16 Aug: Summer Event (families with children only) at St Enda's Park
29 Aug: Wak: Dun Laoghaire Dart Station to the Mettles on to Killiney Hill and back
Sunday 26 July, Peta Taaffe once again hosted the annual summer BBQ at her home for members of the society for a summer BBQ as well as a tour of her wonderful and well managed garden. We had the now almost customary rainy day, however, as always this did not stop anyone from enjoying the day. Our vice president Ulrike thanked Peta for her hospitality, which we were able to enjoy this year for the 10th time. Thank you very much Peta.
Dear Frau Schoeller,
This is Katherine Ahern here. I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to e-mail you. I am only just getting back on my feet after my amazing trip to Austria. It was the most wonderful experience I have ever had. I have learnt so much and made so many friends. Salzburg is the most beautiful city I have ever seen and I would go back there tomorrow if I could. My German has improved so much and for that I am truly grateful. I will never forget the most amazing time I spent in the most wonderful place that is Salzburg. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I have benefited so much from it and it has helped me so much.
Liebe Ulrike, Ich bin jetzt seit eine Woche nach Hause zuruckgekommen. Salzburg war unglaublich gut, ich hatte viel Spaß. Der Sprachkurs war wunderbar, wir haben viele neue Grammatik und Vokabeln gelernt, und ich finde, dass meine Deutschkentnisse verbessern hat. Die Stadt war wirklich schön und ich habe auch Wien besucht, es war auch sehr schön und historisch. Es war die beste Erfährung meines Lebes und ich will Ihnen für diese Gelegenheit und für Ihre Mühe bedanken.
Alles gute, Ailish Lalor
I just returned home a week ago. Salzburg was unbelievably good and I had lot's of fun. The language class was wonderful, we learned a lot of new grammar and vocabulary and I find that my german has improved. The city was truly beautiful. We also visited Vienna, which also was wonderful and historic. This was the best experience of my life I like to thank you for this opportunity. All the best, Ailish
by Peta Taaffe
Early on Sunday morning, seven of us met up with Ulli Schoeller at Dublin Airport to set out on our very memorable visit to Vienna. Having booked into our comfortable and centrally-situated hotel, we had lunch and met Walter Hagg, the previous Austrian Ambassador to Ireland, who is now retired. It was so good to see him again, and he took us around the area near the hotel, explaining some of the history and culture. Then we went to the Belvedere Museum, where the highlight was the collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt. I must say I prefer his landscapes to his figures, but there are enough to satisfy all tastes.
The evening finished at a Heuriger out at Grinzing, where Aglae Hagg joined us, and we met Paul Dubsky’s sister and the President of the Austro-Irish Society, Margit Exel. It was a lovely evening and we enjoyed wine, music and food in the garden.
During the next three days we had a feast of sight-seeing ; Schoenbrunn Palace, where we walked to the Gloriette, a city tour, including the Stephansdom, and a visit to Mayerling, scene of the tragedy involving Crown Prince Rudolph and Maria Vetsera. One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the Staatsoper: in fact we went twice, for a tour of the building – fascinating – and to a performance of “The Italian Girl in Algiers”, by Rossini, which was wonderful.
A boat ride on the Danube took us to Melk, where we visited the wonderful baroque Benedictine Abbey, and were there for the monks’ midday office. One afternoon we visited Baden, which was when we had the only rain of the whole trip, but it didn’t spoil things. We also had the all-important time for a bit of shopping: the Gerry Weber store benefitted, among others. No visit to Vienna would be complete without enjoying a cup of excellent coffee in one of the famous coffee houses, which we duly did.
In all it was a wonderful experience, even for people who had been to Vienna before. Ulli deserves great praise for the idea, the organisation, the hotel, where the food was really good, and the smooth running of the expedition. My one regret was that a few more members didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy Vienna in such a unique way.
For more pictures of this trip please visit the IAS Facebook Albums
On the 11 June, His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Thomas Nader and his wife Ingrid, gave their annual reception for members of the Society at their wonderful residence. Many of our members followed the invitation to have a wonderful garden party on a fabulous day.
On this occasion, the Ambassador said his farewell to Doris Fida-Šrajner, First Secretary and Consul, and her Husband Bernhard, who will shortly be leaving Ireland to head for their new posts. The Irish Austrian Society wish Doris and Bernhard all the best for their new roles.
The Garden Party also saw a live performance by up and coming artist Johannes Holzinger, who sang a selection of songs and playing the piano. His musical performance were received with great acclaim. Johannes last year also performed at the German TV music competition "The voice of Germany". Johannes is currently on an Internship at Advantage Austria but will soon return to Austria. Johannes, we wish you all the best in you future endeavours and look forward to seeing you back in Ireland sometime.
Please click any of the above photos for further pictures.
Each year the topics for the essay competition are eagerly awaited in my school. Previous recipients of the scholarship always return after an incredible trip to Austria and their enthusiasm and love for the country is contagious. As a result there is never any difficulty in getting students to submit entries.
