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Hello and here is my September letter from Ireland.
We have enjoyed a lovely dry spell for the second half of August and as the weather continues to hold the harvest is in full swing in the countryside.
The warmth has also helped bring the blackberries into full ripeness, a little earlier than usual and as I walk the lanes I’m constantly stopping to pluck a few and enjoy a real treat !
I simply love the month of September and now that the schools are re-opened its quieter out and about and the softer light and glow from the harvest brings a sense of calm and peace. Mind you, I have a pair of house martins nesting in the eaves of my house and the constant chatter and chirping runs from dawn to dusk !
In the town of Tralee in County Kerry, the Rose of Tralee celebration took place the other day. It was great to see the event back on stage after a two year Covid intermission. Rachael Duffy, the Westmeath Rose was crowned winner to the delight of all . This of course brings me to talking about the annual QVC Rose of Tralee celebration – make a note in your diary that the event will run on Thursday 15th of September – it’s about a week later than usual but I can promise that myself and all my Irish friends will be live on air and will bring you the best of Irish knitwear , jewellery and gifts . The show will air on both QVC and QVC2 all during the day and I promise more details closer to the day itself.
Now, here is some fun . For those of you looking for romance , during the month of September head to the town of Lisdoonvarna in County Clare to seek a new partner !!
The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is the world’s biggest offline dating festival located on the west coast of Ireland, close to the Cliffs of Moher. It’s on every September and attracts 80,000 people for the music, dancing and ‘craic’. Meet third generation Matchmaker Willie Daly and meet your match. If you love dancing, meeting new people this is the place to be … let me know if you are successful….
An important part of Irish folklore is Michaelmas, the feast-day of the Archangel Michael. It is traditionally observed throughout Ireland on the 29th September. A host of traditions and beliefs are associated with the day, for example, male children born on, or near, Michaelmas were often called Michael or Micheál in honour of the saint, while in Swinford, County Mayo, Michaelmas had a special significance and was a time of celebration and reunion as many locals returned to Swinford from working the harvest in England on, or before, the day of the feast. According to John Millington Synge the returned harvesters would be, ‘sitting around in each other’s houses playing cards through the night, and a barrel of ale set up among them.’
Finally, for those of you with roots in County Cork, September 25th marks the feat day of the patron Saint, Finbarr .
Saint Finbarr, Finnbar, or Finnbarr, in Irish Fionnbharra, very often abbreviated to Barra,was born on 25 September 550 AD , was Bishop of Cork and abbot of a monastery in what is now Cork city. He is patron saint of the city and of the Diocese of Cork. There is a lovely church and monastic settlement known as Gougane Barra near the town of Bantry in West Cork dedicated to the saint , and I promise to bring you on one of my walks to this most beautiful spot before too long.
In the meantime I hope that wherever you are that the golden sunshine of September will warm you and wish you all the best from Ireland,
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Please enter your contact details here and your question and I will answer it as soon as possible, many thanks. Stephen