Killarney Castles, Birds of a Feather and Irish Skin Care…

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

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Killarney Castles, Birds of a Feather and Irish Skin Care…

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.

Ross Castle, Killarney, Co. Kerry.
 Ross castle is situated in a picturesque spot right on the banks of Lough Leane in Killarney National Park. We took a ride on a horse and carriage to the castle and spoke with our Jarvey in this video.

Our Irish surname of the week is O’Donoghue. Ross castle above was once the home of the Kerry O’Donoghue’s. It derives from the personal name Donnchadh (possibly meaning “strong warrior”). In Leinster the name is also anglicised as Dunphy. Finally, did you know that the boy’s name Donnchadh is anglicised as “Denis” in Ireland? To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

The Gathering by Anne Enright. 
This one’s a real page turner from a great Irish writer. “The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him–something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968.” Now, if that passage doesn’t get you hooked then I don’t know what will! See the book on Amazon here.


Aithíonn ciaróg ciaróg eile
Which translates to “one beetle recognises another beetle” effectively meaning “birds of a feather flock together”.
Click here to hear it pronounced in Irish

I must say I recognise this proverb in action when I read the responses to our letters and the connection through our shared Irish heritage.


Being an island we’re surrounded by seaweed and it’s used for all sorts, but this one is a favourite of Carina. Voya skincare from Sligo specialise in using locally harvested seaweed in their products. You can read their story by clicking here.

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.


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