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Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to over 3,000 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.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.
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Greetings and Blessings to all,

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like bananas. No wonder the Irish had trouble with the English! In any event, we're back even later than usual. Just so much going on and never enough hours in the day. We know you will understand.

Meanwhile, we hope this edition finds you and yours as fit as a fiddle and on the pig's back. A warm welcome back and a special hello to our newest subscribers. Many thanks for joining us and if you like our musings and meanderings, please feel free to pass them along to your family and friends. We're now well on our way to 3100 members and our next goal is 5,000.

Speaking of goals - our 2006 fund drive is underway and thus far, the results are way less than underwhelming. As we've said in previous years, Bridget has this fantasy that several postal trucks will pull up and deliver numerous bags of donations just as they did on It's a Wonderful Life. Seriously though, it does take a lot of time, effort and out of pocket expenses to keep both the web site and the newsletter going. So, whatever you can spare will go a long way to helping us continue our efforts. Many thanks in advance for your kindness!

Enough of the blatherin' and beggin' - on with the update!
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IN THIS ISSUE:
News
From the Mailbag
Links of the Week
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
Joke of The Week
A Bit of the Wit
Did You Know
Irish Author/Book Quiz
The Week That Was
The Week that Will be, God Willing
Leave 'Em Laughing
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NEWS:
GENERAL:
The Irish are now richer than Americans
Our GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power is $36,360 compared with a US figure of $35,750. (If we had written this ten years ago, we would have been the laughing stock of Ireland and America!)

Boys just wanna have fun in 2006
Most Irish men have abandoned the established tradition of giving up things for the New Year and instead have vowed to take up more things they enjoy in 2006. Top of their list is s*x, going out and holidays. They also said their biggest fear is that they will see England walk away with the World Cup this summer. Not surprisingly, the survey by Coors Light showed that the thing they are least likely to do in 2006 is the ironing and housework, with 19pc vowing to do less. Em....less than what they do now?

Tour bosses advised to ditch the green fields image for Tayto and Guinness.
Red lemonade, stew and the good 'ol Irish Mammy are the amongst the best things this country has to offer, according to the Irish people themselves. Results from a public vote by the listeners of Today FM has shown that people think that the vast majority of good things about Ireland centre around the dining table. The 'green fields of Ireland' scraped into the list at number 10 behind red lemonade at nine and the Irish Mammy at eight. Stew and the traditional Irish fry-up made it into the top five but were behind Guinness which came in at number two. Surprisingly, Tayto crisps were voted the number one icon of Ireland by listeners of the Ray D'Arcy show. No individuals were deemed great enough to make it onto the list but surprisingly Aer Lingus was voted number six. The national airline was just behind the GAA, which some consider the backbone of rural communities. The only bit of Irish 'culture' which made it onto the list was Irish dancing at number seven. Some of the stranger votes which didn't make it onto the list include the ability of Irish people to put a curse word in the middle of every sentence.

The Irish Post looks back on who said what in 2005.
"I told her she didn't need to run up to hit the ball."
Former world champion Ken Doherty who was instructing Olympic winner Kelly Holmes in the art of snooker.
http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/story.asp?j=3700

2005: Memories are made of this
San Franciscan Danny Cassidy clinched his theory that jazz comes from Donegal, deriving from "teas" - soft fricative t, "cheas" - meaning heat, excitement, vigour. To read more news snippets from the past year, please click
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/opinion/story.jsp?story=674082

FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES
Antrim: City Hall celebrates centenary
In August of this year Belfast's City Hall will be celebrating its centenary, but celebrations are to begin long before then. Every school in the city will receive an invitation to the pupils to visit the building which, it is believed, has only been entered by about a quarter of Belfast's population.

Carlow: Decision time for Jacko
Johnny Nevin, who first played for his county in 1988, will decide over the next week whether he will continue playing or whether it's time to hang up his boots. Known as 'Jacko', he has been active in both hurling and football and has played more than three hundred games at county level. A member of Old Leighlin, the thirty-eight-year-old is the longest-playing senior county footballer and hurler in the country. He was named as the recipient of the GAA's President's Award last year in recognition of his services to both games.

