The Lake Isle of Innisfree – by W. B. Yeats

Written in 1889, at the age of 23 years, while living in London. See other Yeats related posts at end of page.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,

And live alone in the bee loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Yeats Reading The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Other Yeats posts:


Irish Stew Recipe

Irish stew or ‘stobhach gaelach ‘ is a traditional Irish dish made from lamb or mutton with potatoes, onions, and parsley. Many cooks also add carrots and barley to the pot. Another version of Irish stew uses beef instead of mutton. Stew originated in Ireland but appears in cookbooks all over the world.

Irish Stew is a simple dish, full of flavour and goodness and made with readily-available ingredients. Irish farmers raised mainly sheep and root crops such as potatoes for subsistence. Potatoes were the main food crop in Ireland for centuries up to the potato Irish Famine. (Potatoes are sometimes boiled separately and added to the pot before serving, as they can have a tendency to break down faster than the other ingredients.)

When the Irish people began immigrating to the four corners of the earth they naturally brought along their food traditions. Irish stew evolved and was adapted to include the local offerings of the country they settled in. Sheep were not as plentiful, so other types of meat were often substituted. When made in the traditional manner, the result is very thick and hearty, not thin like soup. The recipe has evolved to often include Guinness stout and Paprika. Some variations have exalted this original peasant dish to near gourmet status.

Irish Stew Ingredients:

* 2 1/2 lb boned mutton * 4 large potatoes * 2 large onions * 3 or 4 medium carrots * spring of parsley * 2 cups water

* salt and pepper

Cooking Directions:

Cut the meat and the peeled vegetables into large sized chunks and chop the parsley. Choose a pot with a lid and put in the ingredients. Add the cold water and season to taste. Cover and put on a low heat for about two and half hours until the meat is tender and the potatoes have thickened the liquid. Lamb can be used instead of mutton, in which case it requires only one and half hours to cook.

See the full list of traditonal Irish Recipes


Definition for Irish Phrase – The Craic

If you’re visiting Ireland for the first time, some of the phrases used might leave you scratching your head. For example, when someone asks you if you’re ‘up for a bit of craic’ they don’t mean do you want to smoke a crack pipe.

The Craic

Not to be mistaken for crack cocaine, or a persons private region.

Craic is fun, partying. Craic separates the Irish from most other nationalities on the planet. ‘The Craic’ is something that is inside every Irish person, waiting for a chance to runamuck, irrespective of rules and/or most consequences of one’s actions.

An inner sense of joy and divilment.

Common usage:

  1. ‘It was great craic’
  2. ‘The craic was mighty’
  3. ‘We had some craic’

All of the above usually refer to reckless abandonment, general good natured fecklessness.

Occasions When ‘The Craic’ Might Occur

A friend asks if you are ‘going for one’, often on a week night, just after work, when you know you shouldn’t. ‘One’ in this instance is an alcoholic beverage, and often leads to many more than one. This is when The Craic is likely to reach fever pitch.

When you least expect it, and when you really shouldn’t have The Craic.

Occasions When You Probably Won’t Have The Craic

There is usually only one way to prevent The Craic from happening, and that is to plan a social event in advance. Having even a day’s planned notice (sometimes just hours notice) of a social gathering that ‘should be fun’, often kills any chance of having The Craic.

Used as an Insult

‘You’re no craic’. Use sparingly, as it really is hurtful.


Flanagan Clan

Irish Clans – The Flanagan Clan

Irish peoples have dispersed throughout the world. Large populations of migrant Irishmen are prominent in America, Australia and Canada. Several Irish family name groups have begun to research their Irish roots. The “Clans of Ireland” was organized in 1990 to assist those with Irish surnames, all over the world, in researching their Irish roots.

Clan Flanagan was organized in 2004, under the umbrella of the “Clans of Ireland.” In these few years it has grown into a worldwide organization with over 100 members.

