Winter 2002


1. Programme
2. NinHao, Ambassador Sha Hailin!
3. ICCG Celebrates the Moon Festival
4. September Meeting: TheGame of Go
5. October Talk: Mr Justice Dermot Kinlen
6. Two Members Honoured by Chinese Govrnment
7. Fancy a Trip to China?
8. Language School
9. Chinese Language Classes in Dublin
10. Reminder -- Subscriptions
11. The Photos They Could Not Show!

1. Programme

For the Current Programme (on Second Wednesdays!), click HERE.   

Please note that we are finalising arrangements for our Chinese New Year Dinner Celebration.

Next year, Chinese New Year falls on Saturday lst of February. We will host our celebration Dinner on Monday 3rd February.

(For those of you who are asking, what Year is it? next year is the Year of the Sheep - or Ram - or Goat - take your pick.)

Full particulars of this event will be in our next Programme update, and also in the next Newsletter - which will have lots of info on the characteristics of the Sheep/Ram/Goat.


2. Nin Hao, Ambassador Sha Hailin

The Irish-Chinese Cultural Society welcomes His excellency Ambassador Sha Hailin and his wife to Ireland. .

Our Society enjoys great support from the Chinese Embassy and its staff, and we know our friendship will continue to prosper under Ambassador Sha's stewardship.

His Excellency was born in Shanghai in June, 1957, and graduated from Shanghai Normal University and Tongji University with a Master's degree in Engineering and Ph.D. in Management. He studied as a visiting scholar in the Georgia Institute of Technology, and worked as an intern on Strategic Research in the United Technological Corporation (UTC) in the United States.


His Excellency Sha Hailin
Chinese Ambassador to Ireland
with ICCS President Dr Sun Dawen (at left).

He worked as a high school teacher for ten years, and later as the Principal of Wusong High School in Shanghai and as the President of Shanghai Institute of Youth Administration.

He worked as town head of Yuepu Town Government, the director of Rural Commission, chief director of Employment Bureau, chief director of Human Resources Bureau, and as director of Organizational Setup Commission in Pudong New Area Administration, Shanghai.

He has been a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference ( CPPCC), a member of the Central Committee of the National Youth League, a standing member of the All-China Youth Federation, chairman of Shanghai Municipal Youth Federation, the secretary of Youth League in Wusong and Baoshan District, and a member of the standing committee of the National People's Congress in Wusong and Baoshan District.

He was nominated as minister-counsellor in the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States, working as director of the Section of Bilateral Relations and Congressional Affairs in 2000.

His hobbies include: Table tennis, Swimming, and Reading.

The ICCS wishes Ambassador Sha and his wife a happy and fulfilling time here in Ireland.


3. ICCG Autumn Moon Party

ICCG Celebrates the Moon Festival

About 150 souls gathered together for the annual ICCG Moon Festival celebrations at Ballincollig Tanner Park Rugby club on Saturday September 29th. It was a most enjoyable time for everyone with a pleasant mix of entertainments. There was the giant bouncy castle which provided much exercise for the small ones and for the parents some welcome relief too.

The event was opened by Anne McKernan who welcomed one and all, in particular the many children who had just recently returned with their proud parents! Many were present and were `almost` walking towards the bouncy castle. One of the features of the ICCG is that it gives great hope to parents who are in the waiting phase. In the time between our social events there usually is a wave of new members to our group who bring with them a great joy, not only to their parents but also their extended family and of course the ICCG.

Then Anne introduced Julie Coleman Flynn who read out an eloquent poem which focused on the Moon and Family. Also Julie has recently penned a wonderful song ``Lullaby of Two Mothers'' which she has produced on CD and is available for 5 euros. All proceeds are donated to Chinese orphanages. For more info. contact Julie at colm.julie@oceanfree.net

ICCG Moon Festival

ICCG Moon Festival - the magician has the full attention of the audience.

There was a magic show which showed that flags, hankies and ropes have lots of interesting applications. At the end of the magic show there was face and arm painting and of course balloon creations for one and all.

As the event wore on many retired to the side bar to catch the last few holes of the golf. Watching Paul McGinley hole to win the Ryder Cup put a nice ending to a lovely September day, even if it was raining outside.


4. September Meeting: The Game of Go


The Game of Go

Our Autumn season of talks kicked off on September 11th, with a talk given by John Gibson, Secretary of the Irish Go Association, with the capable assistance of Noel Mitchell, the current President.

John gave a fascinating description of the development of what is probably the most ancient board-game in the world; from the age of legend, through the course of history, to today. And today finds the game in a thriving state.


The talk, with demonstrations of a simplified form of the game which uses a small 9-x-9 board, was followed by a hands-on session for the members of the audience. The rules can be learnt amazingly quickly, and, using the many sets that John and Noel had brought along with them, we were all soon in fierce person-to-person combat, with discreet hints from the experts.