Dublin: Another flats complex to come down
The O'Devaney Gardens flats complex, beside Phoenix Park, is to be demolished to make way for three housing developments which will accommodate four times as many people as the present dwellings.

Galway: Former Mayor RIP
One of Galway city's best loved and most colourful former mayors, Bridie O'Flaherty, passed away at her home in Mervue last Thursday at the age of 88 years.

Galway: The end of a literary era? Perhaps not
A number of international retail chains have expressed interest in leasing out Kenny's Bookshop on High Street after the family ceased trading from the prime city centre location last Saturday.

Galway: One airline grounded. Another flies high
EuroManx, the airline which ran a hugely successful service from Galway to Malaga last summer, will not be returning to the west this year, after their other two routes failed to take off. On the other hand, Aer Arann has revealed that it carried quarter of a million passengers to and from Galway Airport during 2005, representing an increase of 10% on the previous year.

Kerry: Statuesque tribute to late John B gets nod
Planning permission was sought by the John B Keane Memorial Committee for the monument at Main Street, Listowel, where the late writer lived and worked. It is one of two statues in the pipeline for Listowel's literary giants. The second one, also bronze, is to the late Bryan MacMahon and will finally be unveiled on February 12 in the castle area of the town's large square.

Leitrim: Session will remember Arigna flute player
A session organised by the Drumshanbo branch of Comhaltas, to be held on the last Friday of this month, will mark the anniversary of the death of flute player Pakie Duignan from Arigna. At last year's session in Gunnings, which was attended by musicians from Derry, Belfast, Longford, Leitrim, Roscommon and Dublin, a waltz was played in Pakie's memory by his friend Ciaran Emmett. The organisers are hoping that this year again Ciaran will play a tune in his friend's memory. The Fear an Tí for the night will be Tony Fahy.

Mayo: Island Homes To Get Firefighting Devices
Every house on the three largest inhabited islands off Co. Mayo - Clare Island, Inishturk and Inishbiggle - are to get free smoke alarms, a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket as part of a fire-prevention programme by Mayo County Council. The council decided on the initiative, which is being funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, because it is impractical to station firefighting units on the islands. Council personnel will be travelling to the islands to train people in the use of the equipment. The islands have a combined population of about 300.

Mayo: A new role for a Ballina hotel
The Moy Hotel is to take on a new lease of life as the town's library and museum. The library will be the first occupant and the museum will open in sections, with the first being a temporary gallery. The Moy was established in the 1870s and among the guests were W.B. Yeats, Douglas Hyde and J.M. Synge.

Waterford: Hollywood star pays visit to Dunmore
Richard Gere, accompanied by a Frenchman and two women, called into the Saratoga pub in Woodstown one evening last week seeking a meal, but as it was five o'clock publican Bill Doherty had to tell them that the kitchen was closed. However he suggested that the party continue on to Dunmore to dine at the Spinnaker Restaurant. The four stayed in the Saratoga for a short while, warming themselves at the fire, before travelling to Dunmore where they did, indeed, dine at The Spinnaker Restaurant, though the proprietor would give no details of their time there.

FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Boston, Massachusetts: New Ross goblet on display in Boston
An exhibition to be mounted in Boston on St Patrick's Day will include a goblet which was presented to President Kennedy on his visit to New Ross, Co. Wexford more than forty years ago. The exhibition, "A Journey Home - John F. Kennedy and Ireland", is to be mounted at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and will comprise gifts to the president from the people of Ireland as well as photographs and film footage. The silver goblet which was presented to Kennedy when he visited New Ross in 1963 had been made in Dublin in 1805; he always kept it on display in the Oval Office.

Paris, France: Longford woman takes silver
Tricia Fleming, the daughter of Elizabeth and Ollie Fleming from Rathcline in Lanesboro, won the silver medal at this year's European Yoga Championships which were held in the Salon de Bourse in Paris. The win means that Tricia will now be travelling to Los Angeles in February to take part in the International Yoga Championships, competing for the Bishnu Ghosh Cup.

