Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to going on 2700 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
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Greetings and blessings to all,

The warmest of welcomes from a bright and breezy Ohio Valley. We should be working outside, but we know that many of you are looking forward to hearing about the latest happenings in the Haggerty household - oops, sorry about that - what we really meant was the latest news from the oul' sod. But, before we get to all the Irish offerings, the outlook on this end is much more positive than it was this time last week.

Russ' mom is home from the hospital and as happy as a clam that she can smoke. At 82, what good would it do for her to try and give them up and be miserable for the time she has left? We know we'll get yelled at for saying this, but you need to know Russ' mom before you tell us we're not doing the right thing in trying to make her quit.

As for our daughter, the procedure went very well - it turned out to be non-surgical and the prognosis is great. We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all of the prayers and support we have received since last we wrote.

Enough about us. We hope this edition finds you and yours fit as a fiddle and in fine fettle. We'd also like to say a special hello to our new subscribers. We hope you enjoy your first issue and please feel free to share it with your family and friends.
On with the update:
Help us keep your newsletter coming - please visit our good friend and sponsor, Molly's irish Gifts
The most popular fragrance from Ireland is Inis, meaning "the energy of the sea." Inis (pronounced "inish") is a daring and seductive fragrance blend based on lily-of-the-valley to embody the coolness, clarity, energy and purity of the sea.  Added to this is a top note of sparkling, diffusive citrus notes along with traces of marine notes, balanced with base notes of sandalwood and oak moss and deepened with spice notes of cloves and nutmeg. In all, a scent that moves people at many different levels. Take a look at a beautiful gift pack which normally sells for $45, but is specially priced at just $35. See the other Inis products, too, including the soft, feminine Inis Arose gift set, which includes a 6" scented pillar candle. Order today and share the essence of Inis with someone you love or treat yourself!
News from Ireland

Pollution killing bird and plant species
Some 95 bird species, including the barn owl, are in serious decline in Ireland and many, such as the corn bunting, have already become extinct, the Heritage Council has warned.

Cash Boost For Boyne Battle Site
The Irish government has announced that a further 15m euro is to be spent developing tourist facilities at Ireland's most famous battlesite.

Price Of Pint May Rise By 10 Cents In June
The price of a pint of Guinness looks set to rise by around 10 cents from next month as Diageo announced that it would be upping its price to publicans by 4 cents. Traditionally, when the breweries put up their prices, the retailers follow. With VAT, the rise is likely to be 10 cents. Shame!

Strong words exchanged in row over protection of Tara
Strong words were exchanged between the director of the National Museum, Dr Pat Wallace, and the Government's chief archaeologist, Brian Duffy, over the plan to run the M3 motorway past the Hill of Tara. Wish we could have been there to put in our two cent's worth! As our friend in Sligo Joe McGowan put it, give the Irish money for bulldozers and nothing is sacred.

News from around the counties
Antrim: It's bluebell time again
May is traditionally the month for bluebells and on Sunday last walkers were invited to the two-hundred acre Colin Glen Forest Park on the Stewartstown Road in west Belfast for the annual bluebell walk.

Clare: Ceremony to remember Scattery men
Among a group of sailors who lost their lives in the Second World War and who are to be commemorated at a ceremony in Limerick later this month are two men from Scattery Island. Michael and Stephen McMahon, who were cousins, were members of the mercantile marine who ensured that Ireland received supplies of both food and fuel. In 1940 their ship, the SS Kerry Head, was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Kinsale.

Down: New hotel for Newry
The old Parochial Hall premises at Trevor Hill in Newry city centre is to be the location for a new hotel, which is expected to be fully operational by the summer of next year.

Dublin: End of an era in St Michan's Street
The Dublin fish market, which has been trading at St Michan's Street for more than a century, was closed last week and the last ten traders moved to new locations.

Dublin: Tóibín Joins Hands With Gaiety Greats
Actor Niall Tóibín has cemented his reputation as one of the leading players of his generation - by adding his hand prints to the plaza outside the Gaiety Theatre.

