Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every fortnight or so and sent out to more than 4300 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.ymlpr.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the very end - but we do hope you'll stay with us. And if you need to update your info' or change your email address, you can do that at the end, too.
__________________________________________________________

Greetings and Blessings to all,

God willing, we hope this this edition finds you and yours in fine fettle and fit as a fiddle. The warmest of welcomes to everyone and a special hello to our newest readers. Thanks for becoming subscribers and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to pass them along to your famil ≤y and friends.

Since last we wrote, we celebrated St. Brigid's Day, Shrove Tuesday and Valentine's Day. We had a bit of a discussion going with an irate man from Meath about Shrove Tuesday as Wikipedia uses our article on the website as a source and, until recently, the title was Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day. Well, this didn't sit well with our visitor who was adamant that it was NEVER called Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day in Ireland. After a great deal of asking around, we came to the conclusion that being raised in England was the reason Bridget calls it Pancake Day, when in fact in Ireland it is commonly called Pancake Tuesday. Score one for Meath. However, we also discovered that older Irish people still call it Shrove Tuesday. Score tied. Thus, To be as accurate as possible, we have changed the title of the article to Shrove Tuesday Pancakes. Whatever you call it, we hope you enjoyed your pancakes as much as we did, (along wi &th a decadent Mardi Gras menu at our daughter's house. Definitely a Fat Tuesday! )

But the over-indulgence didn't end there. After sending out Valentine e-cards, we made a promise to stay off the computers and pay attention to each other while spoiling ourselves with dark chocolate truffles and a bit of the bubbly. Hang the budget! The downside, if you can call it that, was that when we logged back on , we had hundreds of emails from all over the world - Italy, Norway, Hungary and so many other countries. Truly amazing what a diverse group we are. Go raibh maith agat to all of you who sent us cards and also for the avalanche of thank you notes for the card we sent you.

Thanks as well for your donations! Every dollar enables us to keep this newsletter and access to the website free. And just in case you may not have made a contribution yet, we're extending our fund-raising campaign for another week or so. You can make a donation directly to PayPal:
http://www.paypal.com and use the email account
bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com

Or you can send it to us directly:
Bridget & Russ Haggerty
5814 Blue Spruce Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45224

Your generosity and kindness are greatly appreciated.

Uncertain about making a monetary gift? One of our readers who is an established mystery author has made an intriguing offer. Patricia Harrington writes the Bridget O'Hern mystery novels and will call a character in her next book after whoever is the highest bidder for the name - be it your own or someone else's. If you would like to take part in the  auction, please send us your bid asap. We will open all bids on March 16th and notify the winner on St. Patrick's Day. Imagine - your name in a novel. Something to leave as part of your legacy perhaps? If you'd like to check out Patricia's web site and learn more about her novels, please click
http://www.patriciaharrington.com/

We also have another reader - a delightful elderly poet from Cork by the name of Nanette Mary who will give us a commission on any of her books. She's written nearly a dozen of them including Tales from the Emerald Isle. Please write to her publisher if you'd like to learn more about her work: Ron at:
rkisner5@sbcglobal.net

Enough of the blather...on with the update:
==========================================================
SPONSOR: Please help < us keep this newsletter coming - visit Irish Incense!

Just in time for St. patrick's Day, we are very pleased to bring you a special offer we negotiated with the fine people at Irish Incense. If you long to experience the nostalgic aroma of an old-fashioned turf fire, here's your chance to purchase a turf incense burner at a huge 20% discount. Just visit the following URL and enter the Coupon Code ICC170308 in the space provided in the left-hand column.
http://www.irishincense.com/acatalog/index.html
==========================================================
ßIN THIS ISSUE:
News
From the mailbag
Links
Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
Riddle
The week That Is
Ev Bents
Leave 'em Laughing
__________________________________________________________
NEWS
What follows are news clips from around the counties and the world. Links for more news stories can be found on our web site here
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html
And more county news can be found here:
http://www.emigrant.ie/summary.asp?iCategoryID=18

GENERAL
An Post C Both Sides
Ireland's biggest ever collective art exhibition, An Post C Both Sides is now into it's second month and a brilliant array of entries have already been received. In support of this imaginative project, An Post is undertaking a national mail drop to all homes, with details of who can enter, how to enter and some inspiration about taking part. Dubliners can expect to receive their mailouts this month, with other areas to follow throughout 6the year. Further inspiration can be found at:
http://www.anpostcbothsides.ie
where there is an opportunity to vote for your favourite entry and be motivated to create your own.

FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES
Antrim: Allotments to return to the Falls Road
The park manager at Belfast's Falls Park, Michael Culbert, has lobbied both politicians and funding bodies in a bid to create up to one hundred new allotments at the rear of the Whiterock Leisure Centre at the back of the park. Allotments were very popular during the two world wars but later fell into disuse. Now, however, they are coming back into popularity and Michael reports a number of applications from schools and communities. The new allotments would feature raised beds for elderly gardeners as well as apple trees and benches where members of the community œcould gather for a chat.

Antrim: Council to reinstate Gobbins paths
The almost three miles of paths stretching along the coast and known as Gobbins paths are to be revitalised by the council at a projected cost of £6m. The paths, tunnels and bridges were opened in 1902 and drew thousands of day trippers from Belfast before falling into disrepair during the Second World War. Closed to the public in 1962, it has now been agreed by Larne Borough Council that they will be restored and a visitors' centre will be built at the site. A cliff-top path is also to be built, but taken into consideration will be the nesting sites of the large bird population in the area.

Armagh: The battle site that no one can find
A gro õup of local historians are lobbying the District Council in a bid to have signposting provided to point the way to the site of what they regard as the greatest victory on Irish soil by Irishmen. The Battle of Yellow Ford took place near Blackwatertown, when the Irish troops under Hugh O'Neill defeated Marshal Henry Bagenal. However the site is far less well known than the Boyne site and Brendan Duffy of the O'Neill Country Historical Society is leading the campaign to have this rectified. Already the society gives guided tours of the site for people from all over the country as well as from America and Canada.

Armagh: An increase in Polish workers in the Nor ôth
The Polish workforce in the North has been increased by nine, with the introduction of a Polish breed of pony to help conservation of the area's wetlands. The nine Konik ponies have arrived at Portmore Lough Nature Reserve where they have begun grazing to keep down scrubland, according to reserve warden John Scovell. The Konik breed of pony is the closest living relative of the now extinct tarpan, which was the last breed of European wild horse. Their presence at the Craigavon reserve is expected to help maintain the numbers of lapwing, redshank and curlew.

Armagh: Work begins on county museum
Following extensive work on the exterior of the County Museu ªm in Armagh last year, the facility is to close to allow for work to be carried out on the interior. The improvements will include repainting and the laying of new carpets, while extra exhibition space will also be created. The museum will open again before the end of the month and the first major exhibition to be held in the refurbished building will be a display of Belleek, marking the pottery's one hundred and fiftieth anniversary.

Carlow: Paul is the landmark visitor
The website set up by the village of Ballon has been waiting over the last while to pinpoint the person who would become the one hundred thousandth visitor to log on, and now he has been identified. Ballon man Paul Kavanag ∫h was visiting his wife's home in Tipperary earlier this month when he logged on to see what was happening at home, and hit the jackpot. He and his wife will now enjoy a dinner for two at Ballykealy Manor Hotel. The website hosts were particularly pleased that Paul was the winner since both he and his late mother Attracta contributed a number of old photographs to the site.

Cork: No takers for bridge replacement
Despite advertising twice over the past eighteen months the Commissioners of Irish Lights have been unsuccessful in finding an engineer to work on the replacement of Ireland's most southerly bridge. The fifty-metre footbridge to Mizen Head, which provides access to the lighthouse, ‹ is being supported at present by scaffolding but needs to be replaced. The project is in receipt of a grant of €372,000 from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism and the CIL is anxious that it be completed. The body hopes to be able to draw up a shortlist of five, with the new bridge to be in place in three years.

Cork: Island group hope to restore historic fort
The Bere Island Projects Group has enlisted the support of Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív in their bid to restore as a tourist attraction a fort on the island. Originally built at the end of the eighteenth century when the French sailed into Bantry Bay, Fort Berehaven was extended in the nineteenth century and again during the First World War; Bere Island was one of three ports that remained in British hands until 1938. Now owned by the Department of Defence, the fort on its four-acre site has remained unused for the past thirty years.

Derry: McCorkell prints presented to Al fltnagelvin
Eight prints depicting ships of the McCorkell Line were unveiled at the front entrance of Altnagelvin Hospital last week by Lady McCorkell. The prints were donated by the McCorkell family in memory of her late husband, Sir Michael, who with his wife had a long association with the hospital. At the unveiling Gerard Guckian, chairman of the Western Health and Social Care Trust, spoke of the importance of preserving the history of Derry; ships of the McCorkell line spent many years transporting passengers between Derry and the United States.

Dublin: Women-only cab company for Dublin
Sales rep Gerald McCarthy saw a gap in the market and is to set up Angel Cabs in March, a company which will employ only female drivers. To date twenty female taxi drivers have expressed an interest in joining the company, which has been established in response to the preference of female passengers for female drivers and vice versa. Having consulted with the Equality Authority, Gerard says he will not turn away male applicants, but they might not get too much work given the nature of the service. Angel Cabs will operate initially in the areas of Santry, Clontarf, Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Dundrum and Blackrock.

