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Category Archives: News and odds

Earth warming – some thoughts

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Signs of a Changing Climate – ‘Science has spoken’

FAQ2.2 figure2

The aims of the IPCC are to assess scientific information relevant to:

  1. Human-induced climate change,
  2. The impacts of human-induced climate change,
  3. Options for adaptation and mitigation.


Eco-Sustainability Snippets

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Eco-Sustainability Snippets.


Incredible video on how small changes in animal population change the very landscape; Food Waste ———————————–                                      ———————————-

Tackling food waste: The EU’s contribution to a global issue

Tackling food waste The EU's contribution to a global issue © Beaubelle / Fotolia In spite of the availability of food, there is still malnutrition in the world. Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production down to final consumers. In developed countries, a significant amount of food is wasted at the consumption stage, meaning that it is discarded even though still suitable for human consumption. In developing countries food is lost mostly at the farmer-producer end of the food supply chain; much less food is wasted at consumer level. Experts assert that the largest part of food waste in developed countries is produced by households and is linked mainly to urbanisation, changes in the composition of diets, and large-scale mass distribution. Overall, on a per-capita basis, much more food is wasted in the industrialised world than in developing countries. In the EU, food waste has been estimated at some 89 million tonnes, or 180 kg per capita per year. Food losses and waste have negative environmental and economic impacts and their existence raises questions for society. The EU is contributing to reducing food waste mainly through its commitment to halve the disposal of edible food in the EU by 2020. Various national initiatives also aim to attain this goal. The European Parliament has called for 2014 to be designated as ‘European year against food waste’. Click here for the whole briefing

Share of global food loss and waste by commodity, 2009
Share of global food loss and waste, (100% = 1.5 quadrillion kcal)
Estimated total food waste in the EU, 2010 (kg per capita)

Environmental impact of food waste

  • Rising world food prices: causes and policy responses

 Water Issues;

Water-footprint calculator;



Energy production and distribution must be one of the least sustainable of all human activities. Even without any further discoveries of gas, oil, or coal we are committed to global temperature increase of more than 2oC ( Such a temperature increase will have potentially devastating impacts on agriculture, transport, health and political stability. The search for non-carbon based sources of energy would be the number one factor. Funky dashboard which shows the amount of electricity currently being generated in the UK, and whether it is being produced from coal, gas, nuclear or wind power; ==================================================================== Political The Yasuni case in Ecuador was interesting in that Ecuador requested financial compensation to not drill for oil in the Yasuni Reserve which is designated as one of the most bio-diverse places. unfortunately the rest of the international community unfortunately did not deliver. We need to have a more cohesive global approach to sustainability and climate change and not just focus on our own doorstep.

Special Offers for Glenribbeen

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Special Offers for Glenribbeen – Glenribbeen Eco Lodge website:


This is a WIP (work in Progress) as I learn to use this new (for me) facility.

We intend to offer our guests to this eco-blog the chance to avail of a great Spring offer for Glenribbeen. Please come back soon – after I get this all figured out 🙂

Mini Bio-gas System – for homeowners

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Taken from the wonderful world of

Sahas Chitlange, aging 14, from India. here is my homemade cheap and easy to build mini Biogas plant. It burns for approx. 20-30 mins on a bunsen burner. you can add anything from your kitchen waste ( Except Onion peels and eggshells). In 12 hours the Gas is ready for use. It is very easy and cost effective to build (only 2-3 dollars) and gives many useful products.

Biogas at home- Cheap and Easy  by Chitlange Sahas


the end products of this system are:
1) Methane : (Can be used as a fuel)
2) Slurry     : (the spent slurry is excellent manure)

The main components of this system are:

1)  Inlet pipe
2) digester tank
3) gas holder tank
4) slurry outlet pipe
5) gas outlet pipe


You will have to choose a correct size container which will act as a digester tank. My one is 50 litres tank. I got it from scrap.

Image Image  Image

Make holes in the tank for Inlet and outlet. For this I took a old iron rod and heated it to make holes. CAUTION: rod is really very hot.

Or use core-drill bit with e-drill.

Step 3: Fix the inlet and outlet pipes

Image Image Image

Glue the Inlet pipe and the Outlet pipe with any water proof adhesive.

Step 4: Making the Gas holder Tank

Image Image

I took a paint bucket of 20 lts for making a gas holder tank. This tank holds the gas produced. The tank is overturned and fixed with a valve used for plumbing purposes.

Step 5: Time to mix the cow dung !


Mix the cow dung in proportion of 50/50. add 50% water and make a fine slurry. Now put the slurry in the digester tank.

Step 6: Almost finished!


Put the gas holder tank overturned in the digester tank after adding the slurry . REMEMBER: open the valve while putting the gas holder tank. the mini plant takes 10-15 days for the first time to get output. For the first time, the gas in the tank wont burn as it contains Carbon Dioxide gas, if fortunately it burns then good or wait for the second time. You can detect how much gas is there in this system, the gas holder tank will rises up as the gas is produced.


St Declan’s Way – Ireland’s new ‘Camino’ in the Irish Times

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This article is a thought-piece on the ‘new’ St Declan’s Way pilgrim’s highway that I’m PRO on the Waterford side and the subject of my postgraduate certificate from Trinity St David, Bangor, Wales. Delighted to be part of it and this Friday (26th) I get to cook for all near the top of the mountain! while dressed as a monk!

Irish Times article;

The Irish Camino: walking in the footsteps of the saints

Local communities throughout the country are developing old pilgrim trails

John G O’Dwyer  Sat, Jul 20, 2013,    

Imagine celebrating our national feast day, not in March, but in high summer. Hard to visualise the occasion with bikinis, barbecues and beach badminton isn’t it? Yet it could have happened, because July 24th is the day of commemoration of an early Irish saint whose credentials are comparable to those of St Patrick.Regarded by many historians as having pre-dated Patrick as an Irish Christian missionary, St Declan of Ardmore is, nevertheless, virtually unknown outside his native area. The murky world of medieval church politics has much to answer for here. It allowed the deeply venerated saint of the southern Déise region to fade from the public consciousness when the northern church rose to prominence. History was then adroitly rewritten to suit the needs of the time, with Patrick, the first Bishop of Armagh, promulgated above Declan as the initial and single-handed evangeliser of the Irish people.Now Waterford’s patron saint is to reclaim his inheritance. An ancient pilgrim trail that he footed regularly is set to be traversed again as a richly symbolic journey. Meandering 94km through extravagantly varied terrain in Cos Tipperary and Waterford, the newly revitalised St Declan’s Pilgrim Path commemorates the saint’s many excursions from his monastery at Ardmore to the royal seat at Cashel.Overgrown and virtually forgotten for decades, the trail is, mainly through the efforts of a Tipperary man, being returned to public consciousness. Dense briars and rhododendrons have been diligently cut back in preparation for the first full-length public walk of the route, which takes place from July 24th to 28th.And so on a bright, blue-sky, July morning, I find myself rambling rustic lanes by the River Tar and traversing timeless monastic ruins at a point where the handsome Knockmealdown Mountains erupt spectacularly from the fertile plains of Tipperary. With me are Kevin O’Donnell, the instigator of the pilgrim path project, and some members of Knockmealdown Active, the volunteer group that is staging the inaugural St Declan’s walk.

An ‘Irish Camino’
O’Donnell, the group’s chairman, comes across as a quietly passionate believer in the venture. He conceived the idea for revitalising St Declan’s Pilgrim Path when he walked the Camino de Santiago, in Spain, some years ago. Now he wants to dub St Declan’s Path an “Irish Camino” and immediately points to the strong penitential credentials of the trail from Cashel to Ardmore.

