Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week or so and sent out to well over 3800 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at:
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Greetings and blessings to all,

Well here it is, just hours before the biggest day in the Irish calendar. Are you ready? Just in case you haven't memorized the Irish for Happy St. Patrick's Day, here it is:
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona dhuit/dhaoibh (singular)
Lá le Pádraig dhuit/dhaoibh (plural)
Pronunciation: law ay-leh paw-drig hun-ah gwitch/yeeve
law leh paw-dhrig hun-ah gwitch/yeeve.

And let's not forget Mother's Day in Ireland and the UK - it's this Sunday and in the run-up to St. Pat's has been somewhat overshadowed. If you'd like to say Happy Mother's Day in Irish to your dear oul Irish mother, here you go:

Lá an Mháthair faoi shona dhuit
Pronunciation: law ay-leh on waw-hirr fwee hun-ah gwitch

So now that we have the holiday salutations taken care of, it's back to our usual welcome to everyone; we hope this edition finds you and yours in good spirits, good health and good company. We'd also like to extend a special hello to our new readers; we hope you enjoy our musings and meanderings and will share them with your family and friends.

As for ourselves, it's been a very hectic couple of weeks; the house is going on the market and we're busy making it presentable. We buried St. Joseph yesterday and started the Novena. For those of you who might be curious, we plan on staying in the area so we'll be close to family and friends. Bridget is now busy looking for a "cute Cape Cod."

It hasn't been all work. We listened to the Six Nations match between Ireland and Scotland - what a game! Full marks to Scotland for a valiant effort and congrats to ireland for winning their third Triple Crown. A win is a win and as the Irish Times said,"In the context of Irish rugby, winning a third Triple Crown in the same generation, never mind in just a four-year span, would be a unique achievement, given there have never been more than two in the same decade.

We also took time to enjoy walks on days when the mercury edged toward 80 degrees. The snowdrops are in full bloom, the daffs are budding and it feels like spring; but true to the climate in this wickedly changeable Ohio Valley, it could snow on St. Patrick's Day! We'll be attending Bridget's brother's annual O'Flaherty blarney bash and as with previous years, he will most likely have a good fire going in their patio brazier thing. Hint, hint, Chris!

Enough of the blather - As might be expected for a pre-St. Patrick's Day edition, we have a lot to cover!
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IN THIS ISSUE:
News
From the mailbag
Links
Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
Riddle
The week That Is
Events
Leave 'em Laughing
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NEWS
GENERAL:
Flight of the Ministers
When the Earls made their historic flight from ireland 400 years ago, they got no further than Europe. Not so for our Irish leaders of today who will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day all over the map. If you'd like to know where each minister is going, please click
http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/index.asp?locID=564&docID=3282

Honour for late John McGahern
Renowned author, the late John McGahern, is to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Book Awards. The writer, born in Dublin in 1934, died last year. The presentation will take place at Trinity College today!

Peter Barry's children to share €41m from family firm
The six children of former minister for foreign affairs Peter Barry are set to realise up to €41 million from a distribution of assets in Barry's Tea, the Cork-based import and distribution business that has been in the family's ownership since 1901.

Ireland's largest hotel to increase its number of rooms to 1,770.
Permission has been granted for 99 luxury tourist suites at developer Jim Mansfield's 380-acre Citywest Hotel complex in Saggart in Dublin. The hotel recently launched 167 new superior guest rooms, which include plasma TVs, super king-size beds and jacuzzis.

FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES:
Antrim: Cycle paths and bridges to open up Belfast
The green corridor will involve twenty kilometres of cycle paths and thirty-seven bridges over three rivers, the Connswater, Loop and Knock Rivers. It would stretch from the Castlereagh Hills to Belfast Lough.

Armagh: Craigavon soon to have stone maze
The maze, which they hope to be in the Tannaghmore Gardens, will be two metres high and made from Irish stone and will add to the current attractions which include playgrounds, open spaces, sculptures, and a rare-breeds animal farm.