Dublin: Win 2 tickets to see U2 live in Dublin
Plus two nights at the Castleknock Hotel and Country Club, free car hire with Budget Car Rentals and Dublin Passes for 2! Click here to enter

Fermanagh: Jets, helicopters and Red Arrows over Enniskillen
After a break of six years St Angelo's Airport outside Enniskillen last weekend played host to an Airshow which included in its line-up the famous Red Arrows stunt team. The show coincided with the celebrations of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Galway: Chance for young Irish speakers
TG4 is to make an Irish language version of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and the search is on for someone to dub the voice of Harry Potter himself. To win the part in "Harry Potter agus an Seomra Rúnda" the applicant must be a young boy between the ages of seven and thirteen who has fluent Irish.

Kildare: Summer survey of Lullymore
Two Dutch landscape architects will undertake a survey of Lullymore Island in the Bog of Allen. The project will examine the flora, fauna, hedgerows, land use and tourist facilities on the island. In addition the two researchers are to compile an oral history of the area from interviews with some of the fifty residents.

Kilkenny: Bank Holiday humour for the city
Kilkenny City will be a lively place over the Bank Holiday weekend, with the return of the Smithwick's Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, which is expected to attract some thirty thousand people to the city for the five days.

Leitrim: Actors home in triumph
A bonfire at Kelly's Cross last weekend and a motor cavalcade welcomed home the members of the Corn Mill Theatre Group to Carrigallen after their success at the All-Ireland Drama Festival Finals in Athlone. Large numbers of people lined Main Street to greet the group who, with their performance of "Stolen Child", won the overall Best Play Award.

Mayo: Launch of study of murals on Clare Island
The fourth volume of "The New Survey of Clare Island" was launched last weekend, dealing with the murals in St Brigid's Abbey which date from the thirteenth century. The Cistercian abbey is believed to hold the burial place of Granuaile and the murals are unusual in that they have little religious imagery.

Meath: Centenary of Navan school
Part of the centenary celebrations for St Michael's Loreto School in Navan was the publication of a special book entitled "St Michael's Loreto, the Story of 100 Years". Several hundred past pupils turned up at the school and later at the Ardboyne Hotel last weekend to celebrate the occasion.

Tipperary: Bright future for Barracks
The Ministry of Defence has agreed to grant Nenagh Town Council a five-hundred-year lease on Nenagh Military Barracks, which leaves the way open for their development as an important part of the town's history.

News from all over:
US university negotiating to buy literary archive of Donleavy work
The author JP Donleavy is in the process of selling his archive to a well-known east coast American university. Any one know which one?

Philadelphia, US A: Graduates and their families at Villanova University heard President Mary McAleese speak of childhood memories in her commencement address yesterday. The president's cousin, Ann Dillon, was at the commencement to see her own daughter, Caitlyn, receive an honours degree in business.

Maryland - Congratulations to all of the graduates at the University of Maryland - especially our nephew, Eric Shields who was awarded an undergraduate degree in engineering and will be staying on for his masters. Well done, Eric!

From the Mailbag:
Marilyn writes: I am looking for a web site where I may be able to download traditional Irish music. Can your readers perhaps help?? Thanks!

Mary writes: A good friend is being sent to Dublin for the summer. He won't be on an expense account so needs to watch his budget. He needs to know where the best places are to shop for groceries, a lending library, somewhere to get digital pictures printed, Catholic church and a specialty food store for a wider variety of spices and ingredients. He'll be living in an apartment in Malahide or Portmarnock.

Laney O'Leary (what a delightful name!) is looking for humorous Irish music for her son's wedding reception. For certain, "The Humor is on Me Now" should be included - can you help us with more? Thanks!

Grace writes: My Sister recently had a girl child. The nurse held her up and said, " I have nothing to give you, but the Irish curse of Nakedness." My Mother went through the roof!Would you be able to help me to understand what this curse meant? Any help would be appreciated.

Links of the week - and Blogs, too!
Last week, we mentioned an Irish language site which we said was the best we've found. Our subscriber Emerald Banshee sent us the following which she thinks is the best. "not only gives you the word and or phrase but phonetically breaks it down so you can say it properly." See what you think:
ED NOTE: Keep in mind that this link offers Irish from the North of the country which is slightly different from the Connemara Irish we offer on our language page.

