Recently in Aran abroad Category


After a month in Kosovo, the Unofficial Embassy has shut up shop and moved home. The money ran dry and the gig was up. The ambassadors said ciao to the newest country in the world with moist eyes and trembling lips. We had enough laughs for a lifetime but we also learned some valuable lessons about diplomacy that we'd like to share with the rest of you not fortunate enough to have had your own embassy.

How the Myth Was Made: Man of Aran


Kate and Peter Faherty with their friend Colin Tom (center), whose parents worked with Flaherty, watch scenes from family life on a battery-powered 9" monitor. Photo by George C. Stoney, Fall 1976


George Stoney is the legendary pioneer of documentary filmmaking and the son of an Aran islander.

An acclaimed professor of film at NYU University, his insightful documentary How the Myth Was Made: A Study of Robert Flaherty's Man of Aran  exploded some misconceptions about America's famous filmmaker.

By going back to interview islanders who took part in the orignal documentary he was able to unravel how Flaherty had played fast an loose with the facts to make his tale of the islanders even more heroic and dramatic.

Now an acclaimed professor of film at NYU University. Stoney, was also director of the National Film Board of Canada's Challenge for Change project and is considered to be the father of public access television. He is also the director numerous documentary films including All My Babies and The Uprising of '34.
 See his speech below on the importance of filmmakers working honestly with their subjects.

Stoney, was director of the National Film Board of Canada's Challenge for Change project and is considered to be the father of public access television. He is also the director numerous documentary films including All My Babies and The Uprising of '34.

now read on after the jump

Aran's first green roof in centuries starts to bloom

Aran Islands

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Beautiful yet rugged,
the Pabshsaer Barr Aille, aka the Sea Pink, clings to a crack in the limestone cliff near Synge's Chair. Now hundreds of cultivars of this wild Inis Méain plant are growing on the first green roof to be built on the Aran islands in centuries. The Clochán, built in the bronze age which a few feet behind our green roofed studio still has an intact green roof on it. Its a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun.  We have plenty to learn about becoming sustainabile from looking at the past. Read more about the living roof here here

Spielberg.JPGShort answer: Steven Spielberg explored Ireland on a spiritual David Whyte tour, costing a not so spiritual $3,300.

"Zigzagging through the country's natural wonders, Spielberg listened to poetry on jagged cliffs of the Aran Islands, soaked up quiet village life while in the Burren, and toured on a souped-up motorized bike. Along with his wife and teenage son, Spielberg enjoyed the country's natural wonders (not just the rain). They listened to poetry on the jagged cliffs of the Aran Islands, soaked up quiet village life at country homes in the Burren, and did walking and cycling tours. The esteemed director rounded out his trip outside of Dublin before returning to work, mind, soul and body refreshed after the trip."

But read on about the much more interesting David Whyte, a poet who grew up in Yorkshire, England. He studied Marine Zoology in Wales and trained as a naturalist in the Galapagos Islands. He has also worked as a naturalist guide, leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in various parts of the world, including treks among the mountains of Nepal. Whyte's poetry reflects a living spirituality and a deep connection to the natural world. He is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, conducting workshops with many American and international companies. David Whyte currently lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

David's tour to the west of Ireland is pitched as a celebration of Ireland's Celtic culture, both traditional and emerging, set around Galway Bay. "It is a unique and intimate experience of Ireland from the inside out," he writes, "Our days are spent in walking pilgrimages into the mountains of Connemara and the Burren."

There are  poetry sessions with David, and an opportunity to spend time with local Irish poet-philosophers, musicians and storytellers.

Wind and tide permitting at Doolin, they visit the Aran Islands and "bicycle to Dun Aengus at the very edge of the ancient Irish world."

David advises that his guests have "both a strong celebrative experience with other participants and an opportunity to spend time alone and meet the locals." The setting on the edge of the village allows for a cohesive community to form as well as a possibility for disappearing into one of the many pubs, cafes or shops on your own.

