Irish Culture & Customs Resources

In this section I share articles on Irish music, dancing, poetry, writing, story-telling and history. Many of the topics that we consider to be quite unique in our shared Irish heritage.

 

Browse the features listed on this page and jump to one that interests you, or enter a placename, surname or other item in the search box below to see related letters and podcasts.

Irish Culture & Customs Letters

Meitheamh – Mid-Summer in Ireland

Meitheamh – pronounced “meh-hev” – is the Irish word for June, and therefore more or less means mid-summer. The growth in the fields is at its green height – grass seems to be shooting up an inch a day up to this point. In the old Celtic Calendar there were four minor festivals through the…

Saint Patricks Day: Looking into Saint Patrick’s Mirror

What do the Great Wall of China, the Sydney Opera House, the great Pyramid in Egypt, the Niagara Falls and the London Eye all have in common? They are all, of course, world icons—but for one day this year, these and many other similar icons will turn green. For one full night in the year…

The O’Neills of Ireland – Fact and Fiction

Welcome to my attempt to dispel the fiction from the facts about my ancestors. But first a little recent history. I was born 77 years ago at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland to Thomas James O’Neill and Helena Margaret Wess O’Neill, October 4, 1937.  I have a brother Thomas James O’Neill Jr. and a…

The Irish Famine and Dear Old Skibbereen

This is a very different sort of letter today. My original plan was to talk a little about the pattern of emigration from Ireland over the last 300 years—and how that has been so linked to climate and harvest failures. But, sometimes feelings overtake facts. As I went through much of the wonderful literature—especially the…

Do You Use an Advent Calendar in Your House?

This time of year – the lead into Christmas – seems to become more commercial each year here in Ireland. It’s as if shops are willing Christmas to stretch back in to November. But I also find that this time of year has a quiet beauty all of its own. A time that calls us…

Irish Culture & Customs Podcasts

Come into This World of Celtic Music (#801)

In this episode we explore not just the world of Irish music – but 10 tracks from the extended Celtic family. We use music featured on the TV programme – “The Transatlantic Sessions” – to bring you music and song from Ireland, Scotland, the USA and much more. With lots of chat between each song.…

My Top Irish Names for Boys and Girls (#747)

In today’s episode we share some old Irish names – quite beautiful ones – that are just some of our favourites for boys and girls. Perhaps you already have one or two in your own family? We also share the story of Jimmy Hasty, an Irish footballer from Dundalk in County Louth and how I…

Top 10 Letter from Ireland Podcast Episodes

In todays special end of year episode, we look back over 2022 and select the 10 most popular Letter from Ireland Podcast episodes during the year. Something here for everyone! Let’s begin the countdown – starting at number 10 and working our way to number 1: At Number 10: “From The Vikings to The Normans”.We look…

A Merry Irish Christmas – 10 Old Irish Christmas Songs (#748)

In todays special Christmas episode, we share a selection of old Irish Christmas carols, songs and tunes. Something here for everyone! They include: With lots of chat along the way! We hope you enjoy! You can listen to the show on your computer/smartphone by clicking on the play button above (the triangle with the circle…

The Leaving of Liverpool, The Irish & The Beatles (#746)

This week we look at one of the most Irish of cities outside Ireland – the city of Liverpool on the western shores of Britain. It’s a place that has seen over a million Irish pass through its port to stay in England, Wales and Scotland or to head to places further afield such as…