Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to well over 2800 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you!
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Greetings and blessings to all,
We hope this edition finds you in good spirits, in good health and good company. If this is your first issue, many thanks for signing up and we hope you find our musings and meanderings interesting and entertaining. If so, please feel free to forward on to family and friends - and do encourage them to join us. Bridget is hankering to make us three thousand strong by year's end and we've only a bit less than 200 to go.
Belated Happy Thanks giving to all of our readers in Canada. We hope you enjoyed a safe and happy holiday.
As for ourselves, many of you wrote and wished us well prior to our trip to Florida. Many thanks for your good wishes. We're still trying to catch up on a huge backlog of e-mails so if we haven't replied to your message, please forgive us. We'll try to get to it as soon as we can.
As for Florida - two weeks ago today, at about this time, we were standing beneath a canopy in front of a memorial wall at Fountainhead in Funeral Home in Malabar.
The Mills Brothers sang Sweet Sue. Dad would have approved. Then came a string of Billie Holliday songs. Mom would have hummed or whistled along. Thus, in an all too brief ceremony, Susan & Charles Haggerty were laid to rest, side by side.
We watched their remains gently positioned in what is now their final resting place. In with Mom went a pack of Winstons - the brand she liked when she first started smoking. For Dad, it was Camels, no filters. And a pint of Bass. We had no idea how large the space is; had we known, we would have put a murder mystery and a Margarita or Rum & Coke in Mom's niche. And dad's would have included a golf glove and ball, and perhaps his pristine recording of a favorite jazz musician. He always transferred records to tape as soon as possible.
As short as it was, it was a good send off and and afterward, home we came to their house where the walls resonate with so many great memories. Naturally, given Dad's heritage, we toasted two of the most gracious and gentle people we have ever known.
Enough about us, on with the update....
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IN THIS ISSUE:
From the mailbag
Links of the week
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
The Week That Is & The Week that Will be, God Willing
Leave 'Em Laughing
FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES
Antrim: Second honour for Lisburn sportsman
Jimmy McIlroy was in Lisburn last week for the naming of a new park in his honour. Recognised as one of the twentieth century's top one hundred footballers, he was capped fifty-five times.
Armagh: Lough Neagh nature centre re-opens
The North's second most popular tourist destination, the centre now boasts an improved exhibition area, increased staff accommodation and has introduced a first floor viewing terrace. On the lower shores of Lough Neagh, the centre draws over 200,000 visitors per year.
Carlow: Bicentenary of Tullow church
Cardinal Desmond Connell of Dublin led the celebration last week of the bicentenary of the Church of the Most Holy Rosary.
Cork: Spectral gathering for Cork Gaol
The World Ghost Convention is due to take place in the nineteenth century Cork City Gaol in Sunday's well on the Friday of Hallowe'en. The event, which will be officially opened by Councillor Deirdre Clune, Lord Mayor of Cork, will encourage participants to share their own supernatural experiences.
Down: Van Morrisson to head Newry festival
Newry has bagged one of the biggest names in music to headline the city's new Hallowe'en Festival. None other than Van Morrison will take to the stage of Newry Town Hall on October 30, for two shows expected to attract thousands of spectators.
Galway: Pub quiz aims to break world record
Galway city is shooting for a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. More than forty pubs will take part in a charity table quiz on October 25, with the hopes that it will draw enough participants to count as the world's largest table quiz.
Kerry: Moriartys converge on Killarney
This coming weekend some one hundred members of the Moriarty/Ó Muircheartaigh clan will be gathering at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel in Killarney for the start of a two-day gathering of the clan. The event has been mainly organised by mountaineer Con Moriarty, and clan members will be welcomed by Father Jim Moriarty from Chicago, who publishes the clan newsletter.
Laois: Launch of 2005 Slieve Bloom Storytelling Festival
The festival will take place over the coming weekend and will feature local storytellers Paddy Lowry, Paddy Heaney, Attracta Dooley and Dan Culleton.
Meath: Council moves to protect cottage
Members of the County Council have ordered the stoppage of demolition work on a nineteenth century cottage near Kells. The two-story cottage, built on the Rockfield House estate, is a protected structure that provides an important example of estate architecture. The house is one of two on the estate that remains unaltered from its original architecture, according to a survey on the Rockfield Demesne. No planning permission was issued for the attempted demolition and, when the county intervened, most roof tiles had been removed and one wall had been knocked down.
