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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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

'Resurrecting Ireland's villages'
During the recession, rural towns and villages were drained of young people, with thousands emigrating abroad or to the larger cities. However, a new government action plan will cover a three-year period to 2020 and touches on a wide range of sectors in Ireland, including farmers, fishing communities, rural businesses, job seekers, rural communities and families.. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Independent/Kyran OBrien

Irish dancers make serious video pitch to Ed Sheeran
Sheeran whose parents are from Co Wexford recently expressed his interest in using Irish dancers for his new Music Video ‘Galway Girl’. Irish dance group Fusion Fighters got in contact with some of the worlds best dancers to make a compilation video of some of their skills in less than 24 hours. The video features current World Champions, leading show stars and members of the Fusion Fighters crew. To watch the video, please click Irish Mirror.
Video Grab: Fusion Fighters/YouTube

After 80 years, Dublin greengrocer Roy Fox shuts its stalls
The business, passed down from friends and through three generations of a family, had once been at the forefront of commerce – importing the most exotic fruits, herbs and spices and bringing them to Dublin tables. But it wasn’t just a fruit and veg shop – it also stocked a small amount of dried fruit, as well as beans and olive oil; and on Saturday mornings there were queues out the door, with families and couples shopping and more for chats at what was the area's unofficial meeting place. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Aspiring Irish astronauts meet Chris Hadfield
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield was on The Ray D'Arcy Show last night and proved to be a great guest. A lot of people are big fans of the Commander, especially after his Space Oddity tribute to David Bowie and his tweets that highlighted the good that came out of 2016. But last night Emily and Joshua (who had a superb space suit) were thrilled to meet Cmdr Hadfield with Emily stating she'd love to be the first female astronaut in Ireland. For more details & video clip, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Tyrone band put NI firmly on the music map
Critically acclaimed Tyrone folk rockers, The Logues, have put Northern Ireland firmly on the music map after the video for their new single 'Yvonne John,' from their highly anticipated new album 'Comin of Age’, has gone viral. The video, which was shot last year in key locations around Northern Ireland has received over 35,000 viewers in less than a week. For more details and to watch the video, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Punk Ireland

Watch: Brilliant video of Monaghan man doing girlfriend's make up
Make-ip artist Keilidh Cashell decided to let boyfriend Darren loose with her make-up kit. The results are brilliant, and there's some absolute gems of one-liners from a fairly hapless Darren who's just a little bit in over his head. "Which hand do I use?" he asks, before lathering several inches of foundation over poor Keilidh's face, carefully rubbing it in to her hair. "I honestly don't have a clue what I'm doing." For more details & to watch the video, please click Irish Mirror.

'Rural pubs were hesitant to chase the hen and stag market...
"Now we need it' says one bar and restaurant owner who wanted a new business to kickstart stagnant trade in Sligo. In the early 2000s, etween the pub scene, the restaurants and the nightclub, all you had to do was open the doors and it would be chock-a-block on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Back then, pubs hade been a bit hesitant to go for the hen and stag market. They were so busy that they didn’t necessarily need the business. Not anymore. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & related Story: Evoke Ireland/Getty Images

Hockey: Ireland clinch World League 2 triumph
Ireland have won the hockey World League Round Two in Kuala Lumpur by beating Malaysia 3-0 in Sunday's final. Anna O'Flanagan, Katie Mullan and Zoe Wilson netted the goals for the Irish who had beaten Wales in the semi-finals. Ireland now turn their focus to World League 3 and the Eurohockey Championships this summer. "This is our first competitive tournament in 18 months and we are very proud of the team and the level of performance" said coach Graham Shaw. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Hockey Ireland

Conway and Scannell brothers included in Ireland's Six Nations squad
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has included three uncapped Munster players in a 40-man squad to prepare for the Six Nations. Wing Andrew Conway is included along with brothers Niall and Rory Scannell, three of a 13-strong contingent from the southern province. Seven more of the squad have just one cap to their name, including powerful Leinster back row Jack Conan whose one previous appearance in green was in the summer of 2015. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Past Two Weeks
January 22
Poet Kennelly honoured after his return home to 'Bally'
Distinguished poet Brendan Kennelly was honoured at a special ceremony recognising his literary work in his native Kerry yesterday. He was presented with a framed scroll and a picture of Carrigafoyle Castle near his home village of Ballylongford. Kennelly, a former Trinity College professor who moved back from Dublin to Kerry recently, said his native "Bally" always stayed with him despite spending 60 years away from the village. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Domnick Walsh

Trespass Against Us director hails 'brilliant' Fassbender and Gleeson
Trespass Against Us director Adam Smith (pictured) has praised Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson saying the pair were "so brilliant" to work with. Gleeson and Fassbender will be seen playing father and son for the second time on screen in the film, having already worked through that dynamic on Assassin's Creed. Speaking about working with the Irish actors, director Smith said he didn't have to do much to get brilliant performances from them. For more details and interview clip with Fassbender, please click RTÉ.
Video Grab: Interview with Adam Smith/Youtube

How Van Morrison's music helped one man recover his life
John McCarthy has a special connection to an enigmatic Belfast man whose music crosses jazz, blues, folk and rock. In the late 1980s, John was held hostage in Beirut. Of his five years in captivity, four were spent with the Irish writer Brian Keenan. Stripped of virtually all external stimuli, they had to keep their minds and hearts going with memories. Two lonely men, they shared things that had touched them - books, films and music. To read this special feature, please click BBC.

Irish VC discovered after 150 years buried in Thameside mud

Tobias Neto stumbled on the medal in December and with the help of the Museum of London, he learned it was one of 16 awarded for gallantry to British forces at the Crimean Battle of Inkerman (pictured). With the whereabouts of only two of the Inkerman VCs unaccounted for, the one found by Mr Neto in all likelihood belonged to Private John Byrne from Co Kilkenny who was awarded the VC for returning to the front line to rescue a wounded comrade under heavy fire. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: British Battles

The Irishman who gave his name to a mountain range in the Rockies
Capt John Palliser from Waterford led an expedition that opened up the Canadian west. In the preface to his 1853 memoir Solitary Rambles and Adventures of a Hunter in the Prairies, the Victorian geographer and adventurer wrote that he most important item a man required was a first rate double-barrelled gun. And the manufacturer he recommended was Trulock & Son, of Dawson Street, Dublin, “which for accuracy, power and trustworthiness, I have seldom seen excelled." For more details, please click Irish Times.

Massive undersea cable to be be built between Dublin and Paris
Ireland-France Subsea Cable Limited this week announced a partnership with Tiger Infrastructure Partners to finance and construct IFC-1, a submarine fiber-optic cable system that will be the first and only direct subsea cable between Ireland and France. The state of the art system will be e ready for service in late 2018 and will provide ultra-high capacity transmission to telecommunication carriers, Internet companies and large enterprises in Ireland. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Defence.Frontline/for illustration purposes only

Business innovation hub set to create 100 jobs in Cork
Tech expert DC Cahalane, and global marine business boss Dave Ronayne plan to open their Republic of Work facility early next month. Mr Cahalane (pictured), its chief executive, said they were proud to unveil the initiative, the largest of its kind in the region, in their home city. “Growing up, the South Mall was always the heart of Cork’s business community and we’re delighted that we can now be a part of the vibrant city centre business community…" For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Tayto fan takes his love of crisps to a strange new level
The anonymous carb-fanatic shared an image of his Tayto-themed tattoo with the company, who shared the picture on the official Facebook page. The image, which shows Mr Tayto permanently scrawled across a man’s calf, was shared hundreds of times by the page's bemused Facebook followers. “If this is a real tattoo I hope it gets him free entry into Tayto Park,” one follower wrote. “Okay, I’m getting me a tattoo,” wrote another. To read this news item, please click Irish Independent.