Clare: St. Patrick's Day in Ennis
It promises to be a major celebration with large crowds expected on the streets of the county capital. The centrepiece of the day's festivities will be the annual parade which will be led by Mayor Joe Reidy in a horse-drawn carriage followed by 50 groups representing the many aspects of life in the county Extended festivities will include two live music stages

Clare: 'Rian na Manach'
A Guided Tour of Ecclesiastical Treasures in Co. Clare' will be launched at Clare Museum, Ennis, County Clare on Tuesday 27th March 2007. Photo opportunities will be provided. The project aims to increase awareness of Clare's rich ecclesiastical heritage and to add value to the Early Christian, Medieval and Celtic sites by conducting an audit of existing sites of ecclesiastical significance.

Cork: The club may move, but Christy will stay
Despite the fact that Cloyne GAA club is considering selling its Chapel Street grounds for development, there is no question about moving the statue of hurling legend Christy Ring which stands outside the ground.

Derry: Golden jubilee for former bishop
Bishop Edward Daly, former Bishop of Derry, whose photograph waving a white handkerchief became an iconic image of Bloody Sunday recently celebrated the golden jubilee of his ordination. Now working as chaplain to Foyle Hospice, Bishop Daly will celebrate with seven former classmates in Rome at Easter.

Donegal: Mysterious wooden ship found off Burtonport
Divers have discovered a wooden vessel in a good state of preservation. It is believed to date from before the nineteenth century because the wooden sections are held together with bronze bolts. The find was totally unexpected as there is no record of a ship having been lost at the location.

Down: Commemorative garden for Down inventor
A commemorative garden is to be established on a site facing the house where inventor Harry Ferguson was born in 1884. Ferguson, who invented the tractor which bears his name, was born on the Magheraconluce Road in Anahilt near Dromore. The garden will include a bronze statue set close to an Ulster gate hung from two pillars.

Galway: Novel Line-up
More than 60 writers will attend this year's Cúirt Festival of Literature at the end of April, including such well known names as Irvine Welsh, Colm Tóibín, Rebecca Miller, Paul Durcan and Tariq Ali.

Galway: Launch of sheep-shearing championships
This year's National Sheep Shearing Championships was recently launched in Clonbur; this will be the first time that the event has been held in a Connemara Gaeltact area. The championships will take place at Pairc Peile Naomh Padraig on the first three days in June. Attending the launch were former All-Ireland sheep-shearing champions Patrick Kerrigan and Seamus Joyce. As part of the festival a temporary village is to be erected, to be dubbed An Baile Beag, featuring local businesses and craftspeople.

Limerick: Springfest launched in style
St Patrick's Springest in Limerick was launched last week with the arrival in the city of two legendary figures, Queen Maebh and King Ailil. The Springfest, which runs from March 14 to 17, will include a parade led by Paul Gleeson and Tori Holmes, the couple who last year rowed across the Atlantic.

Limerick: Street ambassador programme to be copied by Dublin
The experiment in Limerick last year which saw uniformed street ambassadors available to offer advice to visitors to the city has been deemed a success and recruitment of a new team for this year has commenced. Impressed by the success of the project, Dublin now plans to have its own street ambassadors.

Limerick: Patrick Street centre to honour diva
A new shopping development in Limerick city's Patrick Street is to be named after opera singer Catherine Hayes, who was born in the city in 1818. The Limerick Civic Trust also has plans to restore No. 4 Patrick Street in Limerick, the childhood home of the singer, who was a member of the Royal Italian Opera.
ED. NOTE: If you'd like to learn more about Ireland's almost forgotten diva, we have an article here:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AWomen/CathHayes.html

Longford: Ballinalee mourns folklorist and teacher
Patrick Greene RIP, was 106 when he recently passed away. For many years he was principal of Lislea national school and was also a noted folklorist with a particular interest in the Traveller community. He became fluent in their Cant language which he learnt from a Traveller woman in the course of collecting folklore. At 103 he was conferred with a Master of Arts by NUI Galway to mark his contribution to Irish education.

