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Greetings & Blessings to all,
It doesn’t seem possible that yet another month is drawing to a close. As much as we think we have all the time in the world, all of a sudden there isn’t any left. Such is the case with us as we get ready to leave for Washington DC on the trip we postponed back in May. Where did all the days go? We filled them up with good times - and not so good. Suffice to say, there was never a dull moment since last we wrote.
Did you ever have in mind you might want to contribute to our efforts? Now might be the time as on the hottest day of the year our air conditioning croaked. While Ireland “sizzled in the seventies” a few weeks back, here in the Ohio Vally, we sweltered in the 90s. It’s the same today, but now, thank God the A/C has been replaced. With Bridget’s heart and respiratory problems, it’s not something we can afford to be without.
Then, on the way to a graduation party last weekend, we had a flat tire which resulted in having to buy two new ones. It seems that you need to do that to make sure all the tires are evenly good - or bad.
But wait. There’s more. Russ yelled from the basement the washer has croaked. The tub is full of water. Twisting dials and re-setting on and off switches meets with a stomach sinking silence. However, there’s also silence from the dryer which should have still been running. Could it be? Are the laundry angels looking out for us? Sure enough. Russ makes an investigation and we blew a fuse. That was all it was. After the previous budget breaking events, this was really good news. Espeicially since we almost forgot to mention that our big TV died. Since it's about 30 years old and we don't watch very often, this wasn't nearly as traumatic as the other untimely demises.
Onwards. June wasn’t all economic disasters. On the contrary, it’s Bridget’s birthday month and it was quite the celebration. Our youngest son Ben and his wife Sarah bought us tickets to the new Celtic Woman show, Isle of Freedom. In a word - wow. And while it doesn't feature as much Celtic or Irish music as previous concerts, it's still well worth seeing. The following Sunday, our middle son Scott and his family took us to brunch and then later, our daughter and her family treated us to a lovely dinner party. All in all, a wonderful time. And making it even nicer was all the cards we received from readers, Bridget was reallyt tickled so may of you remembered her - go raibh maith agat!
Speaking of celebrations - belated happy Bloomsday, Bank holiday weekend, Father's Day and Summer Soltice! And right around the corner, Happy Canada Day to our friends north of the border as well as a safe and happy July 4th to our friends in the USA! We also hope this edition finds you and yours on the pig's back and as fit as a fiddle. And if this is your first edition, many thaks for joing us. We hope you enjoy our musings and meanderings and if so, please feel free to pass them along to your family and friends.
Enough of the blather...on with the update ...
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic
As with many families, graduation celebrations are the order of the day and the good people at Celtic Attic are no exception. To celebrate a middle son graduating with honours from high school and heading off to college in September, they are offering a 10% discount on all orders. Plus get a Free Gift with each and every order. The discount will be taken off AFTER the order is placed.And don't forget to enter their monthly give-away - they always have wonderful prizes! Enter here:
Order on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
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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
What follows are news clips from around the counties and elsewhere. Links for more news stories can be found on our web site where we post the latest headlines from Ireland every morning and we keep two week's of previous news: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html
And more county news can be found here:
FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES
Antrim: Titanic wood to raise funds for Lambeg church
A small vanity unit made from offcuts of the wood used in the construction of the Titanic is one of the items to be auctioned to raise funds to pay for recent improvements to Lambeg Parish Church. The wall-mounted mirror and drawer was made by William Brownlee of Maryville Street in Belfast, a carpenter on the Titanic, from offcuts of mahogany he took home from work.
Antrim: Famous diamond on display at the Linen Hall
The Cave Hill diamond, discovered in the late nineteenth century and displayed for a while in a Belfast shop, is now the centre of an exhibition at the Linen Hall Library. The history of the diamond is unknown but following its discovery it was on show for some twenty years in the window of hatter John Erskine's shop. After his death in 1907 it went missing, and was rediscovered by Eva Kirkwood after the death of her husband, John Erskine's grandson. She found it in a suitcase and now the exhibition will enable the public to enjoy the diamond for the first time in more than one hundred years.
