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Scenes from Xmas day in Dublin by Random Irish Photos.

Random writes:

It was a day of disaster and joy for a variety of Dubliners today. But mostly joy.
A taxi driver saw his car go up in flames on Cathal Brugha Street around 9am. Meanwhile a few streets away on Marlborough Street, female choristers assembled before 10am mass, followed at 11am by the boys. Slipping in with minutes to spare was Michael D and his good lady.
Some distance away was Lorraine Fitzsimons, of Age Action, handing out food and other goodies to a small army of volunteers who brought them to some 44 elderly in need from all over the city.
Helping her provide for ‘older people, living alone, with nobody to go to and nobody to come and visit’ was her brother Michael.
And in  Ballsbridge, the Knights of St. Columbanus were on hand with their Christmas Day dinners for the homeless and others at the RDS. Among them was Noel Brennan, 62.
Originally from Limerick, he hasn’t spoken to the last remaining member of his family – his older brother Paddy – for more than 20 years. And since his partner Rose died in 2010, ‘things just haven’t been the same’. But maybe, he wonders, if Paddy sees his picture, he might get in touch.Also at the annual event was married couple Clay and Rachael McDonald, ex-Dubliners’ Eamonn Campbell and long-time homeless campaigner and city mayor, Christy Burke.

Rebecca Dunne, 27, from Tallaght. was one of the proudest Christmas Day mothers, with the 12.12am birth of son Azam. Weighing in at 7lbs 4 ounces, she posed for photos at the Coombe Hospital with husband Nadeem Siddiqui, 31, and 16-month-old son Moin.
Rebecca was out shopping on Christmas Eve when she had to quickly head into hospital for the delivery of a boy who had not actually been due till the 27th. The guy in the lift is a security guard who has worked at The Coombe on Christmas Day every year for the last 13 years.

Random Irish Photos

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Scenes by Random Irish Photos from the re-opening of St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford, Co Longford this evening. The cathedral was gutted by fire during Christmas 2009 (top).

Random writes:

Tonight saw  the first mass being held in St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford. Gutted by fire in 2009, more than €30 million has been  been spent restoring the iconic neo-classical-style building named after the 5th century saint and uncle of St Patrick..

Just under 1,000 people turned up for the mass, which was celebrated by Fr Tom Healy – the last priest to say mass in the cathedral before it caught fire in the early hours of December 25, 2009.

Although it was originally thought to have been started by vandals, it was an accident.
It started in a section of a chimney flue in the old heating system of the building – that dates back to 1840 – sometime between midnight mass and 5am. It spread to the sacristy and then to the wood floor before catching wooden beams and roof.The heat was so intense that marble fittings melted. Indeed, 26 limestone columns would have to be completely replaced as they had shattered under the intense heat, which reached as high as 1,100c.

The roof was destroyed, the floor collapsed into the crypt and countless priceless religious artifacts and other treasures were destroyed. As well as paintings, tapestries and statues, they included St Mel’s 1,000-year-old wooden crozier.

Fr Healy recalled: “We had had a wonderful celebration of midnight Mass.It was just an almighty shock to be woken in the middle of the night and told the cathedral was on fire.
We just stood in the streets literally crying – helpless as we watched the flames break through the roof as it succumbed. So it was a time of enormous shock for everybody in Longford.”

Not all the art work was destroyed. An Italian oil painting (pictured) of the holy family survived the blaze unscathed, despite being located in centre of the blaze. It hangs over a side alter near the prayer offertory and has become something of an attraction among church goers.

Ronan Moore, the senior project manager who has helped guide St Mel’s restoration, said it should have been one of the first canvasses to be set alight.

‘We will never know how it survived,’ Ronan recalls in a new RTÉ documentary on the restoration of St Mel’s to be aired on RTÉ One this Christmas. ‘You can see it here just a few yards from some of the huge stone pillars and columns of the old church that were completely de-stabilised by the searing heat of the fire – turning to dust and had to be replaced. ‘Yet the painting stayed intact above it all – while all around it was destroyed by those huge temperatures.’

