Thursday, 11 June 2015

The (Artisan) Pride of Ireland Awards

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Tom and Croein started Irish Bee Sensations in 2013 and initially had several different market stalls. One in Doneraile they ran themselves.

Doneraile Farmers Market (closed for winter)
Doneraile Park 
Every Second Sunday
When: 11am-3pm
Contact: Croén & Tom Ruttle
Phone : 0873553545

A Market Stall Holder from Co Cork was approached by Julia (as Croein) in 2013. She told her that she knew they would be great friends forever. Luckily, the stall holder didn't fall for it.

Tom & Julia began gushing about a food critic who had written a review of their 'Irish Bee Sensation' and 'Croens Kitchen' products but couldn't recall his name. Then Tom suddenly remembered it to be 'John Long'. 

John's facebook page began on 08/07/2013 and the last post was on 15/08/2014

According to his 'About Me' he: 
  • studied Food Science at Cork Institute of Technology (Food Science);
  • lived in Asia (where he trained as a Chef), Lima, Peru & Seoul but was currently living in Cork;
  • was born in Dunmanway, Cork on May 26th;
  • was married to Maria on 03/04/1990;
  • and he was approached to write a Best and Worst Guide on Local Farmers Markets although he never says who asked him to do the guide and the guide itself was never published.
On going through his page, several things stand out and we are now convinced that Julia Holmes was posing as John Long, Siobhan and Niall and was behind The Pride of Ireland Awards. John Long's facebook page was used to attack both entire Markets or individual Stall Holders on several occasions.

It is our belief that Julia used the awards to promote her businesses as Irish Bee Sensations were awarded the Pride of Ireland Grand Champion Award.

Having spoken to market stall holders and people who were at the awards we know that no-one ever met John Long, Siobhan or Niall in person. Neither they, nor the other Judges who allegedly worked with him were at the Award Ceremony. 

Tom Ruttle handed out the awards himself and there are many photographs of him doing so.

A market stall holder who raised her concerns with me about this saga said she had once witnessed a post made by the Pride of Ireland site but written by Julia, gushing about receiving her certificates and it was very quickly removed when she realised she'd logged into the wrong account.

John's rants against different markets and stall holders coincided with Julia falling out with them. The best Market, according to John was Doneraile, which Julia (as Croein) & Tom ran and the best company was Irish Bee Sensations, always had wonderful things to say about them.

As it stands, there is no sign of any of the Judges or the Real Ireland Guide that John was writing. Both Tom and Julia are dead so we can't ask questions but this is the evidence we have gathered and you can decide for yourself.

The following is taken from John Long's Facebook page. The page is still there so you can see the posts for yourself. I have copied the relevant parts of the posts without mentioning names of Market Holders as I am sure they do not want their names associated with Julia. Also note that the text is copied as it is, spelling and grammar mistakes included. Those who have spoken to Julia will know about her legendary poor spelling. Also, there are several entries on the same day. A new paragraph is a new post.

10th July 2013

Food has long been my passion , especially good food. I search it out, I enjoy it and I write about it. Recently I have come across some exceptinal farmers markets especially in Cork, one in particular is Doneraile Park Farmers Market. Set in beautiful surroundings and providing such wonderful treats .... Raw Irish honey ( a rare treat these days) and unusual jams created with old fashioned flair and truly unique flavours form Bee Sensations ... All in all the trip to Doneraile was well worth it. I found the market really to be a place where all the stall holders were having fun and enjoyed what they were doing, that really matters! this ole country boy had a good day and strolled through the park, met some animals and then came back for more good food, the kind that is good for you and made by people who care. Well done for a great market experience. next time I come I am bringing the family

Well as my foodie friends know I have been travelling around the country looking at farmes markets, Wish I could say the experiences were all good but sadly it is not so. Had a day out in Clonakilty Market and could not believe what I saw, stall holders fighting with each other, one of the worst crepes I have ever tasted, how hard is it to make a crepe!!!! and with the exception of some great olives and a pizza the day was a waste would not suggest this as a day out. 

I am currently typing with a plaster on my right hand so excuse errors

Kerry kingdom, what a spot, found it hard to believe there was not a market in kilarney! Whats wrong folks? Did visit a farmers market last saturday in Tralee and was sadly disapointed. While there are lots of stalls I found the overall experience tainted by the heavy energy that lay over the market. A huge sign telling peeople there was a market on, why have a sign right there when anyone within several hundred metres could see stalls, a waste of money if you ask me. I found stall holders selling food and standing there smoking and there is an energy that suggests all is not well ... there were some good jams to be had at Bee Sensations ( had visited them at Doneraile) and of course thier honey from thier own hives, they are always freindly and as always first grade products ... Tried to buy some fudge but could not find anyone to serve me! 
Something i found about sevral stalls was that the stall holders were too busy smoking in a group to wait on cutomers.
Will keep you posted on my travels

When I go to markets I am always looking at the overall market, food is of course important but equally important is the mix of stalls. Sometimes I find so many bakers and veggie stalls that one has to wonder why. 
Occassdionally I find a market where the mix is well thought out and quality is something the coordinators are concerned about. I write as I find, this does not make me popular with some but it does give my readers a truth as I find it. just sometimes one market does seem to have it all and it becomes a joy for me to give a thumbs up. I found this to be the case with Doneraile Park Farmers Market. The back dorp to the market is of course a beautiful georgian home and then there is a tea room which serves a good lunchand of coure all those acres of walkways . Just seems to me like this market has it all and I urge anyone within distance to visit. Glad to give a thumbs up.

