Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Excerpts from the Ireland- Information Newsletter...

 For the full version, please go to
    or for more extracts, go to
    by David Carey

    1. Dublin's O'Connell Bridge was originally made of rope and could only carry one man and a donkey at a time. It was replaced with a wooden structure in 1801. The current concrete bridge was built in 1863 and was first called 'Carlisle Bridge'.

    2. O'Connell Bridge is the only traffic bridge in Europe which is wider than it is long and Dublin's second O'Connell Bridge is across the pond in St. Stephen's Green.

    3. Dublin Corporation planted 43,765 deciduous trees in the Greater Dublin area in 1998.

    4. Dublin's oldest workhouse closed its doors for the last time in July 1969. Based in Smithfield, the premises housed 10,037 orphan children during the one hundred and seventy years it operated.

    5. Dublin was originally called 'Dubh Linn' meaning 'Black Pool'. The pool to which the name referred is the oldest known natural treacle lake in Northern Europe and currently forms the centrepiece of the penguin enclosure in Dublin Zoo.

    6. None of the so-called Dublin Mountains are high enough to meet the criteria required to claim mountain status. The Sugarloaf is the tallest 'Dublin Mountain' yet measures a mere 1389 feet above sea level.

    7. The headquarters of the national television broadcaster, RTE, in Montrose, was originally built for use as an abattoir.

    8. Dublin's oldest traffic lights are situated beside the Renault garage in Clontarf. The lights, which are still in full working order, were installed in 1893 outside the home of Fergus Mitchell who was the owner of the first car in Ireland.

    9. The Temple Bar area is so called because it housed the first Jewish temple built in Ireland. The word 'bar' refers to the refusal of Catholics to allow the Jewish community to enter any of the adjoining commercial premises.

    10. Tiny Coliemore Harbour beside the Dalkey Island Hotel was the main harbour for Dublin from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century.

    11. Dublin is the IT Call Centre capital of Europe with over 100,000 people employed in the industry.

    12. In 1761 a family of itinerants from Navan were refused entry to Dublin. The family settled on the outskirts of the city and created the town of Rush. Two hundred and fifty years later, a large percentage of the population of Rush can still trace their roots back to this one family.

    13. Dubliners drink a total of 9800 pints an hour between the hours of 5.30pm on a Friday and 3.00am the following Monday.

    14. Dublin is Europe's most popular destination with traveling stag and hen parties.

    15. Harold's Cross got it's name because a tribe called the 'Harolds' lived in the Wicklow Mountains and the Archbishop of Dublin would not let them come any nearer to the city than that point.

    16. Leopardstown was once known as Leperstown.

    17. The average 25-year-old Dubliner still lives with his/her parents.

    18. Three radio stations attract over 90% of all listeners in the Dublin area.

    19. There are twelve places called Dublin in the United States and six in Australia.
    20. Buck Whaley was an extremely wealthy gambler who lived in Dublin in the seventeen hundreds. Due to inheritances, he had an income of seven thousand pounds per year (not far off seven million a year at today's prices). He lived in a huge house near Stephen's Green which is now the Catholic University of Ireland. He went broke and he had to leave Ireland due to gambling debts. He swore he'd be buried in Irish soil but is in fact buried in the Isle of Man in a shipload of Irish soil which he imported for the purpose.

    21. The converted Ford Transit used for the Pope's visit in 1976 was upholstered using the most expensive carpet ever made in Dublin. The carpet was a silk and Teflon weave and rumoured to have cost over IR£950.00 per square meter.

    22. There was once a large statue of Queen Victoria in the Garden outside Leinster House. It was taken away when the Republic of Ireland became independent and in 1988 was given as a present to the city of Sydney, Australia to mark that city's 200th anniversary.

    23. The largest cake ever baked in Dublin weighed a whopping 190 lb's and was made to celebrate the 1988 city millennium. The cake stood untouched in the Mansion House until 1991 when it was thrown out.