Ronan Ogara moved by warm Limerick reception
“It’s great for players to taste the real Thomond Park,” says the Munster legend who was plotting their downfall. Even the sour taste of defeat didn’t cancel out the sweet return to the scene of some of his most cherished rugby memories. Before kick-off he made a slight wrong turn on his way to the visitors dressing room, but once on the field he knew every inch of his surroundings and cut a familiar pose as he drilled spirals down the touchline. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

January 21
Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance perform at inauguration ball
Flatley himself retired from dancing back in 2015, so his main role on the night was to give a preamble to the show: “I am proud to introduce the greatest team of dancers in the world – the cast of Lord of the Dance.” They’ve come with me all the way from Ireland tonight to celebrate the election of America’s new President…" And then the lads got to work. For some Americans watching, it was the best entertainment of the night. To watch the video, please click Journal Ireland.

TCD exhibit marks anniversary of Synge play's tumultuous premiere
“Scenes of a most-extraordinary character were witnessed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, last night in connection with the performance of ‘The Playboy of the Western World’. So began The Irish Times report of the riot that broke out at the opening night performance of John Millington Synge’s epochal play at The Abbey Theatre on January 26th, 1907. Marking the 110th anniversary of the tumultuous premiere, Trinity College Dublin is hosting an online exhibition on the three-act masterpiece.For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit: John Millington Synge

Names & lives of people in 100-year-old Irish dancing photo revealed
The photo is regularly spotted in bars, restaurants and private homes across Ireland and has become symbolic of how rural communities celebrated life in the ‘old’ Ireland of the time. But very little was known about those in the photo or where it was taken. Until now. Thanks to the evidence of a 91-year-old man shortly before he died, it has been revealed that it's a snap of a family and community of staunch republicans from Knockmonlea, Co Cork. For more details, please click The Irish Post.

Vote for the the best Irish traditional album of 2016
Popular Irish traditional music website TradConnect are offering a prize of €3,000 for the Best Traditional Album of 2016; established in 2012, previous winners of the prize include Éamonn O’Riordan and Tony O’Connell, The Tri-Tones, Edel Fox & Neill Byrne and Caitlín Nic Gabhann. An end of year TradConnect member poll, combined with an independent judging panel forms the basis for the selection of the winning album. For more details and how to vote, please click RTÉ.

Firm behind Jameson whiskey pumping €10.5m into Cork distillery
Irish Distillers, a subsidiary of French drinks giant Pernod Ricard, said the money will go towards installing three copper pot stills at Middleton Distillery. Midleton Distillery’s general manager Paul Wickham said the new stills will help Irish Distillers grow its other brands like Redbreast and Green Spot “even further over the next 30 years and beyond”. Exports of Irish whiskey have grown by almost €215 million over the last decade. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Pair of modern villas in Dublin 6 on offer
The 'villa' design originated on the outskirts of London in the 18th century;they were seen as a compromise between city and country designs and were usually constructed in pairs adjoining - resulting in the first modern semi-detached house format. They are generally found in Dublin in parts which were on the cusp of the countryside when they were first built in the 19th century. For more details & photo gallery, please click Irish Independent.

Meitheal Mara makes a splash with currach plans
Meitheal Mara, a community boatyard, yesterday unveiled plans for expansion as part of an integrated maritime hub for Cork City. Founded in 1993, Meitheal Mara has helped participants build traditional boats such as the Irish currachs, particularly the Kerry-style naomhóg (pictured) and a variation on the two-person hazel-rod currach used on the north coast of Donegal. Participants also learn how to sail and row the boats and take part in maritime races. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Traditional Boats of Ireland Project

Virtual reality project transforms learning for NI pupils
It is technology which will change many parts of our lives, and virtual reality (VR) is already making its way into the classroom. Pupils at Edmund Rice College in Glengormley, County Antrim, are able to see the world, travel to the moon and see inside the human body - all without moving away from their desks. The school is one of the first in Northern Ireland taking part in a Google project to bring VR to one million pupils across the UK. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: ISTOCK

Ireland close to surfing legend's heart
A video of top Aussie surfer Mick Fanning catching waves in Ireland is absolutely unreal. It's packed with footage of the three-time World Surfing League (WSF) world champion catching some of the wildest and roughest waves in the Atlantic Ocean with incredible views of the Irish coastline and the Wild Atlantic Way. Buy it's not just another holiday for Fanning as he reveals why Ireland is close to his heart. For more details and video clip, please click Irish Mirror.

January 20
Irish bishops meeting Pope Francis in Rome
Ireland’s Catholic bishops have been meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican this morning. In total, 29 representatives of the island's 26 dioceses are in Rome for ten days of meetings with Vatican officials, which is meant to take place every five years. However, the Irish bishops' last Ad Limina visit, as it is called, was in 2006. The focus of this series of meetings with officials will be reports from each diocese. To read this news item & and others, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & Related Story: National Catholic Reporter/Paul Haring

What's life like now in Obama's ancestral village?
Six years on, as Obama approaches the end of his second term in office, Henry Healy (the 8th cousin) and Ollie Hayes (the barman) still can’t quite get over the level of engagement they’ve had with the White House in the years since that historic day. For example, the President took the pair out for a pint in Washington the following year, where they sank pints of Guinness with startled regulars at the Dubliner pub. For more details & video clip, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & More Pics: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

How Irish falconry changed the English language
Humans have hunted with birds of prey for thousands of years, and for nearly 800 years at Ashford Castle . Built in 1228, the old Norman castle evolved into an elaborate chateau, eventually purchased by the Guinness family and transformed into a Victorian hunting lodge. To that end, the beer barons expanded the estate to more than 26,000 acres ,conserving the kind of old-growth forest that once covered the whole of the British Isles. To read this feature article, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Daniel Nugent/Flickr

Irish director applauds remarkable homegrown talent
Irish director John Butler has applauded Ireland's ever-growing film industry and says he hopes it will continue to capitalise on 2016's success which saw a record number of Oscar nominations and box office takings. Speaking at the launch of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival, Mr Butler said "Ireland appears to be making a name for itself globally and punching above its weight, which is very important, particularly with our own stories and creative talent." For more details, please click RTÉ.

Ballymagooly House in Mallow, Co Cork on offer for €1.7m
The house, sometimes known as The Garrison, was owned by a succession of keen sportsmen who provided salubrious accommodation for their horses. The original early Georgian mansion was demolished in 1955 after a fire. All that was left was stable block. But it turned out to be big enough and grand enough for the owners to convert it into a replacement country residence. For a peek inside, please click Irish Independent.

Irish firm sells hair supplements business for massive €150m
Galway based Lifes2Good has struck the deal to sell hair supplements business Viviscal to Dwight & Church,best known for its Arm & Hammer toothpaste brand. Viviscal sales have soared following high-profile backing by plethora of A-list celebrities including Reese Witherspoon (pictured), Minnie Driver and Gwyneth Paltrow. Viviscal alone is sold in more than 25,000 US stores including drug store giants Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

American packaging company announces Derry jobs boost
Bemis has announced that it will be creating upwards of 95 jobs. The positions, in IT and and finance, will be created over the next five years at its new business centre in Campsie. The company already has a healthcare packaging manufacturing facility in Campsie. Marty Scaminaci, of Bemis said "We have successfully operated a manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland since 1996, and know it to be a great location to do business." For more details, please click BBC.

Belfast bar czar creates Cathedral Quarter whiskey emporium
He's served up platters of fine food to royalty at Hillsborough Castle, and pints to the punters at Down Royal races. He's met Presidents and Prime Ministers. So you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's time Willie Jack, the bar czar of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter, raised a glass to himself. Instead, he's about to open Ireland's only whiskey emporium - selling only Irish whiskey across its polished copper counter and within its palatial portals. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Northern Ireland continues to lure more visitors
Northern Ireland gems such as Dun Luce Castle in Co Antrim (pictured) prove too good to resist as Tourism Ireland welcomes growth in overseas visitors. New figures show that more than 1.6 million overseas visitors between January and September 2016, up 8% on the same period the previous year. Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said Game of Thrones has also had a major impact in attracting the tourists. For more details and video clip, please click Belfast Telegraph.

January 19
'The BBC is giving Mrs Brown her own chat show? I need a lie down'
A Mrs Brown talk show makes good sense. Irish entertainers have been at the heart of the BBC empire since the days of Eamonn Andrews. Terry Wogan and Graham Norton bossed celebrity talk in subsequent decades. Mrs Merton and The Kumars at No 42 have confirmed that fictional characters can effectively host such enterprises. The personae allow entertainers to sneak in questions they would be too embarrassed to ask as themselves. For more details, please click Irish Times.

