatrick said the team had grown from a "community within a community" and sport was the glue that held them together. "I've a lump in my throat, I'd never seen anything like it. Especially on St Patrick's Day, where you should see green, and it's just all red and white," said Cuala's vice-chairman Damian McKeown. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Justin Farrelly

Michael Conlan delivers first professional win
Michael Conlan made a victorious debut at Madison Square Garden’s Theater Arena, recording a third-round stoppage over American Tim Ibarra. Referee Benjy Esteves Jr stepped in at 59 seconds of the third round as Conlan teed off on his 26-year-old opponent, who did not offer any defence when trapped on the ropes. The Belfast native attracted a sizeable crowd to the famous fight venue’s Theater with a 5,102 sell-out crowd present. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II

March 17
President Michael D Higgins' annual St Patrick’s Day message
It begins: "On this St Patrick’s Day 2017 may I, on this special day for the Irish at home and abroad, send my warmest greetings as Uachtarán na hÉireann President of Ireland to Irish people, wherever they may be, and in whatever circumstance, and greetings too to all those who are joining us in celebrating our National Day and our rich cultural heritage. To read the president's day message in full, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Breaking News Ireland

Five Irish traditions that will always be relevant
It’s the time of year when time-old traditions are unearthed and celebrated once again. We Irish hold certain values particularly close to our hearts, whether it’s the healing powers of a cup of tea or saying our prayers for good weather. Here are just some of our favourite, inescapably Irish traditions including beginning every conversation - regardless of who it’s with - with an analysis of the weather. For more details, pics & video clips, please click RTÉ.

Dear World, it’s Paddy’s day not Patty’s day
Before we begin the celebrations of the best day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day - we, on behalf of the Irish nation, have a message for the world. As much as we appreciate you joining in on the celebrations of our national holiday and celebrating everything that is Irish, we regret to inform you that it is called Paddy’s Day and NOT Patty’s Day. Don’t worry, Ireland's favourite cartoonist, Twisted Doodles has made a helpful guide on the difference. To view the guide, please click Breaking News Ireland.

St Patrick’s Day Quiz: 17 questions to test your Irishness
The Taoiseach has announced a referendum will be held on extending voting rights in presidential elections to the Irish abroad. But Minister for the Diaspora Joe McHugh has warned, figuring out who is potentially eligible to vote would be a “massive piece of work”. In the interest of expediting the process, here are 17 scientifically robust and deadly serious questions we might consider posing to the non-resident Irish, to help determine whether their claim to citizenship is genuine. To take the quiz, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Dara Mac Donaill

See how St Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world
While St Patrick's Day is very much an Irish holiday, it would be remiss to think it is not a global celebration. From Dublin to Savannah, Georgia (where the celebrations are some of the biggest in the world) St Paddy's Day is taken very seriously by those with Irish heritage.This hand interactive graphic, sent in by Claddagh Rings, shows just some of the festivities that will be taking place this March 17. For more details,please click Breaking News Ireland.

Did you know St Patrick had a wife?
Ireland's patron saint has long been associated with snakes and shamrocks but the fact that he had a wife has been lost to history. Folklorist Shane Lehane of the Department of Folklore in UCC says that March 17 celebrations were extended by a day to honour Patrick's "other half". Mr Lehane says that the antiquarian journals and newspapers from the 18th and 19th century were very open to the idea that St Patrick was a married man. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: TripFreakZ

Looking back at Dublin's old St Patrick's Day parades
Ireland has seen just about every type of St Patrick’s Day parade - from a small village affair with tractors, trucks and animals, to the fanfare of international celebration, complete with massive floats and the greening of iconic landmarks. Indeed, St Patrick’s Day parades have changed a lot over the years. Here’s a look back at some of those parades held in Dublin City, with thanks to Dublin City Council’s newly launched archive. To view the gallery, please click Journal Ireland.

Pop-Up Gaeltacht: the most Irish thing that will happen this week?
If you’re Irish or just in the know, you’re aware that the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland actually take place on March 16th as most of us have our national holiday off work. This year, you may have noticed that Paddy’s Day takes place on a Friday, does this mean the 16th is out this year? No, turns out there is something more Irish than St. Patrick himself taking place instead - the pop-up Gaeltacht. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Walsh and Mullins clean up at Cheltenham
This time yesterday all the talk was about a changing of the guard in Irish racing as Gordon Elliott claimed his fifth Cheltenham Festival winner and Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh were left scratching their heads after an underwhelming performance from Douvan. It summed up a frustrating opening two days for the Prestbury Park kingpins but order has been restored as the pair have teamed up for four wins. For more details, lease click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

