DISCOVER IRELAND
 
ACCOMODATIONS IN IRELAND
 
DINING IN IRELAND
 
PLACES IN IRELAND
 
MYTHS AND LEGENDS
 
IRISH ARTISTS
 
CELTIC THUNDER STORE
 
 
AUTHENTIC IRISH RECIPES
 
IRISH HISTORY
 
IRISH TRADITIONS
 
IRISH POETRY
 
IRISH SPORTS
 

 

 

 RELATED ARTICLES

 
 IRELAND'S FARMERS MARKET
 
IRELANDS CULINARY SCENE

 

 

 

 
 

CELTIC THUNDER HAS BIG PLANS FOR 2016!

As we have recently announced, Celtic Thunder has joined forces with Sony Entertainment. We have been working hard to re-release all of our catalog items on our new record label (they are currently available on iTunes) and will be available in a physical format by the end of the summer.

In addition our new partnership with Sony we are very excited to announce that we are currently planning a 100 city US and Canada Tour for 2016. More details will be announced in time, so keep checking back with us! This will be the largest tour Celtic Thunder has ever undertaken. The tour will center around the show that we filmed in Casino Rama in March 2015. There will also be a new Special for Public Television, and the show will be released on CD and DVD in February 2016.

Our NEW CELTIC THUNDER STORE is now fully operational and all our music MP3s will be added by mid July. Celtic Thunder Fan Club members will then be able to claim their free downloads (Platinum members) and reduced price downloads (Gold & Green Members). If you are a Fan Club member and want more information on how to access your download please  email webmaster@celticthunder.com with the MP3 downloads in the subject line.

 

 

NORSK HOSTFEST – MINOT, ND

Celtic Thunder will return to the US on Sept. 29, 2015 for their first-ever festival engagement at the Norsk Hostfest in Minot, North Dakota.

Norsk Høstfest is North America's largest Scandinavian festival which runs Sept. 29 - Oct. 3. The 38th annual Norsk Høstfest kicks off Tuesday evening, Sept. 29, with a 7 p.m. opening ceremony followed by the Høstfest Eve Concert. Headline acts are scheduled to appear in The Great Hall of the Vikings over five nights and four days including Celtic Thunder.

"We like to think we're offering something for everyone," said Norsk Høstfest President David Reiten. “From returning favorites like comedian Jeff Foxworthy, to new names such as the dynamic Irish-group, Celtic Thunder and country-rock sibling trio, The Band Perry.”

 

WINSTAR WORLD CASINO & RESORT - THACKERVILLE OK

Celtic Thunder will return to the US in October 2015, and will be performing at the WinStar World Resort and Casino on October 3rd.

WinStar World Casino Resort is Oklahoma’s largest casino featuring over 500,000 square feet of gaming floor filled with non-stop entertainment. Eight city-themed gaming plazas feature over 7,400 electronic games, 96 tables, off-track betting, and Bingo and high stakes. You’ll also find a diverse menu of dining options throughout the casino including Toby Keithʼs 'I Love This Bar and Grill', 'Red River Grill' and 'Panda Express'.

The WinStar Global Event Center has been home to many big name entertainers such as Lionel Richie, Maroon 5 and Lady Antebellum. Other premier facilities at the WinStar include the 12-story casino hotel, D.A. Weibring golf course, organic Spa Habitat and unique shopping boutiques.

 

CELTIC THUNDER OFFICIAL WEBSITE & FAN CLUB

We launched  our brand new CELTIC THUNDER WEBSITE back in September 2014 and we hope you have been enjoying the new features and highlights! It's an absolute treasure trove of all things Celtic Thunder. The new site marries the agility of an App, with the flow of a social media page and the content of a traditional webpage. It’s comprehensive, easy to navigate and most of all incredibly user-friendly!

Now, you can find all of your Celtic Thunder news, music, videos, blogs, photos, tweets, posts and information all in one place. Why not browse the site and find out about upcoming tour dates, ticket pre-sales,watch Celtic Thunder videos and read the latest news on CT on The Celtic Times, while getting automatic Twitter and Facebook updates in Real Time.

The Celtic Thunder Official Fan Club also launched back in September 2014 and we thank all of our fans who have already signed up. The Fan Club is FREE to all who wants to join, with the option to upgrade to a paid subscriptions for additional perks.

 

CELTIC THUNDER FAN CLUB UPDATE

As many of our fans know, Celtic Thunder has joined forces with Sony Entertainment. We have been working hard to re-release all of our catalog items on our new record label (they are currently available on iTunes) and will be available in a physical format by the end of the summer.