“It takes five days to complete and goes up to more than 500 metres when crossing the Knockmealdown Mountains by the prehistoric Bottleneck Pass route,” says O’Donnell. “This needn’t put people off, though; the first two days from Cashel and the last days to the coast are on easy terrain. Walkers without the fitness or time to do the full journey will have the option to join for stages of the route.”

As we dally by the riverbank to absorb the serenity, Conor Ryan, who works as an animator with Knockmealdown Active, suggests that with the number of pilgrims completing the Camino rising to more a quarter of a million in recent years, the time is now opportune to revitalise the path .

But can South Tipperary and Waterford really capture a slice of the rapidly growing and lucrative reverential trails market? Ryan believes so.

“This month’s inaugural walk is part of a strategy to turn St Declan’s Path into a fully functioning Irish pilgrim route,” says Ryan.

He believes the trail will, in future, “appeal strongly to walking enthusiasts because of its length and variety. I also expect it to attract visitors who have family ties linking them to the towns and villages along the route,” he says.

But how is it all going to work for the reopening walk? “Accommodation or car parking will be at each day’s destination, with participants bussed from there to the walk start point each morning, from where they will walk the pilgrim route to their cars or their accommodation,” says O’Donnell. “The participation fee is €70 for five days, or €20 per day. Full details are at”
St Finbarr’s trail
In a similar vein, two communities in Co Cork have expended monumental effort on developing a pilgrim trail along the way St Finbarr reputedly journeyed on his way to found a monastery at Gougane Barra. Since then, a tradition of walking the 30km path, particularly on St Finbarr’s Day, September 25th, has developed. The route has been fully waymarked as a year-round pilgrim path and is being promoted as the “Cork Camino experience,” says David Ross, spokesman for the Drimoleague/Keakill St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Path Committee.

“Besides the obvious tourism benefit,” says Ross, “communities along the route are happy to discover and share the rich Christian heritage, which for centuries prompted their forbears to walk St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Way in search of solace, meaning and spiritual fulfilment.”
Clare and south Galway
Another route with spiritual resonance on an epic scale is the newly inaugurated Clare Pilgrim Way. Ireland’s longest redemptive trail circuits Cos Clare and south Galway in five stages, linking all the main spiritual and ecclesiastical sites in the area.

According to Pius Murray, a member of the community-based group behind the venture, “The Clare Pilgrim Trail is aimed at facilitating users to reconnect with nature and through this experience develop a heightened sense of spirituality.”

Here, Murray succinctly captures the essence of the ageless siren call that is increasingly drawing lovers of inspirational landscapes to explore Ireland’s mystical pilgrim paths.

Irish Radio Treasures

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New Natural History series on RTE 1 and Cape Clear courses

Subtitle for your message

IWDG were once again delighted to be invited to contribute to a Crossing the Line natural history production and the “whale” show recorded off Dunmore East on Martin Colfer’s MV Rebecca C back in Jan 2012 will air on Sun 9th June on RTE Radio 1 at 7:00 pm.  A full schedule of this 10 part series is given below.  For those of you who have missed the first two shows, they are available at:  