With the recession coming to an end its time to sign up. Contact Julie by telephone 360.221.1324 or e-mail.

Cost: $3300 (a bargain)

To apply for the trip,  complete the application and health & fitness questionnaire and mail them, together with the $900 deposit, to Julie Quiring, Many Rivers, PO Box 868, Langley, WA 98260

Health & Fitness form

Read more about David Whyte in Ireland  here

This is what the Financial Times has to say about Whyte:

Twenty years ago, David Whyte, a Yorkshire-born poet, was invited by a consultant into the world of business. Ever since, he has made it his mission, through corporate speaking tours and seminars, to help businesses harness the insights and metaphors that poetry can offer to broaden their language, improve interaction within the workplace and stir imaginations.

He has worked with corporations from Boeing to Microsoft and organisations from Nasa to Kaiser Permanente.

He begins with poetry (his own and that of Rilke, Wordsworth, Yeats and many others), and then broadens out into conversation and reflection. "I do everything from 45 minutes to three days," he explains. He recites the poems slowly, repeating lines until he is clear that his point has hit home. He does not work in soundbites, but through a scrupulous precision over language, listening and talking to a group until he is able to articulate an uncomfortable and unspoken truth.

"All these organisations are like Shakespearean plays writ large, with the nobles telling their truths from the podium while the gravediggers are telling it like it really is in the bathroom. And every epoch ends with a lot of blood on the floor," he says.

With non-Anglophone audiences, different material comes into play. "When I'm working with German audiences, I will call on my Rilke and Goethe in the original. I was just in Spain, so I was using a lot of Machado and Neruda, as a way of saying that not everything is going to be interpreted through the Anglo-Saxon mind."

The differences are not limited to repertoire. "In Germany they have great difficulty with anything that smacks of cultism or messianic leadership. You can't talk about leadership in its charismatic forms."

But one constant is that poetry is a language for talking about the nature of managers' work. "One of the great difficulties as you rise up through an organisation is that your prior competencies are exploded and broken apart by the territory you've been promoted into: the field of human identity."

Poetry, for him, is the appropriate tool with which to analyse the conversations that novice managers desperately avoid. "The idea is to get deeply into experiences where they have different images and metaphors to use out of the poetry. A lot of the images will have to do with being lost, with not having the usual bearings, and therefore looking at the world in a different way."

His new book, The Three Marriages*, explores and rejects the notion of work-life balance. Each of us, he says, undertakes three marriages simultaneously: with our partner, with our work and with our self. Trading off the three is fatal. "It's much more accurate to treat these three commitments as three love affairs, in which all the disappointments and reimaginations you have in an ordinary relationship have to take place."

Of the three, he says the hardest is the relationship with oneself because "it's weighted in the mystery of death and our own mortality". Deepening the conversation with oneself is hard. "[The poet] Wallace Stevens - who was a great [company executive] - said, sometimes the truth depends upon a walk around a lake. It's very interesting to ask yourself what the equivalent of that lake is in your life. For some people it's literally switching off the radio in the car on the morning commute, to get a little perspective on what the hell is going on around them."

 *The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self And Relationship, is published by Riverhead.

How to wing it as Gaeilge, by Des Bishop

Tragedy as Galway hooker sailor drowned

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HEROIC EFFORTS by the crew of a Galway hooker to save two brothers whose boat had capsized were praised by a priest at the funeral of a renowned Connemara sailor yesterday.

Fr Peadar Ó Conghaile told hundreds of mourners, who filled not just the church but also the grounds of St Mary's Church in Carna, that the four crewmen should get medals for bravery.

Seán Mac Donncha (67), known locally as Johnny Sheáin Jeaic, lost his life in the accident on Saturday morning as he and his younger brother Josie, went to take their traditional Galway hooker McHugh from Kinvara in the south of the bay to a regatta in Rossaveal. The boat capsized shortly after leaving Kinvara.