March 16
Taoiseach Enda Kenny in talks with US Vice President
Enda Kenny has held a breakfast meeting with Mike Pence ahead of his first face-to-face encounter with the US president. The Taoiseach joined Mr Pence at his Washington residence for early-morning talks. He will travel to the White House later today for a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. Mr Kenny will then be guest at Speaker Paul Ryan's traditional St Patrick's lunch on Capitol Hill before returning to the White House for his annual presentation of a bowl of shamrock to the president. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: VP Pence
Related Video Clip: Journal Ireland

Record numbers jetting in for St Patrick's Day
Bookings for Aer Lingus flights from North America are up one third on March 17 compared to the same day last year, according to the airline. Cities such as Boston and New York are driving the numbers, but there has been a significant increase from others like Orlando and Chicago. Dublin Airport itself is set to welcome over 376,000 passengers over the festive period - including English rugby fans for the final clash of the Six Nations. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Oscar Wilde’s former Bray home on sale for €2.2m
A Bray hotel built by the parents of Oscar Wilde and inherited by the renowned playwright in 1876 is for sale at €2.2 million through agent Cushman & Wakefield. Sir William and Lady Jane Wilde built, circa 1850, the fine seafront house (then called Elsinore) on Esplanade Terrace that was later to become the Strand Hotel & Bar. They used it as a holiday home while keeping their main residence in a fine townhouse on Merrion Square. For more details & Pics, please click Irish Times.

Portrait of Graham Norton unveiled in the National Gallery
Over the last year, Sky Arts has been running an international competition to find the Portrait Artist of the Year. Belfast man Gareth Reid was victorious – and the prize was an €11,000 commission to paint Graham Norton for the National Gallery of Ireland. Today it was unveiled to the public. And in a rather unlikely turn of events, the artist realised he was Graham’s third cousin only after he had sat for the portrait. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Royal Irish Academy elects new President
Professor Michael Peter Kennedy has been elected as the 56th President of the Royal Irish Academy. The He is the first president from University College Cork. Professor Kennedy succeeds Professor Mary E. Daly who was elected as the Academy's first female President in 2014. Royal Irish Academy, established in 1785, is Ireland's leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities. To read this news item, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Jobless Monaghan man wins €200k on scratch card
It was a spectacular day for one young couple who claimed €200k on a scratch card in the National Lottery this morning. The speechless young couple, who bought the lucky All Cash Spectacular Game scratch card last Saturday afternoon, didn’t think to scratch the card until the following day when they were at a party surrounded by friends and family. I was sitting on the couch when I remembered I had picked up three scratch cards the day before," said the lucky boyfriend. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Against the odds, Cistercian College Roscrea to remain open
That's because the trustees of the historic boarding school voted in favour of a rescue package put together by parents and past-pupils. The decision was made by the Cistercian Order, led by Abbot Dom Richard Purcell, after an intensive campaign led by a specially-formed action group which concentrated on coming up with funding to plug an operating shortfall as well as new ideas to boost pupil numbers. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & related Story: RTÉ.

Tyrone woman wins best best dressed lady competition at Cheltenham
The sartorial showdown was won by Una O'Farrell Feeney from Tyrone who was not at all comfortable being the centre of attention. "It's funny because I went to New York to get married and there was only 10 people there because I don't like people looking at me and there's a lot more people looking at me now," she said. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit: Damien Eagers

March 15
A Canada café has apologised for THAT awful pint of Guinness
Such was the uproar that Railway Cafe issued an apology for their disgraceful pint pulling: " make up for the blasphemous pour depicted in the photo, we’ve poured another pint that we hope is worthy of Ireland. In true Canadian fashion, we'd like to apologize, so we’re inviting anyone of age with a valid Irish passport to join us this Friday, St. Patrick’s Day, for a perfectly poured Guinness and a shot of Jameson." For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Biochemist and statistician awarded St Patrick's Day Science Medals
The Irish founder of animal nutrition company Alltech and an Irish statistician and sociologist have both been awarded this year's St Patrick's Day Science Medal. Dr Pearse Lyons and Professor Adrian Raftery are receiving the Science Foundation Ireland sponsored accolade in recognition of their significant contribution to academia and industry. The medals are being presented by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a ceremony at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Early handout of shamrocks for the Royal Irish Regiment
Lisburn's Thiepval Barracks reverberated to the sound of pipes yesterday as soldiers from the 2nd Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment celebrated an early St Patrick's Day. The celebration, which saw over 250 reservists assemble at the Army HQ, was brought forward so that it did not conflict with the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment's St Patrick's Day parade in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for Co Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie OBE, inspected the soldiers and assisted with the formal presentation of the shamrocks. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Ireland now: the books that define a nation
A Minister, a historian and 13 Irish writers select the modern works that capture for them the state of the country. Anne Enright chose The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan. She says "The Spinning Heart gives us a kaleidoscopic view of rural and small-town Ireland in the years after the economic crash. Donal Ryan knows everything about his characters: not just their hopes, dreams and disappointments, but also the numbers on their payslips and social security cheques." For more details, please click Irish Times.