Monaghan: They might not fly, but pigs can jump
The first ever Killanny Pig Races were held at the Wayside Inn in Corcreaghy last weekend, attended by more than two thousand people. A special one hundred-metre course complete with hurdles was set up between two trailers on the roadside outside the pub. A total of thirty-six pigs entered the field, each adorned with a teddy bear 'jockey'
Tipperary: Spleodar Festival launched in Nenagh
Spleodar will take place from November 1 to 5, to coincide with the half-term holiday, so that schoolchildren can join in the many activities on offer.
Wicklow: Last orders at O'Connor's
The pub which has become known locally as Paddy O's closed its doors after serving its last pint at the beginning of last week. O'Connor's on Abbey Street has been in the family for almost fifty-five years, with the present landlord being Paddy's son Brian O'Connor.
NEWS FROM ALL OVER
We're watching the reviews of the show Celtic Tiger as it makes its way from New York, to Canada and then back to the States. Bridget will be doing a review of the CD which she likes up to a point. It would appear that you have to see the show to understand the music. The closest the show comes to us is Columbus, Ohio in November. We may be tempted to make the trip, for while the reviews so far haven't been great, there's enough praise to make us want to see it - especially the first half. If you're interested, we've been publishing reviews as we find them. Click on our news page:
Help us keep your newsletter free. Please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat! Now's the time to start your holiday shopping. Come browse our web site for a a wide range of Irish and Celtic gifts imported directly from Ireland - from Irish Jewelry and Shamrock Seed to Connemara Marble, Tin Whistles and Irish Bodhráns, and much more. Please stop by - we're always open. We also offer Irish and Celtic themed gifts from American companies such as Russ Berrie Angel Cheeks, Silver Moon Jewelry, and Dorfman Pacific Hats. And definitely take a look at our authentic Blackthorn and Hazel Walking Sticks from Ireland. Please click:
FROM THE MAILBAG
In our last newsletter, we mentioned what we perceived to be a lack of interest in Irish sports on the part of Irish-American guests at a dinner party. Here are some interesting responses:
Joyce writes: Both my boys play gaelic football and love it. Thomas has played for 3 years and Russell for one. Next year Thomas moves us to Under 10 and Russell will still be in Under 6. Gaelic Football is very much alive and becoming even more so in Chicago.
Tom writes: Regarding your question about Irish sports, it truly is of interest to me, I'm first generation Irish and most of my relatives live in Ireland. As a result, I travel to ireland somewhat regularly. Just a few weeks ago, I took my niece (by marriage) to Ireland for her first visit. She heard a lot of conversation about the All-Ireland Final and it was important that I fill her in on "the match." She was intrigued by it and especially on the GAA's impact on irish history. Well, I dropped her off finally at University College Galway and returned home to America. It turns out that while she was watching the match at the local AOH Hall, she was watching it with a lot of students (from all over the world) and had a great time. When one sees the enthusiasm that is generated by any All-Ireland Final, you cannot help but be touched by it. When you view it in the context of history, it is simple to understand Ireland's excitement over their "superbowls."
And Roisin writes: I'm in Scotland but was delighted when Tyrone won the All Ireland. My cousins live in strabane so I have always cheered Tyrone.To have gone to win the All Ireland two years ago when they were the underdogs was a wonderful feeling and to have won it again this year was fantastic.
In our previous edition we also mentioned what seems to be a non-caring attitude toward preserving Irish heritage (in Ireland).
Patrick from England writes:
I'm afraid the (Irish) countryside is now becoming full of modern and standard type bungalows. I believe this has something to do with the planning regulations and the right of farmers to build 3 bungalows each on their land. Also modern is seen as progress in a fast changing Ireland. However I was saddened to see a lot of derelict cottages (many with their roofs off - I believe to avoid local tax). This seems a terrible waste - even if some of them could be turned into holiday homes. They also fit more into the landscape than the modern bungalow. In addition I believe recently planning laws have been further relaxed which is likely to result in even more stand alone bungalows being built. I believe the situation in the North of Ireland is little better with existing plots being bought up solely with the aim to demolish and rebuild with new. If any of your readers are interested in saving this heritage I would be welcome to hear from them. Although I believe there are concerns the way things are going in the Republic, there don't appear to be many organisations in existence there to protect this heritage.
On the same topic, Stacy writes:
The "old ways, old days" of Ireland should be preserved. Without hardship we wouldn't be who we are today!
On another topic altogether, Siobhan is still looking for the origins of the dance, The Siege of Ennis. Was there ever a Siege? We can't find it in our history references. Can anyone help.
