Irish Dance and Tripping the Sod

Irish Dance and Tripping the Sod

Irish dance has gone through numerous changes since its inception from tan, wigs, and elaborate costumes to daring to wear pants during a competition. Such was the case in New Jersey where Breanna Broesler broke the mold of traditional Irish dance while competing in Glasgow, Scotland.  While not unusual for Irish women to challenge social norms, a brave step for a 22 year old. After all, Irish women have been known to take much greater risks. They challenged the authority of the British Empire in 1916.

irish danceHow I would have loved to see my little girls compete but would like to see it performed more simply, without the wigs, and extravagant dresses. My hats off to Brianna Broesler! when she dared to dance wearing trousers.

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Dublin and Five True Facts

Dublin and Five True Facts

Guest Post by Elena Clancy

As a local resident of Ireland, I took a slightly different route in my travels and my experience was perhaps different than the average tourist. During my travels I’ve come up with 5 Insane, but True facts about Dublin.

  • Dublin is home to many of Ireland’s famous acts in music, from Thin Lizzy and U2 to more recent sensations Script and Kodaline.

I am not a fan of Thin Lizzy myself, not a huge one anyway, but one of my friends is and other friends befriended members of the band. I was impressed by their association and I learned a lot about the band. This iconic band is from North County Dublin. The Script became popular when I was still in college; their songs appealing to my generation. Many are based on what it was like to live in Dublin and hit fame across the globe. Kodaline is a  recent addition to the music scene but they are just as raw and Irish as many other bands in Ireland.

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A Tourist’s Guide to Dublin’s Casino Scene

A Tourist’s Guide to Dublin’s Casino Scene

By Amelia John

Europeans who enjoy casino gaming treat Ireland as the Las Vegas equivalent of Europe. Dublin is the place to be if you want to see places that are filled with bright lights and vibrant atmospherics. Perhaps it was transformed into what it is today due to the fact that people in the city play poker more than anywhere else in Europe.

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War on women in Ireland

War on women in Ireland

 After the Easter Rising,  the Irish Republican Brotherhood,( soon to become the IRA) targeted RIC officials with violence and murder. On the suggestion of Winston Churchill, the Black and Tans were formed in 1918 to assist the RIC to get rid of the IRA, or so they thought. They roamed free looking for vengeance. They committed murder, lead a reign of terror and violence throughout Ireland. The easiest targets were women, especially in the more rural parts of Ireland. To remain secret, they  attacked after curfew dragging men and women out of their beds in the middle of the night..

Black and Tans 2Who were the Black and Tans ?

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Petticoat Rebels in Medicine/ Kathleen Lynn

Petticoat Rebels in Medicine and Doctor Kathleen Lynn

The most unlikely Petticoat Rebel after the Easter Rising was Doctor Kathleen Lynn. Appointed Chief Medical Officer of the Irish Citizen Army she  trained the rebels in first aid and was active in smuggling arms before the Easter Rising ever took place but her accomplishments go far beyond these simple facts.

Kathleen Lynn 2After the Easter Rising two things  continued. Sinn Fein, the new Provisional Government of Ireland and only one in Europe to include women on its board of trustees, gained massive political and pubic support especially with its anti-conscription bill.

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Petticoat Rebels in Ireland?

womens trade unionPETTICOAT REBELS IN IRELAND

Some of the most unlikely rebels were women who grew up in Protestant Unionist households, in other words part of the Anglo Irish elite

.They went to private schools, socialized with those of their own class, lived in large Georgian houses in the same neighborhoods as their peers, supposedly sharing the same values and ideals.

The lines were strictly drawn and it was considered scandalous for women to speak up against establishment, write editorials, or do almost anything outside of homemaking. In fact, after the Easter Rising, Nellie Gifford was thrown out of her mother’s  house. So how did these women become rebels in Ireland?

GovernessSeveral reasons.

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Why Mizen Head Will Knock Your Socks Off!

Mizen Head beats tourist popular Cliffs of Moher every time !

The spectacular beauty of Mizen head rivals that of the Cliffs of Moher. Her swirling tides, high cliffs, and dramatic splendor not seen anywhere else in Ireland make her totally unique. No contest in my opinion. I’ve been to both Mizen Head and Cliffs of Moher but if I had to make a choice between the two destinations I’d pick Mizen Head every time. In fact I plan to go back.

Mizen Head View.The Mizen Ring and its various strands make Mizen Head an area to explore. There is so much to see here! It will literally blow you away! Speaking of blowing you away, be careful of your hat on the Mizen Head bridge.