Stunning footage reveals Donegal's secret Pool of Tranquility
The video, captured by local adventurer Iain Miller of Unique Ascent (, reveals an extraordinary 'lake beneath a lake' on Owey. It is believe to be the first footage ever shared publicly from the cave. Owey Island is located some 500m beyond the northern tip of Cruit Island, off the coast of western Donegal. It is inhabited only during summer. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Cheapest house for sale in Northern Ireland
Belfast's cheapest home could be yours for just £20,000. For around the same cost as a new car, the east Belfast property is within walking distance of Connswater Shopping Centre and just a few steps from the popular Belmont Road with its eateries and shops. It is also less than two miles from City Hall. Based in the east Belfast suburb of Strandtown, the house at Parkgate Avenue is currently derelict with its windows and door bricked up - but could still be a good investment for a handy cash buyer. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit: Property Pal

Art show winner set to put chat show host in National Gallery
Gareth Reid has won a career-enhancing commission to paint chat show host Graham Norton, with the end product to hang in the National Gallery of Ireland. The newly crowned Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, who stepped up to his easel and beat 54 other artists to win a £10,000 (€11,500) prize, discovered through the show that he is actually related to his subject. After meeting Mr Norton for the first time, he found they share family from Ballymena. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Elvis impersonator shakes things up at Co Derry church
An Elvis impersonator was invited to entertain church goers with some hip shakes, grinding and gyrating and all in the name of the Lord. The pop-rock bonanza was held at St Canice’s Church, Eglinton, Co Derry. In the sermon, the Pastor also spoke about the religious significance in some of Elvis’s songs. The entertaining service is thought to be the first ever of its kind. To watch the video, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Belfast Telegraph

Teenager from from Dingle gets Irish off to a flier at Cheltenham
17-year-old Jack Kennedy on Labaik won the first race of the week, the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle. Trained by Gordon Elliott, the grey six-year-old was a 50-1 shot this morning and went off at 25-1. “Words can’t describe what it’s like,” Kennedy said. “I was probably a little bit far back but they went a good gallop. It couldn’t have gone any better.” It’s brilliant, it’s great. I’m over the moon with it. I’ll be going home a very happy lad …"For more details, pics & video clips, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Independent UK

March 14
Bishop Eamonn Casey, RIP
President Michael D Higgins has led the tributes to former Bishop of Galway and Kerry. The President said that he “heard with sadness” of the death this afternoon. “There will be many who will remember his work on homelessness and housing with the Irish emigrant community in Britain,” President Higgins said. Trócaire have also paid tribute to Casey for the work he did on the charity’s behalf as their first ever chairperson. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Examiner/Don Monagle

Taoiseach continues St Patrick's Day trip despite 'Storm Stella'
The Taoiseach's St Patrick's Day trip to the USA continues today despite 'Storm Stella'. The damaging storm is forecast to hit north-eastern America with the potential to cause heavy snow, high winds and flooding, affecting up to 50 million people. Thousands of flights have already been cancelled however Enda Kenny's delegation has made it to Washington, earlier than planned. Aer Lingus says its been forced to cancel many flights.T o read this news item, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Journal Ireland/Enda Kenny teaches US reporter how to pronounce 'Taoiseach'

Meet the man behind the crystal bowl to be presented to US president
The bowl was created by master craftsman Eamonn Terry (pictured), owner and founder of Criostal na Rinne, who was commissioned by the Taoiseach’s office. Terry designed and cut the crystal bowl with a scalloped top to show the brilliance and shine of the crystal; the main pattern is a series of deep intersecting trinity knots, while polished shamrocks are engraved into panels on the bowl. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
hoto Credit: Marcin Lewandowski via

Inside the Guinness Storehouse & Airbnb Gravity Bar bedroom
Airbnb and the Guinness Storehouse have teamed up to offer two lucky guests a VIP night at St. James's Gate. After years teaching visitors how to pull the perfect pint, the Guinness Storehouse looks set to pull off the perfect overnight stay in Dublin. For one night only, the iconic Gravity Bar will be transformed into 'Ireland's most exclusive bedroom' - loft-style, Toucan-themed accommodation for two, complete with your very own tasting bar and butler. For more details, pics and video clip, please click Irish Independent.