NATURE ON ONE 10 x 30min Natural History Radio Documentary Series STARTS SUNDAY 5th MAY 2013 on Radio 1 at 7pm Bringing the sounds of Ireland’s natural world to Radio 1 listeners This ten-part radio documentary series sees Emmy award-winning wildlife cameraman and television presenter Colin Stafford Johnson turn his talents to radio. Colin travels across the country on the hunt for some of our most remarkable animals and wild places. Tune in and allow yourself to be transported to Skellig Michael, with its noisy storm petrels, manx shearwaters and puffins; or into the midst of a grey seal colony on the windswept Inishkea Islands; venture below ground and imagine yourself being surrounded by swarming bats; or experience the sounds recorded inside a starling roost under a Belfast bridge. Over the course of ten weeks, Colin will guide his audience on an intimate tour of Ireland’s natural world. A Crossing the Line Production on behalf of RTÉ Radio One & BAI Sound & Vision   EPISODE 1  A Night on the Skellig Rocks In 600AD early Christian monks chose Skellig Michael, 11km off the Kerry coast, as a location for a monastery ‘on the edge of the known world’ which they believed would bring them closer to God. In this episode Colin Stafford Johnson spends a night on Skellig Michael, to record the wild sounds to be heard at this World Heritage Site – introducing the puffins, storm petrels and manx shearwaters who also choose to make their home on this rocky outcrop. In addition to meeting its wild inhabitants, Colin talks to OPW guides who spend the summer living on the island, and tourists who have made the day trip; as well as a local diver who describes the Skellig landscape below the surface.   EPISODE  2  The Burren: a special place for bumblebees, plants and people Colin Stafford Johnson visits Slieve Carron Nature Reserve in the Burren, Co. Clare. The Burren is unique and is known throughout the world for its vast limestone pavements, but far from being a barren landscape, as Dr Brendan Dunford explains, the Burren holds a diverse flora, a mix of Mediterranean and alpine plants found nowhere else in Ireland. It is also home to some of Ireland’s rarest bumblebees. When you hear Ecologist Dr Jane Stout’s take on bumblebees you will never see a passing bee the same way again, but as furry, endearing creatures! Colin learns about the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme and meets local farmer Pat Nagle. We also meet 13-year-old Jack McGann, graduate of Ecobeo, a course for young people on the natural, cultural and archaeological heritage value of this landscape.   EPISODE 3 The Seal Colony of the Inishkeas Colin Stafford Johnson joins grey seal expert Dr Oliver O’Cadhla on a visit to South Inishkea, off the Mullet Peninsula, home to one of Ireland’s largest grey seal breeding colonies. Having spent years researching the seals at this colony, Oliver is passionate about this place and these animals and explains their struggle to survive in this harsh environment. It’s mid-October and very cold. There are lots of pups on the beach, but they won’t all make it. The mothers are busy feeding their young, while the large dominant male seals protect their harem. On this remote wild island, we get a peek into the secret lives of the grey seals that are born there.   EPISODE 4  Species in Danger In this episode of ‘Nature on One’, Colin Stafford Johnson seeks out one of our most endangered species, the curlew. Searching across bog in Co. Mayo, Colin sets out to record the once familiar call of this iconic bird of Irish peatlands and Ireland’s largest wader. Anita Donaghy, from Birdwatch Ireland, explains why the curlew is in decline and their ‘Cry of the Curlew’ campaign. [see] Colin also wants to find out how some of our smaller, lesser known species – our snails and slugs – are doing. With a third of Irish mollusc species facing extinction, Colin is delighted to hear some good news for one species in Co. Longford as he meets up with Evelyn Moorkens to investigate a recently discovered site for one of our most rare animals, Desmoulins Whorl Snail, Vertigo moulinsiana.   EPISODE 5  Rise of the Pine Marten Historically widespread throughout the country, the pine marten suffered serious population decline due to habitat destruction, hunting for the fur trade; accidental poisoning and persecution by game-keepers so that, by the 1950s, it had become one of our rarest animals. But now the pine marten is on the rise once again and sightings are increasing across the midlands. Colin visits a small school in Co. Leitrim, in which a female pine marten chose to set up home and the pupils explain how they felt about this new addition to their school. Colin also explores the impact of this spread of the pine marten on other animals, meeting up with Emma Sheehy from NUI Galway in an Offaly woodland, where she is studying the interesting relationship between the pine marten, the red squirrel and the introduced grey squirrel.   EPISODE 6   Sunday 9th May, 7:00 pm Whaling off Hook Head Colin Stafford Johnson heads offshore with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, from Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, to try to find the second largest animal on earth, the fin whale. No less than 24 species of whales and dolphins have been recorded in Irish waters, ranging in size from the harbour porpoise to the blue whale, the largest animal that has ever lived. Will they manage to track down what is known as the greyhound of whale species, the fin whale?   EPISODE 7  The Secret Life of Irish Caves – from swarming bats to ancient bones Late one Autumn night, Colin Stafford Johnson heads underground to explore what wildlife might be found in Irish caves. Colin meets bat specialist Conor Kelleher in Dunmore Cave, Co. Kilkenny, where they hope to witness the autumnal swarming of Natterer’s bats. This phenomenon of Autumnal swarming in caves was only discovered in Ireland last year, and it is still not known why the bats do it – using up valuable fat reserves just as their winter hibernation approaches. In addition to this living wildlife spectacle, caves are also important repositories for our extinct fauna. To find out why this is and what has been found in Irish caves, Colin heads to the Natural History Museum to meet Nigel Monaghan, Curator, and to examine some of the ancient remains found in Irish caves.   EPISODE 8 The Wild Side of Belfast We tend to think of wildlife as living in pristine countryside, in woodland, rivers and bogs, but this week Colin Stafford Johnson heads to the bustling city of Belfast to find out what wild stories it might have to offer. The River Lagan flows right through the centre of the city. Ronald Surgenor, is a Wier operative, Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure, and RSPB volunteer, who knows the river intimately and Ronald kindly takes Colin out in his rib, to visit Albert Bridge, the site of an amazing wildlife display, a starling murmuration, and they venture right under the bridge for a close encounter with the birds as they roost for the night. Colin also meets Lucille Coates and some children from ‘Watch this Space’, a Belfast City Council monthly nature club; as well as a team of volunteers who are hedgelaying, with the Laganscape Project, which works to manage Lagan Valley Park, with involvement from local communities, school groups, businesses and volunteers.   EPISODE 9        Birdsong – why do birds sing and what does it mean to us humans? Colin Stafford Johnson explores that wildlife sound we often take for granted – birdsong. At the Devil’s Glen in Co. Wicklow, he meets up with Animal Behaviour expert and Head of the Zoology Department in Trinity College Dublin, Dr Nicola Marples, to ask her why birds sing, and how they learn their tunes. Colin also travels west to meet with Gordon Darcy, Natural History author, artist and environmental educator, to discuss what birdsong might mean for human beings and how it may enrich our lives, whether or not we recognise it.   EPISODE 10        ‘An Amphibian Love Story’ – Singing frogs and Nattering Toads How does one attract the opposite sex? It could be good looks, physical fitness, a nice home, or even how you smell! But what about how you sound? In some animals it’s all in the voice. Toads and frogs have developed impressive calls to attract a mate. In this episode, Colin Stafford Johnson looks at two of Ireland’s amphibians, the common frog and the Natterjack Toad, and sets out to record their unique calls. In February he explored a mass frog spawning site at Glendalough in Co. Wicklow with Rob Gandola, from the Irish Herpetological Society; and in April, Ferdia Marnell, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and local conservation ranger Pascal Dower visit a Natterjack Toad breeding pond at Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry.     IWDG Cape Clear Whale-Watching courses There are still some places left on the 1st of our summer weekend whale-watching courses May 31- June 2nd on Cape Clear, Co. Cork. These courses are available for members at a discounted rate of €70.  Over the weekend participants will learn both practical field-skills during land and boat based watches, as well as attend a series of talks covering cetacean ecology/biology, species identification and whale watching.  Given reasonable weather conditions these weekends generally provide sightings of porpoises, common dolphins and minke whales and at this time of year, we can’t rule out basking sharks, although admitedly this has been a very poor year to date for this species, due to the lower than normal water temperatures.   Enquiries to email: or Ph. 353 (0)86 3850568   Whale Watch Ireland 2013, Sunday 18th August 2013, 2:00-5:00 pm We are once again delighted to announce that Inis, Cologne are providing funding support for All-Ireland whale watch day on Sunday 18th August. As always this event requires watch leaders willing to lead and promote your local watch.  If you have land- based whale watching experience, are good with crowds and have some energy and time to spare, we’d appreciate your contacting us, so we can start to compile a list of sites that we can cover on this event, which is one of the largest events on the Irish wildlife calender.  Please contact event organiser on email: or Ph. 086-3850568

Add-ons;- Lismore area;

St Declan’s Way


Short clip on Tramore’s Metal Man;

San Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof

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PV tilesYale Environment 360: U.S. scientists say that emerging photovoltaic technologies will enable the production of solar shingles made from abundantly available elementsrather than rare-earth metals, an innovation that would make solar energy cheaper and more sustainable.<br /></p>
<p>San Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof</p>
<p>The Ross’ family-owned business, Ross Electric Co., was chosen to connect Powerhouse below the rooftop. The family was able to see the installation hands-on, and decided to be one of the first in the country to install this total residential roofing solution that not only protects like a standard asphalt roof but also generates solar electricity, turning the roof into a source of value and savings. Said Ross: “I am proud to invest in my home with such an innovative and good-looking product. I expect that my Powerhouse roof will reduce my utility bills by about 40 percent and will increase my home value overall.”<br /></p>
<p>Newswise — PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21, 2012 — With enough sunlight falling on home roofs to supply at least half of America’s electricity, scientists today described advances toward the less-expensive solar energy technology needed to roof many of those homes with shingles that generate electricity.</p>
<p>James C. Stevens, Ph.D., helped develop Dow’s PowerHouse Solar Shingle, introduced in October 2011, which generates electricity and nevertheless can be installed like traditional roofing. The shingles use copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic technology. His team now is eyeing incorporation of sustainable earth-abundant materials into PowerHouse shingles, making them more widely available.</p>
<p>“The United States alone has about 69 billion square feet of appropriate residential rooftops that could be generating electricity from the sun,” Stevens said. “The sunlight falling on those roofs could generate at least 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, and some estimates put that number closer to 100 percent. With earth-abundant technology, that energy could be harvested, at an enormous benefit to consumers and the environment.”<br /></p>
<p>Image text: "The solar tiles can generate a potential 500 watts per 100 square feet, and they’re basically ready to go from the day they’re installed."
Yale Environment 360: U.S. scientists say that emerging photovoltaic technologies will enable the production of solar shingles made from abundantly available elements rather than rare-earth metals, an innovation that would make solar energy cheaper and more sustainable. Antonio Family First In Texas With Dow Powerhouse Solar Roof

The Ross’ family-owned business, Ross Electric Co., was chosen to connect Powerhouse below the rooftop. The family was able to see the installation hands-on, and decided to be one of the first in the country to install this total residential roofing solution that not only protects like a standard asphalt roof but also generates solar electricity, turning the roof into a source of value and savings. Said Ross: “I am proud to invest in my home with such an innovative and good-looking product. I expect that my Powerhouse roof will reduce my utility bills by about 40 percent and will increase my home value overall.”

Newswise — PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21, 2012 — With enough sunlight falling on home roofs to supply at least half of America’s electricity, scientists today described advances toward the less-expensive solar energy technology needed to roof many of those homes with shingles that generate electricity.

