Fáilte go hÉireann

℘℘℘ A journey through the native Irish-speaking areas of Ireland These are the words of welcome that Irish people have greeted visitors with for centuries. They may well be the words that greet you when you visit. If they are, I urge you to take time to grasp their deeper meaning. Venture beyond the tourist hotspots and gain an insight into an older Ireland by exploring its...

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In East Mayo: A Community Where Past Is Prologue

A year-long celebration is underway to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Swinford, a County Mayo town as proud of its heritage as its time-honored strength of community.  ℘℘℘ The words were painted high on a whitewashed brick wall, just above a red and green Mayo flag flapping in the wind.  MELLETT’S DRINKING EMPORIUM  ESTB 1797 “Is it...

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Sláinte! The Great October Fair

The Ballinasloe October Fair is one of the oldest fairs in Ireland. While now predominantly associated with horses, in its heyday it served as a market for the sale of cattle and sheep by the farmers of the west to their counterparts in the east of Ireland. ℘℘℘ An Irish adage advises: Go East for a woman; go West for a horse. When I was a girl I had a bicycle. I...

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Harvest Festival participants.

Waterford’s Annual
Harvest Festival

The 11th annual Waterford Harvest Festival is set for September 6-8. ℘℘℘ Waterford is expecting over 40,000 attendees to partake in the annual celebration of local food, culture, and heritage. This year there is a special emphasis on sustainability. On opening night, a dinner hosted by nonprofit GIY (Grow It Yourself) will feed 50 lucky diners a zero-waste meal. The dishes will be prepared...

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Beside the monument is a bell from the boat, found near Blanc-Sablon in 1968. (Photos courtesy of CBC Radio-Canada).

The Un-Quiet
Ghosts of the Carricks

Bones of Irish children were found 170 years after they died on a “coffin ship” en route to Canada in 1847. Vertebra and jaw bones were identified among the remains, believed to be of Irish children fleeing the Great Hunger, that were discovered in 2011 on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, about 500 miles from Montreal, in Canada. Canadian scientists have concluded that the bones that washed up...

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