Most people agree with the Angelus being broadcast on TV and radio
That's according to the latest Amárach Research poll for Claire Byrne Live. Six in 10 (62%) of the people polled agreed with the Angelus being broadcast, while 27% didn’t and 11% were unsure. Over 1,000 adults were asked their thoughts on the issue. People were also asked if they believed that Irish citizens living outside the Republic should be entitled to vote in Irish elections. Half (53%) said Yes, while 37% said No and 10% were unsure. To read this news items, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Lovin Dublin

Major's pride as Royal Irish train Afghan soldiers
As the Ulster soldiers reach the half way point of their six month tour in Kabul, Major Graham Rainey, commanding officer of D Company, said they have made impressive progress in their mission. In December the Royal Irish took over duties as the Kabul Protection Unit, providing security, training and support for their partners and allies in Afghanistan. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Get kitted out for St Patrick's Day with an outrageous Shamrock suit
Is there a better way to celebrate St Patrick's Day then dressing up in green and strutting your stuff around the parade? Well if there is we haven't heard of it, although Irish company may offer a slight alteration to this tried and tested ritual. The last date to order in time for St Patrick's Day is March 14, so if you want one of these bad boys, you better be quick! For more details, video clip & pics, please click Irish Examiner.

Cork named Ireland’s favourite food county
Covering all things Irish from food products to farmer’s markets, the Love Irish Food Favourites Survey received a total of 2150 votes across 10 categories. The new survey carried out by 'Love Irish Food' also shows that Cork pipped Dublin to the post as Ireland's favourite food county with Wexford coming in third. Meanwhile, Bord Bia’s Bloom was voted Ireland’s Favourite Food Festival with Taste of Dublin and Electric Picnic tied for second. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: Pinterest/Paul Johnson

Team Ireland departs for Special Olympics World Winter Games
The 26 members of Team Ireland have departed for the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. The delegation, which includes six skiers and two floorball teams, is Ireland's biggest ever representation at a World Winter Games. The youngest member of the team, 13-year-old Caolan McConville from Co Antrim (pictured) , only skied on snow for the first time earlier this year. For more details, please click RTÉ.

March 13
Tourism Ireland video celebrates all things Irish
In anticipation of St Patrick's Day this Friday, Tourism Ireland have released a short clip celebrating the beauty of Ireland and it will make anyone with irish roots proud. From rugged cliff edges, to green fields with little stone cottages, the intricate connection of the Irish landscape to the natural world is prominent and he Irish love of nature, music and the craic is beautifully captured througout. To watch it, please click Irish Examiner.

Village set to claim sixth world record for shortest parade
Showband singer Big Tom McBride (pictured) will lead locals in Oram near Castleblayney in Co Monaghan on St Patrick's Day. The event involves a four-minute march of a few hundred yards from a shop to the centre off the main Newtownhamilton-Castleblayney Road. The parade attracts hundreds of revellers from both sides of the border for a fun-filled day in the village sports centre. Big Tom said “We may do things differently here but we always do them better.” For more details, please click Irish Mirror.

Why Irish food is finally worth travelling for
In the past, the notion of 'Irish cuisine' would have had tourists choking on their bacon and cabbage. Today, there are Michelin-star restaurants in Belfast, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny and Waterford. Galway's Food on the Edge symposium attracts rock-star chefs like Massimo Bottura and Virgilio Martínez Véliz. Food festivals are 10 a penny; and Irish food and craft drinks have the word-of-mouth momentum once reserved for the céad míle fáilte. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Paddy Moloney: Chieftain
In a series of intimate interviews, specially-recorded performances and previously unseen archive footage, Moloney reflects for the first time on his own personal journey, and the music, the people and the events that shaped it, from performing in front of more than one million people at the historic papal mass in Phoenix Park in 1979 to becoming the first act from the West to perform on the Great Wall of China in 1983. For more details and video clips, please click RTÉ.

Children’s Books Ireland shortlist announced
The shortlist for the 27th CBI Book of the Year Awards was revealed today at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, featuring former winner Chris Haughton (pictured), last year’s Eilís Dillon award winners Fatti and John Burke and former Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer among the 10 contenders. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on May 23rd at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre. Founded in 1990, the CBI Book of the Year Awards are the leading children’s book awards in Ireland. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ed Sheeran to make guest appearance in Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones producers have confirmed Ed Sheeran will make a cameo appearance in the seventh series of the show. Speaking at the SXSW film festival in Texas, David Benioff and Dan Weiss said they'd been trying to book him for a while. Ed also confirmed the news as reports started to appear online by tweeting "guess the cat's out the bag". It's not clear what role he'll have in the show. For more details, please click BBC.

