1. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    Any Ireland natives?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Indarican, Apr 1, 2016.

    Hey All.

    So I am well on my way to getting all my bases down for my next book but I am having a little bit of an issue with my location.
    This book is to take place in Ireland. Problem I have never been to Ireland and no very little about the country. (It's on my bucket list to get there soon!) Anyway I was wondering if there was anyone from Ireland or who have spent time there to share some great places that I could look into as potential places for my book. What I really need is:
    A town/village that has more of a country feel then a city feel
    An area that has lots of rain or cloud cover.
    A legit castle and the area that it is in preferable if it is abandon, run down looking
    And any Irish superstitions in regards to bad omens and things like that, I read up on a few via google but I'm sure there are some that only those that have experienced it will know about.

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    I'm not from there but I have been there, though I wouldn't say I know the place intimately. I'm sure there must be people here who could help you much better than me, but I think I can give you at least a couple of pointers.

    Almost anywhere that isn't Dublin or Belfast. Take a look at Google Maps and stick in a pin.

    Literally, anywhere on the whole island. They don't call it 'the Emerald Isle' for nothing.

    Sorry, I can't be specific, but google it. There are many. You will be spoiled for choice.

    Sorry again, I can't help with this one because I've a feeling that the ones I know are probably not specifically Irish (crowing hens and whistling girls are bad luck, faery's steal most children in May, good things come to those who wait - no, wait a minute, that last one is the tag line for Guinness stout).
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'd be very careful with this. The Republic of Ireland (and Northern Ireland) is a real place where real people live. It's not full of leprechauns or pots of gold. A scenario that relies on superstition and Emerald Isle stereotypes could easily slide into risible cliche ...like that ridiculous Outlander series has done with Scotland.

    However, what I would do if I were forging ahead with this story would be to do research (LOTS) on actual villages in Ireland. Not only pictorial research, but research into the history of these places. And then invent a village that incorporates all the real qualities you need. You can invent the name of the village, the name of the nearby castle, to some extent the history of the castle, you can create ways in and out of the village, the names of people who live there, etc. That way you won't offend locals who come from a real village, as long as you don't stereotype Ireland or the Irish themselves either.

    The great thing about living anywhere in the British Isles is the sense that you're always walking on historical ground. There is hidden history everywhere, but in some places it bounces to the surface more easily that other places. Some places contain people who adhere more strongly to traditions that go back a long way than people who live in other areas.

    What I would recommend most highly of all is for you to visit Ireland—after you've done enough research to know what you're looking for, and can see past the stereotypes. Listen to Irish traditional music, songs, and modern music (if that's relevant to your story.) Read Irish writers, past and present. Then come over this way and see for yourself. And keep an open mind. Speak to people, ask questions, listen, look around. You might find the place more fascinating than what your imagination now holds. This can't help but enrich your story.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
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  4. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I have travelled to Ireland several times. The first time, seventeen years old in Dublin, I night-clubbed, stepped from shadows, approached a dame.

    'Hey foxy lady,' I said, [cool in the way of things]

    'Oh, you're English,' she said, swooned, so pretty, feminine, probably pretty, I can't remember exact characteristics. We had such a lovely time together. We were disco-dancing.

    Then she said, 'my boyfriend is coming, for I cannot talk to you any longer [dialect], your castle sounds fascinating. But please talk to my friend.'

    And she was horrible, still sweating after her game of gaelic rugby, it was kind of tragic in my memories.

    ...

    As a pro-admin assistant I made a speech at the Irish Parliament, known as the Oireache. This is an achievement of mine. Later they bussed us executive peoples to a neolithic pile of rocks, and we wandered deep inside caverns where ancestors sheltered from tigers. Every year at equinox sunlight penetrates the - maybe call it a citadel, or something.

    Mainly they really like me over there: fists, slaps of poets upon my shoulders that night I left the pub, Irish call traditional farewell Oyefekoff, if I recall them faces properly.

    What else?

    Stayed in the most bombed hotel in Europe. Belfast's Europa is no fun. Staff provide residents with a tiny duck in your hotel bathroom, as if a yellow duck would protect me from Slab Murphy, who is quite horrid if you need a bad guy representative, depending on one's POV, suppose.

    ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  5. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, as @jannert says it is important not to wade into political issues, or utilise a stream of cliches when analysing the plight of plucky protestant paramilitaries overwhelmed by the green horde of Catholicism, nationalist darkness perspective.
     
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  6. Moridin
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    Moridin New Member

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    Donegal is the place you want to look at as it will cover a couple of your points. As for superstitions, what kind of book is it? If you hear a banshee the a loved one will die the next day is an example, as an aside my granny's next door neighbour heard one a couple of days before my grandfather died. Apparently. That was before I was born
     
  7. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    Things worthy of note here -

    1. Ireland genuinely does get pretty bad weather. The whole place is made of coastline and it's on the same latitude as Newfoundland. It's on the gulf stream so it's not as cold as it otherwise would be (true for all of the UK) but it gets a lot of rain and a lot of wind. That doesn't mean it lacks seasons or anything, and it can be nice and warm in the summer but rain is never far away.

    2. Yeah, seriously you can stick a pin in a map and find a nice Irish village. There's loads of them. Same for castles. I have a certain fondness for County Cork (and Ballincollig Castle might suit your needs...) but that's just because my family are from there.

    3. While there's lots of received wisdom omen's that are still extant in Ireland they've become more cultural idioms, not actual beliefs anymore. Faeries and banshees are just in the cultural lexicon.

    4. You would probably be well advised to set it in Northern Ireland, at least linguistically. A lot of stuff in the Republic is named in Gaelic and they are very proud of their cultural heritage. They really don't like when people screw up their language. Being in the North will also put in the land of the pound which has a certain fairy tale something to it.

