Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to more than 3300 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:
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Greetings & blessings to all,
So here we are again after yet another fortnight has flown by and us scratching our heads wondering where the time went! What with doing taxes, spring cleaning, visits to the doctor, and dentist , shopping trips and a host of other distractions, our newsletter has fallen lower and lower on the priority list when in fact, we'd rather be writing to you or working on the web site.
Actually, we do do a bit of work on the site each day, updating the headlines Sunday through Saturday, posting a new blessing on Sundays and a quotation on Wednesdays. So, all is not neglected.
Onwards or we'll be late again next time. As Bridget's mother used to say when her brothers and sisters dawdled going to Mass "you'll be so late going you'll meet yourself coming back!"
We hope this edition finds you in good spirits. good health and good company. We also hope and pray that if you live to our south, especially in Tennessee, you and your loved ones survived the terrible tornadoes we had recently. Once again, the Ohio Valley escaped the brunt of the bad weather. Russ maintains it's because of the pollution that the storms can't get through!! In any event, we know better as we have experienced funnel sightings as well as touch downs. Very humbling to witness the power of Mother Nature when she's hell-bent on destruction.
Today, however, we're blessed with almost perfect spring weather. It's a bit windy, but it's warm and dry. And the fragrance from the hyacinths, magnolia blossoms and our ancient plums is almost overwhelming. That is NOT a complaint! If we could only bottle it!
Enough of our blitherin' - on with the update!
Please help us to keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox - visit our good fiends at the Celtic Attic Easter and Mother's Day are almost upon us. We have some wonderful chocolates available for Easter and some lovely gifts for your dear Mums. Don't forget your wee ones or your Mum's... Shop Celtic Attic for all your holiday needs.
If you missed out on your St. Patrick's Day shopping, don't worry, be happy! We have delightful Shamrock and Leprechaun gifts all year long! http://www.celticattic.com/treasures/home_decor/shamrocks_and_leprechauns.htm
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
John McGahern RIP
We mourn the passing of one of the greatest chroniclers of Irish life. He was buried in his beloved Co. Leitrim and, according to his wishes, the only sound at the graveside was the praying of the rosary and the song of the birds.
Is putting Marmite into squeezy tubes tragic news?
It has been reported that the makers of Marmite are planning to put it into squeezy tubes, abandoning the traditional thick brown glass jars. Do you think squeezy tubes are better? Click here to offer your opinion:
FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES
Antrim: New ferry to Lough Neagh island
The largest island on Lough Neagh is now accessible to the general public with the introduction of a passenger boat undertaking regular crossings. Ram's Island features the ruins of a one thousand year old round tower as well as the remains of a 19th century house.
Antrim: World Irish Dancing Championships hit Belfast
Over 4,000 Irish dancers are taking part in the 36th Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne, or World Irish Dancing Championships, in the Waterfront Hall. The event will run until Easter Sunday.
Carlow: Rathoe farm yields record price
A farm at Rathoe which was sold by public auction last week fetched a total of 4.075m, or 37,000 an acre, a record price for land in the county.
Dublin: President at opening of new Quaker meeting house
President Mary McAleese attended a special meeting for worship at the new headquarters of the Religious Society of Friends in Stocking Lane. The meeting marked the official opening of the Quaker House, which includes a historical library containing records of all the births, marriages and deaths in Ireland's Quaker community since the seventeenth century. Two years ago Quakers celebrated the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of their arrival in Ireland.
Galway: We've had the moving statues, now it's the moving cross
Recently, someone unscrewed a metal cross from its base in St Nicholas' Collegiate Church in Galway and it was some time later that the theft was discovered by Rev. Patrick Towers. He spoke of the church's loss on local radio and almost immediately received a phone call from the sacristan of Galway Cathedral, just across the Corrib, to say that she had the cross safely put away. She had found it on a bench in the cathedral after a man had had to be removed by gardai, and had presumed that it belonged in the cathedral.
Kildare: Preparations continue for Ryder Cup
The arrival of the Ryder Cup in the K Club in Straffan in September is leading to continuing preparations in the area. The latest is the granting of permission for a temporary bus park and a new access road at Bawnogues.
