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Greetings & Blessings to all,
Around these parts, they're fond of saying it isn't the heat, it's the humidity. And so, after a bit of a break, here we are once again sweltering in a steam bath. But that's not unusual for July in Cincinnati. What is odd about this summer is how dangerously hot it has been all over the country and we do hope and pray that if you live in the US you're managing to cope and stay cool.
What's also hard to believe is the water temperature in places like North Carolina and along the Gulf Coast - 89 degrees!? Or more? Not much cooling off going in for a dip ! There's another more sinister side to the warmth of the water and that's the possibility of a tropical storm turning into a major hurricane because the storms gather strength if the water temperature is high. So far, the season has been much less active than last year. Let's hope and pray it stays that way.
Meanwhile, we hope this edition finds you in good spirits, good health and good company. And, if this is your first issue, we hope you will enjoy our musings and meanderings; please feel free to forward them on to family and friends. They can also sign up for their own copy here:
And no, that is not a picture of himself at the top!
Enough of the blather, on with the update...
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IN THIS ISSUE:
From the Mailbag
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week that was
The week that will be, God willing
Events & Classifieds
Leave 'em Laughing
ED NOTE: Did you know that we keep two week's of links to the latest news from ireland on the web site? What follows are the tidbits that don't always make the national papers. For those, read on. For major stories, click here:
It's estimated that 100,000 pilgrims climbed Croagh Patrick today, including the most Reverend Sean Brady, Primate of All Ireland, and the first bishop to make the journey since St. Patrick.
"Irish in a class of its own", says Revenue
Tax forms have arrived into letter boxes in five languages - but not as Gaeilge. According to the Revenue Commissioners, Irish-language leaflets are in a class of their own. Aaaaagh...Want to read more? Please click
Record number of tourists visiting Ireland
The number of people visiting Ireland this year is on target to be the highest in the history of the State, according to the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. John O'Donoghue described as "quite unprecedented" the 13 per cent increase in visitor numbers in the first four months of the year.
FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES:
Antrim: New public art for Belfast
The International Brigade Commemoration Committee members are seeking the gift of a small piece of land in Belfast to install a piece of public art in memory of the twenty men from the city who fought in the Spanish Civil War. An area in Custom House Square known as "The Hecklers" is the preferred site as it has a connection with those who took up arms in the fight against fascism; many of them would have addressed crowds at the spot prior to leaving for Spain. Among the twenty to be commemorated are two who travelled in a medical capacity, Joe Boyd and Fred McMahon.
Clare: Going batty - a bypass, a hotel and now a retirement home
In the last few years a number of developers have been forced to take into consideration the county's population of a protected species of bat. Gama Construction had to provide a bat house on the Ennis bypass, Austin Delaney is to provide a bat house as part of his plans to develop Ballykilty Manor near Quin as a hotel, and now the Master Group from Dublin has had to come up with a way to accommodate the Lesser Horseshoe Bat. They are developing Carnelly House near Ennis into a retirement home and their plans now include turning the old coach house into a maternity roost for the creatures.
Donegal: Safe landing for US sailor
Joseph Ferry from Philadelphia, who had set himself the task of sailing across the Atlantic to the spot where his father was born a hundred years ago, safely docked in Falcarragh last Monday morning. Joseph's father embarked from Moville for America in 1929 and often took his children to the New Jersey shore to gaze in the direction of his home. Now his son has "completed the loop" to honour his father; he also dedicated the journey to his two grandchildren to whom he wrote letters every day while en route to Donegal.
Dublin: Rock Road provides island for birds
Landfill from works being carried out on the Rock Road in Blackrock is being used to create an artificial island for the birds which gather at the nature reserve at Booterstown Marsh. The numbers of birds now using the reserve is putting pressure on the available nesting space and the Rock Road initiative is a collaboration between An Taisce, which manages the Marsh, and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Originally created in the 1830s, Booterstown Marsh was used for agriculture from the 1870s to the 1950s, from which time it developed into a natural habitat for bird life.