USA: New paper will target young Irish-Americans
The Irish Examiner USA, will hit news-stands across the US on January 17.
It will be published every Tuesday with a print run of 10,000 copies and a cover price of $1.

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FROM THE MAILBAG
Keith writes: I have friends and associates that serve corn beef and cabbage on New Years Day every year. They all say its good luck, and some even put a dime in their cabbage for good luck. Is any of this historically true, or is this just one more twist Americans' apply to old tradition?

C. Brown asks the Meanings of HIMSELF & HERSELF. Why is on everything how and why was it started? This question has come up before - and we're not certain of the answer. One theory is that it began when the political party Sinn Fein was founded. The phrase means ourselves alone. So possibly an individual member could be called himself or herself. But we think this is purely apochryphal

Nan writes: Do you have any information on Drumhome in Donegal? Would love to visit the area some day. Can anyone help?

Noreen asks: Do you have a book/booklet of old Irish sayings in the Irish Language
Fo example: Nil aon tintean mar do thintean fein. Tog go bog e. Go ndeirigh an tadh leath. and so on. We don't. Does anyone know where she might find one?

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LINKS OF THE WEEK
The Irish Mental Health Hot Line
This one was sent in by Patrick J. Hennessey, Jr. Thank you Patrick! It is one of the funniest soundtracks we've heard in a long time. Make sure your speakers are turned on and the sound is turned up. http://www.kontraband.com/show/show.asp?ID=2118&NEXTID=0&PREVID=0&DISPLAYORDER=20050310150924&CAT=movies&NSFW=0&page=1

History Ireland Magazine
Book reviews, events, letters, local history, interviews with leading historians and sources for researching Irish history :
http://www.historyireland.com/index.html

Out and About in Ireland & the UK
If you're headed for Ireland and perhaps the British Isles as well, this link will give you a calendar of events for 2006:
http://gouk.about.com/od/whatsonin2006/

Subscriber web site spotlight
Once in a while, we like to mention a reader's web site. This time around it's our good friend Jim Crotty who is a professional photographer and a sponsor for our Trivia Contest. He wrote to say that he he will be making posters, calendars & cards available. Take a look at the beautiful prints he has on offer: (check out that wonderful chickadee)!
http://www.picturesqueohio.com/

Step into Ireland - and leave the gate open
Another good friend is Gerard McLoughlin who has provided us with several great articles. He is now offering wonderful prints of ireland and invites you to take a look (and also invite your family and friends):
http://www.assignmentsplus.com/island-of-ireland.html

Ancient monuments and megaliths
This one is from Kemberlee of All-Ireland Travel. The site owner travels all over Ireland in search of ancient monuments - the ones not easily accessible to the average tourist. There's a lot to see here.
http://www.megalithomania.com

Beautiful music
Make sure your speakers are turned on for this one which was sent to us by Hartson & Helen:
http://www.geocities.com/sunnytees/psalm.html

Finnegan
There are some that will say Finnegan is an urban myth. But we really don't care - the photos, doctored or not, are just too cute! Thanks again to Hartson for bringing Finnegan to our attention:
http://www.all-creatures.org/stories/a-finnegan.html

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

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!
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/CTDSites.woa

It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
http://www.thehungersite.com

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QUIPS, QUOTES, ANECDOTES AND TOASTS
A fine example of Irish Bull:
I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.
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FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
This one was sent in by Hartson - thanks for the laugh! We hope you find it just as funny:
Father Guffy roared from the pulpit to his | parishioners: "The drink has killed millions - it rots their stomachs and they die in agony. Smoking has killed millions - it coats your lungs and you die in agony. Overeating and consorting with loose women have also killed millions..."
" 'Scuse me, Father," hollered Reagan from the back, "but what is it that kills the people who live right?
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A BIT OF THE WIT
Heard on Midwest Irish Radio: "Ireland could be a great little country if only it had a roof over it."