Co Down teenager wows judges with double win at Crufts
On Saturday 16-year-old Scarlett Burnside from Saintfield came first in the international junior handling finals. Making the achievement even more remarkable was the fact she only met the dog she was competing with that morning, a pointer named Babs. Yesterday she picked up her second win in the own breed junior male class category with her Alaskan Malamute Ethan. For more details & pics, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Irish tot wows during Paris Fashion Week
She may be only three years old but little Allie Farrell from Dundalk, Co Louth, has been attracting the attention of numerous Irish, UK and American designers and has already achieved what millions of girls around the world dream of as she took to the runway during Paris Fashion Week last weekend. Allie attended the glitzy and glamorous fashion show with her mother Stacey having been asked to model a range of children’s clothes by UK designer Debbie Holden. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.

Classic home in Blackrock, Cork, on market for €1.5m
here’s a certain magic to Montana, a detached 1920s home new to market on an equally magic one acre of gardens, along Cork city’s Blackrock Road. It was the family home of the late Kevin Callaghan ‘Cal’ Condon, a plastic surgery specialist who was born 90 years ago and who moved back to Cork from a spell in Tralee in the early 1970s. All the while since, it’s been a cherished and well-tended four-bedroomed ever-accommodating home, made in the 1920s of good stuff, with polished brasses, excellent fireplaces and fine features. For more details, pics & video clip, please click Irish Examiner.

March 12
Pope hints at possible ordination of married men
Pope Francis has said he may consider ordaining married men - under very specific circumstances - to address the shortage of Catholic priests. "We have to give a thought to whether viri probati are a possibility," he told German newspaper Der Zeit, his words translated by Reuters. Such men, he said, could possibly work in isolated areas. The Latin phrase viri probati is used to refer to married men of strong faith, who are often older with grown children. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The untold stories of what Irish people have given the world
A new book released to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day collects some of the amazing feats and inventions of our compatriots over the last few centuries. The book is called ‘What have the Irish ever done for us?’ and tells the stories of about 50 Irishmen and Irishwomen who in many cases don’t get the credit they deserve. Did you know, for example, an Irish man is responsible for turning steam power into electricity? For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Watch Chicago river turn green for St. Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day is on March 17, so why are they starting celebrations early? Well, in Chicago, the Irish-themed frivolities always begin on a Saturday including three different parades. Interestingly, since the tradition began in 1962, the same two families have spread the dye in the river to begin the weekend-long festivities, passing the honour down the generations. To read this news item and watch the video, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Ten reasons Ed Sheeran is an honorary Irishman
Among them, besides being as ginger as they come, is the fact that his grandparents hail from Gorey in Co. Wexford (Nancy Mulligan is in fact his Nan) while his Galway cousin Laura Sheeran is also a musician. He plays the bodhrán; he wants to live in Ireland some day; he was the guest of honour at Laura's wedding in Spiddal; he is always modest and friendly in interviews, and in typical Irish fashion, loves making self-deprecating jokes. To read the list in full and for more pics & video clips, please click RTÉ.

Cillian Murphy declares Peaky to be `some of the best writing'
“It is some of the best writing I have come across, and I never expected to revisit a character like that over and over, ” Irish actor Cillian Murphy declares as filming of the BBC 2 series Peaky Blinders resumes. “ It will be about 30 hours of television when we have finished and to shine a light into all these weird parts of the character’s psyche that you would never ever get in the compressed version of a feature film or even a play, that is an extraordinary gift, “ the actor said. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Colm Tóibín and Terry Waite confirmed for travel writing festival
Colm Tóibín and Terry Waite CBE have been confirmed as keynote speakers at this year's Immrama Festival of Travel Writing. Immrama, which takes place this June 15-18, has been attracting big names to the small town of Lismore, Co. Waterford now for 18 years. Immrama is reprising its young travel writer’s competition; with students invited to write an 800-word short story about their favourite air journey and where it took them. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Dylan Vaughan

