Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1900 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,
We hope this edition finds you and yours in good health, good spirits and good company. A warm welcome back to everyone, and a special hello to our newest subscribers. Many thanks for signing up and please feel free to pass along our musings and meanderings to your family and friends.
As for ourselves, the cicadas have arrived - but, so far, they're few and far between. We spotted the first two or three in the back yard last Thursday. Certainly, a bit of a let-down after days and days of the media warning us about billions of them emerging - the implication being that they'd all come out at once, which we knew wasn't true. However, if our experience of 17 years ago is anything to go by, soon there will be swarms of 'em all over the place for the next month or so. During the last emergence, a survey in our hometown estimated there were as many as 50 to 100 cicadas per square yard in some parts of the city.
On her first trip to the states, Bridget's mother was kept awake at night by the crickets; can't imagine what she'd think of the racket cicadas make! Fact is, researchers say the chorus from one colony's male insects can be so loud that it can drown out outdoor wedding events, graduation ceremonies and golf tournaments; there is also a legitimate warning about damage to your hearing if you listen to them for long periods of time. Where did we put those earplugs we once had to protect ourselves against the noise our teenage kids called music?
Speaking of kids, we went to our first Grandparent's Day at our granddaughter Caity's school. She's in kindergarten, and while it was lots of fun, we were exhausted when we got home.
Enough about us...
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
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In news from Ireland:
Antrim: The Union Street Bar, one of Belfast's newest bars, has been named as the winner of the award for Best New Bar at the AM:PM Theme Bar and Restaurant Awards in Dublin.
Clare: Miltown Malbay man Chris Sexton, a farmer and donkey breeder, has set up a matchmaking agency to find wives from the Philippines for lonely Irish countrymen. Chris, in his mid-sixties, set up the East-West Matchmaking Agency with Behbie Carpendale, herself from the Philippines, and on his first trip there he found himself a bride.
Cork: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mr John Hume has proposed that the Government issue certificates of Irishness for all people in the world who claim Irish extraction. Mr Hume was speaking at a ceremony in Cork where he was conferred with the freedom of the city.
Derry: On May 21, a celebration will take place to mark the landing close to the city of one of the world's first women aviators. Amelia Earhart Day will mark the aviator's landing at Gallagher's Field in 1932.
Down: Coca-Cola became Coke O'Cola last week when an Irishman took over the most famous brand in the world. Neville Isdell, originally from Downpatrick, has been named as Coca-Cola's new chairman and chief executive.
Dublin: The average price of a second-hand home increased by 19.5% to almost 373,000 last year.
Fermanagh: Portora Grammar School will be the setting at the end of next month for Project Oscar Wilde, a weekend of entertainment to mark the writer's association with the Enniskillen school and the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his birth.
Kerry: Killarney is getting to be like New York, Cllr Pat F. O'Connor (FF) told Tuesday night's meeting of the town council. A move by developers to rezone residential land on the outskirts of Killarney to allow for an unspecified mix of commercial and residential development met strong opposition from some town councillors.
Kerry: Castleisland is a radioactive hotspot according to a new survey published by the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland. A large number of homes tested there had high levels of radon.
Limerick: One of Ireland's most precious wildlife sanctuaries will be located on the grounds of the Swiss-owned Aughinish Alumina plant and along the Shannon Estuary in west Limerick. According to Geoff Hunt, chairman of the Limerick branch of Birdwatch Ireland, the area is already home to one of the most populated bird sites on the Shannon or Fergus estuaries and has significant numbers of dunlin, shelduck, lapwing and golden plover.
Tipperary: What is believed to be the oldest man-made structure in Munster, the court cairn at Shanballedmond near Rearcross, is in urgent need of refurbishment according to local residents and historians. Dating back more than six thousand years, the court cairn was excavated forty-five years ago and was acquired from a local farmer by the county council in order that it could be developed into a public amenity park. Information boards were displayed in the park but since that time the area has deteriorated and the council is being urged to carry out the necessary refurbishment.