    24. Strangers are more likely to receive a drink from Dubliners than from a native of any other County.

    25. There are forty six rivers in Dublin city. The river flowing through Rathmines is called the River Swan (beside the Swan Centre). The Poddle was once known as the 'Tiber' and was also known as the River Salach (dirty river), which is the origin of the children's song 'Down by the river Saile'. It is also the river whose peaty, mountain water causes the Black Pool mentioned above.

    26. Saint Valentine was martyred in Rome on February 28th eighteen centuries ago. He was the Bishop of Terni. His remains are in a Cask in White Friar Street Church, Dublin. He is no longer recognised as a Saint By the Vatican.

    27. The statue originally in Dublin's O'Connell Street (but now moved to the Phoenix Park) is commonly known as the 'Floozy in the Jacuzzi' while the one at the bottom of Grafton Street is best known as the 'Tart with the Cart'. The women at the Ha'Penny bridge are the 'Hags with the bags' and the Chimney Stack with the new lift in Smithfield Village's now called the 'Flue with the View'. The short lived millennium clock that was placed in the River Liffey in 1999 was known as 'the chime in the slime'.

    28. Montgomery Street was once the biggest red-light district in Europe with an estimated 1600 prostitutes. It was known locally as the 'Monto' and this is the origin of the song 'Take me up to Monto'.

    29. Henry Moore, Earl of Drogheda lived in Dublin in the Eighteenth century. His job was naming streets. He called several after himself. Henry Street, Moore Street, Earl Street, Drogheda Street. Drogheda Street later became Sackville Street and is now O'Connell Street.

    30. Nelson's Pillar was blown up in 1966 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 rising. It now lies in a heap in a valley in County Wicklow.

    31. Leinster House in Dublin was originally built as a private home for the Duke of Leinster. At that time, the most fashionable part of Dublin was the North Side and he was asked why he was building on the South Side. He said 'Where I go, fashion follows me!' .....and to this day the most fashionable part of Dublin is the South Side.

    32. Tallaght is one of the oldest placenames in Ireland and it means 'The Plague cemetery'.

    33. There are seven areas in Dublin whose names end in the letter 'O'. Fewer than one Dubliner in 20,000 can name them off by heart. They are: Rialto, Marino, Portobello, Phibsboro, Monto, Casino and Pimlico.

    34. Kevin Street Garda Station was once the Palace of the Archbishop Of Dublin.

    35. The original name of Trinity College was 'Trinity College Near Dublin'. The capital was a lot smaller then.

    Best wishes from Van Demons Land!

    David Carey.
    (In Australia but from Limerick!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012


(c) Christopher Groenhout
There would be few people who wouldn't recognise a photo of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge,
whether it be as the perfect backdrop to the Opera House or as the main 'stage' for the New Year's Eve Fireworks spectacular.
On the 19th March, 1932, this engineering marvel was opened.
It's affectionately known as the coathanger, and is loved by most, unless of course, you are held up there in peak hour.

"The Sydney Harbour Bridge, also affectionately known as the 'Coathanger', was opened on March 19th 1932 by Premier Jack Lang,

after six years of construction. Made of steel the bridge contains 6 million hand driven rivets.

The surface area that requires painting is equal to about the surface area of 60 sports fields.

The Bridge has huge hinges to absorb the expansion caused by the hot Sydney sun.

You will see them on either side of the bridge at the footings of the Pylons.

You can have a close hand look while you are in Sydney by visiting the South Eastern Pylon.

It is a walking trip and recommended for the fit only. It is a longish walk to get to the base of the Pylon

and then there are 200 steps to the top.

The views and photo opportunities are fantastic. (If you can make it, we've got to say it is tough).

There is a great display on how the thing was built. It has a similar place in Sydney history

to the Statue of Liberty in New York as far as many migrants to Australia go.

In sight of the bridge you knew you had made it.

When it opened it cost a car six pence to cross. A horse and rider was 3 pence."

(Read more at the above link...)

In true Aussie fashion, the opening was not without incident.