Participation is centered around a “chat group” on the internet, hosted by Yahoo!. Utilizing this forum, members of Clan Flanagan exchange Irish genealogical information, Irish cultural traditions, stories from their childhoods, news about their families; even current television shows that feature fictional Irish families in fictionalized Irish expatriate cultures. And we’ve been known to exchange a recipe or two! The conversation is lively (occasionally heated); generally full of good humor and evidencing more than just a bit of mischievousness.

As the “Flanagan” surname spread about the world, diverse spellings of the name have emerged. Spelling variations of the name include:

  • Flanagan
  • Flanaghan
  • Flangan
  • Flanigan
  • Flannagan
  • Flannigan
  • Flanningan
  • Flanikin
  • Flanakin
  • Flanagin
  • Flanigin
  • Flenniken
  • Flannacan
  • Flannacain

…and any of these prefixed with an O’. We expect there are likely to be more. All variations are welcomed into Clan Flanagan. We have accepted a Spanish member whose hereditary, Spanish family name is spelled “Falagan.” She recounted a legend in her family that the name derives from the Irish “Flanagan.”

In order to help Flanagans, in any of the spellings of the name, to connect their families to their Irish roots, a DNA project has been started using the facilities of Family Tree DNA. Clan Flanagan’s administrator for the Flanagan DNA project can be contacted at the Flanagan Family Website. Our goal for DNA testing is to facilitate the linking of present day families of Flanagans to their present day cousins in Ireland. Not only did the Cromwellian Invasion of Ireland destroy many genealogical archives, but the diaspora of the Irish has disconnected many expatriate Flanagans from their ancestral heritage.

From time to time, Flanagans living across the seas return to Ireland for a visit. As often as not, a reason for their visit will be: “To learn more about my Irish Ancestry and Irish Culture.” Surely, the present-day inhabitants of the Island named Ireland will welcome them home.


Ballybunion Guide

Ballybunion is a lively coastal village situated at the mouth of the river Shannon estuary in North County Kerry Ireland.

Ballybunion Castle ruins stand high on a cliff facing out into the Atlantic Sea. All that remains of the castle is a single wall, but it gives the visitor a good impression of what the castle might have been like when it was whole.

Ballybunion’s beaches are popular in the summer with families and the town’s amusements and arcades contribute to the sea side holiday town appeal.

There are tall picturesque cliffs along the beaches that provide a home for many varieties of cliff nesting sea birds. Occasionally dolphins are seen frolicking in the sheltered part of the bay.

Ballybunion is also a popular destination for surfers with the best waves being caught at the cliffs off the beach area.

The town is particularly popular with families as it offers lots of fast food, pubs and amusement arcades making it a fun place to visit.

Ballybunion boasts two quality golf courses. Many sporting people rent houses in the area for weeks in the summer so they can enjoy the great golf courses in this natural clean environment of Kerry. Ballybunion also has the Ballybunion Leisure Gym and Pool which gives the sporty visitor an alternative if the weather turns against them.

Ballybunion Trivia – Did you know?

Ballybunion was the site of the first transatlantic telephone transmission in 1919 made by engineer W.T. Ditchan. The call was make from the Marconi wireless station to Louisbourg in Cape Breton Nova Scotia.

The river Shannon that Ballybunion is situated on is the largest estuary in Europe.

Ballybunion golf course is ranked the number 10 golf club in the world. Bill Clinton enjoyed the course and there is a statue of Bill in the town centre!

Staying on golf; Ballybunion’s famous links golf course was host to the Murphy’s Irish Open in 2000 and the Palmer Cup in 2004.

Ballybunion’s beautiful natural environment is little affected by pollution as the region it is free from industrial works. It’s clear unpolluted waters have been awarded the coveted European Blue Flag for cleanliness.

Ballybunion Folklore – The Legend Of The Seven Sisters

Source: Choice Notes from “Notes and Queries”: Folklore

The scene of the tragedy from which the following legend has sprung is the little village of Ballybunion situated within a few miles of Kerry Head.