James C. Stevens, Ph.D., helped develop Dow’s PowerHouse Solar Shingle, introduced in October 2011, which generates electricity and nevertheless can be installed like traditional roofing. The shingles use copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic technology. His team now is eyeing incorporation of sustainable earth-abundant materials into PowerHouse shingles, making them more widely available.

“The United States alone has about 69 billion square feet of appropriate residential rooftops that could be generating electricity from the sun,” Stevens said. “The sunlight falling on those roofs could generate at least 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, and some estimates put that number closer to 100 percent. With earth-abundant technology, that energy could be harvested, at an enormous benefit to consumers and the environment.”

Image text: “The solar tiles can generate a potential 500 watts per 100 square feet, and they’re basically ready to go from the day they’re installed.”

Green-powered site for Green products

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Jeff has just started up a e-commerce website Made in USA Store llc,  website is powered by wind power. selling green eco-friendly unique products made in USA

eliminate the carbon footprint from shipping overseas, go green buy products made in the country you live in. have you seen the pollution trail from the cargo ships?. I have first hand and it’s one dirty nasty trail polluting our ocean and air. creating a bigger carbon footprint than it make to manufacture the product. is shipping from China green? do you make a green product made in USA i would like to know about it.

Great idea  a green-powered site selling products from one’s own land – saving jobs and transport-costs too.

From hats, to honey – from children’s toys to clocks – lots more too – sauces, carry-bags, sweatshirts to waterbottles.

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Web 3.0 and Accommodation Providers, some thoughts.

As we leave Web 2.0 and move to Web 3.0 companies will face an ever-more demanding public. Web 3.0 will involve the public, as never before, as setting the agenda for consumer goods and services. One must ask how can we as accommodation suppliers provide adequate choice and comfort to guests without compromising quality, safety and still maintain profits.

Note Web 3.0 is based on the idea that the Internet ‘understands’ the pieces of information it stores and is able to make logical connections between them that is to say machines will recover and retain information and ‘match’ our meanderings on the web with possible ‘wish-list’ advertising/articles in a forward-thinking way. Web 3.0 will troll pieces of information it stores and is able to make logical connections between them. This will ‘enhance’ the optimisation of one’s own search and that of the advertiser. According to Macmilliandictionary.  A precise definition of Web 3.0 is difficult to pin down, but most descriptions agree that a fundamental characteristic of it is the ability to make connections and infer meaning – essentially, the Web is going to become more ‘intelligent’.

‘With Web 3.0, it’s about the Web becoming smarter, getting to know you better from your browsing history (and all you’ve contributed to it during Web 2.0) and automatically delivering content to you that is relevant.’ (BIZCOMMUNITY.COM 13TH MAY 2010)

According to sites such as and

However the Harvard Business Review  makes the point that it’s not ALL about (E) Social Media; ( If you ask venture capitalists in Silicon Valley how they measure the success of business entrepreneurs, they would no doubt list off metrics having to do with fast growth: funding raised, people hired, customers acquired, revenue produced. The assumption is that company growth is good. But when it comes to social ventures, where the primary focus is impact (not profits), bigger isn’t necessarily better.


It’s Not All About Growth for Social Enterprises; by Kimberly Dasher Tripp  |   9:00 AM January 21, 2013.

Irish Celtism – the big lie.

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 Assignment 2013
 PG CertTrinity St David, Wales Sense of Place  Peter O’Connor, 1202618 Lismore, Co Waterford, Ireland.
[“The past is integral to our sense of identity – the sureness of ‘I was’ is a necessary component of the sureness of ‘I am’.  How important are issues of authenticity and bias in engineering a sense of identity or a sense of place?]


“The past is integral to our sense of identity – the sureness of ‘I was’ is a necessary component of the sureness of ‘I am’ Lowenthal, 1985, p41)

How important are issues of authenticity and bias in engineering a sense of identity or a sense of place?


Introduction; 2

Folk Memory; 2

Some History. 3

Celtomania in the 18th & 19th Centuries; 3

Bob Quinn. 4

The Mainland Celts. 4

Celtic languages. 5

The sail boats . 6

DNA Evidence and Oxford Scholarship. 7

DNA findings; 7

Oxford Scholars. 7

References; 8

Notes;. 9

Photography. 9

Collective Consciousness. 10

Lateen Sails;  a note. 12

Ireland’s Golden Age;. 12

DNA Tests;. 12

Resources;. 13


Authenticity and bias in engineering a sense-of-identity or a sense of place may seem at first glance a trite way at poking fun at historians who become set in their way and refuse to allow for external considerations or influences. There’s more than historians at fault for some-bias in engineering an identity or (eventually) a sense of place.

Doctored images can affect what we eat, how we vote and even our childhood recollections. A book Ireland Photographs of 1800’s show staged photos. We all know about how the Soviets unashamedly added (or more usually) ‘extracted’ images of people in photos – even in their encyclopaedias.

New York Metropolitan is currently featuring some 200 photographs created between the 1840s and 1990s in the service of art, politics, news, entertainment, and commerce and the changing relationship to visual truth; Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age[1]; More recently changes were made to photos of Hurricane Sandy approaching New York. (Fake Sandy[2]). These images were used to heighten emotions for callous or possibly financial-reasons.

Even more disturbing is the fact that we can manipulate people close to us and others by providing evidence-of-events that simply have not happened. In a study by Elizabeth Loftus Make-Believe-Memories. 2003) it became apparent that old memories seem to be the easiest to manipulate. In one particular study, subjects were showed images from their childhood. Along with real images, researchers snuck in doctored-photographs of the subject involved in particularly memorable-events. After seeing those images, 50% of subjects recalled some part of that hot-air balloon-ride – though the event was entirely made up. (Springer Link pdf).

David Lowenthal points out that “Where history remains remote and critical of its view of the past, heritage thrives on persona- immediacy and embraces the past as building-blocks of identity” Macdonald, S. 2006 International Journal of Heritage 22.  This is especially important to remember when considering photographs of war where “augmentation” is used to manipulate scenes to galvanise public and military alike to great force. Soviet photos of the war on their soil were changed to show Germans in the worst possible light.  Even the Allies showed a short clip of Hitler ‘dancing’ when in fact it was him walking – but the film was ‘looped’. Probably we should never trust any photos of wars.

Folk Memory;

Throughout the history of mankind folk-memory has played a huge role is passing on knowledge and wisdom. It can be in the form of nursery rhymes explaining the effect of the plague (Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosy) to folk songs warning of lovers-tiffs to suicidal tendencies (Barbara Allen). Or it can be in the stories we all learn about the early settlers arriving over the sea and settling in the South and West. But then for 300 years we’ve been told that our ancestors come from central Europe.

Even the ‘collective conscience’ as described by Emile Durkin [i]can hold memories that provide succour and comfort as well as fortifying a ‘national spirit/stiff upper-lip’.  It can also sustain a nation that feels cut off from mainland Europe in a time of crisis.

However what happens when there is a serious push to rearrange the history of a country and its people? What happens when there is serious bias in engineering an identity or (eventually) a sense of place for an entire nation?

Some History.

The Norman/Welsh chronicler-geographer Sylvester-Giraldus Cambrensis often comes in for a lot of criticism for his misrepresentation of people and places and he was not above presenting ‘facts’  as such even though they were blatantly untrue as that the Welsh invented the longbow. (Dr Andrew Halpin, 2012). Others though in more enlightened-ages have created more disservice to academic-research.

