Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out toa couple short of 2700 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: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
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Greetings and blessings to all,
The warmest of welcomes to you all and a special hello to our newest subscribers. As always, it's lovely to be back and we we hope this edition finds you in good health, good spiritis and good company.
As for ourselves, it's been another emotional roller coaster of a week. We had a great time last Monday celebrating the 4th of July with family and friends. The barbecue was held at our daughter's house. It's located high on a hill and from her back yard, we had a spectacular view of fireworks all across the horizon put on by numerous Cincinnati communities. We hope all of our friends in the USA also had as much fun as we did.
Next, we were elated by London being the choice for the next Olympics - this will be a huge economic boost for Ireland. But then we were anxiety-ridden when the terrorists attacks took place last Thursday.
Bridget's brother Terry still lives there; so do other relatives and friends. Terry called us to let us know he was okay. He takes that same train through Aldgate but he would have been on it around 7:30 am. In any event, he had a meeting elsewhere that day. As with 9/11, there were stories of near-misses; the daughter of a subscriber has a friend who works 20 yards from where the bus blew up. That morning, she was working at home. Another subscriber told us about a cousin who was on the bus right in front; fortunately, she escaped uninjured. It's difficult to know what to say except that our sympathies and prayers go out to all of the families and victims. We are so very sorry for your loss.
And then, at around 1:30 pm yesterday, we received the call we had been dreading. Many of you know that Russ' mother has been gravely ill. She lost her battle with cancer but was blessed to be at home with Russ' sister at her bedside when she passed. We also had a chance to talk with her by phone yesterday morning; she was unresponsive, but we are certain she could hear us say how much we love her. Anyway, Russ poured himself a stiff Irish and Bridget looked at the computer screen in a vain attempt to finish this newsletter.
This morning, we've pulled ourselves together a bit and we are very thankful that we had the chance to visit with her just a few weeks back. It was a great time and that's what will help us get through the next few days and weeks. And besides, it would be a discredit to her memory if we didn't carry on and muddle through. She was born a Litchfield of strong Brit stock and whenever things happened, she was always fond of saying " ho-hum, fiddle-dee dee, that's life." So...in her hnour and in her memory, here's our next newsletter, complete with a few laughs. She would not have wanted it any other way.
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News from Ireland
General: We're having a heatwave!
Throw on the sombrero and sip some sangria - sweltering summer weather has finally arrived in Ireland with temperatures matching hotspots such as Barcelona and Rome.
President Mary McAleese said she would welcome an unprecedented visit to Ireland by Britain's Queen Elizabeth. President McAleese was speaking after she and the Queen attended a dinner marking the 25th anniversary of Co-operation Ireland, of which the two are joint patrons. The Queen, who became sovereign in 1952, has never made a state visit to the Republic of Ireland.
State To Purchase Great Blasket
The Government is to purchase the Great Blasket island - An Blascaod
Mór. The last inhabitants on the island, off the Kerry coast, were
evacuated in the early 1950s. The core village on the island will be conserved and consolidated in its present ruined state. A cafe with public facilities will be the only new structures permitted.
From around the counties:
Antrim: Belfast landmark disappears
The famous red-topped bandstand, which was removed recently, will not be replaced. The bandstand had a brick podium and had been a fixture in the area for over 50 years, acting as a stage for numerous people from street activists to musicians and preachers.
Antrim: Patience pays. Because his bike was worth only about $25, a Belfast man refused to pay the release fee of $80 after his illegally-parked bike was clamped by parking enforcement authorities. After taking the bus for a few days, he noticed that the bike was no longer clamped, so he removed his own lock and cycled off.
Carlow: Sportsmen gather fifty years on
It was an unusual reunion at Knockbeg College as the Leinster winning
side of 1955 gathered to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their historic back-to-back football championship victories. Attendees came from Alabama, California, Canada, England and all over Ireland. In addition to their victories on the football field, thirteen of the footballers also played on the victorious senior hurling team of 1955.
Dublin: Ashes to Ireland
An Irish couple have come up with an idea to turn ash to cash by offering to scatter the cremated remains of foreigners in Ireland. Ed and Helen O'Neill set up their firm, Ashes to Ireland, after an Irish-American friend asked them to scatter her husband's remains over the Irish Sea.
