COUNTY NEWS FROM ANTRIM TO WICKLOW
We hope you enjoye these news snippets from all over the country. As with the headlines and news on our web site, we purposely avoid murder and mayhem, opting instead for whatever we can find in the way of Irish traditions, customs and culture.
Armagh: Give it a Wellie
The students of St. Catherine’s College, Armagh Town are in the process of trying to break a Guinness world record for ‘The Biggest Wellie Boot Race’ in the world. The event is being organized by a committee of dedicated parents whom are joined by Mrs. McDonald of the PE department and Mount St. Catherine’s pupils. The Youth Ambassadors for the 2012 Olympics, Joannne Mullen and Dearbhla Guy were present at the event acting in the roles of officials. Also present was Northern Ireland TV personality Adrian Logan whom wished them luck with their attempt and kindly posed for pictures with the participants.
Carlow: Arts event ready to go
The people and businesses of Carlow are getting ready for the much awaited and anticipated Éigse Carlow Arts Festival. The annual multi-disciplinary arts festival which has been running annually in June since 1979 is a delight for locals both young and adult and is not only for the aspiring artist to enjoy. The event will be host to a whole range of events and performers, Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club will perform as well as an outdoor ceile. There will also be a family red carpet Oscar event which will show Irish Short Films which have been nominated for accolades this year.
Cavan: ShamRock set to rock
ShamRock is getting ready to rock the Cavan country side. The rock festival is following the lines of Glastonbudget and presenting a festival that is fairly priced and works toward giving the festival goers value for their money. The festival will have over 300 performers including cover bands playing Oasis, Beatles and The Killers classics. There will also be a comedy stage where popular Irish comedians P.J Gallagher and Jason Byrne will perform. The festival is getting great national coverage thanks to Today FM and 2fm as a result over forty percent of the tickets have been sold to people from other counties.
Clare: Deceased Gardaí honoured
Two Clare Gardaí men were honoured this week at the opening of the Garda Siochana Memorial Garden in Dublin. Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and Taoiseach Brian Cowen attended the ceremony where medals were presented to family members representing the eighty two gardaí whom lost their lives while serving the state. Garda Patrick Foley was acknowledged at the event the father of four from Lisdoonvarna was killed while on duty in Ardnacrusha in 1953. Fellow Lisdoonvarna native Garda Sergeant James Woods was also honoured for his duty to our country as he was shot while stationed in Kerry in December of 1923.
Cork: Sisters celebrate nearly a century together
There was a rare celebration in Skibbereen last weekend when twin sisters celebrated their 90th birthday party. Kathleen and Mildred Cadogen grew up as identical twins in Glebe Marsh, Church Cross, Lisheen and they have remained nearly exactly the same all their lives. They are so alike that even their children have confused their own Mammy’s on more than one occasion. Kathleen raised her family with husband John O’Donovan in Skibbereen while Mildred moved to England but moved back to be near her twin. The two women celebrated the night surrounded by their children, grandchildren and close friends.
Derry: Trad dancing their way to a world record
The Irish dancing community of Derry turned out in droves for a world record attempt. A total of 396 Irish dancers jigged their way into Guinness Book of Records when they danced to the same row for five minutes. Dancers who travelled from Kildare, Antrim, Leitrim, Dublin to take part in the record were doing so to raise money for the Royal National lifeboat Institution Charity. The record was previously held by 212 dancers in Rockland, New York.
Donegal: Hollywood star in the hills of Donegal
Lost star Virginia Morris was spotted in Glencolmcille embracing some of the Irish culture. The Hollywood actress was one of five Los Angeles natives who attended the Oideas Gael School, Irish language school. The actress who plays Jan in ABC’s hit series Lost and has also starred opposite George Clooney in the medical drama ER was joined by one of Sarah Palin’s old friends – Mr. Howard O’Neill of Wasilla, Alaska is a former colleague of US Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Even though Morris has no connection to the country, she is extremely interested in learning the language.
Donegal: Bridge about to topple?
There is major concern in Donegal Town at the moment as the second most used bridge in the town is an accident waiting to happen. The 105-year-old bridge ‘The Iron Bridge’ constructed in 1895 over the River Eske has locals up in arms as it looks as if it is about to collapse at any minute. The bridge, built with iron sheet, is now coated with layer upon layer of rust. The public fear that if something isn’t done to insure the bridge is till safe and stable then there will be a high number of casualties.