Celtomania in the 18th & 19th Centuries;

Around 1707 when Edward Lluyd dreamt up his notion that all indigenous inhabitants of the British Isles (sic) were of ‘Celtic origin[3] it was purely to distinguish between British and Welsh.. This however in his eyes allowed for no input from the South-West. What Lluyd (and many others including William Stukeley 1687-1765) seemed incapable of understanding that sea-roads were infinitely easier to traverse than ‘roads’ that were of little more than animal tracks.

Before Lluyd and Stukley none of the peoples of the lands now referred to as Celtic had any collective name [4]at all. Irish, Scots, and Manx referred to themselves collectively as Gaels, while the Welsh use the term Cymry. (Welsh is a Saxon-derived word meaning “stranger.”). Ironically one Irish word for a stranger is gall which is often associated with Wales and in place-names translated as Ballydavid, (Irish- Baile na nGall).

William Stukeley also did work that led to the term “Celtic” being applied to pre-Roman sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, and various tombs and standing stones. Most of these pre-date the Romans and ‘Celts’ by many millennia as we now know.

Alongside the genuine serious achievements in the Celtic languages by the likes of Lluyd and Zeuss there was a huge rise on nationalism in ‘Celtic’ countries (Cunliffe, Ancient Celts 11-16; Piggot, Druids123-182, 1968 ).There were three influential propagators of ‘imaginative-romantic-view’ of the Celts; namely William Stuckley, James Mac Pherson and Iolo Morganwg. These men are now considered to have “poisoned the wells of genuine scholarship  …for years to come” (Piggott  1968).

Stuckley’s work is now largely discredited but not before the ideas were firmly implanted in the minds of the public and the idea of ‘British druids’ romping around Stonehenge and other monuments is well embedded. MacPherson was soon discovered to have forged his study by simply writing poetry and passing it off as Poems of Ossian, Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1760) supposed genuine Gaelic epic. Germans in particular loved this idea of ‘fellow-Aryans’ (Quinn 2006) A more successful enterprise was that by a stonemason called Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg) who promoted the idea that he, and other ‘bards’ had preserved, virtually intact, a continuous tradition of lore and wisdom going back to prehistoric times (Piggott, Druids ). This fabrication whilst romantic was able to be passed off as scientific-evidence, something all serious-scholars now rue. It’s not so much a bias as a twisting of facts.

Later in an attempt to make the disenchanted/disenfranchised people of “West & North Britain[5]” (sic) more ‘British especially after the terrible series of famines in 1840’s the notion of a Celtic Nation was revived.  Even the newly emerging theatre of Yeats and Gregory embraced the lie and staged ‘Celtic’ plays more reminiscent of Wagner’s Ring-Cycle.

Bob Quinn Irish (Gaelic) speaker, writer and film-maker in both the trilogy-documentary and his book Atlantean attempts to prove that Ireland’s heritage and culture has come not from the ‘Celts’ (From the Greek-word Keltoi used to describe any ‘barbarian’ who was not Greek – this was perpetuated by the Romans). Quinn, a former director of RTE Ireland’s public broadcaster, rejects the notion that the Irish are ‘part of the Celts’ but argues that they are an “energetic mixture of many peoples and cultures inhabiting what for thousands of years has essentially been an island trading post” (Quinn, Atlantean, 1986).  In their traditional music, boats and art they are a lot closer to Mediterranean peoples including Arabs and Berbers than to the oft-time quoted myth of them stemming from Celtic or Aryan peoples.

The Mainland Celts

The Celts “…can be traced back for at least twenty-five centuries” beyond the very beginnings of any literate civilization north of the Alps.( Jean Markale; The Celts: 1978; p 14). Markale goes on to write that archaeologists have claimed “with scientific certainty” (Kevin Duffy; Who Were The Celts?; 1999; p 2) that the earliest direct ancestors of the Celts were the Urnfield people. They originated in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland around 1300 BC and lived in the area for about 500 years, until 800 BC

Walking over land carrying all one’s worldly goods would take centuries to cross the mainland from modern-day Czech Republic/Austria/S. Germany. For what? Getting from Egypt to Gibraltar (Pillars-of-Hercules) would take about 10 days. Rome to Gibraltar 7 days base on ancient sailing log-books (Speed_under_Sail_of_Ancient_Ships ).  Another example shows; Rhodes-Alexandria 3 days 4.5 knots in “favourable wind speed”.

Although the study of Celtic-people (Keltoi) started as early as the 6th century (Hecataes) the modern field of study has its origins in the 16th & 17th C with the re-discovery of Greek and Latin texts (Diodorus Siculos (Greek historian writing 60 – 30BC), Julius Ceasar and Strabo (63BC – 24AD) of Greece. There is a brief reference to the Northern Islands in Ezekiel according to Dr. Ian Adamson OBE; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic Language: …the words of the Prophet Ezekiel in his 27th chapter of the Book of God written about 500 B.C. “Where Ezekiel speaks of the rich purple dyes from the Isles of Elishas we may have the first written reference to the British Isles.  The purple dyes of our Islands were celebrated among the later Greeks and Romans and were very expensive”.  Around the time of Christ Ptolomy writes (Hansard, J, pg 3, 1870) that a tribe of people settled in Wexford and Waterford called the Menapii who  were pushed out of Gaul by Ceaser (having been forced out of Germany by Usipites and later seems to have crossed the sea to Ireland “For the sake of preventing their ancient liberty and of avoiding the insolence of the Romans”.  Later writers used such details to enforce the idea that the British Isles were ‘all one family’ in-spite of the obvious massive influxes in races – even in relatively modern times where we have good understanding of population numbers in Britain from around the 10th century. (Josiah C. Russell, Population in Europe: 1972) and where they came from. And after 10th century there is no evidence of an explosion growth in ‘Celtic areas – quite the opposite as Britain’s population rose from 0.5million 10th century to 5million in 1340. The Anglo-Saxon population “augmented” by Vikings followed later by Norman invasion meant that British Celts were pushed ever further West and North. Perhaps from thence sprang the idea that Ireland was settled by British Celts.

“Despite their bias and occasional inaccuracies, the classical accounts of the Celts have formed the foundation of the modern discipline since the fifteen hundreds”. (Rankin,D Celts and the Classical world, Croom Helm-Rutledge, Oxford 1996). As the study of these classical texts continued linguists began to make progress in the field of ‘Celtic’ languages. Celtiberian or Northeastern Hispano-Celtic is the now-extinct language is directly confirmed in nearly 200 inscriptions dated in the 2nd &1st century BC, mainly in Celtiberian script, a direct adaptation of the north-eastern Iberian script, but also in Latin alphabet. Enough has been preserved to show that the Celtiberian language could be called Q-Celtic (like Gaelic), and not P-Celtic like British and its parent Gaulish. Celtiberian would therefore appear to be the ultimate parent Celtic tongue of the Gaelic language. The elephant in the room hasn’t been mentioned however – the closeness of Morocco and Spain – held apart by Atlas.  This is picked up by Bob Quinn again in his writings (The Waiting Room; The Celtic Cow is also Dead, 2012) when he pointed out that “Tartessian” a language that ‘died even in Roman times (Anderson ; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic 2013) under the influence of Latin. Anderson later in the same paper tell us that the “The first great leader of the Feni (later “Gaels”) in Ireland, Tuathal (Teuto–valos) Techtmar, was probably a Roman soldier, commanding Q-Celtic speaking auxiliaries from Spain”. The Tartessian language is now understood to be Paleohispanic language found in the SW of the Iberian Peninsula mainly in the south of Portugal but also in Spain (south of Extremadura and western Andalusia). In fact the earliest known source of this “invasion” from Spain into Ireland is a poem by Mael Mura of Othain in 885AD showing how the folk memory (or collective consciousness) can exist over a millennium. As an aside to this; there was published in The Dublin Penny Journal of 1834 an account where a gentleman in Antrim noted that some weather-bound sailors from Tunis were able to converse with locals who spoke only Gaelic (Quinn, 1986, pg 81).