In another query, Bob wants to know about customs and traditions associated with a son in the family going into the priesthood. Was it the youngest? The oldest? Were they the ones who received the special education that would be required? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Kendra wants to know about the doors of Dublin:
my husband and I became fascinated with the different color doors located in Dublin. We were told by our tour guide that it was in rebellion (if I remember correctly!) to British/English rule. Iam currently enrolled in a college course in Cultural Geography and we are to do a presentation on some aspect of cultural geography. I have chosen to do my presentation on the history and significance of the different colored doors that are found around Ireland. I have searched the Internet (an awesome tool) but I have ran into a road block. I cannot find any "specific" information on the history or cultural influence that these doors represent. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction or maybe offer some suggestions that would aide me in my research. Also, if you know any historical/cultural significance related to my topic, I would love to hear what you have to say.
Michelle asks: Please can you tell me about the song "I is for Ireland" which is sung by John McCormack, I believe it is available on CD. Could you tell me the title of this CD, I would be most grateful.
LINKS OF THE WEEK
Official Government of Ireland website.
This site will help you to find government organisations or information by providing links, indices of recent publications and a search engine that searches all government sites. There is also general information about Ireland including some photographs of well known locations.
Clara sends us a link to her lovely town of Tilting.
A National Historic Site of Canada and Newfoundland's First Provincial Registered Heritage District, Tilting was first settled by the French in the late 1600's, however over time it became an exclusively Irish enclave beginning with the first settlers from Ireland in 1752.
Take a look:
Hartson sent us a fun puzzle
He says "You're gonna love it! Just put the puzzle together. Then, wait a few seconds for the dog to come out!"
Click here: http://www.riversongs.com/Flas/today.swf
Hartson also sent us "Falling Woman"
He says "Someone did an amazing job with this. I know two things about him/her:
1. This is a person with too much time on his hands.
2. This geek knows how to model physics.
NOTE : When she gets stuck, left click and drag her free:
Our last offering from Hartson this week - a special one for the kids:
"Do Something inspires, supports, and celebrates young people changing their world." Lots of children want to help their peers in other locations but don't know how. This wonderful site gives them ideas on how to help.
A reminder: The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. 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, ANECDOTES AND TOASTS
"Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
George Bernard Shaw
DID YOU KNOW
1. The first cinema in Ireland was the Volta on Mary Street in Dublin, which opened in 1909 under the short-lived management of James Joyce?
2. Up to 30% of the Australian population is estimated to be of Irish descent?
3. There are six morning newspapers published in Ireland?
The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Irish Examiner , The Star,
The Belfast Newsletter and The Irish News.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Adapted from one sent in by HD, Canada. Go raibh maith agat!
Two nuns were shopping in a food store and happened to be passing the beer and liquor section. One asks the other if she would like a beer. The other nun answered that would be good, but that she would be uneasy about purchasing it. The first nun said that she would handle it, picked up a six pack and took it to the cashier. The cashier had a surprised look and the first nun said,"The beer is used for washing our hair." The cashier, without blinking an eye, reached under the counter and put a package of pretzels in the bag with the beer, saying "Here, don't forget the curlers."
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IRISH WRITERS AND BOOKS QUIZ
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
Children Of Eve by Deirdre Purcell
A Doctors War by Aidan Mc Carthy
A Country Boy by John Murphy
A round of applause and pints to this week's literary sleuths:
"Glorious Ireland" - June 28-July 12 2006
To see the proposed itinerary, please click
ED. NOTE: Déirdre wondered where we find our titles. All over the map, we told her. Lately, we've been taking them from Kenny's best-seller list. (But not this week, though!)
Mary Theresa, Canada
Yearning for authentic Irish food? Check out:
I invite you to visit my site and leave your comments in my "guestbook," or read something of interest by clicking on the "Literary" tab. Thanks to all who may have voted for my site.
ED. NOTE: It has been fun to watch Helen rise in the ranks if the top Christian sites. Let's keep it going - visit her site today (and everyday) and click on the little vote box. Thanks!
Want to see your name in our next newsletter? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following:
1. From Dun Sion to Croke Park
2. Croke Park - The Cathedral of Sport
3. The Road to Croker: A GAA Fanatic on the Championship Trail
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: email@example.com
Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox every week - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
There was NO winner of Saturday's night's drawing. That means Wednesdayjackpot will be at least 3.5 million Euro! All you need are 6 numbers to hit the Irish Millions. Best of all, 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! If you want to win it, you've got to be in it, so visit their totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details - and best of Irish luck to you!
OUR NEXT RIDDLE:
But first, the answer to our last poser:We returned from our trip to a slew of answers - most of them correct and some of them brilliantly creative - e.g. A three legged stool, under a four legged table, upon which sits a Guinness in a singing pub, on the road to Kildare in May. ( sent in by Gary J. from Santa Barbara, CA)
While we enjoyed reading all of your answers, here's the correct solution:
On three legs with four more beside,
In good company, we shorten the road.