John O'Connor at 70 - Ireland's piano man
Today the renowned Dublin born, Irish concert pianist John O’Conor turns 70. To mark the occasion, this Friday (20th January 2017) he will appear with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra as part of their 2016-2017 Season in the National Concert Hall, Dublin. It is no surprise that Mr O'Conor will perform the work of Beethoven, a composer with whom he has been particularly associated ever since he won the prestigious International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna back in 1973. For more details and video clip, please click RTÉ.

Inside Sales to create more than 120 jobs
Global company InsideSales is looking to grow its presence in Ireland and is evaluating locations in which, based on current plans, the company could hire more than 120 professionals for its product development and engineering, sales and sales operations and back office teams over the next three years. The company has a long-term goal to create a worldwide centre of excellence for AI and machine learning in Ireland. For more details, please click Corporate Bank of Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Fortune/Inside Sales COO Lindsey Armstrong

Yeats Country: 17 photos of Sligo and Leitrim that are pure poetry
The desolate landscapes of Sligo and Leitrim aren't just a fitting subject for poetry, as Colin Gillen's photographs show. Gillen is a professional photographer living on the Sligo coast, and he spends his days shooting what he calls "the amazing, light-filled playground of a landscape that is Yeats Country". W.B. Yeats was a regular visitor to Sligo and Leitrim, with local features like Ben Bulben, Glencar and Inishfree familiar to many through his poetry. To view the gallery, please click Irish Independent.

Jackie Kennedy’s love of Ireland
On a clear August day in 1950, two young Americans toured Blarney Castle in the company of an Irish priest. The visitors wore expensive attire and spoke in the mannered accents of New York’s moneyed elites. When it was suggested they might like to kiss the Blarney Stone, they responded enthusiastically in the affirmative. A little over a decade later, the younger of the two would be one of the most photographed people in the world — a fashion icon and celebrity. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit: Keystone/Getty Images

Irish scientist saves baby milk plant, develops new formula...
and strikes gold - in China. Ross McMahon bought the Kendal-based plant in Cumbria, UK, from Heinz after they decided to focus on ketchup and beans. He developed a new baby milk formula and named it Kendamil after the factory’s hometown. It is relatively unknown in the UK and is only available online, in high-end supermarket Booths and in 50 kosher shops across London. But Mr McMahon has tapped into the market in China. For more details, please click The Irish World.

Ireland's oldest fitness instructor to climb a mountain on 80th birthday
Kerry man Eric Murphy is an an inspirational grandfather who swears that keeping active is his secret to staying healthy and happy while he’s just months from 80th birthday. Eric teaches “aerobics, core exercises, in other words non-weight bearing on the joints” classes at the Bay View Hotel in Waterville, Co Kerry. Eric will celebrate his milestone 80th birthday in April and instead of putting his feet up, he says he plans to climb Cnoc na dTobar mountain. For more details & pics, please click Irish Mirror.

Two Cork teens take on Ed Sheeran's 'Castle On The Hill'
Evan Murray and Niamh Kirby have been playing and singing together for many years and their latest musical offering, Ed Sheeran's 'Castle On The Hill' has struck a chord with many social media savvy music lovers who have had the pleasure of hearing their rendition. Already the cover has had over 50,000 views on Facebook and the number is still growing as more and more people discover this delicate duet of Ed Sheeran's latest musical offering. To hear the cover, please click Breaking News Ireland.

High-scoring Ireland book semi-final place
Ireland continued their high-scoring form at World League 2 to book their place in the semi-finals with a thumping 10-0 victory over Singapore. Roisin Upton and Anna O'Flanagan both scored hat-tricks, with Naomi Carroll, Rebecca Barry, Nicci Daly and Katie Mullan also netting for Ireland. Ireland had beaten Kazakhstan 12-0, hosts Malaysia 2-1 and Hong Kong 10-0 to win Pool B and reach the last eight. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: INPHO

January 18
Former president Clinton leads 80th birthday tributes to John Hume
The former SDLP leader and Nobel laureate marked his milestone birthday on Wednesday. Former US president Bill Clinton described Mr Hume as an "inspiration," “Not many in your position would have stayed the course for peace in the face of such long odds but your belief that progress was possible gave hope to all parties – and ensured that peace stayed within reach, even during the most challenging moments." For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit: The Irish News/Margaret McLaughlin

TCD discovery could pave way for new oesophageal cancer treatment
This form of cancer is often resistant to treatment but a team of researchers at Trinity College Dublin say they’ve found a new means to fight it. The team have have identified why many people with oesophageal cancer are resistant to radiation therapy. Assistant Professor Dr Stephen Maher (pictured) said “Our findings strongly suggest that it is the cancer stem cell population that we need to destroy if treatment is going to be effective…" For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Dr Maher/twitter

Eight experiences unique to Ireland
Appropriately called, “Only on the island of Ireland will you find …”, this short film features eight things that the island of Ireland can claim as being he only place you can experience them - like the Matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna or a cable car commute. We're already internationally renowned for our rugged beauty, traditional music and friendly pubs, but wait there's more! To watch the film, please click Irish Mirror.

Ireland's Top 10 beaches
East, West, North or South, which Irish beach forms the picture-perfect image of the coast? According to a poll in the Irish Independent, the winner is Inchydoney, in Co. Cork (pictured).
Inchydoney is “all things to all beach-goers,” one reader said. Other attributes: It’s beautiful to look at, super for walks and safe for swimming. You can surf there, go rock-pooling, build sandcastles and of course, twin your visit with a bite or a stay at the Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Hotel. For more details, please click Irish Independent.

Poet: Bernard O’Donoghue - from byres to spires
Award-winning poet Bernard O’Donoghue, who was shortlisted for the 2016 TS Eliot Prize for The Seasons of Cullen Church, and in 2011 for Farmers Cross, has a dedicated following of poetry fans from Munster to Oxford and beyond, who admire the restrained and simple eloquence of his thought-provoking verse. Born near Cullen in Co Cork, O’Donoghue moved to Manchester at 16, following the sudden death of his father. He lives in Oxford, where he taught medieval and Irish literature until his retirement. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Danny Boy: The Ballad That Bewitched The World
RTÉ Player has launched a new on-demand Culture collection, featuring an eclectic mix of documentaries and performances from the worlds of Music, Arts, Film & TV and Literature. Each week, the RTÉ Player team suggest a ‘must-watch’ from the Culture collection. This week, the focus is on Danny Boy: The Ballad That Bewitched The World. The RTÉ documentary unravels the enigma behind the song’s astonishing success and shows how the tune played a part in some of the key historical moments of the last century. For more details, please click RTÉ.
Video & Sound Clip: YouTube

Bride drives herself to church in a tractor
Aisling McCarey, from Co Monaghan, decided to drive herself to the church in a shiny red Massey Ferguson while her groom, Mark Graham arrived, along with his groomsman, in a fleet of trucks! The unusual entrance has quite a romantic symbolism. Aisling and Mark first met while Mark was moving hay, by tractor, on the M50 and a mutual friend passed on his number so she could get a lift. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: Manuel Lavery Photography

Sports legend Brodie lives on
The widow of Northern Ireland's most famous sports journalist Malcolm Brodie surveyed an expansive new tribute to him in his second home of Windsor Park - and declared it a winner. "It's wonderful. It's just him. He would have loved it," said Margaret as the wraps came off the impressive interpretative display, which captures her late husband's 50-year career in words and pictures. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Ireland keep T20 hopes alive
Ireland kept alive their hopes at the inaugural Desert T20 tournament as they beat Namibia by five wickets in a close contest in Abu Dhabi. Chasing Namibia's 146-9, the Irish sneaked home with two balls to spare, helped by Gary Wilson's unbeaten 38 and two late Andy McBrine boundaries. Earlier, Louis van der Westhuizen struck 50 for the Namibians with fellow opener Stephan Baard contributing 32. For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

January 17
Ten Irish included on Forbes list of young people to watch
The second annual 30 Under 30 Europe list features 300 young European innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who are under 30 years of age and who are creating the future in 10 sectors: The arts, entertainment, finance, industry, media, policy, retail and e-commerce, science and healthcare, social entrepreneurship, and technology. Among the Irish people who made the list are John and Patrick Collison (pictured), co-founders of Stripe. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Ad for Ireland to be shown to 255 million Americans
Tourism Ireland has launched a new ad campaign aimed at attracting American holidaymakers. It will run on a host of channels including the History channel, Food Network, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and BBC America. The campaign will run for four weeks in tandem with social activity and an extensive online advertising campaign, designed to stimulate spring and summer travel. For more details and to watch the commercial - complete with cows in the road - please click Journal Ireland.