Galway: Hay meadows to return to Inishbofin
In a joint project by Inishbofin's conservation group, Birdwatch Ireland, the local branch of the Irish Farmers' Association and the Heritage Council, steps are to be taken to encourage the corncrake. Fields which have become overgrown with rushes or have been used for grazing sheep are to be returned to meadow to provide new breeding sites for the endangered bird and will be mowed at the end of the season. In addition to increasing the birds' habitat, the project will also supply hay or silage for cattle farmers. The corncrake had totally disappeared from the island twelve years ago and five have been heard this year at East End and Westquarter, with one heard for the first time in twenty years at Middlequarter village.
Kerry: Black Valley isolation continues
Local councilor Michael Healy-Rae has again called for a reliable system of communication to be installed in Black Valley in the MacGillicuddy Reeks near Killarney. The valley, which is a major tourist attraction at this time of year, has no phone coverage between 11.00am and 8.00pm; it appears that the Rurtel phone system which is battery-powered does not function in the very warm weather we are experiencing at present. There is no mobile coverage in the valley and in the case of an accident or emergency, no way of contacting the appropriate services.
Mayo: Two islands, two new piers
Minister Eamon Ó Cuiv took to the waters recently when he visited two offshore islands to perform the official opening of their new piers. He first travelled to Clare Island where he opened the new one hundred and ten metre pier and he also announced that expressions of interest will shortly be sought for the provision of a subsidised cargo service to the island. On Inishturk the minister opened a twenty-five metre extension to the existing pier which will also allow an expansion of the existing ferry service; the pier was blessed by Father Michael Mannion and Rev. Gary Hastings, both of Westport.
Monaghan: The Shamrock Car makes appearance at Muckno
The special attraction at this year's Kingspan Muckno Mania Festival was a car belonging to Paddy Byrne from Drogheda. The car is one of only ten produced in Castleblayney in 1959 and was destined for the American market, hence its nickname. Made from fibreglass and with an Austin engine, Paddy's car is the only survivor still being used on the road, though two others still exist, one in Killarney and the other in Nevada; the company ceased operations after it ran into financial difficulties. At the Muckno Mania festival were two men, Michael McGuigan and his uncle, Benny, who worked at the plant in Mucknow Street.
Wicklow: Market's closure is missions' loss
The closure of Greystones market has been mourned by many but especially by Mae D'Arcy from Redford Park\ who for the past twenty-four years has had a stall in the market to raise funds for the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary. Now in her seventies, Mae has nowhere to sell the bric-a-brac, books and other items. She took over the local scout hall last weekend to have a final clearance sale which raised more than 1,000 for the charity and she hasn't given up hope of finding another outlet for her energies, as she admits she has no other hobby.
ED NOTE: Many of the above news items are from The Irish Emigrant. Space does not allow us to print them all. To read every item, please click
FROM THE MAILBAG
How would you like to have a front seat at the Ryder Cup? Peggy sent us the following: Hospice of Michigan is presenting an online auction for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to this world-famous golf tournament being held for the first time in Ireland. Package includes round-trip tickets for two to Dublin and two tickets to the prestigious K Club in Co. Kildare for the full week, from the first practice round to the final round. Starting bid is $2,000 with increases of $100. To bid, click on the "Online Auction" box on the hospice web site
Bidding ends at 5 p.m. August 4 and the winner will be contacted immediately.
Don writes: Some time ago, I managed to get a hold of a copy of a newspaper that was basically irish in nature. I think it was printed in Pennsylvania, possibly in Hazleton, bloomsburg, Scranton. Or elsewhere.
I am speculating on where it originated. Anyone have any information?
Pat asks: what does it mean if you sweep around a persons feet? My daughter was sweeping at work and swept around a co-workers feet and she said she should know better and to ask her mother (me) about it...to be honest, I have no idea.
ED. NOTE: A quick search of superstitions in general says that the person (being swept around) won't marry. Can anyone corroborate?
Mary writes: I'm planning a trip to Ireland in early September and I'd like to get some input from your readers on what I 'HAVE to see and do while I'm there. I'll be based in Dublin, but traveling to my ancestors home in Cork. Thanks!
