Friday, 25 February 2011

Ulster Heritage Forum


Jim McKane of Wiarton, Ontario, Canada, is the webmaster of the Ulster Heritage Project and runs the Ulster Heritage Forum. The Forum is an excellent place to post family history notes and to communicate with others with similar research interests. Many of the participants on the UH Forum are also participants of the UH DNA Project, so this is an excellent opportunity to chat with family historians that have the great advantage of access to their DNA results. To join and participate in the Forum is free, just email Jim McKane.

Link to the Ulster Heritage Fourm:

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Joy Dunlop, Rising Gaelic Star


Mu dheidhinn Joy | About Joy

It’s little surprise that 2010 has been described by many as “Bliadhna Joy Dunlop.” (Joy Dunlop’s Year) In addition to winning the prestigious Royal National Mòd Gold Medal, releasing her critically acclaimed solo album “Dùsgadh” (Awakening) and being nominated as ‘Gaelic Singer of the Year’ at the 2010 MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, Joy also found time to entertain a global audience including performances in the UK, Ireland, USA & Canada.

With talents ranging from singing to television presenting, dancing to award-winning Gaelic journalism, Joy certainly has more strings to her bow than most. A multi-prize winning Gaelic singer and popular international performer, she combines her singing with regular media stints and also writing for numerous Gaelic publications. A regular on the traditional music circuit, Joy has won numerous illustrious awards and is as much at ease entertaining audiences at local cèilidhs as performing at major festivals, such as Cape Breton’s ‘Celtic Colours’ and Glasgow’s ‘Celtic Connections.’ In recent years, she has toured the UK & Ireland extensively and also performed frequently in Europe, Canada and New Zealand.

In addition to her solo work, Joy is a dedicated supporter of Gaelic choral music and Scottish step dancing & is a prolific figure in both fields, especially in her native Argyll. With an extensive academic background in Gaelic language and culture development work, she is also increasingly in demand as a teacher, speaker and translator. Lately, Joy has become a familiar face in Gaelic broadcasting, appearing frequently on both television and radio, while her Gaelic journalism was commended at both the Scottish Press Awards and Highlands and Islands Media Awards; a heady combination of achievements that has raised her profile as a new and powerful Gaelic voice.

Link: Joy Junlop

An Droichead in Belfast

Bunaithe i ndeisceart Bhéal Feirste, i bhfoisceacht cúig bhomaite ó lár na cathrach, tá An Droichead ar thús cadnaíochta ó thaobh cur chun tosaigh na Gaeilge dó agus an chultúir dhúchais.

Foirgneamh nua aoiseach den scoth atá i Lárionad an Droichid a bhfuil roinnt duaiseanna bainte aige as ucht a dhearadh , ionad ceoil agus ealaíne úrscothach ina bhfuil spás taispeantais agus aiseanna don phobal. Tá an lárionad fóirsteanach don lucht míchumasaithe agus tá páirceáil shábháilte ann mar aon leis. Sa bhliain 2007/8 chuaigh breis is 4000 cuairteoir fríd an doras.

Based in south Belfast, five minutes walk from Belfast’s city centre, An Droichead is at the cutting edge in provision of the Irish language and culture.

Lárionad an Droichid is a modern, multi-award winning, purpose built, cultural centre boasting a state of the Art music and arts venue, exhibition space and community facility. The centre has full disabled access with the addition of secure parking. In 2007-08 An Droichead welcomed more than 4,000 people through its doors. Link: An Droichead

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Gallóglaigh, Ulster 1500s

Three Gallóglaigh (said Gall-og-glee) from the 1500s. The photo above courtesy of the Claíomh group that provide Museum-quality Medieval & Early Modern Gaelic-Irish and Scots Military Interpretations. Their link: Claíomh

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Lá Fhéile Bhríde

February 1st is St. Brigid's Day and is also known as Candlemas. Since Christian times the day was in honour of St Bríde who was one of Ireland's greatest saints. It was a day of celebration to the ancient Gaels and after the arrival of Christianity, was incorporated into the new faith and her celebration and feast day continues on into the 21st Century. The day is also called Imbolc and is one of the four great calendar festivals of the pre Christian year.


'Anois teacht an Earraigh beidh an lá dúl chun shíneadh, Is tar eis na féil Bríde ardóigh mé mo sheol.'

(Now Spring is here, the days will grow shorter, And after Brigid's Day, I'll head for the hills-Raftery (1784-1835)