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  issue 5, year XV, 2008

MARY MC ALEESE PRESIDENT OF IRELAND, SPECIALLY FOR "EUROPE 2001" MAGAZINE

Page 4

H. E. MR. GEOFFREY KEATING AMBASSADOR OF IRELAND TO BULGARIA: IRELAND IS A SERIOUS INVESTOR IN BULGARIA
Interview by Valentin Kostov

Page 6

DIPLOMATIC AND BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN BULGARIA AND IRELAND

Page 9

ECONOMIC SUCCESS AND FUTURE CHALLENGE

Page 11

The period of fast growth of the Irish economy began at the beginning of the nineties of 20th century. Between 1990 and 1995 the economic growth is on the average of 4,8 %; between 1995 and 2000 it reached 9,5 %. Since then this index has been between 4 and 6 %.

HOW THE IRISH DO IT
By Yoana Ilieva

Page 12

Since 2002 under an Irish government programme of bilateral assistance to Bulgaria, more than 200 Bulgarian public servants have participated in training and capacity building courses delivered by the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) in Dublin. In 2007 alone, over 70 Bulgarians were trained at the IPA in Dublin. Special emphasis has been given to developing new skills essential to capitalising on the opportunities offered by EU membership, for example, the proper use of EU Structural Funds and Management of EU Operational Programmes.

THE IRISH PEACEKEEPING FORCES
By Eddie Brannigan

Page 14

Ireland has never joined any military alliances and has always considered its neutrality an advantage in its participation in the peacekeeping forces of the UN. The Irish army takes part in a large number of missions abroad because for Ireland the UN is the main means for maintaining the world peace. Unfortunately, this military service has its price. So far 85 Irish military men have sacrificed their lives in the name of world peace.

IRELAND AND THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
By Eddie Brannigan

Page 14

Ireland has traditions in giving money to developing countries. For the last years the government has considerably increased the national programme for financial help for the most poor countries without any conditions such as help in turn of trade.

The state agency, which organizes the help for the poor countries, is called Irish Aid. It is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Irish Aid pays attention mostly to education, health care and agriculture. One of the important parts of the programme is the fight against HIV/AIDS.


CHARLES VALLANCEY AND GEORGI S. RAKOVSKI: IN SEARCH OF THE ORIGIN OF THE BULGARIAN AND IRISH IDENTITY
By Lyudmila Kostova

Page 17

The present short research is an attempt to compare the point of view of the Irish antiquarian and topographer Charles Vallancey (1721-1812) and the Bulgarian Georgi S. Rakovski (1821-1867) about the ethnic origin of the Irish and the Bulgarians. Both try to define the identity of the researched nations using mainly the language as a basis.

THE IRISH LANGUAGE
By Eddie Brannigan

Page 19

The Irish language is officialy the first national language in Ireland. Its use drastically decreased after the Great Famine in 1845-1848. Before Ireland got its independence in 1922, it had had its cultural revolution and there had been unsuccessful attempts to stop the decline of the Irish language. After 1922 the Irish government set itself the task of restoring Irish as the main spoken language in the country. Studying Irish at school became obligatory in the 70's when mainly in cities appeared schools in which all subjects were taught in Irish (Gaelscoileanna). In 2007 Irish and Bulgarian became the two new official languages of the EU.

DEVELOPMENT AND TRADITION

Page 20

One of the consequences of the "Iron curtain" was that people at both sides often had wrong ideas about each other. It was not until 1989 that people could travel freely and get to know to other countries.

John Bradley is an economist, who has often traveled to Bulgaria for the last ten years because of his job. In spring this year he went out of Sofia for the first time and found a different side of Bulgaria. He compares Ireland and Bulgaria and finds many things in common between the two countries.

THE STORY AND TRADITIONS OF ST. PATRICK

Page 23

Approximately between 430 and 462 A. C. Saint Patrick converted Irish to Christianity, although this mission had been started by other missionaries. Actually Saint Patrick was not Irish; it was thought that he was British, although he had Roman origin. It is considered that he was born in 389. The Day of St. Patrick is now celebrated in almost all countries where Irish descendants can be found.

ROME: TO OPEN THE SHELL OF PILGRIMAGE
By Zdravka Mihailova

Page 24

The connections between Ireland and Rome are centuries old. At the time when Catholicism in Ireland was persecuted by the English Protestantism, Rome gave sanctuary to Irish identity.

Thanks to the Ambassador of Ireland to Bulgaria Geoffrey Keating and the Embassy of Ireland in Bulgaria pilgrimage trip to Rome was organized. Mr. Keating described his idea as this: "We wish this trip to discover the historical tracks, which connect Bulgaria and Ireland and cross in Rome." Five ambassadors took part in the trip and gave cocktail-parties to friends of Ireland in Italy.

THE EMERALD ISLAND: NEW DESTINATIONS
By Angel Jelev and Toshko Jelev

Page 28

The most essential thing to know about Ireland is that the Irish are wonderful people. They love talking, they are nice and polite. There are three things that are typical for the country and for which it is famous - stout "Guinness", folk music and dance and… the rock band U2. The usual place for social contacts is the pub where everything is celebrated - no matter if it is birth of a child or New Year's Day. 4 years ago Ireland was the first country in the world which banned smoking in public, including pubs.

There are several well-known tourist routes in Ireland but there are, as well, a lot of slightly known places which are worth seeing.

