Frank McCourt: the Voice of the Future is in the Past

It might come as a shock to expecting mothers, when searching the web for baby names, to come across the voice of the well-known writer, Frank McCourt. The website Baby Names of Ireland features McCourt’s voice pronuncing and defining hundreds of Irish names–each in his musical accent. McCourt’s first memoir, Angela’s Ashes reflects on the harsh conditions of his childhood in Limerick, […]

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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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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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Saint Patrick and the Ridding of the Snake

To some, Saint Patrick and the myth of riding Ireland of snakes is an allegory where the snake represents evil and Christianity is the cure—the eradicator—to that evil. Yet, others trust the geography of the island in answering the no snake question. Before the Emerald Island was an island, it was covered by ice. According […]

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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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