The Famine, Irish Proverbs, Irish Whiskey and much more…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 16th of May 2023.

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The Famine, Irish Proverbs, Irish Whiskey 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.

Midleton, County Cork. 
The Choctaw people have a historic link to Ireland which has been commemorated with this beautiful sculpture in Midleton. This connection is rooted in an act of generosity from these people during a time of great suffering for those here in Ireland. Listen to our podcast to hear all about the story.

Our Irish surname of the week is O’Sullivan. This is the most numerous surname across the counties of Munster – especially in Counties Cork and Kerry and is third most numerous both in Ireland and amongst our readers. They were part of the Eoghanacht tribe under the McCarthys. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

Dubliners by James Joyce. 
Have you read James Joyce’s “Dubliners”? It’s an amazing collection of short stories that will give you a real taste of Dublin in the early 1900s. The characters are made so real with the way Joyce wrote their dialogue – really capturing the way the “Dubs” spoke back then. It’s not always an easy read, but it’s definitely worth it because it’s so honest and raw. The three stories that stood out to me were “Araby,” “Grace,” and “The Dead.” See the book on Amazon here.


“Is fearr beagán cúnaimh ná morán trua
(pronounced “iss far byug-awn coon-iv naw mor-awn tru-ah”)

which translates as “a little help is better than a lot of pity“.

I’m sure we’ve all felt that way at some point!

Bringing things back to Midleton again (see the sculpture at the top of the post), there is something else quite special about this place – its history of whiskey making! The huge copper pot in front of the distillery is the first thing I think about when someone mentions Midleton. The old Midleton distillery is from the early 17th century is now a visitors centre and well worth a visit. You can see more about visiting the distillery here.

Midleton Distillery Old Still jpg - The Famine, Irish Proverbs, Irish Whiskey 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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