John then posted the following picture. You can see his comments. This is actually a picture of a 'She Shed' from the internet. There are many sites reviewing it, like this one:


My apologies for all the errors in spelling at mooment as some of you know I recently broke my wrist and am typing with a cast on and it is assuredly telling in my posts, bear with me please

Now as my day winds down and the wife and I sit in our shed listening to nature I want to tell you all a little story.
I have been a food critic for a long time, my wife will tell you I love food. I have worked as a chef and I have written for a few magazines and newspapers abroad. On returning home I found a lot of critics but few who were into good old fashioned food. You know the stuff, its the plateful of good Irish Fayre you know the stuff mam used to make Iwill be the first to extoll the good and show up the bad.
As I journey to farmers markets I am constantly looking for the good stuff. The stuff with heart, the stuff with memories and the stuff that stands the test of time. There are days I am pleasantly surprised and there are others I wonder why I bother. I like what I like and I will gladly share the joys of these products and producers with you.

I found great food incredible jams and Irish honey along with cup cakes to die for Brown Bread from a mother daughter team and simply the best pate i have ever tasted. All these goodies were found at Doneriale Prk Farmers Market, the jams made with honey linger like a good memory ... Well done Bee Sensations

In tralee I found again Bee Sensations but was not impressed by stall holders smoking at stands and standing in groups instead of at their standsi will be posting about a few plces where I ate and regailing you with my travels hope you are not too bored.
The Hungry farmer will be back


Spent a lovely day in Ballincollig and while it was bustling found only a few stalls that seemed to care.
I found one of my favourite craftsmen and his lovely wife ... This is a one man business that is doing it right. I found him originally at Doneraile Park Farmers Market and was good to see him again. This is a business well worth visiting. There was also a lovely stall and while the product is imported it is of highest quality and the owner was ( according to my wife) a perfect gentleman. Saw something that really makes this farm boy mad. Thee behind the stalls of food vendors were vendors puffing away and then serving customers. Surely a violation of HSE. Saw some good veggies and a nice buzz to the market.


Try it alongside the one of a kind natural honey jams you get from Bee Sensations ( I Like the honeyed fig with rhubarb and chilli) goes down a treat with some nice fresh french Bread. I wonder if I buy in bulk will I save any money

Love the idea that the jam is made with thier own honey, now thats a treat and the recipes are from the family so I was told. All in all these two products go hand in hand. Like the wife and myself! the Hungry Farmer is away to find more treats for the family to enjoy.


Now it would appear I have ruffled a few feathers with my findings on recent visits to markets and to different eateries. As I always say I write as to what I find sometimes good and sometimes not so good.
Those who are taking offence would be better served improving your standards instead of becoming paranoid over this hungry farmer.

Cork to me has one of the best overall experiences not just for markets but also for service and some of the best eating to be found in Irleand. Unfortunately my experiences with markets in Kerry left me with a poor evaluation. I did find few Dingle being one andd Kenmare foo fair was excellent. I have vistied each market on at least two occassions so i have written what I found to be my own experiences. havong talked to a few of the other foodies they came up with the same opinions.
We will be keeping you posted to our newest travels and the best and worst we found.

Now this ole farmer is getting a little tired of having to justify his comments. IF you got a comment less than flattering then do something to change my mind instead of messaging me to tell me what you think of me ( not that I really care) and to do damage control. Do Something constructive to improve yourselves. This ole boy is way to wiley a fox to think that you really are interested in who I am. My annominity allows me to go along and see things as they are. If you do not like me or my thoughts simply stop reading. For those of you doing it right ( and there ae many ) congratulations to you you know what 
your customers want and supply it daily or weekly.


Made a special trip to Tralee since they thought I was harsh with my findings, sorry lads but you do not cut muster for me. One end of the market ( the bottom) has a great feel and then the top end is the opposite ( no pun intended). Found some stalls missing but caught them later at another venue. I do not know what it is with this market, just does not do it for this ole boy ... Caught up with Bee Sensations at a gathering so was able to stock up on thier honey and jams still the best in my book and Tom is as down to earth as you get and what he doesnt know about bees is not worth knowing. Think he belongs at the other end of the market! As markets go it's not the worst but vast room for improvement. 

Dingle Farmers Market always a pleasure, great banter fine assortment of foods and of course chocolate second to none.This market has got its act together and one always feels right at home, well done to the organisers and stall holders. Well worth the trip.

