14 May 1985 – 30 years ago



The first photographs I took were on a school trip to Connemara in 1985. I just noticed that it was exactly 30 years ago today that we started the trip.

14 May 1985

Climbing one of the Twelve Bens on the first day of the trip. To say that we were unprepared would be an understatement!


Chris point the way to an unimpressed Chris. John looks nonplussed.



The wind and rain was quite brutal. Unfortunately, we were nowhere near the top at this point.


This was the top of the mountain. Now looking relieved to a downward stroll.






Engaging in some spiritual reflection on the way down.

15 May 1985

Ben Lettery Youth Hostel




Nice weather on the one day that we didn’t climb any mountains.



Patrick posing at the Alcock and Brown memorial



16 May 1985


Ben Lettery Youth Hostel



The final photo after an exhausing and we climb on the last day of the trip.

Irish now on Duolingo

Duolingo which is a fantastic language learning tool (I have it on my phone). It’s perfect for short bursts of brushing up on a language in small 10 minute sessions.

Now, I just found this post on Reddit that they have added Irish.

It’s still in beta so it can only be used on your computer. Once, it has come out of beta, it will be available on the mobile app.

Red Alert

It’s been stormy the whole Christmas period from a very bumpy landing at Dublin airport to being without electricity most of Christmas Eve. Tonight looks like being the worst of it. Winds are blowing like hell at the moment and it’s much worse in other parts of Ireland.
Happy Christmas!


At times like this, one needs a great weather app. All of the obvious and most reviewed ones are pretty useless when it comes to showing the forecast for wind. So after trying all of the top ones, I downloaded yr.no. Quite brilliant for showing predicted wind speeds and directions. The only quibble is that the meteorological forecast is in Norwegian.

Tom Gilmartin

RIP Tom Gilmartin.

Lovely piece in the Irish Times by Miriam Lord today

But when the final report was published, Tom Gilmartin’s story was the one the tribunal believed, because when he spoke of large sums of money going to named politicians, those same amounts surfaced in the myriad of accounts maintained by these paragons.


Norwegian airlines now offers direct weekend flights between Helsinki and Dublin all year round. #aerlingus #norwegian #helsinki #dublin

I was searching for a flight home yesterday and was surprised when hipmunk found a direct flight between Helsinki and Dublin. When I saw it was offered by Norwegian Airlines, I headed to kayak.com as they offer a tool for looking up direct flights from any airport. In addition to the usual Aer Lingus schedule (Saturday and Tuesday), I saw that Norwegian offer direct flights on Friday and Monday which is much more sensible for a weekend break. I personally prefer this schedule and have already booked an extra trip with Norwegian. I wonder why the schedule planning team in Aer Lingus couldn’t have offered what the city break consumer wanted on the Dublin- Helsinki route?

The Irish Times on engagement with Irish expatriates

Even though I’ve been living outside Ireland too long to be suitable to have a vote myself, I still think that expatriates who have an Irish passport should be allowed to vote for around 7 years after they leave. That’s why the editorial in today’s Irish Times makes good sense.

Ireland is one of the few European countries that denies emigrants even a restricted vote in local and national elections. In situations of forced migration, that represents a double rejection. Some expatriates may resent being asked to help a society that failed them. If the Government wishes to value these citizens and establish a creative relationship with them, it could begin by extending the franchise.