Kilkenny: People in favour of commemoration
With some eighty per cent of people surveyed in Kilkenny being in favour of a commemoration of the Easter Rising, a ceremony is due to be held in Kyteler's Inn on Kieran Street on Easter Sunday morning. The selection of the Inn is particularly apt as it was the regular meeting place of the Volunteers. The Mayor of Kilkenny, Marie Fitzpatrick, and Councillor Ó hArgain will read the Proclamation in English and Irish respectively, followed by the raising of both the national flag by an officer from James Stephens' Barracks and the Starry Plough, to mark the Irish Citizen Army's part in the rising.
Limerick: Property for someone with imagination
The old railway station at Templeglantine has recently been put on the market and the Station House is a building which will require imagination to bring it to accommodation standards. The house was constructed more than one hundred years ago and was part of the station until 1952.
Roscommon: Acting laurels for Knockcroghery Macra
The drama group from Knockcroghery Macra took the title of Macra na Feirme National Drama Champions for 2006 for their performance of "Split Ends". Their win comes after a series of past successes, over Athboy, Co. Meath, Clonakilty and Ballincollig in Co. Cork, Kilkenny City and Tarmonbarry.
Sligo: Final farewell for Sligo's last tin-man
Recently, a glass-sided hearse drawn by two plumed black horses made its way through Sligo on the last journey for eighty-two-year-old Tommy Lawrence. The funeral procession of Tommy, a settled Traveller and the last of the tin-can makers, followed an eight-kilometre route that took in his first house and his final residence in Maugheraboy; it also drove past O'Neill's on Church Hill, Tommy's local pub. The procession followed the funeral Mass at Sligo Cathedral where, on the previous evening, prayers were led by Bishop Christopher Jones of Elphin.
Waterford: A seal of approval
Recently, some five hundred children from Glór na Mara school in Tramore happily endured a soaking when they visited the beach to witness the release of a seal into the sea. Finbarr, the North Atlantic Grey Seal, was rescued from a beach in Wexford almost two months ago and was nursed back to health by the Irish Seal Sanctuary. While waiting for him to make his way into the water the children were caught unawares by the waves and received a drenching, but no one seemed to mind in the least.
Wexford: Grandad knits the christening gown
Wexford Councillor Sean Óg Doyle is breaking the mould of nana knitting the christening gown and shawl for the granddaughter. He will be the one outfitting his granddaughter Sorcha. Sean learnt the art from his own father, Ed Doyle, who was not only an accomplished hand knitter but also took up machine knitting in later life.
Wicklow: Plaque unveiled at St Joseph's
A plaque was unveiled at St Joseph's Church in Baltinglass last week to mark the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the church.
Wicklow: Two national park areas united
A part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, until now in two separate blocks, will be united following the sale of more than sixteen hundred acres of land to the Government by Garech Browne. The Guinness family member has sold a part of his Luggala estate roughly the size of Phoenix Park, running from the Sally Gap, and it is a mixture of blanket bog and wet and dry heath.
ED NOTE: Most of the above news items are from The Irish Emigrant. Space does not alllow us to print them all. To read every item, please click
Please help us keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox and visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
In stock right now, great gift ideas for Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduations First Communions, Christenings and more. also on order, more genuine blackthorn sticks from the same man himself who hand-crafted and presented them as gifts to President Kennedy and many other famous personages. Take a look at these and the many other unique items on offer. Please click
FROM THE MAILBAG
Get well Greetings: Bridget would like tothank all of you who sent in speedy receovery messages. The latest report frpm the doctor is that the arm is 80% healed so there should be no problem hoisting a glass of Jacob's Creek Chardonnay on Easter!
New Subscribers: We've had another lovely uptick in new readers. many thanks for joining us and we hope you will forward our musings and meanderings on to your family and friends.
Doors of Dublin: Have you seen the re-issue of the original poster on our web site? Bob Fearon, the man who came up with the original idea is totally baffled because our site is the only place where he's advertised this very unique special edition and not a single poster has been sold. We're just as baffled as he is. Would anyone care to offer an opinion as to why it isn't' selling like hot cakes? keep in mind this is the ORIGINAL sanctioned by the Irish Tourist Board - not a cheap imitation. We have a copy and it's just magnificent. Take a look - and also keep in mind that it's printed on heavy card stock - not your usual flimsy poster paper:
St. Patrick's Blue: We've had no responses to the origins and we would dearly love to clear this up. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Last time Matt asked: Does anyone know how to calculate the following: If one parent is 75% Irish and 25% Dutch, and the second parent is 100% Irish, what will the children be?