Well I made it to Doneriale on Sunday and what did I find but more new stalls and an ethnic corner which it seems is growing stronger ... picked up my jams again from Bee Sensations, and I tell you this not only is it still the best jams I have ever tasted but this couple run the market and do a grand job. Now I always find the atmosphere at this market to be friendly and great banter between the stalls, they refer thier customers to other stalls and promote each other. This is how it should be an old fashioned feel to this market and well chosen stalls. Always worth the trip to see everyone. Finished up with a lovley lunch in th tearooms ... thanks to all of you for making the trip a worthwhile experience.

Bllincollig was one of my visits and met a few of my favourite stall holders ... A nice day out and a good market. Watch out kinsale am watching you


Sometimes I get to communicate with people who truly care about thier business and customers. When we are guided by quality and fairness we succeed in our endeavours. It shows to customers when you deal with them honestly. Congratulations to those of you doing it right.

(A reply from Croens Kitchen was left but the comment vanished when she closed her account - the following is John's reply to Croen).

I know you practice this Ms Croéns Kitchen your product and service is second to none Bee Sensations is the whole package in my book.


What a grand day for a market and Kilmallock is in full swing, some of the usual suspects and some new faces ... Was delighted to see Bee Sensations so stocked up on our honey and jams ( the daughter takes them home with her) Still have to say this hungry farmer reckons they have the best jams in the country and I have tasted some jam in my day. 
Can someone please explain to me why some people ram thier product down your throat?? really not a good experience and I find some Americans are this way . ( sorry USA) Was purchasing a chutney and had to move away from the stall as vendor was so pushy and loud. Lady let your products do the talking unless of course they has no voice! The french honey is quite good and I have to say for health benefits it cannot touch our local honey but a good product. 

(Again, another comment from Croen's kitchen that is no longer there. The following is John's reply)

A man yes, of good taste my wife would say yes ,and as for me I have to say I am impressed by the pair of you. SHows that hard work and a keen sense of adventure in cooking is paying of. I find a few like you on my travels but not many who truly put themselves out there. Most play it safe with tried and trusted recipes . I know your recipes come from your families but your twist is surprisingly inventive. As for meetimg me well you have several times but it allows me to judge fairly when you do not know me. Perhaps one day


What a day at kinsale ... picked.up a new Jam with a twist from my all time favourites and of course bought the wife some flowers have spent a lovely day love my work


I am sure I will get wrapped for this, however, this is a page where I get to tell it like I see it. As most of you know our awards will not only go to best Markets for overall appeal but also to individual vendors. There are 5 of us currently working our way through the country in various counties . Over the past weeks I have found the best of the best and the worst of the worst. One thing I am sure of is that we in Ireland still have the 'want' to produce products we can be proud of. yesterday I was in Kinsale and surrounding areas ( close to home for me) and again found Irish Producers proudly displaying the best of the best ... Picked up some chilli jam but was not impressed by it at all. As most of my foodie friends know my favourite Jams are produced by Bee Sensations, as they say unique flavours 100% natural and I have found nothing and no one to beat them yet ... 

Moving on to Dingle and of course a lovely market friendly faces and excellent stalls, they have it togethr Doneraile Park farmers market is a new market but well run and planned out. I find it a great treat to visit this location, stall holders are all having a good time and some of the best foods and products to be found in any market ... Most of the stalls are husband and wife teams with a penchant for quality. Certainly the best Irish Honey and Jams to be found and always a great pleasure to deal with the owners of Bee Sensations. I look for grat things from this couple.

Visited Kilmallock last Monday and always a good market for a holiday weekend. Do not like pushy stall holders ramming their product at me. even if your produc t is good your attempt at getting the public to try it need to be subtle not in your face. One vendor had a table in the walk way where there is little enough room. Not impressed with her or her product ... Ballincollig while anice mix of vendors I found lacking and stall holders with food products smoking at thier stalls not a good look.

More to follow and the first finalsits for awards to be announced soon.


Have been out and about the last few days, revisited a few of the eateries previously visited and was pleasantly pleased to experience the same good food and service. Markets are everywhere and was at mahon point in Cork. A lot of stalls but have to say the quality was missing at a lot of them. Bandon always produces great produce and friendly banter thumbs up lads. 

Douglas this morning was lacking passing trade and some stall holders were looking less than happy to be there. there is a knack to a good market and few seem to have the winning combination. Dingle is always a treat and again the banter is always on tap. Found a quaint little country market in Miltown in Kerry. Quite a mix of stalls but poorly laid out ... Had a visit to Clonakilty again in case I had misjudged, but sadly it lacks the feel and craic of a good market ... Had a crepe that made me weep ( but not with happiness) sorry but this market is not one to win any acolades. As we all travel and compare notes it is interesting that each community can vary so much. Egos in my mind play a large part in ruining markets and the ones I see as succesful are the ones who help and encourage, sadly few seem to do this. back with more later. Puck Fair is under way so next stop is to see the goat!


