A Little Bit of Ireland

September 19, 2021: Prince Albert of Monaco Visits Ireland with His Twins while Wife is in South Africa. . . Read on. . .

We checked into the K Club in County Kildare, Ireland, the first time we ever stayed there, in March, 2008, on the same day that Prince Albert of Monaco and all of the guests who were at the K Club for a week celebrating Albert’s 50th birthday had just left. the staff at the K Club was just amazing as they whisked through the hotel removing every trace of the weeklong party that had ensued there. Prince Albert had become great friends with the then-owner of the K-Club, Michael Smurfit, an Irish industrialist and super-successful entrepreneur for whom University College Dublin Smurfit Graduate Business School is named, as one of Smurfit’s homes is located in Monaco. ‘Tis a pity that Prince Albert’s beautiful Olympian swimmer-wife, South African Princess Charlene, has been in South Africa for some time now separated for reasons related to Princess Charlene’s philanthropic interests and the onset of a medical emergency which became the obstacle to the couple being together for their anniversary. Prince Albert took off for Dublin with the 2 children he and Princess Charlene share on the day after their anniversary. He’s no fool! While visitors to Ireland are given a ‘royal’ welcome, I suspect that the welcome of Prince Albert and his children was especially special!


Incredibly Talented Award-Winning  Soprano Aimee Banks to Perform Streaming Live Online with Free Tickets  from Town Hall Theatre Galway Ireland September  17, 2021 in the 2pm ET Time Slot

Go to Town Hall Theatre Galway Ireland and click to reserve your online FREE tickets to enjoy the September 17, 2021 performance of Ireland’s incredible 19 year old soprano, the amazingly talented Aimee Banks! M ark your calendar now and tune in online on Friday when it’s 2pm on the East Coast of the US and 7pm in Ireland for the 30 minute performance you won’t want to miss!

Here’s a little sample of Aimee’s amazing talent!

Newstalk.com, based in Ireland, Reports Researchers have documented what they believe to be the first known case of COVID reinfection in Ireland.

By Michael Staines

A study published in the Irish Medical Journal reports that a 40-year-old healthcare worker was diagnosed with the virus for the second time last November.

The woman was originally diagnosed with the virus seven months earlier. in April.

The study notes that her symptoms were milder and her recovery was faster the second time around.

While cases of COVID reinfection have been reported in a number of other countries, this study concerns the first documented case in Ireland.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has since recorded hundreds of others.

The woman first presented in April of last year with a fever, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat and reduced sense of taste.

She was confirmed with COVID-19 through PCR testing and, while she was never hospitalised, she was unfit for work for period of four weeks and suffered significant headaches and persistent fatigue lasting four months.

Seven months later she presented with a cough, headache, sore throat, fatigue and muscle pain. Her COVID-19 was again confirmed through PCR testing.

Her symptoms were milder and she was able to return to work after her two-week isolation period.

The authors note that the virus was not detected when the woman underwent a separate PCR test 15 days previously.

The authors note that COVID-19 reinfection is not well characterised and call for further study into the level of immunity conferred by both infection and vaccination.

While the researchers believe this to be the first documented case of reinfection in Ireland, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has since recorded hundreds of others.

Ryan Air’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, Reacts to Forced Landing of Plane and Removal of Journalist in Belarus. . .

Ya Gotta Love the Irish. . . Even their Police Force: The Dancing Garda!