Fermanagh: Colebrook gate lodge nearing completion
Work on the gate lodge at the entrance to the Colebrooke Estate at Brookeborough is nearing completion and it will then be available as a holiday destination. Known as the Triumphal Arch Gate Lodge, the building had fallen into disrepair but a grant of £161,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled the restoration work to be carried out. The work, which is due to be completed in April of this year, is being carried out by the Irish Landmark Trust, a non-profit group which saves abandoned her oitage buildings throughout the island of Ireland.

Galway: A risky business in a Tuam car park
People who decided to use the new superloo in the Shambles car park in Tuam were taking more chances than they knew, according to the mayor Martin Ward. He insists that the superloo, installed just a few months ago, has either locked people in or locked them out, and has also on occasion caused them to be drenched when the over-efficient cleansing facility malfunctions. Martin has demanded that the council remove the facility, which cost €0.5m, and replace it with a more traditional structure complete with caretaker which, he insists, would be cheaper in the long run.

Galway: Perfect love spot A new survey of perfect places for a Leap Year marriage proposal lists ten top places in the world  including  the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids, Sydney Harbour . . . and a beach ´ in Galway! Check out the list here:
http://www.keralanext.com/news/?id=412990

Kerry: First catch once again for Derry
Derry Doyle from Ross Road in Killarney, a dedicated fisherman all his life, has taken the first salmon of the season from Lough Leane for the third time. While all three salmon have been around the ten-pound mark, this year's catch weighed in at twelve pounds. Derry was fishing with his friend Barney Moloney on the first day of the season, and they were both very pleased with their catch. At twelve pounds, however, Derry's salmon was almost small fry to the largest he ever landed, for twenty years ago he landed a fish weighing twenty pounds.

Kerry: Ancient tree felled in Killarney
An oak tree believed to be up to three hundred years old has been felled by the Town Council despite a campaign to save it. The tree stood at the site of a proposed roundabout at the Deerpark shopping centre in Killarney and was Ódeemed by councillors to be a traffic hazard. However Independent councillor Donal Grady had initiated a campaign to save the tree and have it integrated into the roundabout development. He had gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition to save the tree but council workers were out early one morning and the tree is no more.

Clare: Fairytale wedding for world's oldest sweethearts
93-year-old James Mason and 84-year-old Peggy Clarke Mason from Devon in England, who married in a civil ceremony last November, re-tied the knot at a special church ceremony in St Mary's Church of Ireland in Killarney on Valentine's Day. They chose Killarney because Peggy had lived there for a brief spell after her first husband died. She had been married for 29 years. James was married for 50 years and has two grown up children. Both say it was love at first sight and the best cure ever for loneliness.

Kildare: Theatre group marks golden anniversary
The Silken Thomas bar in Kildare town was the venue for a ce Ólebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Kildare Drama Festival, which started out at the old Allen Little Theatre. Many of the original members were present at the recent event.

Leitrim: Old tradition upheld in Askill
Two people from Ballintrillick adept at a traditional Irish craft were in Askill Community Centre recently to share their skills with a number of locals, both young and old. Paddy Joe Gallagher and Mary Rooney came to Askill to teach the art of making St Brigid's Crosses and their efforts were much appreciated. The two teachers demonstrated different types of crosses native to a number of different areas of the country, including Armagh, Waterford, Foxford in Co. Mayo, and a cross from closer to home at Killargue. Perhaps one of the most difficult examples demonstrated by Paddy Joe and Mary at the Community Centre was the Mother and Child cross.

Leitrim: Two houses for demolition
The march of progress will have seen the demolition of two houses at Annaduff Drumsna, as wo -rk on the new bypass progresses. The residence formerly owned by Paddy and Maura Duignan was the first to go; standing at the entrance to the bypass and flanked by a post box, it was once a shop and was always known to the local residents as Duignan's. The second dwelling due for demolition is the house on the Dromod side of Duignan's house which once belonged to the late Ben and Mamie Oates.

Longford: Clock tower loses its special status
The clock tower in Kenagh, for more than one hundred years the highest point in the village, has lost its special position and must now take second place to new floodlights installed at the local football pitch. The floodlights, on both sides of the pitch, stand at more than sixty feet in height and each is equipped with a total of six lights. Their presence will mea +n that county games will now be possible during the winter months.