Anyone can travel to a city and passively attempt to learn the language by doing a course, but it is the interaction with other young people that makes this such a coveted scholarship. It combines the familiar surroundings of a classroom with the freedom to explore the city. Students learn a huge amount in the classes, but it is speaking German in informal situations that leads to an improved fluency in the language. The students learn how to ask for directions, order food, buy tickets and much more. They develop an understanding of the Austrian people, their customs and traditions, their culture and the ,,Landeskunde’’. This experience gives the students a reason to excel. They see a purpose, other than a grade, for learning the language. They are amazed at how well they can cope in a foreign country and speak the language with increased confidence subsequently.
As the curriculum is very much dictated by rote learning, the essay competition for me as a teacher is a very welcome diversion. It showcases the imagination and creativity of young people. All the students receive the same title, yet each essay is unique and imaginative. It is wonderful to observe how each student becomes more creative and confident in his use of the German language. Students end up knowing more about Austria than Germany. In fact, the roles in the classroom are reversed during the research period as it is the student that ends up educating me with facts of which I was unaware. This year I discovered that the Latvian language was founded by a German and that an Irish monk St. Virgil had a huge influence in Salzburg. In the past essays about ‘The Wild Geese’, Mozart, Dr. Otto von Habsburg, among others, proved very popular and educational.
The value and significance of the essay competition does not stop with the closing date - it has a ripple effect. This year two of my Leaving Certificate students are presenting projects on Austria for their oral German exam - one titled 'Salzburg' and the other titled 'Skiing in Austria'. Such was their love for the country that they wanted to express this in an exam which is worth 25%. One of these students - a former scholarship recipient - is hoping to follow in the footsteps of a student from last year and study Actuary with German in UCD. Another scholarship recipient is currently studying Medicine with German as his trip to Austria motivated him to continue studying the language. In this way the competition acts as a catalyst for future careers. The German language opens many doors for students and as one student, who took up a new position as a Translator in the European Union in Brussels earlier this year said ‘’Once you come to grips with German, you quickly realise what a brilliant, structured language it is’’.
So members of the Irish Austrian Society please take a bow - the contribution you are making to Irish Education is invaluable. Remember: ''The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life’’ - Plato
When we arrived in Greystones, about two hours later, the mood was high. Along the route we met other walkers who talked about wonderful skiing holidays spent in the Tyrol and could only wax lyrically about Austria and Austrians. Of course no outing would be complete without a restaurant stop, so having done our walk we headed for Summerville’s which had a gorgeous secluded garden where we enjoyed a well-earned brunch.
Not being faint-hearted, it was decided to walk back to Bray, but this time we were to climb Bray Head along the way. There was a bit of puffing and panting climbing up the hill, but we all arrived at the top in one piece. The views of Dublin right up as far as Howth and down as far as Wicklow Head were breath taking. The last leg of a wonderful outing was made all the easier with the promise of a visit to The Harbour Bar where we were all glad to sink into some easy chairs and enjoy a pint and chat. A truly lovely day with great company and sense of fun! I’m looking forward to the next outing!
Click on picture above to view more photos from the walk.
The winners of the 2015 Irish Austrian Society German Language Essay Competition were announced today at a prize winners ceremony hosted by the Austrian Ambassador Dr. Thomas Nader. In the presence of the winners together with their friends, family and teachers, the category winners and runners up were awarded their prizes.
The winners are, from left to right:
Maria Dunne. Mercy Secondary School, Galway. 2nd place Transition year. Teacher: Ruth Gilroy
Paul Crampton. Colaiste Phobal Ros Cre, Roscrea, Co Tipperary. 2nd place Seniors. Teacher: Eimear O'Meara
Oisin Thomas Morrin. St. Mary's Knockbeg College, Knockbeg, Co Carlow. 2nd place Juniors. Teacher: Louise Dillon-Reeves
Ailish Lalor. Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny. Seniors. Winner of the Dr. Otto Glaser Trophy & 2 week scholarship to Salzburg. Teacher: Maria Murphy
Katherine Ahern. Presentation Secondary School, Tralee, Co Kerry. Transition year. Winner of the Dubsky Environment Trophy & 2 week scholarship to Salzburg. Teacher: Marion Cronin
Jessica Byrne. St. Leo's College, Carlow. Juniors. Winner of the St. Fergal Trophy. Teacher: Ann Tully
We congratulate all the winners and thank all participants, teachers and schools for their participation and support. We also thank our sponsors who's support enables us to send the winners on a 2 week scholarship to Salzburg.
Please click on the picture above for more photos from the ceremony event.
Last Sunday, Easter Sunday, we had our now annual easter egg hunt for all families and children. Like the previous year, we once again had fab weather for a day outdoors and really enjoyed a fun day, as did all the kids searching and collecting easter eggs and other treats. Click on the picture below for more photos from this event.
The 2015 essay competition is now closed for new entries as of 19 March. We wish to thank all participating schools, students and teachers for their work. The essays are currently being judged by university lecturers nominated by the Austrian Embassy. Winners will awarded their prizes at a ceremony hosted by the Austrian Ambassador, Dr. Thomas Nader, later in April. At that time, the names of the winners will also be announced here on austria.ie. Stay tuned...