Celtic Thunder Fan Club members are entitled to discounts and free items from the Celtic Thunder store. Our first official Fan Club t-shirt is the Celtic Thunder Ogham shirt (learn more about Ogham in the history section of this month’s TCT -HISTORY). Designed by one of Ireland’s top graphic designers, the Ogham t-shirt spells the name of Celtic Thunder in the ancient Gaelic script.

 

CELTIC THUNDER ONLINE STORE

As many of our loyal fans are aware we have been working hard to bring you a brand new CELTIC THUNDER ONLINE STORE, which is easier to navigate and which brings you tons of Celtic Thunder related merchandise from hoodies and t-shirts, to pillows, CDs, DVDs, calendars, songbooks, mugs, pins, teddy bears! Essentially everything for the Celtic Thunder fan! We’ve also introduced a range of beautiful giftware from Ireland, with selections including beautiful hand made Irish jewelry, Irish giftware, clothing and accessories, candies, music and much much more.

Celtic Thunder is proud to announce the introduction of the first official Celtic Thunder Fan Club T-Shirt, the “Ogham Tee” representing the essence of our Irish heritage. Designed by one of Ireland’s top graphic designers, the Ogham Tee spells the name of Celtic Thunder in the ancient Gaelic script.

Ogham (pronounced ome) script is also referred to as a Celtic Tree Alphabet. This alphabet has an unusual naming system as every letter is named after a different tree. The script looks like something straight out of Dan Brown’s best selling novel 'The Da Vinci Code', however these ancient markings are uniquely Irish in origin (rather than Latin or Italian).

 

 

OGHAM SCRIPT

The Ogham script recorded the earliest Old Irish texts dating between the 3rd and the 6th century and is the first known Irish writing. Ogham inscriptions are found exclusively in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Mostly they are genealogical inscriptions in the form of "X son of Y" on corners of large stone slabs. After the 6th century, Old Irish was written with the Roman alphabet, and Ogham disappeared from general but the knowledge must have been preserved in some form because our knowledge of Ogham comes from the chapter Auraicept na n-Éces in the 15th-century work The Book of Ballymote (Leabhar Bhaile an Mhóta), which also contains genealogies, mythologies, and histories of Ireland.

The characters comprise of a series of lines and notches that are scored across a long stem line often on standing stones, or trees. In the majority of cases the inscription is read from the bottom up and usually names the person being commemorated along with their ancestors and the carver of the inscription. Over 350 Ogham stones are known, with the majority found in Southern Ireland from Kerry to Waterford and in South Leinster. They also occur in small numbers in western Scotland, the Isle of Man and in Cornwall at Lewannick, where Irish settlers from Munster landed and founded communities.

 

 

CONNECT WITH IRELAND'S NATURAL WONDERS

Ireland has some of the most spectacular sights in the world, with natural scenery that exudes a magnetic effect. Whether you prefer to feel the rush of the wind while standing on the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean or wander through isolated undulating hills of green, there’s something to suit every taste.

The intriguing lunar landscape of the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland’s first World Heritage Site, has to be seen to be believed. This stretch of rock is a geological phenomenon, renowned for its columns of layered basalt. It mystified the ancients, who believed it to be the work of giant Finn McCool.

The awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher in County Clare boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. Standing as much as 700 feet above the raging Atlantic Ocean, these majestic cliffs stretch for a distance of about 5 miles and offer some brilliant cliff walks.

 

 

GOLF COURSES, RACE COURSES & MAIN COURSES

Ireland has some of the most spectacular sights in the world, with natural scenery that exudes a magnetic effect. Whether you prefer to feel the rush of the wind while standing on the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean or wander through isolated undulating hills of green, there’s something to suit every taste.

The intriguing lunar landscape of the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland’s first World Heritage Site, has to be seen to be believed. This stretch of rock is a geological phenomenon, renowned for its columns of layered basalt. It mystified the ancients, who believed it to be the work of giant Finn McCool.

The awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher in County Clare boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. Standing as much as 700 feet above the raging Atlantic Ocean, these majestic cliffs stretch for a distance of about 5 miles and offer some brilliant cliff walks.

 

 

THE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO IRISH FOOD

Quality ingredients, ingenious creations and reinvented classics can all be found in Dublin and Belfast’s coolest foodie hubs. You've got to start somewhere, so start by trying these ten traditional Irish foods…

Like the sound of expertly prepared Irish food in a gorgeous environment? Then climb on board O’Holohan’s, moored at the Belfast Waterfront. This restaurant-on-a-barge is famed for its boxty: a traditional potato pancake, which it serves with pan-fried hake, organic veg and shellfish cream.

Bring on one of the best fish dishes in Dublin. This is a thing of brains and beauty: lapsang souchong home-smoked salmon, served in the incredible surroundings of a converted Victorian building on Dublin’s Camden Street. It’s the very essence of contemporary Irish cooking – creative, fresh AND delicious.