We had quite a few responses who all agreed that the children would be
87.5% Irish and 12.5% Dutch. Many thanks to all of you who came to our assistance. (Bridget in particular is very mathematically challenged!)
Tracey writes: Recently I found out I have a brother. We have been swapping stories about my mom's family. I sent him a card of Kilkenny Castle. He told me that he has been trying to locate a penpal from Kilkenny that he used to write to when he still lived in Pennsylvania. He got shipped to Vietnam and never had the chance to let her know. He has been attempting to locate her ever since. That was in 1964. her name was Bridget Kleeson (kleason?). His name is Gary Brown, he is 62 years old, a retired teacher with 2 daughters and wife. He now lives in Alabama. Do you think we could post this in newsletter for possible contact? . Thanks!
ED. NOTE: Tracey is willing to share her last name and email address if anyone has any info.
Read about the 1916 Proclamation and listen to audio clips here:
City skylines from around the world
Is your city here? Fascinating web site sent in by our friend Hartson:
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
In honour of it being tax day in the USA on April 15th, here's an appropriate quote:
"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination." Ronald Reagan
BTW, because April 15th is on a Saturday, if you're mailing in your tax return, it can be post-marked as late as midnight on Monday, April 17th.
BIT OF THE WIT
A lovely housekeeping tip from our good friend Judith Flynn:
Always keep a grand display of get-well cards on the mantle-piece. That way, when people drop in unexpectedly and the house is a smather entirely, you can tell them you've been ill. (And won't they feel guilty because they didn't send you a card?)
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
If you find this one a little bit risqué, please direct all of your complaints to Hartson. Thank you.
Making Money for the Church
Father Murphy was a priest in a very poor parish and asked for suggestions as to how he could raise money for the church. He was told that the horse owner always had money, so he went to the horse auction, but made a very poor buy, as the horse turned out to be a donkey.
However, he thought he might as well enter the donkey in a race. The donkey came in third, and the next morning, the headlines in the paper read:
FATHER MURPHY'S ASS SHOWS
The Archbishop saw the paper and was greatly displeased. The next day, the donkey came in first and the headlines read:
FATHER MURPHY'S ASS OUT IN FRONT
The Archbishop was up in arms. Something had to be done. Father Murphy had entered the donkey again and it had come in second. The headlines read.
FATHER MURPHY'S ASS BACK IN PLACE
This was too much for the Archbishop, so he forbade the priest to enter the donkey in any more races. The headlines then read:
ARCHBISHOP SCRATCHES FATHER MURPHY'S ASS
Finally, the Archbishop ordered Father Murphy to get rid of the donkey. He was unable to sell it, so he gave it to Sister Agatha for a pet. The Archbishop ordered her to dispose of the animal at once. She sold it for ten dollars. Next day, the headlines read:
SISTER AGATHA PEDDLES ASS FOR TEN DOLLARS
They buried the Archbishop three days later.
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish
There was NO winner in Wednesday night's drawing which means Sunday's jackpot will exceed four million Euro! Imagine what you could do with that! And to improve your chances of winning, they have compiled a STATS section based on previous draws. So enter now - you don't have to live in Ireland to play, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! You can't win it if you're not in it, so go visit their totally re-vamped web site! Please click her for full details:
DID YOU KNOW
1. The GPO - General Post Office - was designed by Francis Johnston, one of the most celebrated Irish architects of the later Georgian period? It was officially opened in 1818.
2. While the interior of the GPO was destroyed by fire after persistent shelling, the main frontage escaped serious damage? Under the new Irish Government, reconstruction of the GPO began in 1925 and the building as it is now was re-opened in 1929.
3. The three statues on the top of the GPO are Mercury, Hibernia and Fidelity? They are 1993 replicas of the originals sculpted by John Smyth in the early 1800s.
DO YOU KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS?
(Or books on Irish-related topics?)