Am putting the final touches to my wall of winners a few more days in Cork and a few more reviews to follow.I can say I have already mentioned some of my choices on the page today and look forward to seeing them in person. In case anyone has missed it I have been travelling over several counties with mixed reviews but some wonderful foods and eateries .Markets galore but only a few get my vote and they are Dingle and Doneraile. Doneraile takes my number one spot for the best of the best in farmers markets and Dingle coms in a very close second. These two markets stand out not only for atmosphere but also quality stalls and stall holders and of course geat craic. Well done to you both. Always a pleasure to announce winners.

In the dpartment of food products I name ... It will come as no shock that Bee Sensations is a winner, this couple work well together and produce some of the most unusual and delicious jams to be experienced. Coupled with thier own honey and a great attitude towards their business they are certainlyy a niche business and truly are masters at thier craft ... More to follow as I finish my rounds and so many more places to mention and more winners to be named. My congratulations to all so far. 

More names to follow and to answer a question I am constantly being messaged on, there is no charge attached to our awards Each of you have won them fair and sqare. For award winners already mentioned all of us at Pride of Ireland salute you


Well another week gone and awards are now in the final stages.
Each award winner will be duly contacted and awards given. We look at all the products being made not just food. We also look at the overall business, market or servise each provides with good old fashioned Irish customer service. There are awards in each county and each award winner will be mentioned in Pride of Ireland whiich will be a real guide to Irish Quality throughout our land. 
The book is aimed at local tourism and those visiting our shores. It will be widely available and each award winner will recieve a copy of the book as well as thier award. We are pleased to announce there is no charge to our award winners for any part of their award.
Our aim is to reintroduce to all the pride we all take in being Irish and the ability of those in our country who go out there day after day and prove we are not on our knees but a solid nation determined to be the best. Our congratulations to htose so far chosen. I am pleased to announce more of our winners today.


Good Day everyone, no I am not dead ( although I am sure that disapoints some)
Currently on some R&R in Frnace with a few of the other judges and then it is back to the awards. To the winners so far well done and to those awaiting the outcome...all in good time. Book is due in early 2014 and promises to stir things up just a little. Watch for our new page coming soon

(Another message from Croens kitchen and John's reply)

Now if you knew the answer to that question where would we be smile emoticon Have heard there is a new marmalade that is easy on the on the taste buds, if there is any left when I get back I will be trying it but sounds like my son in law is finding it very tasty. Potcheen marmalade with honey sounds very good to me. Well done lads yo keep stepping up to the plate.


John is apparently traveling through France


Well the days in the sun have come to an end and it is time to get home and get busy. Looking forward to the new year and the unveiling of our new guide to the real taste spots in ireland as well as awards being presented.Good to know my co partners have been busy with food festivals and farmers markets.


What a hectic few months, I have sourced Cork, Kerry and Dublin for our award winners a mamoth task and it is now final. Winners will be awarded within the next month congraulations to all of you who came up wiinners, well deserved and proud to say you are the pride of ireland.


I recently visited what was hailed as an Artisan market expecting to see one of my fave stalls there only to find they were not there, I have now found out why, a stall holder objected to competition, sad when you are so unsure of your own product that you choose to exclude another company. While I understand the need for each stall holder to make money surely the needs of the visitors to the market should be of some concern. I can safely say the market did not live up to its own PR and I am sure had the new stall been there it would have added value, and brought custom. Small minded people are not my favourites. Bad move Fermoy no wonder these markets do not succeed. Now on it's third attempt lets wait and see.


Just back form a trip to Fermoy Artisan market, STILL no local honey on sale but loads from far away ireland loads of crafts and a few good products. Pity the location is so poor but it is indoors with a few stalls outside. Cant wait to go to the Christmas Market which I understand will be outdoors and backed by the council. Hope I got that right Anyway of on my wanderings again who knows where I will be next


Well it is all happening, new winners and more to follow. Each one of us will be making the rounds and catching up with some more potential Pride of Ireland Winners. It is good to be a part of something that rewards those who continue to wear and show their pride in being Irish. Amazing how many people think they will have to pay for being awarded. We do not ask for or expect any payment from anyone. We simply want to show the world the Pride we as Irish have in oursleves our heritage and our work.
Fortunately all six of us ( yes we added one more to our fold) have been succesful in our ventures and we want to now take the time travel our beautiful country and give a thank you to those we feel deserving, that means qualtiy, service and in most cases artisan craftsmanship. Awards are well earned and not given lightly so if you are a winner stand tall you deserve your place in the spotlight.


You know, being country born and raised I look at things just that little bit differently. I am not looking for dazzle and sparkle when I look for winners. Some of the others may. For me it is about service, how I am greeted, the quality of the product and consistency. I looking for what has kept this Country great and what products are synonomous with Ireland. I see a few who have won who are forgetting that PEOPLE make your business grow and when you start neglecting that, well, its a slippery slope. Others I see use their awards to promote others and to promote their craft, there is a difference. It is good to see small businesses give another a push, shows a pride not just in their own business but also in Irish products. To htose, I raise my cap . Still looking still calling back to prior winners and still some big announcements to come.


to market to market to see who is real. Remeber Keep It irish


What a weekend . we were all on the road covering ireland. Saw some of our current winners and will be adding to that list along with announcements for grand Champions in several fields. I saw an amazing array of talent on my travels and good to see some of the young ones holding fast to Irish Traditions. Sad to see othere saying Artisan when clearly they are not! Still, if you have an award form us then you can hold your head high.


