Cork Mountains, Irish Art and The Young…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 14th of November 2023.

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Cork Mountains, Irish Art and The Young…

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.

Gougane Barra, County Cork.
 Located in the Cork mountains, this is the source of the River Lee which continues on to Cork city and also the site of a monastery built by Saint Finbarr. It’s also amazingly picturesque – you can see how St. Finbarr found God in the scenery here.  Click here to see a video of Carina touring Gougane Barra and explain more about this important site.

Our Irish surname of the week is Cronin. Given this is Carinas family name, we have already done some digging on this one and I recommend you read this article. Cronin has roots in Counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick. Its meaning, “son of the saffron coloured one”, suggests a fair-haired individual, possibly of Viking descent. Today, most bearers of the name reside in County Cork. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

“Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt
. You may have seen the movie or had this book on your reading list for a while, so here’s a nudge to go and read Frank’s memoir of his childhood. I think the following quote from his memoir sums it up well: “When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all”. But he did and hist story is both astonishing and a classic. Click here to see the book on amazon.


Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí

It translates as “Praise the young and they will flourish”

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

Carina reflected on her own childhood and this saying in a past letter that you can see here.

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

Irish Art Plus have a great website where you can view and purchase art from a large number of local Irish artists online. You can find some evocative pieces like this one from Donal McNaughton. The gallery is in Ballymoney in County Antrim but they ship around the world.

irish art plus turf

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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