Armagh: 'Ring pull' dates from 12th century
What was originally thought to be the ring pull from a drinks can has turned out to date from the twelfth century. The ring was discovered last year by Conor Sandford while he was digging a hole for a fence post on the family farm near Richill. His father William didn't think it was worth anything but eighteen-year-old Conor emailed a photograph of the ring to Helen Geake, the presenter of the television programme Time Team. She confirmed that it was an old ring and it was handed over to the Ulster Museum which has arranged to have the ring evaluated.
Carlow: Rowing club celebrates 150 years
Recently, on the River Barrow, rowers from all over the country converged for Carlow Rowing Club's one hundred and fiftieth annual regatta. The weather was perfect for the spectators but not quite so much for the contestants, though the local club managed to win fifteen out of a possible twenty-three races. The youngest rowers taking part were aged twelve, while the oldest were represented by the team from London, whose crew members were aged between sixty-two and seventy-two.
Cavan: Four new walks for the county
Later this year four extra loop walks are to be developed in Cavan by Fáilte Ireland, part of a proposal to develop a total of two hundred and thirty walking trails throughout the country. The move has been welcomed by Tourism Officer with the county council Joanne Hayes, who said it was an important step in expanding the walking facilities within the county. It is also possible that walking festivals will be staged in the area. The four new routes will be located at Ballyconnell and Killeshandra, with two being developed at the Bailieborough Lakes.
Clare: A second Fáinne for Jack
Jack Dunleavy from Kilrush, who has just celebrated his ninety-ninth birthday, has been presented with a Fáinne Óir by local county councillor Tom Prendeville, who discovered Jack's love of Irish when he was canvassing before the recent election. Jack has been fluent in Irish since being encouraged by a teacher from Connemara in the local Christian Brothers School, and received his first gold Fáinne some sixty years ago. However in the intervening years this was lost and Jack was delighted to receive a replacement. Heavily involved over the years with the Kilrush GAA club, he carried out all the correspondence through Irish.
Clare: Glastonbury gig for Kilfenora band
Still celebrating its centenary, the Kilfenora Céilí Band will be appearing on the acoustic stage at the Glastonbury Festival in England this year. The ten-member band will headline the acoustic stage and will be joined by two other Irish acts, Lunasa and Lisa Hannigan. Band leader is retired schoolteacher John Lynch and the band comprises three fiddle players, two flute players, a pianist, an accordion player, a drummer, a banjo player and a concertina player. According to Ennis-based accountant Claire Griffin, who plays the accordion, they are very proud to be representing the traditional music of Clare in one of the biggest festivals in Europe.
Clare: Cows will continue to graze the Burren
Government ministers have signed a memo of understanding which could see the BurrenLife programme continue at least to the end of this year. Under the programme cattle have been set to graze on overgrown sites such as that at Poulnabrone dolmen, improving water quality and increasing diversity. Local farmer Pat Nagle grazes his cattle on the site twice a year, for a few weeks in April and May and from October to Christmas; for this he is paid a nominal fee. Not only does the presence of the cattle help to conserve the area, they are also appreciated by the tourists who visit the site.
Cork: New venue for Summer Show
The Cork Summer Show, which has been held at the showgrounds of the Munster Agricultural Society in Ballintemple for the past one hundred and eight years, has moved to a new location in Ballincollig. This year’s show included pony club races, a Connemara Pony competition, and a farmers' market.
Donegal: Ulster-Scots centre opens in Carrigans
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív performed the official opening of Monreagh Manse in Carrigans. The centre will explore the history and culture of the Ulster-Scots and is the first such centre to be opened in the South. It is housed in a building adjacent to the Presbyterian church which is the second oldest congregation in the country, dating back to the mid-seventeenth century. The minister unveiled a plaque at the opening ceremony and spoke of the shared tradition of emigration to the US by the two communities.