Who knew when we booked our trips that we would miss such dreadful weather back home in Cork. We are scouting locations for events to be announced but will be back in the old country soon enough.


John is now in France and Italy

The John Long account is suddenly taken over by Siobhan - no surname, no web page, no background


Siobhan here we will be out and about looking for more winners in the coming months apologies for the lack of info on the page to date but rest assured things are returning to normal


Pride of Ireland Award Page:


Hello, I am delighted to have been asked to be a part of this awards page. As everyone knows the identity of those giving awards is well protected to ensure they get normal service and treatment when entering or dealing with a business. I am very proud to be part of this team and will be making announcements of new winners within the next week or so.


help us get the word out there that there are new kids on the block. Our awards are given to Irish owned and operated businesses. We award on the basis of product, service and overall appearance of stands and displays. Customer service has always been a pride in Ireland and we are hoping to assure it remains so. these awards cannot be bought nor do the winners have to purchase or pay for anything. They will be mentioned in our upcoming visitors guide and receive certificates and an award to display. We have been visiting markets and businesses throughout Ireland with 5 of us the travel is enjoyable and a chance for us to see first hand what makes us proud to be Irish.


Now that certifcates are on the way please feel free to promote our page for likes. Awlays remember there is no cost attached to our awards. They are won on merrit alone. The qualities we look for are traditional Irish service quality and value if you are fortunate to receive an award then be proud, they are neveer handed out lightly. We visit establishments and vendors several times before making our decisions and now with six of us on the road you never know where or when we will show up.


As most of you know by now Pride of Ireland is set up to acknowledge the best of the best in Artisan Producers and small businesses who represent the very best of our heritage and our commitment to quality and service. We are not funded by anyone and we are not in it for the money. We are here to acknowledge those who consistently excell at their craft. Each award winner either provides a product and or service in true Irish tradition offering quality and service along with value.


Let's get the word out that there is an award for true Irish Craftsmanship/Artisna Producers. Like and share this page


Just wanted to say hello and introduce myself as the newest member of the group Pride of Ireland Awards. My name is Siobhan and since we do our most honest and best research by not being visable all I can say is this. Being asked to join these lovely people on their quest is an amazing honour for me. Coming from a culinary background and with an interest in Artisan crafts it is nice to be able to browse shops, markets etc and find unique and interesting businesses. Looking forward to seeing some great stuff and meeting some good down to earth people. Many congratulations to all of the winners so far.


heres a question for all our winners, is there any one winner that you think works hard at promoting businesses other than their own? We are looking for someone who is always interested in others and promotes other Artisans, so if you have any names you can leave them here or message me. John


Look for more very special grand awards coming just in time for Christmas. Still looking for the Artisan producer or craftsperson who does the most to promote others. All nominations can be shared on the page or simply message us here




Sorry John has not yet posted the new award winners, between No electricity and flooding he has his hands full, Cork got it bad this past few days. Just hang in there.


What a way to end one year and start a new one! Floods electricity shortages etc!! but with all that came the joy of family time and sharing new adventures. our awards are back on track and a promise that tomorrow we will be announcing new winners and our grand Champions along with a few new awards. ||Thanks to all who have been messgaing their nominees and each one of us appreciate the time and effort you are giving to your fellow winners.


This is where we get to say a huge thank you for support and for striving to keep the Pride in ireland Alive. Our grand Champion Award goes to a company with passion not just for their own products but also for promoting consistantly other artisans. 
We have had many messages over the last months with suggestions as to who should be our Grand Champion winner, one name came up time after time. Not only does this company make a product that is worthy of grand Champion Status but their attitude and unwavering devotion to promoting others has not been touched by anyone else. All of us here at Pride of ireland have tasted many products and looked at many beautiful crafts, we have wandered through stores and markets throughout Ireland. Wehave found that time after time this company has shown the same dedication to quality in their own product. they have pointed us towards other stalls and products . They truly possess the meaning of Pride of Ireland in every aspect and we are delighted to name them as our Grand Champions for product service and also for promoting others. Our Grand Champions for 2013 are Irish Bee Sensations. Congratulations Tom & Croéin well won and very much deserved.