Battle of 9x9 Go

ICCS members battle in a game of 9x9 Go

It was an immensely enjoyable evening, and we are very grateful to John and Noel for opening our eyes to the pleasures of this great game.


There is a vast amount of material on the Internet about Go (its Japanese name), Weiqi [Wei Ch'i] (its original, Chinese, name) or Baduk (its Korean name).

A good page to start is


by Mindy McAdams, from which some of the graphics here are taken.

the Irish Go Association website is at


In Dublin, The Collegian Go Club meet in the Pembroke Pub (31 Lr. Pembroke Street, Dublin 2) on Monday & Wednesday nights from 9pm onwards.

The Sensei Club meet every Sunday afternoon at 1pm at the Teachers Club Parnell Square, admission 1E5.00

Visitors always welcome to both clubs.


5. The October Talk: Mr Justice Dermot Kinlen

"Ireland-China Overtures: Behind The Scenes"

Mr Justice Dermot Kinlen, our October speaker, has packed enough varied experiences into his lifetime to fill several books. On this occasion he shared some of these experiences, mostly those concerning China, with a capacity audience.

It all started in 1977 one day in Kerry, when his friend Cearbhall ÓDálaigh, then President of Ireland, was grooming the dog ..... Suddenly, he suggested that Dermot and a small party should go to China. At that time, still in the Cold War era, Ireland had no diplomatic links with China, and President ÓDálaigh clearly felt unhappy about this.

DermotKinlenand Friends.jpg

Mr Justice Dermot Kinlen with friends from Youxie

The party duly went to Beijing; in the event, it included Cearbhall ÓDálaigh himself, because he had meantime resigned from the Presidency on a matter of principle, and so, for this unhappy reason, was free to take part.

We heard fascinating anecdotes about this trip and its many official meetings. One concerned a function at which Cearbhall made a speech in Irish. He was delighted at what he believed to be a World First, that his speech was translated directly from Irish into Chinese. Dermot neglected to tell Cearbhall that he had put a written copy of the speech in English on the table, and, as Cearbhall spoke, was guiding the interpeter by pointing to the current sentence.

There were so many other things we heard - about a hotel in Greece, where he looked for Lady Shrewsbury, who happily didn't appear; about a later trip to China with Jack Lynch, then Ex-Taoiseach; about his Sneem house, "the Chinese Embassy to the Kingdom of Kerry"; and much besides - all told with enormous panache and humour.

A recurring theme was the great warmth and friendliness he met everywhere on all his many trips to China.

The audience didn't want to let him stop, but, like everything, his talk had to end. However, the evening did not finish before some long-time members paid tributes, very deeply felt, to his great kindness and effective helpfulness, as President of the ICCS and over the years, right up to the present.

This was a memorable night in the history of the Society.

(Later on in the month, Dermot Kinlen made another bit of history; see the next item.)


6. Two Members Honoured by Chinese Government

A unique presentation took place in the Chinese Embassy in Dublin on 30th October.

Two distinguished Irishmen, Mr Justice Dermot Kinlen and Dr John de Courcy Ireland, were each awarded a special medal, and the title "Friendship Ambassador", to acknowledge their sustained work over a long period to foster and develop relations between Ireland and China.

The presentation was made by the Chinese Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Sha Hailin, on behalf of Youxie, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.


Mr Justice Dermot Kinlen


Recently retired as a Judge of the High Court, he has now undertaken the special role of Inspector-General of Prisons and Places of Detention in Ireland.

Dermot Kinlen was involved in moves which helped in the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and China, and later with the siting of the Chinese Embassy in Dublin. He visited China In 1977 with the former President of Ireland, Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, and in 1980 with the former Taoiseach, Jack Lynch.

He was President of the Irish -Chinese Cultural Society from 1982 to 1984.

Recently, Mr Justice Kinlen led a delegation of Irish High Court Judges to China as part of a European Union programme, and the following year received a return delegation of senior Chinese Judges to Dublin.

He has continued to be supportive of links between Ireland and China, and recently became Patron of the Irish Chinese Centre for Social Services, which is providing information and support to the Chinese community in Ireland.

Dr John deCourcy Ireland


Dr de Courcy Ireland has had a long career as a seaman, teacher, writer, and political activist supporting causes of justice, peace and social development. He is now honoured in Ireland as a senior statesman for his work in these areas.

He is an international authority on marine matters, and has received decorations from five foreign governments. He is also a Director of the National Museum of Ireland.

Dr John de Courcy Ireland's links with China go back to his early childhood. His father died in China in 1914, and his mother lived in Beijing for several years.

He has been a ceaseless champion of China and its place in the world, and supporter for the building of links between Ireland and China. He has a particular interest in China's maritime heritage and the re-development of her merchant fleet.

