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Donegal

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | February 18, 2018 | No Comment |

Donegal is a large county on the north-western coast of Ireland. It is located in the province of Ulster, along the Donegal Bay in the North Atlantic. Donegal borders counties Derry, Tyrone and Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, and only borders county Leitrim to the south.  Donegal has distinct characteristics that separate it from any other county in Ireland. The name “Donegal” is derived from “Dún na nGall”, which means“home to foreigners”. County Donegal is a very large and famous hub for Christianity. This came to be when St Colmcille was born in Donegal in the year 521 A.D.,  spreading his Christian word and enlightening the people of county Donegal. He is remembered today for continuing around Northern Ireland and eventually onto Scotland, taking the spirit of his birth place with him. Today, county Donegal is home to various attractive tourist destinations, including visiting Tory Island off the coast, and climbing the beautiful Errigal Mountain. County Donegal is also a very entertaining and successful GAA county, bringing home the Sam Maguire Cup twice in the last 25 years.

—Mackenzie Greene

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Dublin

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | February 16, 2018 | No Comment |

Dubl Dublin also known as the “city of living culture” is one of the main cultural centers of Ireland with a vibrant Art and literary lifestyle. Famous authors such as James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift all produced works here. It had tons of museums, theatres, historic houses and concert halls. The Irish national library is found here as well. Dublin is a cosmopolitan city than that of Galway. Its population is very young with an estimate of 50% being below 20 years old and a vibrant club and nightlife around St. Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street for pub crawls. It has a vibrant music scene with live musicians on the street and tons of concert halls producing artists such as U2, Kodaline and The script along with a underground music scene huge in the 1980’s. It is typically an immigrant city with international makeup and many cultures mixed together along with two colleges such as the University of Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.

—Lexi French

under: Courses, Student posts

West Cork

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | February 14, 2018 | No Comment |

A Taste of West Cork

A Taste of West Cork Festival

A Taste of West Cork Festival Finale – SUNDAY STREET MARKET!
The Sunday Street Market took place in Main Street Skibbereen from 1.00pm to 5.00pm. Over 100 stalls, food tastings, demonstrations, crafts and art – a fun day out for all the family!
Picture: Emma Jervis Photography

A taste of West Cork is a ten day long festival every September that brings people from all over Ireland to celebrate the food and Culture of West Cork. Visitors come from all over to taste foods made by the award winning chefs of West Cork. During the festival there are many activities to participate in, such as the open air food market, food tastings, brunches and banquets, guest chefs, and family themed events so that the whole family can participate. The open air street festival will include live music and seating for those to enjoy the taste of West Cork and relax.

CorkThe festival supports the many local farms of West Cork, such as Gubbeen Farm, Glenilen Farm, Caherbeg Free Range Pig Farm, Durris Irish Farmhouse Cheese, and many more. The festival takes place in over thirty towns and on eight islands, and features around 230 events to participate in, so theres something in it for everyone. Plan your visit today to see and taste everything that West Cork has to offer!

—by Marisa Dixon

under: Counties, Student posts

Fermanagh

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | February 13, 2018 | No Comment |
Marble Arch Caves

Marble Arch Caves

Fermanagh

Fermanagh

Fermanagh is a southern county in Ulster. It is heavily based in agriculture because of its green landscape. One of the most interesting geographical features are the Marble Arch Caves. It features winding rivers, waterfalls and lofty chambers. The caves were believed to formed around 330 million years ago. Visitors are surrounded by limestone that is said to glisten. These caves were formed rivers, Owenbrean, Aghinrawnand Shruh Croppa, draining off the northern slopes of the Cuilcagh mountains. The caves were eventually opened for the public to explore by boats gliding through the rivers and steel walking paths. Only experienced “cavers” are permitted to certain areas because of the rugged terrain.

—by Megan Daley

under: Counties, Student posts

Kilkenny

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | February 12, 2018 | No Comment |

A county full of rich medieval history, Ireland’s second largest monastery, and the home of James Hoban, the architect of the White House in Washington, D.C., county Kilkenny sits in the southeast of Ireland in province Leinster. From the years

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle

1641 to 1649, Kilkenny was the capital city of Ireland until Cromwell led conquest of Ireland. On its lands of green lay thirteen castles, and a round tower dating back to the 9th century. The oldest house in Kilkenny dates back to the Neolithic era. Today, this county is well known for its GAA Hurling team, being considered as one of Ireland’s “Big Three”, having won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship a record thirty-five times. It also hosts Ireland’s premier comedy festivals, the Kilkenny“Cat Laughs”. Though a quieter county in Ireland, there are plenty of sights to see and rich history to take in, and you can do all of it while enjoying a pint of the county’s own famous beer- the Kilkenny beer.

—by Emma Chamberlain

under: Counties, Student posts, Uncategorized

Antrim

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | January 31, 2018 | No Comment |

Antrim

Antrim

County Antrim, Northern Ireland is located in the northern province of Ulster. The county is home to rolling hills, as well as beautiful coastline. Additionally, it is the birthplace of one of the most famous authors of the 20th Century. C.S. Lewis, writer of the well-known “Chronicles of Narnia” series was from County Antrim. Lewis was born in Belfast, County Antrim’s largest city. His Irish heritage inspired his writing within the popular series. Specifically, County Antrim’s Dunluce Castle is regarded as the foundation and inspiration of the “Chronicles of Narnia’s”, Cair Paravel. The castle described in the series favors that of Dunluce, especially with its unique coastline and elevation. While the major motion picture was filmed in New Zealand, the terrain and atmosphere is said to have been what inspired C.S. Lewis’ setting of Narnia. While, C.S. Lewis did not stay in his home city of County Antrim, it is clear that the area held a special place in his memory.

