Greetings & Blessings to all
We hope this edition finds you on the pig’s back and as fit as a fiddle! Has it really been six weeks since our last letter ? The time has just flown by and so much has taken place in the interim, we’ll simply reference the past month or so with a “hope it was all good for you and yours!” As for ourselves, we’re just back from a whirlwind trip to Baltimore for the wedding of our nephew Eric Shields to his delightful bride Trisha, nee Basuray. Both families appear to get along famously and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves - especially the rehearsal dinner at Ryan’s Daughter pub. If you live in the Baltimore area, we highly recommend it and if you do stop by, be sure to say hello to Owen from Co. meath - a terrific barkeep who is gettining married himself in June
We had our drawing of names from all those who kindly made a contribution to our 2010 fund-raiser. By now, the winners should have received their CD or book. Thank you once again to everyone who made a donation.
Were you affected by the volcano eruption in Iceland? We heard from a couple of our advertisers here in the states that all of their shipments had been delayed because of the no-fly zone over Ireland. That said, people are a lot more than stuff and we hope you weren’t one of those thousands of people who were stranded! However, we also hope anything you might have ordered through our advertisers is now on its way to you, God willing.
It’s another long bank holiday weekend in Ireland & the UK. Whatever your plans, and especially whatever the weather, we hope and pray you and yours will have a safe and happy time of it. Here in our Ohio Valley, many of us are getting ready for the Kentucky Derby - either going to a party or actually attending the race at Churchill Downs which is about a two hour drive, more or less, from where we live. We’ve never been because it’s such a madhouse in the infield which is all our budget will allow. Oh well. We won’t be suffering as we will get to watch the race on TV at a lovely gathering hosted by our good friend Jane Fitzgerald. Everyone brings good food and drink, the Mint Juleps will be flowing freely, and we will pull a horse’s name from a hat for every dollar we bet. Herself would love to get Paddy O’Prado ridden by Donegal racing’s Jerry Crawford . It’s supposed to be a very wet and soggy track, but Jerry thinks it might be to the colt’s advantage. (Now don’t be blaming us if you take a flutter and Paddy doesn’t win) . With that comment, we must be off oursleves to finish this April issue before midnight tonight. Please bear with us if it seems a wee bit rushed - time got away from us - yet again.
Enough of the blither & blather - on with the update:
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
Spring is finally here and Mother’s Day in the USA is right around the corner. Stop by the Celtic Attic where you’ll find a wide array of ways to celebrate every season in Celtic style, plus, take 5.00 off an order of $50 or more exclusively through Irish Culture & Customs. 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:
News - This was sent as a separate document last week.
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
FROM THE MAILBAG
Go raibh maith agat to all of you who sent us St Patrick’s Day Greeting and Easter greetings. We receive literally hundreds of cards which is something we treasure - so please keep them coming. BUT, we may take a while to thank you personally!
A reader writes: While visiting Ireland in 2002 I heard a hymn played in church in Kenmare. It was called "Walk with me, oh my Lord'" by Estelle White.
I have been trying to find a copy, either a CD or sheet music, but have been unsuccessful. Can you help me?
Leo writes: I was wondering if you may be of assistance. I am trying to get a translation for a headstone for the American term "Like Father, Like Son". I have not been able to find any or any translation that may be close.
Catherine writes: I just wanted to thank you so very much for posting Norah Lush's Familysearch.org website. I had managed to trace a surname in my family back to County Down, Ireland but really wanted to learn about his parents. Every kind of search engine I could think of I tried, but still no Huskey name to be found. Just for the fun of it I decided I would try Norah's website and low and behold, there was Thomas Huskey and his parents, Thomas Huskey and Jenet Collins. So thank you so very much Bridget and Russ, and Norah for the website, for helping me find a missing link in my family that I had been searching for! It will help to make this St. Patrick's Day even better.
ED. These are the letters we just love to receive and share!
Otto Anderson writes: I am searching for jancestors in or around Longford city. Their last name is McMahan or McMahon. My great grandfarther is Thomas Owen McMahon . I f you jave information on this ancestor, I would be very appreciative.
Nicole writes: I am trying to locate an Irish saying to engrave on the inside of my future husbands wedding band. I saw one the other day and did not pay close enough attention to it. Hind sight is always 20/20. It something like 'this thee has given thine"... It's not much, but are familiar with it? If not, can you suggest something approriate?