Down: Retirement leads to withdrawal of Newry sisters
The sisters of St John of God in Newry will be bringing to an end almost one hundred and forty years of caring for the sick in Newry when three of their number retire this month. Sisters Maria Byrne, Anne Harpur and Anne Murphy have been working at St John's Hospice House, formerly known as St John of God Hospital. The nuns also worked at St Coleman's College, the Bishop's House, Courtenay Hill House and Daisy Hill Hospital, with Sister Clare Feely being the last member to work in the latter hospital; she retired nine years ago. According to former matron Sister Teresa Byrne, their work will be continued by a committed hospice board.
Dublin: Sally is the top Granny
Sally Fagan from Crumlin, the representative for Dublin, was named as Granny of the Year at the All-Ireland Grand Final of the 2009 competition held in the Red Cow Hotel. In addition to winning the title, Sally was also presented with a Dublin Crystal trophy and a Mediterranean cruise donated by Abbey Travel.
Dublin: Bluebells to return to Bluebell
As part of a horticultural project in Dublin's inner city an attempt is to be made to restore bluebells to the area named for them. It is part of a promotion of Irish flora undertaken by Fiann O Nuallain with communities, and especially children, in the Liberties and inner city. He is using the vacant space available after the demolition of the Bridgefoot Street flats and has turned it into a community garden with the help of the local Community Development Project. In one garden a 'calendar garden' has been planted, comprising a tree to symbolise each month. And in the garden on St Agnes Road in Crumlin children from the Bru Youth Group have included plants that would have been familiar to the Fianna.
Galway: Newspaper celebrates its centenary
The Galway-based Connacht Tribune newspaper recently marked its centenary with a celebration at NUI Galway. A special centenary supplement was included in the centenarys edition of the paper, with some of current photographer Joe O'Shaughnessy's notable pictures including the headless statue of Padriac O'Conaire in Eyre Square, Bina McLoughlin, known as the Queen of Connemara, and Pat Ruane who was the city's last horse and cart delivery man.
Galway: Replica plane celebrates transatlantic flight
A replica of the Vimy Vickers aircraft used by John Alcock and Arthur Brown when they made the first transatlantic flight ninety years ago was one of the highlights of an air show recently held at Clifden. Also on display was the world's only formation wing walking team, and a jet display.
Kerry: A medal for Listowel man after 36 years
Thirty-six years ago Jeremiah O'Connor from Listowel was part of a motorcycle escort taking President Erskine Childers to the All-Ireland final when he was in a collision with a car. Since that time the Listowel native has been confined to a wheelchair but continued to dedicate himself to his work. Now he has been honoured by the Garda Retired Members Association with the presentation of the Liddy Medal for his contribution to the State.
Kerry: Rose Buds selected for August
The Toby World Family Entertainment Centre in Tralee was the location for the selection of fifty Rose Buds, each of whom will accompany one of the Rose of Tralee entrants during the festival in August. More than fifteen hundred girls between the ages of five and eleven from all over the county had applied for the positions, and the applications were placed in piles of one hundred and the winners selected at random. The names of the chosen fifty were revealed at a ceremony in the Fels Point Hotel and they can now look forward to taking part in the Official Parade.
Kildare: Lyons Eastate to be sold?
The Ryan family are strongly considering putting the Lyons estate in Celbridge up for sale, since none of the family now lives in it. The Georgian House was extensively refurbished by the late Dr Tony Ryan, who purchased it from University College Dublin in the mid-1990s; it had previously been used as an agricultural college. At the height of the property boom the six-hundred acre estate was valued at €100m, but if the Ryan family members do decide to sell it will probably have a guide price of €80m.
Kilkenny: Castle Annaghs sells below guide price
The Castle Annaghs estate in the south of the county, which was on the market last year for €16m, was auctioned recently with a guide price of €7.5m. However, since such estates are now sold primarily as farming land the bidding started at just €3m and after one hour had risen to just €6.075. The five hundred and fifty acre estate, which includes the Georgian house, a gate lodge, steward's and groom's houses and four hundred cattle, was sold to a dairy farmer from West Cork. The estate also has two miles of frontage onto the River Barrow and the ruins of a sixteenth century castle.
