Welcome to our November edition. We hope it finds you and yours in good health, good company and good spirits. And if this is your first issue, many thanks for joining us; if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to forward them on to your family and friends.
Much has happened since last we wrote. First off, we hope all of our readers in the USA enjoyed a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We also overlooked wishing the same to our readers in Canada in our October newsletter. Please accept these very belated good wishes with our apologies.
It’s been another emotional roller coaster in the Haggerty household.
With great joy, we welcomed Beckett Jameson Clint into the world on November 7th. He is our fifth grandchild and the second little boy for our son Ben and his wife Sarah. The third name is after one of Beckett’s grandparents who lost his battle with a very aggressive cancer one week later. Happily, he knew before he left us that his name had been carried on and that gave him a lot of pleasure at a very sad time. As our good friend Jane put it so well, we had truly witnessed the circle of life in what seemed like the twinkling of an eye. We’re both kind of old stay at home fuddie duddies, so it was unusual for us to attend a fund-raiser for Clint at one of his favourite bars just a few weeks ago. There were hundreds of people, a slew of great bands and Clint was there, looking lousy but very happy to see everyone. It was like being at his wake although none of us knew that. We are so very glad and thankful we went.
On a much lighter note, we had the pleasure of notifying several readers that they had won either tickets to an Orla Fallon concert or her latest CD. And then we were very happy to notify the readers who won a Phil Coulter CD.
But wait there’s more...
We normally don’t begin our annual fund-raising drive until January, but we have three Irish Tenor Christmas CDs to give away . So, we are having a special early bird drawing on December 15th for any reader who makes a contribution of $5.00 or more before then. If you would like to participate, you can send your donation via PayPal. Our account there is this email address:
Or, you can send it via snailmail to:
Bridget & Russ Haggerty
5814, Blue Spruce Lane
Cincinnati. Ohio 45224.
Many thanks in advance for your kindness. All donations, whatever the amount, help us cover the costs of maintaining the web site and sending out the newsletter.
Enough of the blitherin’ - on with the update.
SPONSOR: Help support this newsletter and our web site by visiting our friends at The Celtic Attic:
Tis the season to decorate your life and home for the holidays with a Celtic twist! And, exclusively for Irish Culture and Customs readers, Take 10% off your order and get FREE shipping on orders over $50! The discount will be removed AFTER you place your order. Just put the code IC01 in the ‘add a gift card’ section!
Contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
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 Is
Leave 'em Laughing
Irish Christmas in America
Since 2005, Téada founder Oisín Mac Diarmada has been getting together with various other musicians to ensure Irish traditional music is a part of the build-up to Christmas for fans in the United States.
For more details, please click
To watch a video clip from a previous concert , please click:
Arts Council Bursary Awards
The Arts Council provides Bursary Awards in order to assist individual artists in the development of their art practice. The award emphasises the value and benefit to an artist’s development that is derived from a focused period of engagement with their practice. The deadline for the next round of Arts Council Bursary Awards is Thursday 19 January, 2012 at 5:30pm. For more details, please click
The link for this very well done newsletter was sent to us by one of our subscribers Gael Stanton - go raibh maith agat! It’s published The Irish Eyes, an Irish club in France. Well worth exploring, even if you don’t speak French.
Save your local economy - three shops at a time
Sullivan’s Irish Alley is one of our highly valued sponsors and we are only too happy to pass along their reminder of the 3/50 project which ecourages all of us to buy from small businesses in our own communities. To learn more about the project, please click
And to visit Sullivan’s Alley on line, please click
http://sullivansirishalley.com/mysitecaddy/site3/ Tell them IC&C sent you - they’ll be happy to hear that!
Cottage Creations by Irish Molly.
Mary Sigirst has been a loyal subscriber for a long time; so we thought it fitting to give her shop a plug - especially at this time of year.
