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David McCullough, author and historian, was awarded the American Ireland Fund Award at a reception in March at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh.  Mr. McCullough is a native of Pittsburgh.

Brendan Behan’s uncle Peadar Kearney was the author of the Irish national anthem.

Behan Quote

It is not that the Irish are cynical, it is that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.” B. Behan

Bruce Springsteen Lineage

New Jersey rock star Bruce Springsteen is descended from Ann Garrity of Mullingar his great-great grandmother who came to the US in 1852.  His paternal lineage is made up of many generations of Irish men and women. The surname comes from Anthony Springsteen who married into an Irish family.

John Hume is the only person to have received all three of the great peace prizes, the Nobel, Martin Luther King and the Gandhi.

It was when Synge was writing in Paris with little success that W.B  Yeats told him to go to the Aran Islands and “live as if you were one of the people themselves; express a life that has never found expression.”  He did so and wrote his classic ‘The Aran Islands’ which he could not find a publisher for until several years later. His most famous and controversial play, ‘The Playboy of the Western World’ premiered in 1907 and it was then that ‘The Aran Islands’ was published.  He died two years later of Hodgkin’s disease.

Chicago born film maker Robert Flaherty made ‘Man of Aran’ in 1931 creating a portrait of island life.

Noelle Ryan

It is with great sadness that we report that Noelle Ryan, passionate activist for social justice, educator, long-time friend and right-hand assistant to Fr. Des Wilson of Springhill Community House in Belfast, Northern Ireland passed away on Saturday, March 29. Our deepest condolences to Fr. Des, the Springhill Community House family, Noelle’s family in Dublin and her many friends at home and abroad.

Noelle joined Fr. Des and Springhill Community House in 1972 shortly after Fr. Des took up residence there. She has been his close confident and assistant since then. She was instrumental in organizing educational classes at Springhill in the 70’s and early 80’s. She was among those in the West Belfast community who founded the Conway Education Centre. In addition to her many contributions to Springhill’s and Conway Education Centre’s educational achievements, Noelle was a passionate advocate of complementary alternative medicines and played an important role in launching these therapies at Springhill and Conway Education Centre.

Noelle’s positive outlook on life and loving care for others will be acutely missed.

Quaiches

Quaiches were ancient two handled vessels used to celebrate the bond between two clans each partaking of the offered drink.

Patrick Kavanagh was one of Ireland’s most gifted poets.  There is a museum in his hometown of Iniskeen, Co Monaghan, which celebrates his work.

Root of Irish Language

Irish is a Celtic language which comes from Old Irish.  The Celtic languages are believed to have come from Common Celtic which came from Indo-European itself.  Scholars believe that Irish was spoken over 2,500 yrs. ago.  There were other languages spoken before Irish, but by 500 A.D. it was spoken all over the island and was spreading to Scotland, the west coast of Britain and the Isle of Man.

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