Mayo: Mayo exodus for Argentina
Some three hundred people from the county went to Argentina to mark the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the death of Admiral William Browne, the founder of the Argentinian navy. On the day of the anniversary, a wreath was laid at his tomb in Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.
ED. NOTE There are 400,00 people of Irish descent in Argentina.

Monaghan: Two-day walking festival for Castleblayney
A collaboration between Castleblayney and south Armagh has led to the holding of a two-day walking festival over the final weekend of the month. The festival will offer a wide range of walks including lowland trails, bog lanes and mountain hikes; post-walking entertainment and relaxation will be provided at the Old Coach Inn in Castleblayney and in Quinn's Pub in Camlough.

Roscommon: Drama festival is reborn
The Roscommon Drama Festival is being held for the first time in twenty-seven years in the Roscommon Arts Centre. Writings by Jonh B Keane and Arthur Miller will be performed as well as plays written by Shelagh

Sligo: Family leaves historic farmhouse
The farmhouse which has been in the Caffrey family for more than two hundred and twenty years is to be sold. The Queen Anne style farmhouse in Leaffoney, Kilglass sits on forty acres is owned by farmer Philip Caffrey, who inherited the house in 1960; he now plans to retire and move abroad. The farm was originally formed as part of an estate granted to the Wood family in the seventeenth century after Thomas Wood took part in the Confederate Wars. It is believed that the first Caffrey came to the area as a hedge schoolmaster some time in the eighteenth century.

Tipperary: Favourite restaurant closes - temporarily
The Swiss Cottage restaurant in Cahir, which is visited by more than twenty thousand people each year, will not be open to the public this year while a new bridge is being put into place.

Tyrone: Last of border crossings re-opened
The Irish and British governments have agreed to pick up the €4m bill that comes with reopening the two remaining closed border connections between the roads and bridges at Annaghroe and Knockaginney near Caledon. Their reopening is seen as a significant landmark in the restoration of peace along these border areas.

Waterford: Mount Sion to become heritage centre
The Mount Sion site on Barrack Street in Waterford city is to become the Edmund Rice International Heritage Centre, commemorating the founder of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers. Mount Sion was the site of his first community and school at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Westmeath: Special brew to mark anniversary
On March 19 Locke's Distillery in Kilbeggan will mark two hundred and fifty years since its founding and fifty years since its doors closed, with the brewing of a special bottle of whiskey. The Distillery, which is now an award-winning museum which attracts some forty thousand visitors a year, will use the original pot to refine the whiskey before it is casked and bottled. The spirit will be matured in oak casks in the original granite warehouse at the distillery. To be known as "1757", the whiskey will be launched at the Kilbeggan Distillery, which is now owned by Cooley Whiskey of Co. Louth.

Wexford: New Ross calls for songsters
A major musical piece is to be staged in New Ross to mark the eight hundredth anniversary of the granting of the New Ross Charter, and the administrator of the proposed festival is looking for up to one hundred and fifty voices to join a choir. Composer Shaun Davey has written a choral adaptation of "The Walling of New Ross", a poem written in the thirteenth century, and it will be performed in May by the Belfast Opera Company. However according to Margaret Rossiter they will need a further one hundred and fifty people to complete the choir.

Wicklow: Burial ground restored
An old burial ground in Delgany dating back to the early years of the eighteenth century has been fully restored,. Gravestones were restored and carefully recorded. Among the names found on some of the old headstones were Evans, Massey, McDonald, Bradshaw, Keightly, Ussher, and Vickers. These have been recorded and the graveyard is now a protected area. The church ruins are said to date back as far as the thirteenth century.

