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Top ten surprising facts about Ireland and the Irish revealed


Phoenix Park Dublin – one of the biggest urban parks in Europe.


Think you know your Irish history and geography? Think again! here are some fascinating facts and figures.

1.   Irish patriot Michael Collins’ father was 74 when his son was born. Michael Collins senior married a woman 37 years younger than him.

2.  The Shannon is the longest river in both Britain or Ireland.

3. Ireland’s longest serving leader Eamon De Valera was born out of wedlock in New York to a Cuban immigrant and an Irish woman, Kate Coll. On De Valera’s original birth certificate, his name is given as George De Valero.

4. The entire size of Ireland would fit neatly into Indiana. Both populations are similar at 6 million.

5. There was a pogrom against Jews in 1904 in Limerick. It was instigated by a Redemptorist priest, Father John Creagh. Eighty Jews were driven from their homes.  Later, Dublin elected one of Europe’s first Jewish Lord Mayors.

6. Ireland’s first president Douglas Hyde was a Protestant, as was President Erskine Childers.

7. Edward Carson, who did more to keep Northern Ireland separate from the Republic than anyone, he was born in Dublin.

8. Ireland once had Europe’s biggest brothel. It was called Monto located in north inner city Dublin and 1,600 hookers plied their trade there in the first part of the century. British troops were a large part of the clientele.

9. Phoenix Park is one of the biggest urban parks in Europe.

10. The Duke of Wellington, Napoleons conqueror at Waterloo, was born in Ireland at the site of the current Merrion Hotel. He is the only Irish-born Prime Minister of Britain.

via Top ten surprising facts about Ireland and the Irish revealed | Irish Genealogy and Roots | IrishCentral.

Irish emigrants create a stir in Perth as fist fight caught on Camera – VIDEO


A video has emerged which shows a group of Irish men and one woman fist fighting during a night out in Perth.

The two and a half minute footage shows the group fighting outside a bar in Lake St, in Northbridge.

The scuffle continued for over two minutes and was interrupted when a police officer arrives on the scene.

The Irish Echo reports the footage was posted on Youtube by Muhammad Nadeem Ismail who witnessed the fist fight at 11pm on Sunday night.

A WA police spokesperson told the newspaper that they had received no reports regarding the incident.

This is not the first time antisocial behavior by the Irish in Perth made the headlines.

Last May Australian police have ordered a crackdown on the drunken Irish workers causing chaos in the Western city of Perth.

A police spokesperson said at the time: “It is clear that there are some significant differences in the policing of licensed premises in Australia to those in Ireland,” said Inspector Paul Steel.

“Young people have been warned that if they don’t abide by the law their visas will be investigated and they could face possible deportation.

Even rental agencies are not willing to rent properties to Irish people in Perth as they are getting destroyed during parties and being left in terrible conditions once vacated.

via Irish emigrants create a stir in Perth as fist fight goes viral – VIDEO | Irish News | IrishCentral.

via Irish emigrants create a stir in Perth as fist fight goes viral – VIDEO | Irish News | IrishCentral.

Irish American cannibal attacks mother in bath and eats her thumb


21-year-old Kirstie Foley is currently a wanted fugitive after having bit a piece of her mother’s thumb off, causing her mother to almost lose her entire hand.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports on the heinous crime that took place in the Irish neighborhood of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb. Foley’s mother was reportedly in the bath when her daughter burst in and attacked her, biting off a piece of her thumb and biting her arms and legs.

It’s domestic cannibalism,” Upper Darby Superintendent Michael Chitwood told the Philadelphia Daily News.

“We never found the tip of the finger. We don’t know whether she ate it or swallowed it. Totally out of control. We don’t know if she was high on drugs or what,” added Superintendent Chitwood.

Kirstie L. Foley is now wanted for aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment.

Though the incident occurred over the weekend, Foley’s mother is still in the hospital due to the severity of her injuries.

“She almost took off the thumb,” Chitwood said. “Nasty.

via Irish American cannibal attacks mother in bath and eats her thumb | Irish News | IrishCentral.

via Irish American cannibal attacks mother in bath and eats her thumb | Irish News | IrishCentral.

Massive gas find to be exploited in Clare despite local opposition


A British energy firm is to press ahead with plans to exploit a massive gas field discovered in West Clare – despite local opposition to fracking.

The Irish Sun reports that a new natural gas field of up to 3.86 trillion cubic feet of shale gas has been found in Clare.

The UK-based energy firm Enegi has confirmed to the paper that it intends to apply to the Irish authorities for an exploration licence before next February.

But locals have already objected as extraction of the shale gas will involve ‘fracking’.

Roisin Ni Ghairbhith of Clare Fracking Concerned told the paper: “What Enegi Oil need to realise is that the people of Clare value their health, water, environment and most of all their children a lot more than any short-term jobs.

“The public, the entire County Council and the IFA in Clare have all said no to fracking ever happening in this county.”

The report states that a study carried out on behalf of Enegi by Fugro Robertson Ltd calculates the recoverable resource estimates for the area to be between 1.49 trillion cubic feet and 3.86 trillion cubic feet of shale gas.

Enegi chief Alan Minty said: “Clare Basin is a highly prospective project and we are delighted to be involved at this early stage.

“Our findings and the report from Fugro have further endorsed management’s belief that the Clare Basin has a strong best case investment profile.

“The whole acreage appears to be very prospective and we are particularly excited by the area at the centre of the existing seismic grid which we have defined as high grade.”

