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Miles of Irish Smiles by Tatum Snyder

July 18, 2014Eimear Clowry

Last summer I journeyed to Dublin to study for six weeks with the Dublin Summer Program. Before crossing the sea, I had little to no knowledge of Ireland’s impressive history and culture aside from leprechauns, St. Patrick, and clovers. Thanks to Professors Kevin Whelan and PJ Matthews, I did not remain naïve for long. My fellow Domers and I absorbed lectures in O’Connell House, on the hexagonal columns of Giants Causeway, and during lengthy “walks” up mountains, through fields, and across rivers. These adventures lead to life-changing friendships and a new found appreciation for positive attitudes and determined minds. Read More

A Kilkenny Reflection by Marisa Rieber

July 18, 2014Eimear Clowry

This past weekend the interns went on our final program trip to Co. Kilkenny. Our first stop was at the Coolcullen Stud Farm, owned by Jim Bolger. Here we toured the stables and met Trading Leather, winner of the 2013 Irish Derby. The visit was extremely interesting and informative, especially since most interns knew very little about the horse racing industry in Ireland. In fact, the world of horse racing contributes 2 million euros to the Irish economy! Read More

Learning through the soles of our feet

July 11, 2014Eimear Clowry

Each new crop of Notre Dame students appear the same when they first arrive in Dublin airport. Beyond the consistently impressive variation of ND apparel and even more consistently impressive perfect smiles, there is always a tangible current of trepidation, excitement, and curiosity unique to the student abroad that marks them out from the hordes of tourists and travellers milling around the airport. Despite having travelled thousands of miles, for many the first time overseas, Notre Dame students are keen to take in all they can about Dublin and Ireland from the outset. Dubious jokes from certain staff members about being ‘born and bred and buttered’ in Dublin, or even more dubious claims from others that they have never missed a penalty in their lives, are not met with the (usual, correct) response of derision and mocking, but rather with the earnest, well-meaning stares most commonly seen in anthropologists observing the social rituals of undiscovered tribes in the Amazon Basin. Irish culture, so heavily synthesised and embraced in American culture, is made suddenly at once more real and more alien when it is experienced in Ireland. Our guiding principle here at O’Connell House is to expose and exhibit real Ireland, all of Ireland, to our students, and to make them feel that they have truly lived here, and not just spent a semester. The only way to do this is through what the official course description calls ‘cultural enrichment’, what O’Connell House calls ‘learning through the soles of your feet’, and what students call ‘trespassing’. Read More

Recipe of the Week: Colcannon

July 11, 2014Eimear Clowry

Recipe of the Week: Colcannon

Ingredients:
• 1kg potatoes, peeled
• 250g curly kale, well washed and finely sliced
• (Savoy cabbage if curly kale is unavailable)
• 100ml milk
• 100g butter
• salt & freshly ground black pepper
• Scallions, finely chopped (on top)

To Cook:
Cook potatoes in a covered pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes until tender.
Read More

Surf’s Up in Donegal By Maura Kelly

July 11, 2014Eimear Clowry

This past weekend, a rowdy group of ten Domers took to the North West county of Donegal to take in the sights and, unexpectedly, to…wait for it… surf in the Atlantic.

By some stroke of genius, we decided to take the midnight bus from Dublin to Donegal – a ride filled with the sweet scents of some poor lad’s twelve regurgitated pints, and the musical accompaniment of an unnecessary television monitor rattling like an aggravated grizzly in a cage for four hours straight. We arrived just past sunrise, walked through the middle of nowhere to our lovely hostel, and actually got some sleep (a true rarity!) On Saturday morning, we awoke refreshed yet smelly, and got on a tiny bus with an incomprehensible Donegal-accented tour guide named Fergus. Fergus took us to see the Slieve League cliffs, the sheer magnitude and undisturbed nature of which made the Cliffs of Moher look an anthill covered in fanny pack- and iPad-laden tourist ants. These cliffs (three times the height of Moher) were absolutely unreal. I’ve never been happier than I was at the top, hair snarling in the wind, eyes and nose running like a five year old with a sinus infection, selfie stick in hand to capture the magic. Read More

Irish Economy and its Agricultural Sector - Patrick DeJong

July 04, 2014Eimear Clowry

Initially, I was in awe of the amount of gorgeous farmland that has an immense potential to feed extensive farms of livestock, yet it was split into tiny squares with either trees or stonewalls surrounding them. In researching the reason why the fields remain divided, I was stunned to find that the Irish were not relatively interested in consolidating their pastures, as they do not want to industrialize the countryside or take land away from families who have farmed the hectares for years. While it would be difficult to persuade the proud Irish, the agricultural industry in Ireland seems to be overshadowed and almost forgotten in the wake of the new technologies arisen from the IT and pharmaceutical sectors. Without the acceptance of large-scale farming, agriculture in Ireland will remain a negligible fraction of the Irish economy and may never reach its maximum ability. Read More