Watch stunning Time-lapse video of the Mourne Mountains
A couple who fell in love with the Mountains of Mourne in Co Down has made a short time-lapse film to share the remarkable scenery with the world. Martin Critchley said that he decided to make the short film after he and his partner harron Schwartz "absolutely fell in love" with the area many years ago. "Since then we have developed a parallel passion for landscape photography and videography, calling ourselves Purple Peak Adventures." To watch the video, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Epic new Wild Atlantic Way video lives up to its name
Embrace the Wild Atlantic Way', commissioned by Fáilte Ireland, pairs soaring shots of the west coast with an epic, homegrown soundtrack. The aim is to transport viewers to the brilliant possibilities along the world's longest coastal touring route. Though just over a minute long, the video features a host of iconic oceanside experiences, from surfing emerald waves to horse riding, teeming festivals and oysters being pried open to a backdrop of blustery waves. To watch the video, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Belfast Telegraph

11 things you need to know about Belfast if you're not from Belfast
These 11 bits of information about the lovely light in the North include the fact that Belfast Central train station is not in central Belfast. Getting to grips with the lingo is…tricky - think a normal Northern Ireland accent, at twice the speed. It has five ‘quarters’ Because why have four quarters when you can have five?And a sausage roll in a bap (pictured) is a thing You haven’t lived until you’ve tried it. A local treat for elevenses. Highly recommended. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Journal Ireland

On offer: Grants to restore rural properties
House buyers are to be offered renovation grants to restore properties in small towns and villages as part of the Government's long-promised plan to revive rural Ireland. Cash grants for refurbishing old buildings in rural communities are to form a central plank of the Government's Action Plan for Rural Development, which is being brought before the Cabinet today. The renovation grant would also incentivise older people living alone in isolated parts of the country to move into town centres where more services are available. ThFor more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

How local food is fuelling Ireland's tourism boom
Local Irish food and drink are fuelling the tourism appetite like never before, writes John McKenna. He says "When I looked at the booklet for the 2016 Dingle Food Festival and saw that food lovers could visit 76 separate destinations in the little town to enjoy local foods, I knew the Irish food revolution had triumphed. A total of 76 Taste Trail destinations featured everything from Annascaul meatballs in Foxy John’s, to Ashe’s oyster shots made with Dingle vodka." For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Don MacMonagle

Mayo Manchester Tradfest up for Irish tourism award
Tradfest has made it through to the final of the 2017 Irish Industry Tourism Awards. The six-day programme, which was held in Ballina, celebrates Irish music and dance from both Manchester and Mayo and has been entered into the Best Large Festival/ Event category. It will face stiff competition from the cross-country Cannonball Ireland, Wicklow’s Bray Air Display/Bray Summerfest, the St Patrick’s celebrations in Dublin and Winterval in Waterford. For more details, please click The Irish World.

Historic Donegal lighthouse optic could become major new Belfast art installation
At 130 years old and weighing 10 tonnes, the Mew Island Lighthouse Optic is one of the largest of its kind ever constructed. Planning permission is being sought for the optic to be located in Titanic Quarter, as an art piece paying tribute to Belfast's maritime history. The optic was moved from Tory Island in Donegal to the lighthouse on Mew Island in 1924, which is one of only 29 known lighthouses worldwide installed with a hyper-radical Fresnel lens. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Visit Belfast

January 16
Former Irish ambassador to US, RIP
President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to Dermot Gallagher, a former Irish ambassador to the US and general secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, who died yesterday. The president said Mr Gallagher gave his “lifetime to public service” and played a key role in the Northern Ireland peace process. " Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Mr Gallagher “embodied the best of Ireland and its people." For more details, please click Irish Examiner.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Belfast Telegraph

Meet eight Irish heroes who stood out in 2016
The list includes Alan Herdman (pictured) who garnered media attention and a Young Person of the Year award when he saved eight children from drowning in Rusheen Bay, Co Galway, last July. A water sports enthusiast, the NUI Galway student was familiar with emergency procedures as part of his kayak instructor training. Employing a triage procedure, his actions ensured the safety of the children before a colleague entered the water to assist. To meet the other heroes, please click Irish Examiner.

IT company Tech Mahindra expanding its operations in Ireland
The specialists in digital transformation today opened their Centre of Excellence in Dublin which will employ around 150 engineers in the next three years. At the moment over 700 full time employees work for its Irish customers of which over 320 are located in Ireland; One of Tech Mahindra’s biggest clients, eir, Ireland’s largest telecommunications company, will be serviced by the new Centre of Excellence. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.
Photo Credit: Tech Mahindra

The 2017 Irish films we're all going to be talking about
One of the most exciting parts of the cultural year is finding out what to look forward to on the big screen in the 12 months ahead. Yesterday, the Irish Film Board launched its slate of films for 2017. While some will be in the cinema in the coming months, others are in production and might be a bit longer getting on our screens. Here's a sneak peek of what we can expect – and which ones could be the breakout hits of the year. For more details, pics & video clip, please click Journal Ireland.

Bono sends queuing U2 fans a special delivery
Many of U2's diehard fans queued outside the St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre in Dublin in the hope of bagging tickets to their upcoming Croke Park gig, and their loyalty was rewarded by a special gift from Bono. The tickets to the band's Joshua Tree 30th anniversary concert went on sale on Monday morning, and some fans had been queuing since Friday night. The special gift? Nearly a dozen pizzas! To read this news item and view a video clip, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & related Story: U2 in Turin

First distillery in 175 years cleared for construction in Donegal
Planning permission has been granted to Sliabh Liag Distillery to build the first distillery in Donegal since the 1840s. Earlier this month An Bord Pleanála approved the application for the development, which will be built in the picturesque mountains near Carrick and include a visitor centre. Building on the main distillery is expected to start at the end of 2017, according to James Doherty, Sliabh Liag Distillery’s chief executive. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Ireland's best hotel revealed
Irish Independent readers have spoken. The winner is The Cliff House, a head-turning five-star hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford. What makes the Cliff House so special? “Love it, love it, love it,” gushed one reader — as good a summary as any of its niche mix of design, service, location and food. “Best hotel stay I have ever had, hands down,” said another. For more details and a list of other favorite places to stay, please click Irish Independent.

Galway man vows to finish round-the-world challenge
Enda O’Coineen was towed to safety from the Southern Ocean, hundreds of miles from New Zealand, after the mast on his 60ft racing yacht snapped in a squall on New Year’s Day. The 60-year-old entrepreneur from Galway is considering a restart at the same spot and a year to the day when disaster struck. Although he is officially out of the race, it would be the first single-handed circumnavigation by an Irish sailor. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: Otago Daily Times

Conor McGregor makes Forbes 30 Under 30 list
Conor McGregor has been included in the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Europe; the only Irish person to make the list this year. Writing about McGregor, the publication said of the 28-year-old athlete, "Known for his aggressive fighting style, this versatile mixed martial arts fighter has both lightweight and featherweigh championships under his belt. "And The Notorious, as he's known, is making money with every punch: A single fight in August earned him a $3million purse." For more details, please click RTÉ.

January 15
Renowned Irish actor and director Barry Cassin, RIP
Irish actor and director Barry Cassin has passed away at the age of 92. Mr Cassin was best known as the director of John B Keane's The Field and he is famous for his roles in Twelve Angry Men, The Counte of Monte Cristo and the TV series Mystic Knights of Tir na nÓg. Renowned for his theatre performances he took part in several productions in the Gate and Olympia and did the first production of the classic Arthur Miller play ‘The Crucible’ in Ireland. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ

The Dáil prayer: should it be scrapped or replaced?