The scenery around is of the wildest and most striking description. Frowning rugged cliffs rising abruptly out of the water to the height of over one hundred feet and perforated with numerous caves into which the ocean rushes with fearful fury in winter for it is a stormy coast and rarely does a month pass without beholding some dead putrefied body washed ashore while inland a barren uncultivated plain consisting mostly of bog stretches away to nearly the foot of the Reeks which looming in the distance seem to rear their giant masses even to the sky and form as it were an impenetrable barrier between the coast and the interior.

On the brink of one of those precipices we have mentioned there stands the ruins of a castle seemingly of great antiquity. Nothing now remains but the basement story and that seems as if it would be able to withstand the war of winds and waves for hundreds of years longer. According to the legend this castle was inhabited by a gallant chieftain at the period of the incursions of the Danes and who was the father of seven blooming daughters. He was himself a brave warrior animated with the greatest hatred against the Ostmen, who, at that period were laying every part of Erin waste. His sword never rested in its sheath and day and night his light gallies cruised about the coast on the watch for any piratical marauder who might turn his prow thither.

One day a sail was observed on the horizon it came nearer and nearer and the pirate standard was distinguished waving from its masthead. Immediately surrounded by the Irish ships it was captured after a desperate resistance. Those that remained of the crew were slaughtered and thrown into the sea with the exception of the captain and his six brothers who were reserved for a more painful death. Conveyed to the fortress their wounds were dressed and they were allowed the free range of the castle.

Here gradually a love sprung between them and the seven Irish maidens who yielded to their ardent protestations and agreed to fly with them to Denmark. Everything was arranged for the voyage and one fearfully stormy night in winter was chosen for the attempt. Not a single star shone in the sky the cold blast came sweeping from the ocean the rain fell in torrents and the water roared and raged with terrific violence amid the rocky caverns. Escaping down from the battlement by a rope ladder they discovered to their horror that on reaching the ground they were surrounded by armed men. Not a word was uttered but they well knew into whose hands they had fallen.

Conducted again within the fortress they found themselves face to face with their injured father. One deadly glance of hatred he cast on the prisoners and muttering some few words to one of his attendants he pointed towards his daughters. The man on receiving the command recoiled a few paces transfixed with horror and then he advanced nearer and seemed as if remonstrating with him. But the parent’s face assumed an absolutely demoniac expression and more peremptorily repeating his order he stalked out of the room.

And now commenced a fearful scene. The lovers were torn from each other’s arms and the women were brought forth again. The storm had grown more violent and the spray was dashing far over the cliff whilst the vivid flashes of lightning afforded a horrible illumination to the dreary scene. Proceeding along the brink of the precipice they at length came to a chasm which resembled somewhat the crater of a volcano as it was completely closed with the exception of the opening at the top and one small aperture below through which the sea rushed with terrible violence. The rolling of the waters sounded fearfully on the ear of those around and now at length the sisters divined their fate. One by one they were hurled into the boiling flood one wild shriek the billows closed again and all was over.

What the fate of their lovers was the legend says not. The old castle has crumbled into ruins, the chieftain sleeps in an unknown grave his very name forgotten, but still the sad ending of the maidens is remembered and even unto this day the cavern is denominated the Cave of the Seven Sisters.

Things To Do In Ballybunion

Activities For Families and Children

There is lots of activities for children to enjoy when staying in Ballybunion.

There are seven miles of beaches on the coastline of Ballybunion, so for good days a visit to the beach with buckets and spades is a must. Don’t forget to bring plenty of drinking water and sun block!

Ballybunion has a well kept fenced in playground. This is great for children of all ages and for parents too who might finally have a chance to catch their breathe while the kids play in the safe environment. There’s bound to be the occasional victim of a fall but the soft padded ground will minimise the risk and the tears.

There are plenty of places to treat children to ice-creams and snacks in the main street of the town, only about 100 meters from the playground.

For younger children (4/5 years) there is the Ballybunion pre-school drop in centre which is run buy a local charity. The staff are all highly trained and qualified and there are lots of fun activities daily for little guests.

