Thursday, December 26, 2013

Brookville House Dublin wishes you a Happy St Stephens Day (Lá Fhéile Stiofáin), known as the Day of the Wren in Ireland (Lá an Dreoilín)


Brookville House Dublin Ireland wishes you and yours a Very Happy St. Stephen’s Day (Lá Fhéile Stiofáin), also known here as The Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín), it is an occasion to commemorate the life of St Stephen, a Christian martyr. To our friends in the United Kingdom we wish you and yours a Happy Boxing Day. Today is a big day for racing especially at Leopardstown Racecourse (less than 2km from Brookville House) and hunting in Ireland and traditionally the post Christmas sales start in the shops. In some parts of Ireland, children go from door to door with a wren (a small bird) in a cage or a model wren on a stick as legend links episodes in the life of Jesus to the wren. They sing, play music or perform traditional dances. In some areas, boys may dress as girls or women. Many hope to collect money for community or school projects or charity. Depending on which region of the country, they are called wrenboys and mummers. A Mummer’s Festival is held at this time every year in the village of New Inn, County Galway and Dingle in County Kerry. Actually, the famous Irish writer John B. Keane based his novel ‘The Bodhran Maker’ on the activities of the Wren Boys in his native County Kerry.

Locally The Wrens Boy Festival takes place each year in Sandymount. This year The Wren Boys celebration at Sandymount Green, Dublin 4 commences at 11.00am with poetry readings in Gus Ryans Pub. The music and dancing kicks off at 12am on the Gig Rig, with the Swords Mummers, the Ned O’Shea Musicians/Dancers, the Shamrockers and many others from far and wide playing bodhrans, bagpipes, tin whistles and even combs along with musicians across all cultures to add variety and excitement to the day. Proceeds go to charity.

St. Stephen’s Day is also a popular day in Ireland for visiting family members. A popular rhyme, known to many Irish children and sung at each house visited by the wrenboys goes as follows (this version popularized by the Irish group The Clancy Brothers):

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,

St. Stephen’s Day was caught in the furze,

Although he was little his honour was great,

Jump up me lads and give us a treat.

As I was going to Killenaule,

I met a wren upon the wall.

Up with me wattle and knocked him down,

And brought him in to Carrick Town.

Drooolin, Droolin, where’s your nest?

Tis in the bush that I love best

In the tree, the holly tree,

Where all the boys do follow me.

Up with the kettle and down with the pan,

And give us a penny to bury the wren.

I followed the wren three miles or more,

Three miles or more three miles or more.

I followed the wren three miles or more,

At six o’clock in the morning.

I have a little box under me arm,

Under me arm under me arm.

I have a little box under me arm,

A penny or tuppence would do it no harm.

Mrs. Clancy’s a very good woman,

a very good woman, a very good woman,

Mrs. Clancy’s a very good woman,

She give us a penny to bury the wren.

A variant sung in the County Cork had a different explanation why the wren was the King of birds:

The wren, the wren, the King of All Birds,

On Saint Stephen’s Day he was caught in the furze.

Although he is small his family is great.

Come out, good lady, and give us a treat.

St Stephen is believed to be the first Christian martyr. He was stoned to death sometime around the year 33 CE. According to an Irish legend, he was betrayed by a wren while hiding from his enemies. Another legend tells of Viking raids on Ireland on St Stephen’s Day sometime around the year 750 CE. Irish soldiers were approaching a Viking camp to drive out the intruders. However, a wren started eating crumbs from a drum and alerted the Vikings to the presence of the Irish soldiers.

Hence, some people felt that wrens betrayed them and should be stoned to death, just as St Stephen was. Boys traditionally hunted a wren and threw stones at it. They tied it to a stick when it was dead and paraded it around the village. They did this to collect money for a dance or party for the whole village. Although the custom of killing wrens on December 26 died out around 1900, St Stephen’s Day is still known as the Day of the Wren, particularly in rural areas.

St Stephen’s Day has been a holiday in Ireland for hundreds of years. It became a public holiday following the Bank Holidays Act 1871.


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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Nollaig Shona from Brookville House Blackrock Dublin Ireland 2013


Nollaig Shona daoibh go leir! Happy Christmas! Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnachten, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Wesołych Świąt, Geseënde Kersfees, Gëzuar Krishtlindjet, عيد ميلاد سعيد, Шчаслівага Раства, Честита Коледа, Bon Nadal, 圣诞快乐, 聖誕快樂, Sretan Božić, Veselé Vánoce, Glædelig jul, Hyvää joulua, Bo Nadal, Καλά Χριστούγεννα, Nwèl kè kontan, חג מולד שמח, हैप्पी क्रिसमस, Boldog Karácsonyt, Selamat Natal, ハッピークリスマス, 메리 크리스마스, Честит Божиќ, Selamat Natal, Milied it-Tajjeb, God Jul.

Happy Christmas to our guests, family, friends, fans, followers, to all who we welcomed here for the first time this year and to those who stayed with us over the years- you arrived as guests and left as friends with a special place in our hearts, we thank you for wonderful times shared, laughter and special memories, for sharing your lives, countries and cultures with us, we hope you enjoyed your time here in your Irish home from home, thank you for your support, we look forward to welcoming you back in 2014, we wish you all the very best of everything this Christmas, have a wonderful festive season,

All our love, thanks and warmest wishes always, Enjoy and look after each other, Mile buiochas agus dea ghui,

Nollaig shona dhaoibh go leir,

Liam and Dei, Brookville House


Winter berries in the grounds of Brookville House December 2013.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Brookville House hopes our guests at The emerald isle classic American Football Notre Dame vs Navy game in Aviva Stadium are having a ball

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Brookville House Dublin wishes all our guests attending Westlife in Croke Park tonite a great nite, farewell Westlife thanks for the music

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ireland lose 4 nil to Spain and The fields of athenry is sunriot full voice by Irish soccer fans, best fans in the world Euro2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Brookville House wishes best of luck 2all students who started their State Examinations 2day, hope day1 of the Leaving Certificate went well

Monday, June 4, 2012

Well done to all the ladies who participated in today's Flora Mini Marathon in Dublin, hope all had a great day and raised lots for charity