 

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME TO BE STAGED IN IRELAND IN 2016

For the third time in five years, an American college football game will be staged in Ireland, with the announcement today that the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Boston College and Georgia Tech will take place in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 3 September, 2016.

The announcement was made at the reception in Dublin attended by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, which was followed by a reception in Boston College in the U.S. attended by the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh.

Aer Lingus was also announced as Title Sponsor for the game that will see the Boston College Eagles kick off the 2016/17 NCAA Division I College Football Season in an Atlantic Coast Conference game against the formidable Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech. Tourism Ireland, Failte Ireland and Dublin City Council are also supporting the game.

 

 

IRELAND'S SIX OF THE BEST OF LUXURY HOTELS

From medieval castles through to contemporary classics, lovers of high-end luxury accommodation are spoiled for choice on the Emerald isle. Here's six of the best Luxury Hotel choices.

Comfortably making any best list is the magnificent 13th-century Ashford Castle sitting on the shores of Lough Corrib in the rugged splendor of County Mayo. Incorporating 350 acres of ancient woodland and Ireland’s only school of falconry, and offering the highest standard of accommodation and service as well as myriad country sports, Ashford Castle is a must-experience destination.

The sumptuous Ballyfin Demesne is a five-star country house hotel in the Irish midlands, admired as one of the most lavish late Georgian homes in Ireland. Located at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains within 600 acres of walled parkland, the hotel features exquisite interiors, two beauty treatment rooms, a gym and indoor pool, and serves the highest caliber of food and wine.

 

 

SUMMER WALKS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

From the secluded coastal tracks, lush Glens and quaint fishing villages of the North Coast and Antrim, to the impressive granite capped summits and dramatic views found in the Mourne Mountains there is something for all levels of walkers. Northern Ireland is home to a rich variety of quality walks: from sandy shorelines to leafy paths and sprawling hills, there are a whole host of routes just waiting to be discovered right on our doorsteps!

View the city of Belfast from a different perspective, from above! The recently opened Divis Ridge Trail allows the walkers to enjoy fantastic views across the city and further afield including the Antrim Plateau to the north, Scotland to the east and the Mourne Mountains to the south. Identify well-known local landmarks such as Titanic Belfast, the famous Harland & Wolff Cranes, City Hall, Victoria Square, the huge RISE piece of public art, Stormont Parliament Buildings and Scrabo Tower.

 

 

VAN MORRISON LIVE ON CYPRUS AVENUE

One of the most iconic artists of his generation, Van Morrison will celebrate his 70th birthday by appearing at this most iconic of venues in Belfast, Northern Ireland– a most beautiful location made famous across the world through the song from his ground breaking and widely acclaimed Astral Weeks album, first released in 1968.

This will be a unique once in a lifetime experience, not to be missed. Quite simply, you will want to say you were here.

EastSide Arts Festival, as well as featuring international artists, will also showcase many brilliant local artists across a range of arts platforms.

True Fans of Van the Man, will no doubt also be interested in following the new self-guided walking trail in east Belfast of the places that inspired the songs and shaped the character of the city’s biggest music star.

 

THE IRISH DERBY

On Saturday 27th June, The Curragh Racecourse will celebrate a huge milestone with the 150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby when a record attendance of close to 30,000 is expected to throng the Kildare racecourse. In addition to world-class horses, the event, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free since 2008, will showcase the finest millinery and fashion across the country confirming the Irish Derby’s iconic position of style and influence over the past 150 years.

One of the greatest people-watching events in the country and Ireland’s answer to Royal Ascot, this year’s 150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby promises to be a glorious celebration of Ireland’s most historic race with many special events planned including. A specially commissioned book co-authored by Jacqueline O’Brien, wife of the legendary Vincent O’Brien, which features images and stories from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby over the past 150 years including famous attendees like Jerry Hall, Richard Gere, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and legendary crooner Bing Crosby.

 

 

BALLYFIN DEMESNE

Ballyfin Demesne is a 5 Star luxury country house hotel in the heart of Ireland. Set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the center of Ireland, Ballyfin is a place of history and romance, of tranquility and great natural beauty.

The house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a 5 star country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.

With only twenty rooms for the 614-acre estate, this 5 star luxury hotel is the perfect place for a break from the stresses of the modern world and provides discretion and privacy like few other destinations. With just 20 bedrooms it is also the ideal place to take over for a very special celebration.

 

 

JOHNNIE FOX'S

Situated in Glencullen on top of the Dublin Mountains, Johnnie Fox's is one of Ireland's oldest (est. 1798) and most famous traditional Irish pubs - also famed as the highest pub in the country. Nestled in the peaceful township of Glencullen and surrounded by the beautiful scenery and serenity of the Dublin Mountains. Johnnie Fox's Pub is situated approximately 25-35 minutes drive from Dublin City centre.

