Saturday, 26 March 2011

New Northern Ireland heritage trail launched

New Northern Ireland heritage trail launched: "A new 92-mile (148km) signed driving route - the St Patrick's Trail - has been launched in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland."

Friday, 25 March 2011

Ulster Heritage Haplogroups

Some basic facts upon the Ulster population haplogroups. 

Your Haplogroup will not show if you are related to someone; it will show distant relationships from thousands of years ago.  Your  haplogroup will also give you an idea of your family's  migration route in the distant past, thousands of years ago.   A Backbone test determines which haplogroup, or major branch of the Y-DNA tree, your paternal line belongs to. It tests the “backbone” of the tree or the SNPs that determine the haplogroup.

Once your haplogroup has been confirmed, a subclade panel test for your particular haplogroup will trace your subclade.  Subclades are determined through SNP subclade testing.

Your haplogroup will not confirm ethnicity as this data relates to generations that lived before early modern or medieval concepts of nationality or ethnicity were formed.  However, there are associations between ethnic groups and haplogroups.

Most of the participants of the Ulster Heritage DNA Project belong to the Atlantic Zone Celtic population as described by Dr John Koch and Dr Barry Cunliffe in their recent books on early western Atlantic Zone people and society. These are the indigenous people of the Isles and the Atlantic western seaboard.  It is from this base population that the 'Atlantic Zone' Celtic societies emerged circa 2,000 BC.  Eventually from this population developed the 'ethnicities' in Scotland and Ireland that we know today and that became the Ulster people.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Saint Patrick's Day 17 March 2011

Saint Patrick was born circa anno domini 387 and died 17 March 493.  He was a Cymreig Celt from north Britain and was born in what is now southern Scotland.    When Patrick  was about 16, he was captured by Gaelic raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland.  He lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After entering the Church he returned to Ireland as an ordained bishop and was a leading figure that brought Christianity to the north and west of the island. By the seventh century, he had come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.  Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Gaels. In Ulster he is still celebrated and remembered by Catholic, Presbyterian, and Anglican communities there. Veneration have been carried overseas to the vast Irish Diaspora. 

Friday, 11 March 2011

New Issue of Donegal in Touch on line magazine

Welcome to the Donegal in Touch e-zine. This e-zine is part of the Donegal Diaspora Project. Through this project Donegal is reaching out and connecting with people in all parts of the world who have a connection to or interest in Donegal. This e-zine is sent to people in all parts of the world.

Please feel free to pass this e-zine on to others that you feel might be interested in it. Any views, comments or contributions to the e-zine are very welcome. The latest edition of the e-zine can be viewed or downloaded via the Donegal County Development Board website - using the following link:

For further information on Donegal or on the Donegal Diaspora Project, please contact Maria Ferguson at or Roisin McBride at

Fáilte go ríomhiris Dún na nGall i dTeagmháil. Tá an ríomhiris seo ina pháirt de Thionscnamh Diaspóra Dhún na nGall. Tá Dún na nGall ag síneadh amach agus ag nascú le daoine ar fud an domhain a bhfuil gaol nó suim acu leis an chondae. Cuirtear an ríomhiris seo chuig daoine i ngach cearn den domhan.

Seol an ríomhiris seo chuig duine ar bith a mbeadh suim acu ann, le do thoil. Beidh fáilte roimh thuairimí, ráitis nó eolas don ríomhiris. Tá an eagrán is deireannaí don e-iris le fáil le léamh nó íoslodáil ó suíomh idirlín Bord Forbartha Chontae Dhún na nGall - ag an nasc seo a leanas:

Chun tuilleadh eolais ar Chontae Dhún na nGall nó ar Tionscnamh Diaspóra Dhún na nGall, dean teagmháil le Maria Nic Fheargusa ag nó le Róisín Nic Giolla Bhríde ag

With kind regards

Happy Christmas and Best wishes for 2010 from,

The Donegal - community in touch / Dún na nGall - pobail i d'teagmháil Publication Team