Irish Government and Its Tourism Board, Failte Ireland, Educate & Motivate Residents on How to Help Control Covid-19 from Spreading with Public Service Announcements. . . Have a Listen. . .
In an effort to clamp down on the spread of Covid-19, the Irish government and Failte Ireland created and placed audio spots on Ireland’s radio stations. I listen to Newstalk.com, my favorite Irish radio station that I can listen to wherever I am in the world! Here are some examples of recent spots that have been running on Irish radio to educate and motivate Irish residents to take an active and positive role to help control and stamp out the spread of Covid-19. Have a quick listen! Ireland is currently in a serious lockdown for the month of January as casers have spiked in spite of efforts. Increasing numbers of cases in Ireland may well be attributed to Christmas and New Years gatherings that surpassed government suggestions and rules but visitors coming in from other parts of Europe have certainly played a role in creating the highest number of cases since spring of 2020! Have a quick listen to what Irish radio was sharing during the holiday period and watch this space for what is airing on Irish radio in 2021!
At the same time, Failte Ireland, the Irish tourism board, has been helping to prop up the tourism industry by promoting the buying of gift vouchers at Irish hotels and resorts to be used for gifts and self-gifting treats that one can plan for later, down the line, when circumstances present a more healthful and safer environment. Have a listen to the promotion by the Irish government and Failte Ireland:
We are lacking, in the US, a coordinated effort under the guidance of skilled leadership of people who understand the uniqueness of the trael industry. We have long needed a segment of the Department of Commerce to focus on the needs of hotels, resorts, attractions, and other suppliers in the travel industry to focus on growth and support of this unique industry that employs one out of every 9 people and adds dramatically to the ecoonomy of the us. We need a coordinated, well-designed, well implemented plan to support the travel industry nationally and to create a plan to roll out at the appropriate time a solid “Visit USA” program to rebuld the flow of international visitors to US destinations and to ptomote travel to our own population in a program like the one I implemented in 2020 that we call “Stay & Play USA” that focuses on techniques, destinations, and brands in the travel industry that travelers can have confidence in visiting where the health and safety of travelers and staff are of paramount concern. And having a consolidated US government effort behind such an effort would go a long way to gset the travel industry back on track. We cannot just sit by waiting for the pieces of this fractured puzzle to put themselves together!

You Can’t Talk About the Flying Boat WITHOUT Talking About the Foynes Flying Boat Museum in Limerick!

January 6, 2021

I like to listet to Newstalk Radio in Ireland even when I’m at home in the US where I listen online at Newstalk.com. The only problem I run into when listening that, when the subject turns to travel or travel-related issues, like just about every other station in the US and abroad that I follow there are errors of commission and of omission. So, today, minutes ago, I was listening to Sean Moncrief interviewing an American about the Flying Boat, an aircraft that had no wheels and had to land by splashing down in water. In the 1940s, any celebrity traveling from the US to Europe would have flown on the Flying Boat which was flown by Pan Am, BOAC, which became British Airways, and American Overseas Airways which became American Airlines.

The part that troubles me about this interview is that no focus was put on the Foynes Flying Boat Museum right there in Ireland in Limerick! My husband, our producer and our sound engineer were all present for the 70th anniversary of the first flying boat passengers arriving at Foynes, the place where Irish coffee was introduced by the airport’s bartender, Jim Sheridan, to warm up arriving passengers who may have gotten wet from rain and splashing sea while disembarking from the plane which was like a cruise shiop with wheels. The photos, above, give you insights into the on board experience of passengers who slept in sleeper berths and dined aboard during flights which averaged 16 hours or more between the US and Ireland. The photos were taken aboard the museum’s reproduction of a flying boat. You’ll find ‘air hostess costumes,’ flight manifest with names of celebrities included, photos, dishes and cutlery used aboard, a MovieTone News video showing actual arrivals of dignitaries into Limerick’s Foynes Airport, the precursor of Shannon Airport which is about 30 minute drive from Foynes.

I wish that mention of Foynes Flying Boat Museum had been included in the discussion of the flying boat on this Dublin-based radio station!

Ireland Locks Down for Next 30 Days in Efforts to Wipe Out Covid-19

December 30, 2020:

Members of the Lanesborough, Massachusetts Fire Department (in blue t-shirts celebraing the 250th anniversary of the town) enjoy life in a pub in Athlone, Co. West Meath, Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day in pre-Covid-19 days,, with residents of Lnaesborough, Co. Longford, Ireland. The twinning of the two towns was the result of efforts by Mark and Stephanie Abrams from Lanesborough, MA.

