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John Wayne and Puddleducks

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | July 20, 2017 | No Comment |

by Raegan Whiteside

Cong is a small town that is seen in the film The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952) that was assigned for the Irish Film Studies class and where we stopped to take a short break on afternoon.

When looking at the town, in relation to the film, you get the similar feeling as seen in the small village in the film. Obviously, this town is more modern, but it has the same small-town atmosphere as in The Quiet Man in the fact that it’s quaint and as you walk down the few streets that make up the modest town you can picture the citizens of the community knowing their neighbors closely and intimately.

While it was disappointing to see that Cong has been largely commercialized after the making of this film, it was interesting to walk down the forest lined street to St. Mary’s Church and be able to picture the scene of Sean Thornton (John Wayne) playing “patty-fingers” in the holy water clearly because of the seclusion and calmness of the location.

Similarly, it was refreshing to walk on the path by the river in which Father Lonergan (Ward Bond) attempted to fish multiple times in the film and to actually see fishermen in those locations. I only realized once visiting the sites how peaceful the aura is in these parts. Thus, looking back at the film, I find these scenes quite humorous because of how many times this serene setting was interrupted in the movie by Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara) and Father Paul (James O’Hara) and the annoyance that Father Lonergan probably had.

By one fishing location a group of tourists were gathered watching a man fish and you could hear/see their silent (sometimes not silent) cheers and I immediately remembered the scene of Marky Kate cheering on Father Lonergan when he almost caught the fish during their discussion.

Overall, I thought Cong was a charming, picturesque, small town that connected a lot with the film both in scenery and character. I enjoyed not only seeing the settings of the movie in person, but experiencing the different locations and connecting them with the film. Not to mention, the Chai Tea Latte I had in a Puddleducks Café was delicious.

under: Student posts, Study abroad, Uncategorized

Soccer and Nation

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | July 19, 2017 | No Comment |

by Jack Story

Sport: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc. or a diversion; recreation; pleasant pastime. Either way you define sport, it is held very highly in National cultures across the world. But, how important is sport? After watching the Ireland vs Austria World Cup Qualifier at Aviva Stadium, more specifically, after watching the fans present at the Ireland vs Austria World Cup Qualifier at Aviva Stadium, I saw just how important sport is to a nation. The energy and gusto with which the crowd of green-shirted fans operated was enormously high on June 11th. As the game went on, I noticed that the crowd cycled through a set of preordained cheers. This use of repeated chants displayed a certain value in tradition that is often found in other areas of civic life: art, politics, home life. More notably, I followed the interactions of a father and his two sons from a distance; and from this I had the opportunity to observe a passing of the guard of sorts. The father was focused on the game with unmatched zeal; but he could be seen sharing words with his sons throughout the game. When the Irish national team was not faring well, the father would stand up and express passionate disdain, thus offering his sons a representation of loyalty of his nation. When the Irish national team scored, the father could be seen cheering fanatically, at times with his arms around his sons and at times with an arm around a nearby stranger. The actions present in that last sentence depict a scene of camaraderie with ones own neighbor and with ones family. Essentially, the passion that the Irish fanbase displayed that day offered the world a scene of national pride that suggests the presence of a strong nation.

under: Student posts, Study abroad

Sports in Irish Culture

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | July 19, 2017 | No Comment |

by Feild Russell

On Sunday June 11, 2017, the four lads made a trip to Aviva Stadium to witness the World Cup Qualifying soccer match between the Republic of Ireland and Austria.  Our walk to the stadium set the tone witnessing hundreds of people in green making their way to support their nation.  During the playing of the national anthem, “A Soldier’s Song,” before kickoff, the entire Irish crowd joined the bagpipes and it was an incredible atmosphere.  The Irish managed to draw the Austrians 1-1 though they had a goal taken away from them.  Many fans brought up the 2009 WCQ against France where they were cheated from advancing from a handball from Thierry Henry.  Though there was not an Irish victory the crowd leaving the stadium continued the chant of “Come on you boys in Green” leaving me with one of the greatest sporting experiences of my life as well as showing the presence of Irish nationalism and community that sporting events only enhance.  At a bus stop after the game it was interesting to see Ireland fans interacting with the Austrians.  What I worried would turn into a heated conflict actually was a conversation held with much respect for both sides.

