Monday, 21 November 2011

USA Employment for Irish Speakers

A chairde

For your consideration / circulation

Rosetta Stone is seeking native Irish speakers within 50 miles of Chicago, Miami and DC

For further information see

Kind regards

Colleen Dube
Coimisiún Fulbright
Teach Phlásóg an tSrutháin
Bóthar Shíol Bhroin
Baile Átha Cliath 4

Executive Director
The Fulbright Commission
Brooklawn House
Shelbourne Road
Dublin 4

Strabane & West Ulster In The 1800s

Strabane & West Ulster In The 1800s; Selections from The Strabane Morning Post
USD $ 16.95       

Strabane & West Ulster in the 1800s, is an in-depth look at the lives and time of people of all classes and creeds in the early decades of the 19th century. The information is extracted from the pages of the weekly newspaper, The Strabane Morning Post, and much previously unavailable material has now been brought into the public domain. Descriptions of floods, fevers and famines provide insights into the problems of everyday life, while advertisements demonstrate the extent of economic activity and the range of products available to those who could afford to pay. The copious coverage of court cases sheds light on the extent of lawlessness and the severity of law enforcement while regional and parliamentary affairs are also highlighted.

This compilation is therefore both an entertaining examination of the foibles of a past age and a comprehensive source base for further analysis of key events and responses. It is a must for anyone interested in the everyday responses of ordinary people in their own environment to a rapidly changing world and a major addition for researchers and genealogists in unraveling an era in which evidential material has been difficult to locate. This limited edition publication should take pride of place among a range of local materials from West Ulster and provide endless hours of pleasurable engagement in the concerns of another age. Click for Full Index

This e-book is every-word-searchable. Includes Introduction, Dedication, Preface, Appendix, Index. 428 pages

To Purchase:  Ulster Heritage Books

Damien O'Kane Trio in Concert, Belfast

 The Damien O'Kane Trio will be in concert on 26 November · 20:00 - 23:00.  Ticket information below. 

 Sár-oíche cheoil i gcomhluadar an Damien O’Kane Trio.

Damien is quickly establishing his reputation as one of the country's most creative and exciting traditional performers.

Damien O'Kane's banjo playing has led to him being regarded as one of the finest Irish players on the scene today and he is also winning accolades as a singer, focusing on songs from the north of Ireland. Since the release of his debut solo album ‘Summer Hill’ in 2010 the Coleraine man's career has gone from strength to strength, with sell-out performances at major folk festivals throughout Ireland and England.

After their outstanding performance at Féile 'An Droichead' 2010 we are delighted that ‘The Damien O’Kane Trio’ are returning, with virtuoso bodhrán whiz John Joe Kelly (ex Flook) and one of Ireland’s finest acoustic guitarists, Gerard Thompson.

Ceannaigh ticéid, Buy Tickets –

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Surnames, Beatty & McVitty

Bia, meaning food, is the root of many words in Gaelic and several surnames.  In ancient and mediaeval Ulster strangers and travellers were granted hospitality.  Each district would have a 'biatach' who was the man intrusted by the clan's taoiseach with the responsibility of providing this hospitality.  This was done at the Brú, which was a hostel located at a road crossing on a major slí, or road. The position of biatach was important and he would be provided with land and goods so that he could execute his work.  In short, it was a good gig.

The word biatach is used in several traditional family surnames: Ó Beataigh (descendant of the Biatach) which is anglicised as Beatty, Beattie.  Another surname from Biatach is Mac an Bhiataigh (son of the Biatach) and anglicised as MacVitty, McVitie, etc. (so there is some connected between those lovely tea biscuits and their name!). 

Donegal County Council News

An bhfuil ranganna Gaeilge nó ciorcal comhrá Gaeilge ar siúl i do cheantar, áit ar bith i gContae Dhún na nGall?
Má tá, ba mhaith le hOifig Ghaeilge na Comhairle Contae a chluinstin faoi. Is féidir an t-eolas a thabhairt anseo, nó é a chur chuig

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Holiday Sale On Ulster DNA Testing

There is a great Holiday sale being given by the Family Tree labs that are used by the Ulster Heritage Project.  Link to take advantage of this opportunity below. 

As we approach the holiday season, we feel having one BIG promotion for a sufficient amount of time best supports our volunteer Administrators, in their effort to recruit new members. Current members will also benefit by having simultaneously reduced prices for upgrades.
Effective immediately this promotion will end on December 31, 2011.

We hope that this will give a big boost to your projects!