At stake within Ireland due to the newly imposed 30-day lock down, starting today, in hopes of wiping Covid-19 out are the lives of individuals in the region, the economy of every industry, the education of system and the lost learning opportunities of children, teens and university students and their teachers, the compromise quality of life in a society that revolves around gatherings in churches, pubs, school events, sporting events, art festivals, historic celebrations, dance gatherings, musical performances, literary celebrations and the casual ongoing get-togethers at pubs plus the loss of influx of tourists and travelers who visit Ireland in growing numbers most years. While other countries will suffer from the same losses because of the presence of Covid-19, the impact of such a shutdown in Ireland seems to me to have an even harsher impact. That may be because everything in Irish life is done with passion and infusion of enormous energy, whether the task at hand is one of business, work, play or leisuretime activity. It’s a natural part of Irish culture to live life to the fullest with verve and zeal and to, quite automatically, strive for excellence in every undertaking which is the reason that the traveler’s experience is filled with extraordinarily memorable experiences well beyond expectations of absorbing gorgeous landscapes and seascapes, being uplifted by spiritually sites, and interfacing with events and attractions that entertain and educate. But there’s the added bonus that the Irish psyche is threaded with a natural curiosity, even ‘nosiness,’ which may be the result of the isolation of living on an island, interest in the chance that perhaps the stranger is a long-lost relative returning to connect with family roots, someone who can provide of bit of entertainment in the life of an Irishman, or, driven by a strong sense of Good Samaritanism and the ingrained creed of “Cead Mile Failte,” a Hundred Thousand Welcomes, first infused into Irish life by the occupying Normans who threatened the Irish with execution for not welcoming the stranger. All of the above result in overwhelmingly memorable interactions with the Irish for travelers which are the stuff that heartfelt memories are made of. While travelers my go to destinations for beautiful beaches, marvelous museum, great food, and lots of fun, the visitor to Ireland gets all of the above PLUS the priceless addition of memories created with chance meetings with random Irish people; the kinds of memories that linger long after the specifics of the itinerary have melted away.

My favorite Irish radio talk/news station posted this story today about the lockdown. Hopefully, this diligent approach will help to save lives and eradicate Covid-19 from Ireland but reopening cannot, should not take place, if people from less diligent destinations will be allowed in to continue the downward spiral. Have a look at the story, below, posted by http://www.NewsTalk.com, for specifics on this lockdown and use this end of year down-time to plan your future trip to Ireland for a more healthful time. If nothing else, the process will be entertaining and give you something to look forward to, hopefully happening sooner rather than later!

From Newstalk.com, the website of one of my favorite Talk/News radio stations in Ireland:

Non-essential retailers are opening on Thursday for the final time before closing for at least one month.

It comes as the country has officially entered its third lockdown.

Household visits are no longer permitted after the measure came in to effect at midnight.

This excludes essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble.

Meanwhile, school holidays have been extended until the second week of January.

The measures will end on January 31st, while Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government will take a cautious approach to lifting them.

In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, he said strict new measures were urgently needed as the spread of the virus had “surpassed the most pessimistic models available to us”.

He said the current situation “is extremely serious” with the case numbers expected to “deteriorate further over the coming days”.

Mr Martin added that since the arrival of the new strain of COVID-19 in Ireland, “now is not the time for nuance in our response”.

It was also announced that a ban on travel between Ireland and Britain has been extended until January 6th.

It comes as 1,718 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Ireland on Wednesday – the highest figure recorded since the start of the pandemic.

The estimated national 14-day incidence rate of the disease is now 272 – while Donegal and Monaghan have rates of more than 500 cases per 100,000.

There were 466 people with the disease in the country’s hospitals.

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