Well the day is here when some of our overall winners will be rewarded, We are still in search of those worthy of a Pride of Ireland Award. This is not won by just anyone, not to be bought nor is it just for service or product quality, We look at the whole picture in order to be sure each winner is fully involved in their businesss and that their attitude is as good as the product or service they provide. Many have lost out because we have experienced bad service or an a ttitude towards those around them . You will not find anyone with our award who does ntionsreach the highest standards in every area. This is why we do not reveal ourselves, no special treatment no freebies or reductions, we are treated like everyone else and sometimes that can be appalling! Still, those with an award can stand shoulder to shoulder in helping re build our nations pride. Good luck to all and congratulations


Tom stands in to give out the awards


IMPORTANT... It has been brought to our attention that Lidl ireland is promoting an event called Pride of Ireland Awards. They obviouly are unaware that they are trading on our name and we will be in contact Monday morning. Pride of Ireland Awards was established in 2013 to promote IRISH ARTISAN PRODUCERS we are not affiliated with Lidl in any way and hope they will be gracious enough to change their awards to avoid any confusion with the real awards group. Siobhan for John Long


It would seem that ethics are not part of Lidls ethos as they are not willing to do anything about using our awards name, John remains abroad and I am working on the issue, please spread the word that our wonderful award winners are not associated with this event. I do aplaud the act that local heros are being sought out and will be recognised just remains to be seen if it will be everyday people or politically correct people who receive the awards Hope it is the every day ones. Siobhan ps all opinions expressed are my own


We at pride of Ireland wold like to extend our deepest sympathy to our chairman John Long and his family on the loss of his dear wife Maria who passed away earlier this morning while in France. Our thoughts and prayers go to the whole family at this time. Pride of ireland team.

(one of the comments was from Pride of Ireland and it was one of Julia's common sayings 'we are holding you and family close')


InJohns absence we will be announcing new awards later today, it is his wish that artisans are recognised for their work. We will be meeting later today to vote on those nominated. RegardsNiall. Pride of Ireland Awards Team (Another identity that has no details)

The final post was on the 07/04/2014 and no-one ever heard from John, Siobhan, Niall or the Pride of Ireland Awards again.

According to a reliable source, Tom ran the stalls mostly by himself as Julia had suffered 4 bouts of pneumonia during 2013 which we know to be a lie as in January 2014 she sent text messages to one of her victims claiming she had terminal cancer and only weeks to live. In fact from the above, it is apparent that while Tom was the public face of Irish Bee Sensations, Julia was at home pretending to be John Long & Chrissy!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The life, crimes and death of Julia Holmes

Time Line Last Updated 11/06/2015

Thanks to a market stall holder from Co. Cork who asked me to look into what she believed to be a fraud on a massive scale we have uncovered another of Julia's scams - The (Artisan) Pride of Ireland Awards. As you will already know if you have read this blog, Irish Bee Sensations won the 'Pride of Ireland Grand Champion Award'. None of us are gloating about this latest development, people will be hurt and angry with nowhere to direct their anger. Julia's scams are never a joke, they involve real people with real lives and although the press refer to her in colourful terms she has left a trail of devastation behind her. Make something good come from this - if you know of a company that was scammed, support them, buy from them, speak highly of them - Julia conned politicians in the USA - no-one was safe from her!

Can you help with the following questions?

1) Julia claimed to have terminal cancer from December 2013 up until she died. Up till now, there have been 4 different types of cancer mentioned to different people around the world. What did she tell you?

2) Her sister Chrissy. We know that she was an only child. Did you have any dealings with who you believed to be Chrissy? So far we have her sending gifts, running the twitter account, in hospital and sending abusive text messages to people who wanted payment for their services. She has been known to mention other siblings who had died - did you hear one of those stories?

3) She used her son Paul's name a lot despite the fact he hasn't seen her since she gave him up as a baby. I have had lots of reports of Paul doing all kinds of things for his 'mammy' - bottles of wine sent to restaurants, bunches of flowers and e-mails sent to Julia's friends etc. Did you have any dealings with 'Paul'? (Please note, this was Julie pretending to be Paul - he has spent the last few years trying to track her down so she could be put in prison!)

4) When did you meet Julia? What was she calling herself? What did she tell you about her life? Where was she living? Remember - I just need facts and will keep your name out of it if you wish.

5) Did she scam you or were you a friend? There are 2 different groups. Those who knew Julia as a liar and thief and those who knew her as a generous, kind friend. She either stole from you or showered you with gifts.

6) What did you think of Tom? Again there are 2 different groups. Those who say he was a quiet, gentle man who liked a peaceful life and the others that say he was in on her scams and just as bad as she was. What did he tell you when you met him, even the smallest piece of information is important.

7) Prison - doing time was part of her life. She would deny all crimes and blame others until found guilty, do her time, be released after a few months and start again. Have I missed any prison time or court cases out?

8) Miscarriages. She had a lot! I have several documented but know there are more. When the FBI had her put in prison in America, her step daughters cleared out her things and found no feminine products at all which would suggest she had gone through menopause. Her last pregnancy in 2011 would make her 59 but she said she was 52.  