Fermanagh: Late solstice festivities
A group of mummers from the county celebrated the summer solstice with a four-day delay last weekend. Joined by English Morrismen, the artistic group honoured the occasion with dance and music around a mountaintop bonfire. The celebrations took place all over the islands in Upper Lough Erne near Aughakillymaude, Derrylin. A torchlit procession, during which the straw-clad mummers and Morris men ascended Knockninny Hill, preceded the bonfire. On the summit of the hill there are still to be found the relics of a Bronze Age burial cairn.
Galway: The new Mayor of Galway is Councillor Brian Walsh. A member of the Fine Gael party, he is Galway's youngest ever mayor at the age of 32.
Galway: One of the oldest boating traditions in Europe has received a massive boost - from the skies. CityJet announced that it would provide the main sponsorship for this year's renewal of Cruinniu na mBad (Gathering of the Boats) in the coastal village of Kinvara, Co Galway. The festival, which runs from August 19-21, keeps alive the centuries-old practice of ferrying goods from Connemara to south Galway by traditional craft, and will include races for all classes of working boats. Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the event.
Kerry: High-tech for Killarney Mass
A new era has arrived at the nineteenth century St. Mary's Cathedral in Killarney with the installation of large plasma screens to provide all Massgoers with a clear view of the altar.
Louth: Double gold for Dundalk gardener
Paul Martin of Mount Avenue, Dundalk has become the first garden designer to win two consecutive gold medals at the RTE Garden Heaven show in Dublin. As a result he has been invited to compete in the Royal Chelsea Garden Show in 2006.
Roscommon: Noted regiment remembered
A museum dedicated to the history of the Connacht Rangers has officially opened in King House, Boyle. The museum was founded by the Connacht Rangers Association, a group formed in June of 2002 to remember those men who left the province of Connacht to serve in the regiment.
Sligo: Sligo remembers a comic genius
The memory of Spike Milligan was honoured recently in Sligo when residents of Holborn Street unveiled a plaque on the wall of the house in which his father Leo was born. Number five Holborn Street is now owned by Ray McCullough but was once a British army barracks where the comedian's grandfather, William Milligan, was stationed. The plaque was unveiled by Sligo's mayor, Declan Bree, who thanked Ray McCullough for highlighting and promoting the Milligan connection with Sligo over many years.
Waterford: Last respects paid to "The Morning Star"
After the annual fishermen's Mass and the blessing of the boats at
Boatstrand Pier, Dunbrattin, the sailing schooner The Morning Star and the tragic fate of her crew were remembered with the unveiling of her anchor. The vessel was wrecked off the Boatstrand Pier in 1914 on the voyage from Cardiff to Cork.
Westmeath: Falcons circle over Belvedere
Belvedere House Gardens and Park now includes Ireland's largest falconry centre. The purpose built courtyard complex on the Belvedere Estate outside Mullingar houses more than eight different species of owls, hawks, falcons and eagles, with the falconry being officially opened last weekend, and its lakeside theatre will present the grace of the birds of prey during two daily shows.
Wicklow: Bray Head Cliff Walk Reopens
One of the most picturesque cliff walks on the east coast has officially reopened following the completion of remedial works aimed at saving the cliff from slipping into the sea. The five-kilometre Bray to Greystones cliff walk attracts thousands of walkers to north Wicklow.
From around the world:
Houston: Cavan Gaelic Footballer Paul Brady won the United States Singles Open Handball Final becoming the first-ever Irish champion in the 55-year history of the event. Afterwards, he rushed back to Ireland to play for Cavan in the Ulster Championship Gaelic Football game against Tyrone.
Seattle: James Mulcahy from Dublin is the Irish winner of the 2005 Thomas Addis Emmet Law Fellowship. He is now in Seattle working on public service law projects until August 22. The UW Law School, the Irish Heritage Club, the Friends of St Patrick and the Seattle Galway Association help sponsor the Fellowship program.
