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

From an Irish Goddess to Saint Brigid

I often hear from readers who are frustrated with the number of Johns, Marys, Williams, Catherines etc. in their Irish family tree as it makes it nearly impossible to sort out who is who with any degree of certainty! Today, we’ll focus on one of these “recurring” Irish names, a name with ancient gaelic origins…

Celebrating Samhain – What This Time Of Year Means to Me.

For me, this is a special time as we transition into the winter here in Ireland – a time when I am aware of our connections to the past and those who have gone before us. In bygone days, it was a time when people felt closer to their ancestors – and many traditions have grown up around…

The Irish President and The Irish Poet.

One of the things we are most proud of here in Ireland are the work of our writers and poets. These wonderful characters manage to capture the mood and thoughts of a whole nation when they’re performing at their peak. A member of this mighty band of Bards – Derek Mahon – passed away earlier this week. In the…

An Irish Bog Story for You.

Many of our Irish ancestors would spend days on the “bog” in their parish – digging peat (we call it turf in Ireland) with a special shovel called a “slean” and then setting it out in low piles to dry on the surface for a few weeks. Days in the bog were filled with hard…

St. Brigid of Ireland

Remembering St. Brigid of Ireland.

Given the connection to this celtic festival, it is no coincidence that we celebrate Lá Fhéile Bríde (Law Ail-ah Bree-da) – St. Brigid’s Day – on February 1st in honour of our greatest female saint. St Brigid has a special place in the hearts of the Irish and her story and traditions have passed down…

Irish Culture & Customs Podcasts

From Ireland to Scotland – A Tale for Burns Night (#201)

In this episode we look at the Scottish institution known as “Burns Night” – named after Scotland’s unofficial national poet, Robbie Burns.

Christmas in Ireland – Tales from an Irish Home (#119)

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 19 of the Letter from Ireland Show. In this episode we look at two stories about Christmas in Ireland – the second letter is all about Christmas traditions in Ireland, but before that we look at the unusual tale of an Irish Santa Claus! 

Religion in Ireland – Let’s Take a Different Perspective (#118)

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 18 of the Letter from Ireland Show. In this episode we look at two stories about Irish religion that may surprise you – the first about a religion leaving Cork for North America and the second about a religious community that came to County Limerick.

2 Irish Gentlemen – Tales of Integrity and Principle (#116)

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 16 of the Letter from Ireland Show. In this episode we look at two qualities that are in short supply in the public world today – Integrity and Principle – and the stories of two Irishmen who had those qualities in spades! Why the picture of the puppy? Do read on to find out.

Fake News? – How The Irish Famine was Depicted Overseas (#115)

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 15 of The Letter from Ireland Show. In this episode we go back to the Irish Famine of the mid-1800s and look at ways at which news of the Irish Famine spread throughout the world – leading to reactions from the most surprising of quarters.