The Irish Page
This time around, Vivian & Jack Hennessy offer us Nuala. Here’s their message: Núala Ní Dhomhnaill (NOO-la Nee GO-nal), Ireland's foremost present-day poet writing in Irish, was born in 1952 in Lancashire. In 1957, her parents returned to Ireland - to the Dingle Gaeltacht in Kerry, where she grew up. She writes all her poetry in Irish because she believes that Irish is a language of enormous elasticity and emotional sensitivity; of quick and hilarious banter. Many international scholars have commented that this language of ragged peasants "seems always on the point of bursting into poetry."
Watch Roger Cummiskey on Teli
Dublin artist Roger has sponsored our trivia contest for years. Several winners have opted to claim one of Roger’s prints as a prize. Here he is being interviewed on Irish TV. Enjoy!
FROM THE MAILBAG
To all of you who sent us Happy Thanksgiving cards and messages - we really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Although too many to list here, we want you to know how much we enjoyed them. Go raibh maith agat!
Peter and Barbara Stettler, Switzerland write:
We are desperately looking for the original English version of an Irish proverb of which we only have a German translation. Translated back into English it probably goes as follows:
"Remember (or: consider?) that whoever knocks on your door may be a gift (sent?) from heaven"
ED. NOTE. It sounds familiar...anyone know exactly what the saying is?
In a recent newsletter we mentioned a film being made based on the Great Blasket Island. In response,
Eileen deLapp writes:
I met Eleanor McGrath and Finbar McCarthy in Toronto a few years ago. They are a lovely couple with a beautiful family. I sincerely hope they get the funding for the film, as I believe they will do a good job, (if Eleanor's book is anything to go by). I'm very pleased to report that the irish government, (board of public works) has purchased Tomas O'Crohan's home, author of 'The Islandman' along with as much of the Great Blasket Island as they could. Tomas' old home has been fenced off as they intend to partially restore it, (to stop any more erosion of the site) and keep it maintained for historical purposes. The island has become very popular with tourists over the years, as there's quite a number of books that followed 'The Islandman'. So, if you're ever visiting the south west of Ireland, you would do well to pay a visit there. The current financial situation in Ireland may slow down the work, but I was surprised when I was there in August 2011 that there was evidence of people working on the island. The Public Works have also paid for guides to show you around (free of charge) and explain some of the history of the previous inhabitants.
ED. NOTE: Eileen is the great grand daughter of Tomas O'Crohan)
Thank you so much for the Coulter cd. It arrived yesterday and I put it on first thing this morning..LOVED IT!! I also loved the way he explained his reasons for writing the songs. It was interesting to hear them w/o the words, I can now enjoy the music w/either, depending on my mood. I have all of the CD's and some DVD's put out by Celtic Thunder and this one is just "icing on the cake"!
ED. NOTE: You are most welcome Pat. Congrats as well to our other Coulter winners: Debbie & Joy
QUOTES, TOASTS , CURSES AND BLESSINGS
In memory of Oscar Wilde who passed away on November 30th. 1900:
“Don't give a woman advice; one should never give a woman anything she can't wear in the evening.”
JOKE OF THE WEEK
An old classic that’s well worth repeating:
The wise old Mother Superior from county Tipperary was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable. They gave her some warm milk to drink, but she refused it. Then one nun took the glass back to the kitchen. Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened and poured a generous amount into the warm milk. Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop. Mother," the nuns asked with earnest, "Please give us some wisdom before you leave us. "She raised herself up in bed with a pious look on her face and said, "Don't sell that cow."
A BIT OF THE WIT
A Kerryman gets on a bus and asks the driver how long the trip is between Limerick to Cork. "About 2 hours," says the driver. "Well," says the Kerryman "then how long is the trip between Cork to Limerick?" The irate driver says "It's still about 2 hours, boyo. Why'd ye think there'd be a difference?" "Ah, ," says the Kerryman, "It's only a week between Christmas and New Year's, but it it’s an awfully long time between New Year's and Christmas!"