New Kits
  Current Group Price SALE PRICE
Y-DNA 37 $149 $119
Y-DNA 67 $239 $199
mtFullSequence $299 $239
SuperDNA (Y-DNA67 and FMS) $518 $438
Family Finder $289 $199
Family Finder + mtPlus $438 $318
Family Finder + FMS $559 $439
Family Finder+ Y-DNA37 $438 $318
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-67) $797 $627
12-25 Marker $49 $35
12-37 Marker $99 $69
12-67 Marker $189 $148
25-37 Marker $49 $35
25-67 Marker $148 $114
37-67 Marker $99 $79
Family Finder $289 $199
mtHVR1toMega $269 $229
mtHVR2toMega $239 $209 



Link to Join:   Ulster Heritage DNA Project

Monday, 14 November 2011

Medieval Irish Town Unearthed

From the Belfast Telegraph, interesting article about a medieval Irish town of 500 with 14 pubs.  Worthy for that reason alone, but also because it is a stunning archaeological find and reveals much about the every day life in a Hiberno Norman town circa 1200s AD.

Link:  Medieval Irish Town

Thursday, 10 November 2011

New Issue of the Donegal E-zine Available

Links Below:

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

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

Roisin McBride
Research Officer
Strategic Policy Unit
Donegal County Council

Friday, 4 November 2011

Copyright Issues in Ulster Anno Domini 560

First Alleged “Copyright” Dispute: 560 AD, Celtic Ireland; Battle Ensues; 3000 people die

May 10, 2011 by

I just came across some interesting information about what is sometimes referred to as “the first copyright” dispute (h/t Kevin Glick). It concerns one of Ireland’s three patron saints, St. Colum Cille (521-597 AD) (the others being St. Patrick and St. Brigid). Colum Cille was given this name when he became a monk–the name meaning “Dove of the Church”. He is sometimes he is referred to as Colmcille or Columba, which is the Latin for Dove. At this time something a system called “Brehon law” was used to settle disputes.

As detailed in various sources, ((See especially Ray Corrigan, “Colmcille and the Battle of the Book: Technology, Law and Access to Knowledge in 6th Century Ireland” (2007) (pdf); also St. Columcille Division 4 – History (Ancient Order of Hibernians in America). For general background see also Joseph R. Peden, “Property Rights in Celtic Irish Law,” JLS 1, no 2 (1977).)) Colmcille lamented the shortage of books and thus devoted himself to transcribing them. As noted by Corrigan:
Wherever and whenever he could get access to the materials he would copy and encourage his monks to copy, study and disperse the copies of books to spread the teachings of the church. He was one of the earliest in the tradition of Irish monks committed to such a philosophy, credited with saving the church’s literary treasures during Europe’s Dark Ages, when book burning was a common practice amongst religious zealots.
Around this time (mid-550s AD), Colmcille’s former teacher and fellow monk, Finnian,
brought home a copy of the “Vulgate,” after a visit to Rome. The Vulgate was the definitive Latin translation of the bible done by St. Jerome about 100 years earlier. This was the first copy of the book to reach Ireland and generated some considerable excitement throughout the land.
(According to Corrigan, “There is some dispute … as to whether the book was a complete copy of the Vulgate, or just the Psalter or Book of Psalms. The Cathach of Columba now resides in the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin and is thought by some to be the copy of the Psalter Colmcille made of Finnian’s manuscript but tests have dated this script to the 7th century.”) Colmcille was of course very interested, so he visited “his old teacher … in order to see it. Finnian, delighted to see him, willingly showed him the book, though he was generally very protective of it. … Whatever the circumstances of Colmcille’s initial encounter with the book and any conditions Finnian might have placed on his handling of it, it’s fairly clear that Colmcille decided to make a copy surreptitiously by night.”
When Finnian discovered this, he was not happy and demanded “Colmcille give him the copy he had made when it was finished. Colmcille was … enraged that an old man should presume to act as such a reluctant gatekeeper to a book, the sharing of which was crucially important to the future of the church in Ireland.”

So they decided to ask King Diarmid, High King of Ireland, to settle the dispute. Colmcille, in his defense, argued that he should be able to keep the copy of the book because it was important to spread this knowledge:
My friend’s claim seeks to apply a worn out law to a new reality. Books are different to other chattels (possessions) and the law should recognise this. Learned men like us, who have received a new heritage of knowledge through books, have an obligation to spread that knowledge, by copying and distributing those books far and wide. I haven’t used up Finnian’s book by copying it. He still has the original and that original is none the worse for my having copied it. Nor has it decreased in value because I made a transcript of it. The knowledge in books should be available to anybody who wants to read them and has the skills or is worthy to do so; and it is wrong to hide such knowledge away or to attempt to extinguish the divine things that books contain. It is wrong to attempt to prevent me or anyone else from copying it or reading it or making multiple copies to disperse throughout the land. In conclusion I submit that it was permissible for me to copy the book because, although I benefited from the hard work involved in the transcription, I gained no worldly profit from the process, I acted for the good of society in general and neither Finnian nor his book were harmed.
But the King ruled against him, failing to see the crucial distinction between scarce goods and nonscarce goods like knowledge and information:
I don’t know where you get your fancy new ideas about people’s property. Wise men have always described the copy of a book as a child-book. This implies that someone who owns the parent-book also owns the child-book. To every cow its calf, to every book its child-book. The child-book belongs to Finnian.
As Corrigan notes, “The ruling arguably triggered a series of events that led to the slaughter of the three thousand at Cooldrummon.”