Wexford: Two Rosbercon landmarks have been demolished in order to make room for a new apartment and retail complex. Former proprietors Nick and Cathy O'Brien watched through tears in their eyes as their former home and business, Nick O'Brien's pub and Jack Roche's, were torn down.
Wicklow: A church hall converted into a three-room cottage, in the Glen of Imaal near Donard, is on the market for a price of £450,000. Old Church Hall was built in 1888 by Fitzwilliam Hume Dick, MP, and his name remains engraved in cut stone over the Gothic arched door.
News from all over:
Connecticut USA: Pint O'Guinness Keeps Doc Away; according to a recent study,if the guidelines are less alcohol, fewer calories, fewer carbohydrates and, to top it off, protection against heart attacks, blindness and maybe even impotence, then Guinness drinkers win hands down. Guinness, in fact, is lower in alcohol, calories and carbohydrates than Samuel Adams, Budweiser, Heineken and almost every other major-brand beer not classified as light or low-carb. It has fewer calories and carbohydrates than low-fat milk and orange juice, too.
Washington DC: Legislation that would secure the necessary federal charter for a $50 million Museum of Irish America has been introduced on Capitol Hill. Rep. James Walsh, chairman of the Friends of Ireland group in Congress, has put together a bill that would allow the New Jersey-based Irish American Cultural Institute to establish the museum in the nation's capital.
Pittsburgh, PA: If your family tree includes ancestors who journeyed to the Pittsburgh region to escape the Irish potato famine of the mid-1800s, Dana Schultz, of Findlay, would like to hear from you. Schultz is one of 15 teachers nationwide selected to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar on Irish famine immigrants. "I don't have a specific family in mind. I would really like to trace a family that came to the Pittsburgh region," said Schultz. If you know of a family who immigrated to the Pittsburgh region to escape the Irish potato famine, you can contact Schultz at email@example.com.
From the mailbag:
Our friend George who manages the Irish Heritage newsletter and website tells us that the Irish Heritage committee is sponsoring a raffle with all proceeds going to Holy Cross School in Belfast.There are some terrific prizes on offer and the cost is just $3.00 a ticket. For more details, please click
We were delighted once again to be able to send free shamrock seeds to a generous donor in Massachusetts. Thank you! As we say at the end of our emails, your donations help us from going Erin go broke. We're glad to accept any amount, and, as an added incentive, for gifts of $25.00 or more, you will receive a packet of genuine shamrock seeds from Ireland. Please send whatever you can to Haggertys at 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. We also have a PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org Go raibh maith agat!
Links of the week:
Games we played - Remember Red Rover? Or Relieve-E-O? For a nostalgic look back at what Irish kids used to play, click here:
Have you family ties to Donegal, Leitrim or Sligo? If so, you are invited to log onto:
to help create a database of the Diaspora from these counties. All names registered by May 31, 2004 will be entered into a draw for a choice of weekend breaks in the North West.
US-Ireland Alliance partners with eBay for an Irish auction
The US-Ireland Alliance, the Washington, DC-based non-partisan, non-profit organisation which administers the George J.Mitchell Scholarship Program, will hold its first auction using the popular eBay website this month. Items on sale include a private concert with singer Maura O'Connell, a three-night stay for two at the Parknasilla hotel in Kerry, and signed copies of George Mitchell's book "Making Peace" A full and detailed listing of all auction items can be found at:
Bidding opens on May 17 for ten days.
Hartson sent us an intriguing site that puts things in perspective. Get a look at the big (and small) picture here:
Irish Greeting Cards. While Irish Corner is still our favorite, this site offers sound bites from Irish radio stations:
Penny R sent us the OneLook Reverse Dictionary. Fascinating concept - try it out for yourself:
And last, but definitely 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!