Celtic languages are now spoken only on the Atlantic facade of Europe, mainly in Britain and Ireland, but were spoken more widely in western and central Europe until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the first millennium AD. (MacEvoy DNA tests, 2004)

The 5th and 6th centuries saw very rapid growth of Gaelic language (records from that time make Gaelic the oldest written vernacular in the western world) and it’s become obvious that the language was quickly adopted by the original inhabitants. Heinrich Wagner points out that “Gaelic had become one of the most bizarre branches of Indo-European since it’s syntax and structure ….non-European”. Quinn simply points out that like Arabic there is no – yes and no in Gaelic, there is no ‘simple’ way of saying good day (like the Arabic – it’s a long-winded process of bestowing blessings) and the verb is at the beginning of the sentence – unlike any other Indo-European language. Examples of common words; Gaelic-Arabic; Íosa-Issa, (Jesus), scian-sekina, (knife). Rosary beads so loved by the Irish are an Arabic invention and the traditional garb of a nun (itself an Egyptian word) is Middle Eastern in origin. In the great epic tale of An Táin Bó Cuailgne (approx. 3 millennia ago) there is a reference to one of the heroes sporting a helmet made in Syria, while Rí Conchubhair (king O’Connor) is credited with hiring Libyan mercenaries, (along with a Barbary ape).

In music of course some of the greatest similarities show up – from the goat-skin single handed bodhrán favourite of the Berbers to the sean-nós singing of West Ireland that when offered to the Middle Eastern they invariably will claim that it’s “their” music – but they can’t understand the words. When this author first heard Galician music he responded that it was Irish music played by foreigners – as there is a certain non-Irish accent.  The Galician’s too have an elbow-powered (uillean) pipe.  The same author played at Arab weddings where his Irish music was danced to and appreciated.  In 1850’s a Lebanese visitor to The Royal Irish academy was chanting from the Qur’an when the eminent antiquarian and native Gaelic speaker Eugene O’Curry took up the refrain singing sean-nós. Those present could not distinguish between the two. They came to the conclusion that the two were related. (Quinn 1986, pg 29

Much art used in Ireland a millennium ago show a direct influence from Arab.  Unlike the twee-folksy “Celtic-art” of angels and ‘goddesses’ the Book of Kells, Lismore Crosier (Findley, Ian. 1973) and other more ‘pagan’ forms (Seela-na-Gigs. Kelly Dr E, 1996) show how close old-Ireland was to the art from Moorish Iberian-peninsula as well as N.Africa itself.

What is totally forgotten is that the seas were not seen as an obstacle to transport but were the highways of the time and as Bob Quinn eloquently points out sea-journeys were much faster and able to shift vast loads compared to overland journeys (NB the English word travel comes from the French travailler to work). Recent studies of old ships logs throw up fascinating figures and stories of extremely long sea-journeys. Patrick Power noted too in his History of Waterford that huge loads can be easily transported via water, (Power, P.C. 1998) He also writes of the ancient Sea-people fo-mhuirigh in connection with ancient Irish sagas.

The sail boats – The Pucáns of the West coast of Ireland and the Arab Dhow are the only boats that use the lateen sail. Dr John de Courcy-Ireland one of the greatest sea-farers of the modern world decared: “An té mbionn long aige, gebheann sé coir uair éigin. (He who has a boat invariably gets a breeze.)…there is blood in every one of us… that came from across the sea …the first people people came here by sea and laid the foundations of a maritime tradition …that is richer and older than almost any country in Europe”. Thirty-seven years after the Spanish Armada disaster Galway’s govenor described Galway as “next to Spain and trading with it” Hardly surprising then that Arab maps of the time show Ireland lying south of England, illustrating how Ireland was perceived by sailors. As early as 600BC Hanno of N.-Africa had sailed around Africa- Herodotus. As early as 425BC N.-Africans were writing extensively about the Atlantic coasts (Quinn pg 42). Consider too that when the Vikings reached the Hebrides, Faros even Iceland they found that the Irish had been there before them (Tim Severin The Brendan Voyage, 1976). “St Brendan’s travels were as well known as the wanderings of Ulysses” -Severn 1976. Severn set out to prove that “Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis” the Voyage or Wandering of St. Brendan was a possibility.  He did.

It must be noted that when the last of the Irish royalty left in 1607 (The Flight of the Earls) they sailed from Lough Swilly at the top of Ireland they took all their goods and treasures with them sure of their sailing-capabilities.

DNA Evidence and Oxford Scholarship.

What is most remarkable about the whole story of how Ireland ‘became’ Celtic is that it’s taken until very recent to expose the sham. A scholarly volume of essays from archaeologists and linguists et al via Oxford “Celtic from the West” and is edited by Barry Cunliffe and John T Koch. In 2006 Cunliffe (former Professor of European Archaeology, Oxford) wrote the preface to Quinn’s Atlantean.

In Facing the Ocean, Barry Cunliffe, one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities on prehistoric Europe, offers a totally original way of looking at that continent. He argues that the peoples of the Atlantic rim–of Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar–all share a cultural-identity shaped by the Atlantic Ocean, going back ten-millennia. These peoples lived at the edge-of-the-world, in places called Land’s End, Finisterre, and Connemara.

DNA findings;

DNA findings of Trinity Collage Dublin microbiology department has traced our common Y chromosome to Spain and Portugal and found that “any evidence for gene-flow from the North-Apline-Zone  .. to Ireland is conspicuously absent”. This includes what Dan Bradley, professor of population genetics in Trinity’s school of genetics and microbiology describes as the “Atlantic-façade”, places along the Atlantic seaboard where the Celtic-languages were spoken including Brittany, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and also northern Spain, particularly in the Basque-regions. Ahlstrom Dick; Genes give clues to early moves. The Celts fanned out across the Atlantic seaboard and all the way to Iceland. Irish Sunday Times, The Irish are not Celts, say experts, Jan Battles, 2004

THE long-held belief that Ireland’s population is descended from the Celts has been disproved by geneticists, who have concluded that they never invaded Ireland. The research at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) into the origins of Ireland’s population found no substantial evidence of the Celts in Irish DNA, and concludes they never settled here en masse. (MacEvoy et al 2004)

It would seem that we need to re-think our entire idea of what it is to be a Celt.

There are a number of genetic-markers related to blood groups that link the “native-Irish” and these Atlantic-façade populations, which means they all share a common-ancestry, says Bradle. It may be that settlers from these regions were the ones who originally migrated to Ireland to settle an otherwise empty land. And despite their closeness, it seems that Ireland was settled in a much different way from Britain. Research has shown that there was very little genetic-overlap between the two populations. And while Britain shares genetic-markers with continental Europeans, there was much less continental mixing in the Atlantic-façade populations.

The Oxford scholars now support Quinn’s theories and accept that anything celtic in Ireland may have actually originated on South coastal-fringes of the Atlantic. When modern North-African universities develop their own genetic-analysis-techniques we may find out that we ‘Celts’ have a lot of cousins down there.


Ahlstrom Dick; Genes give clues to early moves. The Celts fanned out across the Atlantic seaboard and all the way to Iceland. Irish Times, 05-11-2004,

Anderson ; Tarshish and the Origins of the Gaelic  Posted on May 13th 2012. Accessed 28-12-2012.