Now this case is often trotted out nowadays as a justification for modern copyright. However, in light of discussions I’ve had with Jeff Tucker (since the original draft of this post) about this matter, it could be that the conventional account is heavily distorted. For one, Finnian was not the author of the book Colmcille copied. Thus even under modern copyright law Finnian would have no copyright claim against Colmcille–no more than I could sue someone who copied my Harry Potter novel for violating my copyright; I do not have any copyright in J.K. Rowling’s novel. This dispute is trotted out and called a copyright dispute for pro-IP propaganda purposes, since it was not a copyright dispute. That notion did not really develop until centuries later in England as a result of monarchical control of printing.

Second, Tucker believes it is highly unlikely that Colmcille could have copied the manuscript without the use of Finnian’s property–his labor, materials (ink, equipment, sheepskin), room and board. So that the physical copy of the copied manuscript was arguably the property of Finnian, not Colmcille, by standard property and contract principles. If this interpretation is correct, then the Colmcille-Finnian dispute should not be used to support modern copyright law.

Link to Ludwig Von Mises Institute article.

Ulster Tourism Increase

From the Belfast Telegraph
By Margaret Canning
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Big spending Americans helped boost tourism income in Northern Ireland by nearly 25% between January and June this year, it has emerged.

With their visitor numbers up by one fifth on the same time last year, America and Canada made a 57% contribution to the overall increased expenditure of £165m, according to statistics from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI). Over the whole of last year overseas visitors spent £232m.

While the latest figures reveal an 11% rise in all overseas visitor numbers, with European holidaymakers up one third and those from Great Britain by 7%, visits from other parts of the globe were down 8%. 

Michael Williamson, a hospitality consultant at business advisors ASM Horwath, welcomed the overall rise, but added: "It is important to the wider industry that we have a strong mix of visitors from different countries and visiting for different reasons.

"This can help distribute tourism benefits spatially and also help even out seasonal demand patterns."
Major efforts have been put into promoting Northern Ireland in 2012, due to the potential of the Titanic centenary and new Causeway visitors' centre for attracting visitors.

Tourism minister Arlene Foster said: "These are encouraging figures particularly as Northern Ireland prepares to launch a host of exciting events to celebrate NI2012."

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said the hefty contribution of US tourists vindicated the intervention of the UK Treasury in the debate over air passenger duty, which helped secured Continental Airlines' commitment to its transatlantic route.

"The North American market is extremely important to Northern Ireland and that's why keeping the direct route was crucial."

A spokesman for DETI said: "Departmental discussions are ongoing with a view to publishing the Tourism Strategy 2020 alongside the Programme for Government and Economic Strategy."
However one operator in the industry believes the figures painted an overly-optimistic picture and do not reflect the reality of running a tourism business.

DETI's figures also revealed that home visitors enjoyed 758,000 overnight trips, spending a total of £46m, and 3m leisure day trips.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Route Back Home, Ballymoney, Antrim

Ballymena Heritage Events Upcoming

Genealogy Talks, Tours & Workshops
10 November 2011
A new exhibition by Mid-Antrim Museums Service opens on Thursday 10th November at Mid-Antrim Museum at The Braid, Ballymena. Exploring Your Roots looks at how museums can be a unique resource for those seeking to find out more about their family history.

Mid-Antrim Museums Service is offering a series of talks, workshops and site visits to help you discover your past;
Thursday 10th Nov: Unlocking PRONI. This talk by Dr. Ann McVeigh will show you how the Public Record Office can help trace your family tree. Time: 14.00-15.00 Location: The Braid, Ballymena
Tuersday 12th Nov: Local Ancestors: Tour of the Old Churchyard, Ballymena. This session will also include a ‘behind the scenes’ private tour of Mid-Antrim museum. Time: 10.30-12.30  Meeting poinit: The Braid, Ballymena
Tuesday 15th Nov: Researching Farming Families a talk by Dr. William Roulston. Time: 19.00-20.00, Location: The Braid, Ballymena
Thursday 24th Nov: Family history on the web. Mary Bradley from the Local Studies library looks at on-line resources as well as exploring the library’s rich collection of resources. Time: 18.30-20.30, Location: Ballymena Central Library, Pat's Brae
Tuesday 29th Nov: Townlands & Placenames a talk by Dr. Kay Muhr. Time: 19.00-20.00 Location: The Braid, Ballymena
Thursday 1st Dec: Introducing the Dippam website – a practical session on the online archive of documents and sources relating to the history of Ireland and Irish emigration by Dr. Paddy Fitzgerald. Time: 18.30-20.30, Location: Ballymena Central Library, Pat's Brae
Tuesday 6th Dec: Presentation on the work of the Ballymena Family History society, including a practical workshop by Brian O’Hara, Time: 19.00-20.00, Location: The Braid, Ballymena
All events are free of charge.  If you would like further information please ring Shirin on 028 2563 5977 or email