As TDs return to the Dáil after the Christmas period on Tuesday, the first thing they will hear as they take their seats is the Dáil prayer It is a requirement under the Dáil rules that a sitting cannot begin without the prayer being read. There have been many debates about whether it is appropriate in a modern parliament, with many suggesting that it should be scrapped or perhaps replaced with a moment of silence. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Barack Obama Plaza: Business is booming
Naming a motorway service station after a US president might not seem like the most fitting tribute – but there’s no denying that signs for the Barack Obama Plaza draw in thousands of motorists who otherwise may not be inclined to stop there. Obama’s eighth cousin Henry Healy, who gained national prominence around the time of the president’s visit to his ancestral home in Moneygall in 2011, is now operations manager. To read this news item and view a video, please click Journal Ireland.

17 reasons why people living in Ireland should be happy to call it home
Ireland's a great country. From memorable porting achievements and beautiful scenery to wacky TV shows, if you are lucky enough to call Ireland home, you are very lucky indeed - and here are 17 reasons why. The list includes Kerry and Wicklow - the Garden of Ireland, along with the Kingdom of Ireland - arguably two of the most geographically beautiful counties in Ireland. For the complete list accompanied by photos, please click Irish Mirror.
Photo Credit: Tourism Ireland/Gap of Dunloe, Co Kerry

Affleck explores the Boston/Irish story in his new film
Ben Affleck says that he explored the Irish-American experience in his new movie, Live by Night, which tells the hard-boiled story of Joe Coughlin, a small-time Boston stick-up man who becomes a gangland kingpin in Florida in the 1920s and '30s.The movie, directed by Affleck and adapted from Dennis Lehane's novel of the same name, also stars Sienna Miller as a femme fatale gangster's moll and Brendan Gleeson as Coughlin's cop father. For more details, video clip and official trailer, please click RTÉ.

Caring of the green: Ireland wakes up to the value of public parks
The Green Flag programme is a recently introduced award scheme which rates the management of parks across six criteria including safety, cleanliness, conservation, community involvement and sustainability. “I think fully accessible green space is taken for granted and undersupported, yet for more and more people living in apartments, the park is their garden,” says Robert Moss, who manages the programme at the An Taisce environmental education unit in Dublin.For more details, please click Irish Times.

Ireland's most expensive road revealed
In terms of of property values, the country's most expensive thoroughfare is Temple Road in Dartry, in the Rathmines area of Dublin, where homes are worth an average of €1.3m. Dominated by outsized period homes constructed from the mid 19th century to the Edwardian era, very little is heard about Temple Road for two reasons: those who live there don't sing and dance about it and because homes on this stretch very seldom come to the market. To read this news item and many others, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & Copy Source: Irish Independent

'Little islands can land you in deep water'
Like the Keeragh Islands off the coast of Co Wexford, which are little more than two acres and one acre respectively in size. Yet these barren and exposed islets have been the scenes of serious shipwrecks over the centuries. Such as the Niobe - bound for Cork out of New York this very month in 1847, and laden down with corn and meal for famine-stricken Ireland. It was enough to make Thomas Boyse - the only recorded owner of a house on the larger Keeragh Island, who died on this day in 1854 - take altruistic action. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Irish farmers to get paid to count how much gas their cows emit
Ireland’s cattle livestock accounts for a disproportionately high percentage of Ireland’s greenhouses gas emission. Globally, 10-12% of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture but in Ireland the figure is closer to a third. Now, under a new scheme which allows farmers to use science to improve the efficiency of their herd, they will receive€570 for the first 10 cows in their herd, and €480 for each remaining cow. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

January 14
World Record: Six siblings in one Galway family reach 100
Six members of a family from Loughrea in Co Galway have lived to see their 100th birthday, which relatives hope will mean another world record is on its way. In 2014, the family were awarded a Guinness World Record for having the most family members reach 100 years of age. Last week, Sheila Burns nee Clarke from Castlenancy, Mullagh, Loughrea, celebrated her 100th birthday. She is the youngest of her family of thirteen. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Eamon O'Daly

Life in a 280-year-old cottage with no running water, electricity, TV or phone
Meet the Co Fermanagh pensioner who says her rural lifestyle is the secret to genuine happiness. With the front door open for circulation as the fire burns, there are double oil burners on the walls and the flames are reflected in mirrors to provide extra light. Every inch of Miss Gallagher's home may reflect the past or a bygone era to some, but to her this is her reality. Here explains why we could all benefit by taking a break from the 21st century. For more details & pics, please click Belfast Telegraph.

First ever reader driven Irish travel awards announced
After thousands of entries, countless tips and hours of judging, the Irish Independent has unveiled the winners of the first ever reader driven Irish travel awards. The list includes the best breakfast and it says a lot about the strength in depth of Irish food that a 12-room guesthouse on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula beat every five-star in the country; and anyone has woken up to the breakfast spread pictured prepared by Brian Heaton in Castlewood House won’t be surprised. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Don MacMonagle/Best Breakfast

Winner of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition announced
Shane Curran, aged 16, a 5th year student from Terenure College, Dublin 6, has taken home the top prize for his project entitled ‘qCrypt: The quantum-secure, encrypted, data storage solution with multijurisdictional quorum sharding technology’. The announcement was made in the BT Arena at Dublin’s RDS by Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Education and Skills, and Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland. For more details & video clip, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Tracing the musical life of Ireland's first professional bodhrán and bones player
In 1974, at the age of 60, Peadar Mercier, a part-time traditional musician and member of the Chieftains, left his job as a building supplies store manager with G&T Crampton construction company in Dublin to embark on an international career as Ireland’s first professional bodhrán and bones player. Herbert Peter Mercer was born in Cork, in 1914. His father, a Protestant Congregationalist, came from a Northern family of jewelers, clockmakers and silversmiths. His mother came from a Catholic family in Cork. For more details, please click RTÉ.

The American film location scout who fell for Belfast
The city has changed hugely in the intervening 29 years since Scott Dewees, a retired film location scout and a native of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, first stood at Belfast City Hall, and it has changed particularly from where he is standing now. Which is in the penthouse apartment of a block of luxury flats overlooking the Titanic Quarter. Currently Mr Dewees is one of 1,000 people resident in Titanic Quarter. In all 18,000 people live, work and study there. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Woman searching for man she met on flight from London to Dublin
An online search has begun to unite two people who met last week on a flight from London to Dublin. The short flight was just long enough for a man and a woman to make a lasting connection. The woman's name isVera, but she was too shy to ask for the man's name at baggage claim and now regrets it. Vera's friends have decided to play cupid and try to find the mystery man, who must have made such an impression on Vera that she has been sharing her story with them. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.

Oh dear - the tattoo that doesn't mean what one poor lad thought it did
An unidentified tattoo fan looked to get a sentimental phrase as Gaeilge etched onto his skin - but ended up proving why you should double (and triple) check what your tattoo really means. The design showcases an intricate Celtic cross with text wrapping around it. The tattoo was first posted on Facebook by a man who proudly said: "My new unfinished piece of back art, it says in gaelic ''you will forever be in my heart'." Only that's not what it says. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.
Photo Credit: IMGUR

Point-to-point pitches Irish against British today
Point-to-Point racing is just like steeple-chasing In fact, it is far closer to the roots of the sport, which all began with one match race between the Tipperary villages of Doneraile and Buttevant, in 1784. Now there’s a new opportunity for Ireland to showcase its prowess with the advent of a brand new fixture in the Point-to-Point calendar at Barbury Racecourse in Wiltshire. The event is the Barbury International Point-to- Point, featuring the Masterson Family Trophy. For more details, please click The Irish World.

