October 2009 Newsletter

Cork Jazz

Na Cúpla Focal

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Definitely the highlight of the Jazz scene in Ireland, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is a veritable feast of craic agus ceol. Cork is Ireland’s most welcoming city and every October, the city plays host to over 50,000 visitors who come for a weekend packed full of fun, frolics and fantastic events.


During our stay in Cork we will be staying at the glorious 4 star Jury’s Hotel. The hotel boasts a great location in the city, rooms so comfortable you might just want to sleep all day and miss the jazz, a leisure centre with a swimming pool and spa, and a restaurant where we will all have a meal on Friday 23rd at 6pm and where you get breakfast each morning. As well as all of this, the hotel is one of the main festival venues, so you will literally have everything you need under one roof!

Aside from that meal, you are free to do as you please so make the most of it. Here are some ideas on where to go and what to do.

Music wise, there is so much going on that is would be impossible not to find something you’ll enjoy. The festival has a free ‘Guinness Trail’, where pubs put on live music and get really into the swing of things. Even if you are not the biggest jazz fan, why not push the boundaries and do something new – try the free ‘Drum Clinic’ in the Triskel Arts Centre at 4pm on Saturday for example,  or get moving at the ‘Swing Dance Workshop’ in the Firkin Crane Centre at 3pm on Saturday.  Have a look at the website: www.guinnessjazzfestival.com

Nuts and Bolts:

Dublin & Maynooth – coach will be leaving from the IFSA office, 46 Merrion Square at 12.00 sharp on Friday 23rd October, returning from the hotel on Sunday 25th October at 2pm.

Galway – Coach will pick you ALL up at Menloe at 11am sharp on Friday 23rd, returning from the hotel on Sunday 25th at 2pm

Limerick – Coach will pick you at 1pm sharp from the Foundation Building Car Park in UL, returning from the hotel on Sunday 23rd at 2pm.

Burren & Northern Ireland – we will be in touch with you directly to arrange transport.

Maria’s Cork Tips:

The Liberty Grill – a short stroll from the hotel towards the city centre on Washington Street, this place serves some of the best burgers in town. Great coffee and Ireland’s best cheesecake too.

Ringing the Bells in Shandon Tower – This tower stands overlooking Cork and is easily recognisable as it has a gold fish on top. If you fancy adding to the cities vibrant music scene, why not give it a go!

An Spailpin Fanach – a great pub, which is known for Irish Traditional Music.

Munster v’s Ulster and Halloween Night Out: 31st October to 1st November

Munster 2

This is going to be a great treat for all the Cork students who don’t get to put up in Jury’s at the Jazz Festival. We are going to watch Munster trash Ulster in Thomond Park, the home Munster Rugby.  So throw on your jersey and enjoy some corporate hospitality, which includes meeting the players!

That night we are heading to one of Limerick’s best night spots, The Trinity Rooms. It’s fancy-dress so make sure you bring a costume. We have a prize for the best effort so get creative!

When your head is weary from a fun packed day, you can snooze in the luxury Absolute Hotel. This place is great, and has a spa with pool.

If any other IFSA students want to come and join the fun, check out  www.munsterrugby.ie for match tickets, or just go along and watch the game from one of Limerick’s great pubs. For somewhere to lay your hat, Jury’s Inn does pretty good room prices. There are cheap train and bus fares to Limerick from all over Ireland. The nightclub is free entry so what are you waiting for??!

Northern Ireland Thanksgiving Trip – Belfast: 26th to 28th November

We couldn’t possibly neglect America’s biggest holiday, so to celebrate Thanksgiving we are going to take you to a different country – Northern Ireland!! More information on this trip will follow so for now, just make sure you keep the dates free. While up North you’ll be treated to a slap-up Thanksgiving dinner (Irish style!), a tour of the spectacular coastline including Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway and some free time to see Belfast.


HER EMAIL IS mkeane@ifsa-butler.org

A few things you may not know about Ireland

  1. Our ancestors were clock-watching star-gazers.
    Newgrange, an ancient temple in County Meath, is 500 years older than the Great Pyramids at Giza in Egypt and 1000 years older than Stonehenge in England. In our opinion, it’s far more impressive too! Each year, on the winter solstice, the passage chamber is illuminated by the sun. This accuracy can’t fail to impress, and surprising too considering how Irish people are never on time! Go check it out. www.newgrange.com
  2. Innovative Ireland
    Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce a nationwide smoking ban in March 2004. We were also the first to introduce a ban on free plastic bags in shops.
  3. St Patrick wasn’t Irish!
    In fact, no one really knows where he was from. He came to Ireland as a slave, managed to be freed and decided to hang around converting us all to Christianity and banishing the snakes.