Roisin McBride

Research Officer
Strategic Policy Unit
Donegal County Council
Tel: +353 74 9172562
Fax: +353 74 9142130

Friday, 4 March 2011

The Atlantic Zone Celts; The Latest Research

A watershed moment has taken place in the field of early Western European history. It is a paradigm shift that has totally changed forever how early European history will be taught. It is the concept that Celtic languages and the people that spoke them originated in the Atlantic Zone during the Bronze Age. Dr Barry Cunliffe and Dr John Koch have co-edited Cetlic From the West which has an excellent presentation of exactly where the the field of Celtic studies stands in the first part of the 21st Century.

The Celtic from the West theory is a major departure from the long-established, but increasingly problematic paradigm from late Victorian times in which the story of the Ancient Celtic languages and people were linked to the Hallstatt and La Tene cultures of Iron Age west-central Europe.

Celtic From the West also brings to an English-language readership some of the rapidly unfolding and too often neglected evidence of the pre-Roman peoples and languages of the western Iberian Peninsula.

Celtic from the West
is a multidisciplinary project and multi-year research initiative undertaken by the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It represents the current state of Celtic studies and the thoughts of the leading researchers. Contributors are: (Archaeology) Barry Cunliffe; Raimund Karl; Amilcar Guerra; (Genetics) Brian McEvoy & Daniel Bradley; Stephen Oppenheimer; Ellen Rrvik; (Language) Graham Isaac; David Parsons; John T. Koch; Philip Freeman; Dagmar S. Wodtko.

Celtic From the West is available from the Ulster Heritage Amazon Associate Book Shop under the 'Ancient History' section: Link... Ulster Heritage Book Shop

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Virginia Scots-Irish Festival on 9 April

Lexington’s Fifth Annual Scots/Irish Festival Set April 9
The Sheep Dog Trials are back this year at the 5th Annual Scots Irish Heritage Festival!!

Lexington, VA- Lexington’s Fifth Annual Scots/Irish Heritage Festival will be held Sat., April 9th, from 10am to 5pm on the Maury River Middle School campus. Weather permitting, the event will be held outside but will be moved indoors in the case of inclement weather. The goal of the event is to present the culture of the Scots/Irish, and the lasting impact they made on the history of the Shenandoah Valley.

The festival will start with a parade at 10am. Attraction are scheduled throughout the day and will include Highland games demonstrations, Medieval Reenactments, living history presentations, vintage British Cars (weather permitting), music, entertainment, traditional food items, craft demonstrations and a variety of other vendors that represent the culture and its importance to the Valley. “The biggest news this year is that we are bringing back sheepdog demonstrations, a huge crowd favorite,” said John Morman of Celtic Tides.

The Highland games demonstration will display events that take part in Highland Festivals. The Highland games are believed to be one way Celtic societies used to determine the worthiness of their future leaders and a “safe” means for men to stay in shape.

Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Highland Pipes and Drums, Shenandoah Valley Pipes and Drums and Warpipe will give pipe and drum performances. Mary Smith of Richmond, Carl Peterson of Kutztown, PA. and Cranruach of Lexington will perform traditional Scots/ Irish/Welsh and Breton music on a variety of instruments.

The event is primarily sponsored by the Lexington Lions Club and The Chamber of Commerce, serving Lexington Buena Vista and Rockbridge County. Other confirmed sponsors are VMI and Bath Fitter; additional sponsors may be added later.

Admission for the event is $5 dollars for adults, $3 for children (ages 6-16) and no fee for children under six. Proceeds from the event will go to the Lexington Lions Club's project at the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic, where a complete vision Center is being installed.

For more information about the event visit or contact The Chamber of Commerce, serving Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County at (540) 463-5375 or by email to

-- (the Ulster Heritage Website) (the Ulster Heritage Magazine)

McDaid's Football Speical

Edward McDaid, owner of McDaid?s of Ramelton, Co Donegal, will launch his soft drink Football Special nationally this summer

By Anita Guidera

A SOFT drink made from a secret recipe that has been enjoyed for over 50 years by a select few is about to be launched nationwide.