WITH A HAND ON DUBLIN
By Ognyan Georgiev

Page 33

The image of new Ireland can be outlined by the contrasts of Dublin. There is a contrast between the quiet center and the traffic jams at the entrances of the city, between the careless look of the people in the streets after a certain hour and the prices at the pubs. I arrived with the conviction that Ireland is U2, whiskey and bad weather. But there are many more things to see in Dublin.

EAMONN O'DOHERTY: MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE

Page 38

HARRY CLARKE: REGAL BLAZE

Page 39

CELTIC RHYTHM
By Teodora Ribareva

Page 42

At the visit of Lord of the Dance in Sofia in 2001 the Irish dances inspired a group of Bulgarian girls and boys to learn the difficult steps. At that time there were no Irish dance instructors in Bulgaria, so they started learning the steps by watching videos of shows of Michael Flatley. Later some more young people joined them and thus nearly 7 years ago dance group “Celtic rhythm” was established. In 2007 the choreographer of the group invited a professional Irish dance instructor from the World Irish Dance Association. Last summer the group had their dream come true - on an event, organized by the Embassy of Ireland in Plovdiv, they danced together with the group of Michael Flatley.

MASKS AND MASQUERADES
By Jim Ledwit

Page 44

The ancient tradition of mummery connects Ireland and Bulgaria, but it was only a few years ago that the two countries started to get to know each other in this aspect. In 2004 the mummers from Fermana (Ireland) could not imagine that there were similar traditions preserved outside Ireland and these traditions might turn into a cultural bridge connecting the two ends of Europe.

From 2004 to 2008 several Irish mummer's groups visited festivals in many Bulgarian towns. With the help of funding from the EU the Irish mummers managed to invite their Bulgarian friends in Ireland at the end of 2005. In Ireland they acted in the presence of Bulgarian president Parvanov, who was on his first state visit in Ireland.

CLASSICAL MUSIC: A BRIDGE BETWEEN BULGARIA AND IRELAND

Page 47

We present an example of successful cultural collaboration between two countries members of the EU. Philharmonic Orchestra Bulgarica is the Bulgarian partner of the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra. The activity of the two orchestras is quite different from the typical idea of an opera or a concert hall. Actually they record movie soundtracks. Bulgarian musicians take part in many of the projects of the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra.

THE SPIRIT OF IRELAND
By materials of the Embassy of Ireland in Bulgaria

Page 49

The Irish alcohol industry has a great success on the world markets with its whiskey, liqueurs and beer. Until recently whiskey was associated exclusively with Ireland. Today, after almost a century's contest with scotch whiskey and bourbon whiskey, the Irish whiskey makes a name for itself again.

IRISH CUISINE
By materials of the Embassy of Ireland in Bulgaria

Page 50

By tradition in the Irish cuisine fresh foodstuffs are used and they are cooked in a simple way. Meat, usually beef or mutton, is stewed or roasted. The most widespread vegetables are potatoes, cabbage, carrots and turnip. We present two simple traditional winter dishes - Braised beef in Irish stout and Colcannon - a mix of potatoes and cabbage, spiced with fresh onions and butter.

FAMOUS IRISH PEOPLE
By Eddie Brannigan

Page 51

IRISH SCIENTISTS

Page 52

JAMES DAVID BOURCHIER PIERCE O'MAHONY

Page 54

ANCIENT IRISH GAMES
By materials of GAA

Page 55

People who meet Ireland and its culture for the first time will be astonished how popular the Gaelic games are. It is not a problem for all the 82,000 seats in Croke Park Stadium in the center of Dublin to be taken, as the interest is enormous.

What are the Gaelic games? They include Hurling, Camogy, Gaelic Football, Gaelic Handball and Rounders, as the most popular ones are Hurling and Gaelic Football. These sports are unique for Ireland and they should not be mixed up with football, rugby or hockey. One of the most interesting facts about the Gaelic games is that they are not played by professionals.

PHOTOATELIER PRESENTS
DAVID CREEDON: THE GHOSTS OF THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
By SI N Hanrahan

Page 57

It has been estimated that between 1949 and 1989 over 800,000 people were forced to leave Ireland. Many of those who stayed in this decade did so in silence as they watched family members and friends leave. Now in a new millennium these people have passed on and their homes stand as a monument to a bygone age. As David Creedon took photos, he tried not to move anything and shoot the objects the way he had found them.

A STRONG LITERATURE FRIENDSHIP
By Sinead Mac Aodha

Page 61

Since 1997 until now over 50 Irish literary works have been translated and published in Bulgaria with a funding by ILE (Ireland Literature Exchange), a state agency that encourages translation of Irish works

Bulgarian readers are great admirers of the Irish literature; there are a lot of publishing houses that publish Irish books in Bulgarian.

11 IRISH MOVIES THAT YOU MUST SEE

Page 63

IRISH FESTIVALS

Page 63

A lot of festivals take place in Ireland along the year. There is an occasion to celebrate every month. During the summer the number of festivals reaches its top. From Cork to Belfast every weekend from May to October there is a festival spot. Many of the local festivals have turned into international events. No matter big or small the festival is, visitors are welcome and they will have a great time.

ATELIER PRESENTS
SIMEON PANAYOTOV: ABSTRACTION AND MUSIC
By Dochka Kisyova-Gogova

Page 66

VENETA DOCHEVA: HARMONY OF COLOURS
By Dochka Kisyova-Gogova

Page 68
Translated by
Maria Angelova
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