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DID YOU KNOW
1. Not so long ago, there were more than 700 showbands registered in Ireland?
2. It rains about twice as much in The West of Ireland as it does in The East? (But at least you don't have to shovel it!)
3. "English follows the roads" (leanann an Bearla an tearr) was a popular expression in Ireland's rural west during the early 1800's? It referred to the large-scale building of new roads and towns in the countryside, which brought more English-speaking people to areas where only the Irish language had been spoken.

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IRISH WRITERS AND BOOKS QUIZ
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
1. House of Memories by Alice Taylor
2 Priest and Patriot: A Short Sketch of the Life of Michael Tormey, C.C. by James Tormey Clare
3. Arklow - The Story of a Town by Jim Rees (..."did we accidentally leave the author's name in?" Yes we did!)

A tip of the hat to our latest literary sleuths
Patricia Edwards
Here's a site for all you bird-lovers out there (or should I say ornithologists) - LOL!
http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/

Rita Roche
Jeannie Devine Turicik
ED. NOTE: In addition to a mention by name, you are also entitled to nominate a favourite web site - preferably Irish.

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland" - June 28-July 12
View this year's itinerary:
http://www.tours2ireland.com

Helen Dowd - Please check out my website at. By clicking on the "Literary" tab, you will be able to have a choice of reading, from the many different categories. Thanks to the many who have voted for my site.
http://www.occupytillicome.com

ED. NOTE: Helen is now less than 3,000 votes from the #4 spot!

Hartson Dowd
A good Irish site is Welcome to Eire First:
http://www.eirefirst.com/index.html

Want to see your name in our next newsletter? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following:
1. The Legends of Irish Rugby
2. Lady Gregory - An Irish Life
3. The Islands of Ireland

ED. NOTE: Many books have the same title; please keep in mind that we are looking for Irish authors or Irish-related books.
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: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
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SPONSOR:
Please help keep our web site free and visit our good friends at Lollysmith!
They would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year and look forward to serving you in 2006. You can be sure they will be doing whatever they can to bring you only the very best in Irish gifts. Browse their web site often and see what's new. Please click here:
http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?lollysmith+wSpfhS+index.html
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RIDDLE
But first, the answer to our last poser:
Q: Old Mother Suzie had but one eye,
And a long tail that she would let fly.
Every time she went over a gap,
Part of her tail would get caught in a trap.
Who is Mother Suzie?
A. A sewing needle.
As always, we had a slew of correct answers from our "Riddle People" - but first in was Joe O'Brien. Well done, Joe.
And now for our next cranium cruncher:
If overnight, he loses His head,
It will not rain on the day I wed.
Who is He?
Hint: This one is based on an old Irish superstition and there is a clue in the rhyme and the question.
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http://www.irishincense.com
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THE WEEK THAT WAS
1. Article: St. Ita - foster mother to the saints of Ireland
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ASaints/Ita.html
2. Article: Armagh - the Garden of Ulster
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACounty/Armagh.html
3. Article: The Weavers of Donegal
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AEmblem/Tweed.html
4. Article: Sure and begone and begorrah to Oirish greeting cards
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMisc/IrishCards.html
5. Book Review: Drone On - The High History of Celtic Music
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMisc/IrishCards.html
6. The Irish Kitchen - Crubeens. Finally, another traditional recipe from hartson - but, we must confess, this one has been on hold for quite some time.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/1Home.html
7. Culture Corner - The Idols of Boa Island. Scroll all the way down the page; we will be rearranging this section at some point so that the newest entries come first.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/CultureCorner/CultureCorner.html
8. Basic Irish - A New Year and a New You
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/3Focloir/Newyear.html#Gael69
9. Circle of Prayer: Our third Novena in this series began on January 13th and ends on January 21st. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we ask that you remember all those who are seriously ill, undergoing treatment, recovering from surgery or going through any number of difficult situations. We also ask that you remember the men and women in the armed forces who are so far away from their families and friends.
To join us, please visit our Novena page:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html
10. Trivia Contest. The new quiz for January has been posted, and we are pleased to welcome the return of Dublin artist, Roger Cummiskey, as a sponsor. All entries must be in by midnight on January 31st, whichever time zone you're in:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
ED. NOTE: The winner of the December contest is Kathie Chopak, USA. Well done, Kathie.

