We’re really pleased to see The Connaught Telegraph picked up our support of co. mayo’s flagship Gathering celebration!
Taoiseach (the Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny created The Gathering to invite the worldwide Irish diaspora back to Ireland throughout 2013.
Returning home to Castlebar, the Taoiseach joined The Wild Geese Collection in support of Co. mayo’s flagship Gathering Celebration: In Humbert’s Footsteps (15-18th August).
The idea is close to the hearts of those of us from The Wild Geese Collection. Our Irish Whiskey has been produced to celebrate the brave men and women who have left Ireland over the years, starting in 1691 with Patrick Sarsfield and his followers. When they left Ireland, they took the name ‘The Wild Geese’ in the hope and belief that they would one day return. Today, The Gathering sees the realisation of that dream.
The Wild Geese first travelled to France, where many served in the military with honour.
In his commemoration speech, the Taoiseach underlined how important history has been in shaping Ireland today, drawing on the strong bond between the country and France.
The Taoiseach met The Wild Geese company owner, Mr Andre Levy, in a show of solidarity for this Irish identity; an identity that runs deep within The Wild Geese Collection.
The Wild Geese is an internationally acclaimed Collection of Premium Spirits and has been voted ‘Best Irish Whiskey’ three times. The brand sponsored the closing Victory Concert on Sunday 18th August, celebrating the Irish experience together with Wild Geese past and present.
Wherever you are in the world, if you are of Irish descent you are part of this story and entitled to call yourself Wild Geese.
Columnist and drinks expert Tomás Clancy saluted the Classic Blend with a score of 90, and a ‘very good quality’ rating.
Berries, fresh oak and a hint of spice.
Taste & Finish:
Light, sweet, fruity taste, balanced and smooth. The grain comes through gently and it ends with a tingle of honey and citrus fruit. The finish is clean.
The Wild Geese Classic Blend is ideal for a wide range of cocktails but is also great on it’s own.
County Mayo welcomed French troops at the weekend when the In Humbert’s Footsteps battle re-enactment took place. On Sunday 18th August we watched as Castlebar was overtaken with a re-enactment of the famous 1798 battle.
As part of The Gathering, In Humbert’s Footsteps not only brought history to life, but the event served as a reminder of the impact Ireland’s history has had on the world, as well as the country itself. Wild Geese have come back to Ireland, realising the dream of Patrick Sarsfield and his followers and proving that they play a very important role in the county’s future.
We were very proud to support the Victory Concert, as it was a chance to meet with Irish dignitaries, including Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and celebrate the Irish experience today.
We’re very proud to be supporting In Humbert’s Footsteps festivities in Co. Mayo, Ireland.
As part of The Gathering, Co. Mayo are recreating the invasion lead by General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert in 1798, who joined with Irish rebels to free Ireland. He landed in Killala and fought his way to Castlebar, where we will be sponsoring a Victory Concert that brings all sides together to celebrate this moment in history, which follows a huge battle re-enactment of the Battle of Castlebar.
In Humbert’s Footsteps marks an important point in the Irish-Franco relationship. Back in 1691 when The Wild Geese left Ireland, their first destination was France. Many entered military service and would later plan their own invasion of Ireland under Napoleon Bonaparte. Although this was not to be, their courage and skill were recognised and celebrated. This relationship continues to this day and we’re very happy to a part of commemorating it.
Hefferman won the gold medal in the 50km racewalking event, which took him through the streets of Moscow, into the Luzhniki Stadium. This makes him the third Irish athlete to win gold at the World Championships.
The 35 year old has been dedicated to his sport since he was 14, and even though he trains twice a day, everyday championship medals have alluded him.
‘I knew I was motivated. People go on about medals, for the last 11 years I’ve been motivated and challenging for a medal. For some reason or other I hadn’t won one’
This culminated last year at the London Olympics when he came fourth – just missing out on an Olympic medal. But Heffernan is certainly a fighter, believing that ‘you have to take the bad and the good’.
‘I was prepared for everything coming into [the 2013 World Athletics Championship]. I stayed thoroughly motivated this year after London when a lot of people take their foot off the gas.
