Imagine having a huge living wake, a funeral where all your friends and family come together to celebrate your life and say goodbye while you’re still alive?
That was exactly what Terry Murphy, a former resident in Australia who ran a famous Shebeen bar in Lislea, County Armagh, did over the weekend. Terry had been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.
On Saturday night, he had a living wake in the bar that he used to run, and around 500 people came along to pay their respects to him. There was plenty of food and drink on the night and local newspaper The Cross Examiner reports that “the craic was 90”.
John Egan, a friend of Terry’s, told the newspaper: “He wanted all his old friends and everyone he knew to come along. Every room was full of music and craic. The man himself was there and in good form.”
He added: “That man woke up this morning knowing he is loved by so many and got to see his send-off.”
Meanwhile, local MLA Justin McNulty, speaking to Joe.ie, said: “Terry is a character and there is widespread affection for him locally in Lislea, in South Armagh, in Newry, and in Australia where he lived for a time.”
Calling all descendants of Irish emigrants to Australia. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin is offering you the chance to take part in their The Power of a Name exhibition by adding your emigrant ancestor’s name to their Emigrant Wall.
This new, interactive exhibition will be seen by visitors from all over the world and invites you to bring their name home. The museum honours Irish emigrants by telling their stories and keeping their memories alive.
Patrick Greene, CEO and Museum Director of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, said: “Every person who left Ireland is part of our emigration history.
“The life they started in a new country is part of the impact of the Irish abroad and this exhibition aims to pay tribute to them and spotlight a powerful part of their story – their name.”
He added: “These journeys were not taken lightly and this exhibition marks the decisions they made to leave and celebrates the journeys they made and the lives they went on to build.”
The Power of a Name exhibition is now open at the museum in Dublin’s Docklands.
If you would like to take part and add your Irish ancestors who emigrated to Australia, simply fill in their names, where they emigrated from and the year they left on the online form by clicking here.
An epic fictionalised telling of the story of Irish-Australian bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly, True History of the Kelly Gang, will open in select Australian cinemas on January 9, just 17 days before it makes its Australia Day television premiere on streaming service Stan.
The cast features BAFTA award-winner George MacKay as Ned Kelly. Nicholas Hoult, Essie Davis, Charlie Hunnam and Russell Crowe co-star.
Inspired by Peter Carey’s Booker prize-winning novel, Justin Kurzel’s film shatters the mythology of the notorious icon to reveal the essence behind the life of Ned Kelly.
Spanning the younger years of Ned’s life to the time leading up to his death, the film explores the blurred boundaries between what is bad and what is good, and the motivations for the demise of its hero. Youth and tragedy collide in the Kelly Gang, and at the beating heart of this tale is the fractured and powerful love story between a mother and a son.
Justin Kurzel, director and producer said: “I am thrilled in the boldness and daring by Stan to embrace our ambitious film. For Australians to see our take on Peter Carey’s extraordinary book in cinemas and on Stan over the summer is very exciting. I hope as many eyes as possible get the opportunity to see a film the makers are deeply proud of.”
It will be released into Irish cinemas on February 28, 2020.
A group of Irish friends living in Brisbane are planning to do a Christmas drought run to help farmers in the Southern Downs.
Organiser Richard Lenihan said: “Australia is currently facing its worst drought to date and farmers in rural towns will face their toughest summer yet, if it doesn’t rain in the next few months.
“So, we as a group of friends living in Brisbane, together with your help, have decided we want to help where we can this Christmas.”
The group will concentrate their efforts around the town of Stanthorpe which is facing a critical water shortage.
Richard added: “We are going straight to the front lines, personally handing out donations from a dedicated collection yard and heading out to a few farms that are doing it worst, meeting with the farmers first-hand and seeing the affects of this drought with our own eyes.
“We are going ensure that every single cent raised raised and donations made are going straight to those doing it extra tough.”
If you would like to help, you can donate at the group’s Go Fund Me! page here.
The group is also looking for local businesses to come forward with their services. They are looking for trucks, trailers or work utes, plus drivers, to cart supplies on a Saturday from Brisbane to Stanthorpe. They also need donations of water and animal fodder, as well as gift cards which can be distributed to needy families.
For more information, go to the group’s Facebook page here.
The heaviest intact prehistoric gold hoard ever found in Ireland has gone on public display at the Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny.
The four large gold rings were found last year by farmers in Tullydonnell lower in east Donegal.
One of the farmers, Norman Witherow, said they were just finishing up working on drainage in a field when they discovered the rings beneath a stone.
He said he did not think much of them at first and put them aside, but showed them to a goldsmith friend some days later. He was advised to contact the National Museum in Dublin and the rings were brought to the capital that night.
Now, Donegal County Museum has brought the Tullydonnell Lower Gold Hoard back home to Donegal, where it will be on display until Saturday, 30 November.
A spokesperson for Donegal County Museum said: “This exceptional gold hoard, dating from the Late Bronze Age (1200 to 800BC), was discovered by chance in June 2018, when farmers took the opportunity of a dry summer to improve drainage at the base of a field at Tullydonnell Lower in East Donegal. They uncovered a small pit covered by a boulder which contained four solid gold overlapping rings. Together these objects weigh over 4kg (8.8lbs). They are the heaviest intact prehistoric gold hoard ever found in Ireland.”
The museum is encouraging people to take the opportunity to view these national treasures. Admission is free and all are welcome.
The International Rules series, between the AFL and GAA, is set to return in 2020, the first time since 2017.
The two sides agreed to the next series of hybrid games between Australia and Ireland, with provisional dates being Sunday, November 15 and Saturday, November 21, with the games being played in Ireland, according to afl.com.au
The November 21 game coincides with the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when 32 people were killed or fatally wounded and hundreds more injured at Croke Park stadium in Dublin, when British soldiers opened fire on the crowd attending a football match.
The location of the 2020 games has yet to be confirmed. The series will then be held in Australia after the 2022 AFL season finishes.
GAA Director General Tom Ryan said: “We are pleased to announce the return of the International Rules Series in 2020 and look forward to re-connecting with our friends and colleagues in the AFL, both on and off the field.
“The series offers our players the chance to wear the green jersey and represent Ireland and it also provides them with an opportunity to pit themselves against the best from another code while showcasing the best skills of Gaelic football,” he added.
Australia reclaimed the Cormac McAnallen Cup in 2017, winning both games, held in Perth and Adelaide.
Queensland Irish Association, established in 1898, is a club that supports those with Irish heritage or aspirations. The QIA’s activities for members include bowls, golf, bridge and The Rose of Tralee quest. It hosts popular annual dinners on St Patrick’s Day and St Brigid’s Day. Queensland Irish Association website
The Darling Downs Irish Club is a social club for people of Irish descent living in the Darling Downs area of Queensland. It is based in the Irish Club Hotel in Toowoomba City. Darling Downs Irish Club website
The Mount Isa Irish Association formed the club in 1955. It is a club not meant just for the Irish themselves, but for the Irish and their friends. Mount Isa Irish Club website