Enough of the blither and blather - on with the update:
IN THIS ISSUE:
A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
A BIT O' THE WIT
Rome wasn't built in A.D. Flann O'Brien
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
A Protestant tourist on holiday in Ireland, liked to bet on horses. However, while at the Curragh, he lost money on every race. Toward the end of the day he noticed a Catholic priest take out a bottle of holy water and sprinkle it on one of the horses. After the horse won ten to one, the Protestant kept a watchful eye on the priest and when he saw him bless another horse, he placed a very large bet on that particular horse. But halfway around the course the horse dropped dead. "What went wrong, Father?" he asked. "Why didn't your blessing work on the second horse?" "Oh well you see now," the priest replied, "not only do you have to be a good judge of horses, you have to know the difference between a blessing and the last rites."
With thanks to John who is the author of an Irish joke book titled:"A Bit of the Blarney." It contains over 300 of the world's funniest jokes and anecdotes. Cost is $10 including surface mail and shipping and handling, plus a signed copy to a named individual, if desired. For more info, you can contact John at: Johnoc29@aol.com
DID YOU KNOW
1.A monkey appears on the FitzGerald coat of arms in tribute to the family pet which rescued the infant 1st Earl of Kildare from a fire at Kilkea castle in the 14th century?
2.On the thirtieth anniversary of the Munich air disaster which wiped out the famous 'Busby Babes' football team, Manchester United played Coventry? What makes it eerily memorable is that the only goal of the game was scored by United's new Irish signing Liam O'Brien at 3.04 pm - the exact moment of impact three decades before.
3.According to legend, the hair of anyone who swims in Calliagh Berras Lough on Slieve Gullion in Co. Armagh will turn grey overnight?
QUIPS, QUOTES & ANECDOTES - PROVERBS, CURSES AND TOASTS, TOO!
Inis do Mháire i gcógar é,
is inseoidh Mháire dó phóbal é.
Tell it to Mary in a whisper,
and Mary will tell it to the parish. Irish Proverb
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at the The Irish Lottery:
Did you know that 34 Millionaires were created by the Irish lottery in 2003? You could be next! One of the most trusted lotteries in the world, drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are tax-free. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! Please click here for full details:
KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS & IRISH-RELATED BOOKS?
To start off, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. Mothers and Daughters - David Marcus
2. Motherland - Caledonia Kearns
3. Mother Ireland - Edna O'Brien
Clap your feet for this week's irish bibliophiles:
Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" - May 25 - June 8, 2004
View this year's itinerary:
Please visit my website:
The Swift Guide to Ireland, the premier guide to Ireland and the Irish on the web:
Goverment of Ireland website - brilliant compilation of information:
If you're planning a trip to Ireland, this site could be very helpful:
If you can't be physically in Dublin to visit the National Gallery, this site almost puts you there:
Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy. Who wrote:
1. Shadowy Heroes: Irish Literature of the 1890s
2. Great Irish Heroes
3. A Cut Above the Rest: Irish Sporting Heroes
Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and a great book about the Irish - from Sinner's to Saint's - here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=irishcultucus-20&path=tg/detail/-/0452281032/qid%3D1084031606/sr%3D1-1
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. 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!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing. NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: email@example.com
THIS WEEK'S RIDDLE
To begin with, the answer to last week's head-banger:
Q Pronounced as one letter,
And written with three,
Two letters there are,
And two only in me.
I'm double, I'm single,
I'm black, blue, and gray,
I'm read from both ends,
And the same either way.
What am I?
Answer: Eye. Well done to Clara Byrne who was first in with the correct answer. And, now for this week's brain-bruiser:
Q. What kind of cheese is made backwards?
NEW OR FEATURED ON OUR HOME PAGE:
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. Republished - Article: St. Brendan the Navigator
3. Republished - Article: Uisce Beatha - The Water of Life!
4. Republished - Article: Is Your Shillelagh a Sham?
5. Republished - Article: My Pipe of Irish Clay
6. Republished - Article: Driving in Ireland - Part 1
7. New - Basic Irish: This week's lesson is on food and drink from A to C
8. Featured - Genealogy Q & A
9. Featured - Article: In Search of Ancestors
10. On-Going - May Trivia Contest. As they say in the Irish Lotto, you can't win it if you're not in it, so send your entry before May 31. All entries must be in by midnight, whatever time zone you're in.
