With the passage of time Irish Catholics eventually did become part of the fabric of Australian society. With the coming of each generation, they moved along and some of them, up the social scale. But their ascent was neither rapid nor easy.
Crainn Jacaranda,/buamaí gorma áille…
Jacaranda trees,lovely explosions of blue.
Early one morning on my way to Rabaul with my family we did not see even one woman. However, we overtook many men on foot and on bicycles, all moving in the same direction with their bodies naked from the waist up. Each wore a bright red lap-lap or long piece of cloth knotted at the hip to form a skirt.
Cloisim gach coisméig is scuabadh ár gcosa le gach méanfach sa dorchadas..lI hear every squeak and sweep of our feet with every yawn in the dark.
Each visit to Ireland runs deeper than the last. Back in the 1980s, I met distant relatives before hitching around The Republic. When I felt the Atlantic’s chill, I retreated south towards the equator and finally home to The Great South Land. From August to early October 2022, I crisscrossed Ireland, listening to RTÉ and …
Susan has had international recognition with her interview on The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio1…The Irish National Foresters were a Friendly Society that commenced in Ireland and then started in Melbourne in 1886 …
. To this day, we have a saying in Irish ‘Bhí togha gacha bí agus rogha gacha dí le fail ann’, The finest of every food and the choice(st) of every drink was to be had there. This is believed to originally date from bards of one to two thousand years ago. As a chieftain or king, one’s reputation had to be maintained, or enhanced and these ‘songs of praise’, so to speak, were pivotal in this regard.
they were usually ‘a reused glass spirit, wine or mineral bottle often containing a carved wooden cross, with a ladder leaning against it inside, sometimes (but not always) filled with water’. The water was usually holy water, or at least marketed as such.
The other songs cut straight to the chase of the reality of war. Mrs McGrath and Johnny, I hardly knew you. They give a heartbreaking perspective on the horror and futility of war and although tinged with humour they give a firsthand account of the injuries and lifelong disabilities inflicted.
They came and survived and their descendants are all over Australia.