Glendalough, Brooklyn, Basket Weaving and much more…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 25th of April 2023.

Now Reading:

Glendalough, Brooklyn, Basket Weaving and much more…

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. 

Look out for this new “short” email every Tuesday – and you can expect your regular Letter from Ireland on Sunday as usual.

Glendalough, County Wicklow. 
Have you visited this scenic and tranquil spot in County Wicklow? If not, do consider it on your next Irish visit. But be sure to leave your tour at times to feel the special atmosphere in this beautiful and spiritual place. You can see Carina tell us more on a youtube video by clicking here (recorded before we improved our video technique!).

Our Irish surname of the week is BARRY. We all know how much Mike likes his Barry’s tea! This Irish name of Norman origin is mostly found today in the southern half of the island. The Barry surname comes from a small village in Flanders in Belgium – Barri – and subsequently from the south coast of Wales. The family arrived in Ireland in the 1100’s, were fully hibernicised over the centuries and used the Irish name “de Barra”. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

Brooklyn by Com Tobin. 
What a beautiful book – and subsequently made into a movie starring Saoirse Ronan.Eilis Lacey has come of age in Enniscorthy in Wexford in the years following World War Two. An Irish priest from Brooklyn then sponsors her emigration to America – but she leaves her mother and sister behind. The book follows Eilis’ new life in America – but also the constant pull from home. Very evocative and beautifully written by Colm Tobin.We loved the movie too! See the book on Amazon here.


Tús maith leath na hOibre
(pronounced “toos maw lah na hibra”)

which translates as “a good start is half the work“.

Never a truer word!

A few years back we were travelling through Spiddal in County Galway and stopped by a shop just outside the village. Ciaran Hogan sat outside making a basket using beautiful willow strands of various natural colours. He explained that this particular piece was a potato “skib”, used by our ancestors to gather and hold their potatoes. I think it looks like a piece of art when placed on a wall! Have a look yourself – and see more on Ciaran’s baskets and courses here.

facebook5 jpg - Glendalough, Brooklyn, Basket Weaving and much more...
Ciarán Hogan, after making a basket for your Potatoes

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.


Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.

Plus Member Comments

Only Plus Members can comment - Join Now

If you already have an account sign in here.