Jack & Vivian sent us their latest offering: This week they have a poem written by Turlough O'Carolan called Farewell to Music. It is an account of his death and how he returned to the home of Mary MacDermott Roe where he was first trained in the harp.

Hartson says: A Maze for you - Bet you can't make it to the end.LOL

Hartson also sent the following - Russ did super well. Bridget on the other hand...ahem.

But we did take a look at this one. Open only if you like cute pets and country music:

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:

Enough of the blather on with the update...
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Writer's Quiz
The Week That Was
The Week Ahead
Sent in by Aideen from a list compiled by the Irish Independent:
Uniquely Bertie: "I don't think it helps people to start throwing white elephants and red
herrings at each other."
From the same Irish Independent compilation:
"Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite [I told you I was ill]"
Inscribed on Spike Milligan's headstone.
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK We adapted this one which was sent in by our good friend AG in California:
The Kerry Furniture dealer Goes To France
A furniture dealer from Kerry decided that he wanted to expand the line of furniture in his store, so he decided to go to Paris, France to see what he could find. After arriving in Paris (this being his first trip ever to the French capitol), he met with some manufacturers and finally selected a line that he thought would sell well back home in Kerry. To celebrate the new acquisition, he decided to visit a small bistro and have a glass of wine.  As he sat enjoying his wine, he noticed that the small place was quite crowded, and that the one other chair at his table was the only vacant seat in the house.
Before long, a very beautiful young Parisian girl came to his table, asked him something in French (which he did not understand), and motioned toward the chair.  He invited her to sit down.  He tried to speak to her in English, but she did not speak his language so, after a couple of minutes of trying to communicate with her, he took a napkin and drew a picture of a wine glass and showed it to her.  She nodded, and he ordered a glass of wine for her.  After sitting together at the table for awhile, he took another napkin, and drew a picture of a plate with food on it, and she nodded.  They left the bistro and found a quiet cafe that featured a small group playing romantic music. They ordered dinner, after which he took another napkin and drew a picture of a couple dancing.  She nodded, and they got up to dance.  They danced until the cafe closed and the band was packing up.  Back at their table, the young lady took a napkin and drew a picture of a four-poster bed. To this day, he has no idea how she figured out he was in the furniture business
Help keep our newsletter coming - please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
Well, we are nearly through May already; the weather is getting warmer here in the Northeast, which always means Father's Day is just around the bend; then, of course there is Graduation Day, and who could forget the people who helped make that all possible? The Teachers, the Coach, and the Bus Driver! This is their busy time, they need more caffeine! You can do your part by giving them a special thank you coffee mug, or maybe an Angel to calm their nerves would be a better idea. After all of that, you may deserve a little something for yourself! So please stop by when you get the chance and see what we've found. And while you are here, visit our Whistle page and enter Lolly's latest tin whistle contest:
Little known facts about Dublin - unless you're Tom Gavin who wrote a book full of 'em!
1. Mystified by how Dublin city bus numbers work? They follow the system used in the days of the horse-drawn tram, which ran from the city centre outwards in a clockwise direction from south to north.
2. Frederick Street was named after the eldest son of George II, the only member of the British royal family to be killed by a cricket ball?
3. When the Bank of Ireland built its new HQ in Baggot Street, the quantity of bronze manganese used was so great that it affected the worldwide price of the product?
To begin with, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. Wars of the Irish Kings by David Willis McCullough
2. Irish Gangs and Stick Fighting (In the Works of William Carleton) by John W Hurley
3. The Encyclopaedia of Ireland by Brian Lalor

Pat on the back and a tip of the hat to:
Pauline Dewberry
There's a place where a lap never stays empty too long, where a feline queue waits to bestow upon the lap owner the benefit of their royal status …

Brenda Ross
The best source for creative luxury travel to Ireland:

Hartson Dowd
Please visit "Heavenly Sunshine Books" and see the new page Jo-Ann F. set up for Helen:

Chris (Caughey) Broersma

Helen Dowd
Please visit "Heavenly Sunshine Books" and see the new page Jo-Ann F. set up for me:

Catherine White, Ohio

Liezl Maartens, So. Affrica

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" May 25 - June 8, 2005
To view this year's itinerary
ED. NOTE: Déidre and her group will be leaving this Wednesday. We wish them all a safe journey - and safe home.

