The Richmond Register

October 9, 2013

2013 is homecoming year for the Irish

By Carol Prewitt
Register Columnist


The year 2013 in Ireland is known as “The Homecoming.”

If you have any Irish blood in you, you are greeted on arrival with “Welcome Home,” and as you prepare to say your goodbyes you are asked, “When will you be coming home again?”

It’s been a heartwarming trip and a very educational one, too.

They still speak of the troubles, meaning the civil unrest of the 1970s. There is an Irish flag but also a flag for each opposing side of the troubles that still causes some deep feelings. I could only compare it to our Civil War from over 150 years ago and the rebel flag, but much more raw for them as it only happened 40 years ago.

They have the same problems facing our nation such as home foreclosures, childhood obesity, too much government, farmers demanding their civil rights and so on. Yet all in all, they are happy, giving people.

I’ve mentioned some of the signs around and about that I find funny. Chemist is the same as our pharmacy, dual carriage lane is the same as our divided highway. They have eat in and take away instead of take out. At one small restaurant I was in charged 1 pound extra (about $1.70) to eat in because of limited seating. We chose not to eat there.

I was able to visit Irvinestown, a place named for my ancestors, who occupied the Necarne Castle for centuries. Yes, really, a family castle! It was built around 1626. The word Ne’ Carne is Gaelic meaning not there.

When under attack, the castle was hid from the invaders by covering it in moss so when they looked over the field there was nothing to see. Obviously, they weren’t too close. Pretty clever. The most recent use of the grounds is for an equestrian park.

It’s up for sale now. How I would love to bring it back into the family. If only I had enough spare change!

I had mixed feelings about leaving. I would have liked to explore more, but time ran out. We flew out of Dublin on Saturday, Oct 5, and arrived at Detroit Metro Airport at 5:30 p.m. Because of the time difference it made for a 29 hour day instead of 24. We were pretty tired when we hit the beds that night.

I’m happy to be on our soil again but so thankful for the chance to have made this journey.

Thanks for putting up with my wandering these last three weeks. or call me at  859-625-0355