Baltimore, Vikings and DNA…

Your Letter from Ireland shorts from the 5th of March 2024.

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Baltimore, Vikings and DNA…

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.

Baltimore, County Cork.

Baltimore is a beautiful seaside town in west Cork where we have personally spent a lot of time. See some of the surnames associated with the area in this article from a previous trip. My own Collins family were prevalent in the area – many building boats on the pier. See this birds-eye view video to get a good feel of the town.


This week we’re going to look at the Viking surnames. Many given names of Norse origin worked their way into a number of surnames that we consider Irish today. Find out if your surname one of them here.

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero” by Timothy Egan. This book tells the story of Thomas Francis Meagher, someone we have mentioned before in many letters. His story is an almost unbelievable one and if you wanted to go deeper into his story I’d thoroughly recommend this New York Times bestseller. Click here to see the book on amazon. 


Múineann gá seift

Which translates literally to “Necessity teaches resource” – close to the English proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

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

IRISH CRAFT/PRODUCT WE LOVE (not an advert – just things we like) 

This lucky Irish gold coin really caught our eye. It’s cast from an old Irish threepenny piece called a “Leat Reul” from the 1920’s. It’s a great little symbol of luck and a link to Ireland of the past. To top it off, it’s made by a lovely woman called Andrea Mears from Balina, County Mayo.

Irish Threepence Necklace

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 the Amazon link) 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!

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