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Singer Dame Vera Lynn Passes Away Aged 103 Years

Memories of my grandmothers brown Bakelite ‘Wet & Dry Battery’ valve radio of the 1950’s, were vividly revived again today, on learning that singer Dame Vera Lynn had passes away this morning, aged 103 years.

Her family confirmed today that the inspirational and iconic singer Dame Vera Lynn had sadly passed away, surrounded by her close family.

Video shown above contains just one of Dame Vera Lynn’s most famous songs, “We’ll Meet Again” was released in 1939 and as war progressed it increasingly resonated with the British public. In Vera’s own words; “It’s a good song as it goes with anyone anywhere saying goodbye to someone.”

Fondly known as “the forces’ sweetheart” due to her down-to-earth style, quickly established her as the public’s favourite antidote to both the misery of the blackouts and her often morale-boosting visits to front line troops during World War II.

Born in London’s East Ham in 1917, daughter of plumber Bertram Samuel Welch (1883–1955) and dressmaker Annie Martin (1889–1975), who had married in 1913, she left school at age 11. She made her first solo recordings, which included “Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire” and “The little boy that Santa Clause forgot” at the age of 19 years, and just some of her better known and much loved hits include; “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “There’ll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover”. By the age of 22 years she had sold more than one million records.

A huge part of her appeal during wartime came from her BBC radio programme “Sincerely Yours”, which ran during 1941 and 42 taking the form of “A letter to the men of the Forces, in words and music”.

In 1941, Dame Vera married Harry Lewis, a clarinettist and saxophonist whom she had had met two years previous. They had a child in March of 1946, Virginia Penelope Anne Lewis, (now Lewis-Jones). Her husband sadly passed away in 1998.

In 1976, Dame Vera received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She received the Freedom of the City of London in 1978 and in 2000, she received a “Spirit of the 20th Century” Award in a nationwide poll in which she won 21% of the vote.

Requiescat in Pace.


Free Online Creativity Events – Part Of Crinniú na nÓg Celebrations

Mum and Dad do please take note; today, 13th June 2020, is a day of free creativity for children and young people as part of the third year of Crinniú na nÓg celebrations.

Events for 2020 are taking place online and every county in Ireland has organised events for children of all ages. To find out more view HERE, enter a location and select an age group.

Tipperary activities for children and young people include storytelling, dance, art and crafts and a children’s film festival.

The online events across Ireland offer endless opportunities to get creative. With rain clouds sitting, threatening our much-loved Premier County for the next day or so, it couldn’t be a better time to find something fun to do indoors.

Have Fun


Homework Helper: Virtual School Tours Of International Destinations

Go on a “Virtual School Tour” of the following famous international destinations.

Once you have finished your virtual school tour of famous Irish places (see earlier post by viewing HERE), why not cross the continents and visit some of these famous international destinations.


Learn about space by visiting the NASA Glen Research Centre (View HERE) or the Langley Research Centre (View HERE). Take a tour of inside a space shuttle by viewing HERE. If you are feeling really adventurous why not take a tour of Mars (View HERE)?

The Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam.

Learn about the life of Anne Frank and discover the stories behind a collection of original items that are connected to her history. To visit this museum and the secret annex where she lived during WWII, view HERE.

Clearwater Aquarium, Florida, USA.

Clearwater Aquarium in Florida, is not your typical aquarium. They are committed to environmental preservation and the aquarium is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life. Why not visit some of the animals currently under their care including pelicans, dolphins, turtles and clownfish (View HERE).

Pompeii, Italy.

In 79AD the ancient Italian city of Pompeii was buried under volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted. Rediscovered in the mid-18th century, the city was perfectly preserved and is nothing short of a historical marvel. (View HERE)

The Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall of China is an ancient wall built between 1368-1644 to protect the north of the empire of China from enemy attacks. It is the longest structure ever built by humans measuring an estimated 21,196 kilometres long. To visit this incredible structure view HERE.

Rainforests of Borneo.

Go HERE to visit the rainforests of Borneo, along with other wonders of nature including coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean and the diverse ecosystems of Columbia and Peru.

Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia.

Take a virtual tour of Western Australia’s parks and wildlife by viewing HERE.
Some of the amazing places to visit include Granite Skywalk, Danguu Geikie Gorge, Yanchep National Park and Black Rock Falls.


Homework Helper: Virtual School Tours Of Famous Irish Places

Go on a “Virtual School Tour” of famous Irish places.

