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: http://lightersideofrealestate.com/real-estate-life/cool-stuff/introducing-she-sheds



11/07/2013

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

13/07/2013

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.

14/07/2013

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.

17/07/2013

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.

30/07/2013

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

04/08/2013

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.

05/08/2013

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

07/08/2013

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

08/08/2013

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.

10/08/2013

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!

14/08/2013

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

16/08/2013

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.

25/08/2013

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.

31/08/2013

John is apparently traveling through France

18/09/2013

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.

11/10/2013

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.

07/11/2013

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.

16/11/2013

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

20/11/2013

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.

24/11/2013

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.

02/12/2013

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

10/12/2013

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.

06/02/2014

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.

12/02/2013

John is now in France and Italy

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

06/07/2014

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:

28/10/2013

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.

06/11/2013

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.

08/11/2013

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.

11/11/2013

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.

14/11/2013

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

20/11/2013

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.

26/11/2013

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

08/12/2013

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

14/12/2013

WELL CHRISTMAS TIME APPROACHES AND OUR SPECIAL GIFT TO OUR WINNERS THIS YEAR WILL BE A GRAND CHAMPION NOT ONLY FOR THEIR PRODUCT BUT FOR THEIR HEART IN HELPING OTHERS. wE HAVE NOMINATIONS AND WE THANK THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN TIME TO COMMENT. IF YOU HAVE ANYONE IN OUR GROUP WHO YOU THINK WORKS TIRELESSLY FOR OTHERS THEN PLEASE MESSAGE US AND GIVE US THE NAME. THANK YOU

28/12/2013

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.

06/01/2014

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.

07/01/2014

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.

02/02/2014

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

04/02/2014

Tom stands in to give out the awards


23/02/2014

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

26/02/2014

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

27/02/2014

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')

03/03/2014

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)
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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!

Monday, 8 June 2015

About this blog

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This blog was started to help the police catch Julia Holmes. Her victims were spread across the world so it would be hard and time consuming for them to get the full picture.

It will probably now serve to help build a picture for their inquests and hopefully, lessons can be learned from it.

I am in touch with her family but will not, under any circumstances hand their details over. They have had enough to deal with and I would ask that they be left alone to try to come to terms with what has happened.

The reporter that we have all been working with is Jilly Beattie http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/authors/jilly-beattie/ - Jilly continued searching for Julia when all the other reporters moved on, keeping her story in the papers. She is also the only person who managed to get the police to take notice when she was found again in March and when the bodies were discovered, it was Jilly yet again that informed us before it hit the papers. Her goal was to catch Julia so that she was sent to prison and she was tenacious in her efforts. She was always on the side of the victims and families instead of just chasing a story.

Blas na hEireann statements


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Clarification on query regarding Irish Bee Sensations Honey


At present we are conducting a complete and thorough review into the matter and we expect to Image 3complete this review shortly.
  • The product in the picture is the product which won the award in 2014
  • Each producer who enters the awards must provide their Irish food business registration number from their approving body (example EHO/HSE/Dept of Agriculture, etc). In this case the producer submitted their Environmental Health Office approval number.
  • The product was also submitted with the Federation of Irish Bee Keepers approval seal, with their registration number which is the registered number of T Ruttle.
As always we conduct ongoing monitoring that award winning products which are available to consumers are of the same quality and integrity which was received and judged by our judges. Please note that products are reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that our logo is not misused.

