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Referring to the famine, Prime Minister Lord John Russell tells the House of Commons that he does not propose to interfere with the methods by which Indian corn and other grains are brought into Ireland.

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August 16, 1878

On this day in Ireland, the Intermediate Education Act granted female students the right to participate in public examinations and to enter into careers and professions.

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Benedict Kiely

On this day, August 15 in 1919, Benedict Kiely, novelist and short-story writer was born.

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Message to Share

Dear Friend,

During this time of uncertainty, we hope that you and your families are keeping well.   

Pauline Kersten, Manager of Conway Education Centre in West Belfast, kindly reached out to let us know that the United States remains in her thoughts and prayers during this crisis.  We wanted to share with you her message:

“We hope you are safe and in good health in this unprecedented time. The news from America sounds very worrying and we hope you have good support from families and friends.

Conway Education Centre had to temporarily close our office, but all staff are working from home and we are continuing our services as best we can. Computer technology is a fantastic tool in these circumstances and is allowing us to stay in touch with all our learners and refugee families.

We are using online platforms to continue classes; we have a call divert on our phone system so people calling CEC will continue to get a member of staff on the line to have a chat with or to get information. We have now a system in place to support our most vulnerable learners and a small group of our volunteers is on stand-by to do grocery shops for people who cannot do so themselves and to deliver arts and crafts parcels to our refugee families so the children can participate in our online arts and crafts sessions which we are going to put on our Facebook.

All state examinations such as the GCSE English and Maths, due to happen in May and June, have been cancelled. Students will receive a ‘predicted grade’ based on completed course work, work in class and the professional opinion of the teacher.

To be honest, it is a steep learning curve for me and other staff to learn how to do all of our work online and use these different platforms, being mindfull of data protection and keeping children and young people safe, but we do our best.

It is brilliant to see how communities do pull together and how people help each other in this health crisis, I very much hope it is the same where you live.

You are in our thoughts, please stay safe,

Warm regards on behalf of CEC management committee, staff, volunteers and learners,

Pauline”

From all of us at Conway Mill Trust, please know that all of you remain in our thoughts and prayers.  We will get through these trying times, together.

For the latest news from the Conway Mill Trust family in Northern Ireland, click here Conway Mill Trust Newsletter – December 2019.

The Bog Lands-William A. Bryne

In Tir-na’n-Og-Ethna Carbery

The Irish-Francis Carlin

Lady Day in Ireland-P.J. Carroll

Lost Youth-Sir Roger Casement

Maire My Girl-John Keegan Casey

An Old Woman of the Roads-Padraic Colum

Death of Cuchulain-Eleanor Rogers Cox

The Old Violin-Maurice Francis Egan

The Ould Plaid Shawl-Francis A. Fahy

Leinster-Louise Imogen Guiney

A Sea Story-Emily Hickey

Fineen the Rover-Robert Dwyer Joyce

Light Shoes-Patrick Kelly

The Irish Peasant Girl-Charles Joseph Kickham

Ireland-Sir Edmund Leamy

Ireland, Mother of Priests-Shane Leslie

Wishes for My Son-Thomas Macdonough

Dark Rosaleen-James Clarence Mangan

St. Brigid-Denis A. McCarthy

A Christmas Carol-Mary A. O’Reilly

Ideal-P.H. Pearse

The Stars Sang in God’s Garden-Joseph Mary Plunkett

The Men Behind the Guns-John Jerome Rooney

The Poet-William Rooney

The Ancient Race-Rev. Michael Tormey

Sheep and Lambs-Katherine Tynan

E Tenebris-Oscar Wilde

Famous film-set designer Cedric Gibbons, who worked on more than 1,500 movies from the 1920s to the 1950s, was born in Dublin in 1823 and immigrated to America. Not only did he win a dozen Academy awards, he also designed the Oscar statuette.

For good luck in the coming year, Irish children who are celebrating their birthdays are traditionally raised into the air upside down, and their heads are bumped gently against the floor, one bump for every year of their age, plan an extra bump to grow on.

Selkies

These gentle fairy creatures can remove their seal skins, thereby taking on mortal forms of stunningly beautiful men or women with dark eyes and hair, until they put their skins back on, transforming back into seals as they return to the sea. Like merrows, selkies sometimes have webbed fingers or toes. They are compelled to obey anyone who captures their shed seal skins, and because of their beauty, many people have become romantically entangled with selkies. Unfortunately, these romantic stories usually end in tragedy, as a selkies can only dally with a human for a short time before returning to the sea. While in their mortal forms, selkies frequent sea cliffs and sing melancholy songs. The movie The Secret of Roan Inish is a tale of a selkie.

Irish Drink Irish Mist

First produced in Tullamore in 1947, Irish Mist is a complex, golden liquor made from aged Irish whiskey, heather and clover honey, aromatic herbs and spices and other spirits, supposedly derived from an ancient recipe for heather wine more than a thousand years old. Since 1985, it has been manufactured in Dublin by the Cantrell & Cochrane Group. Mist is available in more than 40 countries, and is sometimes preferred mixed with colas.

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