ED. NOTE: We welcome any input; we also recommend a great news forum: All Ireland Travel. You get hands-on info' from participants who love Ireland and either live there or are regular visitors. For more info, or to sign up, please click
Before we get into the links we found for this issue, we must make mention that we were slapped on the wrist by a reader who was disappointed and offended when she clicked through one of last week's offerings and was on a site less than savoury. Our suggestion is to focus just on what we're linking to and ignore the rest. While we feel we can't be held responsible for the naughty bits, we should have checked and we are sorry if we offended anyone else.
Irish Tourism/Aer Lingus Contest
Win a week's holiday in Ireland! There's a twist: If you win, they want you to be a "podcaster ", i.e. record your impressions which they will then turn into podcasts on the Irish Tourism site. A 250 word essay on why you would like to visit Ireland is required. How hard is that? For details, click
Irish Wedding Videos
Is there a woman reading this who wouldn't like to see three Irish couples tie the knot? Whether we're right or wrong, here's the link:
BTW: This was of particular interest to Bridget; after writing the Traditional Irish Wedding book, thoroughly enjoyed seeing how it's being done in ireland today. Very expensively, was the first thing that came to mind! And, before we forget, she still has a few of the books available if you know anyone who might be interested. Just $25.00 gets a copy inscribed, signed and delivered right to the door.
A visit to galway
A nicely done mini-video of a visit to Galway. It's accompanied by a lovely soundtrack so be sure to have your speakers turned on. Scroll down to Galway Trip
Kissing the Blarney Stone
Have you done it? Have you ever seen it done? Here you go: Scroll down to
Ceolas, the home of Celtic music on the internet
This one was sent to us by "Big Mama." Ceolas houses the largest online collection of information on celtic music, and has links to hundreds of related sites.
CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts
Big Mama also sent us this one. Thank you!. Celt brings the wealth of Irish literary and historical culture to the Internet, for the use and benefit of everyone worldwide. It has a searchable online database consisting of contemporary and historical texts from many areas, including literature and the other arts.
Éireannach Thár Sáile - An Irishman abroad
This time around, Jack and Vivian of the Irish Page share a story about Ubh droch- A bad egg!
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:
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:
QUIPS, QUOTES , PROVERBS & TOASTS
Everyone must row with the oars they have. Old irish proverb
A BIT OF THE WIT
"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."
George bernard Shaw
ED. NOTE: This past week was GB'S birthday - his 150th! He was born in Dublin on July 25th, 1856.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Three old ladies meet on the street on a very stormy day in Dublin. The wind is so strong and loud that they have difficulty in hearing each other. "It's windy," says one. "No, it's Thursday," says the next. "So am I," says the third. "Let's go and have a drink!"
SPONSOR: Please help us keep our newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish Lottery who just signed up for another series of ads, God bless them!
There was NO winner of Saturday's drawing which means Wednesday's jackpot will be around 2 million Euro. You know, it's been one of our fantasies that an Irish Culture & Customs newsletter subscriber will scoop the big one - but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win it, if you're not in it. So enter today. It's incredibly easy to play, you don't have to live in Ireland, 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! Click here for full details:
DID YOU KNOW
1. The curiously named town of Hospital in County Limerick owes its name to the Knights Hospitallers (now the Knights of St. John), who founded it during the Middle Ages?
2. The Natural History Museum of Ireland (next door to Leinster House) has the world's largest collection of insects?
3. Tumbling 1800 feet off the Cock of Shruhill mountain in County Donegal, the Scardan Waterfall is the highest in Europe?
DO YOU KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS?
(Or books on Irish-related topics?)
The Last of the Celts
The Atlantean Irish: Ireland's Oriental and Maritime Heritage
Baptised in Blood: The Formation of the Cork Brigade of the Irish Volunteers 1913-1916
The common thread is that they can all be found on Read Ireland:
Send in your answers and if you get two out of three correct, we'll list your name and web site (or your favorite Irish web site) in our next newsletter.