The cathedral this Christmas will also showcase restored Harry Clarke stained glass windows. The original windows were scorched and shattered in the fire. Over 675 tonnes of native blue limestone from Leighlin, Co Carlow, have been installed – for the columns, the hand-carved window surrounds, pilasters, and for replacement corbels for the bell tower, which also sustained some damage. To get this amount of limestone in the section sizes required, a staggering 10,400 tonnes had to be quarried.

‘The Longford Phoenix’ – a Would You Believe special documentary – goes to air on RTÉ One on 30 December at 6.30pm.

Helping Fr Healey celebrate mass was Bishop emeritus Colm O’Reilly and Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, Francis Duffy.

Random Irish Photos 



less than an hour from Dublin city centre.

Rathlin Island, Co Dublin Antrim by Random Ireland Photos.

‘Random’ writes:

“Look up Rathlin Island, head there at the ‘right time of year’ and you’re as likely to bump into a Puffin as you are some twitcher wheezing under their camera gear. A haunt for bird watchers and wild life enthusiasts as it is dedicated followers of hiking. But when you arrive the week after (D’oh!) just about every remotely interesting species of bird has buggered off, you have to make do with the standard sights on an island that is so far off the mainland that one would do well to check one’s mainland ways before entering.
So, there’s on-shore boat wrecks, well-preserved ruins, fat cattle, rather large seals lounging around in groups in secluded inlets, a single solitary red (was it for this?) paint-peeled phone box, and the truly awesome landscape spectacle that is as spectacular in sunshine as it is in dull cloud, wind sweep and rain.
If you want to hire a bike off-season, don’t arrive on a Thursday, as the main bike hire provider is closed because, you know, Thursday.
When arriving off-season – bring a sandwich and some tins as the island’s only pub keeps odd opening hours. It is, for example, known to open as late as a 30 minutes before the departure of the final night ferry back to the ‘mainland’.
Should you find yourself along a very remote part of the island on the way to one of its lighthouses you may be greeted by the sight of dead ferrets hung with blue string from barbed wire fences.
And when you – after having got over the initial shock of seeing in an idyllic setting the little fellows trapped in what looked like the same struggling/fighting stance they had on death
A local flying by in their 4×4 explains: ’To scare off other ferrets.’
It takes a while to get a decent Google search result to Ferrets don’t attack cattle, they do not appear to be hugely into sheep and they tend not to make a point of adding humans to their daily menu.Indeed, they appear to be more interested in eating rabbits, brown rats and dead . . . livestock.
If curious, it takes a while to get a decent Google search result to finally understand what this might be all about.
Ferrets don’t attack cattle, they do not appear to be hugely into sheep and they tend not to make a point of adding humans to their daily menu.
Indeed, they appear to be more interested in eating rabbits, brown rats and dead . . . livestock. So far so understandable. Why the fuss, one might be tempted to ask.
The answer might be in something that not a lot of people might might know.
Global warming is affecting Rathlin Island.
It affects the habitat of the worms Puffins thrive on.
And apart from the other stuff listed above that ferrets like, birds also feature on ferrets lists of ‘likes’. Begs the question: were the strung up ferrets last week strung up for the benefit of the island’s flagging tourist trade (due to global warming, don’t you know) or something else?”


Ransom Irish Photos


Pictures by Random Irish Photos today of the second Asian elephant calf born at Dublin Zoo this year.

The healthy unnamed male calf was born to mother Anak at 6.24am on Tuesday weighing in at 70kg.

He will join the rest of the herd – Bernhardine, Asha, Yasmin and her new calf which was born last month, mum Anak and Dad Upali in the Kaziranga Forest Trail at Dublin Zoo which is sponsored by The Natural Confectionery Company.

Random Irish Photos

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Scenes from Gay Byrne’s final show (of the current season) of his Sunday afternoon show on Lyric Fm in the Radio Centre, Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin last Sunday..

The Randomer writes:

“He has said he’s just going on a break and that reports of his final departure from the airwaves are greatly exaggerated. So,until he teams up again with his award-winning producer Eithne Hand, here are some shots of Gay Byrne on air last Sunday afternoon as he presented his last show before he headed off for his break which could end some time after the celebration in August of his 80th birthday….”


Random Irish Photos

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