Donegal: Brew to micro-perfection
The town of Ballyshannon hopes to become as famous as James Gate for Guinness – it is set to open up its own brewery. The famous Dicey O’Reilly’s Pub on Market Street has applied to Donegal County Council for permission to convert an old detached storeroom into a microbrewery where they can brew their own beer for the pub. The pub has already won accolades as a result of their collection of fine wines available and now they hope to add their own homemade beer to their list of achievements. The locals of Ballyshannon are looking forward to a pint of “Alingham” in the future.
Down: Bay of happy blues
Warrenpoint will be swaying to the sound of Blues for the 12th year running when the Blues Bay Festival returns the last weekend of May. The award-winning Blues festival, which will be headlined by the James Taylor quartet, will take place over five days and play host to over 90 fun-filled events. There will be artists from all over the world coming to take part in the activities and the music of the festival including many home-grown talented musicians. The event is sponsored by Diageo Guinness and aims to bring blues music to the heart of Ulster.
Galway: New Theatre to rejuvenate Galway
A new municipal visual art gallery will attract big name artists to the city. The new theatre, if built, will be twice the size of the Black Box Theatre. The plans for the Cube, a 20,000 square feet temporary structure, have been submitted to city planners by representatives of the visual arts community. The structure would essentially be a flat-pack structure which could be constructed in two months and fully operational in five months. The arts infrastructure would completely revitalize the docks area of Galway and would boost the tourism to the entire city.
Galway: Oyster Festival to help Barretstown
The annual Clarenbridge Oyster Festival was officially launched last weekend with the announcement that the festival will be a stopover for the Cannonball Run. The run is a charity event held annually in aid of a Barretstown charity. The charity event, which was set up and was endorsed by the late actor, Paul Newman, is a cross-country driving run which raises vital funds for Barretstown Gang Camp in Kildare which helps terminally ill children. The world renowned festival will take place on September 10-12 and, as usual, will be host to great live music and very entertaining oyster competitions.
Galway: Costa del Galway?
The sun was splitting the rocks in Galway this week which means the promenade in Salthill was overwhelmed with people as temperatures hit record highs last week. The police were even forced to stop people from driving down to Silver Strand. The West Coast had four beautiful days in a row which meant that the people of the tribe city were out in force to make the most of the hottest days of the year so far. In fact, Saturday May 22 was the hottest day in May ever to be recorded with temperatures at 26.3 degrees Celsius or 80 Fahrenheit.
Kerry: The Kingdom club to make history
Kerrins O’Rahillys GAA club, Tralee, is set to make GAA history by being the first club chosen to launch the All Ireland Football Championship. For the first time ever the launch of the 2010 championship will be held somewhere other than Croke Park. The announcement was made by GAA president Christy Cooney to emphasis the commitment of the GAA to the importance of local clubs. The Kerry club was chosen because it is the home of the Sam Maguire this year. The ceremony will be attended by representatives from every province, by former All-Ireland medal winners and sponsors.
Kerry: A rebel to be the Kingdom’s Rose
They’re old rivals but as the saying goes opposites attract and with Kerry and Cork that seems to be the way. This year a Cork woman is set to represent the Kingdom as the Kerry Rose at this year’s Rose of Tralee festival. Veronica Hunt, a teacher at Rosemary Mounthawk Secondary School, was chosen from 17 lovely ladies to represent the county which is home to the Roses. The 27-year-old teacher originally from Youghal is an avid singer, dancer and has directed the last two musicals at Mounthawk. She can’t wait to represent her adopted county in the popular festival.
Kildare: Renaissance Fair a great success
The town of Athy re-visited the middle ages when they held a medieval festival to celebrate the past. The event was organized by Judith O’Brien Guernon, Eugene Doyle and Margaret Walsh. Over the two days there were all sorts of events which focused on educating and entertaining the visitors to the festival. Such entertainment included a performance by Simon O’Dwyer of Ancient Music Ireland and The Harleach Medieval Society which held workshops and re-enactments. The Festival was such a hit next year’s planning has already begun.
