December 2009 Newsletter
Hello from,

Season's Greetings

Beannachtaí an tSéasúir (Season's Greetings),

Hello, everyone. Well, the holidays are almost upon us and we are in the midst of finishing up our last minute shopping. The holiday season is packed with long lines at the shops and malls, bumper to bumper people, and finding "sold out" signs on the popular items. Then there is all the cooking and baking, which is my favorite part.

I know you're busy but don't forget about Midnight Mass. It seems like we spend so much time preparing for the celebrations, then they are gone in one day. But it is a very happy time that we spend with family and friends. Terry and I have always wanted to celebrate the holidays in Ireland and this year we will. Some of you already know that we will spend my birthday (December 18th), Christmas and the New Year with our Irish family and friends this year. We have booked a stone cottage on the outskirts of Mohill, known as Breandrum.

Terry and I will fly out of Boston's Logan Airport in the evening, on December 17th, and we will arrive at Dublin Airport early in the morning on the 18th. After we get situated with our car rental, we will head west on routes N4 and M4, which bring us into Dromod, where we will take the cut-off through Bornacoola into Mohill. We will spend most of our vacation in Co. Leitrim, based in Mohill.

On the afternoon of January 1st, we will take the same route going east to Enfield, where we cross over to the N3. From there we will go to Dunsany, Co. Meath, where we will spend the last two days with our friends, Mary and Michael Lydon. Then, on January 3rd, will head back to Dublin Airport to catch our flight back to Boston.

We purchased our air fare with Aer Lingus all the way back in March, so it has been a long time coming for us. Now that the time is near, it seems like we made our plans just yesterday. I will be writing a lot of travel stories when we come back, and I hope that they will be just as interesting as the stories I have already written.

We have a few new friends that we have met on line whom we will try to meet in person. There is Myra Reynolds, Editor of the Leitrim Guardian, and Ronan Gallagher, film maker, and Peter Heaney, London businessman, who are both from Rynn. And, of course, we will spend a lot of time with our long time friends and aquaintances. We will also stop into The Leitrim Genealogy Centre in Ballinamore, and will go searching the cemeteries for Terry's ancestors.

I still don't have any new information about my Casey ancestors or where they came from. There is a possibility that we may go to the Port of Sligo to check out the passenger lists of those who emigrated to Canada.

There is also a very good possibility that we will meet my Polish cousin, Anya, and her husband, when we are at the Lydon's in Dunsany, Co. Meath, near Dublin. They moved to Dublin a few years ago and they live and work in Dublin. They are going home to spend the holidays with their family but will be back in Dublin on December 31st. Terry and I will be in the area on January 1st and 2nd, so we are trying to arrange something. This will be the first time since the 1920's that anyone from our branch of the family will meet their branch. My mother and her sister went to Poland and Russia with my grandparents when they were teenagers. I'm very excited about connecting with them.

We have added a short film submitted by Ronan Gallagher called Tall Tales and Pony Tails. This is a film on the Mohill Story-Telling Festival and Horse Fair which is held every October Bank Holiday weekend, and which was highlighted on RTE Radio's Mooney show. It was filmed, directed and produced by Ronan Gallagher; edited by David Spence; and music was provided with kind permission of Kila.

Tall Tales & Pony Tails

I received an email from Phil O'Brien letting us know that they now have their own web site Their site has information and photos about The Traveller's Rest, their B & B, and O'Brien's Tavern, their pub. They include local entertainment venues and festivals, Gaelic football leagues, fishing in the many lakes and rivers, and cruising on the River Shannon. Phil and Jim, welcome to the world wide web!

Traditional Irish Christmas Cake

I mentioned the Traditional Irish Christmas Cake in the November newsletter, which I have now finished making and it is on line. It is a whiskey soaked fruitcake with marzipan and royal icing. It takes several weeks to prepare but, if you start right now, it should be ready just in time for Christmas. I have also prepared another delicious dessert for those who prefer no liqueur, which is Chocolate Pots with Crunchy Irish Oatmeal Cookies.

Chocolate Pots with Crunchy Irish Oatmeal Cookies

I am going to take a month off and will not write a January newsletter. We will be back from our trip early in January and I will get back on track in February. There should be a lot of great stories and news to report.

Happy New Year, Victorian Child Ringing Bell

On behalf of everyone here at, I thank you for your patronage over the past year. I wish you all wonderful Happy Holidays and a prosperous 2010. See you next year ...


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