Laois: A busy time for the O Leathlobhair clan
The O Leathlobhair clan has set the date for its annual rally, to be held over the weekend of July 11 to 13 when Lalaors, Lawlors and Lawlers from all over Ireland and beyond will gather for a series of events. Before that date, however, locally-based members of the clan will enjoy a trip to Dublin. This coming weekend Kevin Lalor Fitzpatrick has organised a one-day visit to the capital, the highlight of which will be a visit to Glasnevin cemetery and, in particular, to the grave of revolutionary and journalist James Fintan Lalor.
Limerick: No smoking, even outside a Dooradoyle pub
Patrons of the Hi-Way pub in Dooradoyle who go outside for a cigarette now have nowhere to stub out their cigarettes. For the ashtray attached to the wall of the pub has been taken over by a pair of blue tits and Ken Dunne, general manager of the pub, has ensured that a notice has been attached to the ash tray asking that it not be used. According to Limerick ornithologist Geoff Hunt, the design of the wall-mounted receptacle for cigarette stubs makes it an ideal nesting box but he was surprised that the birds would nest so close to a busy pub.
Louth: Annual Corpus Christi procession in Ballapousta
The annual Corpus Christi procession, which was first held in 1873, has taken place once again at Ballapousta. Organised by the Ballapousta Graveyard Committee, the procession features boys and girls dressed as saints, the boys in altar serving garments and the girls in white. During the procession they carry banners and statues and strew flowers. The ceremony also includes the annual Blessing of the Graves.
Louth: Orange Order to build lodge on "grassy slopes"
On an area north of the River Boyne known as "the grassy slopes" the Orange Order is to build the Boyne Loyal Orange Lodge 1690. One of the main aims of the newly-formed lodge will be to replace a one hundred and seventy foot obelisk built on the four-acre site in 1736 and which was blown up in 1923. The site on which the lodge will stand is that on which William of Orange camped to observe the Jacobite forces before the Battle of the Boyne.
Mayo: Seán's warning bears fruit
The warning issued by former Raidió na Gaeltachta broadcaster Sean Ó Héalaí, that an area of the county was in danger of losing its Gaeltacht status due to misspelling of place names on signage, has been heeded. He has been in meetings with county council officials and Irish Language Commissioner Seán Ó Cuirreáin and has received an undertaking that all the incorrectly spelt road signs will be replaced by September.
Mayo: Ballina will be cheering for Dubai in Tralee
When the Rose of Tralee festival is televised this year the people of Ballina will be cheering for the Dubai Rose, since she is a native of the town. Clodagh Fleming, the daughter of Mary and Thomas of Farrannasculloge, has been living in the United Arab Emirates for the past four years and was selected as the Abu Dhabi Rose at the end of April. She then went on to win the title of Dubai Rose, thus ensuring a place in the final.
Meath: Jockey launches his uncle's book
Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Adrian Maguire, who is originally from Tribley, was in Kilmessan recentlyto perform the official launch of a book by his uncle, Paddy Maguire. The launch of "To Cut A Long Story Short" took place in Fergie Maguire's pub. It was written to celebrate Paddy Maguire's recent ninetieth birthday .
Sligo: Sligo to be put on Australian map
An Australian travel programme, Gurus Explore, has been on location in the county filming some of the most popular tourist sites for an hour-long programme to be broadcast in the autumn. Among the places the film crew visited were Voya Seaweed Baths in Strandhill, where Neil Walton was interviewed. At Drumcliffe Churchyard Ita Leyden recited the poetry of WB Yeats, while Stella Mews of the Yeats Society featured in the filming of parts of the Yeats Trail. Glencar Waterfall and the Carrowmore Megalithic Tombs were also on the itinerary.