South of Ballybunion is Rattoo Round Tower which will inspire the imaginations of children and adults alike. And there is always Ballybunion theatre with shows on every week that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

If the weather turns wet there’s always the indoor pool at Ballybunion leisure centre or for older kids maybe a short trip to one of the many arcades in the town will amuse them for a while. Watch the budget though!

Ballybunion For Adults

Again the beach is a must. There are also lots of pubs and fast food joints in Ballybunion town. If you want to eat in a more up market establishment, rach ti Conor and McMunns are supposed to be the better establishments for eating out in Ballybunion.

There was a tradition of seaweed baths in Ballybunion that is carried on today in the new leisure centre, it’s oddly refreshing and worth the experience.

Last but not least there is of course… Ballybunion golf courses. A must for anyone that way inclined!

Listen To What This Visitor Thinks Of Ballybunion Golf Course

Surfing And Kayaking

Ballybunion is a popular surfing spot for both beginners and experienced surfers. The beach breaks are suitable for those new to the sport while the cliff breaks offer more of a challenge for the seasoned surfter. For those who want to dip their toes into the sport for the first time there is the Ballybunion surf school who also run kids summercamps from June through August. Check out Ballybunion is also popular for kayaking.


Things To Do In Galway

Author: Kevin Gallen

Ah summer time in Galway, breathe it in, get a breath of that country air, breathe the beauty of it everywhere, get a look at that clear blue sky. Summer days spent lying on the grass down at Spanish Arch, not a care in the world…

There are plenty of attractions to catch the eye in Ireland during the summer. June, July and August sees a host of music festivals including electric picnic, oxygen and the midlands music festival but it’s out west in Galway where the best Irish summer festivals are happening.

Things seem to go a bit quite towards the end of may and early June with many of the students leaving the city but its not long before the town is buzzing again with the prospect of a fun filled summer

The Galway arts festival kicks off on the 17th of July. The festival offers the best in music, theatre and dance, visual art and comedy. Street theatre also plays a major part in the festival providing wonderful entertainment for the summer shoppers. The organizers have gone all out this year bringing in some of the finest national and international acts including such homegrown talent as Bell X1 and David Kitt and major stars such as Lambchop and David Gray.

The biggest festival in Galway has to be the Galway races. The Races become more popular every year with record-breaking crowds thronging the city. There is hardly an empty bed or empty bar for that matter to be found in the city.

The festival attracts punters from every walk of life. There are big time gamblers willing to risk the shirt of their back as well as the more casual gambler who is likely to stick a pin in the form guide and risk a euro or two on the result.

For those who just cant get enough gambling there is the option of a trip to Salthill to try your luck in the casinos. One armed bandits or slot machines as some people call them are only too willing to take your money .The Galway Race festival lasts for 7 day and runs from July 31st to August 6th.

The oyster festival, one for the food connoisseurs among you takes place in September. This event has proved hugely popular over the years bringing many new faces and strange accents to the city. The pride of the Galway oyster festival is the Native oysters called “Ostrea Edulis”. I’m told the oysters go down particularly well with a few pints of Guinness. Not being an oyster eater myself I will have to take their word for it.

Another treat for the artistically minded community in Galway is the film fleadh. This event gives local filmmakers a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents. The festival also attracts many international filmmakers as well as their famous leading men and women. In the past such luminaries as Jim Sheridan, Woody Harrelson, Sir Richard Attenborough and Michael Moore have attended the festival

So Galway for the summer then? Have I convinced you? Go on you know you want to…:-)


Driving Holidays in Ireland

Visitors to Ireland wishing to explore the country would be wise to consider their transport options in advance. Using public transport is usually a good way of getting around in the towns and cities where driving around can be quite congested.

However if you are heading out of town to explore the stunning Irish countryside you may want to consider buying or renting a car, depending on how long you have to travel.

Driving In Ireland Left or Right?