"The official opening day on Saturday 19 March 1932 was a momentous occasion, drawing remarkable crowds
(estimated between 300,000 and one million people) to the city and around the harbour foreshores.
The NSW Premier, the Hon. John T. Lang, officially declared the Bridge open.
However, the Premier enlivened proceedings when Captain Francis De Groot of the para-military group,
the New Guard, slashed the ribbon prematurely with his sword, prior to the official cutting.
This incident caused both amusement and dismay on the day and has since become part of Australian folklore."


Tom Frawley of Frawley's Pub, Co. Clare, Ireland | The Beachside Resident

Tom Frawley of Frawley's Pub, Co. Clare, Ireland Tom Frawley of Frawley's Pub, Co. Clare, Ireland
Paddy McDrinksey

1v8 Bartender Frawley1 Tom Frawley of Frawleys Pub, Co. Clare, Ireland

Tom Frawley

Forget "Bartender of the Month;" Tom Frawley, 91, the recently retired owner of the P. Frawley public house in Lahinch, Co. Clare, is our favorite bartender of all time.

Though he probably couldn't mix a margarita if he tried, Tom was the embodiment of all that is noble about the profession.

He ran a tight ship with quiet authority (a fluorescent sign inside his pub read: "No Stag Parties Welcome Here"), was spry and attentive beyond his years (when he wasn't dozing on his stool), spun a great yarn, sang like an angel, and was, above all, a character — of a kind that proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the existence of an almighty, all-knowing, and highly creative God.

Tom Frawley, an avowed bachelor, pulled his first pint at the age of 9 in 1928 in this tiny, grocery-cum-pub, which has been in his family for an astounding 138 years. When his mother died in 1961, he took over P. Frawley and ran it until he begrudgingly retired due to poor health this past August.

1v8 Bartender Frawley Tom Frawley of Frawleys Pub, Co. Clare, Ireland

For more on this story, please go to

Note the absence of refrigeration... Aussie pubs would go broke...

Friday, March 16, 2012


For the Love of Ireland
Whether the mist be over Ireland
or in a far off land
today is for all Irishmen
and won't it just be grand
as we celebrate our heritage
in many different ways
for those of us with Irish hearts
know that our love of Erin stays...
(c) Crissouli

Paddy went to a farmer in the hope of buying a donkey.

The farmer and Paddy came to an arrangement whereby Paddy would pay 20 pounds now
and collect the donkey in two weeks time.

After two weeks, Paddy went back to the farmer to collect his donkey however the farmer told Paddy that unfortunately the donkey had died.
Upset about this as Paddy really wanted the donkey he asked the farmer for his money back.
The farmer said he couldn't do this as he had spent the money.
Paddy replied that he would take the dead donkey and raffle it off.
The farmer told Paddy that he couldn't raffle a dead donkey as no one would buy a ticket.
"Easy", said Paddy I "won't tell them the donkey is dead".

So, after the raffle was drawn the farmer asked Paddy how he got on.
Paddy replied that he had sold 1,000 pounds worth of tickets in the raffle and made a handsome profit.
"How" said the farmer for "the donkey was dead".
"Well", Paddy said "when the winner of the raffle came to collect the donkey I told him he had died.
The winner then asked for his money back so I gave him back his 20 pounds and pocketed the rest, making a profit of 980 pounds".
Paddy has now been invited to be the head of the Bank of Ireland.

A passer-by watched two Irishmen in a park. One was digging holes and the other was immediately filling them in again.

'Tell me, 'said the passer-by, 'What on earth are you doing?'

'Well, 'said the digger, 'Usually there are three of us. I dig, Fergal plants the tree and Sean fills in the hole.

Today Fergal is away unwell, but that doesn't mean Sean and I have to take the day off, does it?'

Two Irishman Meet a Swiss Tourist

A Swiss man, on holiday in Dublin, needed directions. He was standing outside Davy Byrne's pub

when he saw two youths walking by so he stops them and asks, 'Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?'

The two lads look at each other blankly and stare back at him.

'Excusez-moi, parlez vous Français?' He tries.