FROM AROUND THE WORLD
St. Patrick's Missouri: Three brothers from Moyne, Co. Longford who all became priests will be remembered on St Patrick's Day when a shrine built by one of them will be rededicated by Bishop John Gaydos. Fathers Francis, Denis and Michael Duignan, who all attended the Latin School in Moyne before going to St Patrick's College in Carlow, ministered in the US and met up on St Patrick's Day in 1957 to celebrate Mass at the shrine for which Father Francis had raised the money. The shrine is in the form of a church with a round tower, with a slab of Irish rock located behind the altar. At the rededication the priests' nephew, Michael Duignan, will make a speech.

Ithaca, New York: A group of ten American students are to travel to Achill Island to take part in an excavation at the deserted village in Slievemore and top study Ireland's heritage. The students, from Cornell University will be hosted by the Achill Archaeological Field School and their training course will be led by Nick Brannon from Northern Ireland.
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FROM THE MAILBAG
Seamus O'Toole writes: St. Patrick's day is soon upon us again. Millions of Irish people from all over the World will be celebrating this day. As part of the celebration we are trying to make Amhran Na Bhfiann - The Irish National Anthem in Irish - number 1 in the charts in Ireland, the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
http://www.number1top40.com has links to the song so people from all over the world can visit this website and buy the same song.

Eileen writes: On March 16th, our friend's son, Brendan (a NYPD Officer), is participating in a unique fundraiser to help children with cancer. This link will take you to the website where you can read about it.  You may even want to get yourself or your group involved once you see what it is all about.
http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/shavee_info.html?ShaveeID=11728

In our last issue, Tina & Joe wanted to know all of the words and origins of the following:
How far is it to Dublin town,
Three score and 10 sir.
Will I be there by candlelight,
Yes and back again sir
Chris Lopez responds: My father would bounce a baby on his knee and sing this. His mother was from Galway and his father from Cork, but I don't know who he learned it from. The words he used were:
Up, up horsey, up, up again;
How many miles to Dublin,
Three score and 10,
Up, up horsey, up, up again;
Will I be there by candlelight,Yes,
and back again.
Up, up, horsey, up, up.
ED. NOTE: We were familiar with this traditional bouncing song but we were curious as to whether or not there might be different words or if someone knew the origins. In our version, the "bouncer" said How far is it to Dublin town and hupp, hupp horsey. . As with most nursery rhymes, no-one seems to know how it came about.

Marilyn wanted to know about an Irish love song that was written in blood on a prison cell wall. We had many responses to this query and everyone seems to be in agreement that it's probably Grace by Frank and Sean O'Sullivan. The lyrics tell the story of Joseph Mary Plunkett who was executed for his part in the 1916 uprising just hours after he married his sweetheart Grace Gifford in Kilmainaham Gaol. Plunkett was a very a talented poet who write a poem dedicated to Jesus Christ called I See His Blood Upon the Rose. If you'd like to know more about him, please click:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Poetry/JMPlunkett.html

Rosemary was kind enough to tell us about Pope John Paul's cassock relics and prayer cards being available from the Vatican. At first they were being offered free of charge, but not anymore. Jack Doherty tells us that the demand was so overwhelming, the Vatican is now requiring a small donation to cover the costs of postage and handling; it's suggested that three to five dollars (two or three euros) might be enough). The mailing address is: Postulazione Giovanni Paolo II, Vicariato di Roma, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 6A, 00184 Rome , Italy.

'Tis Himself, 'Tis herself; a reader wants us to explain this phrase and give its origins. We had the answer once and now we can't find it! In the interests of getting this edition out before St. patrick's Day has come and gone, would someone be kind enough to send us the info? Many thanks in advance!

Jamie writes: I am interested in finding a window décor tint with an Irish symbol or saying etched that you can put on a sliding glass door. We haven't a clue. Can anyone help?
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LINKS:

The Hill of Tara
Click here to see what this national treasure has looked like for 7,000 years - and what it could look like if the super highway goes through - unless we do something NOW. Trees in the area are already being cut down.
http://www.anamcarafestival.org/tara.htm
ED. NOTE: We consider this to be such a serious threat to Ireland's landscape, that we plan on doing an article for the web site very soon.