Motorists drive on the left side of the road in Ireland, with steering wheel drivers side to the right. Unfortunately drivers used to driving on the right in their own country sometimes forget or become confused with driving on what is to them the ‘other side of the road’. Lapses in concentration have been the cause of accidents, sometimes fatalities. When pulling out from off road parking, for example a garden, remember to take care to ensure both sides of the road are clear of oncoming traffic, and only move out when confident it is safe to do so. Take regular breaks to avoid becoming tired and confused, as driving on the left require a great deal of concentration if you are used to driving on the right. Give yourself plenty of time to complete your journey, and always think safety first.

When driving on straight roads always look out for hazards of potential hazards, and be prepared to react before they become a problem. Check your mirrors regularly and keep and eye out for road signs, in particular watch for signs of ‘black spots’ and sharp bends, as these can be dangerous if you are not used to road. Often sharp bends can be extreme, so reduce your speed in advance and proceed with caution.

See the video below for Irish Road Signs

If approaching roadwork signs that are encroaching in your lane, always check your rear and right mirror before moving out into the road to pass them. In this instance it may be okay for you to cross a continuous white line as the roadwork signs may be considered an obstruction.

You can view a PDF with Irish Road Signs complete with explanations by clicking here.

Drink Driving In Ireland

Any amount of alcohol will impair your driving, and it is recommended that you never drink and drive. The drink limits change regularly in Ireland, always reducing the amount of alcohol you are legally permitted to have in your system when driving. You can see the latest details as the RSA website.

Using Roundabouts Ireland

Roundabouts can be particularly tricky for drivers used to driving on the right side of the road.

Remember to always yield to traffic coming from the right and try to ensure you are in the correct lane. When taking the first exit off a roundabout ensure you get into the left lane in advance of the roundabout, indicate your intention to turn left before proceeding to complete the maneuver if safe to do so. When taking the second exit you do not need to indicate entering the roundabout, as you are going straight through. When you have passed the first exit, you then indicate to let other traffic know you are exiting. When taking the third exit from the roundabout, approach in the right lane, indicate right, and yield to traffic from your right. Stay in the right lane as you go round and after passing the second exit, indicate left to signal to other drivers that you are exiting the roundabout. Look over your left shoulder and exit in the left lane.  Check out the video below for a guide to using roundabouts in Ireland.

Hiring A Car

Hiring a car can be a good option if you have a couple of weeks to spare. The benefits include, getting a car you know is going to be in good condition and that has car insurance already organised. In addition you are able to opt in for options such as air conditioning and a CD player should you wish to make your journey more comfortable.

Do be careful when choosing your hire car company to ensure you are not paying more car excess than you want to should anything go wrong whilst driving around. The downside to car rental is that it can be quite expensive and if you are travelling on a budget, and may mean that your spending money is severely reduced. You also may have to visit a number of rental companies if you need a specialist car such as a people carrier for a big family or group of friends.

Buy A Car For Your Travels Around Ireland

If you are on holiday for a longer period, you might want to consider buying a car for the duration of stay and then selling it on afterwards. There are a number of good places to look for a second hand car and if you are only keeping it for a few months, you could sell it on for the same price as what you brought it as long as it remains in good condition.

If you decide to buy a car to travel around Ireland with you need to consider your motor insurance options. Lucky Ireland offers a number of good car insurers who offer competitive deals, either over the phone or on the web. If you think you might want to take your car out of Ireland for a short period remember to discuss this option with your car insurer to ensure they allow this. Once you rented or bought a car, and sorted out the best insurance option you are free to roam and there are some amazing places to visit.

Aside from the large cities such as Dublin, it is worth visiting some of the country’s great national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. A drive down to the coast is also recommended so you can soak in all that the emerald isle has to offer.


Celtic Tattoo Designs Videos

Celtic Tattoo Designs

Modern day Celtic Tattoos are inspired by the heritage of the Celtic Peoples. The history of the Celtic peoples goes back thousands of years. The early Celts displayed their skills in complex artwork particularly metal, jewelry and weapons as they were regarded as fierce warriors by the Romans. Evidence of celtic crossses and celtic artwork can still be found all over Ireland. Check out our collection of Celtic Tattoo Design Videos found on YouTube.


