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Shamrocks and Clovers

The Shamrock is the popular symbol of Ireland, used in Ireland throughout the ages, long before the arrival of the Christians, the plant was held sacred by the Druids and is mentioned throughout medieval literature. The word comes from the Irish term seamair óg which means little clover.  The shamrock is a three-leaved clover, A clover is the commonly used name for several three leaf plants. Shamrock and clovers should be considered as non-edible plants, the view that in times past Irish people ate shamrock “to make them speedy and of nimble strength”  is more likely to refer to the similar three leaf plant, the wood sorrel which was eaten as a green and used to flavor food. The four-leaf clover is rare, 1 in...

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Irish Place Names

The longest place name in Ireland is generally thought to be Muckanaghederdauhaulia, a very small village in Moycullen west of Galway city. 22 letters, just to save you the trouble of counting. The Irish name is Murceanach idir Dhá Sháile.  This translates to ‘piggery between two expanses of briny (sea) water’. Typically, Irish place names are the anglicised, i.e. mispronounced Irish place name. The Irish name has a meaning. When you travel around Ireland you will see the Irish version of the place names, (that is when you can find a signpost) in italics alongside now the generally used anglicised version, exploring the origins of the place names will often give an insight into the history of a place For...

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Deadly Irish Quotations

Ireland is where strange tales begin, and happy endings are possible – CJ Haughey A few deadly quotes – from the book of deadly Irish Quotations, O’Brien Press, Brien Press This suspense is terrible – I hope it will last – Oscar Wilde This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever – Sigmund Freud All publicity is good, except an obituary notice   - Brendan Behan A cynic? A mam who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing – Oscar Wilde In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol, and it was the worst 20 minutes of my life – George Best I often sit back and think, ‘I wish I’d done...

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