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Christmas Newsletter 2017

Click here for the latest news from our community groups in Northern Ireland  Conway Mill Trust Christmas Newsletter 2017!

Happy Halloween!

The origin of Halloween Games

Celts looked to the future at Samhain and could see ‘clues’ to the year ahead in the simplest things. Even peeling an apple could provide a clue to the name of a future wife or husband; if the peel was allowed to drop to the floor as it was peeled, it would form the initial letter of the lucky spouse. Apples also featured in the ‘ducking for apples’ game where the object is to retrieve an apple from a barrel or large bowl of water without using hands or feet. There was nothing particularly symbolic about the origin of Halloween games such as these. They are fun games in which all ages can participate, and apples were plentiful at this time of the year. Most other games and ‘rituals’ played out at Halloween were to do with courtship. Among them was the fortune-telling bowl of Colcannon. A ring (and sometimes a thimble, too) were mixed into a large bowl of this warming, simple dish which was placed in the middle of the table. Each person sitting around the table took a spoonful of the potato and cabbage mixture, dipping it into the well of melted butter at its centre. The person who found the ring was sure to be married within the year. The thimble denoted life without love and marriage. The origin of Halloween ‘trick or treating’ seems to have been a Druid ritual of collecting eggs, nuts and apples from the individual homes of the community. These offerings were meant to bring some protection from bad luck such as damage to crops or livestock in the next year. Those that were miserly in their offerings were likely to have a trick played on them. These pranks were harmless enough. They were intended to cause confusion ie changing the direction a gate opened. – See more at: http://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/origin-of-Halloween.… he origin of Halloween games Celts looked to the future at Samhain and could see ‘clues’ to the year ahead in the simplest things. Even peeling an apple could provide a clue to the name of a future wife or husband; if the peel was allowed to drop to the floor as it was peeled, it would form the initial letter of the lucky spouse. Apples also featured in the ‘ducking for apples’ game where the object is to retrieve an apple from a barrel or large bowl of water without using hands or feet. There was nothing particularly symbolic about the origin of Halloween games such as these. They are fun games in which all ages can participate, and apples were plentiful at this time of the year. Most other games and ‘rituals’ played out at Halloween were to do with courtship. Among them was the fortune-telling bowl of Colcannon. A ring (and sometimes a thimble, too) were mixed into a large bowl of this warming, simple dish which was placed in the middle of the table. Each person sitting around the table took a spoonful of the potato and cabbage mixture, dipping it into the well of melted butter at its centre. The person who found the ring was sure to be married within the year. The thimble denoted life without love and marriage. The origin of Halloween ‘trick or treating’ seems to have been a Druid ritual of collecting eggs, nuts and apples from the individual homes of the community. These offerings were meant to bring some protection from bad luck such as damage to crops or livestock in the next year. Those that were miserly in their offerings were likely to have a trick played on them. These pranks were harmless enough. They were intended to cause confusion ie changing the direction a gate opened. – See more at: http://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/origin-of-Halloween.…

Bluebells of Ireland

Bluebells,2007-Glenarif Forest Park-Co. Antrim_edited

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebells of Ireland from Glenariff (Glen of the Plough), one of the Nine Glens of Antrim.

George M. Cohan

overthere-56a48c203df78cf77282ee66_edited

 

This year marked the 100th anniversary of the famous WWI song “Over There” by composer, lyricist and actor George M. Cohan. Cohan was born in Providence, R.I. on July 3rd, 1878 of Irish Immigrant parents from County Cork. The spelling of the family name was changed from Keohane to Cohan. George, who first appeared on the stage at age 8 received his many stage talents under the guidance of his parents and went on to become the first person from the world of arts and entertainment to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest U.S. awards bestowed upon civilians for his composition of the songs ‘Over There’ and ‘A Grand Old Flag”. A U.S. Congressman from New York stated the Cohan was honored “because of his ability to instill in the hearts of the growing citizenry a loyal. and patriotic spirit for their country and what it stands for in the eyes of this world.” Cohan passed away on November 5th, 1942 but not before he was given a private showing of the movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy starring actor James Cagney in the role as Cohan. Cagney who also had Irish roots went on to win the Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Cohan. Famous quote-during the Gay Nineties he coined his famous curtain speech: “My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you.”

John B. Keane Quote

DSC03900_edited

 

“He was the most marvelous liar I ever heard and while he talked about me I was so carried away
that I thought I was listening to the life story of a saint.”

From The Little Book of John B. Keane

Sean O’Casey

Sean O’Casey
1880-1964
Playwright, Born in Dublin

“The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), “Juno and the Paycock” (1924) and “The Plough and the Stars” (1926) are considered his three truly great plays.

“I killin’ meself workin’, an’ he sthruttin’ about from mornin’ till night like  Paycock!” From “Juno and the Paycock”

Roger David Casement

Roger David Casement
1864-1916
Irish Nationalist and Martyr.
Born in Sandycove near Dublin

“Despite international fame and knighthood conferred for humanitarian campaigns, despite pleadings by influential Englishmen, and despite his effort to prevent the underprepared 1916 Easter Rising, Casement was convicted and executed for treason.”

“It is a cruel thing to die with all men misunderstanding.”  Last letter to his sister (1916).

Boston, Massachusetts?

 

Co. Clare

 

No, Boston, Ireland: The village of Boston (Irish: Moinin na gCloigeann) is located in north County Clare near the border with County Galway. The village is situated in the parish of Kilkeedy. The ruins of Cluain Dubhain Castle & Skaghard Castle can be found nearby at Lough Bunny.

 

If I Should Need to Tear Aside

If I should need to tear aside
The veils that hide both Heaven and Hell
To tell you that a soul had died
That once but tried to love you well
No breath should blow those veils aside.

But if I found your soul could save
From Hell’s deep grave by sinking soul
Only if willingly you gave
I’d take—and then I’d crave the whole
Knowing you generous and brave.

Enjoying the Thatch!

Co. Clare-B_edited

 

 

 

 

This thatched roof John/Loo was found in County Clare. What a great way to enjoy reading the daily newspaper.

 

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