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Ireland

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Ireland

Postby eoinzy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:41 am

I found this article in the local newspaper here in Oz:

FUN

Kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle (County Cork) and discover "the gift of the gab". Then find a three-leafed shamrock for good luck.

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Ride on a jaunting car, really just a horse cart, but don't expect a comfortable ride, and do negotiate a price with the jarvey (driver) before setting off.

Check out Molly Malone's statue in busy Grafton Street (Dublin) that has been nicknamed "the tart with the cart".

If single, head to Lisdoonvarna (County Clare) for the annual matchmaking festival in September when the resident matchmaker Willie Daly will help love bloom.

Walk unsteadily across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (County Antrim) above the rock- strewn sea.

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Drive along country lanes but expect traffic jams as farmers move cattle, sheep or tractors at a leisurely pace.

Take a ferry tour from Dingle (County Kerry) to nearby waters to meet a friendly bottle-nosed dolphin named Fungie.

SCENIC

See the soaring Cliffs of Moher (County Clare), a landmark that is currently a finalist for the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Take in the magical scenery that inspired the song Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea (County Down).

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Climb the hexagonal pillars of Giant's Causeway (County Antrim) created by volcanic activity, though traditional lore credits its creation to a feud between two giants.

The Rock of Cashel, an ancient fortified home of kings, takes the breath away as it emerges from the plains of Tipperary.

Breathe in the tantalising smell of a peat fire in an Irish pub or home, and watch it being cut from bog land.

Drive the Ring of Kerry, for spectacular views along rugged coastline, and beside mountains and pristine lakes.

SPORTY

Take in a game of Gaelic football and decide if there is any resemblance to Aussie Rules. And don't miss a fast-moving hurling match with small leather ball and curved stick.

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Golfers head to the rugged links at Doonbeg (County Clare), designed by Greg Norman beside the wild Atlantic Ocean, and named Europe's Top Golf Resort for 2010.

VILLAGE

Small villages with little more than a pub, local shop, and handful of houses, reveal the staunch camaraderie among locals.

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Take in Doolin (County Clare) that is a magnet for traditional Irish music, Adare (County Limerick) for rows of thatched cottages, and Westport (County Mayo) that is regularly named as Ireland's tidiest town.

HOBBY

Gardeners head to Powerscourt, (County Wicklow) for an 18th century estate with large gardens that give an important lesson in planting.

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Fishermen head to rivers, loughs and the coastline for great catches, while fine china collectors go to Beleek (County Fermanagh) or Waterford for hand-cut crystal.

Those messing around in boats favour the expansive Shannon-Erne waterways (of counties Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh), while birdwatchers visit tiny Rathlin Island (County Antrim) which is alive with birdlife.

UNUSUAL

Visit the remote Aran Islands across Galway Bay where residents speak Gaelic, make a living from fishing and tourism, and where the women knit heavy cream-wool patterned sweaters to keep their fishermen warm at sea.

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A horse ride into the surreal rocky limestone country of The Burren (County Clare) is akin to exploring a moonscape.

Now it is a "foodies" paradise from the Michelin-starred chef at Belfast's Fitzwilliam Hotel to the south's Ballymaloe Cooking School near Cork where TV chef Darina Allen attracts students from around the world.

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An Irish breakfast has heart-stopping ingredients such as bacon, sausage, fried bread, egg and black pudding (yes, pig's blood is part of the ingredients).

The Irish really know how to cook bread that is a feast with creamy butter, while scones and brown soda bread are also a hit.

Some of the best oysters are found in Galway, particularly at Moran's Oyster Cottage. The fishing village of Kinsale (County Cork) has cobbled streets, and a reputation for fine food with a six-day gourmet festival each year.

LIQUID
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Tour the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin where whiskey is made the old-fashioned way. After sampling a drop head to the nearby Guinness Storehouse and learn why a pint tastes better when it is allowed to settle to the blackest black and the creamiest white.

Walk into any pub in Cork, ask for a "home and away", and be given a pint of Murphy's, the local stout, as well as a pint of Guinness.

Belfast pubs have legendary craic (lively conversation) while the odd pint of Guinness is imbibed. Kelly's Pub in Bank Street is the oldest and has a warm welcome in its crowded bars. A pub crawl in this northern city or down south in Dublin will be with like-minded folk.

LITERARY
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Literary types take the James (Ulysses) Joyce trail in Dublin, follow the trail of C.S. Lewis, Narnia creator, in Belfast, or the Frank (Angela's Ashes) McCourt tour in Limerick.

Trinity College, Dublin, exhibits the exquisite Book of Kells, a hand illustrated copy of the gospels by Christian monks around AD800.

Sardonic writer Jonathan Swift was dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin for many years and is buried there.