Pat Edwards
I would like to nominate your WONDERFUL site once again, there's nothing to beat it as far as I'm concerned.
Thank you so much Patricia. Who should we make the check out to? :)
All joking aside, we truly appreciate the nice comments.

Want to see your name on next week's list? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following?
Distant Drums: Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies
The Wild Geese: The Irish Brigades of France and Spain
The Wild Geese: The Irish Soldier in Exile

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: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
THIS WEEK'S RIDDLE: but before that, the solution to last week's relatively easy poser:
Find the English word that can be formed from all these letters: PNLLEEEESSSSS. Hats off to Fr. Jim in the UK who was first in with the correct answer - SLEEPLESSNESS.

Ready for our next mind-mangler? ? As the sender-inner, Hartson is ineligible to participate ( but is most definitely qualified for a big hug and a thank you!)
A hunter arose early, ate breakfast, and headed south. Half a mile from camp he tripped and skinned his nose. He picked himself up, cursing, and continued south. Half a mile farther along he spotted a bear. Drawing a bead, he pulled the trigger, but the safety was on. The bear saw him and headed east at top speed. Half a mile later the hunter caught up, fired, but only wounded the beast, which limped on toward the east. The hunter followed and, half a mile later, caught and killed the bear. Pleased, the hunter walked the mile north back to his camp to find that it had been ransacked by a second bear.
Q: What color was the bear that tore up his camp?
Could this be the year you become a millionaire? There Are 42 Shades of Green - All you need are 6 to hit the Irish Millions! It's one of the most trusted lotteries in the world and drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. 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:

1. Article: Whitsuntide in old Ireland
2. Article: Brendan the Navigator
3. Article: The Child of Prague
4. Article: A Little Bit 'of Heaven - Part II
5. Article: Spakes from Wicklow
6. The Irish Kitchen - Nettle Soup
7. Book Review - McCarthy's Bar
8. New in Right Margin: New Poster - Montage of ireland - just beautiful!
9. New in Right Margin: Irish Encyclopedia - everything you ever wanted to know!
10. Circle of Prayer - Our 3rd Novena in this cycle ends on May 23 and the fourth one begins on Tuesday 5/24. A new person to add to our list is the husband of a subscriber who has suddenly developed neurological problems. Also, please continue to remember the following people in your prayers or meditations: Mickey, Jen, Bertha, Stephanie, Ben, Delaney, Mollie's son Casey, Pauline, Hartson, and Graine. We also hope you will offer your spiritual support for our military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world. We ask that you especially remember a local young man, Matt Maupin, who was captured over a year ago, Paul , Jason &Ashley, the sons of friends and also the three grandsons of Mary Sigrist. We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer; we know that God listens and will answer.
11. May Trivia Contest. Times tunning out! All entries must be in by midnight, May 31st, whichever time zone you live in

We are still working on an article for Memorial Day - maybe a couple. Bridget is also intrigued with the background of a very famous poem, Lament for an Irish Emigrant. Ever heard of Flummery? Well, watch for a summery version coming up! We still owe the kids a story - sorry - we'll try to get to that as well.