    5. Irish and particularly Northern Irish politics is something to stay a million miles away from unless you are writing a book specifically about that. It's not quite so tense anymore but it's still a bit 'with us or against us'. I was never in Ireland during the troubles but I went to uni with people who grew up during the bad old days and saw British soldiers on the streets and woke up to gunshots in the night. It's quite hard for those of us who grew up in the west to imagine living in a nice normal, every day town with superstores and street lights where there is literally an armed insurgency being fought. Suffice to say that even though things have cooled people on both sides are still a bit touchy on the subject.
     
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  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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  9. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    'Does he dig with the right foot?' is what they say, or used to say, olden times up in Ulster - if anybody would like to develop, expand on this cultural aspect?

    'Does he dig with the right foot?'

    'Aye, he's one of ours.'
     
  10. ShannonH
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    ShannonH Senior Member Supporter

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    Dunluce Castle is the answer for the second last question.

    Any other specific questions that haven't been answered yet then feel free to just give me a shout.
     
  11. ShannonH
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    ShannonH Senior Member Supporter

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    I've heard it referred to as 'Kicking with the left foot'.
     
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  12. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    But does he @ShannonH pull my leg?

    ...or is it right and left footer?
     
  13. Moridin
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    Moridin New Member

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    he kicks with the other foot is how it was said in Lurgan
     
  14. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry to ask really - it's dialogue in a piece I wrote ...0n blog, achully.

    My 'old' friend eloped with the orange order superintendent's daughter when he was 19, in 1965...he was a Catholic lad...so...
     
  15. ShannonH
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    ShannonH Senior Member Supporter

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    Probably was a bit of a local scandal back in 1965. Significantly less so now.
     
  16. Marc83
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    Marc83 New Member

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    Genuine Irish person here, genuinely living in Ireland (Belfast) and everything, at your service....

    Donegal (as was previously mentioned) ticks all your boxes, its countryside but in a wild way not agricultural as the ground is all rocks and not suitable for growing or supporting livestock, it rains ALL the time, It has a dark side to its history with revolutions, wars and famine all playing significant parts, there are lots of ruins and relics (check out Doe castle in creeslough, pronounced kreesh-lock or dunlewy church near Bunbeg, the ruins are in really good condition.... for ruins obviously)
    If you are looking for an appropriate superstition for ruined castles in rolling Irish countrysides, you want the story of the Banshee!

    I hope this helps and just ask if you would like any more info....
     
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  17. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    1. A town/village that has more of a country feel than a city feel.

    From where I'm currently sitting, there are five villages no less than three or four miles from me. Throw a stone in Ireland and it will land on a village.

    2. An area that has lots of rain or cloud cover.

    Everywhere. Pick any location in Ireland and it will rain there. It's raining as I'm frigging typing this!

    3. A legit castle and the area that it is in preferable if it is abandon, run down looking.

    You'll find one in every county. Some of them are in better shape than others, but most of them suit the criteria you're looking for.

    4. Any Irish superstitions in regards to bad omens.

    My parents have a horseshoe above the threshold of their door, supposedly for good luck. We touch wood when we talk of people recovering from illness. "James is back on his feet, thank God and touch wood." There are a few others than elude me right now, but we're not an overly superstitious bunch.

    What sort of book are you planning to write?
     
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  18. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    You Britons and your villages. We just concentrate our population density primarily on the coasts XD. Better conditions there. Not as much room for villages.
     
  19. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    Britons?

    I'm not British, pal. I'm Irish.

    There is a difference. ;)
     
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  20. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    It's the British Isles. So, Briton. I'm talking mostly geography because otherwise Australia's still kinda-sort-of British because the Queen is technically in charge, but acts exclusively through the Governor General who is also quite inactive themselves, though important and respected.
     
  21. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    At the risk of derailing this thread, no, not Briton.

    'Briton' refers to someone who is a native or inhabitant of Great Britain, or a person of British descent, and I am neither of those things. I am Irish. It says so on my passport and my birth certificate.

    I'd rather not get into a prolonged argument about it: it's disrespectful to Indarican's thread.
     
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  22. ShannonH
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    ShannonH Senior Member Supporter

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    It's...complicated.

    The island of Ireland is part of the British isles but that does not make someone from Ireland British or a 'Briton.'
     
  23. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    For some reason our spineless politicians haven't addressed the myth of Ireland being a British Isle (in crappy atlases) because it's not a British Isle. It is an Isle but it is not British - it is Irish - therefore it is an Irish Isle - like so many other Irish Isles such as the Isle of Aaran and many, many more - now, which part of that is not understood?

    Going back to the OP, this should be the fun part of your story. Research is what will complete your book and give you the vigour and motivation to continue. Why are you basing it in Ireland if you have done absolutely zero research? What makes your story Irish if you know nothing about the country? Pfffft...
     
  24. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    to add:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_naming_dispute

    this has been brought up by politicians on both islands as well as in the contested North of Ireland and many new names for this particular group of islands have been suggested such as...

    British Isles and Ireland
    United Kingdom (or UK) and (Republic of) Ireland (or ROI)
    Islands of the North Atlantic (or IONA)
    Northwest European Archipelago
    West European Isles
    Pretanic Isles
    Insular

    The term British isles is not even used in Irish schoolbooks and there is obviously the wish on both sides for a suitable name for our group of islands but as usual they just can't agree so for now it's Britain and Ireland (alphabetically only) like the British and Irish Lions...

    I like the IONAs myself.
     
  25. ShannonH
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    ShannonH Senior Member Supporter

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    Not looking to drag the subject off topic but the British Isles is a geographic term and nothing more and refers to the islands of Ireland, Great Britain and about 6,000 smaller ones. It doesn't mean the island itself is British as it certainly isn't.
     

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