From the mailbag:
Thomas Kennedy is interested in finding fellow musicians to play Irish or other music together. " I play a pretty good accordion (piano), guitar, etc. and would love to find
fiddlers, bodhran, other players within 50 miles of Doylestown PA. which is just about 45 min. north east of Phila, 30 minutes from Trenton. "
"ddpksn" in the UK writes: "I'm interested in the site of Croaghan in Roscommon. I'm wondering what excavation work and what studies have been done in this area. From what I've read, it's a fascinating site. It's vast as well. Which would be the best areas to explore?
Karen writes: Do you have the entire (or at least a portion) of the Breastplate of St. Patrick on a plaque, poster, wall hanging of any sort. I have been to several stores and cannot find anything larger than a greeting card. I want to hang it on a wall in my family room. Thank you,
Links of the week - and Blogs, too!
From Dublin Tourism : several great competitions You couud win a luxury break for two at Finnstown Country House Hotel, with free car hire from Argus Car Rentals; or a pair of tickets to see Mozaik at the ESB BEO Celtic Music Festival ; or a meal at the Hard Rock Café or a copy of the hardback book entitled "Treasure of the National Museum". For more details and/or to enter, please click
East coast getaways starting at $289 one way!
It's not too late to book your perfect Irish holiday. Whether you're interested in exploring The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare or the bustling pub scene of Dublin's Temple Bar; Aer Lingus is making it easy to get you there with one-way fares starting at $289* from New York and Boston. Seats are limited, so book your flights now for departures August 28 - 31, 2005. These fares are available exclusively at http://www.aerlingus.com
From Jack & Vivian of the Irish Page: This article is a poem by an unknown author called Neansaí, mhile grá - Nancy, my great love. (Ed. Note: This is one of Bridget's favorite songs; we have a version by Clannad).
If you do not hear the background music go to the foot of the page and click on background music that is highlighted. Some browsers do not play the background music.
Fron Sue Haddad - The Green and Red of Mayo
A beautifully done piece you will want to watch and listen to over and over.
From Hartson - Why did we come to mind? Why, indeed!
Visit and Vote for Helen
The Dowds have been faithful subscribers and prolific contributors to both the newsletter and the website almost from thestart. The least we can do is ask you to visit Helen's site and give her a boost in her search-engine ratings. Then click on the yellow box and vote for her. Thank you!
From Linda - photos of Nano Nagle's home
(Nano Nagle was recently voted Ireland's greatest woman following a phone-in poll on RTE.
A reminder: The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:
Last but certainly not least - our on-going 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!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
Enough of the blather - on with the update...
IN THIS ISSUE:
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
The Week That Was
The Week Ahead
QUIPS, QUOTES, AND ANECDOTES, PROVERBS & TOASTS, TOO
"And her with the freckles 'n her temper. Sure 'n that red hair of hers is no lie."
Barry FitzGerald in The Quiet Man.
A BIT OF THE WIT
Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick. P.J. O'Rourke
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
Edited and adapted from one sent in by Maureen. Thank you for the giggle, Maureen!
A young doctor moved out to a small village to replace the aging doctor there. The older doctor suggested that the younger doctor accompany him as he made his house calls so that the people could become accustomed to him. At the first house they visited, the younger doctor listened intently as the older doctor and an older lady discussed the weather, their grandchildren and the latest church bulletin. After some time, the older doctor asked his patient how she had been feeling. "I've been a little sick to my stomach," she replied. "Well," said the older physician, "you've probably been over doing it a bit with the fresh fruit. Why don't you cut back on the amount of fresh fruit you eat and see if that helps." As they left the house, the younger doctor asked how the older doctor had reached his diagnosis so quickly. "You didn't even examine that woman," the younger doctor stated. "I didn't have to," the elder physician explain. "You noticed that I dropped my stethoscope on the floor in there. Well, when I bent over to pick it up, I looked around and noticed a half dozen banana peels in the trash can. That
is probably what has been making her ill." "That's pretty sneaky," commented the younger doctor. "Do you mind if I try it at the next house?" "I don't suppose it could hurt anything," the elder physician replied. At the next house, the two doctors visited with an elderly widow. They spent several minutes discussing the weather, the grandchildren, and the latest church bulletin. After several minutes, the younger doctor asked the widow how she had been feeling lately. "I've felt terribly run down, " the widow replied. "I just don't have as much energy as I used to." "You've probably been doing too much work for the church," the younger doctor suggested without even examining his patient. "Perhaps you should ease up a bit and see if that helps."
