Eibhlin O'Neill's blog

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan steps down with immediate effect

The decision by the head of An Garda Síochána (Ireland's police) Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, to retire with immediate effect has been welcomed by many. Despite, Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar telling the Dail in June that he and his government had confidence in the Garda commissioner, she had faced several opposition calls for her to stand down. The Garda has been mired in a number of controversies.

Spectacular cold water reefs discovered off Ireland's west coast

Ireland’s seabed territory is one of the largest in Europe, and more than 10 times Ireland’s land mass. Porcupine Bank is an area of the Irish shelf, on the fringes of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 120miles (200 kilometres) west of Ireland. A recent expedition of Irish waters by the Marine Institute have discovered cold water coral reefs at previously unexplored depths along the Porcupine Bank.

Shell pull out of Mayo

As reported by Celtic News Mannin - Yn Commmeeys Celtiagh:

Shell pull out of Mayo

“It tore the heart out of a community. There was heavy handed policing and brutality towards protesters. Men who had never put a foot wrong in their life were jailed. The military were deployed to obstruct protest. Fishermen’s livelihoods and in some instances their boats were destroyed. There were hunger strikes.

No it wasn’t in some despotic Middle East State or some South American ‘banana republic’ it was Ireland over the last decade.

Ceremony held in Ireland to mark the 90th anniversary of the death of Constance Markievicz

A commemoration was held on Saturday at Lissadell House, Sligo in Ireland to mark the 90th anniversary of the death of Constance Markievicz (February 1868 – 15 July 1927). Known as Countess Markievicz she took part in the 1916 Rising. In the Rising she fought in Dublin's St Stephen's Green where the fighters held out for six days, only stopping when the British brought them a copy of Patrick Pearse's surrender order. She was taken to Dublin Castle and then transported to Kilmainham Gaol.

Whales visit Irish waters in "exceptional" numbers

Whales are visiting Irish waters more frequently, with the number of minke whales in particular being seen described as "exceptional". This is a recent report from the Mannin Branch of the Celtic League which highlights an article in the Irish Times: 


Whales are arriving earlier, staying longer and being seen in greater numbers of the South and East of Ireland according to this article from Irish Times Marine correspondent Lorna Siggins:

Belfast adds another piece to the jigsaw of Titanic's history

The ill-fated ship passenger liner RMS Titanic was built in the city of Belfast (Irish: Béal Feirste) in the northeast of Ireland (Irish: Éire). Titanic sank during her maiden voyage in 1912. At the time, news of the terrible sinking of the Titanic spread around the world and its horror has held a fascination for people every since. Titanic, whose name was derived from Greek mythology and meant gigantic, set out on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic from Southampton on 10 April 1912.

Gráinne Ní Mháille: Gaelic "Sea Queen of Connacht" who refused to bow to the English Queen

Grace O'Malley (c. 1530 – c. 1603; Irish: Gráinne Ní Mháille) was chieftain of the Ó Máille clan in the west of Ireland. The only child of Owen Dubhdara Uí Máille, the O’Malley of Umhall Uachtarach, and Margaret Ní Máille. She was commonly known as Gráinne Mhaol (anglicised as Granuaile). A proud and courageous woman, she is a well-known historical figure in 16th-century Irish history. Sometimes known as "The Sea Queen of Connacht" or even “The Pirate Queen” after she inherited her father’s significant shipping and trading business, which was sometimes described as a form of piracy.

Celts celebrate summer solstice 2017

Today, Wednesday 21st June, celebrations are taking place in the Celtic nations to welcome the summer solstice. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and in the northern hemisphere it can fall on different dates from year to year between 20 and 22 June. In the southern hemisphere it is between December 20 and December 23. The winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year falls between 20 and 23 December in the north.  In the Celtic homelands in 2017, this will be on 21st December.

Ireland: Calls for creation of Hill of Tara National Park

There have been calls for the Hill of Tara zone to be declared a National Park in addition to a National Monument. The Hill of Tara (Irish: Teamhair na Rí) in County Meath is an important archaeological complex that contains a number of ancient monuments and was according to tradition, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. There has been an ongoing campaign to save the prehistoric site from continued damage sustained over many years and prevent further destruction. It has been included in the 15 must-see endangered cultural treasures in the world by the Smithsonian Institution.

Ireland promises 'A Tournament Like No Other' in bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup

'Ireland 2023 will capture the imagination of the world. We promise to stage a Rugby World Cup full of Irish spirit and commercial success, that will help drive rugby's global momentum.'  This is the promise on the official site for Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup Bid, which also has information on the Bid Team, Venues and the Bid itself.


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