In the meantime, here are the answers to our last quiz:
1. Fertile Rock: Seasons in the Burren - Carsten Krieger
2. Pagan Celtic Ireland: The Enigma of the Irish Iron Age: Barry Raftery
3. The Story of the Irish Pub: Cian Molloy
A round of pints and applause for this week's literary sleuths:
Mary R. (Irishroyal)
If I'm chosen, I'd like to invite visitors to my website. I've added many new poems and jokes (only a few of which I've cribbed from you!). And please do sign the guestbook:
An Irish Web Site to view - If you are a fan of Celtic, this site is a gold mine of radio stations around the world & quite a few of them on line.
ED. NOTE: As Bridget' s mother used to say "great minds think alike." See our links above.
Thanks for voting for my site. For a relaxing read, you will find new stories and articles in the Children's, Missionary, Inspirational, Devotional, Pet and Poetry Sections:
ED. NOTE: Helen has made it over the 20,00 mark in the top Christian sites list. have you voted today? Our next goal is 30,00 and beyond.
To begin with, the solution to our last skull scrambler:
You are walking through a field, and you find something to eat.
It doesn't have bones, and it doesn't have meat. You pick it up
and put it into your pocket. You take it home and put it on a
shelf, but 3 day's later it walks away.
Q. What is it?
A. An egg
We received at least a dozen or more correct answers from our ever faithful riddle people, but first in was Jack Doherty of Oakland, New Jersey. Well done Jack!
And now for our next mind mincer:
Thousands lay up gold within this house, but no man made it.
Spears past counting guard this house, but no man protects it.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Home Page - Culture Corner: IlnaCullen Co. Cork - An Island Garden
1. Article: He came to mock but stayed to pray
2. Article: In tribute to George Bernard Shaw
3. Article: Galway Races - Where the Pint us the Unit of Currency
4. Article: The galway Races - Enough Raw Material for a Trilogy of Novels
5. Article: Ladies Day at The Galway Races
6. Article: Putting Out The Hare, Putting on The harvest Knots
7. Poetry Corner: Brian Merriman
8. The Irish Kitchen: Recipes for Lughnasa
9. Basic irish: Summertime
10. Circle of Prayer: The seventh Novena in this cycle began on July 30 and continues through August 7. We have a very special request this week from a dear friend in England, Patricia Edwards; her daughter Heather was just diagnosed with clear cell cancer of the kidney. We can personally attest to the power of prayer and the miracles that can happen when many of us ask God for his mercy. So please remember Heather and her family in your prayers and meditations as well as all of those suffering in the Middle East - especially the children; also, baby Joseph, our good friend Pauline Dewberry, Clara Byrne's husband (who is home and doing much better); abNd the family of Malley Keelan; And please don't forget to ask the Good Shepherd of us all to watch over our men and women in the military all over the world. To visit our Circle of Prayer page, please click
11. Trivia Quiz.Time's running out! All entries must be in by midnight, July 31st, whatever time zone you're in. http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
12. In the margin. Fancy some genuine McCambridge bread delivered right to your door - and no, you don't have to make it - it comes fully baked! Or how about Ireland in Song & Ballads from Lollysmith? We don't always keep up with what's new and "five minutes ago" - but we do our best!
THE WEEK THAT WILL BE, GOD WILLING
A new month looms which means we'll be busy putting together the August Trivia quiz - and here's exciting news: Midwest Irish Radio has joined our list of sponsors and will be offering one of their much sought-after T-shirts as a prize. We'll also be posting a new lesson, children's story, and whatever else we can think of to keep you coming back to visit us. As always, we'll have a new blessing on Sunday (already posted) , a new quote on Wednesday and we'll update the news each day as well as publish the history for the date.
So there you have it until we write again. If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, may God grant that it be filled with joy. In the meantime, pinch, punch first day of the month, white rabbit. Were you married in August? The rhyme is: Whoever wed in August be, many a change are sure to see.
Safe, journey, safe home in all your comings and goings, 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!
WHEN MANY GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
Every penny does make a difference, so please send whatever you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty.
Our snail mail address is 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
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Again, many thanks in advance for your help!
