Mizen Head, Kelly, The Great Famine, Baby Blankets and much more…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 2nd of May 2023.

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Mizen Head, Kelly, The Great Famine, Baby Blankets 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.

Mizen Head, County Cork. 
Have you visited this wild, scenic spot? If not, do consider it on your next Irish visit. It’s the most southerly place on the island of Ireland and has a very interesting visitor centre and much more. You can read more about Mizen Head and this part of the “Wild Atlantic Way” on this blog post we recorded after a recent visit.

Our Irish surname of the week is KELLY. This is the second most numerous name in Ireland (the most numerous is Murphy). It is found in almost every part of the island of Ireland – but especially the province of Connacht. It comes from the Irish is Ó Ceallaigh – meaning “decendant of Ceallach” where Ceallach means “bright-headed”. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on Johngrenham.com

The Atlas of the Irish Famine – various authors published by UCC press. 
This hefty, hardback book should have a place in every Irish person’s library. It is a wonderful combination of scholarly insight with a visual feast of illustration and maps. It brings the circumstances behind the “Great Hunger” to life and illustrates theaftermath and consequences of that terrible event. Strongly recommended when you are looking for a special gift for yourself or someone special in your life. See the book on Amazon here.


Tóg go bog é
(pronounced “togue gu bug ay”)

which translates as “Take it softly – Go Easy – Take it easy“.

A Piece of life philosophy – a reminder to slow down and enjoy life!

The following photo was captured on the side of a wall of a building in Cavan town, County Cavan:

Irish saying tog go bog e on the side of a house in county cavan

John Hanly produces woven goods from a building near Nenagh in County Tipperary. I love the fact that this business was founded in 1893 to support the local sheep farmers of the area and remains in the hands of the Hanly family to this day. We had a new addition to the extended Collins family over the past year and really enjoyed giving these baby blankets as a gift to last. You can find out more about John Hanly here. 

hanly hands - Mizen Head, Kelly, The Great Famine, Baby Blankets and much more...

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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