As they left, the elder physician said, "Your diagnosis is probably right, but do you mind telling me how you came to that conclusion?" "Sure," replied the younger doctor. "Just like you, I dropped my stethoscope on the floor. When I bent down to pick it up, I looked around and there was the parson hiding under the bed!"
Help us keep your newsletter free. Please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
We've recently combined all of our reader's contributions on to one page. The Perfect Pot of Tea, Pour the Perfect Pint, Growing Shamrocks, etc. We invite you to submit your own story relating to Ireland (humorous, factual or imaginative), reminiscence or fond memory. We are always looking for traditional poems, toasts, proverbs, blessings, or song lyrics. Family recipes and traditions are also appreciated. Thank you to all who have contributed to our page over the years!
In the meantime, we hope you are enjoying the Summer so far. We also hope you'll stop by and see what's new, including a smart new design of the Guinness Pint Glasses as well as two types of Irish Wildflower Seed direct from Dingle, Co. Kerry. Both great for the summer season. Please click:
DID YOU KNOW
1. The almost perpendicular cliffs at Croaghaun, Achill Island, Co. Mayo, drop 2,192 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, four times the drop from the Seattle Space Needle's Observation Deck?
2. Slieve League in Co. Donegal drops 1,972 feet?
3. The famous Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, only drop about 700 feet?
IRISH WRITERS AND BOOKS QUIZ
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
1. West of Ireland Summers - Tamasin Day-Lewis
2. Magpie Cottage: Summers in Ireland - Mary Yanga George
3. When Summer's in the Meadow - Nial Williams, Christine Breen
A round of pints and applause to our literary sleuths:
A good web-site is:
Please go to:
and click on the yellow vote square, please. Thanks.
Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May"
May 25 - June 8, 2005
view this year's itinerary:
It's definitely MY favourite, but I don't always have as much time as I would like to spend looking through all the wonderful items.
Want to see your name in our next newsletter? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following:
1. Battle of the Boyne 1690: The Irish Campaign for the English Crown
2. The Boyne and Aughrim: The War of the Two Kings
3. Sarsfield and the Jacobites
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite - preferably Irish. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: email@example.com
THIS WEEK'S RIDDLE:
But first, the answer to the last cranium cracker:
Q. What question can't be answered by yes?
A. Are you asleep?
We received a slew of answers, including "Are you dead?" However, first in with the official solution was Ann from Boston. Well done.
And now, Riddle People, here's this week's head banger:
Q. What is the only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter?
Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox every week - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
It's one of the most trusted lotteries in the world and all you need are 6 numbers to hit the Irish Millions. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! If you want to win it, you've got to be in it, so visit their totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details - and best of luck to you!
The latest winner has proved that perseverance pays off, with a windfall of 2.5m being the reward. Manus McKiernan and his wife Greta, who have eight children, were the sole winners of a recent Lotto jackpot. The fifty-one-year-old has been buying Lotto tickets every week for the past eighteen years, using a random set of numbers. ==================================================================
THE WEEK THAT WAS:
1. Article - A Doodle of an Irish Yankee
2. Article - From opur Front Porch - Julu 4th
3. Article - What the Twelfth means to me
4. Article - Watching the Weather on St. Swithin's Day
5. Basic Irish - Summertime
6. The Irish Kitchen - Irish Coffee Cheesecake
7. Letter of the Month - a new selection for June - scroll down to the bottom of the home page.
8. Circle of Prayer - Our 9th Novena in this cycle began on July 8 and ends on July 17. Please continue to pray or meditate on behalf of Bonnie and Donald, Laurie & Katie (and all those who suffer from lupus), Garry Crawford, Margaret LeDoux and her parents, Kristy and Steve, Pauline in England, Hartson, Graine, Molly, and so many others who need our spiritual support. We also hope you will remember our military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world. We ask that you especially think of a local young man, Matt Maupin, who was captured well over a year ago, Paul, Jason & Ashley, the sons of friends, and also the three grandsons of Mary Sigrist. We also ask that you remember Russ' momRIP. God be good to her.
We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer. God listens and He answers.