Kilkenny: Strongest man in Ireland
A 26 year old has been crowned the strongest man in Ireland for the second year running. Tullaroan’s James Fennelly lifted an Opel Corsa for nearly two minutes, pulled a truck and carried a skip in the first round of competition – all to retain the title he won last year. The young man weighing 19 stones beat 15 other competitors at the competition in Cork to determine who the strongest man in Ireland is. Fennelly went away with not only the King Fionn Trophy named after the legendary strong Irish man Fionn McCool but was the only competitor able to finish the competition attesting to how strong he is.
Leitrim: Lough Allen awaits EDEN standard
There was great news for Leitrim tourism with the announcement that Lough Allen, Ireland’s largest lake on the Shannon Waterway, has been short-listed for the European Destination of Excellence Network (EDEN). It has been entered under the theme of Aquatic Tourism. The county manager Jackie Maguire expressed great satisfaction the short-list of only five nominated areas of excellence for the prestigious European Award. The adjudicators visited the area which not only provides numerous water sports activities but boasts many rare and beautiful flowers and is even home to a flower protected under the Flora Protection Act, on April 19.
Leitrim: Farmer’s daughter the next Lady Gaga?
A 22-year-old native of Mohill is stirring up a storm in the downtown music scene of New York City. Claire Breannan a NUI Galway Business graduate is climbing the ladder of musical success. She found her love for the stage as a member of NUI Galway’s prestigious GUMS (Galway University Musical Society) with two leading roles in the very successful college productions. She is now taking on NYC. The humble daughter of a Leitrim farmer played her first gig in Queens and was instantly offered permanent residence as the in-house musician in a hip downtown bar.
Leitrim: Leim a mhadra
A young local woman and her dog wowed the judges of a local talent competition in Mohill. Áine O’ Connor is a 21-year-old student at Acadamh na hOllscolaíocht Gaeilge, one of National University of Galway’s many campuses located in Ceathru Rua, Connemara, where students speak completely through the Irish language. With this in mind, O’ Connor used her talent of fluency in the Irish language to direct her dog in thrilling the crowd with fabulous tricks. The judges and audience alike were wowed by her sheep dog, Claire, her understanding of Gaeilge and her entertaining performance.
Leitrim: Christine An Tostal Colleen
This years An Tostal Colleen has been chosen and the nineteen couldn’t be happier or more excited for to have been selected for this great honour. Christine Gill a Kilclare local will be this years An Tostal Colleen for the duration of the Drumshambo festival taking place during the June Bank Holiday weekend. Christine tried her hand at the crown last year but was unsuccessful but she obviously made an impression on the judges, Gill was a student at Drumshambo Vocational School and says she has always wanted to be An Tostal Colleen and can’t wait to get started.
Limerick: Cranberries return home
The Cranberries will be playing at the opening of this year’s Special Olympics Ireland taking place in Thomond Park. The theme of the opening ceremony will be ‘hand-in-hand’ a true reflection of the vision the Special Olympics has which is to bring together people to make the extraordinary happen. The sporting event will be one of the biggest of the summer with over one thousand nine hundred athletes taking part it will be an exciting time for the city of Limerick and the participants. There will be four other Irish acts taking to the stage to open the great sporting event in style.
Limerick: Travelling community revealed
An Irish three-part documentary “The Truth About Travellers” is set to open the eyes of Irish people to the travelling community. The second episode in the trilogy will focus on the travelling community of Rathkeale, Co. Limerick. The small village of Rathkeale has a population of 1,700, half of which are believed to be members of the travelling community.
Longford: Longford singer number one in Europe
A Longford country singer has had his first number one top selling hit in Norway. Fergal Flaherty of Teffia Park has gone straight to the top of the European County Music Association Charts (ECMA) with his song ‘Number One in Heaven’. Flaherty is the son of Frankie Flaherty of ‘Frankie and the Black Dots’ fame. ‘Number One in Heaven’ is off Flaherty’s new album ‘Pass it On’ and was inspired by the great country legends such as Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. Flaherty beat country legends of today to the top spot passing out Reba and Tim McGraw to win the accolade.