Mourners were yesterday told how the crew of Bláth na hÓige , which also left from Kinvara, came to their aid. The four men, Gearóid Ó Cualáin, Máirtín Ó Conghaile, Aonghus Ó Cualáin and Máirtín Ó Ceoinín, managed to rescue Josie but they were unable to save his brother.

"These men, especially Gearóid Ó Cualáin, risked their lives to save others," said Fr Ó Conghaile. The Carna parish priest said that, as in so many other coastal villages, loss at sea was all too frequent. Hundreds of mourners brought the small south Connemara village to a standstill.

St Mary's was packed from early morning and the mourners extended out on to the main road in the village.

They had travelled from the three nearby Aran Islands, Inishbofin and other offshore islands, as well as coastal communities from Cork to Donegal. Others had travelled from the United States where wider family members reside.

"We are all too familiar with loss at sea in these parts, yet there was enormous shock when the news came through on Saturday morning," Fr Ó Conghaile said.

"Johnny was a man who was renowned and respected as a man of the sea, a lover of the Irish language and Irish culture, and a great singer. He is an enormous loss to the community."

Mr Mac Donncha, from Ard West, Carna, is survived by his wife Barbara, daughters Kathy, Maureen, Roisín and Fiona, and son Seán. He was buried in Moyrus cemetery outside Carna.

JMcMahon.jpgSeptember 1, 2009
Frequent Flier

That's Why It's Called the International Date Line

  of the New York Times

EVER since I was a kid in Ireland watching jet trails disappear over the Atlantic, I dreamed of becoming part of commercial aviation. As a result of my chosen career, that wish has come true. And as a result, I have had the privilege of flying all over the world.

I love all airplanes, but I have to admit to a soft spot for planes that capture the imagination and the spirit of the future. Aircraft like the supersonic Concorde (now sadly retired), which allowed you to land in New York an hour before you left London, or the original "jumbo jet," the Boeing 747, with its ability to carry 400 people in spacious comfort from continent to continent, or the new Airbus 380, where those lucky enough to travel in first class can take a shower before retiring to a big double bed.

Though I didn't take my first flight until I was 17 years old, I have made up for lost time.

In the early '90s, I spent two years commuting to Japan for work. The outward leg was straightforward: I would leave from Shannon on Monday mornings for London and then on to Tokyo. Because Tokyo is nine hours ahead in terms of time, I would arrive in Tokyo on a Tuesday morning.

The return leg became very complex. I blame that complexity on love.

The flights from Tokyo to London left in the mornings. So returning meant that I would have to leave Tokyo on Saturday morning, and because of a nine-hour time difference, I would arrive in Ireland late on a Saturday night. That left me little time for my girlfriend.

So in order to get a two-day weekend with her, I left Tokyo on Friday evening, and flew to New York City. Since I crossed the international date line, I would arrive in New York at just about the same time that I left Tokyo. In other words, it was still Friday in the United States. Then I would take a quick hop across the Atlantic, back to Shannon. That gave me two full weekend days with my girlfriend.

Fortunately all the flying paid off. We got married and in due course moved to Tokyo. This avoided the long-distance commuting and also gave us the opportunity to explore exotic Asia.

Because I'm generally in such a good mood when I fly, I often engage in conversation with my seatmates. It's always amazing to me that when I say "I'm from Ireland," chances are good that my seatmate is going to ask if I know someone from there. I realize it is a small country in comparison with America and other countries, yet I am always amazed that often there is indeed some Irish connection, whether that's a favorite haunt or some link to some person.

Perhaps one of the strangest experiences I've had recently was on a business trip to Japan. I am proud of my Irishness and I do speak Irish Gaelic, as does my business colleague.

During our meeting we were with several Japanese businessmen, who employed an English translator to help with negotiations. During a quick break, one of the Japanese businessmen overheard my colleague and me speaking to each other in Irish Gaelic. This man's English was not that good. But I was amazed to find that he was very fluent in, of all things, Irish Gaelic. He was absolutely thrilled that he found some native speakers of the language, and we had such fun talking to each other in Gaelic.