1. Patrick Pearse and the Politics of Redemption: The Mind of the Easter Rising, 1916
2. Dublin Castle and the 1916 Rising
3. Our own red blood: The story of the 1916 rising
Send in your answers and if you get two out of three correct, we'll list your name and website (or your favorite Irish website) in our next newsletter.
In the meantime, here are the answers to our last quiz:
1. Endurance: heroic Journeys in Ireland by Dermot Somers
2. The Sailor in the Wardrobe by Hugo Hamilton
3. The Emigrants Farewell by Liam Browne
Hats off to our brilliant Irish bibliophiles:
An enjoyable Irish Website is :
ED. NOTE: We couldn't agree more! We try to tune in every day and endeavour not to monopoloize the request line. Recently, they played several songs Bridget hadn't heard since she was a little girl growing up in England, including Ruby Murray singing Goodbye Jimmy, Good Bye. She's not afraid to admit that the tears were flowing as she remembered sitting in the little living room, her dad at the table and her mum by the fire sitting in the armchair. Those were the days before her family had a TV and the entertainment centre was the radiogram - an imposing piece of furniture that had both a radio and a turntable for records. Quite the technological advancement in those days. The biggest problem was which station to tune in to. On Sunday's, mum wanted Desert Island Favourites, Dad wanted to hear the football results and Bridget just had to listen to top of the pops on Radio Luxembourg. One programme the entire family could all agree on was Strike it Rich with Eamonn Andrews!
First time writing to you,; I am in Tucson at this time working, but will return to Europe this weekend.
ED NOTE: Welcome to our list of Irish literary sleuths, Brian. We hope to hear from you again!
Many thanks to all of you who continue to vote for my web site. Please visit and vote every day if you can.
ED NOTE: We are so excited! Helen is closing in on third place on the Top Christian sites listing with a little more than a thousand votes to go. As Mayor Daly of Chicago once said, vote early, vote often - except that they won't let you do that! You only get to vote once a day. So be sure to put it on your calendar and make it a part of your 'daily' routine.
All of my wonderful feline companions and I share what life is like - living in a multi-cat household. It will be a journey you won't soon forget!
Tour Glorious Ireland June 28 - July 12, 2006
Dublin educated and a frequent visitor to Ireland, Déirdre is carrying on the family tradition begun by her late father, Dr. Eoin McKiernan, founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute. As a retired pastoral and campus minister, she brings an added emphasis to the personal touch with which the McKiernan name is associated.
First off, the answer to our recent brain bruiser:
Q:What is the only English word with two synonyms that are antonyms of each other?
A: Cleave. (adhere and separate)
Perhaps this one was a bit more of a challenge than usual as we had just a few correct answers. Well done to all of the riddle people who got it right but first place is claimed by Clara Byrne way up north in Newfoundland. Well done Clara and we hope all that snow has finally melted.
And now for our next mind-mangler:
Bridie promised to take her daughter Biddy shopping on the day before the fourth day after the day after tomorrow. If today is Sunday the 3rd. On what day and date will Biddy take Bridie shopping?
THE WEEK THAT WAS
1. Article: Palm Sunday in Old Ireland http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/PalmSunday.html
2. Basic Irish: Phrases and words related to Lent & Easter
3. The Irish Kitchen: An Irish Easter
4. Article: The Borrowed Days
5. Poetry Corner: Flann O'Brien
6. Article:Inishmurray: Land of Gael, Stone & Fire
7. Article: Landmarks Commemoratng the 1916 Rising
8. Article: The Doors of Dublin
9. Kids' Ireland: The Selfish Giant
10. Circle of Prayer. Our 3rd Novena in this cycle began on April 4 and will continue through April 12. So many are in need of our prayers - family and friends who are ill, in the hospital, going through so many different situations and difficulties. Specifically, we ask that you remember Peggy, Peggy's mother madeline, Sarah's grandmother Nell, Jane, Mickey, and also Linda Langerfeld. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please count your blessings and ask God to hear your prayers and intercessions for those less fortunate. And please don't forget to ask the Good Shepherd of us all to watch over our men and women serving in the military all over the world. Our friend Audrey sent in the name of a young man she knew who was injured - but we can't track it down. Please just pray for them all that God will bring them home and that they will recover. To join us every morning or whenever time permits, please click
11. April Trivia Contest . Have entered yet? All entries must be in by midnight, April 30th. Please click
NOTE: The winner of our March contest is Mindy Grazulis from the USA. Congratulations, Mindy!