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Names she has used include:
Julia Holmes; Celia Holmes; Julia Parrish; Victoria Parrish; Victoria J O'neill; Dr Watson; JJ Watson; Juls Watson; Celia Holmes; Christine Holmes; Cecelia Julia McKettrick; Julia O’Neill; Julia Hunter, Julie Greer; Julie Ruttle; Julia Ruttle; Jules Ruttle; Julieann Ruttle; Croéin Ruttle; Créon Ruttle; Croein Ruttle; Croén Ruttle; Miratha Pendragon; SilverLight Ruttle (posing as a High Priestess Witch on facebook); WhiteWolf QuietSpirit (posing as a Shaman on facebook)

Time Line

  • January - Cecelia Julia McKitterick was born in Castlederg, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. She is an only child and her birth was illegitimate.
  • Her mother dies of cancer. Julia is just 18 years old. She moves in with a friend. 
  • She marries her first Husband from who she was never divorced 
  • Abandoned her Son Paul at 6 months old to be raised by his Paternal Grandparents. He lives in Ireland and is happily married. He has not seen or spoken to Julie in over 40 years and refuses to have her in his families life.

Can you help fill in this gap? E-mail me on

  • Julia asks her friends family to bail her out of Armagh Jail. They think it was to do with stolen TV sets. 
  • In late 1984 she told friends that she had been writing to a man called Gregory in America and she planned to meet up with him by crossing over from Canada to USA. 
  • Julia enters the USA illegally via Canada 
1985 - 2004:
  • She marries her second Husband, Clyde Parrish in Athens, Texas, USA. It is a bigamous marriage as she never divorced her first Husband in Northern Ireland.  

  • During her 'marriage' she claims to have been pregnant twice despite Clyde having had a vasectomy before he met her. Both pregnancies end in 'miscarriage'.
  • She becomes a leading member of the Republican Party in Athens, Texas and also a high profile member of the Lone Star State Women’s Republican Club. 
  • Julia with the former US Republican Party vice president Dan Quayle

  • She ran a mobile home retail business with Clyde. 

  • She was also known for organizing the official memorial service in Athens for Ronald Reagan upon his death. 

  • She had previously campaigned for the election of the local Republican District Attorney Donna Bennett 


  > October:
  • Julia is sentenced to 27 months imprisonment for wire fraud and was ordered to pay $517,000 in restitution to the victims 
  • She is deported from the USA back to her native Northern Ireland although she attempts to fight deportation as she is 'married' to a US citizen. In a prison interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Ms Parrish said that she was estranged from some family members and had no reason to return to Northern Ireland. Before she pleaded guilty last November, Ms Parrish said that she was kept going by her faith in God and said she was innocent of the charges. 
American Newspaper Articles: (Newspaper articles are not archived so we have copied the pages to this blog before they disappear)
      2006 - 2010. Can you help fill this gap? Email:


       > June: 
      • Julia begins a new relationship with a man in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. Once again, she claims to be pregnant and all of her scans were booked for when the father was working. At 5 months, he booked a surprise scan and on not finding a baby, she claimed she must have miscarried without knowing. With that, the relationship was terminated and she was told to leave.
      • Now calling herself JJ, she moves to Strabane before settling in Crockett Park, Castlederg. She begins working in the Wellbeing Spa, Sion Mills.
      • She was charged with 21 counts of defrauding a list of local businesses. Rapid Response, Cilento and Fudge Boutique were listed among her victims as well as the Spa owner.
      • She was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

        > Dates unknown:

      • Julia creates several facebook pages under different names and unlike her other pages, these have not been deleted. They are:
        > December:
      • 27th - Her car is put up for sale and left on a road side for the buyer to collect. No-one in Northern Ireland sees her again and she hops over the border to start a new life in Limerick. 

        > January:
      • Julia fails to return to Downpatrick Magistrates Court after being bailed and electronically tagged. She is charged with fraud totaling €24,900. A Warrant is issued for her arrest after she fails to come back to face charges of fraud by misrepresentation.
      • She assumes the name Julie Greer and poses as a High Priestess Witch on facebook and adds Pagans & Spiritualists from Liverpool. 
        > April:
      • April Fool's Day, she 'marries' Tom Ruttle, a Bee Keeper from Askeaton. It is her second Bigamist marriage. Tom's relatives and myself were told that the pictures were from a 'Marriage Blessing'. We were all told that the actual wedding ceremony was held in private before the blessing.

      • During the ceremony, a guest told Julie that she was sorry for the 'loss of her fetus', Julie responded by saying it wasn't a fetus, it was a baby. Nothing more was said about it. 
        > June:
      • She visits Liverpool and Stone Henge arriving via the ferry. She claims she is writing a book on Psychology and the Law of Attraction. 
        > August:
      • Myself and my Husband stay with them for a weekend in Bouliglass, Askeaton, Co Limerick. We were told numerous lies during the visit (currently writing it up)
      • This video of their one bee hive was taken during our visit                                                                        
      • With Tom acting as a High Priest, Julia performs a Pagan handfasting ceremony at the Grange Stone Circle in Limerick. These are the vows that Julia claimed to write and both of them signed. The paper used was from her 'wedding' to Tom.
      © Amethyst Storm

        > September:

      • Pretends to be Tom on facebook and claims that a black witch is casting black magic spells on his Wife to kill their unborn baby and needs facebook friends to send her energy for protection. 
        > December:
      • She claims to have lost the baby at 7 months, weighing 1lb. This is her 1st alleged still birth but 3rd miscarriage even though it has been claimed by people who know her that she went through early menopause. This is the grave stone - it is on Tom's family plot.


