Bernie Murphy – Irish Designer – Winner of Best of Ireland Awards 2021

Bernie Murphy, an Irish designer/entrepreneur seeks inspiration from the beautiful landscapes and environment that surrounds her in Donegal. Bernie loves working with Donegal Tweed to develop and create her unique heritage style with contemporary, handmade headbands, garments, and accessories, sustainably sourced, using local mills in Donegal.

Skellig Michael – Its History and Religion

News that Skellig Michael, the remote island off the County Kerry coast, is to reopen, is welcome after its closure due to Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland, as elsewhere. The ancient monastic site is the responsibility of Ireland’s Office of Public Works, for its protection, management and maintenance.

Grange’s Wellington Tower – One Of Ireland’s Hidden Gems

One of the few benefits of our recent lockdown during Covid restrictions is that people all over the country get to discover some of our country’s beautiful and historic buildings. One recent trip to the village of Grange in County Tipperary brought this author in contact with the historic Wellington Tower.

Two for the price of one

Monday morning had arrived, it was the beginning of a new week. Ryan entered the County council offices with the human stream of people who worked there. He floated through the entrance as if he was log being carried along by a river.

The Culleen

Situated on the south side of our neighbour’s hill field, the culleen – from the Irish word coillín, a little wood – was a fascinating place. In contrast to the straight lines of whitethorn hedges on either side, it spread in an irregular mass like a miniature jungle.

Skellig Michael – Its History and Religion   

News that Skellig Michael, the remote island off the County Kerry coast is to reopen, is welcome after its closure due to Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland, as elsewhere. The ancient monastic site is the responsibility of Ireland’s Office of Public Works, for its protection, management and maintenance.

‘Mayo’s Ballrooms of Dancing and Romance’ is well worth seeing

There is a wealth of reminiscences and folklore about the ballrooms of Mayo, the county that Jimmy Higgins called the land of a thousand dances. Now thankfully all these recollections and folklore has been collected and documented in audio-visual format by Henry McGlade with the excellent technical assistance of Tommy Stenson. 

Escape To The Past

I naively believed that by now I would have been released from the current lockdown and would have been enjoying my normal way of life, pre-pandemic. But alas, circumstances beyond my control have determined that I shall remain in mental bondage for the present and beyond.

For the Turf it Might Be Dryer

Back in the day, composers and songwriters of popular music often gained inspiration from the names of trains and railways. This was particularly so in America where many popular pieces such as The Chattanooga Choo-Choo, which according to the song departed Pennsylvania Station, New York, on Track 29 at about a quarter to four each day.

My visit to the Martello Tower in Howth (The Home of Vintage Radio)

Monday, 6 November, 2014 was a smashing Autumn day, with the sun shining, despite the night before being rough with high winds. I was threatening for many years to visit the Martello Tower in Howth because during my working lifetime I had an interest in radio and all things associated with this means of broadcasting, and this was my opportunity.

Cobh Past and Present

In time, everything changes. On my first visit to Cobh in the 1970’s it was like stepping back in time. I thought it a wonderful place, but whatever it had been it certainly was not that any longer.

The man who grows coffins

One of my researchers contacted every local authority in Ireland and it would appear that Leitrim County Council is the only one to have refused permission for a home burial.

John Creedon – A national treasure of Irish broadcasting

One of the many accolades bestowed on John Creedon throughout his never a dull moment radio and TV careers and his equally captivating journeys across Ireland’s ancient landscape.

Nathan Carter – The Country king with broad appeal

Wagon Wheel is one of those songs that you can’t get out of your head once you hear it, and revellers aged from nine to ninety have been dancing, singing, whistling or humming along to it since Nathan Carter breathed new life into the song back in 2012.

Sharon Shannon: still pressing the right buttons

She was hailed as a national treasure on RTE’s Late Late Show tribute, broadcast before Christmas.  An accolade well-deserved by Sharon Shannon, the super-talented Clare Girl famed for her playing of The Galway Girl. For three illustrious decades the familiar sight of Sharon, with her radiant and captivating smile, playing the button accordion, has gladdened the hearts of music lovers.