Motorbike Trip Across Ireland

Many people visit Ireland to experience the warmth and generosity of the Irish people, but few rarely ventures further than the big cities of Dublin or Cork, and miss all the stunning scenery and picturesque landscapes that bless this country.

One of the best ways to explore what the island has to offer is by motorbike, allowing riders to enjoy the undulating, winding roads that make Ireland’s highways unique. Millions of people travel from all over the world to bike their way around the small towns and villages dotted across the country, with many famous routes and rides on offer to them.

As well as the spectacular scenery and snaking roads, there are more ways to enjoy a Motorbike holiday as Ireland has more pubs per head of population than any other country in the world. A visit to a typical Irish country pub should be high on your list of things to do, in order to experience the beer, banter, food and music found in most of the country’s hostelries. With a ratio of two pubs to every person living in Ireland, even if the one you find is closed, there is bound to be an open one close by.

Take It Easy

It is against the law to drink and drive in Ireland, so lock the bike up for the evening and take advantage of the reasonable prices on offer at many pubs for an overnight stay.

Sitting down with a map of Ireland and planning your own route is a good idea; however, there are many suggested routes to which are tried and tested that you may want to attempt.

Galway to Achill Island

A favourite course with bikers is travelling a return trip from Galway to Achill Island. On this journey, riders can experience exciting bending and dipping roads, passing through stunning surroundings and amazing scenic views.

The journey should take around 6 hours, keeping within the designated speed limits and covers 420 kilometres. It’s essential to drive with insurance in Ireland. It is recommended to split this trip up over 2 or 3 days and take advantage of an overnight stay on Achill Island.

Amongst the destinations on this route, include the national parks and castle ruins of Clifden, the popular small fishing village of Cleggan, the fantastic mountainous landscapes of Louisburgh and the historical and distinctive town of Cong.


Irish Genealogy

Genealogy is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. This involves collecting the names of relatives, both living and deceased, and establishing the relationships between them based on primary, secondary and/or circumstantial evidence or documentation, thus building up a cohesive family tree. Genealogy is sometimes also referred to as family history, although these terms may be used distinctly: the former being the basic study of who is related to whom; the latter involving more “fleshing out” of the life and family histories of the individuals involved.

One way to find the family lineage is with the use of the genealogical method. It is a well-established ethnographic technique. The early ethnographers developed symbols that covered the issue of kinship, descent, and marriage. Studying one’s genealogy is important in terms of social organization, especially where people live and work with their kin everyday. It plays a very important role in understanding the current social relations and reconstructing the history. Marriage is also looked at because it is important in creating alliances amongst tribes, clans and villages.

In this article, the terms genealogist, researcher, and family historian refer to every participant, from the inexperienced hobbyist to the professional.

Humans have always been interested in where they came from and their family history (genealogy.) The Bible is replete with genealogies of biblical personalities. Many cultures passed their genealogies orally through the ages. The nobility of Europe kept detailed genealogies. The current Queen of Denmark claims to be able to trace her linage back to King Gorm who lived around 800 CE. The Chinese out do all other cultures in genealogy. Chinese genealogy records, Jia Pu in Chinese, have been kept since at least 1500 BCE.

Today genealogy is popular hobby among people of all walks of life. Some claim it is the second most popular use of the Internet. Almost every European country and every State in the U.S. has a genealogical society.

If you are just beginning to research your genealogy here are some basic records that are important.

Vital Records: These are probably the most important records to genealogy research. They include birth records, christening records, marriage records, and death certificates and records. After family records it’s a good idea to start your genealogy research looking for vital records.

Irish Census Records: Irish Census records can lead you to other types of records. Generally Irish census records list families living as groups giving ages and place or residence. They can help you narrow down what localities you might want to search for vital family records.

Emigration and Immigration Records: These records can give you clues to where your origin of your ancestors. Often they list country and town from which the person immigrated.

Other useful records in helping trace your genealogy are military records, land records, probate records, court records, commercial records, and cemetery records.

Author: Jake Paterson, visit