Celtic tuneage.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Camán" & Amanda.

"Camán" means "hurling stick" in Gaelic. Gavin down at The Local Bar in Ardfinnan got me this used hurling stick and Amanda (below), who barkeeps at The Local Bar, just so happens to be a hurler...so she signed the stick for me. Hurling's the national sport of Ireland. After watching the boys play Gaelic football (and seeing the bruises on Amanda), I'm not sure I'd be interested in partaking in a sport where they use this stick. Ouch.

There's Amanda...serving me up a Guinness!

Perfect poster girl for Guinness. To Arthur! And Amanda!
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Ná sacar".

" sacar" or "Not soccer". As I mentioned in my last post, don't ever call this a soccer ball. The Irish will kill you. It's a football in Gaelic football terminology. Gavin at The Local Bar in Ardfinnan got the Ardfinnan minor Gaelic football players to sign this authentic Gaelic football for me.

I will display it proudly...for the South A Champions in minor league play. Congratulations!! "ABU"!

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"Peil ghaelach".

"Peil ghaelach" means "Gaelic football". It's played with a ball that looks like a soccer ball...but don't EVER call it a "soccer ball". They will kill you.

Ardifinnan, the town we stayed in, is a member of the GAA - Gaelic Athletic Association. These pictures and video are from the semifinals match - Ardfinnan versus Arravale (minors) - which they won. Found out via the Internet that Ardfinnan minor team beat Loughmore-Castleiney in the finals two weeks later and were crowned South A Champions - first time since 1998.

Just watch the video through the two-minute mark. What's really a hoot is listening to the crowd behind me and to my right. You think American fans go a little berserk? And click on READ MORE! for more shots of the game.

"ARDFHIONAIN ABU!" That means, "Hurray, Ardfinnan!".

Ardfinnan Minors - South A Champions - 2009.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"An bia uile".

"An bia uile" means "all the food". Ireland's cuisine, as in 2006, was excellent. My chicken kiev (above) was probably the best I've ever eaten. Click on READ MORE! for a few more pics of Ireland's sumptuous menu.

Michael made dinner a couple nights at the cottage. Tonite...baked chicken, potatoes, carrots and - not sure what that is toward the front of the plate. Delicious!

Even Ireland's taters are pretty tasty.

Something Michael ordered. Forgot what is was but he said it was delicious. He knows food.

Ireland's version of cheese mozzarella sticks. And a Guinness to wash it all down with.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009


"Mé" means "me". Click on READ MORE! for a few more shots of me traipsing around Ireland.

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Friday, October 16, 2009


"Madra" means "dog" in Gaelic. Lord Michael and I exchanged pictures last night and this set of shots from Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, site of St. Kevin's monastic settlement dating back to the 6th Century. My friend Justyna and I visited this place back in 2006. It looks the same.

Michael wanted to take a series of pictures of me walking through this arch. He likes to take series of pictures of people walking. Here I'm waiting for that boxer to get its ass out of the shot. (If you click on any picture in this blog or others, you should be able to see a larger version of it. Sometimes it works - sometimes not.)

Resolved to the fact that the dog ain't goin' anywhere, I start walking. Said boxer turns to eyeball me.

I sort of turn to eyeball said boxer. Not sure who was vying for their Cecil B. DeMille moment - me, the boxer or Lord Michael.
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"Scannán caillte".

"Scannán caillte" is very, very, very loosely translated as "lost film" (or maybe it's "caillte scannán"). Found this video I took of the inside of the Monroe Cottage in Ardfinnan, Co. Tipperary where we stayed for a week. (Pause the jukebox up top - it's the two vertical lines between the arrows).

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Pobal na hÉirean".

Guitar and fiddle player in Tig Coili's (Chee Coli) in Galway. "Pobal na hÉirean" means "people of Ireland". It's the people of Ireland that make it a wonderful place to visit. Always kind. Always helpful. Out-of-their-way helpful, as a matter of fact. I wish I had some shots of Gavin and Thomas at The Local Bar in Ardfinnan (the night we were going to take shots they weren't working - our last night). I think Michael has some shots of Amanda, one of the bartenders.