Joan writes: I am very happy to tell you that I had a true miracle on Saint Patrick's Day. I lost my Irish wedding ring during the ice storm that came in early 2009. I have cried and cried over it because I thought it was gone forever. I found my ring yesterday while cleaning a room we use to store what we do not know where to put. My husband laughed, I cried and thanked everyone in Heaven I could think of. I even thanked the leprechauns. I also got a check in the mail on Monday that allowed me to fix my truck and I have a job interview next week. I must say that I am very thankful for all my blessings and this has been the best Saint Patrick's Day ever.
My name is Kristina and I am starting a novel soon and am trying to gather information on Irish traditions. My main question that I cannot seem to find an answer to is...are their traditions or customs on what families name their children? I know nowadays people pretty much do as they want but I am wanting to go somewhat old school and make this family in my book to be very a traditional Irish family. Thanks for your time!
D. NOTE: Did we miss a query and/or request? Given the amount of mail we rceive, it’s enitirely possible. So, please write again if we didn’t mention your request - and our apologies for the oversight.
She's as sweet as the day
She stole Dad's heart away
That old Irish Mother of mine
In honor of Mother's Day:
Win a free Irish bBallad
Nigel is from Ireland and has been playing music and singing for 30 years.
He started recording “Custom Irish Ballads ” recently and the demand has become so high that he decided to create his own own website. Find out more here:
A Taste of Ireland - In Vancouver
Emma Ross raises pure bred Irish Wolfhounds and also offers charming B & B accommodations in a tranquil setting reminiscent of Killarney. Take a look.
The Irish Page: Madra na n-ocht gCos - Dog with eight legs
This time around, Jack & Vivian offer the beginning of another fascinating Irish story: Please click:
Cleaning for a Reason
Many thanks to Pamela Boyd who sent us the following:
If you know any woman currently undergoing Chemo, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE
housecleaning - 1 time per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service.
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 & QUOTE, PROVERBS & TOASTS
In honour of Mother’s Day in the USA :
In her eyes are the blue lakes of Killarney,
On her cheeks the pink rose of Kildare,
On her lips just a wee bit of blarney,
And the sheen of the Shannon's in her hair
She's as sweet as the day
She stole Dad's heart away
That dear Irish Mother of mine.
He is scant of news that speaks ill of his mother. Irish saying
BIT OF THE WIT
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.' Oscar Wilde
JOKE OF THE WEEK
This is a classic that keeps making the rounds - but it's appropriate for around Mother's Day and if you haven't heard it before, we hope you think it's as funny as we do.
Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother. The first said, "I built a big house for our mother."The second said," I sent her a BMW with a driver." The third smiled and said, "I've got you, both beat. You know how Mom enjoys the Bible, and you know she can't see very well. I sent her a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took 20 monks in an Irish monastery 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000.00 a year for 10 years, but it was worth it. Mom just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it."
Soon thereafter, Mom sent out her letters of thanks: " "Seamus," she wrote the first son, "the house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house." "Sean," she wrote to another, "I am too old to travel. I stay home all the time, so I never use the BMW. And the driver is so rude!" "Dearest Donal," she wrote to her third son, "You were the
only son to have the good sense to know what your mother likes. That chicken was delicious."
DID YOU KNOW
1. Co. Cork-born Mary Harris Jones, one of America's early labor champions, is also known to many as "Mother Jones"?
2. General de Gaulle's maternal ancestors were McCartans from Co. Down?
3. US President Andrew Jackson's mother was from Carrickfergus?
KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
Hats off and a pat on the back to the following Irish book mavens:
Tom didn’t nominate a web site but in the past he has mentioned his cousin Mary Pat who write the blockbuster novel Galway Bay. Read about it here:
As always, my favorite Irish site is Irish Culture & Customs: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com
ED. NOTE : Thanks. Helen! You’re a favorite of ours, too! At the moment Helen is in second place on the top Christian sites listing. Please vote for her and help her be first again - she deserves it! Thanks!
The Irish dance phenomenon: Celtic crossover. (includes related article on Web sites)
Rita T Roche
The web site I recommend is Familysearch - A great resource for looking up those elusive ancestors! Please click:
Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
Personalized Tours of Ireland:
Imagine you’re in the country of your dreams with your favorite people. 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:
1) Water Horse, a book of Irish poetry - Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill
2) The Irish Derby-1866-1979 - Guy St. John Williams and Francis Hyland
3) Racing and The Irish - Sean Magee
Please send your answers to:
Don't forget to nominate a favorite Irish site and it would be helpful if you put "Know Your Writers" in the subject line of your e-mail. Thanks!