Experience geology of the coastline, breath taking flora and sea birds you’ll not find anywhere else in Ireland.

Its easy to take one whole day just exploring the peninsular with its crashing waves and the fantastic Mizen Head bridge that is so effortless to walk.You’ll feel like you are walking on air.

  Everywhere around you is sea, sky and surf. On a sunny day, you won’t want to leave but bring a coat for the winds can be quite brisk.

Mizen Head BeachSome highlights of your Mizen Head tour are an award winning maritime museum perched precariously on the side of the cliff, an altar dolmen, Crookhaven Harbor, a quarry that provided metal for the roads of Wales until 1945, several beaches, and much more.

Mizen Head Visitor centerIf you don’t have a lunch don’t despair

. The Mizen Head Visitor Center has sandwiches and soup.

Picnic tables are right outside the door and toilets are appreciated after the long winding road drive. This is a great travel destination.

Mizen Head fb 2The bridge, which is easy walking  will lead you to the museum. Admission is affordable at only 6 Euro for adults and children under 5 free.

Mizen Head LighthouseMizen Head is the most South-Westerly point in Ireland.

Mizen Head and Toormore Close to Mizen Head,  a visit to Toormore will take you through some Irish history. An Altar Church built during the famine as relief word and a wedge tomb from the bronze age are interesting finds. A restaurant is there as well.

There is more information on Elena Clancy’s travel blog R U In Ireland? Check  her out for specifics on Mizen Head and other Irish destinations.

What was your favorite travel destination in Ireland or where would you like to travel?

The Ladies School Dinner Committee

In 1911,The Ladies School Dinner Committee or the LSDC organized a free  lunch for every poor child in Dublin regardless of religion, parents political backgrounds, or race.

Irish-schoolsBefore this time, the School Meals Act of 1906 allowed government money to be allocated for the provision of meals to school children in England. It had not been extended to Ireland however. In early 20th century Dublin hundreds of children went to school without any breakfast. They did not bring lunch with them either.  At this time, Dublin had one of the highest poverty rates in all of Europe! One free lunch could make all  the difference in the world.

Dublin Corp. nowIn November of 1911, Helen Laird, a teacher at Alexander College and Maud Gonne MacBride addressed the monthly meeting of Dublin Corporation, explaining the poor health conditions of school children and how a free lunch every day would keep their minds strong and their bodies fit, preventing them from living off the government in the future. Dublin Corporation referred the matter of whether money could be dispensed toward school lunches to their law agent. The law agent’s recommendation was to neglect any money at all toward school lunches.

lady_aberdeen 2Lady  Ishbel Aberdeen, founder of the Women’s National Health Organization and wife of the lord lieutenant in Ireland came under extreme criticism by the Nationalist movement.By 1910, the WNHA was the  main children’s charity of the country.

The Ladies School Dinner Committee accused her of patronizing the poor in Ireland and setting up the WNHA because she hoped to influence Queen Victoria to give her a title. She was seen as meddling in Irish affairs.

Irish stewSo the Ladies School Dinner Committee took over school lunches and this is how they did it.

The meals were cooked in a communal kitchen and had to be carried by the ladies to each school.

Dublin Family 20th century

Some children paid and some did not. It was left up to the teachers to know who was not able to pay. This was kept secret and no one was allowed to know who did or did not pay for the food. This way it kept all politics and favoritism out of the pot

School When the children left at lunch time, they often did not return to class..

 An added benefit of having meals in the school was that it kept them inside the building. Previously, they left to go a communal kitchen on Meath St. (the same kitchen that would provide the free meals now) When they left at lunch time, often the boys and girls did not return to class.

As is today, the Ladies School Dinner Committee came under attack from the media who claimed the free lunch program was simply a ruse for nationalist propaganda though I doubt the children cared at all.

Do you have your free report yet? Read more news of Women in Ireland that made a difference. Ten Irish Heroines of 1916

NEWS:  Watch for Free Promotion Oct. 7, 8, and 9h for 100 Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland. with added BONUS Content.

How To Travel Ireland by Irish Bus

HOW TO TRAVEL IRELAND BY IRISH BUS AND WHY ITS BEST FOR SOME

Bus in Dublin

An Irish bus is the only way to travel for some people. Let’s face it. Driving in Ireland is not for everyone. The drawbacks are numerous including expense, lack of street signs, dangerous roads and definitely driving on the left if you come from the states or Poland. For some these are just part of the experience but for others it can scare someone into neglecting a trip to Ireland in the first place. DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU! There are other options. Bus travel may be the way to go.

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