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Greetings and blessings to all,
Either we're very early, or very late with this week's edition. Whichever way you look at it, a warm welcome to everyone, especially our newest subscribers. Many thanks for signing up and please feel free to pass along our musings and meanderings to family and friends.
Pinch punch, first day of the month - white rabbit! hard to believe it's October already. Right on schedule, the weather has turned cool and crisp and when we go for our morning walk, we're accompanied by the sound of fallen leaves crunching beneath our feet. Autumn foliage in the Ohio Valley can be spectacular and while it's not as brilliant as New England, it's still something to see all the same.
Last time we wrote we were worried about hurricane Jeanne and mom's house in Barefoot Bay, Florida. Fortunately, as old as her place is, it survived an almost direct hit from the winds as well as flying debris from the previous storms. A neighbor described the area as a "war zone" but on a positive note, the power came back on last night. We'll keep you posted on progress and we hope and pray that if you live in the region affected by the storms, you and your family are safe.
Enough about us....
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In news from Ireland:
Film Ireland magazine polled Irish film writers and critics to determine the best Irish films of all time and Neil Jordan's The Butcher Boy, was voted in first place. Second was Intermission, followed by My Left Foot, Michael Collins, The Crying Game, In The Name Of The Father, The Field, Disco Pigs, In America, I Went Down, The Commitments, The General and Bloody Sunday. Not listed was The Quiet Man, one of the best-loved Irish films of all time. Best-loved, that is, by Irish-Americans
Diageo Freezes Price Of Guinness Until Next Summer
The price freezes are apparently designed to halt a decline in pub sales that has been blamed on both the workplace smoking ban and continual increases in the price of the pint over the past number of years.
Colin Farrell, Peter O'Toole and Dylan Moran are among the nominees for the 2004 Irish Film and Television Awards. The awards, which recognise creative and technical achievements in the industry, will be presented in Dublin's Burlington Hotel on October 30th.
Carlow - Crowds Flock To Ploughing Championships
Up to 50,000 people are believed to have visited the opening day of the national ploughing championships in Tullow. Major traffic restrictions were thrown into place for the three-day event which boasted 600 trade stands and 70 ploughing contests, as well as livestock and machinery exhibitions.
Cork - The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Seán Martin, has begun his annual visits to schools over a five-week period and will continue the eighty-four-year-old tradition of granting the pupils a half day. The practice commemorates the sacrifice of two former mayors of the city, Terence McSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain.
Cork - Hungry? 1,300-year-old biscuits were recently found in Lisleagh and are the oldest prepared foodstuff ever found in Ireland. After being scanned with an electron microscope and undergoing chemical investigation, scientists have duplicated the recipe and say that the resulting oatmeal biscuit is crisp and nutty, but not as sweet as modern brands.
Donegal - Bows working overtime in Glenties
The coming weekend sees the annual Fiddlers' Gathering in Glenties, organised by Cairdeas na bhFidleiri, which will feature fiddlers from Scotland and North America as well as a number from Donegal.
Dublin - The long-awaited Luas service between Dublin city centre and Tallaght finally got under way this past week after being launched by the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, accompanied by the Tánaiste, Ms Harney, the Minister for Transport, Mr Brennan, and an invited guest list of almost 800 people.
Dublin - An underground glass chamber commemorating James Joyce will be built on Dublin's Dame Street. The glass roof will permit the room to be viewed from the street and the contents will pay tribute to Joyce's Ulysses. The project is part of a building being erected over the millennium garden.
Dublin - Some 105 students from more than 30 countries arrived in Dublin last weekend for the 16th EU Contest for Young Scientists, held for the first time in the Republic.
Fermanagh - Second Erne island for sale
There are now two islands on Lough Erne on the market. Earlier this year John Rehill put up for sale Innishcorkish, which comes complete with a licensed restaurant, and now an uninhabited island is also available to purchase. Doocharn Island, which is privately owned, is expected to yield more than £50,000.
Kerry - With tickets for the All-Ireland final as scarce as always, large crowds watched the match in pubs throughout the county. In Molly Darcy's bar in Muckross, alongside the Killarney National Park, the sound on three giant screens was switched off for 25 minutes spanning half time to allow for a marriage blessing in the atrium next door. Patience finally running out, the switching back on coincided with the Kerry roar to welcome substitute Séamus on to the field. And with Kerry well ahead, they could fully savour the final stages of the game. Mr Russ Jacobson from Baltimore, Maryland sported a Kerry jersey. He had become "a convert" to the game in Dingle, his wife, Ms Laura Jacobson, explained. "We were watching on TV and I said, 'Look at this game'." Now the Jacobsons are thinking of having a satellite link installed back home just to watch fast-moving Gaelic football.
