Older than the pyramids, Eternal Hope and Ashford castle…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 26th of September 2023.

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Older than the pyramids, Eternal Hope and Ashford castle…

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.

Céide Fields, County Mayo.
 The oldest known farming system in the world can be found in County Mayo – there before the Pyramids or Stonehenge! It also helps that it’s in such a beautiful spot on the west coast of Ireland. Click here to watch Carina tell us more. If you’re enjoying these videos then be sure to subscribe on youtube to see them first as they’re released.

Our Irish surname of the week is McKenna. It can trace its roots to both Scottish and Irish origins. In its Scottish form, McKenna derives from “MacCionaodha”, translating to “Devotee of Aodh”, the pagan god of fire. Its Irish equivalent is “MacCoinaoith”, carrying similar meaning. The main sept of McKennas in Ireland originated from the southern Uí Néill tribe and settled as chieftains of the area around Truagh in County Monaghan. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on Johngrenham.com

“Beautiful world where are you?” by Sally Rooney. Some of Sally Rooney’s other books (like “Normal People”) have been adapted into TV series. This new book is one of her best. The story follows the intertwining lives of four young people navigating relationships, friendship, and personal crises in the contemporary world. See the book on Amazon here.


Bíonn súil leis an bhfarraige

It translates as “there is hope with the sea” but it’s closest meaning in English is the saying “Hope springs eternal”.

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

That is good news because as an island country, we’re surrounded by hope!

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

Brendan vacations is a specialist in Irish tours and travel. They have some great tour packages and I think one of the crown jewels in their tours is a stay at Ashford castle estate, once home to the Guinness family – now owned by the same people who own Brendan Tours.

Ashford Castle Aerial shot

Now if that’s not a castle fit for a king and queen, I don’t know what is! They do tours of Ireland, Northern Ireland and also Scotland. You can click here to see their brochure online.

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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