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Promoting

Ireland mutual
understanding
between the
in peoples of
Britain and
Ireland through
Schools young people

Liverpool Pilot Scheme

The external links – to pdf files and other


PowerPoint presentations – will work only with CD-
ROM versions. They have been retained in this
internet version to show what is possible.
Irish Poetry for Year
4 Phil Doyle
Holy Name Catholic Primary School, Liverpool
‘Ireland in Schools’ Liverpool Pilot Scheme Liverpool City
Council
Menu
Note for teachers
Poems
3. The Hidden Art by Gabriel Fitzmaurice
4. Forty Shades of Green by Gabriel Fitzmaurice
Tasks for Poems 1 & 2
3. A Giant Never Dies by Gabriel Fitzmaurice
4. Handwriting by Gabriel Fitzmaurice
Tasks for Poems 3 & 4
9. The Smugglers of Mourne by Martin Waddell
Tasks for Poem 5
6. Tortoise by Basil Payne
7. Winter in Dublin by D. J. O’Sullivan
Tasks for Poems 6 & 7
14. Train Journey by R. Baker
Tasks for Poem 8
Gaelic Games
Ballaghbeg
Mountains of Mourne
Mountains of Mourne – ballad
Map of Ireland – counties & towns
NLS Planning Sheet – pdf format
Note for teachers
This selection of seven poems was the focus of the Literacy Hour in Year 4 during Irish
Week at Holy Name Catholic Primary School, 30 June – 4 July 2003.

They were chosen for their range and for their potential for giving children a better
understanding of Ireland and relations between people in Ireland and people in Britain.

The poems – and the whole week throughout the school – were a great success, enlivening
teaching and learning and breathing life into the last weeks of term.

One of the poems, ‘A Giant Never Dies’, is about a hero who played both Gaelic football
and hurling. The children, knowing much about the Irish soccer team, found it hard to
believe that people in Ireland played such different and distinctive sports. The poem
was, perhaps, the best introduction we could have had to exploring the similarities and
differences between ‘the peoples of these islands’.

Using the English poem, ‘Train Journey’, on the last day of the week encouraged the
children to reflect further on similarities and differences.

The NLS Planning Sheet for this selection is available in pdf format.

However, tasks on individual poems or pairs of poems are reproduced after each poem or
pair of poems.
1. The Hidden Art
By
Gabriel Fitzmaurice
A Giant Never Dies, Poolbeg, 1-84223-009-3, p. 35
Making a fart So
Is an art. to make for quiet release
You hold it softly,
The wind that comes Then you ease
To your behind It slowly out between your
Has a mind of its own cheeks -
And its mind If you’re lucky it won't leak,
Is set on blowing and no one knows
And the pressure You’ve made a fart.
Keeps on growing.
That’s why farting
Is an art.

Fitzmaurice, The Hidden Art


2. Forty Shades of Green
By
Gabriel Fitzmaurice
A Giant Never Dies, Poolbeg, 1-84223-009-3, p. 36
In Granda’s time, he told me,
They’d no toilets anywhere –
They had to do their business
In the open-air
In orchards, fields and gardens
Where they would not be seen
And that’s the reason, and Granda
says,
Why Ireland is so green.

Fitzmaurice, Forty Shades of


Green
Tasks for 1. The Hidden Art & 2. Forty Shades of Green

Whole class Whole class Independent group tasks Plenar


phonics, spelling,
shared reading/writing
vocabulary &
y
grammar

Mon What type of Change tense Chn to change words to identify Read
poems are – ‘making’, class of words. Poems
these? ‘comes’, Braun: Dahl: KS/F: again &
(Humorous) ‘growing’, Change Change Change identify
Do they ‘knows’. verb verb verb verbs
rhyme? Is the Make endings, endings & endings and
rhyme singular/plura pluralisatio add to nouns.
structured? l - ‘toilets’, n, add comparati classify How
Discuss ‘orchards’, comparativ ve verbs. did
number & ‘fields’, e endings, endings, you
length of ‘gardens’. classify classify tell?
stanzas. What does words. words.
Do you like the this tell us
poems. about the
Why/not? words -
verbs/nouns?
3. A Giant Never Dies
i.m Michael Hennessy of Moyvane and Ballyduff
By
Gabriel Fitzmaurice
A Giant Never Dies, Poolbeg, 1-84223-009-3, pp 65-8