Meet the man behind some of Dublin's trendiest restaurants
When John Farrell started out in the restaurant game he was taking a big step up during a recession that was swallowing restaurants whole. However, the downturn played into his hands. It was a combination of the recession and the chance to sell his stake in the Dublin restaurant Il Primo that helped him gather the funds to snap up a location for Dillinger’s, his first diner, in Ranelagh from a liquidator for a dime. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Ireland women win over Wales 12-7
Ireland stayed on course for a Grand Slam decider against England as they battled to a 12-7 win over Wales at Cardiff Arms Park. Hannah Tyrell's corner try after 62 minutes rewarded the visitors' second-half pressure. Lindsey Peat drove over from close range just before half-time to put Ireland 7-0 up. Wales struck back through Shona Powell-Hughes but could not break out of defence in the final quarter. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Journal Ireland/Ian Cook-INPHO

Rea makes it four wins in four races
Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea won the second race of the weekend at the World Superbike round in Thailand to continue his perfect start to the season. Rea has won all four races in the championship so far, having also sealed a double in the opening round of the series at Phillip Island in February. The Kawasaki rider becomes the first rider since Englishman Neil Hodgson in 2003 to win the first four races of the season and has a 30-point lead over Chaz Davies at the top of the standings. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

March 11
Taoiseach leaving for week-long visit to US
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is flying to Philadelphia today for the start of a seven-day visit to five cities, during which he will bepromoting Ireland as a location for jobs, trade, tourism and investment. A bilateral meeting with the US President is also scheduled for St Patrick's Day, during which Mr Kenny will emphasise the strength of Irish-US relations. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

How the Joshua tree on the cover of the album was discovered
This week marks thirty years since U2 released their fifth studio album, The Joshua Tree, which went on to become one of the most iconic albums in history. Steve Averill, who has designed every album cover for U2, explains how the Joshua tree on the album’s cover was discovered. “The idea was to find some place in America where civilization and the desert met. On the way to the Joshua Tree National Park, Anton (the photographer), suddenly said, ‘Stop the coach!’ For more details, please click RTÉ.

This is the song that will represent Ireland at the Eurovision
Ireland's entry into this year’s Eurovision has been released. The song was chosen from over 320 entries by a judging panel of six industry professionals. The song is sung by Brendan Murray, from Tuam in Co Galway, who is a member of Louis Walsh’s boyband Hometown. He said "I couldn’t wait to get into the studio to record it. My mam teared up the first time she heard it so that was a good start.” To watch Brendan perform the song, please click Journal Ireland.

Tuning up for Feis Ceoil 2017
Exactly three weeks before Easter each year, the RDS becomes a hive of musical activity From all over Ireland, north and south, come thousands of classical musicians, seeking to return home with some of the coveted Feis Ceoil silverware, a medal or perhaps a certificate of commendation. Those not directly involved with classical music may be surprised at the size of the event: There are almost 200 competitions held over the twelve days at more than 6 venues in and around the RDS. For more details & video clip, please click RTÉ.

Cork seaside escape haven of dreams on offer
The home, which is a former coastguard station, is on the market for €400k. It is located beyond the beach wall at Roberts Cove, a picturesque village which is home to a small terrace of cottages and a bar. The site itself is really something special. Not many homes come with their own slipway and private beach. And for anyone interested in water sports, the location is heaven. The cove is quite sheltered, making it ideal for swimming, snorkelling, diving, fishing or kayaking. For more details & pics, please click Irish Independent.

Ulster designer's delight as top model makes a special request
One of the world's best-known models has been photographed wearing a cape designed by Co Down's Sara Hall - after personally requesting that she get the chance to do so. Cecilia Mendez got in touch with Sara a few weeks ago to say she adored her capes and would love the chance to wear one. The Argentinian has walked the runway for top designers such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Christian Dior, Issey Miyake, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Colourful history of old Lisburn captured by city's adopted son
The charm of old Lisburn is at the heart of an evocative exhibition of paintings by distinguished artist Dennis H Osborne, which has opened in the city's museum. Osborne, who died in 2016, was born in Portsmouth, England, and served in the Second World War. After the war Osborne pursued his passion for art, studying in London, and exhibiting his work at the prestigious Royal Academy.The painter settled in Northern Ireland in 1959. For more details & pics, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Jamie Conlan defeats Yader Cardoza on points in Belfast
Jamie Conlan stayed on course for a world title eliminator with a battling points win over Yader Cardoza at the Waterfront Hall on Friday night. Cardoza floored Conlan in the eighth round but the Belfast man recovered to earn a 19th straight professional win. Conlan started brightly against Nicaraguan and former world title challenger Cardoza, but it developed into a close tussle. Cardoza put his opponent on the canvas and finished strongly but the judges awarded the fight to Conlan> For more details & video clip, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: PaceMaker

