The Quiet Man, Country Girls and Restoring Castles

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 13th of June 2023.

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The Quiet Man, Country Girls and Restoring Castles

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.

Connemara, County Galway. 
Some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland can be found in Connemara and we have discovered this part which has a particular Hollywood movie connection. Carina shares more on this youtube video.

Our Irish surname of the week is Collins (what a fine name!). At first glance, this looks like an English name – but most Collins’ in Ireland are of original Irish Gaelic origin. The main clan (O’Collins) originated in what is now County Limerick, but spread south-west into Cork since the late 1100s. You will also find a smaller group in the west of Ulster that were McCollins originally. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O’Brien. 
The first book, “The Country Girls,” introduces us to Kate Brady and her friend Baba Brennan as they navigate the challenges of a rural Irish convent school. Their journey continues in the sequels, “The Lonely Girl” and “Girls in their Married Bliss,” where they explore Dublin’s vibrant streets and face the unexpected trials of married life in London. Edna O’Briens passionate storytelling brings these characters to life, making it a captivating and influential read. See the book on Amazon here.


An rud is annamh is iontach
(pronounced “on rud iss onav iss yuntock”)

which translates directly as “the thing that is rare is wonderful” or “what is rare is beautiful”.

I think we all need to remind ourselves of this sometimes – what do you think?


This time it’s not a craft – but a castle! A while back we stayed in Wilton Castle near Enniscorthy in County Wexford. It’s a fantastic place owned by Sean Windsor who is a local farmer and put a lot of money and love into this unique piece of Irish heritage . Have a look at this video where we “interrogate” Seán on his royal surname and find out more about just why he reclaimed his castle.

If you ever find yourself on a trip to Wexford we would highly recommend staying here like we did. You can see more on the castle here.

Seán Windsor outside Wilton Castle, Enniscorthy, Ireland
Seán Windsor outside Wilton Castle, Enniscorthy.

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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