Hurling Gaelic football


‘I come from sweet Knockauling, When the football match was As thirty men in suits walk out,
John Bradley is my name over The hurlers of that day
And I’m the king of hurlers He played for Ballylee When Big Mick Hennessy showed
For hurling is my game.’ In the County Hurling Final to all
In the great Park of Tralee. How the great can play;
So sang young John Bradley
As he dashed from the TV In the centre for Knockauling, And as his name is called out
His head full of hurling, He scored five points that day Each man waves to the crowd
Great deeds and bravery And when the match was over And at the name ‘Mick Hennessy’
He left the field of play, The cheers are long and loud.
On that Sunday in September,
All Ireland Hurling Day, No time to celebrate and lift But young John Bradley’s puzzled
The All Ireland Final over; The cup of victory - -
He dashed outside to play He dashed out to the hackney car The man he sees out there
That would take him to Tralee Is not as he imagined:
With a hurling stick and rubber And changed Knockauling’s With glasses, thinning hair,
ball, colours
He hurled on his own - For the green of Ballylee. To young John he looks no
He’d no brothers or no sisters different
And so he played alone Just in time for the second half, To the other men
His team a goal behind, Standing out there on the field.
Whack! against the gable Big Mick Hennessy took the field He realises then
Then run and leap and catch And hurled into the wind;
Re-playing the All Ireland, That Mick Hennessy’s a story
Making it his match. And when the game was over Of a giant with a ball
He’d scored three goals to win And what he sees there on the
And then, his mind-game over, And thousands knew they’d field
He ran in home to Dad never see Is not a giant at all.
And they talked of hurling heroes The likes of him again.
And the mighty games they Yes, Mick Hennessy’s a story -
played. The time is some weeks later, One that will be told
The place - the Park, Tralee, When Big Mick is dead and gone
Dad told him of the exploits The County Hurling Final, And young John Bradley’s old.
Of Big Mick Hennessy Tullybeg and Ballylee.
Who played football for For a giant lives in story
Knockauling
John Bradley and his Daddy Among his people who
And hurling for Ballylee;
Have travelled here this day, Believe in deeds of greatness
A treat for young John’s birthday - And honour all that’s true.
And how once upon a Fitzmaurice,
Championship Eleven years today.
A Giant Never Dies
He was called to play Yes, Mick Hennessy’s our story,
In the local Football Final The game is fast and factious, A giant with a ball
And on that selfsame day And at half time they see Who once upon a Championship
The men of forty years ago, Won glory for us all.
‘I come from sweet Knockauling, Whack! against the gable
John Bradley is my name Then run and leap and catch
And I’m the king of hurlers Re-playing the All Ireland,
For hurling is my game.’ Making it his match.

So sang young John Bradley And then, his mind-game over,


As he dashed from the TV He ran in home to Dad
His head full of hurling, And they talked of hurling heroes
Great deeds and bravery And the mighty games they played.
On that Sunday in September,
Dad told him of the exploits
All Ireland Hurling Day,
Of Big Mick Hennessy
The All Ireland Final over;
Who played football for Knockauling
He dashed outside to play
And hurling for Ballylee;
With a hurling stick and rubber ball,
He hurled on his own -
And how once upon a Championship
He’d no brothers or no sisters He was called to play
And so he played alone In the local Football Final
And on that selfsame day

Fitzmaurice, A Giant Never Dies,


1-8
When the football match was And when the game was over
over He’d scored three goals to win
He played for Ballylee And thousands knew they’d never
In the County Hurling Final see
In the great Park of Tralee. The likes of him again.

In the centre for Knockauling, The time is some weeks later,


He scored five points that day The place - the Park, Tralee,
And when the match was over The County Hurling Final,
He left the field of play, Tullybeg and Ballylee.

No time to celebrate and lift John Bradley and his Daddy


The cup of victory - Have travelled here this day,
He dashed out to the hackney A treat for young John’s birthday -
car Eleven years today.
That would take him to Tralee
And changed Knockauling’s The game is fast and factious,
colours And at half time they see
For the green of Ballylee. The men of forty years ago,
Knockane and Ballylee,
Just in time for the second half,
His team a goal behind,
Big Mick Hennessy took the field
And hurled into the wind; Fitzmaurice, A Giant Never Dies, 9-
16
As thirty men in suits walk out, That Mick Hennessy’s a story
The hurlers of that day Of a giant with a ball
When Big Mick Hennessy showed to And what he sees there on the
all field
How the great can play; Is not a giant at all.