‘I was very conscious of training hard and i had to be more motivated, because there was less hype for the World Champs. I was prepared for that mentally’
Heffernan kept a steady pace throughout the race. Racewalking has very strict rules and athletes must always keep in contact with the ground. Their supporting leg must remain straight until the raised leg passes it, making it difficult to increase speed in the race. But Hefferman beat all other opponents to the finish line by over a minute, with a time of 3 hours 37 minutes 56 seconds.
‘It’s surreal,’ the gold medal winner explained, ‘it’s just a great feeling. When I came into the stadium it just felt like an out-of-body experience. It’s hard to take it all in at the moment. I’m delighted.’
His wife has been a constant source of support for Heffernan, telling him to ‘go for it’ just before the race:
‘The aim for this year was that he’d get a result here and the fact that he has come back and got the gold is just phenomenal’
Now Heffernan has his eyes set on the Olympics once again and is planning to go to Rio in 2016.
It takes a special kind of person to turn tragedy around. A year ago Eugene Han was being treated for gunshot wounds and had to receive physiotherapy. Today he’s running and has recently got married.
Eugene was on a date with Kristin Davis on July 20th 2012, at a midnight screening of the latest Batman film, when the couple were thrust into a fight or flight situation. This was the now infamous Aurora movie theatre in Colorado, USA, that was attacked by James Eagan Holmes.
When the gunfire started, Eugene heroically pulled Kristin to the ground, shielding her from the bullets.
‘Next thing I know,’ explained Kristin, ‘he’s pulling me out of my seat and telling me “Don’t move. Just stay still. Whatever you do don’t move”‘.
Eugene suffered two gunshots – one in the hip, the other in the knee – but when a chance to escape revealed itself, it was time to take flight. He helped Kristin and their friends to an exit, where they hid until the horror had subsided.
Next came the fight. Eugene was treated in hospital and received physiotherapy. Kristin believes his recovery proves that ‘bad things happen, but people can keep going’.
For Eugene this fight gave him a fresh perspective of things and spurred him on to seize the day and look towards the future:
‘We were still dating and I was planning on proposing even before [the shooting] but I never had the chance. When the theatre shooting happened, that’s when I was like, I really need to do this because you don’t know what’s going to happen after tomorrow’
He proposed earlier this year and after some deliberation Eugene and Kristin decided on marrying on the anniversary of the shooting.
‘I was kind of uncomfortable about the idea because I didn’t think it was okay to take a bad day and turn it into a good day, so I had to really think about it,’ reasoned Kristin. But after contemplating what this date would mean a year from now, she recalled saying:
‘I think it would be a good date to have our wedding. That way we can make good memories and start a new chapter of our lives rather than allowing this memory from a year ago to stick with us every single year’
Eugene and Kristin married on the 20th July this year. At the ceremony they paused to remember all the victims of the shooting, honouring them on their special day.
Tucked away on a farm in Britain sits a barn where adventure crossed with danger during the Second World War. Gibraltar Farm near the village of Tempsford was home to 13,000 Special Operations Executive agents who launched espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance missions throughout occupied Europe.
Many of these were women, some from Ireland, who answered the call to adventure and aided the French Resistance movements on the continent.
This year local villagers, lead by surgeon Tazi Husain, are building a memorial to honour the 3,200 women who from the site.
‘These were brave people. They were driven to the barn with the windows curtained so they didn’t know where they were taking off from’
Two of these women were Mary Herbert and Patricia Maureen O’Sullivan. Both were originally from Ireland and these Wild Geese flew by the full moonlight into the uncertain abyss.
Mary Herbert was the first member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) to join the SOE. Patricia Maureen O’Sullivan was parachuted into occupied France in March 1944 and the courage she displayed during her covert operations earned her the respect of her commanding officers. She received an MBE for her ‘patience, perseverance and devotion to duty’.
Local historian Bernard O’Connor says ‘they deserve to be remembered in their own right’. A sentiment we fully agree with. The memorial in Tempsford will be unveiled next month and will keep this sensational story alive for generations to come.