On Sunday June 25, 2017 the lads were able to witness a Gaelic Football match at Croke Park.  The Dublin club managed to put on an offensive show and destroyed Westmeath 4-29 – 0-10.  Though I had never witnessed Gaelic football before it was a very fluent game.  The Dublin fans changed the chant we heard at the soccer match to “Come on you boys in Blue” making it easy to join along.  In the film Michael Collins, a scene depicts the 1920 event Bloody Sunday, where 60 people were injured and 11 died during a shooting at Croke Park.  Though this horrible event took place it is a sign of perseverance that matches still take place at this historic park.  The GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) has been an active organization for 132 years now.  It includes the Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic Football, handball and rounders.  The GAA’s presence in Ireland promotes traditional Irish culture including the Irish language and Irish music.

under: Student posts, Study abroad, Uncategorized

Women in Public Memory

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | July 5, 2017 | No Comment |

by Temperance Russell

Throughout our time in Ireland there has been a lot of history around the city especially in Dublin. There is quite a lot of 1916 commemoration on almost every corner of the city. I was quick to learn that Dublin is not alone when it comes to having a lot of commemoration for significant historical events that have happened in Ireland. One of the most interesting places that we traveled to that had interesting commemoration was Belfast. Since Belfast is in Northern Ireland and still under UK rule it puts an interesting vibe over the city. There is still a lot of hostility between the Catholics and the Protestants, which is seen in murals along the city and the peace wall that is in the middle of the city. What I found really interesting was the murals along the city that was basically telling the story of Northern Ireland. One part of the murals that I found interesting was the lack of representation of women. Most of the wall tells the history of the men that were fighting or the lives that the men had lost and there was only one little section of the wall that showed the women. From this trip it was interesting to see just how masculine Ireland is and how there is a bit of a lack of representation of women. Women fought for the same causes that the men did on both sides yet their stories are never really told. In this particular mural this is just one small section of it that shows women and recognizing those who were involved. Overall I found that the lack of representation of women to be interesting yet not surprising since Ireland is such a masculine country.

Peace Wall in Belfast

under: Student posts, Study abroad, Uncategorized

Life Imitates Art

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | July 2, 2017 | No Comment |

During our week-long field trip with our Film Studies class, we took a brief stop in Cong, where the legendary movie The Quiet Man, by John Ford, was filmed. The movie itself is very complex and touched on major Irish-American themes such as shifts in generations and the differences between Irish and American lifestyles. It was interesting to see the impact that this 1952 movie had on this tiny Irish town. The town existed before the movie, but it has incorporated scenes and characters from the movie to make it a tourist attraction. Every store, building, and restaurant follows the theme of The Quiet Man, making you feel as if you are in the town of Innisfree. The town is small, and maps are available on every corner. Each restaurant or building is number in relation to the numbers on the map, making it easy to find your places of interest. Some of these locations include Pat Cohan’s Bar, where Sean Thornton (John Wayne) and the other Irish lads are seen in various scenes of the movie. There was even a number on the map to show where the “River Fight” scene was located, a scene that showed the famous nine-minute long brawl between “Red” Will Danaher and Sean Thornton.  Another is Reverend Playfair’s house, which is not seen in the movie, but if you’re interested in that character and curious to see what his house looked like, then it is available. There is even The Quiet Man Museum, which gives the visitor an experience that makes them feel as if they are on the set. The museum takes place in a cottage that is a replica of Sean’s “White-o-Mornin’” Cottage in the movie. The museum has all of the same furniture, costumes, and other props that were seen in the cottage in the movie, giving visitors the ultimate experience. Lastly, a statue of Sean carrying Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara) can be found in the middle of the town where everybody can stop to take a picture with. It was interesting to see how a movie can affect the popularity of a tiny town, such as Cong, and how tourism has become its main source of income because of it.

Hannah Dominick

Class of 2018

International Studies Major

Communication Minor

under: Student posts, Study abroad

Field of Dreams

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | July 1, 2017 | No Comment |

by Nick Rowley

Prior to our trip to the magical land of green; we were required to view several films for our cinema class. One such film was The Field (1990) directed by Jim Sheridan. It is a great piece of cinematic history, however we as a class had our reservations. I assume, based on our very vocal discussions prior to class, that the general consensus deemed the movie slow, boring, and left us confused as to the message it was conveying. Going into class the day we were to discuss The Field most of us came armed with jabs and barbs aimed at the film itself. After the discussion began to commence we were all stunned at how much each one of us had missed individually upon first viewing the film. With the help of Dr. Glenn the class soon began to regret our very choice words said about the film. Unpacking it and deciphering the hidden nuisances and historical message really opened our eyes. Certainly we were not converted to praising the film but, we could now appreciate the film as a work of art. We then found ourselves non-stop quoting the film. During our trip to the west and north of Ireland we went to some of the shooting locations for the film. Specifically the town, or village rather, of Leenaun in county Galway. Walking were the tyrannical main character Bull McCabe played by Richard Harris, was surprisingly fun. After some time at the village we as a class went to the falls nearby where the infamous murder scene takes place. It was an idyllic atmosphere, the sun was shining and the air was crisp but, not biting.A fellow classmate and I saw a chance to recreate the scene aforementioned. With much gusto we got out best Hollywood faces on and put on our best depiction. I would not say it was Oscar worthy but, it was still as moving as if it had been. For that reason The Filed and our trip to Ireland will always hold a special place in my memories.