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
For the Mums & Dads, Grads & Lads on your list, come take a look at heir wide range of gifts including many new items they have added to their ever-growing inventory : Connemara fleece throws, wall hangings, shamrock curtains, satin silver door knockers, as well as Holy Communion & Confirmation Angels. And did we mention Walking sticks? You’re in for a real treat when you browse through their vast collection!
First off, the answer to our previous St. Patrick’s Day groaners:
1. What would you get if you crossed Quasi modo with an Irish football player?
A. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
2. What do leprechauns like to barbecue?
A. Short ribs
3. How can you tell if an Irishman is having a good time?
A. He's Dublin over with laughter
4. Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?
A. Because they are always a bit short.
5. Why are leprechauns so hard to get along with?
A. They're short-tempered
6. What is a nuahcerpel?
A. Leprechaun spelled backward.l?
As awlays, our Riddle People swamped us with correct answers. But first in was Tom McGuire. Well done, Tom!
And now for our next head banger:
An old king is dying and before he dies he wants to decide who will be the next king: his youngest son or his oldest son. He decides to hold a strange horse race for them both where the owner of the slowest horse will become the new king. He tells them that they must race to the castle and that whoever owns the slowest horse becomes the new king. The youngest son jumps on a horse and starts racing for the castle. The king then knows that his youngest son is the most intelligent and makes him the new king. Why?
Please send your answer to:
It would be helpful if you put riddle answer in the subject line. Thanks!
THE WEEK THAT IS
1. SEARCH FUNCTION: Have you tried it out? You can find the search box in the banner on the left-hand side. Simply key in whatever word or words you wish and if they’re on the site, Google will find them!
2. SHOPPING SECTION:
We will be updating the shops for spring. Please keep in mind that every purchase through our shop links, helps support our efforts. Many thanks in advance.
3. Article: May -the month of mirth and merrriment
4. Article - How to prevent Mayhem
5. Article : The May Day Dew - Should You Roll Naked in It?
6. Article: Beltane Bonfire And Nettle Soup
7. Article: The Bright Flames of May
8. Article: Marry In May & Rue The Day
9. Article: A Powerful Woman
10. Article: Poems & Lyrics in Honour of Irish Mothers
11. The Irish Kitchen: Recipes in Celebration of Spring
12. Kids’ Ireland - The White Trout
13. Music Review: Loreena McKennitt - Masked. Mirrored and Magical
14. April Trivia Contest: Time is fast running out -all entries must be in by midnight, April 30 matter what time zone you live in http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
Winner for March: Congratulations to Shirley Younger, USA, who chose the stunning Shamrock print generously provided by our sponsor Jim Crotty. To see Jim’s work which is available for purchase, please click:
15. Circle of Prayer: The sixth Novena in this cycle begins on May 1st and ends on May 9th. Since last we wrote, our dear friend Rocky Woods hd a sudden problem with his vision which has resulted in significant loss of sight in his right eye. He is an artist which makes this even more of a devastating blow. Also, Russ had a cat scan to try and determine the cause of on-going discomfort. The results are in and we still don’t have an answer as the scan was “normal’. So...he will be conferring further with the doctors. In the meantime, please continue to remember him in your prayers or meditations. Also, Jim Smith’s friend Jeremy Claring. Laney O’Leary’s friend Harv Carson. Michelle’s nephew Chris, the Leahy family, Mary Pat McGuire, little Isabella, Dana Slye- and her mother Kimberly Jane Donahue, Mickey, Keyra, the aunt of our friend Carlos, Jeff Minnick’s 3-month old son, Ronnie Kennedy, Hartson Dowd, Burnett McManus’ friend, Christy Banik, Joe Colum, Patricia's daughter Heather, the family and friends of the McTiernans, Laureena Blankenship, Sierra Mitchell, Katie Lacinak and so many others including the poor people of Haiti and Chile devastated by the recent earthquakes; and the folks in Rhode Island who lost so much in the flooding; we also ask that you keep in mind 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.
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: - and the best of Irish luck to you!
So there you have it until we write again - God willing about mid-month. If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness. And if you tied the knot in May, here is your special verse:
Marry in May
And rue the day
Not very promising, is it? But Before you go off and change your date, we’d llke to hear from happily married couples who threw caution to the wind and chose to ignore this old superstiiton which is actually based on the Catholic belief that the month of May belonged to Mary, the mother of God and she should be the focus - no one else.