Mayo - A Kerry farmer and a Mayo nurse put county rivalries aside as they were crowned "Singles King and Queen" at the bi-annual Singles Weekend on Clare Island. For the first time since the inception of the event in 1996, more men than women sailed to the one time home of pirate queen Granuaile in search of love and romance.
Tyrone: Longest-serving postmaster to retire
After working for more than half a century in a rural post office, Postmaster Herbie MacLaine will retire next week. The eighty-two-year-old took over as postmaster at Seskinore, near Omagh on New Year's Day in 1955 after seven years assisting his father, William.
Wicklow - A new lobby group, which will spearhead the campaign to reopen a scenic 5 km cliff walk between Bray and Greystones was launched last Monday. The walk, which opened in 1861, has been a casualty of costal erosion, particularly on the Bray side, and has been closed officially for three years. However, every weekend hundreds of walkers ignore signs erected by Wicklow County Council and set out on the scenic cliff walk.The new group, Friends of the Cliff Walk, will campaign to have the path made safe and reopened as soon as possible.
News from all over
Applications for the US 2006 Diversity Visa Lottery will be accepted between November 5, 2004 and January 7, 2005. Anyone applying must register online at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov Paper entries and mail-in requests will not be accepted and the website will be accessible only during the registration period. There is no charge to enter the Visa Lottery
Liverpool, England - One of Ireland's leading Irish language poets of the 20th century is to be honoured in his hometown of Liverpool. Piaras Beaslai, who died in 1965, will have a plaque commemorating his birthplace in Breckfield Road South. Born in 1881, he learned to speak Irish in Liverpool where he was a member of the Gaelic League. Educated by the Jesuits, he went on to become a journalist and editor of the Catholic Times. His first poem in Irish was published in 1903 and two years later he moved to Dublin where he became involved in nationalist politics and was a leading figure in the Easter Rising of 1916. Imprisoned by a military court, he served his sentence in England where he produced some of his best work. He was elected to the first Irish Parliament and supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922 becoming a general in the Free State Army during the civil war. He wrote the official biography of Michael Collins, a close friend. Then in 1923 he resigned all his official positions to devote himself to writing in Irish, producing one novel, several plays and many poems.The plaque will be unveiled by Professor Padraig O Siadhail who is writing Beaslai's biography. He is Professor of Irish Studies at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
New York - - Dave King, the Dublin-born lead singer of Irish-American punk band, Flogging Molly, has said he is stunned that his band has charted in the Billboard Top 20 after more than a decade of pub performances. The album, Within a Mile From Home, entered the US charts at number 20 and is number one on the alternative music chart. Flogging Molly, who mix punk with traditional Irish folk music,took their name from Molly Malone's bar in Los Angeles, a venue they were accused of overplaying. "We were flogging the place to death..." Said King.
To hear samples, click
Tibet - A Dublin climber has become the first Irishwoman to reach the summit of the sixth-highest mountain in the world, the Tibetan peak Cho Oyu. Ms Grania Willis reached the top of the 8,201-metre mountain last week as part of the Himalayan Experience expedition.
From the mailbag:
Don from Wyoming is looking for someone in Ireland to send him blackthorn sticks he can use to make a walking cane for his own personal use. He'll pay for picking, wrapping and shipping.
Rob wanted to know if there was an Irish fighting knife and what it was called. Alexis who is a re-enactor gave us a great link to the Society for Creative Anachronism which has all kinds of info' on medieval weapons, costumes and so on from many cultures, including Irish:
We also did a bit of research ourselves and found that there was a knife called a skein. Check out the info' here:
This past week, a reader wanted to know how to say welcome to our family in Irish. Aideen, our native irish speaker came through for us as always: Tá fáilte romhat sa teaghlach s'againne. (Pronounced thaw faw-il-cheh rohth sah tchye-lukh shahg-un-yeh).
Pauline in England sent us a hilarious message on a school answering machine. It's at the end. Pauline says they have the same problems at schools in her hometown.
October is breast cancer awareness month and several of you wrote o tell us that the makers of M&M candies has teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to raise funds through the sale of their new "pink & white" M&Ms. For each 8-ounce bag of the special candies sold, the makers will donate 50 cents to the foundation.
Links of the week:
A lovely link from Judith Flynn - thank you!
Repeat of a favorite waste of time - putt putt golf
Vivian & Jack of the Irish Page sent us a link to their newest offering - a song "which is a little perplexing because a verse seems to be missing from it as will happen in very old poems and songs." If anyone knows anything of the missing verse, they'd like to hear from you.
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!
Feed the hungry people, too. Tthanks to Patrick k in Hollywood, Fla)
Your click on the "Give Free Food" button funds food for the hungry, paid for by site sponsors whose ads appear after you click and provided to people in need around the world through the efforts of Mercy Corps and America's Second Harvest.