under: Student posts, Study abroad

by Shannn Haas

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in Dublin so far was attending the Dublin Pride this past Saturday (June 24th), which marched proudly and loudly through the streets of Dublin led by a rainbow balloon covered float. The influence of larger American pride events and pride parades was evident in the whole production, especially the thrumming American pop music and tracks from American drag queen and queer icon, RuPaul, blasting from the lead float over the crowd.

I couldn’t help but notice, however, that while the parade and surrounding pride festivities were a great deal of fun, there appeared to be a lack of representation of queer identities outside of the “L” and the “G” of the LGBTQ(IAPK+) acronym. This phenomenon isn’t unique to Ireland, of course, as many members of queer communities all across the States have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the seemingly missing representation of those who identify outside of “typical” (immense scare quotes here) queer identities. Looking out over the sea of happy, rainbow-covered parade goers, I struggled to spot a single flag besides the classic rainbow pride flag. This was shocking, as the pride events I’ve attended in the States are oftentimes a sea of the many, many empowering flags that have been created (attached list is by no means exhaustive) to represent those underrepresented gender identities and sexual orientations.

So, where were the pansexuality flags, the bisexuality flags, the trans flags…? And why were they strangely absent from an otherwise typical pride march? This is just one of the many potential problems one could raise about Dublin’s pride events this year. Countless articles and exposés have been written about problems with the way that we celebrate our pride months each year, such as the corporatization of pride events, the feeling that pride events are “too straight” or “too cis,” or the whitewashing of greater queer communities that many pride parades and celebrations seem to emphasize. Many of the issues raised about American pride events could also be applied to Dublin’s festivities. Notably – I wondered about the new route of the parade this year, altered to accommodate the city’s construction. While perhaps the pride parade usually travels a route closer to the City Center, this year’s route steered clear of working class areas, instead favoring more affluent areas of Dublin. How does this avoidance of certain neighborhoods affect the inclusion of working class members of the LGBTQ+ community?

While my short time in Dublin hasn’t allowed me any time to get to know the queer community on a deep level, an impromptu conversation with a DCU student the day after the pride parade shed some light on what could be cited as one of the reasons why Dublin pride’s representation was so lacking. “We’re dealing with a lot of issues right now,” the DCU student explained, “Especially with regards to repealing the Eighth Amendment, and women’s issues in general … You’re asking good questions, but I just don’t think we’re there yet. This year’s parade was a pretty big deal, with the float … I think Dublin Pride has a long way to go … but I was happy to see so many people turn out this year.”

I had indeed noticed many signs calling for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, which emphasizes “equal protection of life of the mother and the unborn.” Pride events are inherently political in nature, and Dublin’s pride parade was no different. I was happy to see Dublin’s pride tackling women’s issues and banning together to push for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. The knowledge that Dublin’s pride events are, at least in the minds of many queer Dubliners, in their infancy and actively evolving, both give me hope that future events will welcome an even more diverse celebration of queer identities.


under: News, Student posts, Study abroad, Uncategorized


Posted by: Joseph Kelly | June 19, 2017 | No Comment |


The College of Charleston’s Irish Studies summer school makes its pilgrimage to Ballyshane, on the Grand Canal, near Shannon Harbour. One of our program’s first friends, Denis Bergin, lives here with his wife Carol, and they hosted our scholars for tea and cakes on our way from Dublin to Galway last Saturday.

Mr. Bergin, who lived for fifteen years in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, donated his papers to the Irish Heritage Project in our Addlestone Library when he returned to Ireland. We finished cataloguing those papers this year and they will soon be available to scholars and the public. Mr. Bergin’s generous donation is the first contribution to what we hope will become the most important archive regarding the Irish in the South.

under: Uncategorized

CofC students at Greystones

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | June 11, 2017 | No Comment |

under: Uncategorized

What the Irish are saying about US

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | June 10, 2017 | No Comment |

Suzanne Lynch

The election of a conservative, openly-gay Taoiseach (prime minister), who’s father is from India, puts Trump in a tight spot. Will the Irish American, ex-Catholic, Mike Pence, who thinks gay men ought to be straightened out by medical treatment, play the traditional role of American VPs? Will he welcome Mr. Varadkar next St. Patrick’s Day? Read Suzanne Lynch of the Irish Times…


under: Uncategorized

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