So there you have it until next time. If you'll be celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, we hope it's a joyous occasion. We also wish all of our friends in the USA a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

Slan agus beannacht and , as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
We're still in dire need of your support, especially since our newsletter host has begun charging us for the service. 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 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via PayPal. The Url is:
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter or on the Wild Geese website. In fact, the Irish Heritage email group and the Wild Geese have joined forces to bring you a massive listing of Irish events all over the world! To subscribe to the list, send your e-mail address to group moderator George Trainor, at george@thewildgeese.com. The group's postings go out every other Friday and Saturday, in five separate e-mails, covering Irish history, myths and legends, news, jokes, Irish (Gaeilge) lessons, recipes, and more. Organizations, please alert them about your upcoming events, e-mail events@thewildgeese.com, fax: 208-978-9998. Deadline: The third Wednesday of the month for the following month's edition. Also visit The Wild Geese at:

If you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

Dublin, Ireland - June 16 Special Altan Bloomsday concert
Their only Dublin date this year; presented by the Improvised Music Company, at
Vicar Street in. For details, please contact Christine Monk
t: + 353 1 670 3885
m:+353 87 675 5329

Covington, KY, now through June 26
The Endless Spiral: contemporary Celtic Paintings by Cynthia Matyi
Covington Cathedral Art Gallery, located next to the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, 1140 Madison Ave. Show Hours Daily 10am-4pm
For more details, contact the artist: matyi@fuse.net

Puebla Lucia, Fuengirola, Spain - now through June 3
Roger Cummiskey's 2nd exhibition at the Galeria LUCIA; presenting New Art Works, an exhibition of recent paintings by Roger Cummiskey and Bettina Eriksen. Roger is a generous sponsor of our monthly Trivia contests and we invite you to visit his site and learn more about this exhibit and others:

Halifax, Nova Scotia - June 2-4
Celtic Feis 2005
Combine Nova Scotia's rich Gaelic ancestry and culture with Halifax's contemporary, urban sensibility and you get the perfect ingredients to create a world-class Celtic celebration. The Halifax Celtic Feis celebrates our rich Irish and Scottish heritage and culture through music, dance, arts, language, and spirit of community. For more information on tickets, programming, events, and schedules please visit

Macroom, Co. Cork - July 16th & 17th
First ever Fleadh Cheoil, music festival - Macroom town center. For details, visit:

Aran Isles Celtic Spirit Tours
There is still time to book for two fascinating programmes:
Programme A: Traditional Echoes in Song and Dance, July 20 through July 29
Setdancing, Gaelic Singing, session and party with Islanders, guided walks, boat trip around the Island, fishing and a lot of splendid scenery. In cooperation with Tony Ryan, dancing teacher, Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, singer
and many other Islanders.
Programme B: Walking the Ancient Celtic Way July29 through August 8
Celtic heritage: holy places, ancient rituals, early Celtic church, walks
and lectures with recognized scholars on Celtic heritage, myths and legends
with the well known storyteller Niall de Búrca
For full details, please visit
or send an email to Elizabeth:
info@irish-culture.ch or call:


Know of a church in need of a vestments cabinet? Russ has totally restored one he rescued from a Cincinnati church that was being demolished. We've used it over the years to store posters other art work and flat files. (Ad agencies and architectural firms could also put it to similar use). If you're interested in learning more about it and seeing a photo, please send us an email - bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com

Pauline in England sent us the following answers to questions on Science tests - these are from students all over the world - not just the Brits.

"When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire."
"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water"
"To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube."
"When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide"
"Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water."
"Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars."
"Blood flows down one leg and up the other."
"Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then expectoration."
"The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader."
"Artificial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of the bull."
"Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire."
"A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold."
"Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas."
"The body consists of three parts--the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity.
The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five - a, e, i, o, and u."
"The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects."
"The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana."
"The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to."
"A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two molars, and eight cuspidors."
"The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."
"A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is."
"Equator: A managerie lion running around the Earth through Africa."
"Germinate: To become a naturalized German."
"Liter: A nest of young puppies."
"Magnet: Something you find crawling all over a dead cat."
"Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away."
"Planet: A body of Earth surrounded by sky."
"Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot."
"Vacuum: A large, empty space where the pope lives."
"Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative."
"To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose."
"For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower than the body until the heart stops."
"For drowning: Climb on top of the person and move up and down to make artifical perspiration."
"For fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above the hand instead. Or put the head between the knees of the nearest medical doctor."
"For dog bite: Put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it."
"For asphyxiation: Apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead."
"For head cold: Use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat."
"To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow."