Dundalk jail was built in 1853 by Joseph Coffee. Due to unforeseen events he had to declare bankruptcy and became the first prisoner in his own jail.
Ireland is the only country in the world that has a musical instrument as its national symbol. The Harp appears on all currency, official papers and passports.
In 1867 the people of Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, reported “food” falling from the sky. The particles resembled wood and had an aromatic odor. One onlooker clarified the items as hazelnuts, but how they came to be falling from the sky is still a mystery.
It is almost a century when the last of the thatched cottages came down in the Claddagh. They were replaced by terraced housing at that time. Now a family named Walsh has built an authentic thatched cottage off Fairhill Rd. They will sell sculptures made of bog wood. Freshly baked bread and tea will be served by a turf fire. It is called “Katie’s Cottage” after Mrs. Walsh’s grandmother.
Mar 18-Apr 14 is the time of the Spring Equinox. The Alder tree is flourishing along the rivers with its roots in the water bridging the space between the earth and heaven. The Celts made whistles out of the Alder to call the Air spirits so it is ideal for making pipes and flutes.
Michael Flatley has branched out into singing. He is featured in the film “The Rising” singing and playing the flute. The song brings together the many Irish art forms of song, dance and a lament to honor the heroes of 1916; and he acknowledges that Ireland would not be where it is today if it were not for the events of Apr. 1916. The song is available on iTunes, and all proceeds go to charity.
Irish school children in over 4,000 schools celebrated “Proclamation Day ” on
Mar 15. It was a day of song, dance, music, poetry, drama and art as they commemorated the events of 1916.
Thousands of pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick each year, many in bare feet. Some of the men even go with bare chests but this is discouraged because, even in July, the time of the pilgrimage, it can be quite chilly and the rescue teams are kept very busy when the temperature drops. On the mountain there is a rock which is called “Patrick’s Chair.” On two days of the year, Apr 18 and Aug 24, the setting sun, when viewed from this rock, touches the summit of the mountain and proceeds to roll down the northern slope. The angle of the mountain’s side matches the setting angle of the sun at this time and place.
The Irish have captured the world’s imagination, and the game of interpreting them has to have been going on for centuries, often with doubtful results.