And that just goes to show that an Irish connection can be found just about anywhere. Even among Japanese businessmen.

By John McMahon, as told to Joan Raymond. E-mail:

Robert Flaherty - A Boatload of Wild Irishmen

Robert Flaherty Feature Doc to Begin Post Production

31 Jul 2009 |

Robert Flaherty
Editing will begin shortly on 'A Boatload of Wild Irishmen', a feature length documentary on Robert Flaherty, who became one of documentary cinema's most influential figures directing and producing the 1922 feature length film 'Nanook of the North'.

Written by Brian Winston, an Emmy award-winning documentary script-writer, 'A Boatload of Wild Irishmen' is being produced/directed and shot by Mac Dara Ó Curraidhín. The actor (and Aran Islander) Macdara Ó Fátharta will narrate the Irish language version of the film. An English language version for international distribution may be produced at a later time.

The documentary will explain the importance of Robert Flaherty, over the dramatic footage he took of a currach caught in a monstrous sea (from Man of Aran, 1934). He was the first to see that film of the every day life of 'real' people could be moulded into dramatic, entertaining narratives: but, by the same token, he is also the father of manipulation and distortion as well as being a bridge whereby stereotypes of exotic peoples (including Aran Islanders of the 1930s) became part of cinema.

The prime-source of imagery for the documentary will be the Flaherty film archive including 'Nanook of the North', 'Moana; The Pottery Maker' (1925); 'The 24 Dollar Island' (1926/7) and 'Man of Aran'.

This will be augmented by contemporary photography of various locations in Ireland, England, the USA, Canada and Samoa; his stills; other archival materials including 'Man of Aran: How the Myth was Filmed' and interviews with Mrs Frances Flaherty, Colman 'Tiger' King (recorded by Breandán Ó hÉithir in England in the 1970s) and Portrait of Robert Flaherty (a BBC radio documentary of 1952 with interviews with Flaherty, among others).

Editing will take place over the next six to eight weeks in Lincon, UK, and will be overseen by David Sleitht.

The film was funded by the BCI, TG4, the Irish Film Board, EM Media (U.K.), and MEDIA Europa.

Pádraic Connolly becomes a YouTube star

 Filming Pádraic Connolly a tPoll na Peist,  aka the Serpent's Cave or the Worm Hole on Inis Mór, for Tourism Ireland's online film highlighting the 'hidden gems' of County Galway

Galwayman Pádraic Connolly is doing his bit for tourism this year by presenting a short film on the 'hidden gems' of Co Galway on Tourism Ireland's website.  It is one of a series of ten short films or 'webisodes' which have already been viewed by almost 400,000 potential visitors around the world - see here for the video on

Pádraic Connolly takes a trip to the Aran islands

Tourism Ireland recently launched the series of films which feature real local characters from around the island of Ireland introducing their favourite 'hidden gems'.  Galwayman Pádraic Connolly was selected from the 1,000+ people across the island who applied to take part, to tell viewers and potential holidaymakers around the world about some of his favourite places in his home county. 

In the film, Pádraic takes the viewer on a journey around Connemara - highlighting the spectacular scenery and beautiful coastline.  He begins in Roundstone Harbour where he meets some of the local fishermen.  He continues to the beautiful Coral Strand at Carraroe and then it is on to his own birthplace, Rossaveal, and from there to Inis Mór.  Throughout the film, he regales the viewer with his many tales and legends - including a story about the local man who disappeared at the Worm Hole on Inis Mór!  He finishes his journey on Inis Oírr with its cluster of ancient ruins.

"Visitors repeatedly tell us that what distinguishes the island of Ireland from other destinations - what sets us apart from our competitors - is our people and our scenery", said Laughlin Rigby, eMarketing Manager, Tourism Ireland.  "This online movie, presented by Pádraic, provides an added dimension of information on the many attractions on offer in Co Galway, in a novel and entertaining way". 