The annual school tour is always a much loved end-of-year activity for pupils from all primary schools. Now with home schooling while schools remain closed and with travel restrictions in place, why not take pupils and indeed the whole family on a virtual school tour to some of these famous Irish tourist destinations named hereunder.

Dublin Zoo.

Children will love watching the elephants (View HERE); penguins (View HERE) and animals of the African Savanna (View HERE) with the help of Dublin Zoo’s Webcam.

No. 29 Fitzwillian Street Lower.

Take a step back in time and experience life in a Georgian house in Dublin [Georgian era: 1714–1837], with the help of the No. 29 virtual experience, by visiting HERE.

Long Room Trinity College, Dublin.

The Long Room at Trinity College Dublin is considered one of the world’s greatest and most beautiful libraries, built between 1712 and 1732. Visit HERE and see why.
Some 65 metres in length, it is filled with 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books, including the Book of Kells. Did you know it also served as the inspiration for the Jedi Library in Star Wars?

National Gallery of Ireland.

The National Gallery of Ireland houses the national collection of historic Irish and European fine art and is a must visit for art lovers. (View HERE.)

National Museum of Ireland.

Travel across Ireland, with the help of the National Museum of Ireland, explore natural history (View HERE); the history of country life (View HERE); archaeology (View HERE), or decorative arts and history (View HERE).

The Titanic Experience.

Take a trip to Cobh and experience the last port of call for the tragic Titanic ocean liner. (View HERE).

Enjoy your armchair travelling


Ireland’s Ammonia Emissions Continue To Rise, Exceeding EU Limit

Ammonia emissions increased again in 2018, driven by the expansion of the agriculture sector, and exceed current EU emissions limits.

River Suir, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Ireland is also above its emission limit for Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) since 2010, although emissions decreased slightly in 2018.

Emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) and particulate matter (PM2.5) showed marginal changes, while emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) continued a downward trend.
Full implementation of the Climate Action Plan will deliver co-benefits in terms of reducing air pollutants, but even further action is required to meet more stringent 2030 EU emission limits.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today published figures for emissions of five key air pollutants which impact air quality, health and the environment. The pollutants are: ammonia, non-methane volatile organic compounds, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

This latest information shows that ammonia emissions have increased each year from 2016 to 2018. Agriculture dominates emissions of ammonia (99%), which arise from animal manures and nitrogen fertiliser. While the rate of increase has slowed over these years, Ireland is non-compliant with binding EU limits for ammonia over the period.

Emissions of nitrogen oxides – primarily from transport and diesel fuelled vehicles in particular – decreased slightly in 2018, while still being above its 2010-2019 emission limit.

Emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds decreased slightly in 2018. These mostly arise from spirit production in the food and beverage industry, animal manures and fertilisers.

There was a small increase in emissions of particulate matter, while emissions of sulphur dioxide continued on a downward trend.

Dr Eimear Cotter (Director of Office of Environmental Sustainability) said:

“Emissions of all air pollutants need to reduce to protect air quality and health. These figures show different trends in emissions of air pollutants with ammonia emissions increasing and releases of other pollutants remaining relatively unchanged or decreasing. Ammonia emissions need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. The underlying drivers are the use of animal manure and nitrogen fertilisers which can be reduced through widespread adoption of on-farm measures.”

Lower EU limits will come into effect in 2030. Sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and NOx emissions are projected to reduce and to be compliant, provided planned measures; particularly in relation to the Climate Action Plan, are implemented. This depends on switching to cleaner fuels, technology improvements and a significant uptake of electric vehicles.

While full implementation of the 2019 Climate Action Plan can deliver a double benefit in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, even further measures are required to reduce NH3 and NMVOC emissions to meet future tight limits in 2030.

Stephen Treacy (EPA Senior Manager) said:

“The National Clean Air Strategy, which is currently under preparation, will need to propose measures to reduce air pollutant emissions, particularly where non-compliance with the 2030 limits is projected.
The transport sector continues to be a significant source of nitrogen oxide emissions as a result of growth in the fleet of cars, vans and trucks. It is important that planned measures are implemented to reduce these emissions and decouple them from economic growth, particularly as we exit current COVID-19 related travel restrictions.”

These figures do not include the impact of COVID-19. It is expected that the drop off in economic activity and travel, will translate into reductions in some air pollutants; particularly nitrogen oxides, which will be evident in projections to 2030 published next year.