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Irish Report Irish Report
by Euro Reporter
2007-10-13 10:02:45
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Ireland's Brazilian Samba town

South American immigrants have found a new home in the fastest growing town in Ireland. The town of Gort in the west of Ireland has an exotic South American flavour. Hundreds of Brazilian immigrants live here. They have taken root and make up a third of the population of 2,500.


In 1999 a large slaughterhouse closed in Anapolis in the centre of Brazil, so a mission went off and brought back a dozen or so experienced men, delighted to have a steady new job at European wage rates, and be able to regularly send back good sums to their families. Over the years they brought families and friends over till now there are 800 or more South Americans in Gort with their children mastering English and settling into Irish ways.

It seems that Ireland, once the departure point for thousands of immigrants to North America, is becoming an attractive destination for many in South America. What goes around comes around.

Ireland may fail to meet EU water quality standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is warning that Ireland could fail to achieve EU water quality standards unless improvements are made quickly. In a report out today, the agency claims that while the cleanliness of lakes and rivers has improved, too many groundwater samples are still polluted with human and animal waste.

It says 57% of Irish groundwater sampling sites contained bacteria indicating the presence of human and animal waste. Almost one-third of Irish rivers, nearly a quarter of coastal waters, and 8% of lakes also contain unacceptable levels of pollution.

What caught my attention in the news report was the "8% of lakes also contain unacceptable levels of pollution" since it implies that there is an acceptable level of pollution, which is a horribly depressing idea. Parents shouldn't worry about their children playing in the lakes or swallowing the water because the levels aren't that dangerous.

Pumpkin shortage scare in run-up to Halloween in Ireland

Pumpkins for Irish Halloween are in short supply after a wet summer, a news report in the Belfast Telegraph frets. The torrential rains of last summer mean pumpkins aren't ripening to their usual orange colour, with some farmers reporting a drop in their harvest of 30 per cent. The pumpkin situation, the report bemoans, is bad, so bad it's verging on the 'catastrophic,' with nearly all supplies having been bought up by October 7.

Halloween originates from the Celtic festival Samhain, which in turn was taking to America by Irish immigrants, who then saw it morph into a commercial event that involves trick or treating and pumpkins. Halloween was then imported back into Ireland and now they are worried about a pumpkin shortage. Irony! I wonder what the Brazilians in Ireland will be doing on October 31st.

   
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Emanuel Paparella2007-10-13 11:52:40
There is an intriguing historical connection worth exploring between Samhain as a Celtic pagan festival, All Saints day which begins at sunset of Halloween and the Gaelic language which was widely spoken in Ireland till the mid 19th century and is now one of the legal languages of the EU. It is paradoxical that the more the Brussels EU political bureaucracy tries to impose uniformity in the EU, the more the people of Europe hold on to their regional cultural and religious traditions. They must intuit at a common sensical gut level that to lose those traditions is to lose one's cultural soul.


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