January 13
Obama & Biden Farewell speeches marked with Heaney and Yeats quotes
Mr Obama surprised the vice president on Thursday by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction in an emotional White House ceremony. Mr Obama called upon the words of Irish poet W.B Yeats in his dedication to his right-hand man. He joked that he couldn't use Seamus Heaney because Biden often looks to the Co Londonderry poet for speeches. Instead he used a line from Yeats' poem The Municipal Gallery Revisisted. For more details & pics, please click Belfast Telegraph.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ

Billionaire Chuck Feeney has written his last cheque
Duty Free billionaire Chuck Feeney, whose grandmother came from Kinawley in Fermanagh, has given over £1.5 billion to Irish causes. Mr Feeney set up Atlantic Philathropies, to give away his fortune to good causes in his own lifetime. He instructed the foundation to dole out every last penny of his fortune before his death, telling the world’s second most wealthy man Warren Buffet that he hoped his last cheque would bounce. For more details, please click The Irish World.

Two hundred new jobs for Tipperary
The former Suir Pharma plant in Clonmel, which shut down last year, is reopening under new ownership. IQ Pharmatek, which is made up of companies based in Ireland, the UK and the UAE, will initially focus on manufacturing products for other international pharma companies. IQ Pharmatek spokesperson Azzam Hussein, said they would be up and running within weeks. "We want to be back in production in one month's time." For more on this news item, please click Breaking News ireland.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin win haiku prize for Sligo man
First prize in the Funku Christmas competition goes to Billy Varley, of Enniscrone, Co Sligo, for this neatly worked winning try:
Trump towers over
the scrum. Vladimir’s put in.
Won against the head.
For those who don’t speak fluent rugby, the ball is “won against the head” if the other team steals it from the “put-in”.
The Funku is the classical Haiku form seasoned with an ounce of wit. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit, Related Story & Video Clip: Irish Examiner

Video of Tyrone groom singing to his bride goes viral
Niall Donnelly, the groom, was egged on by his sister to sing his beautiful bride Jill up the aisle. Niall Donnelly said "The whole thing was basically my sister Bronagh's idea, she brought the idea up at the rehearsal three days before the wedding. We laughed it off but the lads kinda kept talking about was a shock to the rest of my friends and family." The video has been viewed over 10 million times since it was uploaded to YouTube. To watch the video, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Happy customer tips Northern Irish Indian restaurant £1,000
Staff at The Indian Tree in Portadown, Co Armagh got an extra special surprise when they picked up their tip from a loyal customer - the generous gentleman gave a £1,000 tip after enjoying a £79.05 meal. The businessman, who lives abroad and wishes to remain anonymous had been one of a family group of five when he pulled chef Babu aside to say thank you. Restaurant director Luna Ekush said "…since he moved abroad when he flies home into Belfast he would call and see what Babu is cooking." For more details, please click Belfast Live.
Photo Credit: Portadown Times

Who or what is this mysterious figure caught on camera in Co Antrim?
Maxine Caulfield was strolling through an area known as Slieveanorra when she claims her pets used their 'sixth sense' to seek out the figure among trees. But it wasn't until she arrived home and uploaded the pictures that she and others noticed the spooky outline of what looked like a furry beast lurking in the woodland. Ghost stories have been told about Slieveanorra since October 1942, when a US Air Force B17 Flying Fortress bomber crashed into a mountain there. For more details, please click Daily Mail.

Ireland's McGee one win away from the main draw of Australian Open
The Dubliner won in straight sets against his French opponent, 6-2 6-4, as he followed up on Wednesday’s win over Matija Pecotic of Croatia. The success keeps 29-year-old McGee’s dream alive of making the main draw at a Grand Slam event, for what would be only the second time in his career after he previously featured in the US Open in 2014. McGee will now face Australian Blake Mott in the final round. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Rory McIlroy one behind at South African Open
World number two Rory McIlroy is one off the pace at the South African Open after firing a five-under-par 67 in his first competitive round of 2017. It left the Northern Irishman a stroke behind home players Trevor Fisher Jnr and Keith Horne in Johannesburg. Experimenting with new clubs after Nike withdrew from the market, McIlroy produced a couple of superb late recoveries following wayward drives. For more details, please click BBC.

January 12
The Brontës’ very real and raw Irish roots
They grew up an immigrant family with their father’s Irish accent. He had come a very long way from the mud cabin in Drumballyroney, Co Down where he had grown up in a large and very poor family, the son of a farmhand, fence-fixer and road-builder called Hugh Brunty. He was never allowed to forget he was an immigrant – and his children were constantly reminded of it, too. This was, after all, an era in which the Irish were always being characterised negatively. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Image Credit & Related Story: Telegraph UK/National Portrait Gallery

Ten reasons why Kerry is one of the the best counties in Ireland
Located in the South-West region of the country in the province of Munster, Kerry has a lot to boast about: Ireland's highest peak, the Rose of Tralee festival, the world famous Ring, the craig in Dingle ( a stop in for a pint at Dick Mack's is a must), and then there are the breath-taking beaches as well as the fun to be had at the annual Puck Fair. Or course this is all the subjective opinion of a single source. What do you think? For more details & pics, please click Irish Mirror.
Photo Credit: Failte Ireland/Puck Fair

The people of Cork to receive rare Terence MacSwiney medal
The Spanish language silver medal was struck in Argentina almost a century ago in honour of republican Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney. Professor Dermot Keogh, an emeritus professor of history at UCC, came across the medal while researching his latest book, Argentina and the Irish Revolution. It is inscribed in Spanish on the back with the famous words attributed to MacSwiney: “It is not those who can inflict the most, but those that can suffer the most who will prevail." For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

First truly icy blast as winter shows its teeth
Strong winds, biting cold temperatures, snow, sleet and hail are expected to batter much of the country this morning. Dozens of gritting lorries were being prepared across Ireland last night as the first extensive snowfall of the winter was set to begin over Ulster and Connacht. Met Éireann is warning residents living in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo to brace themselves for extreme weather…" For more details, pics and video clip, please click Irish Independent.

Wind generated power sets record
This morning's wind generated enough electricity to power 1.8 million homes - an all-time record. Robin McCormick, director of operations, planning and innovation, at EirGrid said "Dealing with wind generation of this scale on a small, island electricity grid hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world and so this is a huge achievement for EirGrid. We will continue to optimise the electricity system in the hope that we can continue this trend,” he added. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Irish Film board says 2016 was a bumper year for industry
The Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann has said that 2016 was a landmark year for the film industry in Ireland with production activity on film, TV and animation surpassing €250 million for the first time. The past year saw Irish films nominated for a record nine Oscars, including an unprecedented two Best Film Awards, as well as four Golden Globe Award and BAFTA awards respectively. For more details, please click RTÉ.

Nominations for Irish album of the year announced
The ten nominations for the Irish Album of the Year 2016 have been announced by the newly renamed RTÉ Choice Music Prize. The coveted prize is among the most fiercely contested in Irish music and this year the national broadcaster has come on board to give some extra publicity along with the €10,000 prize. The winning album will be announced at a live event in Vicar Street on 9 March, as will the award for Irish Song of The Year 2016. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: IMRO/Twitter

A look at this year's Young Scientist expo
For the next two days, hundreds of students from around the country will be discussing their ideas, talking through their research and thinking about the future. There are 550 ideas crammed into the one Dublin function hall, with over 50,000 visitors expected between today and tomorrow before the overall winner is announced on Friday. But the BT Young Scientist competition isn’t about winning. It's an event where children spend their time dropping the jaws of people – most of whom are at least twice their age. For more details, pics and video clip, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Irish Independent/Tony Gavin

McIlroy's 'great chance' to regain number one spot
Rory McIlroy says he can regain the world number one spot from Jason Day before the end of this month. McIlroy, a close second behind Day in the rankings, tees up in the South African Open on Thursday and plays in the Abu Dhabi Championship next week. "If I play well this week, I have a chance going to Abu Dhabi to regain the number one spot," said McIlroy, 27. To watch the video clip, please click BBC.