SPONSOR Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
In operation since 1988, it's one of the oldest online 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! It’s always been a fantasy of ours that one of readers would scoop the big prize, but you can’t win it if you’re not in it. Play from the comfort of home here:
DID YOU KNOW
1. "Christmas in Killarney" was written by singer-songwriter John Redmond of Burditt Hill, in Clinton, Massachusetts?
To watch The Irish Rovers perform this perennial old favourite, please click
2. To have good health in the coming year, you should eat an apple on Christmas Eve?
3. Long before Christianity came to Ireland, it was customary to place holly leaves and branches around the home during winter? This was intended as a kindly and hospitable gesture as it was believed that the good people who inhabited the forests would come into the home and use the holly as shelter against the cold. This may actually have had some basis in fact, as holly growing in the wild is often used as shelter by small animals and insects.
But first the answer to our last bit of skullduggery
You can find me in darkness but never in light.
I am present in daytime but absent at night.
In the deepest of shadows, I hide in plain sight.
Q. What am I?
A. The letter D (we would also have accepted the letter A)
As always our Riddle People didn’t let us down and we had a slew of correct answers. But first in was Steve Healy - well done, Steve.
And now for our next Brain Bruiser:
You have 10 trees you need to make 5 rows of 4. How do you do it?
Please send your answers to Bridget and put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks!
KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS
But, to begin with, the answers to our last quiz:
1. Ghosts of the Faithful Departed by David Creedon
2. Ghosts in Irish Houses by ames Reynolds
3. True Irish Ghost Stories by St. John Delacourt Seymour
A tip of the hat and a round of applause to the following Irish bibliophiles:
Victoria says "Don't let the last name fool you; my grandmother's family were Mallorys and I heard about the Headless Rider of Castle Sheela as a wee lass)"
Be sure to visit Helen's great web site!
And now for our next quiz. Who wrote:
1. An Irish Country Christmas
2. A Celtic Christmas
3. A Dublin Carol
Hint: All titles are in our library on the web site
If you would like to see your name on our Know Your Irish Writers list, please send your answers to Bridget and also nominate a favourite Irish web site if you’d like:
THE WEEK THAT IS
Shopping Section: Naturally, we hope you and yours will do ALL your holiday shopping through Irish Culture & Customs and the advertisers in our newsletter. For every sale, we make a small commission which goes a long way toward helping us cover the expenses of maintaining the website and sending the newsletter. Many thanks in advance for your kindness!
2. County News: The bits and bobs that used to come by mail are now on line here:
We’ve been slugging away at it for several weeks now and we do hope you’re enjoying the results of our efforts.
3. National News: We keep two week’s worth of headlines and links here: And we try to keep it all positive.
4. Trivia Contest: All entries for the November Contest must be in by midnight on November 30 no matter what time zone you live in.
October’s winner was Pamela Boyd USA who chose for her prize the James Joyce print generously provided by Dublin artist Roger Cummiskey
5. Article: Preparing the Puddings
6. Article: An Advent Memory
7. Article: The Rosary and all the Trimmings
8. Article: An Irish Christmas - Waiting for St. Nicholas
9. Article: Irish Superstitions for the Christmas Season
10.Article: An Post at Christmas
11. The Irish Kitchen: Homeland Irish Christmas Cake
12. Basic Irish: Post/Mailing & Shipping
13. Kids’ Ireland: The Nightingale and the Rose
14. Music Review: The Chieftains: Bells of Dublin
15. Circle of Prayer. Our 7th Novena in this cycle begins today and continues through December 8th. Since last we wrote, Clint, the husband of Kim, mom to our daughter-in-law Sarah lost his battle with a very aggressive cancer. He seemed perfectly fine in July. One just never knows. Another dear friend Jan put her mother Bette Keating in hospice yesterday; we have known them for many years and they are like family, so whatever your spiritual leanings, please keep them in your prayers or meditations as well as the family and friends of the McTiernans, County Gort’s mother who is recovering from a serious illness, Hartson and Helen Dowd and so many others who are going through so much stress and strain, especially because of the current economic situation all over the world. We also ask that you remember our men and women in the military that God will keep them safe and bring them home to their families soon.
