Have you ever tried to track down the “life and times” of one of your Irish ancestors? I can be a fascinating (and sometimes frustrating) process as you put the pieces together and gradually gain a glimpse of what life was like at the time for those ancestors. I notice that many of us stick…

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We’re just back from a trip to County Wicklow – where we were covering an Irish Homelands feature for The Green Room and visiting such wonderful locations as Glendalough. Wandering around Wicklow town, one particular sign in a shop window caught our eye: “Paid Work! Film extras wanted for the 5th season of Vikings. We…

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Did you know that Wicklow comes from the Norse “Vykyngelo” – meaning a “Viking meadow”? Let’s stay on that subject of Vikings for the rest of today’s letter. One of the most frequent enquiries I receive goes something like: “I just got my DNA tested and it turned up as 12% Scandinavian. I wonder if…

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One of our readers – Pádraic Mac Coitir (that translates into McCotter or Cotter in English – a fine Irish Viking name!) – was on to me during the week. Pádraic is a local tour guide in his home county of Antrim and also writes some very nice pieces for his local paper. So, Páidric…

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