Monday, October 31, 2011


Yet another great source of Irish information within Australia. The Australian Town & Country Journal has been added to the numerous digitisation of newspapers, journals and magazines, to name a few, on the TROVE site...

This is a great source provided by The National Library of Australia. Try this link, then change the search request from Irish to Ireland or Irish immigration... or whatever you wish...lots of treasures to be found.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Clare Castle / Ballyea – The Parish Remembers

2 November 2011 will see the launch of a book written and compiled by Eric Shaw entitled Clare Castle / Ballyea – The Parish Remembers. In conjunction with Clare Roots Society, Eric has documented all the readable gravestone inscriptions in Clare Abbey, Clare Hill, Killoo, Killone, and Ballyea & Clare Castle Churches. These amount to about 2,000 records, some dating from the late 1600s. The book will help to preserve the inscriptions and to make them available for family history research. It will also help to draw visitors and fits in with development plans to promote the attractions of the Parish.
See also Drumcliff Cemetery - the Hidden History of Ennis

Thursday, October 27, 2011


A family in search of its Irish roots finds a country trying to hold on to its heritage

In America, Ireland can sometimes seem as much an idea as it is a place. Perhaps 45 million Americans claim Irish roots, usually with great pride, and they credit (or blame) that heritage for everything from hot-temperedness to a love of storytelling and music to a weakness for drink.

Enlarge The Times-Picayune In the desolate but scenic Doolough Valley, in County Mayo near the west coast, you see more sheep than people. The road through here was the site of the Doolough Tragedy in 1849; at least seven people -- and perhaps far more -- perished in the course of a march to register for aid during the Great Potato Famine. A simple plaque by the roadside is all that marks the event today. The Essence of Ireland gallery (8 photos)
But I've always been a bit cynical about Americans' relentless claim to Irishness, my own included. For most of us, it's a romantic notion. Having roots in Ireland, with its hard-luck history, hints at fighting the odds. (For some Irish-Americans, such as those growing up in South Boston, actual odds may have been fought.) Tell someone you have English heritage, meanwhile, and you might as well say you were born on third base.

Anyhow, while I've been kicking around the idea of Ireland, and Irishness, for about four decades, I'd never actually been there until this summer, when the perfect occasion arose. My best pal from college was getting married to an Irishwoman, and the wedding was to be held at a castle in County Laois (say "leash"), not too far from Dublin.
While there, I thought, I'd scout around a bit on some family history. My grandmother passed away earlier this year, and we planned a family reunion and memorial in May. One of my jobs was to see if I could track down any scraps of information about my great-grandmother, Nora Hurley, who emigrated from Ballinlough, County Roscommon, around 1900, to work as a domestic in Boston. (Not to say I've overcome long odds.)
So, here was the plan: We'd toast my friend, then spend a week or so cruising around the country, mostly the west coast, poke around Nora's old stomping grounds, and cap it off with a few days in Dublin.
We had the (mostly) good fortune of being there at the same time as Queen Elizabeth II, who was making the first visit to Ireland by a sitting British monarch since the birth of the Irish Free State in 1922, and President Barack Obama, who popped in to visit some distant relatives in the village of Moneygall. To the Irish, generally huge Obama fans, the queen's visit was nonetheless a far more momentous thing -- no surprise, given the fraught history between England and Ireland. Both visits, though, helped illustrate the elusive nature of Irishness.

. . . . . . . .
City editor Gordon Russell can be reached at Comment and read more at

For the full story, go to


N.B. If any of my readers think they may be able to help Gordon in his search for Nora Hurley, please contact him via the email above. I know a number of SKS's research in Co Laois...great to be able to help a fellow researcher link to his family.
Thank you,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



is available via Paypal on the website  ... go to Merchandise 

The cost is €23 including post and packaging. We have tried to keep the cost to a minimum ... overseas members assured us it was the best way to do business.

In the meantime the DVD is available to more local members if you email Clara,  at     

Clara Hoyne <>  

then she can work out a meeting point in town or via Eric or Larry or she can post.

From The Irish Times... click on the image to enlarge

Monday, October 24, 2011



October 2011


Marilyn and the team.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


 To read the full history of The City of Adelaide, please go to

If you are unable to view the message below, please go to to view the dinner invitation details on-line.
Dinner Invitation

Bound for South Australia
Hear the songs ...