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there we will be happy to list it here.
It's that time of year When it seems there's an Irish Festival going on in every state in the Union! We're too late to give a plug to the festivities at terrace park in Sious Falls which is going on as we write this. We do hope all went well! And we also wish great success to every other every other festival coming up.
Michigan - August 3
Put on your dancing shoes and join the fun as world-renown Irish band Gaelic Storm performs their Michigan CD-release party as a benefit for Hospice of Michigan on Thursday, August 3, at The Ark, 316 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor, Tickets include a copy of the group's new CD "Bring Yer Wellies." For more details, please visit
Dublin, Ohio, August 5 & 6
New Gate Celtic Theatre Company, Cincinnati's premierCeltic theatre group has been invited to the Dublin, Ohio Irish Fest for the second year in a row. This year's one-act stars local stage veteran Dee Dunn in the title role of "Lady Gregory's Ghost" presented Saturday, August 5 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, August 6 at 3p.m. For more details about the Dublin Ohio Irish Festival, please click
Temple Bar , Dublin. Ireland August 10-26
The irish Premiere of Mother Teresa is Dead by acclaimed playright Helen Edmundson. Presented at the Focus Theatre. For more details, please contact Conlath Teevan:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin August - 17 - 20
The biggest Irish festival in the world! If you can make it, don't hesitate. It's an incredible experience. For complete details, please click
Be sure to have your speakers turned on.
Houston, Texas - August 19th
An Irish Summer Picnic with the St. Patrick's Parade Commission
at the West Alabama Ice House from 1 to 6 PM. This is a fundraiser benefiting the 48th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2007. Plan ahead! There will be a Picnic Food Competition. Cooking teams may enter 3
categories: Picnic Entree, Cold Salad/Side, & Dessert. Each category has a
$25 fee. All 3 categories, $65. Call Doc Dougherty at 713-446-8724 or Email Mary Kearns at Irishmkk@aol.com to arrange registration/payment.
Houston, Texas - August 20th
The Irish Society & The Irish Aires Show presents An Afternoon Of Songs & StoriesFor The Whole Family With The Irish Balladeer Danny O'Flaherty from 2:00 to 4:00pm At The Jones Hall On The University Of St. Thomas, 3910 Yoakum. For how to get there, lease click
For more about Danny, previously the proprietor of O'Flaherty's Irish Channel in New Orleans, has literally taken his Connemara Irish culture around the world with his songs & stories, please click
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland - August 25, 26, 27
Festival of World Cultures
Anyone who still believes that Ireland is mono cultural needs look no farther than Dun Laoghaire at the end of summer to see how global the country has become. For those that cannot make it to Dun Laoghaire, highlights of the Festival will be broadcast on RTÉ Two sometime in September.The full programme will be announced in July 2006. For further information visit
Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland - September 8, 9, 10
Are you a fan of Fidelma? Ireland's international best selling fictional detective will be celebrated at a weekend convention in her "hometown." For complete details, please click
LEAVE THEM LAUGHING
This one's from Deborah at the Good Clean Funnies List.
Baby Bear goes downstairs and sits in his small chair at the table, he looks into his small bowl. It is empty. "Who's been eating my porridge?!!," he squeaks.
Papa Bear arrives at the big table and sits in his big chair. He looks into his big bowl, and it is also empty."Who's been eating my Porridge?!!," he roars.
Momma Bear puts her head through the serving hatch from the
kitchen and yells, "For God's sake, how many times do we have to go through this?
"It was Momma Bear who got up first, it was Momma Bear who woke everyone in the house, it was Momma Bear who made the coffee, it was Momma Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night, and put everything away, it was Momma Bear who went out in the cold early morning air to fetch the newspaper, it was Momma Bear who set the table, it was Momma Bear who put the cat out, cleaned the litter box, and filled the cat's water and food dish, and, now that you've decided to drag your sorry bear-behinds downstairs, and grace Momma Bear's kitchen with your grumpy presence, listen good, cause I'm only going to say this one more time...
"I HAVEN'T MADE THE PORRIDGE YET!!"