January 11
The world’s most sociable countries - where does Ireland rank?
some countries are more sociable than others. At least that’s according to the Legatum Prosperity Index, which, as part of its annual stocktake of global prosperity, has given a “social capital” score to the world’s nations, ranking them out of 100 in categories such as strength of personal relationships, civic participation and social network support. The index claims New Zealand is the most sociable country in the world. And Ireland? It ranked 10th. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit & Related Story: UniversityTimes

Check out the view with this drone footage on Ireland's highest peak
Not many of us get the chance to see the view from the tallest mountain. So, Irish photographer Michael Meade made a video of his trek up Carrauntoohil last week, and it’s spellbinding. s he says, it was a "magical day" in Kerry's Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range. Definitely worth the hike to the snow-capped summit to see the famous cross and epic panoramic view. To read this news item and watch the video, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Ed Sheeran: world famous and proud to be Irish
Sheeran’s Irish roots stretch back to his paternal grandparents who come from Derry and Wexford and now live in Gorey, Co. Wexford. In past interviews Sheeran has been known to speak proudly of Ireland and his Irish roots. In 2011 he spoke of how his family “used to go over three or four times a year. We have loads of Irish cousins. My grandparents live in Gorey in Wexford.” For more details, pics & video clips, please click The Irish Post.
Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Demand soars for Holy Communion dresses with bling
Big Fat Gypsy Wedding dressmaker Thelma Madine has revealed she has already closed her 2017 books for First Communion dresses because she's been flooded with orders from Northern Ireland and the Republic. Thelma, who shot to fame on the hit Channel 4 series, said demand for her trademark extravagant creations from clients in Ireland had been so high in recent weeks, she will have to turn down any future orders for Holy Communion outfits for the rest of the year. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Log cabin on offer in Co Cavan
The secluded three-bedroom pinewood log cabin pictured sits near the tranquil banks of the Shannon-Erne Waterway in Co. Cavan. The ground floor has a large covered porch, an open plan kitchen, a spacious dining and sitting room fitted with a working gas fireplace, an en-suite double bedroom, a utility room and to save the best till last, a bathroom accompanied with a jacuzzi bath. And it can all be yours for just €110,000. For more details & pics, please click The Irish Post.
Photo Credit: REA Peter Donahue Ballyconnell

When an Irish farmer wants a wife, there is only one way to ask
Beef farmer Ashley Farrell, from Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone, wanted to marry the love of his life and he could think of no better way than to ask her the big questions by writing it on the flank of one of his favourite cattle. So three years into his relationship with trainee teacher Anna Martin from Dromore, Co Down , Ashley armed himself with a spray can and got to work on a calf that he had bought her for Christmas. For more details, please click Irish Mirror.

Tara zinc mine may continue production up to 2026
The company that owns the Tara zinc mine in Co Meath has identified a new mineralisation that will see the capacity for production continue well into the next decade. Boliden had indicated that the lifespan of the mine was limited to 2020, but the decision to extend the tailings dam could see production continue at current levels until 2026. The mine, which is located just outside of Navan, is Europe's largest and the world's ninth largest zinc mine. It currently employs over 600 people. For more details, please click RTÉ.
Photo Credit & related Story: Drogheda Life

Retired couple to spend Lotto winnings on grandkids
Two separate Lotto and Millionaire Raffle winners from Co. Meath and Co. Westmeath have collected almost €300,000 in National Lottery prize money today.The biggest claim of the day was made by a retired couple from Ashbourne, Co. Meath who won €172,223. The grandmother said "We have discussed this at length and we have decided to give all of the money to our grandchildren who are only starting out in life." For more on this news item, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Bishop Daly's ginger cat finds new home
Ginger feline Tom had been the former Bishop of Derry's cat for about 15 years before his death in 2016. Dave Graham from Coleraine said he came across the moggy after searching a pet re-homing site for a new kitten. "I asked who his owner was and they told me that Bishop Edward Daly's housekeeper had brought him in. They had an urgent request to find this guy a home, he's 16 years old and he's deaf." For more details, please click BBC.
Photo Credit: Dave Graham

January 10
'National treasure' TK Whitaker, RIP
The former public servant and economist, has died aged 100. He celebrated his 100th birthday last month. Born in Co Down and raised in Drogheda, he was just 39-years-old when he took over as secretary general at the Department of Finance in 1955. As head of the Department in the early 1960's, he was credited with helping to modernise the Irish economy, after decades of decline. In 2001 the public voted him Irishman of the 20th Century. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: Journal Ireland/Joe Dunne

Almost one in three Irish parents would like a 'big family'
That's according to a new survey by iReach which reveals that the single biggest deterrent to having lots of children is cost, with more than three in four parents who want a big family deciding against it as they felt they “couldn’t afford it”. One in five people admit to thinking that “only rich people can afford to have big families”. The survey also found that a family with four or more children is now considered a big family. For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.
Photo Credit: Julie Ferry

Ed Sheeran goes full-on trad for Galway and Wexford
Ed Sheeran says that he's written two "full-on Irish trad songs" about Galway and Wexford for his new album and that he's on the lookout for ceili dancers to appear in a video which he will be shooting in Ireland very soon."I've actually got a song on the new album which I think is really gonna explode in Ireland. It would be something to do with the county of Galway. I've got a trad band called Beoga, they're actually from Belfast. It's a fiddle, a pipe, a bodhran and piano and we really jam." For more details & video clip, please click RTÉ.

Rubberbandits song selected for Trainspotting 2 soundtrack
The duo's hard-hitting song, Dad's Best Friend will feature alongside music from the likes of Underworld, Wolf Alice and Iggy Pop.According to reports, Oscar winning director Danny Boyle is a “big fan” of the Limerick comics and the video for the song might also appear in the movie. The much-anticipated sequel to Trainspotting hits cinemas later this month. For more details and video clip please click RTÉ.

Aer Lingus named one of world's 10 safest low-cost airlines
That's according to Based in Australia, is a safety and product rating website monitoring 425 global airlines. Its safety ratings are based on factors ranging from airline incident records to reports from aviation's governing bodies. "The airline "continues to have an excellent safety record and has never had a jet fatality," said Geoffrey Thomas, the site's Editor-in-Chief. To view the list, please click Irish Independent.

Listen to Irish poet’s hilarious love poem
Perfectly summing up the moment you realise ‘he’s just not that into you’, Dubliner Ciara Ní É recited the hilarious poem of the same title at a bilingual spoken word night called REIC at the Irish Writers Center in the Irish capital. Ciara said “I’ve always had an interest in poetry, and studied English and Irish at Trinity College Dublin." For more details and to hear her recite the poem, please click Irish Post.
Image Grab: You Tube

Joy for lifelong friends who win EuroMillions prize of nearly €400,000
Today, the friends fulfilled a shared dream of collecting a life-changing prize together at the National Lottery offices in Dublin. One of the lucky winners described how their long-lasting friendship and traditions brought their dreams to reality. “For many years, we have met religiously in the pub every weekend to watch the football matches on TV and we would always club a few bob together to do the EuroMillions draw for the following Friday night." For more details, please click Breaking News Ireland.

Meet the flag-bearer for female guards on vintage railways in NI
Rebecca Dougan is the youngest guard on the Downpatrick & County Down Railway railway, and is thought to be the first female guard on any heritage railway operation in Ireland. Rebecca, who works at Castle Espie, is the third member of her family to become a guard. Although mainly responsible for operational and safety duties, Rebecca says there is more to it than just blowing a whistle and flying a flag at the driver. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Irish Olympian sets sail for Team Britain ahead of Tokyo 2020 bid
Saskia Tidey has announced she has left the Irish Olympic sailing team to join the British Sailing Team in the hopes of competing in the Tokyo 2020 games. The Dublin native Saskia took to Twitter to break the news : “Sad day leaving Irish 49 er [sic] FX Sailing,” she wrote, “Thankful to @ISA_Performance for helping me become the sailor I am today.” Ms Tidey was half of Ireland’s first female 49er skiff FX sailing team at the Rio Olympics with Briton Andrea Brewster. For more details, please click Irish Post.
Photo Credit: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

January 9
Dublin-based scientists make exciting breakthrough in treatment of autism
A team led by Dr Joshua Henk Balsters (pictured), at Trinity College Dublin have made a discovery that represents a breakthrough towards more effective autism therapies. It has identified a previously undiscovered part of the brain which is effected by the condition autism spectrum disorder. Dr Balsters explained “We found that individuals with ASD are less accurate at identifying other people’s expectations, but they also lack the typical response when surprising things happen to other people.” For more details, please click Irish Post.
Photo Credit, Related Story & Video Clip: Irish Times

Brendan Gleeson: ‘It never crossed my mind I could be a movie star’

Twenty years ago, Gleeson was just edging into a new, exciting phase of his life. As everybody knows (or should know) the burly, warmly voiced Dubliner spent many years working as a teacher before becoming a professional actor. He was 34 when he took the plunge. By the late-1990s, having shone in Irish films such as I Went Down and The General, the American roles were starting to trickle in. Sometimes, even in this cruel world, talent will out. He is now among the most respected character actors in the business. For more details, please click Irish Times.