Louth: Orchestra celebrates two decades
The people of Louth will gather to hear the beautiful music of the Louth People’s Orchestra on May 9 at the Conoco Rooms. The orchestra is celebrating ten years of making music together. The orchestra, which was founded by Alison Griffiths in January 2000 with only a few keen players, has now grown to a 20 member group with a wide-range of ages and abilities. The orchestra has one aim which is to enjoy playing and to give confidence to local musicians who have just begun or who have only returned to the art after a long absence.
Longford: Mom to become literary success
Belinda McKeon of Cloonary, Stonepark has just signed her first book deal with publishing firm Picador. The writer and journalist has written her first novel, Solace, which is the first of two novels and will be available in August 2011. She is working at the moment as an Arts Journalist with the Irish Times. The novel which is partly based in her hometown of Longford is about the relationship between a father and son and the differences between their generations. In addition to the upcoming book series Belinda is also working on play commissioned by the Abbey Theatre.
Mayo: Islanders work together
The Islanders of Mayo, as well as all other islanders from the outposts dotted around our coastline, are about to set sail to Rathlin Island where the first AGM of Cómhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann will be held. The residents of the Islands, which surround the Irish coastline, will be present to discuss cooperative ethos between government, national and local agencies as well as the Small Ferries Project and much more. Cómhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann was first set up in 1984 when 16 islands came together to highlight socio economic problems on the islands.
Mayo: Goodbye to a county hero
The county of Mayo said a tearful goodbye to one of their legends this week when they laid to rest Martin Mulloy of the famous singing group the Mulloy Brothers. The four brothers travelled not only al over Mayo and Ireland entertaining people since the 1960’s but also travelled to delight the Irish abroad in America, the UK and Lanzarote. Martin tragically drowned in his beloved hometown of Bulranny becoming the second brother to pass away after his brother Mike whom died three years previous. The two remaining brothers Tom and Pat of the Mulloy brothers will continue the singing tradition when the time is right.
Mayo: We hear you Knock-ing but you can’t come in
The so called visionary Joe Coleman has finally been denied access to the churches in Knock. When he and his followers tried to enter the churches at the shrine in Knock they were told that they could not pray out loud in the church or even enter and he and his groupies were forced to recite the rosary in the rain. He claims to have received word from ‘Our Blesssed Mother Queen of Peace’ that she will appear on July 14 at 2 p.m. in Knock. He demanded to the management at Knock that he be allowed into the church on this date.
Meath: Over 1,400 wheels on the bus
Over 1,400 Navan primary school pupils broke an Irish record when they participated in the Ireland’s longest ever “walking bus.” Approximately 1,454 students from ten different Navan Primary Schools part took in the convoy which measured 216.8. The walking bus was part of Navan Town’s Council’s initiative to promote smarter travel. The kids cheered as they made their way through the town behind their schools banner. An extra big cheer went up at the end of the journey when they were told there would be no homework as a result of the record breaking “walking bus.”
Meath: Navan man involved in SATC 2
A Navan native has hit the big time in the Hollywood hills thanks to a little help from the stars of Sex and the City. Brian Byrne a composer, conductor and pianist from Navan now living in Los Angeles, California arranged and played piano on the soundtrack for the new Sex and the City 2 movie. The sequel to the wildly successful first movie, an adaptation of the television series, sees the friends jetting off to Dubai for an all expenses paid trip, all to the musical back drop composed by one of the Royal county’s very own.
Monaghan: Popular weather woman traces family to Clones
The popular weather woman from GMTV’s morning show arrived in Clones in search of her family roots. The beautiful Kirstin McCabe is in the process of making a film about her search to find her Irish family roots from her paternal side of the family. Fáilte Ireland has been facilitating her travels around Ireland in her bid to gather as much information about her Irish ancestry as possible. In Clones she was helped by well known wrier Eugene McCabe who enlightened her about the history of their namesake in the area. The film will be broadcast on GMTV in June.
Offaly: Monument to entertainers first in Ireland
At the end of this month, the Edenderry Entertainers Commemorative Committee will unveil a monument at St. Mary’s Cemetery in memory of deceased entertainers from the area. The monument is believed to be the first of its kind in Ireland and the committee is urging relatives and friends to attend the ceremony, which will commence with a Memorial Mass at St. Mary’s Church.