Battles, J. The Irish are not Celts, say experts, The Sunday Times, (Ireland). 05-09-2004, 6.

Cunliffe, B. Celtic from the West: Alternative Perspectives from Archaeology, Genetics, Language and Literature, Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK, 2001.

De Courcy Ireland; Ireland’s Maritime Heritage, An Post, Dublin,1992

Duffy; Who Were The Celts?; Heritage Books, Inc., 1996 Barnes & Noble, London, 1999.

Emile Durkheim. [Internet]. 2013. The Biography Channel website. Available from: [Accessed 05 Jan 2013].

Fake Sandy;  Accessed 28-12-2012

Findley, Ian.  Celtic Art. Faber & Faber, London, 1973

Galician Music; Accessed 02-01-2013

Halpin, A. The Longbow; Terror Weapon of Europe, Lecture, National Museum of Ireland 2012

Hitler ‘dancing’; YouTube; Uploaded on May 31, 2010. A Mechanical Icon film; Accessed 26-12-2012

Joyce, P. W. (Patrick Weston), Irish local names explained; 1827-1914. Dublin : Educational Co. of Ireland, 1922.

Kelly E.p. Seela-na-Gigs, Origins and Functions, National Museum of Ireland/Ard-Mhúsaem Na hÉireann, publisher; Town House, Dublin.1996.

Kerry, J ; Kerry_Fonda_2004_election_photo.  and Doctored-Kerry-photo-brings-anger-threat-of-suit  Accessed 23-12-2012

Kinsella, T. Táin Bó Cuailgne, Oxford Uni. Press 1969.

Lluyd E. Archaeologia Britannica: Texts and Translations. 1707, unknown publicist.

Loftus, E. Make-Believe Memories. American Psychologist, Vol 58(11), Nov 2003, 867-873. and Psycnet psychological study in memory manipulation; 

Macdonald, S. International Journal of Heritage Studies. Vol 12, Nr 1,pg 22. 2006

McEvoy B. Richards M, Forster P, Bradley DG. The Longue Duree of genetic ancestry: multiple genetic marker systems and Celtic origins on the Atlantic facade of Europe. Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Oct;75(4):693-702. Epub 2004 Aug 12.

Markale; The Celts: Uncovering the Mythic and Historic Origins of Western Culture; Inner Traditions, International, Rochester, Vermont, 1978; p 14).

Metropolitan Museum Exposition on Doctored Pictures before Digital Age press-room/exhibitions/2012/faking-it

O’Cathain Detta; Ireland is embedded deep in the DNA of its diaspora, Irish Times, Opinion and Analysis, 24th Dec 2012.

Photographs of Irish/picture scenes; Ireland Photographs 1840 – 1930 Sexton, S. 1994, Laurance King Publishing, London.

Piggott, S. The Druids, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1968.

Power, P.C. The History of Waterford, City and County, de Paor, Dungarvan 1998.

Quinn, B. Atlantean: Ireland’s North African and Maritime Heritage. Quartet Books; NY & London. 1986.


Severn, T. The Brendan Voyage, Random House New York, 1978. See also;

Soviet v German photography WWll; photo-manipulations-in-the-ussr/ Accessed 01-01-2012

Springer Link pdf;  A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies, Kimberley A. Wade, Maryanne Garry, J. Don Read, D. Stephen Lindsay.  Psychonomic Bulliten & Review 2002, 9 (3), 597,603.

Tartessian” (tarshish-and-the-origins-of-the-gaelic-language-2/) Accessed 28-12-2012.

Waiting Room Magazine; The Celtic Cow is also Dead, Feature; Summer Journal 2012



Exhibition Devoted to History of Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age.      Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop is organized by Mia Fineman, Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs.

Soviet Image Editing Tool From 1987; soviet-image-editing-tool-from-1987 nacturation writes”Three years before Photoshop 1.0 was released, computer engineers in the USSR were already retouching photographsusing some surprisingly advanced technology. A video shows how the Soviets went about restoring damaged images with the help of rotary scanners, magnetic tape, and trackballs.

More recently pictures have been doctored to portray politicians seemingly hob-nobbing with other people that are deemed to be less-savoury – one example of this, is the infamous photograph of Senator John Kerry is sitting next to Jane Fonda, with the caption explaining that both Kerry and Fonda were at a Vietnam war protest. The New York Times cited the image, and many anti-Kerry blogs and sites displayed it prominently. The problem is that the photograph is a fake. Kerry and Fonda were never at any anti-war protest together – someone had combined two different photographs. (San Francisco Chronicle “Doctored Kerry photo brings anger, threat of suit / Software, Net make it easy to warp reality). Of course something similar happened to Mitt Romney’s children mistakenly standing in a line spelling out the word “MONEY[6]”,

Kerrry-Fonda photos; Ken Light (copyright-owner of original Kerry-image) sued Richard Taylor creator of (faked) image in NY federal court. The case is still under appeal. Other doctored photos show Kerry sitting next to a Viet Cong flag (Free Republic website ). Accessed 24-12-2012.

Lessons on photo-manipulation may be found on the web, for instance;  /

Collective Consciousness

The Division of Labour in Society, David Emile Durkheim (Epinal, France 1857-1917) considered to be the father of sociology introduces a concept that has become a cornerstone of sociological vocabulary, collective consciousness. Durkheim introduces this phrase as a label for “the totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society” (Durkheim 39). He will be remembered as one who feared the mechanisation of life. He felt that the division of labour as well as mechanisation and technology would lead to ethical and moral produced alienation among workers, and feared the greed inspired by increased prosperity. His books include The Division of Labour in Society, Suicide, and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Emile Durkheim. [Internet]. 2013. The Biography Channel website. Available from: [Accessed 05 Jan 2013].

Bob Quinn; (Born 1935). Atlantean: Ireland’s North African and Maritime Heritage. Publisher: Quartet Books. Publication Date: 1986″ argues that Ireland’s ‘sean-nos’ singing is directly related to Arab music and describes further evidence of cultural ties between Ireland and the Middle East.” ISBN 13: 9780704325241. He has played tapes of Irish singers to Turkish and Asian as well as Arab musicians and they usually respond that that is ‘their’ music. Our dancing too has renonance of the Moorish/Spanish influence of the flamenco. When we start our stories we invariably preface with Fadó fadó – or long-long ago. But Fado is the Portuguese word for a ballad – and a ballad tells a story.

Edward Lhuyd’s Archaeologia Britannica effectively marks the discovery of the Celtic languages and the founding of Celtic Studies. First published in 1707, of a first-hand study of the ‘Celtic’ languages and four-year journey through the different countries where they were spoken.  Celtic Studies Publications 2009. Language: English- with some translations. ISBN- ISBN-13: 978-1891271144.

Born probably in 1660 in Loppington, Shropshire, Edward Lhuyd was brought up by his father, Edward Lloyd, in Llanforda, Oswestry. Edward Lloyd is often described as a colourful character, and is usually portrayed as a dissolute, hot-tempered man seeking to avoid bankruptcy through loans and by a number of commercial ventures. He was, however, an informed horticulturalist who employed a professional gardener. (

Gall; Foreigner (Gaul) one from the East; Gall, Gael, Gaelic word meaning ‘strangers’ or ‘foreigners’. (Weston 1922).  For example, Donegal (Fortess of the foreigners).  Though the official Irish term for Wales is Breathnach (also a family name in Ireland).  And we mustn’t forget that Wales is one of our nearest neighbours and provides the greatest land-bridge to the mainland of Europe. Yet protected us from European invasion of Keltoi and later Romans when the Gales were trading with Iberia/Africa.(Bob Quin, 1986). In another twist of fate the Greeks either invented (or adapted) origin myths about these Keltoi and their progenitor was given as Celtus, a son of Heracles, and Celtine, the daughter of Bretannus.