–by Meg Cathcart

Mulraney, Frances. “Top 10 Interesting Facts about County Antrim (PHOTOS).” IrishCentral.com, 30 Aug. 2015, www.irishcentral.com/travel/top-10-interesting-facts-about-county-antrim-photos.

under: Counties, Student posts, Uncategorized

Louth: the wee county

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | January 28, 2018 | No Comment |
Death of Cú Chulainn

Death of CuChulainn

Louth

Louth

The county Louth is the smallest county in all of Ireland, only amounting to 826 square kilometers(319 square miles). For this reason, it is referred to and known as the “Wee County”. Unfortunately, Louth’s small size results in it being looked over and not receiving the attention that it deserves. Most of the people who do actually visit just pass through on the motorway between Dublin and Belfast; however, its small size and the low number of tourists that it receives is not a measure of the county’s importance. Louth is an overflowing county of legends and myths. Such as the stories of Cú Chulainn, which is about an ancient Gaelic hero warrior who defended the Louth area from invading armies with “monstrous zeal”. In historical aspects, Louth hosted invading Vikings as well as the armies of Oliver Cromwell at the Siege of Drogheda. Also, Drogheda, County Louth is the resting place of St. Oliver Plunkett’s head who was the last Roman Catholic martyr to die in England when he was hung, drawn, quartered and beheaded in 1681.

by Hallie Buchanan

under: Counties, Student posts, Uncategorized

Longford

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | January 28, 2018 | No Comment |

Cairn Hill

Longford

Longford County is located on the northern area of the province of Leinster. The area was one of the Gaelic Irish settlements that did not rise from a Norman or Viking origin. The name Longford means “ship dock,” which is notable considering that the settlement is built alongside the Camlin River, a tributary that feeds into the Shannon River.

Today, Longford has a population of roughly [forty] thousand. The county boasts beautiful scenery and architecture rich in historical significance. Notable places of interest and tourism include the Cathedral Church of Saint Mel, dedicated to another missionary who joined Saint Patrick in his movement to spread Catholicism throughout Ireland. Other tourism sites include the various dolmens scattered around the county. Dolmens offer a mysterious portal into the history of Ireland, and many can be traced back to the third or even fourth millennia B.C.E.

by Troy Caraminica

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Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 28, 2017 | No Comment |

by Elizabeth Burgher

Elizabeth Burgher in Leenaun

In June we visited two Irish towns where two important Irish films were shot: The Field and The Quiet Man, shot in Leenaun and Cong respectively. It’s a well-known fact that the layout of sets in films is often not the same as it is in real life; for example, a viewer could see a man walk down a street and turn a corner, presumably to the street right next to it, but in real life those two streets could be a hundred feet away from each other. While this was also true for comparisons between the films and the locations we visited, what amazed me about visiting these two sites was how even if the physical layout was not the same, the overall feel of the place was.

Leenaun is a small, one-horse town (a village really), nestled on the Killarny Fjord in the west of Ireland, with rugged mountains and peaks looking down on it. This ruggedness is in complete keeping of the hardy, masculine air of The Field.

And in complete contrast, Cong was even more charming and idyllic in real life than the town of Inishfree was in The Quiet Man. Between the quaint little shops (selling a great deal of film-related memorabilia), the tasty cafes, the surrounding loveliness of the landscape, and the majesty that is the nearby Ashford Castle, the film’s depiction of heaven seemed entirely real. We rented bikes from the stables near to Ashford Castle and were whisking off through shady forests and sunny paths, and as I passed a tour guide (who was leading a The Quiet Man film location walking tour through Cong), he remarked, “And no, that wasn’t Maureen O’Hara” while all the tourists, including myself, laughed. As I sped away I thought, he could be right, because in that moment I could so easily have been her, a young woman bike riding through a heavenly little Irish town.

Through these visits, the films really came alive for me, because it felt like I was really living inside them. And I guess in a way, I was. It turns out that the phrase “life imitates art” has some true meaning.

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River Liffey: the Great Divide

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 26, 2017 | No Comment |

by Abrie Richison

The River Liffey is a river in middle of Dublin, Ireland that flows through the center of the city, separating the Northside and the Southside. This river is significant because of its attraction, placement, and references in books and films.

One of the first sights I saw when first exploring Dublin was the River Liffey. It is a beautiful river with eclectic buildings and streets tracing both of its sides. People are often seen taking pictures of the river and pictures of themselves in front of the river. Because of its attraction, it has become an important sight to see when visiting Ireland.
Along with its attraction, the River Liffey is mentioned in many pieces of Irish literature. One of these is Dubliners by James Joyce. Within Dubliners there is a short story titled “An Encounter” which follows two thrill-seeking boys on their journey for adventure. In this story, the boys cross the river in a ferry boat, moving from north to south. Their adventure consists of ditching school, crossing the river, and ultimately experiencing culture shock, explaining the true division that the River Liffey provides.

While Dubliners mentions the river, films do as well. One film that features the river is Michael Collins (1996) directed by Neil Jordan. This film follows Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), the famous Irish revolutionary. Also, featured in the film is a man named Harry Boland (Adrian Quinn) who is killed while trying to swim across the River Liffey.
While traveling around Ireland and seeing all of the beautiful sights, I have come to understand the importance behind many of these attractions. The River Liffey is more than just a beautiful river running through the city; it has deeper meanings and significance to the people living in Ireland.

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