World Superbikes: Rea continues perfect start to season
Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea continued his perfect start to the World Superbike season by winning Saturday's first race in Thailand. The defending world champion dominated the 20-lap race, leading from start to finish, and ended up 6.2 seconds ahead of Welsh runner-up Chaz Davies. Rea, who was fastest in practice and qualifying, now has an opportunity to become the first rider since Englishman Neil Hodgson in 2003 to win the first four races of the season. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

March 10
Best places to live in Northern Ireland unveiled
Seaside locations appear to be the most favoured and ideal places to set down roots, with Portstewart, Ballycastle and Rostrevor (pictured) making the top six alongside the Erneside town of Enniskillen. Northern Ireland's exceptional locations were selected for offering the best quality of life to the widest number of people, and combining desirable features such as a positive community spirit, good local shops and services and attractive outdoor spaces. For more details & pics, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Trinity professor to play a big role in space exploration
Professor Peter Gallagher has been appointed as an adviser to the Director of Science at the European Space Agency (ESA). In his role with the Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC), Professor Gallagher will be charged with interpreting the views and needs of the European science community’s access to space experimentation and data exploitation in the mandatory science programmes. The ESA is set to invest over €5 billion in space exploration in the coming decade. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX

Hip hop trio scoops best album of the year award
Limerick and Shannon-based hip hop group Rusangano Family faced down some tough competition to win the RTÉ album of the year Choice Music Prize last night. The African-Irish trio won out over more experienced groups and singers to secure the prize for their 2016 record Let the Dead Bury the Dead. The award comes with a €10,000 cash prize. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Gallery: RTÉ

Irish entry for Eurovision revealed
Ireland's entry for Eurovision 2017 has been unveiled and this year our hopes of restoring our status in the song contest lies with a power ballad, Dying To Try, sung by Hometown's Brendan Murray. The track was co-written by renowned song-writer Jörgen Elofsson who has written songs for Westlife, Brittany Spears and Leona Lewis, and will be performed by Murray in the second Eurovision semi-final in Kyiv in May. For more details, pics and video clip, please click RTÉ.

Irish food writers guild awards 2017 announced
Six IFWG award winners were announced together with the Guild’s first posthumous award which honoured a pioneer of the Irish craft beer revolution, the late Oliver Hughes. Chairperson of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild (IFWG), Aoife Carrigy said, "This year’s award winners are representative of so much that is great about the food and drink industry in Ireland. Our winners have created sustainable family businesses, continued and built upon the work of their forefathers or collaborated with like-minded people to create products of an exceptional standard." For more details, please click Business World.

Dublin pub Jack Nealon’s set to close after a century
The three-storey Victorian corner building was constructed for the wine and spirit merchant John O’Connor and became a pub in 1905. The interior of the building is preserved and its gold gilted ceiling is one of the finest examples of ornate plaster work in a Dublin city centre building. Vincent Waters, who owns the lease on the Capel Street pub, told staff on Monday night that the bar is to close on April 17th. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: Flicker/Willim Murphy/Streets of Dublin

Frank Lloyd Wright influenced home in Howth on offer for €2m
Ard Na Rí takes a lead from Lloyd Wright's landscape-hugging ways and the siting was obviously to take advantage of some of the best elevated views Dublin has to offer. Apart from the usual improvements one might expect to find in a home of this stature, there's the relatively recent installation of a timber-clad concrete lift shaft to whisk you from the secure, gated parking area up to the house itself. For more details & pics, please click Irish Independent.

Three weeks on, an extremely lucky fox has begun to make a recovery
And, she has been given the name, 'Sianna' (pronounced Shawna), by her rescuer, Sarah. Three weeks ago, Sarah and her fiance Al Mennie found the injured animal lying twisted and motionless at the bottom of a cliff near Ballintoy. "When saw the poor critter, we thought she was dead," said Sarah. "She was at a funny angle and looked like she had a broken back. Then, Al saw her chest rising and we knew we had to do something."For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Rugby Six Nations: Ireland unchanged for showdown With Wales
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has announced the team to play Wales in Friday's RBS 6 Nations match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff (kick-off 8.05pm Irish Time). The Ireland management have backed the side that saw off France 19-9 a fortnight ago to deliver another winning performance in the Welsh capital. It is the first time Joe Schmidt has named an unchanged team since rounds 2 and 3 of the 2014 Six Nations. For more details and video clip, please click Irish Rugby.
Photo Credit: © Dan Sheridan/