Longford: Inaugural Master Patrick Greene award
An award to honour the late Master Patrick Greene, folklorist and historian from Ballinalee, was presented to its first recipient last week. Student of the Year at St Mel's Education and Training Centre in Longford Caroline Doyle received the award from Peter Murphy, chairperson of the Board of Management. The award itself was a bog yew sculpture created by local artist Michael Casey and present at the ceremony were three daughters of Master Greene, Rosin, Anne and Maureen. During his long life Master Greene collected stories from Travellers and taught them to younger members of the same families when they attended the centre.

Louth: From reality brides to supplying the real thing
Ale Cx Reilly, originally from Meadowview in Drogheda, was the producer of a reality television show for TG4 entitled "Posadh Slí Eile" which featured couples who wanted a "different wedding". Now, however, she is helping brides to look their best for more traditional ceremonies with a new shop on North Street in Swords. With her business partner Ann Kinsella Alex has opened White Orchid Bridal; when it opened earlier this month the first customer arrived at exactly 9.00am so it looks as though success is assured. Alex continues to work in television, at present being involved in RTE's "You're a Star".

Meath: Community has new plan for their village
The Slane Community Forum, set up to try to revive the village following the closure of a number of shops and businesses, commissioned Professor Philip Geoghegan of University Colle ?ge Dublin to conceive a plan for the village. Among the suggestions are the restoration of the Boyne Valley canal to link Slane with Newgrange and the establishment of a local museum. Also included is the creation of a country park and the construction of a new housing area to accommodate fifteen hundred people. The number of derelict buildings in the town would also be subject to conservation if the proposals are carried out.

Meath: Award for Good Samaritan taxi driver
When a passenger collapsed in his taxi, Declan Hegarty from Clonee persisted in going from door to door until he located a doctor, close to a medical centre in Finglas. The man was taken into the centre by Dr John Curtin and revived. For his action Declan was nominated for the title of the country's Taxi Driver of the Year, an award with which he was pr µesented at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin. The inaugural award has been sponsored by Taxi Times magazine. In addition to the award Declan received a satellite navigation system, a year's free insurance, a €500 holiday voucher and a phone with free credit and a car hands free kit.

Monaghan: Castleblayney hurlers bring back a cup
The fifteen members of the Castleblayney hurling panel who travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to take part in the International Sevens Gaelic Football and Hurling Tournament came home bearing the Dubai Shield. The players reached the Division 2 final in the football competition but were beaten by an Australian Rules team. However in the hurling t Óhey qualified for the Dubai Shield semi-final in which they beat a Civil Service team from Dublin, and continued on to beat the local Dubai Celts by eight points in the final.

Offaly: A return to a former mode of transport
Once upon a time in Ireland the bicycle was a favoured form of transport indulged in by young and old, but those days have long disappeared. Now, however, The Go For Life Programme in Birr is providing a six-week introductory cycling course in Birr Leisure Centre to encourage people back onto two wheels. The course is particularly aimed at the middle-aged in a bid to reintroduce them to a more active lifestyle. Organised by the Wolftrap Cycling Club, the course will offer participants the chance to try out indoor cycling on an exercise bike under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

Roscommon: Trees win out over bricks yet again
For the second time in a few weeks a county council has ruled that trees are more important than houses, and this time it is the turn of Rosc Óommon County Council. Its members have ruled that a proposed development at Coolatubber, Ballyforan, should not go ahead because a number of oak trees which line the proposed site are a "distinctive and environmentally valuable feature". David Kelly Construction had hoped to build thirteen houses on the site and local residents had objected on a number of grounds, none of which were cited by the council when they made their decision.

Sligo: Rosses Point pub to be replaced by hotel
The pub known as Hackett's is to be demolished to make way for a hotel on the site at the junction of Columcille Drive and Old Road at Rosses Point. In addition to the pub, two cottages and three outhouses will also be demolished in the development. Hacketts, which closed two years ago, was latterly run by Eugene and Liz Leyden, relatives of the late John and Mary Hackett. It was originally owned by marine engineer Francie Feeney and for a time was opened only once a year to retain the licence. He sold it to the H ¡acketts in the 1960s.

Tipperary: Beware - panther at large!
Although no official reports have been received by gardaí in Clonmel or in the neighbouring areas of Tramore and Rathgormack, there has been a report of a large black animal in the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains. The animal, which was described as being larger than an Alsatian or a Labrador and closely resembling a panther, was reported by an employee of State forestry body Coillte, who has declined to be identified. The mysterious animal was spotted at Coolishal Wood on the Rathgormack side of Kilsheelan. A similar sighting was reported from Melleray before Christmas.

