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Two Irishmen meet by chance and play most amazing piano duet you’ve ever heard

Two Irishmen who’d never rehearsed together and never met before teamed up at a train station to play the most dazzling piano duet you’re ever likely to hear.

It’s a rare gift to be able to play any tune by ear no matter how complicated, but it’s a talent these two have in spades.

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Features Lifestyle News

Spinetingling: Worshippers from 300 churches sing The Irish Blessing

There are few more glorious sounds than hundreds of people coming together to sing in unison to lift spirits in times of trouble.

That’s exactly what happened when worshippers from more than 300 churches in every county of Ireland got together through the wonders of technology to sing a one-thousand-year-old hymn.

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Citizenship Features

The Irish passport is one of the top 10 most powerful in the world

The Irish passport is one of the most powerful in the world, according to the latest calculations by the Henley Passport Index.

Henley studied data from the International Air Transport Association to see how freely a citizen was able to travel using the passport of their country.

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The Sack of Baltimore – when Irish villagers were kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery

Horror descended on the southern Irish fishing village of Baltimore during the summer of 1631, when locals were attacked and kidnapped by pirates.

The residents of the village, near Cork, were then sold into slavery in northern Africa.

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The Wexford Martyrs – rebels against the English Crown

The Wexford Martyrs  were a small group of Catholic rebels who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy, which declared Elizabeth I of England to be the head of the Church.

They were found guilty of treason for aiding the escape of James Eustace, Viscount Baltinglass, who had supported the Desmond Rebellion against the British.

They were hanged, drawn and quartered in 1581, and were beatified by Pope John Paul II more than 400 years later.

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Chilling story of the only Waterford man to be hanged in independent Ireland

Author Colm Wallace tells the chilling story of William O’Shea, who was the only Waterford man to be hanged in an independent Ireland.

By February 1943 William O’Shea had been married to his wife Maureen for three years, although he was aged just 24 and she was 21.

At this point the couple were blessed with a baby girl, the young family living together in a nice cottage in Ballyhane, outside Cappoquin. Instead of being at the start of a happy matrimony and enjoying parenthood however, O’Shea seemed to resent his wife. She, in turn, was afraid of him.

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Frederick Maning – Irish founding father of New Zealand

Frederick Edward Maning was born in Ireland but rose to prominence as one of the early settlers in New Zealand. He won the trust of the native Maori people and helped them negotiate with the British, who were colonising the country in the mid-19th century.

He published two books,  Old New Zealand and History of the War in the North of New Zealand against the Chief Heke, which have become part of the country’s classic literature.

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The fairy tale estate that Henry Ford’s Irish ancestors had to flee

More than a million people fled Ireland in the wake of the Great Hunger in the 1840s, but few had to abandon an area as beautiful as the fairy tale estate Henry Ford’s ancestors left behind.

Of course, the lowly Ford family didn’t own the idyllic paradise known as the Lisselan Estate, near Clonakilty in Co Cork, they were merely tenant farmers…but what a place to live and work. Or at least it was until the potato blight devastated the land, causing widespread starvation.

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Thomas Barnardo – Irish founder of Barnardo’s charity

Thomas John Barnardo was an Irish doctor who set up the world famous Barnardo’s charity providing help and care for homeless children across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

He began the charity in 1866 and it has since grown into a multi-million pound project providing more than 900 services for vulnerable young people in Britain.

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Features Lifestyle

Thomas Meagher – Young Irelander in the American Civil War

Thomas Meagher was a leading Irish nationalist who took part in the 1848 Young Irelander Rebellion and brought the tricolour flag of greeen, white and orange to Ireland from France.

He was sentenced to penal servitude for his part in the rebellion but escaped to the United States where he became a prominent figure in Irish American politics.

He fought in the American Civil War and went on to become the Governor of Montana Territory.