Dan Rooney named new US ambassador to Ireland

On St. Patricks Day this year President Barack Obama named Dan Rooney of Pittsburgh Steelers fame to be the new U.S. ambassador to Ireland. Rooney, who is the grandson of an Irish immigrant, is a champion of the Irish-American cause and founded the American Ireland fund in the 1970’s. The American Ireland Fund has raised millions for the advocacy of peace and education here in Ireland.

President Obama called Rooney “an unwavering supporter of Irish peace, culture and education”. Rooney has even established a bar in North Belfast, combining two of his great loves, Ireland and the Steelers. Obviously the bar is in Ireland but it is called the Pittsburgh Bar and is decked out in Pittsburgh Steelers memorabilia!

So all in all it has been a pretty good year for Dan Rooney. He helped President Obama get elected, having campaigned for him in Pennsylvania. He then saw his Steelers victorious in the Superbowl against the Arizona Cardinals and to top it all off a month later President Obama named him as the new ambassador to Ireland.

From all of us here in the IFSA Ireland office, we say a big “Cead Mile Failte” to Mr. Rooney.

Surviving Winter in Ireland

I think the best piece of advice we can give you about winters here in the Emerald Isle is to expect the unexpected! Conditions can change quickly, and we can pretty much have all four season in one day. Thankfully it won’t get too cold but of course that depend s on where you’re coming from I suppose! Also, you didn’t come here for the weather did you??!

A few tips for you:

  • Always carry an umbrella;
  • Have a Rain coat and/or Windbreaker;
  • Wear good shoes, otherwise there is a good chance your feet will get soaked;
  • Have plenty of dry socks at home, maybe even carry a spare pair!;
  • Wear layers to keep warm;
  • A hat, gloves and scarf are always an essential in those winter months;
  • Carry tissues, nobody likes to hear your sniffles!
  • If you are feeling a bit cold, a good warm drink or bowl of soup is a great way to warm up.

Ireland says “Yes” to Lisbon

As a lot of you may have noticed since you first arrived here in Ireland, there has been a lot of campaigning and posters for “Yes” and “No”. As you may have guessed by now these are not two rival politicians but are in fact what campaigners wanted people to vote for in the recent Lisbon Treaty referendum.

The Lisbon Treaty is a very contentious issue here in Ireland and I could go on for days trying to describe it! However, the main controversy with the whole thing is the fact that we, the Irish People, already voted on this treaty a year ago and voted No!

The Yes side will justify the second vote by pointing to the guarantees that were secured in relations to a number of keys points such as Defence Policy and Abortion and as such this was not the same treaty. The No side will simply say, “Well I assume it is best of 3!”

In spite of all this the Irish People spoke (again) on 2nd October 2009 and 67.1% of them said Yes.

If you listen closely, you might hear this type of thing said…

Things that have actually been overheard in Ireland-

Sometimes even asking won’t help

My mate’s mother was walking towards a bus stop on Parnell Street. A bus pulled in just before she reached the stop she went up to talk to the bus driver…..
Mate’s mother: “What number bus is this?”
Bus driver: “It’s a 40, it says so on the front”
Mate’s mother: “Yeah, but it says 40a on the side and 40c on the back?!”
Bus driver: “Well I’m not going sideways or backwards!!!”

Country Girl In The Big Smoke

Country Girl gets on No. 16 bus and asks driver how much is the fare?
Driver replies: “Where are you going?”
Country Girl says: “To get my hair done!!!!”

The hand is connected to the . . .

Shortly after the release of his James Bond movie, ‘Die Another Day’, Pierce Brosnan was in a Dublin pub. A man greeted him enthusiastically and asked to shake his hand. Brosnan complied. Afterwards, the man looked down at his hand and said.

“That’s the closest my hand will ever get to Halle Berry’s arse.”

Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re saying!

I was standing at a bus stop on O’Connell Street. There were two girls beside me talking in Irish to each other. Next thing you know, two local Dubliners walk by and hear the two girls talking. One of the Dubliners looks at the two girls and says ,”Hey f**k off back to your own country”!
I sh*t you not!

Some Irish phrases:

Cupla focal [coo-pla fock-il]: A few words.
Craic agus Ceol [crack ogg-iss ceo-ill]: Fun and music. The Irish are famour for having a bit of this!
Cead Mile Failte [cade mee-la fall-tya]: 100,000 welcomes. We’re pretty welcoming aren’t we?!
Mná and Fír [men-awe and fear]: Be careful with this one ladies and gents! Mná actually mean “Ladies” and Fír means “Gents”. So be careful when going to the toilet.
Tá sé ag cur báistí [Taw shay egg curr bosh-tee]: It’s raining!
Sláinte [slawn-che]: Cheers!
Tá tú go halainn [Taw two guh haul-inn]: You are beautiful.
Tá mé ar meisce [Taw may air mesh-keh]: I’m drunk.
Cá bhfuil an (________) [Caw will on (—–)]: Where is the (insert here!!)

For more of these, just ask us!