And as his name is called out Yes, Mick Hennessy’s a story -


Each man waves to the crowd One that will be told
And at the name ‘Mick Hennessy’ When Big Mick is dead and gone
The cheers are long and loud. And young John Bradley’s old.

But young John Bradley’s puzzled - For a giant lives in story


The man he sees out there Among his people who
Is not as he imagined: Believe in deeds of greatness
With glasses, thinning hair, And honour all that’s true.

To young John he looks no different Yes, Mick Hennessy’s our story,


To the other men A giant with a ball
Standing out there on the field. Who once upon a Championship
He realises then Won glory for us all.
The watermark is a photograph of a tense All-
Ireland hurley final being played in Croke Park,
Dublin, in 1922 The players are waiting for the
ball to be thrown in by a visiting celebrity,
Michael Collins. He died shortly afterwards in
an ambush by fellow Irish Republican.
Fitzmaurice, A Giant Never Dies,
17-24
4. Handwriting
By
Gabriel Fitzmaurice
A Giant Never Dies, Poolbeg, 1-84223-009-3, p. 20
When I was young, my writing
Was big and fat and tall
But now I’m ten, my writing
Is getting very small.

It’s fine to have big writing


When you’re learning to write,
But writing like an Infant
When you’re ten just isn’t
right.

So I hold my pencil tightly


And make my letters small;
Big and fat and tall... I think teeny writing
Is the coolest kind of all
It won’t be seen at all.
Though if it gets much
smaller
It won’t be seen at all!
Fitzmaurice, Handwriting
Tasks for 3. A Giant Never Dies & 4. Handwriting

Whole class Whole class Independent group tasks Plenar


phonics, spelling,
shared reading/writing
vocabulary & grammar
y

T ‘A Giant Never Dies’ ‘Handwriting’ Chn to find diminutives Discus


ues What is Discuss s
hurling? meaning Ahlberg: Dahl: KS/F: Finding
What type of of ‘teeny’. Find Find Add s
football is the diminutive diminutive suffixes of chn.
Discuss
s for s for to find
poet referring different Discus
animals & animals & diminutiv
to? ways of by adding by adding e. s
What could we forming suffixes. suffixes. mean-
compare to All diminutives: ings.
Ireland Day? ette, Discus
How does the mini-, s
poem make adjectives, Nick-
you nouns & names.
feel? nicknames.
Discuss
structure?
5. The Smugglers of
Mourne By
Martin Waddell
Longman, 0-58212-195-7
Tom Murphy was young p. 3 The moon on the Mournes p. 8 Alone on Mourne shore p. 13 Tom clung to poor Nancy p.
when his father was hung. was hiding away were Tom and his Nancy, 20
Poor Tom! Poor Tom! when the dark ship Tom and his dear one, and he swam
They took Tom and tied him sailed into the bay. his brave Nancy Bell, and he swam
and hid him away It showed no light and, from the ship, to the dark ship that was waiting
in a stone cell and it came in the night a boat pulled for the shore. to take them on board,
at Ballaghbeg Quay, to rescue Tom, Tom and his brave Nancy Bell.
for he was the son of the smuggler. and his brave Nancy Bell. Muffled oars, p. 14
and muffled voices. Ranaghan swore on the shore
Nancy Bell, The dark ship came p. 9 Tom and his friends on the shore, p. 21
she loved Tom well into the cove Tom and his brave Nancy Bell and dashed down his glove
and she came by the rocks by Green Harbour, and then ... He was beaten!
with a key for all locks silently, silently,
and she opened the door in from the sea. Dark shapes in the night. p. 15
and Tom got away. The Excise Men! The ship sailed away p.
A light! A light! p. 10 The Excise Men 23
Tom and brave Nancy p. 4 One light shining bright! with their swords and their sticks from the Mountains of Mourne.
crept away from the town Just one flash of light, ran over the shore. Tom stood on the deck,
to the mountains of Mourne, flashing again, bathed in the blood
above the Mourne shore and again Such a fight p. 16 of his brave Nancy Bell.
and they hid and then ... in the night!
and they waited
darkness, It clattered and roared, Then she stirred,
for the dark ship to come.
so no-one would see, red blood in the water, and she sighed,
but Tom and his brave Nancy Bell. the smugglers at bay ... as she lay in his arms ...
They ate berries and roots p. 5
And Tom knew
and drank milk from the goats
Ranaghan waited, ... Tom and his brave Nancy, p. 17 that he’d saved Nancy Bell!
in their small cave.
p. 11 they got away!
Ranaghan watched. They dived in the water They sailed far away p.
But then Ranaghan found them.
p. 6 He saw Nancy Bell off Donnegan’s rock 24
He saw Nancy Bell as she bathed and Poor Tom and they swam out to sea. and they never came back
in the stream slip out of their cave But ... to the Mountains of Mourne
and he followed her back to the and follow the stream where they’d hidden alone,
cave. down through the rocks Ranaghan saw them! p. 19 Tom and his love,
He knew he had found to Green Harbour. And Ranaghan peeled off his glove. his brave Nancy Bell.
where Tom Murphy was hidden. He loaded his pistol
Ranaghan climbed on his horse p. 12 and fired!
Ranaghan ran p. 7 and he rode,
to the Excise Man and he rode, Nancy Bell cried,
and they made a plan to the Excise Man she was hit!
to capture poor Tom, at Ballaghbeg Quay.
and Nancy as well,
Tom’s brave Nancy Bell.
Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne
Tom Murphy was young p. 3 They ate berries and roots p. 5
when his father was hung. and drank milk from the goats
Poor Tom! Poor Tom! in their small cave.
They took Tom and tied him
and hid him away But then Ranaghan found them. p. 6
in a stone cell He saw Nancy Bell as she bathed
at Ballaghbeg Quay, in the stream
for he was the son of the and he followed her back to the cave.
smuggler. He knew he had found
where Tom Murphy was hidden.
Nancy Bell,
she loved Tom well Ranaghan ran p. 7
and she came by the rocks to the Excise Man
with a key for all locks and they made a plan
and she opened the door to capture poor Tom,
and Tom got away. and Nancy as well,
Tom’s brave Nancy Bell.
Tom and brave Nancy p. 4
crept away from the town
to the mountains of Mourne,
above the Mourne shore
and they hid
and they waited
for the dark ship to come.

Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne, pp


3-7
The moon on the Mournes p. 8
was hiding away Ranaghan waited,
when the dark ship p. 11
sailed into the bay. Ranaghan watched.
It showed no light He saw Nancy Bell
and it came in the night and Poor Tom
to rescue Tom, slip out of their cave
and his brave Nancy Bell. and follow the stream
down through the rocks
The dark ship came to Green Harbour.
p. 9
into the cove Ranaghan climbed on his horse p.
by Green Harbour, 12
silently, silently, and he rode,
in from the sea. and he rode,
to the Excise Man
A light! A light! p. 10 at Ballaghbeg Quay.
One light shining bright!
Just one flash of light,
flashing again,
and again
and then ...
darkness,
so no-one would see,
but Tom and his brave Nancy
Bell.
Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne, pp
8-11
Alone on Mourne shore p. 13 ... Tom and his brave Nancy, p.
were Tom and his Nancy, 17
Tom and his dear one, they got away!
his brave Nancy Bell, They dived in the water
and, from the ship, off Donnegan’s rock
a boat pulled for the shore. and they swam out to sea.
But ...
Muffled oars, p. 14
and muffled voices. Ranaghan saw them! p. 19
Tom and his friends on the shore,
And Ranaghan peeled off his glove.
Tom and his brave Nancy Bell
He loaded his pistol
and then ...
and fired!
Dark shapes in the night. p. 15
The Excise Men! Nancy Bell cried,
The Excise Men she was hit!
with their swords and their sticks
ran over the shore.

Such a fight p. 16
in the night!
It clattered and roared,
red blood in the water,
the smugglers at bay ...

Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne, pp


13-19
Tom clung to poor Nancy p. Then she stirred,
20 and she sighed,
and he swam as she lay in his arms ...
and he swam And Tom knew
to the dark ship that was waiting that he’d saved Nancy Bell!
to take them on board,
Tom and his brave Nancy Bell. They sailed far away p. 24
and they never came back
Ranaghan swore on the shore to the Mountains of Mourne
p. 21 where they’d hidden alone,
and dashed down his glove Tom and his love,
He was beaten!
his brave Nancy Bell.
The ship sailed away p.
23
from the Mountains of Mourne.
Tom stood on the deck,
bathed in the blood
of his brave Nancy Bell.