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
It’s Christmas to the rafters with gifts for every lad and colleen on your list! Plus, they offer free Gift Wrapping with a handwritten gift card and your personalized message. And remember, whatever the occasion, birthdays, graduations, weddings or anniversaries, you’re sure to find the perfect present at Lollysmith! Stop by soon and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello.
So that’s the long and the short of it until we send our special Christmas edition. Meanwhile, pinch punch first day of the month white rabbit! If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and when we write again, we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness.
And if you were married in December or plan to tie the knot in the coming month, here is your special verse:
When December’s showers fall fast
Marry and true love will last.
We’ll take our leave with this old Irish blessing:
During the coming Christmas season
May you be blessed
With the spirit of the season,
which is peace,
The gladness of the season,
which is hope,
And the heart of the season,
which is love.
And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.
Slan agus beannachtái
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.
Irish Abroad publishes a list of events here:
The Wild Geese also publishes events on its Facebook page:
If you would like us to promote an event, please send details to Bridget and mention event in the subject line:
December 3 - Cincinnati, Ohio
St. Patrick's Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians invites the Irish community to the Grand Opening and Blessing of their New Hall. The evening begins at 6:30 PM with a Procession and Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 4026 River Road, The evening continues, from approximately 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM at the new St. Patrick Hall, above the Church. For directions, please click
December 10 - Hollywood, Florida
Irish-American Ceili Club Christmas Buffet & Dance Party, 7pm to 11pm; American Legion Hall, 211 N21 Ave. Music by Noel Kingston. Admission: Members: $10 Guests: $12. For more details, please click
Or call 54-281-7202 / 305-944-3471
Next Ceili : January 21, 2012
December 22 & 23 - Dublin, Ireland
Tis the season to be jolly and The National Chamber Choir of Ireland’s winter program Christmas Tidings conjures a magnificent selection of seasonal carols, directed by leading Irish conductor of his generation, David Brophy. The choir performs two concerts at Monkstown Parish Church, Co Dublin & The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin. For more details, please click
IRISH HERITAGE CENTER OF CINCINNATI
For details on upcoming events and other activities, please click
CULTURE WEEKS ON THE ARAN ISLANDS
Celtic Spirit Culture Weeks are very carefully and sensitively designed to share with you a true and authentic Irish Celtic Experience, with most activities guided by the islanders themselves. To learn more, please click:
FRIENDS OF IRELAND - LOS ALAMITOS, CA
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
CEILI OF THE VALLEY SOCIETY - Portland OR
First Friday of the month Céilís and ongoing Tuesday night Céilí and Sean Nós dance classes. Our season runs from October through June and next season we may be moving the dances to Saturday rather than Friday nights. For more details, please click
LEAVE ‘EM LAUGHING
Sean & Paddy worked together and both were laid off, so off they went to the unemployment office. Asked his occupation, Sean said "Knicker stitcher; I sew the elastic onto ladies’ underwear.’." The clerk looked up knicker stitcher. Finding it classified as unskilled labor, she gave him $300 euro a week in unemployment pay. Paddy was asked his occupation. "Diesel fitter," he replied. Since diesel fitter was a skilled job, the clerk gave Paddy $600 a week. When Sean found out, he was furious. He stormed back into the unemployment office to find out why his friend and coworker was collecting double his pay. The clerk explained that knicker stitchers were unskilled and diesel fitters were skilled labor. "What skill?" Sean shouted. "I sew the elastic on, and Paddy pulls on it and says, 'Right then, diesel fitter!'"
And a bonus chuckle sent in by our good friend Bill Crotty:
An elderly man is stopped by the police at 2 a.m. and is asked where he is going so late at night.
The man replies, "Well officer, I'm on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the affect it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out at all hours of the night."
The officer then said, "Oh really, and just who would be giving a lecture like that at two o'clock in the morning?"
The man replies, "Well sir, that would be my wife."