Update – Bee Sensations Product Review


Image 3Statement received on Tuesday 2nd June from FIBKA
(Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations)
Mr. Tom Ruttle was a member of the Kingdom Association in North Kerry although he had not renewed his membership for 2015. He has been a beekeeper of long standing and highly regarded by all who knew him. In 2001 his was Honorary Secretary of the Co. Limerick Association and a well established beekeeper.
From the information available to FIBKA, Tom managed over 50 colonies ( hives) in a number of Aparies in South Limerick and North Kerry over a long number of years. He was a very approachable and helpful person and was very forthcoming with his help, especially to new beekeepers. Regarding his honey production, with over 50 hives for the past two years he would have expected to harvest an average of 40 pounds of honey per hive from production colonies.”
Statement ends
- The product in the picture is the product which won the award in 2014, please note in the image the Federation of Irish Beekeepers seal and unique producer reference.
- Each producer who enters the awards must provide their Irish food business registration number from their approving body (example EHO/HSE/Dept of Agriculture, etc). In this case the producer submitted their Environmental Health Office approval number.
- The product was also submitted with the Federation of Irish Bee Keepers approval seal, with the unique registration number which is the registered number of T Ruttle, who was a beekeeper in County Limerick.
Please note the following information from the Federation of Irish Beekeepers – www.irishbeekeeping.ie
“The Federation label acts as a seal over the cap of the honey jar and has a number on it and also the Federation’s Logo. The labelling scheme is confined to FIBKA members who pack only Irish honey and whose names and addresses appear on the honey jar.”
- We have also sourced a second sample of the Bee Sensations product, from a different batch number, which was supplied to the retailer a number of months after the awards presentation in October 2014.
- A sample from both batches is now being prepared for laboratory testing for Pollen analysis, which will determine the botanical & geographical origin by Microscopy. Results are expected within 10 working days

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Clyde Parrish Gets Six Months in Federal Prison

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http://www.athensreview.com/news/local_news/parrish-gets-six-months-in-federal-prison/article_9f893fe1-d856-5188-ab50-651fdba5c156.html

Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2007 11:11 pm

Athens resident Clyde Thomas Parrish was sentenced to six months in prison in a Monday plea agreement for his role in a wire fraud scheme.

Parrish, 56, was sentenced for a charge of misprision of a felony in the Tyler federal court of U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider. He was indicted May 10, 2005, and pleaded guilty to the charge July 7, 2006, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Guthrie.


Misprision of a felony means not reporting a known felony to authorities. The charge carries a punishment of up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.


Parrish was ordered Monday to pay a $2,000 fine in addition to serving his prison sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson, the lead prosecutor in the case, said he thinks the punishment was suitable for a plea agreement.


“I think it was an appropriate sentence, given all the circumstances,” Jackson said.


Parrish’s charge stemmed from several incidents between 2002 and 2003 in which his wife, Julia — an Irish immigrant and a former active member of the Athens community — defrauded several investors in a real estate scam. Mrs. Parrish encouraged people to invest money in land in Ireland that she claimed was hers, but which she did not actually own.


She pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on Oct. 12, 2005, and was later sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $500,000.


In order to pay restitution, she forfeited many of her personal possessions — including two cars, 48 acres of land in Henderson County, two bank accounts and a chair from the Texas Senate purchased at a Cattle Barons’ Gala.


“We’ve ordered the forfeiture of much of the property for sale to pay the restitution,” Jackson said.


Mrs. Parrish was released from prison on June 29, 2006.


Parrish was aware of Julia’s activities before July 14, 2004, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.


He later provided false information to the authorities about his wife’s scam.


Among the scam’s victims was former Athens physician Dennis Rose, who lost $392,000. Mrs. Parrish contacted Rose by e-mail in the course of the scam, thereby committing wire fraud — a federal offense carrying a sentence of up to 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000.


Rose, who moved his practice from Athens to Port Arthur in May 2004 — largely due to his experience with the scam — said he was in the courtroom the day of Parrish’s sentencing.


“To give an honest answer, no,” Rose said when asked if he thinks Mr. Parrish received a fair sentence. “He’s a criminal, and he deserves to go to jail for a lot longer than six months.


“It’s not commiserate with the crime or with his amount of involvement in the crime.”


Rose said he was convinced that Mr. Parrish “masterminded” the scam, while Mrs. Parrish only served as a front.


“He’s a clever guy,” Rose said. “He was indicted on 19 counts. He pleaded guilty to the one that ... had the lightest sentence and allowed him the most wiggle room.


“He’s not an innocent man.”


He added that he doesn’t hold out much hope of recovering his money.


“I live in the real world, and I’ll never see a dime back from (Julia) on this,” he said. “I was told that the money (from her sold possessions) would be dispersed among the victims, so I suppose I was sort of promised restitution.”


Parrish has been ordered to voluntarily surrender to authorities in April to begin his prison sentence.