"Customers are not just searching for the lowest fare any more; they are seeking information and recommendations on the perfect holiday experience - where to go, what to see and do and where to eat.  These movies complement our new global advertising campaign 'Go Where Ireland Takes You'.  The campaign has been designed to capture the spontaneity and fun of holidaying here and to show that some of the most wonderful and memorable experiences you are likely to have here will be stumbled on by chance", Rigby added.

The ten films or 'webisodes', which have been translated into five European languages, feature on Tourism Ireland's suite of 41 websites and are also being promoted in its main overseas markets on Yahoo.  The films will also feature on a new promotional DVD, which will be distributed to potential holidaymakers in the all-important GB market during August.  To see the films, visit

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The Aran Islands lie eight miles into the Atlantic ocean, off the West Coast of Ireland, one the last remaining wild and natural environments in Europe.
To contact us please: Email here,
We're pretty busy so you can also keep up on Flickr as well as Twitter and our Facebook page.
Scattered  between sea and sky Seamus Heaney describes the  Islands as "three stepping stones out of Europe".  The island population is about 1,000 peopel most of whom converse in the Irish language. Almost a million visitors come here every year. Most go to Inis Mor, a lot go to Inis Oirr and very few go to Inis Meain. Thats why we think of it as the real Hidden Ireland.
All three islands teem with wildflowers and birdlife and are also considered by many to be the last bastions of ancient Irish culture.

Wild West show on Inis Mor


Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands west of Ireland, is famous for its wild, rugged beauty, a thousand miles of stone walls, stunning views across the Atlantic and clusters of ancient ruins.

Playwright J.M. Synge, best-known for his masterpiece "The Playboy of the Western World," spent time on the Aran Islands around 1900. Synge was drawn to the resilient, hard-bitten people and their fierce cultural independence.

But these days locals worry that the islands that inspired Synge have gone too far in pursuit of tourist dollars. Ruddy-faced islanders who were once devoted to mackerel fishing now offer horse and cart rides to ferry-loads of day-tripping tourists.

Martin O'Brien, who works for Island Ferries in County Galway, remembers when tourists first started showing up in significant numbers in the 1970s.

"They'd wait for a fishing boat to take them across and they'd leave at 3 or 4 in the morning. You could be stuck out there for days," he said, speaking in Gaelic with an ease that generations of Irish governments have unsuccessfully tried to instill in the wider Irish populace.

Today, superfast ferries from Galway take just half an hour to reach Cill Ronain, the main harbor town on the island. The Aran Islands also include two other less-touristed islands, also reachable by boat: Inis Meain and Inis Oirr. You can also reach the islands by airplane -- one of several concessions to modernity the islands have recently made, along with Inis Mor's electricity supply from the mainland and broadband Internet access.

If you're considering a trip this summer, there's no better time to visit than the weekend of June 26-28, when Inis Mor runs its Patrun Festival. The annual event shows off the best of the island's traditional way of life, with boat races that include Galway hookers, which are large, red-sailed boats, and curraghs, long tar-coated rowboats that have become an emblem of the west of Ireland.

Organizers say the festival is fun for all the family, with tug-of-war, sand castle competitions and donkey rides. There is also traditional Irish dancing and music along the pier, which attracts some of the best musicians from Aran and the nearby counties of Galway and Clare, both known for their traditional music.

During breaks in festivities, biking and walking are the best ways to experience the island's pristine beaches and patchwork of tiny, stone-bordered fields. Most of the island's landscape is preserved by law and has lost few of its wild charms.

Some visitors may wish to take a van or horse-drawn carriage straight to Dun Aonghasa, an Iron Age fort eight miles away on the western side of the island.

The fort's ruins lie in a semicircle around a 330-foot-high cliff, offering stunning views across the Atlantic and the southern Irish counties of Clare and Kerry.