Writer Dylan Thomas spent time in Ennistymon (County Clare) in what is now the Falls Hotel where the main bar is named after him.

Dublin's links to theatre are many, and the Dublin Writers' Museum also fleshes out those ties.

HISTORIC

Peace reigns in Belfast but check out the vivid wall murals of the Falls/Shankhill roads that define the divisive days of the Troubles.

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Puzzle over mysterious stone tables, scattered across the country, that are known as dolmens that date back to 2500BC and are believed to be ancient tombs.

The remains of castles are found across Ireland so explore a few, and stay for a night or two, at one or two.

Bunratty Castle (County Clare) is now part of a folk park that recreates medieval days and memorable banquets.

There is little left of Navan Fort, once the royal seat of Ulster, but the interpretive centre there is a great introduction to the myths and archaeology of Ireland.

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Visit Newgrange, (County Meath) for one of the country's best-known Stone Age burial mounds, considered to be one of the archaeological wonders of Western Europe.

Examine ancient stone high crosses across the countryside that are intricately carved as reminders of yesteryear.

The genealogical resources in Dublin and Belfast help Aussies research their forefathers.

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Stop off at the harbour town of Cobh (County Cork), the last port of call for the liner Titanic before it sank in 1912.

According to Irish lore, The Red Hand of Ulster that decorates many buildings in Northern Ireland can be traced back to seagoing warriors who were told that the first man to lay his hand on the island could have it. One warrior cut off his hand and threw.
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Re: Ireland

Postby eoinzy » Fri May 21, 2010 3:46 pm

QUOTES:
"No person knows better than you do that the domination of England is the sole and blighting curse of this country. It is the incubus that sits on our energies, stops the pulsation of the nation’s heart and leaves to Ireland not gay vitality but horrid the convulsions of a troubled dream."- Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), in an 1831 letter to Bishop Doyle.


"I tell you this - early this morning I signed my death warrant."
- Michael Collins, after signing a treaty on December 6, 1921 with England creating the Irish Free State as a dominion within the British Commonwealth. He was later assassinated by partisans unhappy with the deal.


"We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English."
- Winston Churchill


"Could he not find in his heart the generosity to acknowledge that there is a small nation that stood alone not for one year or two, but for several hundred years against aggression; that endured spoliations, famines, massacres in endless succession; that was clubbed many times into insensibility, but that each time on returning [to] consciousness took up the fight anew; a small nation that could never be got to accept defeat and has never surrendered her soul?”
- Eamon De Valera, on Victory Day in Europe, May 8, 1945, responding in a radio speech to criticism by Winston Churchill of Ireland’s neutrality in World War II, a speech in which De Valera also thanked Churchill for not invading Ireland.




FACTS:
The word quiz was allegedly invented in the 1830’s by a Dublin theater owner named Richard Daly, who made a bet that he could make a nonsense word known throughout the city in just 48 hours. Legend says that Daly gave his employees cards with the word “quiz” written on them, and told them to write it on walls all over the city. Some historians argue that the word was already in use at this time, but most agree that it did not acquire it’s current definition – "to question or interrogate" – until sometime in the 19th century.


In 1859, Irish scientist John Tyndall was the first to correctly explain why the sky is blue. The explanation may surprise you. The sun puts out a full spectrum of light colors – but your eyes are most sensitive to blue and red/purple colors. Molecules in the air scatter the sun’s blue light faster than they scatter its red light. A day-time sky without clouds looks blue because the sun is close to you, and relatively little of the blue light has been scattered. You see red and orange colors at sunset because the light must travel a greater distance to you, and all the blue light has been refracted away from your line of sight by the time the sun’s light hits you – not because of dust or other particles in the air as is widely believed.


“Tallaght” in Dublin is an old name that means “The Plague cemetery.” <-- my hometown :oops:


Muhammad Ali has some Irish heritage. His great grandfather was born in Ennis, County Clare, and emigrated to Kentucky in the 1860s. There, he married an African-American woman. A son born to this couple also married and African-American woman, who gave birth to Ali's mother, Odessa Grady. She married a man named Cassius Clay, and the two moved to Louisville, where the future champ was born.

About 30% of the people in Australia are of Irish descent.

President Barack Obama's maternal great, great, great grandfather Fulmuth Kearney came from Moneygall, in County Offaly. Mr. Kearney came to America in 1850.
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Re: Ireland

Postby rarena » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:04 am

Fab article!! I just wrote about the Cliffs of Moher. http://renarabold.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/cliffs-of-moher/ Ireland is the most amazing country!!! :)
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Re: Ireland

Postby amsroks » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:05 am

I know that's spam but yes it is a fab country :P
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