Tyrone: Vernon realises a fisherman's dream
Vernon Gilmore from Drumquin has been fishing all his life and has landed many fish, but in all that time he has never caught a trout weighing more than six pounds. That all changed, however, last weekend when he was fishing in Kesh Bay on Lough Erne and landed a natural brown trout which weighed in at nine pounds three ounces and measured twenty-eight inches in length. Vernon took twenty minutes to get the fish into the boat and it is now sitting safely in his freezer; he is looking forward to consuming his exceptional catch.
Westmeath: Priests and parishioners celebrate centenary
One hundred years ago, the Church of the Assumption in Kinnegad was dedicated. To mark the occasion Cardinal Seán Brady participated in a Centeneary Mass. Chief celebrant was Bishop of Meath Dr Michael Smith who was joined by parish priest Fr. Tom Gilroy, Msg Eamon Marron, priests who have served in the parish and priests from Kinnegad. A commemorative plaque or sculpture is to be placed outside the church.
Wexford: Bunclody works reveal Bronze Age site
Sewerage works being carried out at Ryland Road in Bunclody has resulted in the discovery of a number of artefacts dating from the Bronze Age. The contractors carrying out the work found an enclosed cremation cemetery as well as two matching pairs of bronze earrings. The burial plot, the other half of which lies under private property, is directly across from the present Bunclody graveyard. Subsequent archaeological excavation also unearthed what is believed to be the remains of a leather bag, a very rare find in such surroundings as organic material is usually only found preserved in bogland.
Wexford: Courtnacuddy church celebrates 150 years
An important part of the ceremony to mark the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of St Carthage's Church in Courtnacuddy was the unveiling of two plaques. These commemorate two former curates, both of whom served over a century ago and the only two to be interred within the walls of the church. The plaques are dedicated to Father Aidan Corish of Ballingly House, Ballymitty, and Father John D. Hore, a native of Courtnacuddy.
Wicklow: Celebrating by threes
The three churches in Enniskerry are all celebrating their one hundred and fiftieth anniversaries with a series of events which included a Victorian Festival Day. St Mary's Catholic Church, St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Enniskerry and St Brigid's Church of Ireland in Kilbride have combined to include all in the celebrations.
Wicklow: Three 'Es' for Cullen farm
A rare occurrence took place on the Cullen family farm in Newtown mountkennedy earlier this month when a pedigree Limousin heifer was delivered of three calves. Triplet calves are an extremely rare event and, according to Shay Cullen, it is the first time he has seen it in twenty years of cattle-breeding, and the first time also for the vet who delivered them. Shay's children, nine-year-old Laoise and seven-year old Oisin, had the task of naming the new arrivals and since this year it is the turn of the letter 'E' for pedigree cattle, the children chose the names Elisa, Emily and Eve.
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FROM THE MAILBAG
Danny O’Flaherty writes:
I am announcing the cancellation of my Aug/Sept Sister City Tour to Ireland, as our son, Liam, has joined the U.S. Marine Corps and will be graduating on Aug. 21. We are very proud of him and will be in San Diego at that time for his graduation. For the next couple of months he, along with other Recruits, will need a lot of moral support. If you would like to send Liam a note of encouragement, I know it will be much needed and welcomed. His address (must be just like this):
Recruit O'Flaherty, Liam P
3rd BN Kilo Co. Plt 3223
38990 Midway Ave
San Diego, CA 92140-3223
Liam is not allowed to receive any packages of any sort; only letters or cards. Please keep him in your prayers and thank you for your support!
Patricia McNamara asks:
My parents visited Ireland probably 20 years ago and picked up a linen copy of The Drinker's Prayer. We would like to get additional copies but have been unable to find it. It starts out:
The horse and mare live 30 years
and do not know of wines and beers
the goat and sheep at 20 die
and never taste scotch or rye
the cow drinks water by the ton
at 15 life is almost done
would you happen to know where we could purchase this Prayer? I would be most grateful
Jon asks: I was hoping you could help me find the gaelic translation for "fallen friend". One of my best friends died last year and I wanted to get this saying tattooed. I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer.
Hello! I just came back from Carraroe in Co Galway. What a lovely beautiful place! Some of my boyfriend's relatives only speak Irish and it was strongly suggested I learn. Any ideas of where I can learn Connemara Irish in RI or Southern MA?