Guides here tell us that the fort was likely used for Celtic ceremonies, possibly seen by the island's ancient inhabitants as the last possible place to say goodbye before souls were taken over the ocean to Tir na nOg, a mythical land where nobody grows old.

Instead of following the tourist hordes on the main road back to Cill Ronain, keep to the right as you leave Dun Aonghasa and follow a coast road that offers breathtaking views across the sea and the Clare coastline in the distance.

You will soon arrive at the isolated fishing village of Gort na gCapall (the name means "field of the horse"), where there are no tourist facilities but an awe-inspiring view across Inis Mor's limestone landscape. Consult locally and walk a short distance through stone fields to the crashing waves on the coastline at Poll na bPeist ("the worm hole"), where the fury of the Atlantic gushes up through a cave like a fountain and falls back down again with the ebb and flow of the waves.

Fill your lungs with fresh air, listen to the pounding of the ocean and forget any talk of a fading culture. This is the Aran that enthralled Synge -- savage, wild and achingly beautiful.

"We don't get many tourists this side of the island," said Gallagher, who lives in one of the houses closest to Poll na bPeist.

She looked across the gray stone fields where a cow lazily chewed grass. "But we don't want too many visitors," she said. "There'll be no flashy restaurants on this side of the island. That would just be a pity."

If you go

Getting there: Aran Island Ferries depart from Rosamhil, 23 miles west of Galway city center. Expect an hour drive to get there from the city center. The company also operates a shuttle bus from the city center. For prices and times, which vary with the season, check County Galway's Connemara Community Airport is not far from the ferry launching point and offers flights to the Arans for about $57 round-trip; Visitors traveling north from Kerry, Clare and Cork can take a ferry from Doolin, County Clare. Times and prices are available at
Where to stay: Bed and breakfast accommodations are plentiful on the island. Expect to pay about $75 for a double room in a family home.
Festivals: In addition to the Patrun Festival (June 26-28), Inis Mor also hosts Tedfest or the Father Ted Festival each year at the end of February-beginning of March. The event celebrates a cult TV show called "Father Ted."
On the Web: or

  • Irish set to paint Dubai green for St Patrick's Day festivities

    Tim Brooks

    • Last Updated: March 13. 2009 8:30AM UAE / March 13. 2009 4:30AM GMT

    Dubai // There promises to be craic by the Creek in Dubai this weekend as Sir Bob Geldof kicks off St Patrick's Day celebrations that will include traditional Irish dancing, sporting events and a lavish ball.

    The musician/activist, better known since the mid-80s for his charity work than the rock that first made him famous, will play Boomtown Rats hits at the Irish Village this evening to begin a party that promises to paint the town emerald green over the coming days.

    Mark Povey, from the concert promoter Transguard, said Sir Bob was a great fan of Dubai and was enthusiastic about raising the curtain on this year's celebrations.

    "Bob doesn't perform very often so it is a rare opportunity to see him play. This is the fourth year he has come and it has become a tradition for him to start the party," he said. "He visits several times a year to promote his charity work and enjoys the chance to play music, which he doesn't have much time for these days. The concert will be staged, naturally, at the Irish Village, which will be the hub of the celebrations."

    The Irish Village events, which run until Tuesday, will include traditional music and dancing, featuring local band Inis Orr. There are also Irish-themed evenings across the city, with pubs and clubs decking their bars with shamrocks.

    The most prestigious event promises to be the St Patrick's Day Ball, bringing together Irish business people and cultural and sporting personalities. It is the annual showcase event for the Dubai Irish Society, an organisation that seeks to promote Irish culture, traditions and language in the region.

    Karen O'Donnell, the vice chair, said this year's ball would raise money for the Dubai Autism Centre. A new feature will be a Gaelic-speaking table, an initiative of a group called Ciorcal Comhra that is seeking to spread the use of the Irish language.