Waddell, The Smugglers of Mourne, pp


20-24
Tasks for 5. The Smugglers of Mourne – Guided group task (writing/reading)
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Ahlberg: Browne: Dahl: Fine: King-Smith:
How does the How would How do you How does the How does the
author create you think story make story make
an describe the Tom/Nancy you feel? you feel?
eerie feel at Re-tell the Look at the
atmosphere of
different story from picture of
atmosphere? the story? stages of the Ranaghan’s Ranaghan on
How is the How does the story?
effect point of view. p. 21.
author create Can you find Why might he
created on What
this? examples of be after Tom?
p.16? adjectives
What is an rhyme in the Think of would describe
How does the story?
excise adjectives to him?
author use How can we
man/smuggler describe Look at word
punctuation on tell Tom & Tom/Nancy.
? ‘light’ on p. 10.
pp 14-16 to Nancy love
What What other
create an each other?
strategies words could
effect? you use in its
Can you think could be used
place?
of to
A newspaper find out
headline to meaning? Click here to see how other schools have used this text – pdf
format

describe the
6. Tortoise
By
Basil Payne
The Poolbeg Book of Irish Poetry for Children, coll. S. Traynor, Poolbeg, 1-85371-726-6, pp 92-
5
I had bird-bright. (I picked quite Pets
a pet I lacquered them out dead (any more
tortoise his shell with a under than people)
oh to keep match- two chunks are not
a pet it fresh. stick). of it. for keeps.
tortoise He liked In winter A pre-fab
like fresh lettuce he hiber- tortoise- Beekeepers
nobody ate it nated backed yes
else’s voraciously in a tortoise-slack gamekeepers
(nobody gallivanting box tomb. park-keepers
else round in I buried him even
I the garden our cried
are aptly
knew more like Coal-shed lied
named
had a hare than beside a to myself
bird-fanciers
a pet a tortoise. black heap No more pets.
tortoise). By night of top Next year greyhound-
His head I kept him quality I bought breeders
was hard in English a goldfish horse-owners
as bark a shed. coal. the next cat-lovers
his neck If I That a budgie falconers eve
(underneath forgot was his the next - but who
) maggots undoing. a hamster ever heard
soft as crawled One - all three of a
a trick next morning morning are since tortoise
fountain- inside in February dead. keeper?
pen his shell I found Payne,
snake’s him Tortoise
his eyes
7. Winter in Dublin
By
D. J. O’Sullivan
The Wolfhound Book of Irish Poems for Young People, ed. B. Quinn et al., Poolbeg, 1-85371-
726-6, p. 127
‘Dublin has a very brisky and cold average temperature.
Travelling to Dublin in the summer, temperatures will be around 17oC
(63oF).
If you spend the winter in Dublin, you will feel colder temperatures at
5oC (41oF).’
American travel guide

Wild winter-rain comes plashing


down
Turning the grey street jetty-brown;
Two cyclists skid, pedestrians rush,
Traffic policemen curse the slush.

On lamp-posts now few sparrows


talk,
On roof-tops now less pigeons walk;
Only the Liffey sings a song
And gelid hail that hops along.

No shadow neath the Pillar lies,


Wind-drownéd are the newsboys’
cries,
Gaunt and bare all the kerb trees
stand,
Each tramway pole’s a Winter
O’Sullivan, glinting
in wand.
Dublin
Tasks for 6. Tortoise & 7. Winter in Dublin *=
Shared write
Whole class Whole class Independent group tasks Plenary
shared reading/writing phonics, spelling,
vocabulary &
grammar
Wed ‘Tortoise’ Add -ing, -es, ‘Winter in Dublin’ Read ‘Winter
What type of poem is -ed to words. Give chn copy of poem without in Dublin’
it? (Thin) Do they title. together.
Are ‘voracious’ &
make sense? Chn work in mixed ability pairs How does the
‘gallivanting’ to
What does river sing?
words associated this answer questions:
with What type of
tell us about What type of poem is it?
tortoises? place do you
this class of In what season is the poem set?
Why does he use think Dublin
words? Where is it set - reference to is?
them?
Liffey
Why does he split
Thur Chn to suggest Identify givestoa work
Chn clue (use atlas)?
in mixed ability Ask groups to
‘hibernated’?
* ideas - teacher to adjectives, groups
Can you think of a title? read poems.
scribe. Write a verbs and to write a thin poem based on a Show poems
pet. to
thin poem in the nouns as we
Leave notes & poem from ascertain if
style of Basil write poem by
shared they
Payne. changing
write on board as a guide to chn. are thin.
Choose a pet to endings of
Chn to type poems & print.
write about. words.
8. Train Journey
In
Developing Literacy Skills. Year 4 Poetry, by R. Barker, A & C Black, 0-71365-872-X, p. 34
This is the
Nine-fifteen
Northern Spirit train standing at York
Station Northern Spirit
train:
Newcastle,
Sunderland,
? Darlington and
English trains York,
cannot run in
Ireland.
Durham and
Can you see why Huddersfield,
by comparing the Manchester and
photographs? Leeds,
Click here to find out more.
Warrington
And Runcorn 08.35 Sligo to Dublin Connolly
Liverpool at last. Station arriving at Edgeworthstown