11. On-Going - Our seventh Novena in this cycle began on May 7th and continues through today. Our eighth Novena begins on May 16. Please continue to remember Keith Matt Maupin being held hostage in Iraq and all members of our military serving there and all over the world, especially the children of personal friends, Paul and Ashley. We also ask that you continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Debbie's family, Mary Jo Mauchen, Jane Leo, Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Bertha, Rita, Lindsey, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and the Mulligans.
12. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for today and the past week. Note that we do our best to find the "good news"!
13. On-going -This month in Irish History:
14. Father's Day is coming up on June 20; we have a nice selection of gifts in our Men's Shop:
NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING:
Per the usual routine, we'll publish a new blessing tomorrow, refresh the home page on Monday (new recipe as well) and post a new quote on Wednesday. News and history will be updated daily.
So that's the long and the short of it, except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - many of em' frivolous, but some serious: Today is Armed Forces Day, Peace Officers Memorial Day and Hug Your Cat Day; May 16 is St. Brendan's Feast Day, Love a Tree Day, and the anniversary of Fiana Fáil's founding in 1926; Monday is Maureen O'Sullivan's birthday; Tuesday is International Museum Day, No Dirty Dishes Day and Visit Your Relatives Day. May 19 is Employee Health & Fitness Day, Boy's Club Day and National Bike to Work Day; it's also St. Dunstan's Feastday. According to legend, St. Dunstan made a pact with the devil to spare apple and pear blossoms from late frosts nine years out of ten. In the tenth year, there was a frost on this day. May 20 is Good Neighbor Day and National Be a Millionaire Day (better play the Irish lottery!), and last but not least, May 21 is National Memo Day and National Waiters and Waitresses 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's coming up for the rest of the month? Check out:
Until next time, may the Good Shepherd of us all keep you and yours safe from all harm - 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
Our email address there is firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $25! 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 - 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:
ReJoyce Dublin 2004
Celebrating the centenary of Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce's masterpiece "Ulysses" is set. Ireland is planning a world-class, five-month festival lasting until 31 August 2004. For more details, click
Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey - May 22
The Irish Federation of Monmouth County, New Jersey is holding a Spring Dance from 8PM - 12AM at the VFW on Cliffwood Ave, Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey. $20.00 per person. Music by Irish Band "Round the House." For more information, please contact Gail at Roscom1lass@aol.com
6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st
For full details please visit our website at:
or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com
Dundrum, Dublin - June 1-June 20
Noted Dublin artist, Roger Cummiskey, invites you to an exhibition of his paintings based on the writings and wanderings of James Joyce. Exhibition will be held at The Airfield Trust, Upper Kilmacud Road. For more details, visit Roger's website at:
June 7th through 14th - 100 Years of the Abbey Theatre in Galway and Dublin. Trip includes 3 nights in Galway and 3 nights in Dublin. For more information, contact Kathleen Dixon Donnelly, Ph.D at email@example.com
Fishtown/Philadelphia - June 12
2nd Support Our Troops Rally sponsored by the A.O.H/L.A.O.H Division 51 will take place at noon in Penn Treaty Park.
For more details, contact PHBowdrenSr@aol.com
Baltimore, Maryland - June 23
Frank McNamara, Ireland's beloved Maestro, will be conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance with his newest venture, The American Tenors, at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. For more details, please click
7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th
For details, please write firstname.lastname@example.org
or click on the following link:
Co. Sligo, Ireland - September
The Sligo Heritage and Genealogy centre is hosting a 4 day international conference on Irish genealogy, heritage and culture. Even if you come from another county, this conference will be of interest as experts in various fields of study from all over Ireland will be speaking on a wide range of topics. Preliminary details of the conference are available at:
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