12: Letter of the Month: Did we choose a letter from you? If you're a Kate from Canada, it could be yours!
13. Easter Shop. There's still time to send flowers for Easter. And if you request next day delivery, you could also get other goodies delivered by the weekend. Take a look:
4. Kids' Ireland Culture Corner - Easter Egg customs in old ireland
THE WEEK THAT WILL BE - GOD WILLING
We posted some more Easter-related articles and Bridget's thinking about hatching apiece on games kids used to play on Easter Sunday in old Ireland. We'll try to get itposted before the weekend. As for the week after Easter, we're not sure what we're up to yet. You'll just have to visit every day to see what's new. Of course, that's always true for the news and headlines! On Sunday we'lll have a special Easter Blessing. We'll have a new quote next Wednesday, a brand new kid's story and another recipe. So please do visit the web site often. Since St. patrick's Day, our numbers haver been in the outhouse.
So that 's about the long and the short of it until we write again. If you're celebrating a special event in the next week or so, we hope it is a blessed and joyous occasion. And if you'll be on the road for the Easter holoiday weekend, including the bank holiday on Monday, safe journey there and safe journey home.
In the meantime, we'll do our best get a special edition out to you for Easter Sunday, but if that doesn't happen:
May the blessings of Easter be on you
Irish: Beannachtaí Ná Cásca ort (singular) or oraibh (plural)
Pronunciation: Bann-akh-thee nah caw-skah urth (singular) or ur-iv (plural)
And for all of our Jewish friends, peace to your home, joy to your heart and Happy Passover.
Slan agus beannacht, and has they say in Ireland, mind yourself!
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
IF MANY GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE WILL BECOME A LOT
If you would like to help us keep our newsletter and the web site coming at no cost, 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.
Check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate our efforts - or theirs.
Kernersville, NC, April 14 through - July 12, 2006
James C. Williams Photography Exhibit
Opening reception Friday April 28, from 7-9 PM
Grace Presbyterian Church
360 Hopkins Rd. 27284
Phone 336-993-1305 and fax 336-993-1313
To view samples of his work, go to:
and follow the link at the bottom of the homepage
LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING
No word of a lie, Bridget just bought a Video tape and CD - "Beginners Irish Dancing." She broke her arm, so she thought she might as well break her legs and feet, too If that doesn't make you laugh, maybe this will:
Prayers from out of the mouths of babes - sent in by Hartson:
1. Dear God, please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter.
There is nothing good in there now. Amanda
2. Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. Joyce
3. Dear Mr. God, I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart I had to have 3 stitches and a shot. Janet
4. God, I read the bible. What does beget mean? Nobody will tell me. Love Alison
5. Dear God, how did you know you were God? Who told you? Charlene
6. Dear God, is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house? Anita
7. Dear God, I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Nancy
8. Dear God, like the story about Noah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones. I like walking on water, too. Glenn
9. Dear God, my Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go? Love, Dennis
10. Dear God, do you draw the lines around the countries? If you don't, who does? Nathan
11. Dear God, did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident? Norma
12. Dear God, in bible times, did they really talk that fancy? Jennifer
13. Dear God, how come you did all those miracles in the old days and don't do any now? Billy
14. Dear God, please send Dennis Clark to a different summer camp this year. Peter
15. Dear God, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they each had their own rooms. It works out OK with me and my brother. Larry
16. Dear God, I keep waiting for spring, but it never did come yet. What's up? Don't forget. Mark
17. Dear God, my brother told me about how you are born but it just doesn't sound right. What do you say? Marsha
18. Dear God, if you watch in Church on Easter Sunday I will show you my new shoes. Barbara
19. Dear God, is Reverend Coe a friend of yours, or do you just know him through the business? Donny
20. Dear God, I do not think anybody could be a better God than you. Well, I just want you to know that. I am not just saying that because you are already God. Charles
21. Dear God, it is great the way you always get the stars in the right place. Why can't you do that with the moon? Jeff
22. Dear God, I am doing the best I can. Really !Frank
And, saving the best for last:
23. Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool. Thomas