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One of Ireland’s greatest love stories

Joseph Mary Plunkett, one of leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin
Joseph Plunkett

Today is the 95th anniversary of execution of Joseph Plunkett – one of the leaders of the Easter Rising and one half of Ireland’s most poignant love story.

Plunkett had planned to marry his beloved Grace Gifford on Easter Sunday but that had to be put on hold because of the Rising.

When the rebellion was crushed, Plunkett was arrested and thrown into Kilmainham Jail and sentenced to death.

Riverdance – on their last legs of American tour

Michael Flatley
Michael Flatley

Riverdance has come a long way since it had its first little seven minute slot during the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994.

From those humble beginnings it has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Now the dancers are coming towards the end of their North American tour so we thought we’d share a great article we came across in the Edmonton Journal.

It discusses how Riverdance conquered the world and made Irish dancing fashionable. Check it out. http://bit.ly/hNB55g

Easter Rising 1916 – the event that changed Irish history

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Patrick Pearse
Patrick Pearse

We’re now in the midst of the 95th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916 – one of the most important events in Irish history.

To mark the occasion, Irish Music Forever, has published a series of articles giving the background to the Rising, explaining what took place and analysing its impact.

The rising began on Easter Monday when about 1,600 Irishmen from different political groups seized control of some of the key buildings in Dublin.

Why American presidents love their Irish ancestry

President Barack Obama (Photo Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama

American presidents like John F Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Barack Obama may have numerous political differences but they all have one thing in common: they have all been keen to publicise their Irish ancestry.

Why should they be so keen to promote their links with Ireland?

Here’s an interesting article on how more than 20 American presidents, including some from the 19th century like Andrew Jackson and Ulysses S Grant, have all laid claim to an Irish heritage.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13166265

Do you have a story about moving abroad?

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Have you moved?
Have you moved?

Irish Music Forever has been approached by a television company asking for help in finding people to take part in a new TV show.

The show is part of the hit series House Hunters International which airs on the US cable network channel HGTV. The show is also screened in a variety of other countries.

Melissa Grassi, from the production company Leopard Films UK, contacted us asking if we knew of musicians with a travel story about moving abroad as part of their work.

Dublin does Ireland proud for St Patrick’s Day

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St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

I’ve just got back from five glorious days in Dublin for the St Patrick’s Festival celebrations.
What a show they put on … full of music, dancing and zest for life. It was a fantastic event – possibly the best to date. It seemed as though all of Ireland had got fed up of all this gloomy recession talk and decided it was time to party.

And no one parties like the Irish – except perhaps the Americans, the Germans, the French, the Italians, the Spanish, the Brazilians … I could go on but you get the picture. Every nationality on the planet seemed to be there in huge numbers and having a fantastic time.

Music to Irish ears – Ireland 24 England 8

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Brian O'Driscoll (photo Paul Walsh)
Brian O’Driscoll

Irish fans found their singing voices tonight as Ireland chalked up a fantastic victory over England at rugby.

The Fields of Athenry – the adopted anthem of Irish fans for rugby and soccer – rang out across the Aviva stadium as Ireland pulled off their surprise win.

Our congratulations to the Irish team; commiserations to the English – but at least they got the chance to hear the Ireland fans sing some classic Irish songs to celebrate their victory.

The first try was scored by Tommy Bowe – who also sings a passable version of Black Velvet Band on special occasions.

The final score was Ireland 24 points with England only managing 8.

Obama to visit Ireland and assert his Irish heritage

President Barack Obama (Photo Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama

Much has quite rightly been made of Barack Obama being America’s first black president but he has also been keen to assert his Irish heritage.

Ok, it goes a long way back but his connection to Ireland is real. His great, great, great grandfather on his mother’s side came from Moneygall in Offaly.

The cynical among us might like to point out that it’s not unusual for American politicians to play the Irish card in order to win votes when election time comes. Even so, many people in Ireland will welcome Obama’s readiness to assert his Irish heritage.

Queen’s visits Ireland

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The Queen who is to visit Ireland
Elizabeth II, May 2007

Ireland is to receive a state visit by The Queen – the first by a reigning British monarch since her grandfather George V ventured across the Irish Sea in 1911.

George’s visit was very successful but it was followed a few years later by the Easter Rising and the war for Irish independence – not exactly what he had in mind when he waved to the cheering masses who lined the streets of Dublin.

The visit by Queen Elizabeth, at the invitation of the Irish president Mary McAleese, is likely to be less eventful but notable all the same.

Well done Ireland for beating England at cricket

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Congratulations to Ireland for beating at cricket.

Now I don’t pretend to know anything about cricket but I do know the Irish victory is of the biggest shocks the game has seen for many years.

This report from the Guardian newspaper captures the sense of disbelief in the cricketing world.

“This is utterly astonishing, one of the most amazing victories in any sport for years.