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco enjoy low-key Irish holiday
This week the Monaco royals returned to Ireland for a third time - the second visit took place in 2011. The prince and princess paid an informal visit to Bru na Boinne and Newgrange and after enjoying their morning of sightseeing, the royal couple and their friends stopped off at The Monasterboice Inn for a spot of lunch. Monasterboice Inn manager Roseanne Donegan said that her team was both surprised and delighted to receive royal visitors. For more details & photos, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit: Pop Sugar/Previous visit to Ireland in 2011

U2 confirm massive Croker shows to mark 30 years of 'The Joshua Tree'
In 1987 U2 catapulted into super-stardom with the seminal album which went on to sell 25 million copies. Thirty years later it's still considered by many to be the band's finest offering and U2 have already confirmed they will tour it in full during 2017. It is understood that The Joshua Tree tour will start in Canada in May, before heading through America and into Europe. The dates for the full tour are expected to be confirmed today. For more details, please click Irish Independent.
Photo Credit & Related Story: RTÉ

J.W.Anderson's designs add a splash of colour in London
Northern Ireland fashion designer J.W.Anderson has once again captivated the London style scene with his latest crochet- themed collection. Son of Irish rugby legend Willie Anderson, 32-year-old Jonathan, from The Loup near Magherafelt, showcased his latest designs at the Autumn/Winter 2017 London Fashion Week men's fashion event. Anderson's latest AW17 collection features crochet designs appearing on pockets, shoes, sleeves and scarves. For more details & pics, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Dublin Zoo celebrates birth of scimitar-horned oryx calf
The newest addition to the zoo's specimens brings its total to four. The species have now been classified as extinct in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as there has been no definitive evidence of their presence in the wild for more than 15 years. Commenting on the birth, team leader Helen Clarke-Bennet, said “The calf has shown strong signs of settling into its new surroundings and is mixing extremely well with the rest of the herd.” For more details, please click Irish Post.
Photo Credit: Patrick Bolger/Dublin Zoo

Seventy six Irish thoroughbred horses flown to Beijing
In the largest ever single export of Irish racing bloodstock to China, the horses were flown in a Boeing 747 cargo plane from Shannon airport.The animals transported in the €3 million airlift have all been purchased by Chinese businessman Zhang Yuesheng. The transaction has been hailed as a major leap into the lucrative Chinese market. The horses were bought from Irish breeders on behalf of Mr Yuesheng by Kildare-based bloodstock agency BBA Ireland. For more details, please click The Irish News.

In the market for a house and like to entertain? This might be the one
If you love entertaining and throwing a party, then this Belfast home might be the one for you - the current owners have added their own bar. As well as the bar, the rest of the home is immaculately decorated and has a gorgeous landscaped back garden. It also has a detached garage at the back, which could be turned into an office for any new owner. The detached four bedroom home in the east of the city is on the market for £250,000. For more details & phot gallery, please click Irish Mirror.

Photos that capture the opening weekend of the 2017 GAA season
First day back, a cold day but no signs of rustiness from the Dubs’ Jason Whelan (pictured). Elsewhere, new year, new nose. It didn’t take long for Kildare’s David Slattery to be reminded of the art of war. And there’s nothing quite like a melee to get the heart racing, demonstrated here by some Cavan and Tyrone players. Also pictured is Davy Fitzgerald enjoying his first day back in the saddle as Wexford swept aside the challenge of UCD in the Walsh Cup. To view the gallery, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit: Ryan Byrne; ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne/INPHO

January 8
Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts
The majority of the 520,000 visitors who queue to see the Book of Kells every year do so because its images are world famous. The Gospel pages with their intricate strapwork have been endlessly reproduced, but for author Christopher de Hamel the glory lies in the pages of text. The penmanship is called ‘insular majuscule script.' Invented in Ireland, the style travelled from monastery to monastery in the minds of educated and skillful Irish monks. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Ireland's next generation of game changers

There’s little doubt that 2017 is going to not just be a career-changing one but also a life-changing one for yet another group of Ireland’s hottest young talents. From actors to entrepreneurs, these prodigies are among a pool of high achievers whose remarkable successes to date are bucking trends and putting their country at the top of the list in a variety of professions. Pictured is Jordan Hewson. Dismiss her as ‘Bono’s daughter’ at your peril. She is far more than just the offspring of the Dublin singer Bono. For more details, please click Irish Examiner.

Bowie's Irish guitarist is in town to celebrate his life
The Dublin Bowie Fest kicked off on Thursday and runs until Tuesday. The second annual festival, it is the first to take place since the singer’s sad death last January. One of the highlights of the festival is a gig in Whelan’s on Monday by Gerry Leonard, the Dubliner who was Bowie’s guitarist on the Heathen, Reality and The Next Day albums.Leonard, who performs under the name Spooky Ghost, played with Bowie from 2002 until his death. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.
Photo Credit & Related Story: IMRO

My mother, Molly Keane: caustic chronicler of the lost Anglo-Irish world
The great, caustic and conflicted chronicler of a lost society of big houses, hunting and celebrity, Molly Keane comes to life again in a biography by her daughter Sally Phipps. “The Anglo-Irish world is almost gone now, and that’s good,” says Phipps. “It was limiting to the human spirit, I think. But it’s history.” For Phipps, that history is of an Ireland from which, for years, she was determined to shake herself loose. For more details, please click Irish Times.
Photo Credit & Related Story: The Irish Aesthete

Did you, just for a dare, sip a glass of poteen at Christmas?
Although some brands of the stuff are made under licence at two distilleries in the Republic, it's still a crime to distill poteen in Northern Ireland. Looking at thephotograph, snapped for Royal Ulster Constabulary records back in the 1920s on a remote farm at Carrickmore, a village in Co Tyrone, an old-fashioned still had just been taken into custody and the secret distillers arrested too. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

City of Limerick looks to the future
Standing by the River Shannon looking up towards the medieval St John's Castle as it catches the early morning winter sunshine, Limerick is looking quite beautiful. The new, architecturally-acclaimed Thomond Park stadium, the home of Munster rugby, dominates the Moyross housing estate that was once in the news for all the wrong reasons. Limerick, according to Conn Murray, the chief executive of the city and county council, has put its past behind it. For more details, please click BBC.

The Irish pair aiming to make history in the world's toughest bike race
The Race Across America is billed as the ‘world’s toughest bike race’. Irish cyclists have been among those to try their luck at the event and they have been very successful in some cases. In 2015, for instance, a self-funded Irish team became the first self-supported people to complete RAAM. This year’s event is set to have further Irish interest. Experienced cyclists Graham Macken and Declan Brassil are aiming to become the first Irish duo to complete RAAM. For more details, please click Journal Ireland.

Olympic silver medallist Frank Murphy, RIP
Tributes have been paid to Ireland's 1969 European Championship 1500m silver medallist Frank Murphy who has died aged 69 following a long illness. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Murphy maintained Ireland's tradition of middle distance excellence with a series of impressive performances. Murphy added a European indoor silver in 1970 to his 1969 outdoor silver. Murphy competed at a second Olympics in Munich before the Irish mile baton was picked up by the great Eamonn Coghlan. For more details, please click BBC.

Belfast to host Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament
Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston is in Boston this weekend to announce Belfast City Council’s support for hosting the event as well as the return of the successful NI Connections Friendship Four Ice Hockey Tournament. Alderman Kingston was at the world famous Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield Massachusetts to announce council support for a new College Basketball tournament scheduled to take place in the city in December. For more details, please click Belfast Telegraph.

Mon, Jan 23, 2017

From Bog Land to Turf Fire

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

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

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

Links to the latest news from Ireland

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

BBC Northern Ireland
Belfast Telegraph
Breaking News Ireland
Irish 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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