A Norman Castle and Your Irish Surnames…

Your Letter from Ireland shorts from the 7th of May 2024.

Now Reading:

A Norman Castle and Your Irish Surnames…

Céad míle fáilte, welcome to your Letter from Ireland “Shorts”.  Each Tuesday we’ll bring you a quick-read of some of our favourite and interesting Irish things for this week.

Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim.

Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman fortress that was once almost surrounded by the sea. This made it an important and influential stronghold for many local rulers through history. Check out this short video of Carina filmed just outside the castle.

FEATURED IRISH SURNAMES – Readers’ Surnames and their counties

As many of you might know, when you first sign up for the letter, we ask for the Irish surnames and counties in your family. We have now compiled some of the most popular Irish surnames into one article, including the county in which each surname is mostly found. Do you have a popular Irish surname in your family? Have a look here – and see if you spot any of your own surnames!

PS. If you don’t spot your Irish surname, do feel free send an email and share it with us!


We Don’t Know Ourselves” by Fintan O’Toole. This was recommended to us by Mary Ellen – one of our Green Room members. She writes: “Fintan O’Toole does a great job of weaving the history (old and recent) and the culture of Ireland. He grew up in an working-class family Dublin in the 60s and 70s and so presents an insider’s view.” Click here to see the book on amazon.


An rud is annamh is iontach

Which translates to “What’s seldom is wonderful”.

Click here to listen to how a native Irish speaker would say it


This beautiful medallion is made in the image of the famous Lough Gur Sun Shield – said to have been crafted during the Bronze Age in 800 BC. Locally made in Limerick, the makers are called “Re:Story” and specialise in many handmade crafts such as this one. Perfect for gifts – or for your own personal collection! See what’s on offer at Re:Story here.

lough gur sunshield restory

That’s it for this week. Send us an email with any of your own favourites for inclusion in future emails, or if you’re a plus member leave a comment below.

Slán for now,
Mike & Carina.

*Note: The above article may contain some affiliate links (for example Amazon) which means we get paid a small amount should you choose to purchase, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep the show on the road!

Plus Member Comments

Only Plus Members can comment - Join Now

If you already have an account sign in here.