Barker, Train Journey


Tasks for 8. Train Journey * = Shared write

Whole class Whole class Independent group tasks Plenary


shared reading/writing phonics, spelling,
vocabulary &
grammar

Fri* Read list Discuss Chn copy poem but replace names Ask chn
poem of train spelling rule of English towns & cities with Irish to read
journey. in English, places with the same number of poems.
Discuss what each syllabuses.
A & B: Dahl: Five:
poem is syllable Does
Use Provide Give swappin
about. must have a
atlas/map list of names of g
Identify vowel.
to find Irish Irish places with
syllable Irish
place names approxima
pattern.
names with to te number place
Why does it approximat choose of names
have this e number of from. syllables. add
pattern. syllabuses. anything
Clap out
syllables to to the
replicate poem?
sound of train
moving.
Gaelic games 1 - hurling
• Hurling is Ireland’s national game and the fastest field sport in the world.

• It is played by teams of 15 men a side with a ball and sticks.

• It can be dated back over 2,000 years in the annals of the Celts.

• Irish folklore is rich with references to the game, with the Irish superhero Cúchulainn
being its most famous competitor.

• By the sixteenth century a law was passed that forbade the tumultuous ‘hurling of
the little ball with hooked sticks or staves’. This, however, did not banish, the game in
Ireland and since the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884 the sport has
continued to gain in popularity, both nationally and internationally.

• A very physical game, hurling has been called ‘the blood-and-bandages game’.

• Hurling is played on a pitch usually 137m/150yd long and 82m/90yd wide. The object
is to drive the sliotar (ball), 25cm/10in in circumference, through erect posts at
opposite ends of the pitch. Each player uses a wooden hurley or caman, usually 1.07
m/3.5ft long, to propel the sliotar around the playing area.

• The erect goalposts stand 6.4m/21ft apart and are usually about 6.4 m/21 ft high.
There is a crossbar 2.4m/8ft from the ground. Hitting the ball over the crossbar
scores a point and a shot under scores a goal.

• The All-Ireland Hurling Championships are played annually between teams


representing the Irish counties; the final is played at Croke Park, Dublin, in front of
crowds of over 60,000.
Gaelic games 2 – Gaelic football
• Gaelic football is a kicking and catching game played mainly in Ireland. Its rules are
a mixture of soccer and rugby. Despite sporadic attempts to take the game to Irish
communities in other parts of the world, Gaelic football is rarely played outside
Ireland.

• The two teams have 15 players each. The game is played on field with an inflated
spherical ball. The goalposts have a cross bar and a net across the lower half. Goals
are scored by kicking the ball into the net (three points) or over the crossbar (one
point).

• First played in 1712, it is one of the sports under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic
Association. The leading tournament is the All-Ireland Championship (first held in
1887). Its final is played in Croke Park, Dublin, on the third Sunday in September
each year. The winner receives the Sam Maguire Trophy.

• Although seen as the poor relation to hurling, Gaelic football has nonetheless
produced many memorable contests and teams.

• One team that dominated almost from the start of organised competitions in 1884
was the Kerry side. Until the mid-1980s, this side proved almost invincible. They
managed to win All-Ireland titles in each decade, starting with their first in 1903.

