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Ireland’s Last Beetling Mill: Cookstown, Co Tyrone

I couldn’t resist stopping at a place with a name like beetling mill. Ends up beetling was the final step in Northern Ireland’s once-booming linen production. The original 1790s machinery inside still works.  The site is beautifully situated, and a walk around the back to see the wheel and sluice gate is worth a peek. […]

Take the Tayto Tour: Trandragee, Co Armagh

For an American in Ireland, calling a french fry a chip can take some getting used to, but then we have to adjust to calling a potato chip a crisp. Then to make things a bit more confusing, the Irish also throw around the word Tayto in place chips… er, I mean… crisps at various […]

The Origins of the Jack-O-Lantern: Museum of Country Life, Castlebar, Co Mayo

The tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween started in Ireland… except they put their knives to turnips instead (in fact the Irish are credited with the origins of Halloween as well). An example of the carved root veggie is on display in the Museum of Country life along with first-rate exhibits covering many other aspects […]

Bodysnatcher Watchtower & a Cemetery Cafe: Glasnevin, Co Dublin

Since the first grave was dug in 1832, Glasnevin has become a who’s who in Irish history. In an era of grave robbers, medical research on corpses without consent, and stories of the undead (Dracula author Bram Stoker was a Dubliner), watchtowers and other security features were part of the sales pitch at Glasnevin which […]

Barack Obama’s Ancestral Home: Moneygall, Co Offaly

Several sites connected to the Barack Obama’s Kearney relative’s remain near Moneygall. The site of the Kearney home is located on the main street in town and a plaque commemorating Obama appears nearby. Official Site: Irish Fireside: The Story of Barack Obama’s Roots Honoring Your Ancestors: President Barack Obama’s Roots Podcast: Discovering Your Irish […]

Birthplace of Irish Coffee and Home to Flying Boats: Foynes, Co Limerick

As the site of the original commercial transatlantic airport, Foynes welcomed the first wave of airline travelers who traveled in planes designed to use the Shannon Estuary as their runway… called flying boats. The 1940s brought a who’s who of the time through Foynes, including John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bob Hope, Humphrey Bogart, as […]

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