Irish News of Interest - January 2019

§      January 31st is "National Escape Day" in Ireland.  It is the day when one escapes from the cold weather of January and welcomes the warmer weather of Spring.

§      Michael Higgins has retained his position as President of Ireland.  He will serve another seven-year term.  The position is largely ceremonial.

§      Dan Hummel is an American hermit who fled the US for a remote Irish location 50 years ago.  Hummel is now 78 years old and owns 120 acres of west Cork coastline overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

§      Two men were stopped by ICE on their way to work in Boston.  One is from Connemara and the other from County Mayo.  They are illegal and undocumented.  Their names have not been released.  They are facing charges and are being held in Massachusetts.

§      Aer Lingus is adding 12 new Airbus long range aircraft to their fleet in 2019.  They will offer free checked luggage, free inflight entertainment, free complimentary meal and free complimentary glass of wine or beer with meal service.

§      A new movie called "Famine" will feature the story of the Sultan of the Turkish Empire who sent famine relief to Ireland.  He secretly sent five ships filled with food.  The English attempted to block the ships, but they were able to arrive in Drogheda.

§      The Unionist majority in Northern Ireland is fading.  They may vote for a repartitioned Ireland rather than a United Ireland.  The vote in Northern Ireland continues to split along religious lines.

§      New York held its 37th annual Great Irish Fair at Coney Island on September 22.  The fair celebrates Irish history and culture.  Thousands attend the event each year.

§      "I, Dolours," is a new documentary about an IRA member, Dolours Price.  It was released on August 31.  It is being called one of the best films of the year.  In 1973, Price was sentenced to life in prison for her part in a car bombing in London and sheds light on some of the mysteries of the "Troubles."

§      Primark is the fastest growing retailer in America.  The store's US sales are up 103% this year.  Primark opened its first store in Dublin in 1969.

§      The number of Irish returning home exceeds the number leaving Ireland.  The number returning from the US was 7300 in 2017.  Many of these were undocumented and were fleeing the harsh US immigration policies.

§      WOW Air (Icelandic) now has a sale from as little as $117 for flights from Dublin to 15 North American destinations. 

§      Eve Henson, Bono's daughter, has received rave reviews for her acting performance in "Robin Hood" where she plays Maid Marian in the new movie.

§      James Roe, 20 years old, is a young race car driver.  He began driving at the age of 15.  He came to America at the age of 19 and won the rookie driver of the year award in 2017.

§      Center Parcs announced a new Tropical Swimming Paradise Theme Park which will open in County Longford in the summer of 2019.  It will be Ireland's largest water park. 

§      Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor, returned to the site of his destroyed home recently. The home was devastated by the Woolsey Fire in California.  He lived in the home for 25 years with his wife. 

§      Galway and Milwaukee are Sister Cities. 

§      Oliver Cromwell's body was exhumed in 1661.  The body was then posthumously hanged at Tyburn near London.