Tyrone: Harvest to heat local amenities
Farmers in Cookstown have formed their own company, Northern Bio Energy Limited, and have planted willow which will be used to provide heat to the town's swimming pool and leisure centre. The company, whose chairman is James Cowan, received a Government grant to purchase a whol ¬e-stem willow harvester and the willow planted three years ago by the farmers will be harvested over the winter before being dried out. It will then be ready for chipping and will provide a regular supply of fuel for the boiler recently installed in the leisure centre.

Waterford: Drivers avoid the quays at night
Taxi drivers and truck drivers are taking steps to avoid driving along the quays in Waterford City late at night after several reports of sightings of "ghostly figures". A medium brought in to investigate has reported seeing tall ships and men dressed in clothes from former centuries, and this confirms reports from a local pub owner. Cathy Jordan, who runs the American Bar on the quay with her husband Andy, says she has often seen foot soldiers in uniform walking through the bar and on up the lane and at this stage she almost looks on them as her "bodyguards".

Waterford: The day the music stops
Sinnott's of Michael Street in Waterford, pr 'oviding all things related to the music industry for just under fifty years, is to close its doors. Noel and Rita Sinnott have decided to retire and their daughter Jane, who has been managing the business, is taking a sabbatical before moving on in her career. Sinnott's is Ireland's longest serving music store and developed from Noel selling records from his mother's fruit and vegetable shop at Johnstown.

Westmeath: Singer to be honoured by life-size sculpture
Mullingar Town Council members have unanimously agreed that a life-size bronze sculpture of the late Joe Dolan be placed in a prominent position in the town centre. An artistic competition is to be established to invite sculptors from all over the world to s µubmit a design for the figure of the singer. It has not yet been finally decided where the completed sculpture will be located, though three locations have so far been suggested; outside the Market House, outside the County Buildings and Art Centre, and on Dominick Street.

Wexford: Enniscorthy to lose landmark buildings
The two Minch Norton grain silos which have been landmarks on the Enniscorthy skyline for the past forty years are no more. The silos, on a site next to the new Dunnes Stores, have been demolished to make way for a new development. The site linking Irish Street and the Island Road is owned by Pat Murphy of Slaneyside Carpets at Scarawalsh and he is preparing to lodge a planning application for a mixed development.

Wicklow: Music, not television, fills their lives
For the Quaid family of Shillelagh, television plays no part in their lives, for they are all too busy practising their music for several hours each day. ïThe eight children, who range in age from sixteen-year-old Christopher to Liadhain, aged three, are all home-schooled by their parents Margaret and Vaughan although the four eldest now attend secondary school in Carnew. All eight, Christopher, Timothy, Eimear, Aisling, Aoibhinn, Eirinn, Enya and Liadhain play at least one and in some case four instruments and the six oldest play in a number of orchestras in Dublin.
=====================================================
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
The countdown to St. Patrick's Day has begun in earnest and we're stocked up on everything you'll need to show off your Irish pride at parties and parades: Guinness gear, walking sticks, tie-tacs, lapel pins and more. Come explore:
http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?lollysmith+wSpfhS+teandgrgi.html
================================================= Ã====
FROM THE MAILBAG
A reader asks a very sensitive and heart-breaking question. When a child dies, her grandmother would say something in Irish. Bridget's mother used to say only the good die young; but we don't think that's what the reader is looking for. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Michelle Patrick writes: and I am currently doing research on the history and importance of Irish blessings. I am having trouble finding relevant information to use for my class presentation; all I can find are postings of the numerous blessings that most people are familiar with. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can find information regarding the history of such blessings and why they were created to begin with?
__________________________________________________________________
LINKS
The Irish Page - Scéilín Grá - A Love Story
The offering from the Hennesseys this time around is about a boy's love for his father. The music is the lovely Child of Dreamland [ and the lyrics are in both Irish and English. Please click:
http://www.irishpage.com/story/Hugskiss.htm
The music:
http://www.irishpage.com/midi/dreamlnd.mid

The High Kings
We all loved the Celtic Woman - and now, from the creators of that phenomenal group comes another quartet destined to make as big an impact. Meet The High Kings: Finbar Clancy, Brian Dumphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden, renowned vocalists and musicians who have come together to form the most exciting ballad group since the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. See live footage here, and watch for of our review of their CD on the web site this coming week:
http://www.thehighkings.com/mainpage.html

Make St. Patrick's Day a national holiday in the USA
Proposition 3-17 is actually a fun marketing campaign created by Guinness in the hopes of securing a million or more signatures îbefore midnight on march 16th. We know the US government doesn't accept on-line petitions, but you can also sign up at Irish pubs and restaurants. For more info', please click
http://www.proposition317.com/index.html