        > May:

      • Police launch new appeal in news papers for information and even though her mug shot is all over the papers, Julie continues to live the good life.

      • The Kents, a newly married couple from Australia spend 2 weeks of their Honeymoon with Tom and Julie at Glenside House, Cratloe, West Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick (See below). Julie persuaded them to invest their compensation award, some €75,000. (more to follow)

      • She starts wearing a blonde wig claiming she has terminal cancer (no-one as of yet knows if this is true) 
      • She tells her new community that she and Tom have been married for 30 years and that is how long they have kept their Bees.
      • She claims to have moved to Kinsale, Co. Cork and quickly establishes herself with charities, celebrities, business people and anyone in the food industry there.
      • She changes her name to Croein Ruttle but constantly misspells it Croéin, Créon, Croein, Croén.
      • She starts a business called Irish Bee Sensations & Croen's Kitchen later becoming Croein's Kitchen.

      Julia hires a company to design a website for Irish Bee Sensations but it was taken down in March 2015 before I could view it. The domain names were registered to T & J Ruttle and this is the bio from a cache:

        > No Dates
      • Julia hires builders to renovate Tom's home that had been in his family for generations. The following are pictures from google street map and it is how the house was in 2011.


        > January: 
      • Tom & Croein of Irish Bee Sensations win the Pride of Ireland Grand Champion Award for 2013 (the original, not the Mirror/Lidl one). Due to an investigation carried out by a market stall holder and a blogger (myself), this is now known to be another of Julia's scams. Click here to read the full story.

          > September: 
        • Irish Bee Sensations win at the IQF Awards (Irish Quality Food)

          > October: 
          •  Irish Bee Sensations win 3 awards at Blas na hEireann.

          • The @bsensationsnews account is taken over by Julie's sister Chrissy as Croein is 'battling cancer'. She does not have a sister and she was posing as Chrissy. There is a Christine from South Africa and she was befriended on Facebook in 2011. She has never ran a twitter account for @bsensationsnews and she has never texted anyone while 'Croein' was in 'hospital'. This is backed up by the fact no-one ever met Chrissy in person, they only spoke to her on Twitter and via text message.
                > February: 
              • She closes her WhiteWolf SpiritWhisper Facebook account and stops answering phone calls from concerned online friends
              • She starts a new business called An Event To Remember
                > March: 
              • She is finally recognised in Southern Ireland by a Lady who remembered the newspaper stories. She contacts the police and puts a warning out online. Others who know of Julie/Croein also contact police after seeing the alerts.
              • She closes down her @bsensationsnews Twitter account and cancels her long standing engagements.
              • I discover she is using the @eventsrmember account and tweet her. Within minutes she has blocked me. This was the 22nd March 2014

              It is absolutely dreadful that we discover Julia attempted to defraud Bumbleance, an Ambulance service for severely disabled children across Ireland.
              We are absolutely irate! For purposes of Karma, let's make something good come from these frauds and donate what we can to this wonderful charity. Donate by clicking here.

              Sunday Times: Honey fraudster tried to sting Bumbleance charity

              We'd also like to point out that during our investigations, we have found Neven McGuire to be one of the nicest people in Ireland. He uses his fame to promote local businesses and uses their produce in his restaurant and cooking demonstrations. He also donates a lot to local charities. You cannot blame him for not realising the fraud under his nose when Irish Bee Sensations where winning awards everywhere they went and we hope it won't stop him from continuing his good works in his community.
                  > April: 
                • 2nd: Tom makes a late night phone call to a relative. They talk about visiting Tom's house in the near future and say that Tom did not sound suicidal. Usually they were put up locally but Tom told them he now had a spare room done up for them. The phone call was cut short by Tom after someone knocked on his door. They never heard from him again.
                • Police believe both she and Tom have absconded
                  • Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards Issue this statement regarding the awards given to Irish Bee Sensations
                   > May:
                  • 18th: 2 badly decomposed bodies are found in the bedroom of Tom's house in Bouliglass, Askeaton, Co.Limerick. They were lying side by side on the bed with a rifle in the room.
                  • The bodies are found during a burglary at 3am. The thieves were known to Police. They handed themselves in through fear of being accused of murder instead of simple robbery.
                  • 2 suicide notes dated the 14/03/2015, signed by Tom and Julia were found on the kitchen table. (We will not make claims about what the notes contain until we have absolute proof)
                   > June:
                  • 3rd: Thomas Ruttle is buried in his family plot at St Mary's Church, Askeaton, Co Limerick.
                  • 5th: Julia Holmes' body was taken from the morgue in Limerick and was taken to Island Crematorium in Co Cork for cremation. This is despite instructing a solicitor in Northern Ireland that they were to be buried together in Tom's family plot. It's not known what will happen to her ashes.