Until next time, Happy Mother’s Day and check out our home page on Sunday where we will have a special Mother’s Day Greeting. Meanwhile, we will leave you with this lovely verse:
A mother's love's a blessing
No matter where you roam
Keep her while she's living
You'll miss her when she's gone
Love her as in childhood
Though feeble, old and grey
For you'll never miss a mother's love
Till she's buried beneath the clay.
(from the song by Thomas P Keenan)
May the Good Shepherd of us all keep you and yours safe, warm, and protected from all harm - 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
And this is for our dear friend Mary O’Hara who asked us to bring this phrase back:
May you be seven times better, a year from today!!
in the Irish
Go mba seacht bhfearr a bheas tu bliain o inniu!!
IF A LOT OF PEOPLE GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE WILL BECOME A LOT
Help us keep our newsletter and the web site free; please send whatever you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty. Our snail mail address is 5814 Blue Spruce, Cincinnati OH, 45224. Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The Url is:
and our account is this email address:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
Irish Abroad also has a comprehensive listing:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.
Cincinnati, Ohio Through May 2
Back by popular demand: Moll - a delightful comedy play by John B. Keane. The irish Heritage Center , 3905 Eastern Avenue. Fof more details, please click :
Spain - Now through May 7
Art à la Carte - an exhibition of a variety of paintings by three members of the Andalusian International Artists Group, including our good friend, and generous sponsor of our Trivia Contest, Dublin artist Roger Cummiskey. The exhibition is at galería Aroma, Calle San Sebastián 8, Mijas Pueblo. For complete details, please click
On-going in Cincinnati, OH
The restoration of the former McKinley Elementary School to turn it into the area’s first Irish Heritage Centre. If you live in the Cincinnati area, volunteers are needed to help with the transformation. To learn how you can help, please call Maureen Kennedy at 513-225-6915 or send her an e-mail:
Or take a look at their new web site - it’s awesome
IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB
Stay up to day with all the upcoming events and click here:
Or call 754-281-7202 / 954-432-8292
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
A reprise that we think is well worth reprinting. We hope you agree.
THE BISHOP AND ANN O'ROURKE
Dublin, though it's full of priests
And has a certain charm
Is very far from heaven on earth
And peace, good-will and calm.
Archbishop Connor after Mass
Devoured its Sunday papers,
As usual full of murder, rape
And kinky sexual capers.
A long and searching read was called for
On the bishop's part
To find good news to please, amuse
And warm his holy heart.
But as he read the nineteenth page
He gave a pious squawk.
"A fourteenth child's been born," it said
"To Mrs Ann O'Rourke."
Now there's a thing to make priests sing
And feminists perplex:
In Mother Church and married bliss
Fecund, fruitful sex!
In Ann O Rourke 'Humanae Vitae'
Has found complete reception,
Conception follows on conception
Without the pill's deception.
He called at once his priestly dunce
And chaplain, Mike O'Toole,
"Get on your bike good Father Mike
And pedal like a fool.
"Find Ann O'Rourke to give her this
Ten pounds and bid her flourish
For granting Mother Church a fourteenth
Little soul to nourish!"
So Father Mike leapt on his bike
And pedalled, cassock flying,
Traffic lights, pedestrians' rights,
Police and death defying.
And in a long and littered street
He reached his destination:
Dublin's best domestic nest!
His Bishop's jubilation!
He knocked upon its shabby door
And then stood back and waited.
It opened to reveal the Mum
His bishop celebrated.
Drawn and haggard, worn and ragged,
Drab, dull-eyed, depressed.
Of adverts for 'Humanae Vitae'
Very far from best.
Undaunted Father Mike O'Toole
Held out his Bishop's gift:
"Congratulations, Ann O'Rourke,
May this your spirits lift!
"Ten pounds in admiration of you
From Bishop Patrick Connor
Who thinks your faith and fruitfulness
All Catholic women honour!"
Ann O'Rourke, our heroine,
The Bishop's heart's delight,
Wedged the money in her bosom
Very, very tight.
Then said securely and demurely:
"The Bishop's very kind.
Especially since I'm Methodist.
How odd he doesn't mind!"
At this the Father, troubled rather,
Seemed to change his views,
And fecund fruitful motherhood
Become despised bad news.
With grimace grim and rage enraged
He snatched the money back,
And snarled, "You shameless, protestant!
You sex-crazed maniac!"
Reprinted with the kind permission of the Reverend
Andrew Neaum - ABC Radio's "Vicar of Verse"