Saving Civilisation, O’Connors, The Aran Islands and much more…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 27th of June 2023.

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Saving Civilisation, O’Connors, The Aran Islands 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.

The Aran Islands, County Galway.
 There’s not a more beautiful place when the sun is shining (the sun came out later in the picture above)! We stayed on Inishmore for a week one summer a few years back and got talking to one of the locals of the island about what life’s like living there.

Our Irish surname of the week is O’Connor. “Conor” was a prevalent boy’s name in Ireland in ancient times, and worked its way into many later surnames. The most important branch were in Connacht (Galway and Roscommon) – which gave us the last High King of Ireland. It then had further sub-branches in County Sligo. Then there were the O’Connors of Offaly, Kerry, Clare and Derry. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. 
This one comes highly recommended not only by myself but also by our Green Room members. In “How The Irish Saved Civilization,” Thomas Cahill reveals how St. Patrick brought Christianity and a love for learning to Ireland, preserving western culture while Europe faced cultural turmoil. This captivating book showcases the remarkable role of Irish monks in safeguarding knowledge and reviving culture during the medieval era. It’s a read that sheds light on the unsung heroes who played a vital part in shaping our shared cultural heritage. See the book on Amazon here.


Níl neart go cur le chéile
(pronounced “neel nyart gu cur leh kayla”)

which translates as “There’s no strength without unity“.

Something I am reminded of regularly with the team efforts required to send out these weekly letters!


Now, it can’t always be all fine arts and craftsmanship! One thing you will find many an Irish person as they emigrate today are their beloved Tayto crisps (called “chips” in the USA). They’re such a phenomenon in Ireland that there was even a Tayto theme park and they even apparently invented the first flavoured crisp production process. Have a look at the history of Tayto 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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