Please join us for a fundraising dinner …

2010 Pre-Dinner Drinks
With the announcement by the Scottish Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, that South Australia is the preferred bidder to obtain the world's oldest clipper ship City of Adelaide, we invite you to join us at a dinner to raise additional funds to transport the clipper to South Australia.
The dinner also commemorates the 147th Anniversary of the first arrival of the City of Adelaide in South Australia in November 1864 under the command of Scotsman and quarter-owner Captain David Bruce.  The clipper ship City of Adelaide was purpose built to serve South Australia.  Launched on the 7th May 1864, the City of Adelaide is a few years older than the world's only other surviving clipper ship, the Cutty Sark.
As momentum is growing, we seek your support by joining us at the dinner in the Members Dining Room, Adelaide Oval, on 4th November 2011.  The dinner will be attended by our Patron, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR Governor of South Australia.  Master of Ceremonies is ABC891 Drive presenter Sonya Feldhoff.
The cost of the dinner is $125 per person and includes pre-dinner drinks and some table wines.  Bar facilities are available for purchasing drinks during the meal.  Dress code is Jacket and Tie.
If you would like to attend please RSVP to email:
Please consider bringing friends and colleagues and making up a table of eight. The following link is an invitation in PDF format that can be downloaded and forwarded. icon Dinner Invitation 4 November 2011 (785.16 kB)
Free parking for the dinner is available at the Southern Car Park of the ground - entry by the southern gates off War Memorial Drive. Bar facilities are available for purchasing drinks during the evening.
For more information please contact Events on 0448 589 079 or email
Would you like to help save the 'City of Adelaide' but are unable to attend the dinner?
Do you have any items that you can donate for the silent auction to be held on the night of the dinner?
Please contact Events on 0448 589 079 or email
'City of Adelaide' Website
Link to

Clipper Ship 'City of Adelaide' Ltd. | ABN 65 134 550 388 | P.O. Box 535 | Kent Town | SA 5071 | Australia

Monday, October 10, 2011

CLARE MEMORIES.. Oral Gatherings of history

A wonderful organisation is gathering the oral history of our elders... this is just a little of what they do... for more refer to the link at the end of this post.

"We are motivated by a sense of urgency, mindful that our current elderly population may represent the last link to an older way of life in Clare. We intend to provide a platform for the dissemination of the material we collect through co-operation with community groups, schools, third level institutions, and the broader public.

Since, the establishment of Cuimhneamh an Chláir, The Clare Oral History and Folklore Group, over sixty of Clare’s elders have been digitally recorded by our entirely voluntary group.  At the time of writing, five of those recorded have passed to their eternal reward.  With each recording, the value of our work is reinforced by the realisation that once lost, no contrivance on earth can bring these unique memories back.   An early policy, passed by the founding members of Cuimhneamh an Chláir was to provide each family of an interviewee, with a free copy of the recording.  In the case of families who have since lost their loved ones, the opportunity to hand back a disk containing the voice and memories of their grandfather or grandmother, husband, uncle or grandaunt, has been an incredibly rewarding and gratifying act."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Parking in Dublin

On a bitterly cold winters morning a husband and wife in Dublin were listening to the radio during breakfast.  They heard the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the snowploughs can get through."  So the good wife went out and moved her car.
A week later while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer said, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snowploughs can get through."" So the good wife went out and moved her car again.
The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio announcer says, "We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today.  You must park...."  Then the electric power went out.  The good wife was very upset and with a worried look on her face she said, "I don't know what to do.  Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowploughs can get through?"
Then with the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married to sweet wives exhibit, the husband replied,  "Why don't you just leave the darn car in the garage this time."


Keukenhof – know as the Garden of Europe – is the one of the best places to view the abundance of spring flowers in the South Holland region of the Netherlands

Amsterdam's flower market – the Bloemenmarkt – reflects the country's passion for cut flowers and plants

Around seven million bulbs are planted each year in the park at Keukenhof, in an area of 32 hectares
The Bloemenmarkt - set on the capital's Singel canal and said to be the world's only floating flower market - has a score of stalls where you can buy all sorts of plants, flowers, bulbs and seeds

The mild climate of Holland , with its wet springs makes it an ideal place for bulb cultivation
Tulips originated in the east and were brought to Holland from the Ottoman Empire in the mid 1500s

In springtime, the lowland area by the North Sea is carpeted with fields of gladioli, hyacinths, lilies, daffodils, crocuses... and, of course, tulips

Keukenhof - literally 'kitchen garden' - is part of the hunting grounds of the ancient Teylingen estate

This year, the theme for the Keukenhof exhibition is Germany: Land of Poets and Philosophers 

The patchwork quilt of colours in the Keukenhof park, just outside Lisse in South Holland , is a veritable feast for the eyes

The bulbs of Keukenhof are re-planted each year according to the current trends and in collaboration with a number of gardening magazines

Spring in Keukenhof is one of the main tourist attractions of the Netherlands

The best way to appreciate the full glory of the Dutch spring is to hire a bike and cycle one of the tourist routes among the bulb fields
Click on the images to enlarge them.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. 
Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. 
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. 
They somehow already know what you truly want to become. 
Everything else is secondary."


As part of their 15th birthday celebrations, Ancestry are giving free access to Australian Electoral Rolls, up to and including October 15th... These are from 1930-1980.

As Australian censuses aren't released to the public as most are, these are the next best thing.

Have fun...