Anyway, "thank you" - the people of Ireland, for welcoming us into your country. Click on READ MORE! and see some of the folks that made our visit a pleasant one.

School girls in Kinsale.

Lord Michael in a pub. Actually it was a smoker's lounge in the back of a pub. And the best smoker's lounge we - smoked in. Somewhere on the way to Ardfinnan in Co. Tipperary.

Me - same smoker's lounge.

A boy with a hurling stick in Cahir.

Lord Michael, Jackie Murphy and myself at the Ardfinnan Under 18 men's semi-final Gaelic football game. Ardfinnan won. Jackie and his wife, Monica, own the cottage we stayed at in Ardfinnan.

Me being a guinness. New usage for the word. Need to contact Urban Dictionary.

One of the prettiest Irish lasses we ran into. She works at a pub - somewhere. They all run together. The pubs, that is.

Lord Michael and I atop Ferns Castle in Ferns, Co. Wexford.

Me at The Old Boro Public House in Swords, Co. Dublin. Nice bar.

Johnnie Fox's, the highest pub in Ireland, in Glencullen, Co. Dublin. More on this pub later. By far the best pub/bar I've ever been in - EVER. The banjo player was my favorite.

Tig Coili's (Chee Coli), Galway's home of traditional Irish music.
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"Ceol" means "music". When my friend Justyna and I were in Ireland in 2006, we didn't get to see any traditional Irish music performed in pubs as it was April (off-season) AND we weren't on the west coast, where the traditional music is more prevalent. This first video is of Alec Finn, one of Celtic music's most influential musicians and a founding member of DeDanaan. Finn's debut solo album, Blue Shamrock received critical lauds, described by Hot Press as "a beautifully crafted, highly satisfying, collection of Irish airs". You might wanna pause the Celtic jukebox at the top of the blog before listening to this.

I had the pleasure of meeting Alec and his wife, Leonie, at their home, Oranmore Castle in Oranmore, Co. Galway, on a recent trip to Ireland. Oranmore Castle is Lord Michael's (my friend) ancestral castle and the purpose of our visit was to spread Michael's father's ashes over the sides of the castle turret. They graciously invited Michael and I into their home/castle and we had a wonderful time. Really...a high point of the trip. More on that later.

The Irish bouzouki is a derivative of the Greek bouzouki, adopted into and adapted for Irish music from the late 1960s onward. Not sure which bouzouki Alec is playing, but I assume it's the Greek version, as he is known for playing that instrument.

This second video is of a group at Tig Coili (pronounced, "Chee Coli") in Galway. Tig Coili is known as the home of traditional Irish music in Galway.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Teach ceann tuí ".

"Teach ceann tuí " means "thatched cottage" . The picture above isn't the main house - but it was the only artsy shot I took on the property. The Monroe Cottage (farmhouse) in Ardfinnan, Co. Tipperary, where Lord Michael and I stayed for 7 days, dates back to the 1700's and used to be a thatched cottage up until about 10 years ago. Thatched roofs are labor intensive and expensive to upkeep so the owners, Jackie and Monica Murphy, opted to go sans thatched.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the inside so use your imagination. Click on READ MORE! to see the cottage and additional pictures of this gorgeous property.

The main house stretches all the way to the right where that gap is. The far left is the formal sitting room, to the right of the doorway is the kitchen/dining room with a tiny sitting area in front of a fireplace, followed by two bedrooms and the bathroom. Pretty simple layout. Just watch those low ceilings.

Not sure what this building was used for.


From the main road looking down the driveway.

From the house looking down the long driveway to the road.

From the driveway looking over at the owner's property.

Down the driveway to the road.

Evening. At the Monroe Cottage. In Ardfinnan, Co. Tipperary.

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