He was a founder member of the Irish-Chinese Cultural Society in 1975, and continues to support its activities.



And now for something


The Irish-Chinese Cultural Society, on the suggestion of Youxie (The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries), is exploring the idea of acting as facilitator for a self-paying group trip to China for Members and their friends, to be hosted in China by Youxie (programme, accommodation and internal travel).

Youxie has a network of representatives in virtually every city and town in China, and so is particularly well placed to cater for non-standard requirements - getting to some places that you may have read about and might like to visit: e.g. some of China's 27 World Heritage Sites; parts of the Silk Road; a particular museum; or a special bargain market. But, of course, most people will surely want as well to fit in at least some of the most famous sights, like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.


What is envisaged is roughly as follows. Those who express interest in such a trip will be asked for any special preferences they may have as regards itinerary, and also dates of travel. In the light of the replies, and possibly after a meeting of those interested, an outline itinerary and dates will be sent to Youxie for agreement and costing, and a Travel Agent will be invited to suggest flights and best costings for the Ireland/China round trip.

When the definite dates, itinerary and costs have been circulated, we will find out if a sufficient number of people (we are thinking of about twelve/fifteen) would definitely like to travel on this firm basis. (If not, the project ends there - those who were hoping to go should have plenty of time to make alternative standard holiday arrangements.) Payments would be made directly to the Travel Agent and to Youxie.


This type of arrangement is a fairly new departure for Youxie, and a COMPLETELY NEW one for us. We hope that this trip, sometime in 2003, will be the first of many, but this obviously depends on how successful it is. Based on the Society's experience over 22 years of exchange visits with Youxie, through which some warm and long-lasting personal frienships were formed, the trip is likely to be thoroughly enjoyable, and distinctly special. And certainly, as far as creature comforts are concerned, the group who were guests of Youxie this year were fortified for their visits and sightseeing, from the Great Wall to the Dai Minority homeland in remotest Yunnan, by air-conditioned sleep in luxury hotels and by marvellous food - changing with the regions, but always delicious; and Xu Fenghua and his colleagues could not have been kinder, more knowledgeable, or more helpful.


If you feel you might be interested, (or not - even a negative reply would be helpful in estimating the feasibility of the project), please contact the

Hon. Secretary, Colm Coleman, 3 Pacelli Ave., Sutton, Dublin 13,
E-mail: iccs@oceanfree.net ,    Tel/Fax 01 8394194,

just giving your name and contact (address and/or telephone and/or E-mail), the number of people intested in travelling and   any special places you are interested in visiting. To have an input into the choice of itinerary replies must reach the Secretary by 8th January 2003 - there is a Committee meeting next day.


8. Language School



9. Attention Parents & Children Wishing to learn Chinese

Classes have commenced at CBS School Synge Street, Dublin 8.

Classes am held on Saturdays from 12.00 - 1.30pm.

Luning Quyan (LaoShi, Teacher)with students at their first Chinese language class.

If you are interested in this course would you kindly e-mail me at iccs@oceanfree.net, or phone the

Irish Chinese Information Centre
01-8881086 (Mon, Wed, Fri 1-4 pm)


10. Reminder: Subscriptions for 2002.

The Subscription Year for the Society coincides with the Calendar Year, 1st January to 31st December. The Treasurer wishes to remind any members who have not yet paid their subscription for 2002 to do so now.

The annual subscription is €25.00,
with a reduced student rate of €8,
and a lifetime subscription of €250.

As a concession, the first subscription paid by a NEW MEMBER who joins after the AGM in May is effective until the end of the next Subscription Year; i.e. if a first subscription is paid between 9th May 2002 and 31st December 2002, the second subscription is not due until 1st January 2004.

Subscriptions to be sent to:

Denis Mullen, Hon. Treasurer,
130 Mount Merrion Avenue,
Blackrock, Co.Dublin.

Cheques to be made payable to:
"Irish-Chinese Cultural Society".


11. The Unshowable Photos!

During the November talk on the ICCS visit to China as guests of Youxie, eight photographs, mostly of formal occasions during the trip, could not be shown because of projector problems. A commitment was made that they would be put on the Web - and HERE they are!


This Newsletter is published by the Irish-Chinese Cultural Society.
Views expressed by individual contributors do not represent any official policy of the Irish-Chinese Cultural Society.
We would be delighted to receive articles, photos and stories for our newsletter.
The Editor welcomes all submissions, but cannot absolutely guarantee the return of any photos or documents supplied, and reserves the right to shorten or modify any letter or material submitted.
Please send to Hon. Secretary
Colm Coleman, 3 Pacelli Ave., Sutton, Dublin 13.
E-mail: iccs@oceanfree.net