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
New This Week
The Week Ahead
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QUIPS, QUOTES, PROVERBS & TOASTS
Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón
It is often that a person's mouth broke his nose. Irish Proverb
(With many thanks to hartson who also contributed several news items this week)
A BIT OF THE WIT
In honor of Oscar Wilde's 150th birthday, we'll be posting one of our favorite "Oscarisms" each week of the month.
I never put off till tomorrow what I can do the day after.
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
A bit of graveyard humor in observation of October and the run up to Samhaim:
Beneath this stone lies Murphy
They buried him today
He lived the life of Reilly
While Reilly was away
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DID YOU KNOW
1. The Duke of Wellington who was famous for his victory at Waterloo was born in Dublin? However, he never acknowledged his irish birth and is often quoted as saying "just because you're born in a stable doesn't make you a horse!"
2. The Greg shorthand system was invented by John Robert Gregg who was born in Rockcorry Co Monaghan?
3. The Devil's Bit mountain near Thurles, County Tipperary, is so called because Satan, furious at finding no wicked souls in Ireland as he flew over it, supposedly bit a chunk out of the rock in his rage?
IRISH WRITERS AND BOOKS QUIZ
To begin with, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. Gather Round Me - The Best of Irish Popular Poetry by Christopher CAhill
2. Ireland in Poetry by Charles Sullivan
3. A Rich & Rare Land - Ireland in Poetry and Paintings by Robertson Fleur
Congrats to this week's literary sleuths:
Divine gifts for that special someone - Angels, Guardian Angels, Cherubs and Fairies in figurines, candle holders, wall sconces, mirrors, garden accessories, lamps and lights and more:
Irish Festivals/Holidays/Observances - Festivals of the Seasons: Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter Festivals, and other Holidays and Observances:
I couldn't resist this site after my son sent it to me - it's not the usual type one would expect here, but I found it soooo funny. Famous films in 30 seconds acted out by bunnies:
This is a great site for planning a holiday in Ireland:
One of my favorite sites is Ireland's Eye; it has an extensive archive of useful information including history, places to visit, Bed and Breakfasts and other places to stay, famous Irish people, how to trace your Irish ancestry, the list goes on...
Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following. (We assure you, it's really easy):
1. Ghosts in Irish Houses
2. Irish Ghosts and Hauntings
3. Famous Irish Ghost Stories
Hint: You'll find all the titles here:
Back in Print!!!!
The Traditional Irish Wedding. Updated, expanded and revised 2nd edition now available:
THIS WEEK'S RIDDLE
First off, the answer to our last head-banger:
At the hardware store I was quoted 12 cents for one, 24 cents for 50, and 36 cents for 144. I wanted six.
Q: What was I buying and how much did it cost me?
A: I was buying a house number and I bought the number 6 for 12 cents.
Our hats are off to Mervyn Craill from Belfast who was first in with the solution. Well done, Mervyn! Ready for another mind-mangler?
There is a clothing store in Clifden. The owner has devised his own method of pricing items. A vest costs 20 euros, socks cost 25 euros, a cap costs 15 euros and trousers cost 40 euros. Using the method, how much would a pair of underwear cost?
THE WEEK THAT WAS
New - Basic Irish: In keeping with the season, more creepy words and phrases:
New - The Irish Kitchen: We're delighted that Hartson's back with a recipe for an October Cobbler:
New - October Trivia Contest. Congrats to a subscriber from Ohio who is our latest winner. For your chance at winning our new competition, send in your entry before midnight on October 31st, whatever time zone you're in:
New - Library/Books: The Supernatural - a brand new category which now includes The Book of Irish Weirdness - A must have for Halloween!
New - Sunday Blessing
New - Wednesday Quote
Republished - How the irish invented Halloween
Republished - Creepy Irish Castles and Houses
Republished - Creepy Irish Creatures
Repub;ished - Kids' Ireland: The Changeling
Republished - Irish Superstitions/Between Us and All Harm:
Republished: Protect yourself this Halloween - Make a Parshell
On-going: . Circle of Prayer; we began Novena #5 in this cycle on September 29; it ends on October 7. Novena # 6 begins on Friday. . Please keep Mary from NY in your prayers; also Hartson & Helen, little Sebastian, Greg who lost his mother; Matt Maupin still being held hostage and all of the hostages; the sons of personal friends Paul and Ashley, who are serving in Iraq, and all of our military personnel stationed in Iraq and all over the world.
On-going: Free Genealogy Q & A; send basic questions to Eileen - a professional genealogist in Dublin; we'll publish answers from time to time here:
NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING:
We're still trying to play catch-up with content which includes a revamp of the Kids' Ireland page, our mid-month Culture Corner and more. Check in every day for headlines and history and every Monday (may be!) for an updated home-page. We'll also bring you a new or republished blessing on Sunday and a new quote on Wednesday.
