Hello and welcome to this year’s Ireland’s Own St. Patrick’s Day Annual. It’s a time of the year that we really look forward to here at Ireland’s Own. The spring returns and there is a renewed freshness about us all once the winter has finally let us be, even if it took a bit longer to make its welcome exit this year.
So what have we got for you to enjoy in this year’s jam-packed annual? We have too much to mention but the following are some of the highlights. Michael Smith profiles some of our most influential ‘Antarctic Explorers’. He takes a look at the intrepid sailors who helped to chart unknown territories. Paul Craven names the saints whose feast days are shared with Saint Patrick, while Patrick Kavanagh’s seat by the canal in Dublin was unveiled 50 years ago, writes Eileen Casey.
Melanie Ward explores the history of the famous Cúchulainn’s Castle, the remains of which still stands in County Louth. Cian Manning profiles Jack Kirwan, the Gaelic footballer who became the first Tottenham Hotspur player to play for Ireland.
In his piece, ‘The St. Patrick’s Day Heist’, C.A. Sarsfield recalls one of the most famous robberies in U.S. history while the story of the Hollywood Star and Padraig Pearse’s Cap is told by Shaun Ivory.
The chilling tale of The Ghost of Hobkirk is recounted by Robert B. MacNeill, while Edward Tucker tells the interesting history of the Clonmel Old Cemetery in Cobh. John McHugh shares the story of the Irishman who created the world’s largest rye distillery.
Cork’s U.S. Naval Base was constructed during the war 100 years ago, writes Edward Tucker and we have part two of our series on American Irish Gangsters, plus ‘Irish Radio in the 1930s’. Anthony F. Hughes continues his look at Battles of the American Frontier, while Adrian Grennan shares the history of Semple Stadium in Thurles in his ‘GAA County Ground Series’.
Seán Hall returns with his series on the Modern Seven Wonders of the World – this week he is off to Machu Picchu in Peru. Seán also takes a look at the role hunger strikes have had to play in Irish history. Liam Nolan has another couple of gems to share in his one-book author series, and he tells the story behind the Tennessee Waltz in his popular ‘Stories Behind the Songs’ series.
Kitty The Hare returns as well as Miss Flanagan, Dan Conway, Cassidy, Stranger Than Fiction, Owen’s Club, a €400 Word Search, a €200 Crossword, puzzles, songs, jokes, pen pals, Eddie Ryan’s sports column, health advice with Alex Dobbs and much much more. Enjoy the annual and your St Patrick’s Day weekend, and I look forward to catching up with you all again next week.
Seán Nolan, Editor, Ireland’s Own
Sing along with your favourite Irish songs – Lots of St. Patrick’s Day favourites to sing along to as well as the best of Irish for the month of March.