Patrick
This is a repeat of a link we've shared before. Just in case you missd it, the site is all about a show produced by Hallmark in 2004. Hopefully, it will air again, so check your TV listings. In the meantime, you can see clips, interviews and much more here: http://www.patricktv.tv/

Watch the parade in Dublin from the comfort of your armchair!
This link will bring you to a great site with cameras that show the activities around O'Connell Street and the River Liffey. These aren't stills refreshed every minute or so, but actual live video!
http://www.desbyrne-jewels.com/webcam.htm

St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin
Watch video clips of last year's parade plus get all the details of this year's festivities:
http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/cms/home.html
http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/videos/StPatrick_250kb.mpg

Dyeing the river green in Chicago
What began as an environmental test has become an annual tradition. This video shows how it's done:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFXlPJ9hKrY

If only every day could be St. Patrick's Day!
We don't know when Guinness produced this very funny ad, No matter, it's timeless.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ZEpFgdWGk

Staten Island Parade 2007
Fun to watch. Be sure to watch out for the pooch in Irish style sunglasses. Hilarious!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qy6m7S_SbQ

St. Patrick's day in Macroom, Co. Cork
On the day that's in it, there will be a video cam set up so that you can watch all of the fun and frolic:
http://www.macroom.ie

From Vivian & Jack of the irish Page
Mora na maidine dhaoibh agus chuid eile an lae dhaoibh féin - op of the morning to you all and the rest of the day to yourselves. This is an encore article of a joke which has been completely reworked and redone. Enjoy the day, the parade, and the joke.
http://www.irishpage.com/jokes/rabbi.htm

St. Patrick's Day Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Leprechauns, legends, and green galore -- get your little lads and lasses into the Celtic spirit with the following Irish-inspired activities and recipes for the perfect St. Patrick's party!
http://familyfun.go.com/parties/holiday/specialfeature/stpatday_sf/

Free E-cards from Warners of galway
Send a warner e-card
Warner Corporate Photography has made a series of beautiful images of Ireland available to send as Ecards, free of charge, from its web site. Send greetings to your friends and family abroad and bring them closer to home this St Patrick's Day. http://www.warnerphoto.org
ED. NOTE: And don't forget our all-time favourite site for Irish cards that include a choice of music:
http://www.irishcorner.com

New Irish Radio Show for ex-Pats
Download Ian Dempseys brand new mp3 show especially for Irish people living abroad. Get the craic on music, sport, entertainment and stories you don't get online that Ireland is talking about.
http://www.getthecraic.com

Chló Iar-Chonnachta (CIC)
This is an Irish language newsletter we subscribe to and it's always filled with great information books, music, events on events and other topics related to Gaeilge. it comes with an English translation so you don't have to know Irish. Two samples of what was included in their latest offering follow. Click here if you'd like to subscribe:
http://www.cic.ie/Register.asp

Leabhar Power
'Leabhar Power' is an annual promotional campaign for Irish books which takes place in March.  Its aim is to raise the profile of Irish books in the media and in bookshops. One of the main problems that Irish language publishers have to contend with is the invisibility of Irish books in shops where they are often hidden in deep, dark, dusty corners, and staff have little interest in or knowledge of them. During the 'Leabhar Power' promotion there is a greater selection than usual of books as Gaeilge visible in shops and there is also a programme of author readings taking place throughout the country. So if you happen to find yourself in a bookshop over the next week and a half please support the campaign and buy a book in Irish!
http://www.leabharpower.com/

Free Mammograms!
Do you know of a woman who can't afford a mammogram? Here's how you can help. Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if they get enough clicks , they'll be able to donate at least one free mammogram a day to underprivileged women. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

Free Pet Food!
Last but certainly not least - our ongoing gift to AG in California and all friends to animals, please click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal. Thanks!
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/CTDSites.woa