9. July Trivia Contest. The new contest is finally posted, including a nice new prize from the celtic Attic. Take a look: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
Our winner for June is Susan O'Connor of New York. Congratulations, Susan!
10. Irish Incense - We sold one through the newsletter last time. Let's see if can sell a few more and make our newest advertiser VERY happy! Now you can recall the memory of "a turf fire in the cabin" - or the pub. Check it out:
THE WEEK THAT WILL BE, GOD WILLING
It's difficult at this point to know exactly what we'll be doing. We hope you understand. We'll have the usual - a new blessing, quotation and may be a new recipe. We'll also update the news and history every day. We'd really appreciate a quick visit on a daily basis; it will help our stats which have gone way down since summer begain. Thanks!
So that's about the long and the short of it until we write again. If you'll be celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, we hope it's a joyous occasion.
We'll leave you with this short but very true prayer sent to us by our friend Eileen McTiernan:
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
Slan agus beannacht - and , as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
WHEN A LOT OF PEOPLE GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
If you enjoy our newsletter and the website, please give us a hand and help keep them free. Imagine if 2700 people each sent us a dollar? Please send what you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is:
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
EVENTS & CLASSIFIEDS
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter or on the Wild Geese website. In fact, the Irish Heritage email group and the Wild Geese have joined forces to bring you a massive listing of Irish events all over the world! To subscribe to the list, send your e-mail address to group moderator George Trainor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The group's postings go out every other Friday and Saturday, in five separate e-mails, covering Irish history, myths and legends, news, jokes, Irish (Gaeilge) lessons, recipes, and more. Organizations, please alert them about your upcoming events, e-mail email@example.com, fax: 208-978-9998. Deadline: The third Wednesday of the month for the following month's edition. Also visit The Wild Geese at:
If you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:
Macroom, Co. Cork - July 16th & 17th
First ever Fleadh Cheoil, music festival - Macroom town center. For details, visit:
Cork City, Co. Cork - July 18-31
European Children's Theatre Encounte hosted by the National Association for
Youth Drama. This pan-European annual encounter is a massive gathering which brings together children in youth theatre aged 12-14 and drama facilitators from 15
European countries to devise and create an intercultural performance that
explores how the children see themselves today and what they see as their
future potential. The encounter has been running since 1982 and has not been
held in Ireland since 1991. For more details, please contact Christine Monk:
Ronan on tour in the USA
July 19 - Westbury, NY - Westbury Music Fair
July 23 - Tampa, FL - Ferguson Hall
For more details and the latest news about Ronan, please click
July/August 2005 - Dublin Ohio
Aisling: An Artist's Vision of Ireland. A solo show by Amy Funderburk. For more details, please click
IRELAND - Workshop Sept. 4-16!
Explore the ruggedly beautiful Beara Peninsula,magical Lough Gur, and historic Kilmallock. Ten days in paradise! Follow the link for more info at
Washington - September
IRISH LANGUAGE - Basic and Intermediate classes in the Irish language will start in September at 12600 NE 85th Street, Kirkland, Washington. For details, call Aidan Maher at 425-823-1553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midlothian Texas, Oct 28-30
O' Flaherty Irish Music Workshop s - instruction on traditional Irish instruments such as Tin Whistle, Bodhran, Flute, Bouzouki, Guitar, Fiddle, Uilleann Pipes, Harp, Hammered Dulcimer, Concertina, and more, There are also classes on Gaelic Singing & Dancing. "Master classes in fiddle will be taught by Liz Carroll, drop-D guitar by
John Doyle, Uilleann pipes by Jerry O'Sullivan and Irish Bouzouki by Roger
Landes, four of the most accomplished Irish musicians living in America..."
For more details, please click
LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING
This one was sent to us by Patricia in England - thanks!
One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the rascally behavior
that was going on. He decided to send an angel down to Earth to check it out. So he called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time. When he returned, he told God, "Yes, it is bad on Earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.
God thought for a moment and said, "Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion." So God called another angel and sent him to Earth for a time too.
When the angel returned he went to God and said, "Yes, it's true The Earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good."
God was not pleased.
So He decided to E-mail the 5% that were good, because
He wanted to encourage them.
Give them a little something to help them keep going.
Do you know what the E-mail said?
Just wondering - we didn't get one either