ED. NOTE: Claire also mentioned that she is a a recently ordained minister and can perform marriages, baby naming ceremonies, baptisms and more. She is non-denominational so can work with just about everyone. This includes the old Celtic tradition of handfasting. If you’d like more details, here is Claire’s URL: http://www.riweddingofficiant.com
In answer to Carlene’s question about the custom of bagging, Roger wrote:
I heard it referred as BUNDLING. This site gives a little insight without looking too far. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundling_(tradition)
Many thanks, Roger!
Can you pour the perfect pint?
Think you have what it takes to pour the perfect pint of Guinness?? Play the game & you could win a trip to Dublin! It’s a lot tougher tahn it looks!
Summer Solstice Celebrations
St. Brigit's Garden, Rosecahill, Galway
This beautiful theme was made famous in the Ken Byrnes Civil War series. It was actually written much, much later; however, we include it here because it has become so entwined with people's feelings and emotions about this poignant time in America's history when so many soldiers - a lot of them Irish -sacrificed so much
Phill Cooley does a beautiful version on acoustic guitar here:
We stumbled upon this site while looking up a quote or prayer by St. Kevin. What struck us was the beautiful Gregorian chant we could listen to while exploring the first page and then the sweet vocalist singng an Irish song when you click through to the second page. But it goes beyond that! We searched further and discovered who our hosts were. This is a keeper!
The Irish Page
This time around, Jack & Vivian offer a poem by Antaine Raftery, Ireland’s poet laureate. He was born in Killedan in 1779 or 1784, the son of a weaver. He was blinded by small pox while very young and is said to have worked as a stable boy for the landlord, Frank Taaffe. Later, he became a wandering musician with a fiddle and like so many vagrant musicians of the time (c. 1784 - 1835), he learned to play an instrument so that he would could earn some sort of a living despite his handicap. This poem is considered to be his greatest piece.
Listowel Writer’s Week Fringe
This link to “blogging Listowel’s literary scene was sent in by Mattie Lennon. There is so much great material here, you could be entertained for days or more. Thanks Mattie!
Roch Valley Radio - Sean Page
They were having internet problems recently, but Sean wrote to say all seems okay now. You can tune in by searching for Roch Valley Hospital Radio & follow links. Sean’s Irish Hour is 8-9pm gmt on Tuesdays.
ED. NOTE. Fair's only fair - Sean gives us a plug every week!
Music in Great irish Houses
Parisian string quartet, Quatuor Ebene - fast becoming a major muscial talent internationally - make their Irish debut with Philippe Cassard who is a favourite with Irish audiences since he won the first Dublin International Piano Competition. They perform in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
More details, here:
Bloomsday in Sandycove
A delightful slideshow consisting of scenes from the tower at Sandycove in Dublin where the novel Ulysses begins. The slides are accompanied by a soundtrack which includes readings from the book and ends with a barbershop trio doing, believe it or not, Along the Wabash Far Away.
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:
ED. NOTE: Maria Eryaatz advises that free mammograms are also available in all states via the VNA (visiting nurses association).
Click on 'Find A VNA' for the your nearest location.
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!
Free People Food!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
QUIPS, QUOTES, PROVERBS & TOASTS
Samuel Johnson once said "the Irish are a fair people, they never speak well of one another." So, naturally, Brendan Behan, that bad boy of Irish literature, had the Irish insult down to a fine art:
"If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks."
A BIT OF THE WIT
"All money is tainted, tain't none of it mine."
Thomas Francis McGuire
This was sent in by one of our readers, Rosemary Nagy. Mr. McGuire was her dad. Thanks, Rosemary!
JOKE OF THE WEEK
A famous British soccer coach was on vacation with his family in Co. Kerry. Since a heavy downpour put an end to any thought of sight-seeing, They decided to go see a film at the local cinema. When they walked in and sat down, the handful of people there applauded. He thought to himself, "I can't believe it. People recognize me all the way over here in Ireland. Then a man came over to him and said, "Thanks for coming.They won't start the film unless we have ten customers or more."