Free People Food!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
http://www.thehungersite.com
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QUIPS, QUOTES , PROVERBS, TOASTS & SAYINGS
Veteran actor and former hellraiser Peter O'Toole has branded Irish women the most beautiful in the world - because of their shapely bottoms and believes he knows exactly how native ladies gain such attractive behinds. He says, "The nicest buttocks in the world are in Ireland. Irish women are always carrying water on their heads, and are always carrying their husbands home from pubs. Such things are the greatest posture-builders in the world."
ED. NOTE: He said it - we didn't!
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A BIT OF THE WIT
St. Patrick's Birthday
On the eighth day of March it was, some people say,
That Saint Patrick at midnight first saw the day.
While others declare 'twas the ninth he was born,
And 'twas all a mistake between midnight and morn;
For mistakes will occur in a hurry and shock,
and some blam'd the babby-and some blam'd the clock-
Till with all their cross questions sure no one could know
If the child was too fast-or the clock was too slow.
Now the first faction fight in old Ireland, they say,
Was all on account of Saint Patrick's birthday.
Some fought for the eighth-for the ninth more would die,
And who wouldn't see right, sure they blacken'd his eye!
At last both the factions so positive grew,
That each kept a birthday, so Pat then had two.
Till Father Mulcahy, who confessed them their sins,
Said, "Ye can't have two birthdays, unless ye be twins."
Says he, "Don't be fightin' for eight or for nine,
Don't be always dividin'-but sometimes combine;
Combine eight with nine, and seventeen is the mark,
So let that be his birthday." "Amen," says the clerk.
"If he wasn't a twins, sure our hist'ry will show
That, at least, he is worth any two saints that we know!"
Then they all drowned the shamrock-which completed their bliss,
And we keep up the practice from that day to this.
(Edited and adapted from Dick's Irish Dialect Recitations, Wm. B. Dick, Editor, New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, Publisher, 1879)
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FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
This is a true story of the late Irish author Brendan Behan who one night collapsed in a diabetic coma in a Dublin street. Passers-by thought he was dead drunk. Good Samaritans took him to the nearby surgery of one of Dublin's most fashionable and respected doctors. The doctor decided to take a cardiograph and, somewhat nervous of his patient, thought to humor him. He explained the workings of the cardiograph needle as it registered the faint heartbeats of the very sick and semiconscious Brendan. "That needle there is writing down your pulses, Mr. Behan, and I suppose, in its own way, it is probably the most important thing you have ever written." To which Behan replied: "Aye, and it's straight from me heart, too."
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DID YOU KNOW
1. Monserrat is the only place outside of Ireland where St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday?
2. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Nigeria?
3. Montreal has the longest running parade in Canada? It has been held continually since 1824?
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KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS
To start off with, the answers to our last quiz:
1. St. Patrick's Secrets: 101 Little-Known Truths and Tales of Ireland by Helen Walsh Folsom and Fergus Lyons
2. The Wisdom of St. Patrick  by Greg Tobin
3. May the wind be at your back:  The prayer of St. Patrick by Andrew M Greeley

A round of applause and pints to our literary sleuths:

Sheila Wise
a nice website to visit is:
http://www.CelticCreations.net

Rita Roche
Baltimore, Maryland

Francis Morrissey
my favorite web site at the moment is Fireside Ireland - and congratulations to Irish Culture & Customs for placing 6th in their Best Websites Poll.
http://www.irishfireside.com/
ED. NOTE: many thanks, Francis! We'd also like to thank all the subscribers who may have nominated our site.

Helen Dowd
I invite you to come visit my web site and click on "Literary" for your choice of reading. And thanks to all who have voted for my site.http://www.occupytillicome.com

Hartson Dowd
Sure now, you know all about Ireland, St. Patrick and the shamrock, leprechauns and the wearin' o' the green, potatoes and pigs, and maybe a banshee or a bit of blarney. Not a few of you know, too, the joys of a pint o' stout and an Irish jig. Ah, but there are many nuggets of gold in Irish fact and lore that you never have heard; tales and truths that lie deep in Ireland's heather-covered bogs and shadowy mists of the green land. For example, did you know that at one time the Irish were forbidden to wear trousers? That St. Patrick left one snake in Ireland? That an Irish Rebellion battle was fought in Widow MacCormack's Cabbage Patch? That the Irish fought for Alexander the Great? Or that John Paul Jones fought a battle in Belfast Harbor and won the hearts of the people?
ED. NOTE: We can always count on Hartson to make his entries entertaining and this one we had to share with you! We're also delighted that he's back after a long absence due to doctor's orders that he stay off the computer.

