Editor's welcome

Editor Sean NolanHello and welcome to this year’s Ireland’s Own Christmas Annual, and what an annual we have for you this December!

We are delighted to feature two very popular people that will forever be associated with Christmas in Ireland in this year’s annual. Shane MacGowan invites us around for a Christmas chat and tells us about his upbringing in County Tipperary and the story behind his classic festive hit, The Fairytale of New York, while Nationwide and RTE Carols Concert presenter, Mary Kennedy, also shares her special memories of Christmas with us.

Liam Nolan brings us a special tribute to Dubliner Ronnie Drew, who, it is hard to believe, left us ten years ago this year, and Willie Clancy, the famous trad musician, was born 100 years ago, writes Paul Craven.

The WWI War Truce was condemned in many quarters, and by a young message runner called Hitler, explains Kieran Connolly. James Scannell recalls how the MV Kerlogue rescued German soldiers from the sea just a few days after Christmas, in 1943.

Silent Night was first performed on Christmas Eve 200 years ago, writes Martyn Baguley, and Michael Houlihan looks back on what our ancestors ate for Christmas dinner. Karl O’Neill tells the story of the tragic red shoes, a story connected to the doomed RMS Leinster. We have Christmas recipes from Kylemore Abbey, plus a selection of festive songwords for you to sing along to.

Thomas Myler tells the story behind the making of the festive classic Meet Me In St. Louis; Seán Creedon meets Des Scahill, the recently retired voice of Irish horse racing calling for 47 years, while Alison Martin looks back on RTE’s The Treaty, which first aired in December 1991.

We have lots of memories of Christmas in old Ireland, festive short stories, song, jokes, puzzles and great competitions with cash prizes, books and CDs to be won.

We hope you enjoy our special festive edition, and that you stay well in the coming weeks as the build-up to Christmas really takes off. Keep in out of the bad weather if possible, and most importantly keep warm I’ll look forward to talking to you again soon.


                                                                                                              Best wishes,

Seán Nolan, Editor, Ireland’s Own


Inside this week's issue

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Francis Kaye pays tribute to the showband star and legendary performer that was the late Sonny Knowles During the 1960s, the late Sonny Knowles was...

0 70
Trailblazers & Record Breakers Shay Given and Robbie Keane’s records will stand for a long time, writes Seán Creedon, as he shares interesting statistics involving...

0 122
When the last days of 1918 came to a close, the people of Ireland had many reasons to take some time to reflect on...

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By Kieran Connolly When the soldiers of many nations marched to war in August 1914 they were assured that they would be home by Christmas....

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From her building in 1905 to her pivotal role in the 1914 Howth gun-running and her later use as Ireland’s first national sail-training...

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Born to a prosperous family in Cork three hundred years ago this month, Nano Nagle overcame many obstacles, including serious health problems, to found...

Also this week

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.

Lots of great songs for you to sing along with every week in Ireland’s Own

Something for everyone

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