At Johnnie Fox's there is Traditional Irish Music every night, plus on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. There are large bands that play through the year on selected dates. You can also see one of the top dancing performances in the country at their famous 'Hooley Night' - dinner & show (reservations recommended).

 

 

LOUIS LE BROCQUY

Born in Dublin in 1916, Louis le Brocquy is a towering figure in the history of Irish painting. According to a recent editorial in The Irish Times: 'This self-taught artist has come to be recognized both at home and internationally as the foremost Irish painter of the 20th century.' His work has received much international attention and many accolades in a career that spans seventy years of creative practice. According to John Russell, 'When Louis le Brocquy first came to be known as a painter, some (fifty) years ago, it was not as the civilized head-hunter that he has lately become. It was as a story-teller, a symbolist, and a thoughtful enquirer into the conditions of life.' Widely acclaimed for his evocative heads of literary figures and fellow artists, including W.B. Yeats, James Joyce and his friends Samuel Beckett, Francis Bacon, Seamus Heaney and Bono, in recent years le Brocquy's early Tinker subjects and Family paintings, have attracted headline attention in the international art arena marking him as the fourth painter in Ireland and Britain to be evaluated within a very select group of artists, alongside Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Francis Bacon. The recent realization of over £1 million for one of his works at auction is not merely a record but an acknowledgment of his genius and international appeal.

 

 

THE CHIEFTAINS

Six time Grammy winners, The Chieftains are now recognized for bringing traditional Irish music to the world’s attention. They have uncovered the wealth of traditional Irish music that has accumulated over the centuries, making the music their own with a style that is as exhilarating as it is definitive.

The Chieftains were formed in 1962 by Paddy Moloney, from the ranks of the top folk musicians in Ireland. Paddy brought together musicians such as fiddler Martin Fay, flautist Michael Tubridy, tin whistle virtuoso Seán Potts, and bodhrán player David Fallon. They recorded a supposedly one-off instrumental album but five years later were reunited with some additions – fiddler Seán Keane, and Peader Mercier replacing Fallon. Harpist Derek Bell came on board in 1973. It wasn’t until 1975 that The Chieftains began playing together full time and they marked the event with a historic performance at Royal Albert Hall in London. The following few years saw the departure of Mercier, and the addition of bodhrán player and vocalist Kevin Conneff. Another lineup change in ’78/79 would see the departure of Potts and Tubridy and the addition of a new flautist, Matt Molloy.

 

 

NIALL OF THE NINE HOSTAGES

There is a lot of confusion over the life of Niall Noigiallach as historians have different theories on when he was born, died etc. It has been said that he was one of the High Kings of Ireland and that he reigned sometime at the end of the 4th century or the beginning of the 5th.

Niall was the only son of Euchaid Muighmedon, another Irish High King and his mother was Catharann, who was possibly the daughter of an English king. He was possibly born around 342AD.

Euchaid, had another wife named Mong-Fionn and they had four sons named Brian, Fiachra, Ailill and Fergus. Legend states that Mong-Fionn was extremely jealous of Niall as she wanted Brian to succeed to the throne and forced the young Niall to be outcast from the royal court and his mother, Catharann, to work as a servant.

 

 

IRELAND SUMMERTIME RECIPES

Summertime is finally here! And the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen!!! This month’s recipes are quick and easy to prepare and are sure to impress your family and friends. Best of all, they can all be made ahead of time. Enjoy!

 

 

DUBLIN & IT'S SURROUNDING AREAS

Dublin is literature, Dublin is history and Dublin is friendly, but this city isn’t just for visiting, it’s for experiencing. Immerse yourself in the fair city by joining the locals on a bridge with two centuries of stories behind it, or lose yourself antique hunting within the walls of a Georgian townhouse. Keen on castles? Dublin has a black pool, a secret garden and crown jewels – let your imagination run wild among nooks and crannies of this historic pile.

Built in 1816 by William Walsh to replace the ferry that once crossed the Liffey, Walsh was allowed to charge a toll of a halfpenny for 100 years in return. Thought to be the first metal bridge built in Ireland, this city-spanning arch now carries around 30,000 people a day across the river. Its official name is the Liffey Bridge, but in Dublin, it is, and will always be, known as the Ha’penny.

 

 

'TIS THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER - THOMAS MOORE

'TIS the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone
No flower of her kindred
No rose-bud is nigh
To reflect back her blushes
Or give sigh for sigh
I'll not leave thee, thou lone one
To pine on the stem
Since the lovely are sleeping