Wales – What’s in a name? Edward Dawson is of the opinion that ‘Wales’ and its cognates in Germanic languages probably derives from an earlier form of the name that the Celts used for themselves. The ancient Greeks recorded that the northern barbarians were Keltoi, and Julius Caesar reported that the Gauls called themselves Celtae in their own language. Recorded tribal names of Galati and Galaci existed. So how did ‘Celt’ become ‘Wal’? The Celtic habit was to take a ‘w’ sound and stick a ‘g’ in front of it (G and K are usually interchangeable). This occurred before the first century AD at least once with another word, that for forest (wood in English, coed in Welsh). This first shift apparently placed a ‘k’ instead of a ‘g’; possibly due to regional dialects. If one postulates that the original name of the Celts was ‘Walt’, then the Celts placed a ‘k’ in front of it to produce ‘Kwalt’, which was shortened to ‘Kelt’. The Germans would have continued using the original Walt, softening the ‘t’ to a ‘th’, then dropping it entirely to produce ‘Wal’. If so the Welsh were not ‘foreigners’ as such but were literally the Celts.

Sailing; The author has sailed the Irish hookers, (lantern-sailed)pucháns, and (sailing) currachs (while researcher for An Meithal Mara currach-builders Cork) and has sailed Arab dhows (Egypt) and many West European  boats (long-distance delivery) as well as having been cox-swain on the Irish Sail-Training Boat Asgard ll on several occasions. The author has proven on live TV that a weight tied to a rope overboard from a boat can provide more immediate/accurate information on speed than the latest GPS. (VPRO, Dutch TV 1990) as well as having been the driving force that changed the law in Ireland about wooden v steel bulkheads.

In Facing the Ocean, Barry Cunliffe, one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities on prehistoric Europe, offers a totally original way of looking at that continent. Following on from the seminal work of Bob Quinn he argues that the peoples of the Atlantic rim–of Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar–all share a cultural identity shaped by the Atlantic Ocean, an identity which stretches back almost ten thousand years. These peoples lived at the edge of the world, in places called Land’s End, Finisterre, and Connemara (by the sea). Finisterra, and looked out on a bountiful but terrifying expanse of ocean, a roiling, merciless infinity beyond which there was nothing. Their profound relationship with the ocean set these communities apart from their inland countryman, creating a distinct Atlantic culture. Cunliffe culls the archaeological evidence to illuminate the bonds that developed and intensified between these isolated communities and helped to maintain a shared and distinctive Atlantic identity.
Attractively designed and vibrantly written, Facing the Ocean offers a striking reassessment of a people who have usually been regarded as peripheral to European history. It will send shock waves through the history world and will radically change our view of the European past.

Lateen Sails;  a note.

Conventional interpretations give the lateen sail an important place in the history of navigation as a transitional sail–a link between square sails and fore-and-aft sails–that Europeans adopted from the Arabs. The conventional view is that this acquisition endowed European ships with greater manoeuvrability and thereby made possible the new ship designs and voyaging accomplishments of the Renaissance and later centuries. The conventional view also holds that superior sails evolved from the lateen, leading to a lasting transformation of sailing ship technology. This article maintains, on the contrary, that the Arabs neither invented the lateen nor transmitted it to Europe; that it was a specialized sail, the wider importance of which has been generally exaggerated; that it did not lead to further sail evolution; and that lateen-style sails were developed in the Pacific independently of those in the west Asian and Mediterranean culture areas.

Ireland’s Golden Age;

Ireland’s Golden age was from 6th to 10th centuries – which coincides exactly with the Arab golden age. We share much of our art and music.

A Note on Language:

Archaeologists do not believe that the Celts were one homogeneous people but were composed of many tribes speaking a similar language. How these different tribes came to speak a common language is not known, but these various peoples, referred to as Celtic, spoke a language which was a predecessor of modern-day Irish. Thus the word “Celtic” became a way of describing the people who spoke the Gaelic language: In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English, by Leo Eaton, Carmel McCaffrey


DNA Tests;

Am J Hum Genet. 2004 October; 75(4): 693–702. Published online 2004 August 12.


By examining the genetic variation in present day Irish people we can learn about our origin and history. Previous work in our lab looking at the Y chromosome, which is paternally inherited, suggests that most Irish trace their origin to the initial settlers of Island several thousand years ago. We are now looking at maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA to see if our female history is the same or different to that of our male ancestors.

The paternal inheritance of the Y chromosome is the same pattern typically followed by surnames. In other words, both surname and the Y chromosome are passed from father to son down the male family line. By comparing the Y chromosomes of many different men with the same surname, we are seeking to find out how many men were involved in starting prominent Irish surnames (names under study include McGuinness, Ryan, Kennedy, Murphy, Kelly, O’Neill, Byrne, O’Sullivan and McCarthy amongst others) and how names from the same regions of Ireland relate to each other.

Stone circles from the Early Bronze-Age are comparable to similar work found in Middle-East. [7] Was Drombeg’s stone circle designed using skills learned in Babylon?

Late Iron-Age finds point to N. African ‘visitors’:

Interestingly, the remains of a second probable ‘immigrant’ were also identified at Bettystown. Again this person was a male, who had been buried in a crouched position, sometime between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. Isotope analysis of the man’s teeth revealed an origin in either southern Portugal or along the north African coast (Cahill Wilson 2014, p. 131).

Mammals in Ireland:

A recent book by Prof Ian Montgomery of Queen’s University of Belfast Mind the Gap published by Irish Naturalists Journal has shown that small mammals – “pigmy-shrew, badger, pine martin, and so on” – taken (accidentally) into Ireland have NOT come via Britain as was long suspected but following the DNA trail he has shown that they have come from Iberia and Scandinavia. Again this points out the use of longer open-sea travel and direct contact/connect with sea-faring nations well before ‘Celts’ were travelling here to trade.


[1] First Major Exhibition Devoted to History of Manipulated Photography Before Digital Age Opens at Metropolitan Museum; October 11 —January 27, 2013

[2] “Apocalyptic-looking clouds over Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy”-

[3] Edward Lhuyd’s Archaeologia Britannica effectively marks the “discovery of the Celtic languages” and the founding of Celtic Studies. First published in 1707

[4] It’s also worth noting that many indigenous people have more than one name. The first was a magical and secret name known only to family/close friends, a second name for ‘general usage’ and sometimes even a third name for use with those outside the clan-tribal-village circle. Growing up in Ireland it was very uncommon 40 years ago to know someone’s ‘first’ name until they offered it as a sign of closeness. The American brashness of everybody using the praenomen [4]is a very modern occurrence.  We are apt however to say – I’m one of the Cork(onian) Murphy’s.

[5] Scottish Whisky was referred to as North British Whisky and Irish as West British Whiskey. To this day to call someone a West Brit is about as insulting as one can get without resorting to common-swearing.


The Phisical Geography of the Sea by Bernard Bailyn; Belknap Press of Harvard, Mass. 1855 until authors-copy 1963 – Explains about how ancient mariners could ‘read’ the sea and assess tides, current and drift. See also Henry Stommel, The Gulf Stream; a Physical and Dynamical Description Berkley and Los Angeles 1960.