Last year we explored the history and cultural significance of Irish Famine Pots, the giant cast iron vessels created to cook massive volumes of soup to feed the starving Irish in 1847, the bleakest year of the Great Irish Famine. I’m delighted to report the completion of a new documentary film about the preservation and historical significance of these cast iron pots. Today, one lucky reader will have an opportunity to win a copy of this DVD…. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Dublin’s iconic Ha’penny Bridge turns 200 years young this week. The bicentenary of the opening of this ornate, metal, pedestrian bridge was celebrated on May 19th, 2016. And so, I thought today I might share some photos of this magnificent structure that elegantly spans the River Liffey, connecting the north side and the south side of my hometown, Dublin….. Read more here.
County Laois was once a center of Irish religious and cultural life. The ruins of old medieval stone castles dot the countryside, together with the isolated remains of once great monasteries. Laois is home to meandering country roads, picturesque villages and towns, lonely bog landscapes, red sandstone mountains and lush green pastureland. Why not join me on a photographic and informational tour of this beautiful inland county?…. Read more here.
When you think of stone circles, the mammoth monument at Stonehenge in England probably springs to mind. But did you know Ireland is home to many stone circles too? Today, I’m taking you on a photographic tour and a ramble around one such stone circle found near Glandore in County Cork. Drombeg is well worth a visit. But I know many readers may never make it there, so today sit back, and let me bring Drombeg to you….. Read more here.
Chocolate cake with absolutely no flour. This delicious chocolate roulade is a gluten free treat, and a favorite dessert in Ireland and the United Kingdom. And for anyone searching for a special cake to cook for mom as a Mother’s Day treat, this chocolate roulade should seriously be considered. For any mom’s who avoid gluten in their diet, this recipe only uses eggs, sugar, chocolate and cocoa powder in the light sponge roll, making it a go-to gluten free cake recipe…. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
Today, May 3rd 2016, marks one hundred years since Pádraig Pearse (1879-1916) was executed for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916. Today my thoughts turn to his mother, who not only lost Pádraig, but merely one day later lost a second son, Willie. As people all over the United States prepare to celebrate Mothers Day this coming Sunday, Pádraig Pearse’s eloquent poem,The Mother, comes to mind….. Read more here.
Muffins are my favorite, easy, grab-and-go breakfast at the weekend. I love to whip up a batch on Friday evening, to make sure I get a head start on Saturday morning mayhem, which usually reigns supreme in our house. When we wake up on Saturdays, we’ve usually hit that snooze button a few times too often, and immediately have to start running here, there and everywhere around the house looking for football boots, water bottles, basketballs, shin guards, tin whistles, and all the other paraphernalia four kids need for matches and activities. With blueberry muffins ready to go, at least I know breakfast is covered…. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
“Sour” by Alan Walsh is a debut novel, retelling the old Irish myth of ‘Deirdre of the Sorrows’, yet updated and re-imagined as a modern day tale with quirky local characters and set in a fictional Irish town. “Sour” is a mixture of folktales and mystery, tragedy and farce. Are you intrigued? Let me tell you I was, when Alan Walsh contacted me to introduce his writing. And some good news. Alan has provided a copy of his new book as a prize for one lucky reader to win….. Read more and enter the giveaway here.
Today’s blog post is especially for New York readers and anyone planning a trip to the Big Apple before June 2nd, 2016. I’m delighted to announce that CualaNYC, New York City’s first annual festival of Irish culture, kicks off today at 11 am in front of City Hall. Such a great name for this group and festival! Did you know “Cuala” was one of the five ancient Celtic roads that led to the Hill of Tara, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland?…. Read more here.
Ireland’s Easter Rising, one of the most significant events in Irish history, commenced on April 24th, 1916, exactly one hundred years ago today. The Proclamation of the Irish Republic, a document proclaiming Ireland’s independence from Britain, was read in front of Dublin’s General Post Office, by Patrick Pearse on this date, a century ago….. Read more here.
