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October 31, 2012 | By F. Kathleen Foley
Jimmy Murphy's 1999 play, “The Muesli Belt,” now in its American premiere at Theatre Banshee, deals with the rampant gentrification of an inner-city Dublin neighborhood. Of course, in Ireland as in much of the world, boom times led to a global bust, with the bloodily declawed Celtic Tiger left scrabbling on a mountain of debt. In light of those developments, Murphy's themes now seem dated, and although director Sean Branney elicits lovely performances from his cast, the moral quandaries in the play seem mere niceties, unbalanced by the march of time.
October 19, 2012 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - The opening of Northern Ireland's first private abortion clinic Thursday in Belfast drew hundreds of noisy demonstrators, who hoisted placards with messages such as "Keep Ireland abortion-free. " The clinic, operated by Marie Stopes International, will offer sexual health and family planning advice and, in certain cases, treatment with nonsurgical abortion and follow-up counseling. "We understand the culture here in Northern Ireland; we don't want to change the culture … and have abortion on demand.
October 14, 2012
Regarding "It's Ripening on the Vine," by Christopher Reynolds, Oct. 7: As a visitor to the Santa Ynez Valley before the days of Indian gambling, before Neverland Ranch and before vineyards and wineries, I always thought of Solvang as the Danish Tijuana. The original Hitching Post in Casmalia is a true gem. But it takes time and effort to get there. Your readers should be warned that just showing up without prior arrangements [especially on weekends] is a recipe for disappointment.
October 7, 2012
Irish eyes truly smiling After reading Andrew McCarthy's article ["Optimism Is in the Air," Sept. 30], I was most pleasantly depressed. Having just been to Ireland in June, it snared my heart, and I long to return. The photos chosen provided the perfect contrast of present and past, and let nobody suggest these were doctored: It truly is that green. An entire series could be devoted to this wonderful country, whose inhabitants sing when they speak, and whose actual songs are as evocative as the country itself.
September 30, 2012 | Andrew McCarthy
There are no people on Earth as romantic as the French. No one is punctual like the Swiss. The Germans have defined a sense of order. The Italians know how to eat. And no one, I mean no one, does misery like the Irish. Ireland's well-chronicled story of rags to riches to rags again is a cautionary tale of the early 21st century. A country reared on hardship, famine and oppression has, after a brief turn in the economic sun, been cast back into the misty gloom of struggle. But lately I've begun to notice that a mischievous quality has sneaked in under the cloak of misery the Irish have put back on with disarming ease after the good times ended.
September 15, 2012 | Los Angeles Times
During a visit to Ireland last September, Martha Bernie stayed in County Sligo at Temple House, a Georgian mansion set in a private estate spread across more than 1,000 acres. As she drove down the estate's long driveway, she stopped to photograph two donkeys. "When I rolled down the car window, they came over and said hello," she said. The Pasadena resident used a Canon AE-1. To submit your photos, click the upload button below. When you upload your photos, tell us where they were taken and when.
August 31, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Six nights in castles, a rental car and round-trip airfare from L.A. to Dublin are all wrapped up in a tidy package that starts at $1,200 a person from the Aer Lingus Vacation Store . The offer is good for late fall and winter, but at this super-low price it's worth busting out a few sweaters and good boots. The deal: The Castles of Ireland package requires two travelers (double occupancy). It includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, a rental car (standard) and stays at Duboyne Castle in Meath, Kilronan Castle in Roscommon, Dromoland Castle in Clare and Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Dublin.
August 31, 2012 | By Eric Sondheimer
Neither jet lag nor late arriving luggage could put a damper on a historic trip to Dublin, Ireland, by the Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High football team. The Knights took care of business Friday, getting a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown by Nick Holland en route to 27-15 victory over Hamilton of Chandler, Ariz. The Knights left Southern California on Tuesday and encountered some travel problems on the way to Dublin. They had to practice two days without shoulder pads while waiting for their luggage to arrive, but Coach Kevin Rooney made sure the team wasn't distracted in its preparations.
August 31, 2012 | By Dan Loumena
There will be a bit more of the Irish -- well, the American variety, that is -- in Dublin on Saturday when Notre Dame takes on Navy in a college football season opener. This will be the first college football game played in Ireland since 1996, when the Midshipmen also took on the Fighting Irish, who won the game, 54-27, before a half-filled stadium at Croke Park in Dublin. When the two teams meet on Saturday in the Emerald Isle Classic, it will be in the newly built Aviva Stadium, which holds 50,000 and usually plays host to Ireland's top soccer and rugby teams.
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