Want to see your name and favorite web site in our next newsletter?
Who wrote:
1. Mother ireland - A Memoir
2. Never Throw Stones at your Mother
3. The Mammy
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RIDDLE
First off, the answer to our last brain matter meltdown:
It lives above a star, but does not burn.
It has 11 companions that do not turn.
Its initials are PRS.
Q: What is it?
A: The number 7 on a telephone keypad.
Even though our riddle source was sneaky and left out the q, that didn't stop our brilliant Riddle People from solving the puzzle. However, tied for first in are Clara Byrne in Newfoundland and Jessica Woodruff in New Mexico. Well done! And now, in deference to our patron saint's feastday, here's a mind mangler involving the slithery creatures he banished:
At a recent visit to the reptile house at the local zoo, we counted a total of 27 heads and 70 feet. We were counting snakes, lizards, and people. We know that there were exactly twice as many lizards as people. How many snakes did we count?
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THE WEEK THAT IS
1. Article: Mother's Day (or Mothering Sunday) in Ireland
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/MothersDay.html
2. St. patrick's Day greetings from the president
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com
3. Article: I, Patrick the Sinner
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ASaints/Patrick.html
4. Article: Celebrating St. patrick's Day in Old Ireland
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/StPatsDay.html
5. Article: Corned Beef & Cabbage - The feeding of a Myth
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/aCBeefCabge.html
6. Article: Celebrate St. patrick's Day with a Real irish Feast
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/aStPatFeast.html
7. Article: Emblems of ireland - The Shamrock
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AEmblem/Shamrock.html
8. Article: AVisit to St. Patrick's Well
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/StPatWell.html
9. Article: Armagh, the Garden of Ulster
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACounty/Armagh.html
10. Kids' Ireland: Fooling St. Patrick
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/1Kids/Maughold.html
11. Article: Who was behind the doors of Dublin?
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ALandmks/DoorsofDublin.html
12. Basic irish: St.Patrick's Day
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/3Focloir/Lessons7.html#StPatricks
13. March Music Review: The Best of the Chieftains
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMusic/Ramoutar/BestofChieftains.html
14. February Letter of the Month
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com
15. March Trivia Contest. The new contest has been posted and also the name of the winner of our February contest - Gael Hill from the USA. Congratulations!
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
16. Circle of prayer - Our 5th Novena in this cycle began on March 12 and ends on March 20. Since last we wrote, we have received several more prayer requests. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please remember the following in your daily prayers or meditations: Bridget's cousin Louise in Galway who has been diagnosed with cancer; Alice Savage who just went through surgery and is now waiting for the results of a biopsy; Ellie, who also just went through high risk surgery and Josephine and her mother in Waterford. We also ask that you continue your spiritual support for Patricia Edward's daughter Heather; our dear friend Bob Kelly; Simon Shepherd.; baby Joseph; Pauline Dewberry, little Emma Josephine, Mickey, Jane Fitz., Scott H and so many others, especially our men and women in the military serving their country all over the world God willing, they will all be home safe and sound soon.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html

The Week That Will Be - God Willing
With St. Patrick's Day behind us as well as Mother's Day, Easter's next up on the radar. We'll be looking at all of our offerings on that topic as well as endeavoring to find new and interesting material for your enjoyment. In the meantime, don't forget to visit our site every day for the major headlines here:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html
and History of the Day here:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/02Hist/3March.html
Also, look for a new blessing on Sunday and a new quote on Wednesday.

So that's the long and the short of it until next time. If you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other important event, we hope it's filled with joy. We also hope and pray you and yours will enjoy a safe and happy feast of St. Patrick - who would ever have thought in the old days it would turn into a festival or a season!

With that, we leave you with this lesser known version of the famous blessing:
"May God make safe to you each step,
May God make open to you each pass,
May God make clear to you each road,
And may He take you in the clasp
of His own two hands."
And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!
Slan agus beannacht!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet!
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Help keep the newsletter coming
Officially, our annual dollar drive is over but we are always happy to receive donations at any time of year. If you'd like to help us out you can send a little something through PayPal:
http://www.paypal.com
and to this account:
bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com

or by snail mail to:
Bridget & Russ Haggerty
5670 Meryton Place
Cincinnati, OH 45224.

Go raibh maith agat in advance for your generosity and kindness.
=========================================================
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS 
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
http://thewildgeese.com
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there we will be happy to list it here.

New York/Spain/Dublin - Ongoing
Roger Cummiskey Current and Continuing Events and Exhibits. Check Roger's site for full details:
http://www.rogercummiskey.com/

Cincinnati, Ohio - March 16 & 15
Brian Friel's The Freedom of the City, will be presented by the Newgate Celtic Theatre Company at Rookwood retirement Community, 2100 Reed hartman Highway. Pre-show music by Lindsey Duncan, Master harper. Tickets available at the door or on line:
http://www.sellingticket.com/newgate

NYC, NY - March 15 through 18
The Irish Modern Dance Theatre presents two shows sponsored by Culture ireland at Performance Space 122. For more details, please click
http://www.irishmoderndancetheatre.com

Winston-Salem, North Carolina - now through March 31
From the Beara to Sligo: Works from the West of Ireland by Amy Funderburk; Timothy Nichols Gallery, 629, North Trade Street. For more details, please click
http://www.amyfunderburkartist.com/

Sligo - March 18
A School Reunion will be held in St. Joseph's Secondary School, Gurteen, Co. Sligo, Ireland. Mass will be celebrated at 5pm in St. Patrick'sChurch, Gurteen, followed by a reunion dinner in "Teach Murray" at 8pm. Names and Addresses of past pupils from September 1954 to June 1968 and copies of photographs would be greatly appreciated by the committee. Please contact Nicholas Ryan at 071 9182289, Nuala O'Dowd at 071 9182114, Ita O'Rourke at 071 9182089 or alternatively email:
orourkeita@hotmail.com or cphannan@yahoo.co.uk 

Hollywood Florida - March 24
Irish American Ceili Club Annual Ham 'n Cabbage Dinner at American Legion Hall. Call Maureen and reserve you place: 954-432-8292

Co. Letrim - April 14 through April 20
Leitrim Roots Festival 2007. Are your ancestors from "Lovely leitrim?" Have you yearned to return and find your roots? That's what this festival is all about! To find out more, please click
http://www.leitrimroots.com/
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LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING
This witty ditty is at the end of our article on the website - Corned beef & Cabbage, the Feeding of a Myth. Here it is for those of you who don't have access to the internet or might like to forward it on to friends & family.

GOOD GRIEF - NOT BEEF!
I just want to put something straight
About what should be on your plate,
If it's corned beef you're makin'
You're sadly mistaken,
That isn't what Irishmen ate.

If you ever go over the pond
You'll find it's of bacon they're fond,
All crispy and fried,
With some cabbage beside,
And a big scoop of praties beyond.

Your average Pat was a peasant
Who could not afford beef or pheasant.
On the end of his fork
Was a bit of salt pork,
As a change from potatoes 'twas pleasant.

This custom the Yanks have invented,
Is an error they've never repented,
But bacon's the stuff
That all Irishmen scoff,
With fried cabbage it is supplemented.

So please get it right this St. Paddy's.
Don't feed this old beef to your daddies.
It may be much flasher,
But a simple old rasher,
Is what you should eat with your tatties.

©Frances Shilliday 2004
With many thanks to Frances whose internet page can be found here: http://notcornedbeef.tripod.com/