March 9
Twitter releases Irish themed emojis &stickers for St Patrick's Day
Twitter will celebrate St Patrick's Day with a unique range of hashtags featuring some very Irish themed emojis and stickers. Starting today, the hashtags #StPatricksDay #SaintPatricksDay #PaddysDay #StPaddysDay #GlobalGreenings and #GlobalGreening will activate a shamrock emoji. This marks the first-time Irish themed sticks will be introduced globally. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Aer Lingus celebrates Int'l Women’s Day with flight staffed by all-female team
Captain Louise Gilroy and First Officer Amy Cunningham led the all-female cabin crew through the skies to Heathrow Airport. Flight EI162 was also prepared for take-off by an exclusively female team, which included key operational roles such as Turnaround Coordinator, Flight Operations Officer, Dublin Airport Duty Manger and Guest Service Agents. For more details & pics , please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit:

Northern Irleand contingent at No 10 as Women's Day is celebrated
A group of people from Northern Ireland were at Downing Street last night for a reception hosted by the Prime Minister to celebrate International Women's Day. Men and women from across the UK and from a range of sectors, including business, the public sector, law and community groups, were present. The Northern Ireland contingent included Caroline Haughey (pictured) from Rostrevor in Co Down. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit: Credit: Getty Images

Watch 'epic fail' of McDonald's St Patrick's day ad
Fast-food giant McDonald's has hit a bum note with their advertisement for the Shamrock shake. The 10 second clip shows an actor with a Scottish tartan hat playing the mint and chocolate shamrock shake like a bagpipe. Behind him there are clips of sheep walking in rolling hills, which could possibly be in Ireland. And there is a clip of a rainbow that could be anywhere in the world. But it then cuts to footage of Stonehenge, which is most definitely not in the Emerald isle. To watch the ad, please , please click Irish Independent.

Emotional day as bridge named in honor of James Ellis is opened
Jimmy's widow Robina (pictured) wiped away tears as she opened the new bridge. It is close to the house where her husband, who made his name in the police series Z Cars, grew up in Park Avenue. Son Toto said "We are so lucky and grateful that there is now a physical legacy to my dad in the form of this wonderful bridge." Yesterday's unveiling was hosted by former broadcaster Denis Tuohym,who described Jimmy as "one of Belfast's most talented sons and a wonderful friend." For more details & video clip, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Four Irish universities make world's top 100 in subject-by-subject ranking
All four are in the top 100 for their nursing degrees in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. Trinity College Dublin is ranked 36th for nursing, and University College Cork (UCC), University College Dublin (UCD) and NUI Galway (NUIG) are each ranked between 50 and 100. The QS subjects analysis is based on research papers and citations of work from individual university academics, as well as responses to surveys of employers and other academics. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Did you know an Irishman coined the term 'avocado'?
The fruit has become something of a regular feature in the diets of Irish people, with larger quantities than ever before being shipped in from South America.But it turns out one of Ireland's own may have been enjoying 'avo on toast' more than 300 years before the rest of the Irish people. Sir Hans Sloan, an Irish-born naturalist, is said to have coined the term 'avocado' in 1696 in his catalogue of Jamaican plants and based the name upon the fruit's interesting shape. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Elegant Dún Laoghaire Victorian on offer
You could piece together the history of Ireland through the stories of some of our period terraces, and Dún Laoghaire’s Crosthwaite Park is no exception. Built as a street of grand family homes in the mid-1800s, you can see signs of servants’ quarters in the layout of basements and coal chutes. Later, many of these properties were carved up into flats.Now the partitions are coming out and they are being reborn as truly gorgeous houses once more. For more details & photos, please click Irish Times.

Here's how to have a Big Fat Irish Wedding on a €2,000 budget
Irish couples need not say ‘I do’ to shelling out more than €20,000 on their big day. There are no prizes for the most money spent on a wedding and all you are left with is an empty bank account that could have been a deposit on your first home. t is possible to pull off the hipster wedding party of the year with a fraction of the cost the average bride would pay by using your imagination, calling in favours, shopping around and being savvy. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.


Fri, Mar 24, 2017

The Galway Hooker

This unique vessel, with its distinctive curved lines and bright red sails, originated in the village of Claddagh. During the 19th century, hookers supported a significant fishing industry and also carried goods, livestock and fuel. Seán Rainey is remembered for building the last of the original boats, the Truelight, for Martin Oliver who was to become the last king of the Claddagh; as king, he was entitled to white sails on his boat. Since the mid seventies, many of the old sailing craft which were on the verge of extinction have been lovingly restored and new ones have been built. During the summer months they can be seen at festivals such a Cruinniú na mBád - the Gathering of the Boats - in Kinvara.

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The Weather

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

Links to the latest news from Ireland

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

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

Journal 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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