Sligo: Rose flying high
This years Sligo Rose is a jet setter that has spent her life travelling the globe and doing charity work and now in between Rose obligations she is off to Dubai for six weeks for training to be a member of the Emirates Airline’s cabin crew. Stephanie Tempany, a West Sligo girl, will be competing at the Rose of Tralee regional finals on the June bank holiday and then if successful will go onto to the August competition with five other girls. Stephanie has travelled all over North and South America and has been to Bosnia four times doing charity work.
Tyrone: Priceless relic to return home
The chain of office used by the ancient family O’Neill’s will soon return to its rightful place. The 450-year-old silver relic which was used by the O’Neill’s to signify the chain of office and whose location has been a mystery to historians and O’Neill enthusiasts alike, has finally been found. Local historians have tracked it down and will soon be retrieving it and bring it to its rightful home. It has spent more than a century in the vaults of an Edinburgh museum along with other Tyrone artefacts but was tracked down by celebrated antiques hunter, John Bell.
Waterford: Couple become millionaires over night
A Waterford couple has collected their €16,717,717 lottery winnings from the Lotto headquarters in Dublin. The couple, who do not wish to be named, said they were “absolutely thrilled” to have won such a large amount of money. The couple realized they had won the life changing amount of money on the night of the draw but didn’t come forward as the winners straight away, preferring instead to prepare for the changes the money would make in their lives. The lucky ticket was purchased at Pat Whyte’s Eason’s outlet in the Dungarvan Shopping Centre. The six euro Quick Pick was bought on the day of the draw.
Westmeath: Clock fixed after 123 years
Michael Cummins, 95, is the oldest living past pupil of Colaiste Mhuire and, as the new Hevey clock was replaced 153 years after the original stopped working, he was there for the unveiling. There is a legend that goes with the broken clock. It was said that a student got up on the clock at 8:55 a.m. and stopped it, hoping that doing so would mean school would never start. That was in 1857 and the clock hasn’t worked until present day.
Wexford: Cranford woman Rose of Tralee nominee
Anne Sinnott a native of Cranford was chosen at a glittering gala event to represent the county at this year’s Rose of Tralee competition. Sinnott is a trainee teacher studying Business and Religion at St. Patrick’s College in Thurles and has always wanted to be part of the Rose of Tralee competition. The young woman over came Hodgkin’s Disease in 2007 and since then has had a new optimistic outlook on life. The Wexford Escort title went to Padraid Leacy from Cushintown who will go to Limerick for a week long Escorts’ Boot Camp in the next coming weeks.
Wexford: Culture night will feel the air with music
This year’s All-Ireland Culture Night promises to be a night to remember. Culture night is celebrated all over Ireland and is a night when people are asked to come together to celebrate all things artistic and creative. Last year’s Wexford Culture Night was a major success with thousands of people attending indoor and outdoor free events all over the town. The town hopes to build on the success of last year and bring more spectacular sounds, sights and festivities to the streets and squares of the town. Artists, musicians, singers and dancers from all over Ireland will gather to entertain the people of Wexford.
Wicklow: The Garden County shows off its finest
The Garden County will show off its finest gardens over the next six months. The Wicklow Gardens Festival returns for its 21st year. The event is a spectacular showcase of the finest lawns, woodlands, valleys, flora and fauna that can be found in Wicklow. Twenty-nine beautiful gardens entered in the festival will throw open their gates to the public and the event attracts avid gardeners from all over Ireland. The festival showcases everything from vast country estates to small cottage gardens. This year’s entrants include Festina Lente, Shekina Sculpture Garden and the festival’s newest garden, Rosemount in Enniskerry.
Wicklow: Wicklow Town gears up for sail festival
This year Wicklow Town will be holding a thrilling round Ireland sail festival. The event is to commemorate thirty years of the yacht race and will take place on June 18-20. The festival atmosphere should fill the town all weekend long with a Mardi Gras Ball, food and fashion showcases and music constantly in the air.
As usual, we'd like to thank the Irish Emigrant for providing these snippets from all over. They have a lot more news to read on line and if you're interested, here's the URL:
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