    As well as music and dancing, another key part of the celebrations will be traditional Irish sports. The Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club in Abu Dhabi will host the inter-provincial hurling championship, which will include leading Irish teams Connaught and Leinster, as well as the traditional poc fada game between local rivals Na Fianna of Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Celts.

    Darragh McGreevy, the chairman of the Dubai Celts, said they expected a 2,000-strong crowd: "We are hoping to create a carnival atmosphere at the event and lay on music and face-painting to keep children and families entertained. The matches will be shown on Irish television so there will be an extra incentive to play well. After the event the party will continue at the Irish Village and at the ball.

    "It is a wonderful opportunity to bring the Irish community together and celebrate our culture."

    Rodger Talty, an Irish resident of Dubai, said the reason St Patrick's Day was so widely celebrated was that the emphasis is on fun and good humour rather than nationalistic displays or solemn parades. He said: "The Irish culture is very accessible, which is why people of all nations enjoy St Patrick's Day. There are Irish communities all over the world and it provides an opportunity to meet, network and celebrate our culture and heritage."

    13 Mar 2009 /  News

    Final preparations are being made for five days of Irish Music at the Irish Village to celebrate St Patrick's Day, as reported in The National on 13th March. The festivities will kick off on March 13th with Sir Bob Geldof. From the 14th to the 17th, Inis Oirr will be performing at different times in the village as follows:

    Saturday 14th: 4pm, 7.45pm and 10.30pm

    Sunday 15th: 8.15pm, 9.30pm, 10.45pm

    Monday 16th: 8.15pm, 9.30pm, 10.45pm

    Tuesday 17th: 5.15pm, 8.15pm, 10.30pm

    Check out the Irish Village website for more information.

    Posted by admin @ 10:48 am

National Geographic & Traveler on The Aran Islands

Aran Islands, Ireland

"Unspoilt, beautiful, and dramatic destination for archaeology, bird-watching, and spectacular hill walking. The rugged beauty of the island is maintained and sustainable. The inhabitants maintain a strong sense of their cultural heritage and identity. Well resourced and cared for."

"Walking through chilly, wind-blown pastures, running a hand along the mortarless walls, you can't help but feel a connection to the craftsmen who, centuries ago, so carefully fitted each stone. That this feeling, this authenticity, has survived the modern world is nothing short of miraculous."

"Tourists could be more informed about the Aran Islands during the ferry ride to the island . . . a missed opportunity."
There's more

Tenement Museum Reflects New York Irish Immigration

A wake was probably held on April 21, 1869, in a cramped walk-up at 97 Orchard Street. A 5-month-old girl, Agnes Moore, had died that morning of malnutrition. Her Irish immigrant parents, Joseph and Bridget, may have invited the German immigrant neighbors in the building and some co-workers from the saloons and restaurants where Mr. Moore worked to visit and mourn, as well as the Catholic priest who had baptized Agnes.

Librado Romero/The New York Times

The recreation of Joseph and Bridget Moore's 1869 bedroom and kitchen.

Librado Romero/The New York Times

A coffin for the Moores' 5-month-old daughter, Agnes.

There's more at the New York Times here


TOURISM IRELAND'S new €47 million campaign encouraging visitors to lose themselves in Ireland's mists of time and fantasy is a hoot. I mean hot. It's on the money, writes The Irish Times' Kate Holmquist

A green and hilly island where leprechauns, storytellers, musicians and maidens lie in wait to delay you with their magic is precisely how the Americans, French, Canadians and British perceive us - but how able are we on this island to meet the challenge? If you haven't seen the campaign, I'll fill you in on the gorgeous ad that will be appearing in the best publications abroad.

Imagine a verdant land where people travel about in vintage VW vans from one spectacular vista to the next. Imagine, as they say, all the lonely people - Irish people - just waiting to waylay you and bring you into the pub for a few stories and rounds of Guinness, sprinkling you with magic dust as you head back to your hotel.

There's more

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