Q. Who or what are we?
A. An old man with a cane taking a walk with his dog.
Well done to Jim Kelly of Orlando, Florida who was first in.
And now for our next hair puller:
Five men are on their way to church when it starts to rain. Four men run but get wet The fifth stays still and remains dry.
Q. How can that be?
WHAT IS AND WHAT WILL BE, GOD WILLING
We updated the home page and we are now featuring the following until we change it tomorrow:
1. Article: An Irish hallowe'en Part I
2. Article: Creepy Irish Castles & Houses
3. Article: Creepy Irish Creatures
4. Article: The Dullahan, Ireland's Headless Horseman
5. Article: How the Irish Invented Hallowe'en
6. Article: Protect your property and yourself - Make a Parshell
7. Basic irish. Lesson 66: Creepy Words
8. Irish Kitchen: Barmbrack
9. Kids' Ireland: A Midnight Dance
10. Letter of the Month -September. With many thanks to larry Purcell
To read previous letters, please click
11. Circle of Prayer: Our second Novena in this cycle began on October 15 and ends on October 23. While we don't have any individual requests, we ask that you please join us in remembering the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan in your prayers and meditations. Also, please continue to think of the people in the southern US still recovering from the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. And last, but certainly not least, we ask that you think of our military personnel all over the world, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please visit our Novena page:
12. Trivia Contest. The contest for October has been posted. All entries must be received by midnight, October 31st , whatever time zone you live in. Check out the great prizes, including a new one from Irish Books & Media:
September winner: Congratulations to André Lavoie from Canada.
THIS WEEK, GOD HELP US
We'll continue with the Hallowe'en theme and do our usual blessing, quote, recipe, daily news and history updates, and whatever else we can think of yo keep you visiting us every day.
So that's about the long and the short of it. Until we write again, may you and yours be cradled in the mantle of God's love and protection - and , as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.
Slan agus beannacht
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
WHEN A LOT OF PEOPLE GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
Once in a while, we receive a very welcome donation. Go raibh maith agat to our latest donor: John C. Condon and his spouse. He also gave us a good laugh when he said "two 1/2 Irish make one full Irish, right?" In our book, one drop of the blood is more than enough!
If you enjoy our newsletter and the website, please give us a hand and help keep them coming. Imagine if 2800 plus people each sent dollar? Please send what you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is:
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness
Fund-raisers for O'Flahertys of New Orleans
Many have stepped up to the plate to help Danny, his family and their employees get back on their feet following the disaster wrought by Katrina. Click on the following URls for just a sampling of benefit concerts:
Mrs O'Leary's Oct 23rd 2005
Ireland's Four Provinces Oct 30th 2005.
Nanny O'Brien's Nov 7th 2005
Midlothian, Texas - October 29 and 30
The O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat will be held October 29-30 in Midlothian, just 30 minutes south of Dallas, at a wonderful camp and conference center there. There will be classes in fiddle, flute, harp, uilleann pipes, tinwhistle, bodhran, guitar, piano accordion, button accordion, piano, hammered dulcimer, Anglo and English concertinas, harp, mandolin, tenor banjo and bouzouki, and their staff includes some of the best players in the Irish tradition, including Liz Carroll, John Doyle, Jerry O'Sullivan, Roger Landes and others. Online registration is now underway. For more info, please visit their website at http://www.irishtradmusic.org/oflaherty.htm or contact the retreat director, Ken Fleming, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (972) 238-8724.
LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING
We have our prolific and much-appreciated Hartson to thank for this week's offering:
1. ARBITRATOR: A cook that leaves Arby's to work at McDonalds.
2. AVOIDABLE: What a bullfighter tried to do.
3. BERNADETTE: The act of torching a mortgage
4. BURGLARIZE: What a crook sees with
5. CONTROL: A short, ugly inmate.
6. COUNTERFEITERS: Workers who put together kitchen cabinets
7. ECLIPSE: What an English barber does for a living
8. EYEDROPPER: A clumsy ophthalmologist
9 HEROES: What a guy in a boat does
10. LEFTBANK: What the robber did when his bag was full of money
11. MISTY: How golfers create divots
12. PARADOX: Two physicians
13. PARASITES: What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower
14. PHARMACIST: A helper on the farm
15. POLARIZE: What penguins see with
16. PRIMATE: Removing your spouse from in front of the TV
17. RELIEF: What trees do in the Spring.
18. RUBBERNECK: What you do to relax your wife
19. SELFISH: What the owner of a seafood store does
20. SUDAFED: Brought litigation against a government official