So who has the best Irish connections? Obama or McCain?
Just in case you don't read our news headlines on the web site, the Irish Independent has a great story about the Connections to Ireland of two US presidential candidates. Please click
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/so-who-has-the-best-connections-1290892.html

Free Mammograms
Many women can't afford the test, but here's how you can help: Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if the site gets 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

Free Pet Food !
Last but certainly not least - our ongoing 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

Free People Food!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
http://www.thehungersite.com
==========================================================
SPONSOR: Please help us keep our newsletter coming - visit our friends at the Celtic Attic:
Our HUGE STOREWIDE SALE has been extended! We are completely revamping our inventory So we are getting rid of hundreds of products and adding new items.  Sales pages are jammed packed and all items on the SALES PAGES are 75% the listed price.  In addition, there is FREE Shipping on €orders over $45.00 that have at least 1 sales item.  Receive Free Shipping on all orders over $100.00 without any Sales item purchase.  FREE GIFT with each and every order and a FREE COPY of the CELTIC ATTIC COOKBOOK with each order!  So stock up for next Christmas or Shop early St. Patrick's, Easter, and Mum's Day . Order on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
Order by phone: Tel: 360-765-0186
Order on line:
http://celticcallings.com/shopping/merchant.mvc?CSC&Affiliate=Bridget
==========================================================
QUIPS & QUOTES , CURSES & PROVERBS, TOASTS & SAYINGS
"The Irish - Be they kings, or poets, or farmers, They're a people of great worth, They keep company with the a ÷ngels, And bring a bit of heaven here to earth" Author unknown
__________________________________________________________
A BIT OF THE WIT
In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God. Stephen Braveheart
__________________________________________________________________

JOKE OF THE WEEK


A priest at the preschool
A priest was walking along the corridor of the paroch πial school near the preschool wing when a group of little ones were trotting by on the way to the cafeteria. One little lad of about three or four stopped and looked at him in his clerical clothes and asked, Why do you dress funny? ((He told him he was a priest and this is the uniform priests wear. Then the boy pointed to the priest's collar tab and asked, Do you have an owie? ((The priest was perplexed till he realized that to him the collar tab looked like a band-aid ¥. So the priest took it out and handed it to the boy to show him. On the back of the tab are letters giving the name of the manufacturer. The little guy felt the letters, and the priest asked, Do you know what those words say? (( Yes, I do, said the lad who was not old enough to read. Peering intently at the letters he said, Kills ticks and fleas up to six months!
__________________________________________________________________
DID YOU KNOW
1. Sitric Silkenbeard, a Viking King of Dublin was a devout Christian and was responsible for the founding of the famou s Christchurch Cathedral at the top of Dame Street in Dublin City Centre? His reign saw the first coins ever minted in Ireland. They bore his image on one side and a cross on the other. He remained in power until 1036 and spent the last of his days on the island of Iona, Scotland
2. During the 1916 Easter Rising, hostilities were halted twice each day to allow for the ducks in St. Stephen's Green to be fed?
3.  The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia which is 6 km from Costello in Camus Bay, Co.Galway?
__________________________________________________________

KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS
To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:

1. Why Irish? by Brian O Conchubhair

2. Monumental Beginnings - archaeology of the N4 Sligo Inner Relief Ro ≤ad by Ed Danaher.

3. Writing Irish History: The Four Masters and Their World by Edel Bhreathnach and Bernadette Cunningham.

A round of pints and applause to the following Irish bibliophiles:

Hartson Dowd
Recommended site: Old Ireland Photographs & Vintage Irish Country Images; Includes links to maps and artwork as well.
http://www.irelandposters.com/oldphotos/

Roger S. Weist
Roger nominated us, God bless him! One good turn deserves another - so we nominate him: Beyond the Pale WRUW FM 91.1 Cleveland, Ohio Sunday 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. (EST)
http://www.wruw.org

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland" 22 May - 3 June, 2008: view itinerary at
http://www.tours2ireland.com

l
Rita Roche, Baltimore, MD, USA

Helen Dowd
Thanks for visiting my site. Please note the new guest book, right on the front page. I'd love it if you would drop a note.
http://www.occupytillicome.com
ED. NOTE: Helen needs just a few hundred more votes to put her in 2nd place on the top Christian sites. Please vote for her today. Thank you.

Pauline Dewberry
DO YOU LIKE CATS? Then you will love this site - full of warm, funny stories that will make you laugh and occasionally shed a tear. Join us as 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 forget!
http://www.thedailymews.com/

Want to see your name and favorite web site in our next newsletter?
Who wrote:
1. At the Front Door of the Atlantic
2. Poetry in Modern Ireland
3. Nothing Happens in Carmincross
Hint: Check out the rare boo vk room at Kennys
==========================================================
SPONSOR: Please help us keep the newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Irish Lotto.
In operation since 1988 , it's one of the oldest online lottery sites in the world. With subscribers in 89 countries it is also among the most reliable. Jackpots are never lower than US$1,500,000 and are frequently worth in excess of US$5,000,000 Here's the best part - you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are Tax Free!