WHAT WILL BE, GOD WILLING
Some fun things are in the works. But whether or not we'll get them posted before we write again, is another story altogether. However, please still visit us every day - we'll have our regular daily and weekly updates to the news , history, quotation and the blessing (already posted in honour of St. Ita whose feast day was last Sunday.)

So, until next time, that's the long and the short of it. As Bridget's dad would say, "keep your nose clean." As her mother always said "Lovely" - no matter what. And, as we say, good on both of them RIP. We miss them and Russ' parents very much.

Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or special event this coming week? May it be filled with joy. And no matter what the week brings you, may God wrap you and yours in His loving mantle of care and protection. But, as they say in Ireland, help the Good Lord out and "mind yourself!"

Slan agus beannacht
Bridget & Russ
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
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DONATION DRIVE 2006
WHEN A LOT OF PEOPLE GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
If you enjoy reading our newsletter or visiting the website, please support our efforts and send whatever you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is:
http://www.paypal.com
and our email address is:
bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
Many thanks in advance for your kindness
All donations over $20.00 will receive a package of Irish flower seeds from Dingle, Co. Kerry.
Go raibh maith agat to Katy Parle - your Irish wildflower seeds will be on their way soon.
Also, a special mention to Regina - last time we said your last name was Dolan and it's Nolan. Our apologies.
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EVENTS
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 george@thewildgeese.com. 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 events@thewildgeese.com, fax: 208-978-9998. Deadline: The third Wednesday of the month for the following month's edition. Also visit The Wild Geese at:
http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html

If you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:
http://www.irishtravelideas.com/

Bellevue Kentucky - every Sunday at 10 pm
The B List pub owned by our son Ben haggerty is hosting Impromptu Irish music sessions. All are welcome. For more details, contact Ben at:
benhaggerty2002@yahoo.com

Texas January 17-January 24
Waltz Across texas Chieftains Tour
the Lone Star trek will highlight the group's most ambitious tour ever of the American southwest. For further info' , please click:
http://www.thechieftains.com

Houston, Texas - February 26
Gathering of the Celts sponsored by The Celtic Chorus of Houston in conjunction with St. Andrew's Celtic Festival - Houston Heights. For more information, please contact
diannashipman@att.net

Houston, Texas - March 30
Role Of Irish Americans In The History Of American Catholicism- A Lecture By Dr. David O'Brien For more information, contact Lori Gallagher, Director ! of the Center for Irish Studies, at 713-525-3592 or irishstudies@stthom.edu.

Leesburg, Virginia - June 17th & 18th
The Potomac Celtic Festival in Leesburg VA is changing the June 2006 show date from heat (2nd weekend) to rain (3rd weekend) and competing with Father's Day. Come on out anyhow. For more details, please click:
http://www.potomaccelticfest.org/

Inishmore, Galway
Celtic Spirit Culture Weeks on Inshmore
Check out the progammed for 2006 http://www.celticexperience.net

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LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING
A few short ones:

Liam asked his grandma how old she was. Grandma answered, "Thirty-nine and holding."Liam thought for a moment and then said, "And how old would you be if you let go?"

A little boy in church for the first time watched as the ushers passed around the offering plates. When they came near his pew, the boy said loudly, "Don't pay for me, Daddy. I'm under five."

A man in a hurry taking his eight-year-old son to school made a turn at a red light where it was prohibited. "Uh-oh, I think I just made an illegal turn!" the man said. "It's okay, Dad," the boy said, "The police car right behind us did the same thing."

Sean (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mom goodnight. "I love you so much, that when you die I'm going to bury you outside my bedroom window."

The teacher came up with a maths problem. "Suppose," she asked her class of seven-year olds, "there were a dozen sheep and six of them jumped over a fence. How many would be left?"
"None," answered Patrick, the son of a local farmer. "None? Patrick, you don't know your arithmetic." I do so, Miss. Murphy. And you don't know your sheep. When one goes, they all go!"