DID YOU KNOW
1. In 1890 ,all three Wimbledon titles were won by Irish players? Lena Rice from New Inn, Co. Tipperary and Willoughby Hamilton winning the singles and the combination of Joshua Pim and Frank Stoker the top pairing in the world at the time, the doubles. To find out more about the history of Irish Tennis, please click
2. At one time, Spancilhill was said to be Ireland's largest horse fair with buyers from Britain, Russia, Prussia, and France competing to purchase the best stock for their Imperial armies? Today, this fair is still held on the 23rd of June every year.
3. Nine men of Irish ancestry signed the American Declaration of Independence?
KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS
To begin with, the answers to our previous quiz:
1. I Never Knew That About the Irish by Christopher Winn
2. Ireland’s Misfortune: The Turbulent Life of Kitty O’Shea by Elisabeth Kehoe
3. Irish Wit: From Behan and Wilde to Yer Man in the Pub by Sean McCann
A round of pints and applause to the following Irish bibliophiles:
A favorite site of mine is Creative irish Gifts . I love to browse there:
ED. NOTE: Roger didn’t nominate a site, so we thought we’d promote his radio program called Beyond the Pale on WRWW FM91.1 in Cleveland, Ohio. If you’d like to learn more, please click
My favourite site is Irish Culture and Customs. I learn plenty of news about the country I live in. It is amazing, thank you for a wonderful site.
ED. And thank YOU Deirdre for the nice comments!
A favorite Irish site -The ONE, the ONLY - Irish site is:
ED. NOTE: It’s only fair that we recirprocate. By the way, Helen wrote to us that while she appreciates our votes and our hopes that she becomes the top Christian site, she says that is not her goal; that the man in the number one spot is also very worthy of being there.
An Interesting IRISH site found on the Internet is:
Mythical ireland - An exploration of the Irish Stone Age sites of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, ... A thoroughly interesting read!” – Archaeology Ireland
Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
Personalized Tours of Ireland:
Imagine you’re in the country of your dreams with the people you’d most like to be there with. It could be your closest colleagues through the years from work, or your extended family, for a once-in-a-lifetime gathering. Instead of being herded onto a huge tour bus of strangers, you’re together in a small van getting a personalized tour of Ireland. To learn more, please click
If you’d like to see your name in our Irish bibliophile’s list, tell us who wrote the following:
2. All Names Have Been Changed
3. No Time For Work
Please send your answers to Bridget:
But please hold off sending your answers until after July 7 and don't forget to nominate a favorite Irish site. It would also be helpful if you put "Know Your Writers" in the subject line of your email. Thanks!
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There was NO winner in the last drawing and 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:
First off, the answer to our last Head Banger which, considering the solution should have been called the Potty Puzzle! (potty as in silly!)
Q. You are in a place called Haggerty’s world and there is only one Law. There is a mirror, but no reflection. There is pizza with cheese, but no sausage. There is pepper, but no salt. There is a door, yet no entrance or exit. What is the law?
A. Everything in Haggerty's world has to contain a double letter.
Our brilliant Riddle Peeple didn’disappoint; we were .flooded with correct messasges. But first in was B. J. Hamilton - well done, BJ!
And now for our next skull scrambler:
How many of each type of animal did Moses take on the Ark?
Please send your answer to:
It would be helpful if you put riddle answer in the subject line. And please hold off on sending us your answers until after July 7th. Thanks!
THE WEEK THAT WAS
1. SHOPPING SECTION: Birthdays, weddings, graduations.... whatever the occasion, find the perfect gift in our shopping section where you'll discover a selection of the best Irish and Celtic shops on the internet - or anywhere else:
ED. NOTE: Every purchase through our shop links, helps support our efforts. Many thanks in advance.