Latest results: There was NO winner of Saturday's drawing. It's always been our fantasy that one of our readers will win; but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win if you're not in. To buy a ticket for next Wednesday's drawing, please click
http://www.irishlotto.net
==========================================================
RIDDLE
First off, the answer to our last πskull scrambler:
Deirdre, Emer, and Emmet are drinking Irish coffee. Aoife, Ethna, and Cillian are drinking Guinness.
Q. What is Aideen drinking? Coffee or Guinness?
A. Aideen, Deirdre, Emer, and Emmet have the letter e twice in their names. Of the two beverage choices, coffee is the only one which features the letter e twice. Ergo, Aideen is drinking coffee.
The Riddle People were in fine form as always, but it was Bill Smith from North Carolina who was in first. Well done, Bill.
And now for our next head banger:
In a marble hall white as milk
Lined with skin as soft as silk
Within a fountain crystal-clear
A golden apple doth appear.
No doors there are to this stronghold,
Yet thieves break in to steal its gold.
What am I?
NOTE:This gem is an old one from Mother Goose and might have been penned by Jonathan Swift.
__________________________________________________________________
THE WEEK THAT WAS
1. Article: The Irish Link to St. Vale Çntine
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ASaints/Valentine.html
2. Article: The Irish in Love
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/IrishinLove.html
3. Article: The Irish in Love Part 2
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/IrishinLove2.html
4. Article: The Irish in Love - Still Waters Run Deep
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/IrishinLove3.html
5. Article: The Legend of the Claddagh Ring
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AEmblem/CladdaghRing.html
6. Article: Anam Cara
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMisc/AnamCara.html
7. The Irish Kitchen - A Romantic Irish Menu for Valentine's Day
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/rValentines.html
8. Basic Irish - The Language of Love - in Irish
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/3Focloir/Lessons1.1.html
9. The Nightingale and the Rose
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/1Kids/Nightingaleand
Ô 10. CD Review: Our music reviewer William Ramoutar introduces us to Kate Rusby
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMusic/Ramoutar/KateRusby.html
11. The February Trivia Contest. Have you given it a go yet? All entries must be in by midnight February 29 whatever time zone you're in:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
Congratulations to Sarah Gannon, USA who won the January contest. Sarah chose the Warrior Pendant from Celtic Attic. Wear it in good health Sarah!
1 2. January Letter of the Month - A Dub grabbed our attention with a great message. Read it on our home page - it's near the bottom:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com
13. Culture Corner: O'Sullivan's Cascade
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/CultureCorner/CultureCorner.html
14. Circle of Prayer The sixth Novena in this cycle began on February 9th and continues through February 17th. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Liam Nolan, Hartson Dowd, x little Isabella who turns out to be a very active toddler and not a baby as we reported last time. If you'd like to check on her progress and see new pictures, please click
http://www.carepages.com/ServeCarePage?cpn=IsabellaFrances&extrefid=tlcinvite
Also Randy, Donna and their children, Ergin, Josie and her family, Kathy, Celeste's husband Gene, Pauline Dewberry, George Reynolds, Mickey, Benjamin, and so many others especially our men and women in the military serving their country all over the world. Please God, they will all be home safe and sound soon.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html
==========================================================
SPONSOR: Please help us keep the newsletter coming - visit our newest sponsor: St. Patrick's Day and Irish T-Shirts.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY AND IRISH T-SHIRTS, SWEATSHIRTS & GIFTS are made with you in mind. I *rish Drinking T-shirts, St. Patrick's Day shirts or Proud to be Irish T Shirts. We have over 100 designs. We have designs for the whole family and all the relatives, too. Irish Dad T-Shirt, Irish Mom, Irish Grandpa, Grandma, and even t-shirts for the new Irish baby. We even have Saint Patrick's Day greeting cards.
CLICK HERE for St. Patrick's Day T-Shirts and Funny Irish T-Shirt Designs:
http://www.cafepress.com/shirt_gift_shop/464878
NOTE: Made in and shipped from the USA
=========================================================
So there you have it until next time. If you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other important event between now and then, we hope it's an occasion filled with joy. Meanwhile, may the Good Shepherd of us all enfold you and yours in the mantle of his love and care. . 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!
Celtic Blessing - sung by the St. Coca's Choir, from Kilcock, Co. Kildare
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrS3kYW6du4
__________________________________________________________________
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
http://www.thewildgeese.com/
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will b ≠e happy to list it here.

Dublin, Ireland - February 4th through March 1st
Miss Julie by August Strindberg, in a version by Frank McGuinness
Project Arts Centre & Space Upstairs
East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
For more details, please write to Layla O'Mara
layla@zoetrope.ie

Dayton, Ohio - February 23
Jim Crotty, the photographer who is one of our Trivia Contest sponsors will be conducting a presentation/workshop on nature and landscape photography at the Dayton Orvis Store, located just outside the Dayton Mall at the intersection of State Routes 725 and 741. Here's your chance to find out how Jim took that memorable shot of shamrocks you can see on our Trivia page here:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
(and enter the contest while you're there!)
For full details about the workshop, please visit Jim's website here:
http://www.picturesqueohio.com/PresentationsWorkshops/PhotographyWorkshops.html 4

Hollywood, Florida - February 23
The Irish-American Ceili Club 36th Gala Party at the Hollywood Golf & Country Club - Just 100 tickets available and they're selling FAST! For more details on this event and other upcoming activities, please click
http://www.irishamericanceiliclub.com

Hollywood, Florida - March 2
RIISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB Annual Mass & Picnic@ TY Park-Hollywood. Pavilion 3 FREE to members; Guests @ $5. For more details, please click
http://www.irishamericanceiliclub.com

Crescent Springs, Kentucky - March 7, 8, 9
The Irish American Theatre Company will perform A Little Like Paradise by Niall Williams. Originally performed in Dublin at the Abbey, this play depicts with hope and humor the regeneration of a small Western Irish town unknown to the European community and ignored by Dublin.
Cu /rtain is at 7:30 P.M. each evening. Tickets on sale now:  $15.00 each. Send a check with your ticket request (include a return address) to:  Irish American Theater Company Attention; Maureen A. Kennedy 3308 Westside Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45208
Question? Write or call Maureen:
E-mail: IrishAmericanTheaterCo@fuse.net
Tel: 513-225-6915 

Los Alamitos, California
Friends of Ireland of Southern California Monthly Breakfast. Events are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Please call in RSVP to one of the contacts below, one day in advance so we can accommodate you.
Barbara Walsh (714) 739-4195 Kathy Wisdom (714) 572-8277
Tom Kennedy (562) 425-2636 Jim O'Dea (626) 965-0307
__________________________________________________________________
LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING

We stumbled on this looking through our book of ∑ Irish Love Poems.
Although it is clearly about love, it's not the love one usually associates with Valentine's Day. A fun read!

The Fall by Fergus Allen

The Garden of Eden (described in the Bible)
Was Guinness's Brewery (mentioned by Joyce),
Where innocent Adam and Eve were created
And dwelt from necessity rather than choice;

For nothing existed but Guinness's Brewery,
Guinness's Brewery occupied all,
Guinness's Brewery everywhere, anywhere -
Woe that expulsion succeeded the Fall!

The ignorant pair were encouraged in drinking
Whatever they fancied whenever they could,
Except for the porter or stout which embodied
Delectable knowledge of Evil and Good.

In Guinness's Brewery, innocent, happy,
They tended the silos and coppers and vats,
They polished the engines and coopered the barrels
And even made pets of the Brewery rats.

One morning while Adam was brooding and brewing
It happened that Eve had gone off on her own,
When a serpe ônt like ivy slid up to her softly
And murmured seductively, Are we alone?

O Eve, said the serpent, I beg you to sample
A bottle of Guinness's excellent stout,
Whose nutritive qualities no one can question
And stimulant properties no one can doubt;

It's tonic, enlivening, strengthening, heartening,
Loaded with vitamins, straight from the wood,
And further enriched with the not undesirable
Lucrative knowledge of Evil and Good.

So Eve was persuaded and Adam was tempted,
They fell and they drank and continued to drink,
(their singing and dancing and shouting and prancing
Prevented the serpent from sleeping a wink).

Alas, when the couple had finished the ba ôrrel
And swallowed the final informative drops,
They looked at each other and knew they were naked
And covered their intimate bodies with hops.

The anger and rage of the Lord were appalling,
He wrathfully cursed them for taking to drink
And hounded them out of the Brewery, followed
By beetles (magenta) and elephants (pink).

The crapulous couple emerged to discover
A universe full of diseases and crimes,
Where porter could only be purchased for money
In specified places at specified times.

And now in this world of confusion and error
Our only salvation and hope is to try
To threaten and bargain our way into Heaven
By drinking the heavenly Brewery dry.

Powered by YMLP.com