Outside of north Donegal, few people have even heard of McDaid's Football Special, a cola-style frothy drink which is synonymous with Ramelton, the small heritage town where it is made.

But owner Edward McDaid plans to take Football Special into the soft drinks premiership.

"It is a strange product in many senses. Whatever it is about it, it seems to hit a memory button and conjure up pleasant memories of childhood, even with people who haven't tasted it before," he explained.

His father Jim and his uncles chanced on the unique combination of ingredients over 50 years ago and luckily his uncle Eamon -- who had trained in a soft drinks company in Belfast -- recorded the quantities so it could be recreated.

"My father was a founder member of the Swilly Rovers Football Club in Ramelton and they were trying to come up with a soft drink that could be put into the cup after a win, instead of whiskey.

"The fruit syrup flavours that are used are all fairly common and shouldn't belong together but they do," he said.

The base ingredient for the drink is indeed unique to Ramelton in the form of spring water from McDaid's very own underground spring well, less than 100 metres away from the production plant.


Sugar, seven different syrups and a heading liquid are added to the water, which is then carbonated and bottled.

Edward is about to add a marketing and sales person to his six-strong staff and aims to rebrand and triple production at his plant as the product goes nationwide in June. Although business has been hit by the recession, he believes Football Special, and its sister flavours, banana, pineapple and cream soda, will go down well with fizzy drinks fans.

"If Donegal people for all these years have been having this experience and enjoying it, could we be so different from everywhere else in the country?" Edward asked.

As for the secret recipe, as with Coca Cola, its maker's lips are sealed.

"Only myself and one other person know and we never travel on the same plane. I fly Ryanair and he takes the Swilly Bus," he laughed.

- Anita Guidera

Irish Independent

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Texas Independence Day Today

The Texas Declaration of Independence was produced, literally, overnight on 2 March 1836 was adopted. It reason that the measure was done with such urgency was while it was being prepared, the Alamo in San Antonio was under siege by Santa Anna's army of Mexico.

Immediately upon the assemblage of the Convention of 1836 on 1 March, a committee of five of its delegates were appointed to draft the document. The committee, consisting of George Campbell Childress, Edward Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, and Collin McKinney, prepared the declaration in record time. It was briefly reviewed, then adopted by the delegates of the convention the following day and Texas became a free and independent republic.

Sam Houston

The Anglo-Celtic settlers in Texas at this time had very large percentage of Scots-Irish among them. Many leaders of Texas independence were of Scots-Irish ancestry: James Bowie, Sam Houston, Judge Jesse Grimes, David Crockett, David Burnet, Robert Cochran and others. Sam Houston, was the head of Texas Republic's army and it first president. His great grandfather immigrated from Ireland in 1735.

Historian T R Fehrenbach wrote in his Lone Star history of Texas, “The Anglo-Celts had not crossed the sea to become servile tenants.”

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

New Issue of An Gael

Seo iris oifigiúil Chumann Carad na Gaeilge, iris a dhíríonn ar phobal idirnáisiúnta na Gaeilge, cairde ar fud an domhain. Ficsean, filíocht agus níos mó! This is the official magazine of the Philo-Celtic Society, a magazine which focuses on the international Irish language community, friends all around the world. Fiction, poetry and more! (Mura bhfuil tú sna Stáit, sa Ríocht Aontaithe ná i gCeanada, tá an iris seo ar fáil ag freisin).

Issue 8: Earrach 2011

Eagarfhocal Team,le Muiris Ó Bric Dánta le Eoin Dunford Mittelalter Metal le Séamas Ó Neachtain Seanchas le Gearóid Ó Ceallaigh Echtra Mhérais Ferritér, leis an Dr. Séamus Ó Diollúin Fonn an Phíobaire le Lugh D. DePaor Sean-ábhar ó An Gael agus The Wolfe Tone Annual

Link to purchase: An Gael