The Rebel Cork

Cork, the southernmost county in Ireland, is separate from the others not only in region. The “rebel” in its name seems to indicate an anti-authoritarian spirit that puts opposition against a higher power. Cork, the incubator for the gritty, hard-stanced Irish that would soon take no comment lightly,  also becomes the homeland of those most proud […]

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The Itinerant Irish–Macweeney’s story of the Irish at Large

Irish travelers, also referred to as tinkers or gypsies, are said to have broken off from the “settled” Irish about a thousand years ago. They have a long history as craftsmen and tradespeople. As one source notes, “the sound of a hammer hitting an anvil,” warranted them the nickname of “tinkers” (Rock, Lauren).   The […]

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Near the heart of Ireland–Athlone and Beyond

In leaving Ireland, I remember a song I heard on RTÉ radio a few days before returning to the United States. Its lyrics went: I left my heart in Athlon, my heart is an empty stone.” Still, I think of those lyrics today and envision the images of the place that captivated me as a stranger to the land. There is a […]

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The Best Women for the Job, Emain Macha and the Debility of the Ulstermen

Cú Chulainn is one of the fiercest, most infamous warriors of Irish mythology. He is an Ulstermen and a hero, who fought fearlessly defending his land and himself against the threat of invasion, the threat of change. That being said, he was said to transform wildly during battle, so that his face would distort into what is known […]

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