The two continue to stare.

'Parlare Italiano?' Still absolutely no response from the two lads.

'Hablan ustedes Espanol?' The Dublin lads remain totally silent.

The Swiss guy walks off extremely disappointed and downhearted that he had not been understood.

One of the boys turns to the second and says, 'Y'know, maybe we should learn a foreign language!'

'Why?' says the youth, 'That guy knew four languages, and it didn't do him any good!'

An Englishman, a Frenchman and an Irishman were in a pub talking about their children.

'My son was born on St George's Day, 'remarked the Englishman, 'So we obviously decided to call him George.'

'That's a real coincidence, 'observed the Frenchman, 'My daughter was born on Valentine's Day, so we decided to call her Valentine.'

'That's really incredible, 'drawled the Irishman, 'Exactly the same thing happened with my son Pancake.

Paddy wanted to be an accountant, so he went and took the Irish accountancy exam.

Examiner: If I give you two rabbits and then I give you another two rabbits, how many rabbits do you have? Paddy: Five.

Examiner: No, listen carefully again. If I give you two rabbits and then I give you another two rabbits, how many rabbits have you got? Paddy: Five.

Examiner: Let's try this another way. If I give you two bottles of beer and then I give you another two bottles of beer, how many bottles of beer have you got? Paddy: Four.

Examiner: Good! Now, if I give you two rabbits and then I give you another two rabbits, how many rabbits have you got? Paddy: Five.

Examiner: How on earth do you work out that two lots of two rabbits is five? Paddy: I've already got one rabbit at home!


Many of my Irish friends tell me that they are surprised as to how much the rest of the world gets excited about St. Patrick's Day.
However, we, who are connected in some way, often tenuous, to the the land of the green, embrace all things Irish, even if it is just for the day.

To this end, take advantage of the wondrous sights on offer, and the discounts, while you can.

Watch out for the iconic hotel Burj Al Arab, 'going green' to celebrate on Saturday 17th March 2012.
Jump into Ireland
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Creating a buzz and excitement with compelling visual spectacle, the Sky Tower in Auckland, the Cibeles Fountain in Madrid, The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Niagara Falls in Canada & US, the TV tower in Berlin's Alexanderplatz, the London Eye and Table Mountain in South Africa, are among some of the well-known sites that will be lit up on March 17, along with Burj Al Arab in the UAE.
Celebrating the Irish vibrant culture and connecting cities and communities across the world

70 Million People

22 Iconic Landmarks

06 Continents

01 Day of Global Celebration

St Patrick's Day Guide
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It's our very first St. Patrick's Day! To celebrate we are offering a 10% discount on subscriptions for the duration of Dublin's St. Patrick's festival (March 16th to 19th)! We're also running a competition via our special St. Patrick's festival page, Facebook, Google+and Twitter with a top prize of a 1 year's subscription to and a brand new digital camera!

If all that wasn't enough we'll also be giving you a guide to some of our favourite events happening throughout the festival as well as the history associated with them.

Take a look at our St. Patrick's Festival page for more info and your 10% discount.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ANGELS.. Smile Time explained By Children..

I only know the names of two angels, Hark and Harold.
Gregory, age 5

Everybody's got it all wrong.
Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it

-Olive, age 9

It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die..
Then you go to Heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through.
And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.

-Matthew, age 9

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God
has to go do something else.

-Mitchell, age 7

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science.

-Henry, age 8

Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy

-Jack, age 6

Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up
to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead.
Daniel, age 9

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten.
And when he lets out his breath again, somewhere there's a tornado.

-Reagan, age 10

Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy.
If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow.
Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter.

-Sara, age 6

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his
son, who's a very good carpenter.

-Jared, age 8

All angels are girls because they gotta wear
dresses and boys didn't go for it.

-Antonio, age 9

My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got
a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.

-Ashley ~ age 9

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal
sick animals and pets. And if
they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it.

- Vicki , age 8

What I don't get about angels is why, when someone
is in love, they shoot arrows at them.

- Sarah , age 7