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Sure and begone and begorrah to Oirish Greeting Cards
by Bridget Haggerty

Dancing leprechauns, rainbows & pots of gold, pints of foaming green beer; whether it’s Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day or some other special occasion, it's always the same old 'top o' the morning' crop of trite shite in the card department - with the possible exception of religious greetings. If you're as weary or wary of all the sham-mockery as we are, then you might be interested in these alternatives:

Smaointe - The Irish Card Shop
Valerie Mhic Giolla Fhinnéin owns and runs Smaointe, an Irish Language business, which specialises in design and production of Irish Language greeting cards and with English translation. The cards are suitable for the Irish speaker, the learner or those interested in 'things Irish'.

Valerie has always had a special interest for promotion of Irish culture and is involved in community adult education, where she teaches Irish Language and culture, including céilí dancing. Special interests include traditional music, dance, historical and cultural background of Ireland. Born and reared in Lurgan, Co. Armagh, Valerie now lives in the little seaside resort of Portstewart, Co. Derry with her husband, Liam, and 6 children. Valerie learned her Irish in the local University and in the Donegal Gaeltacht, where she is presently in negotiations to open a unit in the beautiful Dún Lúiche area, at the bottom of Mt Errigal.

Smaointe cards are available in retail outlets in most areas in Ireland with the numbers increasing all the time. If you prefer to shop in your own locality, contact Smaointe for nearest store.

For more details about Smaointe, please click

Handmade Greetings
Marcus Gunther took up photography when he moved to Co. Kerry in 1993. Inspired by the warmth of the people and the wild beauty of the Irish countryside, he has since turned his hobby into a profession. Greeting cards are just one aspect of his business.

He makes these cards himself from heavy card stock. Each is 4 x 6 inches and comes with an envelope in a clear plastic bag. Cards are left blank for your own message, and you can also frame them. Choose from 20 unique prints of Ireland. To see the step by step process of creating each card and to view all 20 scenes, please click; Marcus Gunther.

Free Irish Corner e-cards
Select from over 900 images to send as free ecards to family and friends around the world. The photos and art work are magnificent and you can include a saying or quote in Irish . You can also choose a traditional Irish tune to accompany your card. We have used this service for several years. Our recipients always seem to be delighted and we have never been disappointed.

So there you have it - just a sampling of what's available if you'd like to send a greeting that won't make Irish traditionalists cringe in dismay on St. Patrick's Day or any other festive occasion.

ED. NOTE: If you hear of other people producing and/or promoting traditional Irish cards, please let us know and we'll add them to the list. Go raibh maith agat!


Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Fungie, the Dolphin of Dingle Bay

The dolphin is one of Ireland’s most fascinating mammals and Fungie is the most famous. He is a fully- grown bottlenose who is 13 feet (4 meteres) long and weighs about 500 lbs or around one-quarter tonne.
Fungie was first noticed in 1984 when Paddy Ferriter, the Dingle Harbour lighthouse keeper, began watching a lone wild dolphin escort the town's fishing boats to and from port. 
Later that year, it became officially recorded that Fungie was a permanent resident of the entrance channel to Dingle and the self-appointed “pilot” of the fleet. 
Over the years Fungie has developed from a timid but inquisitive observer of the human visitors into a playful, though mischievous, companion.  From observation of marks on his body, it seems that he does 'interact' with other whales, dolphins or porpoises, proving perhaps he is neither hermit nor outcast from his own kind, but rather that he is simply content to spend most of his time in and around Dingle Bay.

Click for More Culture Corner.

Set of six cards. The front is a watercolor of 'Slemish' (St Patrick's Mountain). The back features an extract from St Patrick's Breastplate.
Click here for St. Patrick's Day Cards.


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