A Long Time Since Tipperary

Some photos speak for themselves, others can use a little explaining. Though I took this shot almost 40 years ago, seeing it brought back some vivid memories: For starters, our meal at "Chez Hans," housed in a former church in County Tipperary in the south of Ireland, was delicious.

Despite its Franco-German sounding name — and never mind the Swiss, American and German flags! — I remember feasting on traditional Irish delicacies. But rediscovering this slide in my archives brought back my recollection of that little boy in the foreground, staring directly at my camera: He was a spooky little lad!

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Lucky Chaplin

There is a well-known statue of Charlie Chaplin in Vevey, Switzerland, not far from my hometown, where the great American actor lived for 25 years. But what was he doing in Ireland? The quiet village of Waterville, County Kerry, happened to be a favorite vacation spot for the Chaplin family.

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Inside Cork, Apple's Controversial European Headquarters

CORK — On a December morning, as my plane pierces the ceiling of clouds and begins its descent toward the airport of Cork, my eyes are drawn to the flocks of sheep spread across the green fields below. It's hard to imagine but this seemingly rural backdrop in southern Ireland houses the European headquarters of Apple, one the most important American companies in the world.

Cork has made headlines in recent months. Last year, the European Commission ordered Apple to pay 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland based on their operations in Cork. Apple employs 6,000 people in the city, and created an estimated 2,500 related jobs. The Commission accused Ireland of illegally helping Apple with tax breaks and denounced Dublin's tax incentives policy.

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My Irish Holiday: Summer Winds And Whiskey

Our itinerant Slovenian-born New Yorker takes a long-awaited voyage to the land of Joyce and good drink, and a certain singular brand of modesty.

How does one decide to visit Ireland? I have friends who did it out of their newly discovered passion for golf. And I remember the late president of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, who went to Ireland every summer and praised Irish literature and Guinness.

Then there are my Slovenian compatriots who, when I asked them what Ireland was like, told me that it was very similar to our country. And last but not least, there are my Irish friends. But none of them — not a single one — ever told me that I should come and visit Ireland. The Irish are modest. They love their country and they want to keep it to themselves. And like all smart people, they are also inveterate gossips.

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Bluer Than Blue

Blue sky, blue car, blue bicycle, and a very blue pub.


Kosovo War Crimes, Catalonia's Call, Minion Mayhem


Greek stocks have continued their descent on Tuesday, on the second day of heavy losses after a five-week shutdown of Greece's stock exchange amidst the debt crisis. All four major Greek banking stocks were down around 30% in early trading.

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Anne Sophie Goninet

With Ireland Referendum, A Video Tour Of Gay Marriage Around The World

Ireland holds a referendum Friday that could make it the first country to legalize gay marriage by a direct vote of the people. The passage of the referendum would mark a startling turn of events in a historically conservative Catholic country where homosexual acts were against the law up until 1993. Here is an opinion piece on the debate in Ireland from the Irish Times.

Though no other country has held a national referendum on the issue, same-sex marriage has been made legal in all or parts of nearly 20 nations, beginning in 2001 in the Netherlands. Take a quick tour around the world!

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Eurovision Contestants 2015: Ireland

Ireland rocks at Eurovision. With seven wins since the birth of the most over-the-top singing contest, the country is actually the most successful at it. So, congrats...?

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Whisky On The Menu

After it was burned down during the 1990s, Dublin's Old Jameson Distillery re-opened in 1997 as a tourist attraction, guiding visitors through the stages of whisky making.

I even had dinner inside the beautiful distillery — although, for some reason, I'm having trouble remembering what I ate that night ...


Ask A Ghost

Legend has it that if you stand at the front gate of Dunguaire Castle and ask a question, you'll have an answer by the end of the day. I don't know who's doing the answering, but I'd be more curious to hear from the ghosts of W.B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw, the two Irish writers who used to meet in the castle.


Good News For Ireland's Farting Cows

Ireland's gassy cows emit so much methane gas that the country wants to be treated as a special case when it comes to greenhouse gas levels.

EU leaders met overnight Thursday and agreed to cut emissions 40% by the year 2030, compared with 1990 levels. Between 10-12% of greenhouse gas emissions come from global agriculture, but in Ireland the figure is much higher — around 33%.

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food / travel
Laurence Girard

Tap That Cask! How Whiskey Is Making A Comeback In Ireland

The Irish War of Independence, prohibition and World War II nearly wiped out the Irish whiskey industry, but now the brew is making a formidable comeback on the shamrock island.

MIDLETON — With the end of EU-imposed dairy quotas next year, Ireland will soon open wide its milk tap. Farmers will be ready to lead larger herds back in the island's meadows, and dairy output will grow expontially. But another source of income is on the rise in Ireland these days: Irish whiskey. Over the past 30 years, Ireland has had only three whiskey distilleries, but by next year there are expected to be a dozen.

Nearly 60 years to the day after it first shut down, powerful stills are steaming again at the Tullamore Dew distillery, located halfway between Dublin and Galway.

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Comic Relief

This little village in County Kerry is nicknamed "The Little Whirlpool," and it's so peaceful it's no wonder it was a favorite holiday destination for Charlie Chaplin and his family.