Impressions of Western Ireland Compared to Dublin

June 27, 2014Eimear Clowry

Diego Valenzuela, Phoenix, Arizona ~ Dublin Summer Program 2014

Reflecting on my experiences in Dublin and in the West of Ireland, thus far, I cannot identify one, defining difference between the two regions. Rather, a plethora of aspects such as the verdant, rolling hills and immense valleys contrast with the asphalt and concreteness of Dublin. A stress-free place, County Kerry has given me the opportunity to meditate and admire the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean, an appealing sight for a man from Phoenix, Arizona. The refreshing Co. Kerry air has been a pleasant surprise, and it is akin to what one would find in a place like Colorado: pure, cool, and calming. Additionally, I was caught off guard by the friendliness of the Western Irish as I was welcomed to play basketball and was bestowed a trophy for simply participating, a kind and generous gesture. Thus, I believe that the entire culture and mindset of the Dubliners and of the Western Irish is what differentiates both societies. Overall, I have been truly fortunate to be welcomed to Ireland, and I have enjoyed experiencing both the modern and traditional lifestyles of Dublin and Co. Kerry, respectively. Read More

Recipe of week

June 20, 2014Eimear Clowry

TRADITIONAL IRISH SCONES

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups (about 8 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling over tops

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold butter cut into pieces

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup whole milk

1 large egg, plus additional beaten egg for brushing over tops Read More

Impressions of Ireland

June 20, 2014Eimear Clowry

Camile Muth ~ 1916 Documentary Intern

camile

Coco Television. The 1916 Documentary. Easter Rising. What can I say? That the people we’re working with are each a combination of Mother Teresa’s kindness, Stephen Hawking’s genius, and Beyonce’s personability? That we, the 1916 interns, are guaranteed instant fame and fortune in whatever we do after college because our names will have been listed in the same credits as Liam Neeson’s? That we get Kit Kats and extra travel opportunities and even have a magical silver cylinder that turns milk into foam so soft and fluffy the Charmin toilet paper bears are out to steal it for their coffee? Read More

Impressions of Ireland - Kristen Odland

June 13, 2014Eimear Clowry

When I pictured Ireland previous to actually viewing it, I envisaged rolling green hills winding through a countryside dotted with small farmhouses. Yet, in Dublin I pictured a fully modern city. When I imagined Dublin, I thought there would be rows of tall skyscrapers and mainly modern buildings. I was shocked to see the street names in the native language, as well as hear them announced in the Irish language on the bus every day. Read More

Impressions of Ireland - Chris Gutierrez

June 13, 2014Eimear Clowry

I find it difficult to locate the words to describe my experience of the city of Belfast. Unsettling, harrowing, unnerving, and depressing all come to mind as descriptors of my feelings during our trip to Belfast, but I don’t feel they do justice to the surreal experience of walking through the city. The stories of Peter Maguire were unbelievable. Hearing about the terrible acts of violence committed by both sides of the troubles made me feel very pessimistic about the human race. The idea of murder gangs patrolling the streets and the gates on certain streets being closed at night were shocking. Before we even began to hear the stories and see the gates, I felt a certain degree of discomfort; I got a very uneasy feeling about the area we were traveling in. The streets seemed unusually quiet and devoid of life, yet I certainly felt a vibe of danger and anger boiling beneath the surface. Belfast made me nervous because you could feel the tension in the city; more importantly, you could feel that the conflict was still alive. Peter talked about his experiences and he would belong to the same generation as my parents. It is frightening to think how little removed we are from the horrors of murder gangs, street burnings, and bombings in Belfast. The violence and the wounds of the troubles seem to still sting. Read More

Impressions of Ireland - Ian Dwyer

June 13, 2014Eimear Clowry

Coming to Ireland, I had no real conscious preconceptions of what the country and culture was like, or what to expect. I have travelled to different countries many times before, and have always found that it is best to travel without preconceptions. However, my first week in Ireland has already revealed subconscious preconceptions which I had of the country, its people, and its culture, many of which were incorrect. While I knew that many global corporations had their headquarters in Ireland, this knowledge was likely overpowered by the various romantic portrayals of Ireland I have seen in movies. These films paint the country as a place of endless beautiful green hills, and little else. They leave out the fact that Ireland is also a fully modern country.
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IRISH INTERNSHIPS

June 13, 2014Eimear Clowry

The ND/Navy game in Dublin in 2012 gave a massive adrenaline boost to ND’s profile in Ireland. It gave us unprecedented opportunities to place our students in prestigious internships. The time was ripe now to broaden the internship opportunities into the business/technology space, into research-intensive individual projects and issues concerning Catholicism, Education and Social Concerns – all pivotal areas of strength for ND. After the game, we made a concerted effort to boost the number of our Irish-based internships from six to fifty . With support from generous partners inside and outside the university, we reached 26 internships in Summer 2013 and in 2014 this has soared to 46 – by far our highest ever total. We are constantly reminded of the international power of the ND brand: no-one that we have approached in Ireland has said ‘No’ to us. We are proud that this year we have achieved what we set out to do- which is to create a full-spectrum engagement with Irish society, and to create opportunities for the most diverse possible range of ND students drawn from every major. Amazingly, we discovered that even though we created a great new slate of opportunities, we still turned away strong candidates – we had over two hundred applications to do internships in Ireland this summer. These internships are generating a whole new set of contacts and opportunities for ND, and we are delighted to be able to deepen the strong links between Ireland and the USA Read More