• There was great rivalry between Kerry and Dublin from the 1970s. Their All-Ireland
semi-final clash in 1977 is generally regarded as among the greatest games ever
seen at Croke Park.
How Cúchulainn got his
Two wicked eyes glittered in the shadows - it
name
Irish Fairy Tales & Legends by Una was Culann’s dog, half hound, half wolf!
Leavy, O’Brien Press, 0-86278-482- Setanta gripped his hurley. Wild thoughts
4, pp 14-15 tumbled through his head. He knew that the
dog would eat him alive. There was only one
chance ...
As the dog hurled towards him, eyes raging,
mouth snarling, Setanta took careful aim -
and rammed the ball down the hound's
gaping throat. With a fearful screech, the
dog crashed to the ground. Choking and
gasping he tried to cough up the ball, but it
was firmly stuck. With one last mighty
shudder, he tossed his head and died.
The door crashed open. Culann and King Conor
had heard the dog's wild cries....
‘I am sorry I had to kill your dog,’ he said. ‘But if
you will let me, I will be your hound. I will
guard your home with my life.’
King Conor and Culann agreed. Soon Setanta
had another name. He was called Cúchulainn,
which means Culann's hound. This was his
name, ever after, when he became the best
and most famous warrior of the Red Branch
Knights.
Ballaghbeg
• The counties of
Ireland, north and
south, are divided
into parishes. The
parishes are, in turn,
divided into
townlands.
• Ballaghbeg is one of
the seventeen
townlands which
make up the
parish of Kilcoo in
County Down.
• The townland of
Ballaghbeg is near
Newcastle and
borders Dundrum
Bay in the Irish Sea.
• On the right is a view
of the Mourne
IRISH SEA
Mountains from
Dundrum Bay, much
like that Tom and
Nancy would have
Parish of Kilcoo in County Down
The Mountains of Mourne

• The Mountains of Mourne are a


mountain range in County Down
in Northern Ireland.
• They extend from Newcastle to
Carlingford Lough.
• The highest summit is Slieve
Donard – height 852m/2,795ft.
• The mountains are made of
granite, a speckled rock – black,
white and grey - with different
minerals in it.
• It is used in buildings, kerbstones
and gravestones.
• There is a famous ballad about these mountains
The Mountains of Mourne – a ballad by Percy French (1854-
1920)
Oh, Mary, this London's a wonderful sight
With people here working by day and by night
They don't sow potatoes, nor barley nor wheat
But there' gangs of them digging for gold in the
streets
At least when I asked them that's what I was told
So I just took a hand at this diggin' for gold
But for all that I found there I might as well be
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to
the sea.
You remember young Peter O’Loughlin, of course
I believe that when writin' a wish you expressed Well, now he is here at the head of the force
As to how the fine ladies in London were dressed I met him today, I was crossing the Strand
Well, if you believe me, when asked to a ball And he stopped the whole street with a wave of his
Faith, they don't wear no top to their dresses at hand
all. And there we stood talkin' of days that are gone
Oh, I've seen them myself and you could not in While the whole population of London looked on
trath But for all these great powers he's wishful like me
Say if they were bound for a ball or a bath To be back where the dark Mourne sweeps down to
Don't be startin' them fashions now, Mary Macree, the sea.
Where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to
the sea. There's beautiful girls here, oh, never you mind
With beautiful shapes nature never designed
I've seen England's king from the top of a bus And lovely complexions all roses and cream
And I've never known him, but he means to know But O'Loughlin remarked with regard to the same
us. That if at those roses you venture to sip
And tho' by the Saxon we once were oppressed, The colours might all come away on your lip
Still I cheered, God forgive me, I cheered with the So I'll wait for the wild rose that's waitin' for me
rest.
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the
And now that he's visited Erin's green shore
We'll be much better friends than we've been sea.
heretofore Click here for musical score
When we've got all we want, we're as quiet as can
be
The Songs of Percy French ed. James
Healey Ossian, 1-90042-825-3. p. 31
Did you know?
English trains cannot run on Irish tracks.
Irish trains cannot run on English tracks.
They would not fit.
Irish tracks are 5ft 3ins wide.
English tracks are 4ft 81/2in wide.
The wider Irish gauge was the result of a compromise.
Some early railway pioneers in the north of Ireland chose a 6ft gauge
instead of 4ft 81/2in, which was the law.
There was a row and the government intervened and set up a
committee to examine the situation.
The committee decided that the standard gauge in Ireland should be a
comprise between the two gauges, that is 5ft 3in.
Nobody seems to know why the committee did not insist on 4ft 81/2in,
which was, after all, the law.

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