The Week: Irish News highlights 25th Mar 2017

News highlights from Ireland, here, and around the world…


Week Irish News highlights 25th Mar 2017

Michael Healy-Rae’s DNA finds he’s ‘more Cork than Kerry’

A DNA conducted on RTE’s Late Late Show for a St Patrick’s Day edition found that Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae has the unusual boast of being 100 per cent Irish. Healy-Rae has his blood tested as well as other celebrity guests Eamon Dunphy, Jason Byrne and Maura Derrane.

The politician comes from Kilgarvan in Co.Kerry and his family, headed by his father, the late Jackie Healy- Rae, pride themselves on their Kingdom roots. But in a twist, it turned out that experts at Ancestry.ie found that Dubliner football pundit Dunphy had more genetic traits to Kerry than Healy- Rae, whose DNA was more associated with Co. Cork.But later Ancestry.ie’s Mike Mulligan explained it is incredibly rare for someone’s DNA to be 100 per cent Irish, but Healy-Rae’s was.

“When I was showing to the science team, they were looking and said it’s one of the most Irish we’ve seen. The way we compare is we compare it to a reference of gold-standard Irish people and he’s exactly like them. He’s exactly the kind of person that we could compare other people to.”

Derrane had 93 per cent Irish DNA, Dunphy had 92 per cent, while comedian Byrne had 73 per cent.


Week Irish News highlights 25th Mar 2017
Ryan McBride of Derry City. Photo by Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Derry City captain Ryan McBride dies aged 27

The captain of Derry City Football Club was found dead in his bed on Sunday, the day after leading his side to a 4-0 victory over Drogheda United in the League of Ireland Premier Division. The cause of death is not yet known, and as a mark of respect all of Tuesday night’s EA Sports Cup games were postponed.

The 27-year old defender’s funeral will take place on Thursday at St Columba’s Church in Derry with internment to follow in the city cemetery. Derry City released an official statement saying the team will ‘miss his inspiration and his leadership’.

“In the hearts and minds of all of us, and long into the future, Ryan McBride will be remembered as one of the greats of Derry City Football Club,” it read. “This is going to be a difficult one for everyone in the city. It’s hard for everybody to take,” said Derry City manager Kenny Shiels.

“The players loved Ryan. He was the perfect example to any young player coming through at 13 or 14.”


Week Irish News highlights 25th Mar 2017

Australian brewers withdraw Famine-themed beer

Two Australian breweries have apologised and withdrawn their ale after making a St Patrick’s Day beer themed on the Famine.

Shark Island Brewing Company and Willie the Boatman were criticised for the beer, whose label depicted a mother and child alongside a coffin ship. The ‘caramel chocolate Irish cream ale’ was called Famine and The Crown.

“When we decided to collaborate on a St Patrick’s release we were conscious of not delivering a cliché Irish-themed beer but wished to express something a little more genuine,” said Dion Dickinson, Shark Island.

“The inspiration for the beer came from the classic Irish song The Fields of Athenry, a song that means a lot to me and my family.

“The second verse in particular resonates strongly the strength of the Irish people under extreme adversity, and as an Australian the mention of Botany Bay has always drawn me to the song. It was never our intention to trivialise this terrible piece of history for the sale of a few kegs, but to acknowledge the resilience of the people.”

The beer, which is inspired by Bailey’s, will be re-labelled and sold with a new name.

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