So that wraps it up for another week, except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - many of em' frivolous, but some serious:
Oct. 1 - International Day of the Elderly; World Vegetarian Day; Chinese Moon Festival; Scare a Friend Day; Armed Forces Day (South Korea);
Independence Day (Cyprus)
Oct. 2 - Farm animal day; National Custodial Worker Day; Name Your Car Day, Feast of Guardian Angels Day
Oct. 3 - Techies Day; Virus Appreciation Day (?); World Communion Sunday
Oct. 4 - national Child Health Day; Feast of St. Francis; National Golf Day; International Toot Your Flute Day
Oct. 5 - World Smile Day; Do Something Nice Day; Teacher's Day
Oct. 6 - Ivy Day in Ireland; German-American Day; World Habitat Day; Come and Take it Day
Oct. 7 - Bipolar Awareness Day; Frappe Day; Poetry Day; Bald and Free Day; National Frugal Fun Day
Oct. 8 - World Egg Day; Firefighters Day; American Tag Day; National Children's Day.
Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and your loved ones! Can't wait to find out what wild and wacky holidays are on tap for the rest of October? Check out:
And, if you were married this month or plan on tieing the knot, the traditional verse is
"If in October, you do marry
love will come but riches tarry." ( We can attest to this ourselves!)
In some parts of the world, the Catholic Church recognizes October as the month of angels; so we leave you with this blessing:
These things we warmly wish for you -
Someone to love, some work to do,
A bit o' sun, a bit o' cheer,
A guardian angel always near.
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
Are you a loyal reader of our newsletter? Your voluntary donation will help us keep sending it around the world each week. Please give whatever you can to Russ and Bridget, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH, 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
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Events & Classifieds
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com
And, if you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:
Philadelphia - October 9th
5th Annual Hubernian Hunger Project Cook-In . Teamster's Local 623 Hall, 4369 Richmond Street. Questions? Contact Donna Donnelly, AOH 87 - email@example.com or Ed Dougherty, AOH 39, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York City - Second Saw Doctors show October 10.
Following the sell out show at Irving Plaza on September 25, the Saw Doctors have announced a second show at the same venue. Special guest is the singer songwriter, Willie Nile. For more info, log on to the band's web site:
Or contact Anita Daly: email@example.com
Dublin Fringe Festival - September 20 to October 10
Now in its ninth year, the Fringe is an event of both national and international significance, attracting audiences in excess of 50,000. It is the fastest growing cultural event in Ireland and one of Europe's leading independent arts festivals with over 125 different events and attractions and more than 700 performances. Details here:
Aran Islands October 4 - 11 Traditional Basket Workshop and archaeological walks. you still can book! See details on our homepage:
New York City - October 14
Shaylyn At Town Hall New York City on October 14th - One night only. Shaylyn is a dance show that illustrates the continuing evolution of Irish Dance, its many influences including other dance forms, changing times and changing generations, while remaining true to its original form. A tribute to Irish ancestors who struggled to keep the culture of music, song and dance alive, Shaylyn brings the story of Irish Dance full circle from mystical beginnings in ancient Ireland to the position it holds today. For more details, click
Hollywood, Florida - October 16
Irish - American Ceili Club Dinner & Dancing to Noel Kingston. Details @ 954-432-8292 Visit us online:
Seattle Washington - October 29
The annual Memorial Mass in Gaelic for the deceased members of Seattle's Irish community is Friday, October 29, 7:30 PM, at Sacred Heart Church, 205 2nd Ave N (beside the Seattle Center). Mass Booklets in Gaelic and English will be provided, and musicians and singers are invited to volunteer by calling Mary Kelly at 206-528-1988. Call Catherine at 425-438-8554 to submit names of people who have died in the past year, or email CatherineM@irishclub.org.
Tallahassee, Florida - October 30, 2004 - Tallahassee Celtic Festival
Advance tickets now sale at all Blockbuster Locations in Tallahassee, Panama City, Thomasville & Valdosta. For more details, please click
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This is the message the Pacific Palisades High School (California) staff voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine. This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework. The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children's failing grades changed to passing grades though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough school work to pass their classes. This is the actual answering machine message for the school:
"Hello! You have reached the automatic answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting the right staff person, please listen to all your options before making a selection.
To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1
To make excuses for why your child did not do his work - Press 2
To complain about what we do - Press 3
To swear at staff members - Press 4
To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5
If you want us to raise your child - Press 6
If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7
To request another teacher for the third time this year - Press 8
To complain about bus transportation - Press 9
To complain about school lunches - Press 0
If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework, and that it's not the teacher's fault for your child's lack of effort ... hang up and have a nice day!