1. Article: James Joyce’s Dublin
2. Article: How ro Savor Ulysses this Summer
3. Article: A Tribute to Jimmy Kennedy
4. Article: Gregory Peck’s Connection to Ireland
5. Article: In tibute to W. B. Yeats
6. Article: John McCormack - An Irish Legend, Then & Now
7. Article: St. Columcille
8. Basic Irish: Weddings
9. Irish Kitchen: Summery Flummery
10. Kids Ireand: Old Whiskers Wins a Wife - and Learns a Lesson
11. June/July Trivia Contest. The new contest is posted and since we put it up so late, we’re running this one through the month of July. All entries must be in by July 31st whatever time zone you live in. http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
12. Circle of Prayer: The seventh Novena in this cycle began on June 18 and continues through June 26. Our eighth Novena begins on June 27. Since last we wrote, we heard that Jmes Leahy is now responding to treatment in Ireland which means he may not have to go to the US and his parents won’t have to sell Irish Shop in order to pay for it. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we ask that you remember the Leahy family and so many others, including Ronnie Kennedy and Joe Colum who both accompany Daniel O’Donnell and are very ill; Hartson Dowd, Burnett McManus’ friend recently underwent surgery for lung cancer, Christy Banik, Joe Colum, Patricia's daughter Heather, the family and friends of the McTiernans, Pauline Dewberry, Laureena Blankenship, Sierra Mitchell, Katie Lacinak and so many others as well as all those who are suffering from the financial hardships of the economic downturn. And please don't overlook our military personnel serving their countries at home and abroad. Dear Heavenly Father, please keep them safe from all harm and bring those away from home back to their loved ones soon.
So there you have it until the next time. If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion between now and then we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness.
Pinch, punch, first day of the month white rabbit - and if you were married in the month of July or will be tying the knot, here’s your special verse:
They who in July do wed
Must labor always for their bread.
Not a very encouraging sentiment, is it? Possibly it’s a superstition that stems from the fears of “Hungry July.” According to Kevin Danaher in his book "The Year in Ireland," in the old days, “it was the ambition of the wife that the store of food from the previous harvest would last until the new harvest was ripe. Even among comfortable farmers, there was anxiety because a failure of the crops or a delay in the ripening, or in harvesting because of bad weather might mean short rations. A frequent admonition of a mother to a child who would not finish its meal was ‘You might be glad of that before the harvest".
Perhaps the following toast to newlyweds who go ahead with a wedding in July might overcome the superstition:
May your hands always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.
Meanwhile, we pray the Good Shepherd of us all will enfold you and yours in the mantle of His 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
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ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.
Dublin Ireland - Fringefest 2009
The 15th Dublin Fringe Festival invites submissions for its annually anticipated, culture jamming line-up of contemporary arts this September. As in previous years, the call for applications has been heard around the world, as the Fringe continues its search for new, exciting and challenging work through all arts communities. Closing Deadline for applications is: Friday 3 April. For more details, please click
Zurich - June 27
Storytelling Night and Workshop with Niall de Búrca from Galway. For complete details, please write to Elizabeth Zollinger:
Also, be sure to visit the Celtic Spirit web site for for details about cultural holidays on the Aran Isle of Inis Mor:
Inishmore, Aran Isles - August
House to rent. Because of my “time out” I won’t spend so much time in my house this year. So there are more dates available for rentingfrom end of July 09 on. Rent: 280-430 Euro/week. More Information on my web site:
Or ph.: 0041 (0)44 2520918
Los Alamitos, California -1st Tuesday of every month
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
Portland, oregon - 1st Friday of the month
Ceili of the Valley Society - 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
The following is the ultimate Maxine and just might be the best
Living Will We’ve 've Seen. Many thanks to Joe McTiernan for sharing it with us so we can do likewise with you.
I,__________________, being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means.
Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of pinhead politicians who couldn't pass ninth grade biology if their lives depended on it, or lawyers/doctors interested in simply running up the bills.
If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to ask for at least one of the following:
Glass of wine
It should be presumed that I won't ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my appointed person and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes, let the 'fat lady sing,' and call it a day!
Have a Drink
IT'S 5 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE