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Archive for February, 2012

Leap Day Traditions

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

In some places, Leap Day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

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Countries of the World.

Abkhazia (Abkhaz: Аҧсны́ Apsny, IPA /apʰsˈnɨ/; Georgian: აფხაზეთი Apkhazeti; Russian: Абхазия Abkhaziya) is a disputed territory on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.

Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny. This status is recognised by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu and also by the partially recognised states of South Ossetia, Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Georgian government and the majority of the world’s governments consider Abkhazia a part of Georgia’s territory. Under Georgia’s official designation it is an autonomous republic, called the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, whose government sits in exile in Tbilisi. On 28 August 2008, the Parliament of Georgia passed a resolution declaring Abkhazia a “Russian-occupied territory”.

The status of Abkhazia is a central issue of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict. The wider region formed part of the Soviet Union until 1991. As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate towards the end of the 1980s, ethnic tensions grew between Abkhaz and Georgians over Georgia’s moves towards independence. This led to the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia that resulted in a Georgian military defeat, de facto independence of Abkhazia and the mass exodus and ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population from Abkhazia. In spite of the 1994 ceasefire agreement and years of negotiations, the status dispute has not been resolved, and despite the long-term presence of a United Nations monitoring force and a Russian-dominated CIS peacekeeping operation, the conflict has flared up on several occasions. In August 2008, the sides again fought during the South Ossetia War, which was followed by the formal recognition of Abkhazia by Russia, the annulment of the 1994 cease fire agreement and the termination of the UN and CIS missions.[

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Hurling legends 19

DJ Carey made his minor debut for Kilkenny in 1988, it was a successful start as he won Leinster and All Ireland titles that year. In 1990, he added U21 Leinster and All Ireland titles. Carey made his senior bow in 1988, success soon followed, Kilkenny won the National League title in 1989. However, in the championship Kilkenny were going through a lean period, this changed in 1991 when they reclaimed the leinster title. Carey broke his All Ireland duck in 1992, when they defeated Cork. Collectively, DJ won 10 Leinster titles, 4 national League titles and 5 All Ireland titles. Individually, Carey won 9 All Star awards, he was voted man of the match in the 2000 All Ireland Final, he was selected on the Kilkenny hurling team of the century in 2000, DJ was selected on the best Leinster team in the last 25 years in 2009, he was All Star hurler of the Year in 2000 and he also collected Texaco Hurler of the Year in 2000. DJ finally retired from inter county hurling in 2005.

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Education Cuts

Almost 3,000 people took to the streets in counties Mayo and Donegal today to protest against proposed cuts in education that would affect small rural schools.

More than 2,000 protested in Castlebar and more than 700 people marched in Gaoth Dobhair.

Organisers say that any changes to the pupil-teacher ratio would devastate local communities and lead to the closure of many small schools

Teachers, pupils and parents marched from the Gaoth Dobhair Industrial estate to the office of Dinny McGinley, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, at noon.

Teachers have invited Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn to visit the area to see how cuts in teacher numbers will impact on small Gaeltacht schools and Protestant schools in the region.

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation estimates that up to 250 schools in rural areas nationwide will lose at least one teacher over the next three years, starting in September.

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Sing For Ireland.

THE OFFICIAL song for Irish football supporters at this summer’s European Championships has travelled something of a rocky road, and there is still some distance to go.

Yesterday, an Irish supergroup comprising The Dubliners, The Coronas, Damien Dempsey and Bressie gathered for the first time to record The Rocky Road to Poland at Dublin’s famous Windmill Lane Studios.

The lyrics were compiled from thousands of submissions made by listeners to Ray D’Arcy’s Today FM programme.

And next week, the Irish team will come in – before their friendly with the Czech Republic – and add their voices to the tune, which is being backed by the Football Association of Ireland.

Shoehorning the lyrics into a song with a notoriously difficult 9/8 beat proved to be “nerve-racking” for singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey, who put the words together.

“It’s such an awkward song,” he said. “The public of Ireland have done themselves proud.”

Purists might baulk at the rhyming of Opel Corsa and Warsaw, but football songs have never been noted for their lyrical profundity and this one is no different.

Dempsey added a chorus of “You’ll Never Beat the Irish” to give the fans something to latch on to.

The Rocky Road to Poland features artists from The Dubliners, who are celebrating 50 years in the business, to The Coronas, who were barely out of nappies the last time Ireland appeared in a European Championships in 1988.

“Don’t ask me anything about football; I haven’t a clue,” said Dubliners fiddle player John Sheahan, “but I know what we are aiming for, which is a good song”.

The Coronas’ lead singer, Danny O’Reilly, was just three when Ray Houghton put the ball in the English net in Stuttgart in 1988 and five during the World Cup in Italy in 1990. “We jumped at the chance when we were asked,” he said.

As well as extra vocals from the team, the public will be able to contribute to the final version by singing along with the chorus and sending it to the recording studio for inclusion.

The single is due out in April and May and, by coincidence, will have to compete with another Euro-themed song by Shane MacGowan and Longford band The Aftermath which will also be based on The Rocky Road to Dublin.

All proceeds from The Rocky Road to Poland will go to the Today FM Shave or Dye campaign for the Irish Cancer Society and to the John Giles Foundation.

THE ROCKY ROAD TO POLAND THE LYRICS OF OFFICIAL EURO 2012 SONG

’Twas in the merry month of

June from our home we started

Left old Eireann’s Isle, to Poland we departed

Hope within our hearts.

We can win a trophy

We’re a part of Trapattoni’s army,

Get behind the team, hear the Irish scream,

C’mon you boys in green, Ireland’s bouncing back again,

We have got our Trap, the cat is in the sack,

We’ll not forget you Jack on the Rocky Road to Poland

One, two, three, four, five

Irish eyes are smiling

Let your voices ring,

Trapattoni’s army,

Everybody sing

You’ll never beat the Irish (x 4)

Make your mother proud, inflate your plastic hammer,

Bate your bodhrán loud and learn your Polish grammar

Credit union loan, sold the Opel Corsa,

Hired a camper van, picked it up in Warsaw,

Been so close before, hopes slammed in the door,

Now we’re back for more, we can win the battle,

C’mon you boys in green, never have we seen,

Such a fearless team on the Rocky Road to Poland.

One, two, three, four, five

Irish eyes are smiling

Let your voices ring,

Trapattoni’s army,

Everybody sing

You’ll never beat the Irish

You’ll never beat the Irish

You’ll never beat the Irish

You’ll never beat the Irish

Ireland abú. We love.

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Short Verse.

Lily

Little Lily is the apple of her Mother’s eye.
In life we feel blessed to catch her beautiful blue eyes.
Lily we love and this no one can deny
You have brightened our lives and made us appreciate your smile.

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Hurling Legends 18

Ken McGrath made his Waterford minor debut in 1995 and despite also lining out for the U21 team he had little underage success. Ken made his senior debut in 1996, but had to wait until 2002 to claim his first piece of silverware a Munster title. It was Waterford’s first provincial crown since 1963. McGrath captained the side to a second Munster title in 2004 and Waterford collected their first national title since 1963 when they won the league in 2007. Collectively, Ken has won 4 Munster hurling titles and 1 national league title. Individually he has collected 3 All Star awards.

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