The find is located between Doonbeg and Kilrush in the west of the county.

A statement from Enegi said: “We have undertaken some preliminary economic analysis which has confirmed the viability of the proposed project.”

via Massive gas find to be exploited in Clare despite local opposition | Irish News | IrishCentral.

via Massive gas find to be exploited in Clare despite local opposition | Irish News | IrishCentral.

Time to vote in the Presidential Election, despite all the negativity around


The presidential election on November 6 brings to an end the most expensive and hotly contested race of modern times.

By the end of the campaign both tickets will have spent $2 billion in total trying to win the White House.

There are those who would argue that it is a colossal waste of money, that elections should be federally funded as they are in Europe in many cases, and that a level playing field should prevail.

Whatever the merits of that, it is clear it will not happen any time soon given the deep pockets of major players on both sides who are doing their best to help influence the election.

Likewise the dissatisfaction with the Electoral College, which can trump the popular vote, is something that has been evidenced since the Bush/Gore race in 2000.

Perhaps if Obama wins in similar fashion both parties will finally have reason to change a system that is not democratic in the true sense of the word.

It is ridiculous that vast areas of this country are not even considered worthy of visits from the contenders, so narrow and narrowing even further are the key states.

Then there is the length of the campaign, which seems to have gone on for two years at least since the first Republican contenders began to limber up to take on the president.

In another way, however, the sheer length is a good thing, helping to quickly unmask the pretenders and allow the most committed and hard-driving candidate to get to the top of the ticket.

Of course the ultimate aim is to get the American people to vote for their favorite contender.

Despite all the negativity, the numbers voting in recent years have been on the increase as the polarization of the electorate has led to more inflamed passion.

This year is likely to be a nail-biter again and will surely rest on a handful of votes across several different states.

It is still a remarkable moment when the greatest democracy in the world passes on power so unremarkably and so free of threats and bluster.

Whoever is elected will take over a country badly in need of strong direction and commitment, and an electorate grown weary of the finger pointing and lack of progress in sorting out the economic mess made after the Great Recession.

We wish the victor well.

via Time to vote in the Presidential Election, despite all the negativity around | People and Politics | IrishCentral.

via Time to vote in the Presidential Election, despite all the negativity around | People and Politics | IrishCentral.

Is this perhaps the most perfect picture of Ireland ever taken? | Irish Genealogy and Roots | IrishCentral


Is this perhaps the most perfect picture of Ireland ever taken?

Moon setting on the Cliffs of Moher, taken 21st September.

It is the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare – which featured in the Harry Potter movies – taken at night with the Milky Way resplendent in the night sky.

The eerie but beautiful scene was shot by Irish photographer Damien Stenson, whose specialty is astrophotography.

You can check out more of Damien’s work on his Facebook page which features many other amazing images of the night sky over Ireland.

Do you have a favorite picture from Ireland?

Some facts about the Cliffs of Moher:

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions and are a designated UNESCO Geo Park.

The cliffs are 700 feet high at the highest point and range for 5 miles over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare.

O’Brien’s Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic cliffs.

From the cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South.

The Cliffs of Moher take their name from a ruined promontory fort “Mothar” which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower.

via Is this perhaps the most perfect picture of Ireland ever taken? | Irish Genealogy and Roots | IrishCentral.

via Is this perhaps the most perfect picture of Ireland ever taken? | Irish Genealogy and Roots | IrishCentral.

Emigration plague grips Ireland – soaring unemployment and relentless pessimism forcing Irish to seek a future abroad | Danny Boy | IrishCentral


Almost two percent of the Irish population left the country’s shores last year in search of a brighter future abroad, according to shocking new figures from the Central Statistic Office, Ireland’s national compiler of official governmental data.

The stark figures, which represent an eight percent increase on the previous year’s emigration numbers, underscore the drastic nature of the mass exodus of Ireland’s best and brightest, in what is fast becoming a brain drain without historical precedent.

An overwhelming sense of pessimism at the ongoing economic distress, and an unemployment rate hovering close to 15 percent have been cited as two of the main reasons for the ongoing export of young college graduates, newly qualified professionals, and others in search of greener and more prosperous pastures overseas.

The Union of Student in Ireland (USI), among other young persons’ representatives bodies, have made repeated attempts to raise the issue with government , but push factors like joblessness, media negativity, and appealing opportunities overseas have proved the stronger sway for many members of what’s been dubbed the emigration generation.

One marketing consultant interviewed by The Telegraph, a UK newspaper, for comment, said that Ireland was ‘steeped in pessimism,’ a sentiment echoed by many young Irish graduates that have made the short trip across the Irish Sea in search of better job prospects in England, Scotland, and Wales.

The US, Australia, and Canada, all retained their status as key host countries for young Irish emigrants, although Britain remained the predominant choice, with 22 percent of migrants choosing to settle there.

A Dublin based migration agency, meanwhile, told the paper that it had been inundated with requests for information about the Visa processes for relocating to the US, New Zealand, and Canada.

Even for those yet to graduate, it seems, the prospect of emigrating seems like an inevitable reality.

via Emigration plague grips Ireland – soaring unemployment and relentless pessimism forcing Irish to seek a future abroad | Danny Boy | IrishCentral.

via Emigration plague grips Ireland – soaring unemployment and relentless pessimism forcing Irish to seek a future abroad | Danny Boy | IrishCentral.

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