Mairéad here, checking in with my blog traffic and progress report. I know! I know! It’s supposed to be a monthly report and this update is about two months overdue. I feel as if I’m handing in my homework late to Sr. Mary Aloysius, or another nun from my childhood with a very, very strange name. What can I say?… “The dog ate my homework! Yes, sister! She nearly choked on the computer parts as she chewed, and chewed.” Somehow, I don’t think Sr. Mary Immaculata or Sr. Attracta would have fallen for that one…. Read more and get my blog update here.
The River Shannon is Ireland’s longest river winding its way over 360 kilometers through fascinating landscapes and breathtaking scenery. It meanders through and between 11 of Ireland’s counties from where it rises in County Cavan. The River Shannon is a natural barrier between the east and the west of the Emerald Isle and on it’s banks you can explore ancient Ireland, and discover medieval and historical ruins…. Read more and explore the River Shannon through an interactive map.
Orphans by Joan Cusack Handler is an extraordinary memoir and a wonderful new Irish family narrative. But what truly makes this story exceptional is that Handler’s new book is a memoir in verse. As you my readers know, I love poetry and all the nuance, paradox and emotion conveyed by the magical manipulation of words. When I heard from Joan, a native of the Bronx, raised in an Irish family, I was captivated by the idea of a memoir in verse….. Read more here.
Mass Rocks stand scattered around the Irish countryside in out-of-the way, difficult-to-find places, their secretive locations chosen with a purpose. When the Penal Laws were enacted in 1695 making it illegal for Irish Catholics to practice their faith, they took to the hills and the mountains, to the forests and the caves in search of secretive spaces to gather and pray…. Read more here.
Today’s recipe is for Irish flapjacks. I know! My flapjacks look just like granola bars, and nothing like pancakes. But believe it or not, a flapjack in Ireland is a homemade oatmeal bar and in no way resembles a pancake. You say ‘granola bar’, and I say ‘flapjack.’ Oh my! Here’s one of those little culinary and cultural nuances between Ireland and America, I just love to explore…. Read more and get the complete recipe here.
Women played an extraordinary role in the years before and after Ireland’s 1916 Rising. These rebel women were teachers, actresses, fundraisers, nurses. But many came from educated wealthy backgrounds, and their involvement in the struggle for Irish freedom required they give up the comforts of their class, the respect of their peers, and, at times, even be shunned by family and friends. In today’s guest post, Brighid O’Sullivan explores the influence of Irish governesses on these Anglo Irish ladies who took up Ireland’s cause….. Read more here.
County Kilkenny is home to rolling green hills of verdant pasture, meandering, picturesque rivers with architecturally amazing arched bridges, an abundance of stone castles from the middle ages, ancient monasteries and cathedrals, and Ireland’s most magnificent medieval city. It truly is a spectacular county. In today’s post join me on a photographic tour of this beautiful county. Here’s a little sampling of what awaits you in County Kilkenny… Read more and take the tour here.
Driving Ireland’s highways and byways is a feast for the eyes, as motorists pass by some magnificent works of art. I love Ireland’s roadside art displays. Some may disagree with me, considering them a distraction, but for me these motorway masterpieces add a little intrigue to every journey. Today I thought I’d share some of the shots I’ve taken over the years of Ireland’s roadside art, plus a few beauties I found online…… Read more here.
“My Ireland” is a place of love which invokes a deep sense of identity. “Mother Ireland”, as we so lovingly call her, will always influence my state of mind, no matter where I wander.
She instills in me a life-long feeling of connection. “My Ireland” is a collection of stories and memories that have shaped my life.
“Memories, converted into stories,
can become a monument of sorts
to the remembered.”
– Christy Kenneally
“My America” is a place of acceptance, which invokes a deep sense of pride. I have chosen to live in a small state in the heartland of America. In Kentucky, we live outside the limelight, and may not be considered part of “mainstream” America.
Here I present the stories and images of “My America” – Smokey Mountains, natural wonders, and great rural beauty. I have learned we are as integral a part of the ‘Real America’, as our more famous urban neighbors. Welcome to my American Dream.
Slán agus beannacht!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom