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Greetings & blessings to all,

We hope this pre-St. Patrick's edition finds you on the pig's back and ready to celebrate. Or perhaps you're "in recovery" from to much fun over the past weekend?

Last Saturday, Mother nature didn't smile on Bellevue, KY. It's the only city in Northern Kentucky that has a St. Patrick's Day parade. It was called off at the last minute because it was raining buckets. However, this meant that the post-parade party got underway at our son's pub that much sooner. So, the Guinness flowed anyway. And also new whiskey he introduced to his patrons called Michael Collins. It's made by Cooley Distillery, Ireland's last remaining independent whiskey maker. How did it rate? The single malt was good but the blend wasn't. Either way, we hope the 'big fellow' would approve!

Sunday, there was more rain, but lucky for Cincinnati, there was a small window of time when the Irish sunshine let up and the parade went ahead.

Meanwhile, as for ourselves, we weren't in attendance at either of the events as Bridget took a tumble down the stairs and banged up her right arm. The idea of being jostled by rowdy revelers didn't sound very appealing. Russ doesn't care for crowds anyway so he was just as happy to stay at home! BTW, since Herself is the "key" person of the duo when it comes to the newsletter, it's been a bit of a pain to type because of the arm - so please forgive all errors.

On to other news: Bridget did interviews via email with two reporters from the Morning Call in Allentown PA. Neither one knew they had contacted the same source for info. But they had different assignments, so it wasn't a problem. Daniel Patrick Sheehan's article about the Bishop allowing Catholics to eat their corned beef this Friday is part of our Monday headlines. To read all about it, please click

The other article is by Mariella Savage and it's about Irish superstitions; it's supposed to run in this Friday's paper.

No doubt, all of our friends in the US are keenly aware of the freaky weather we've had lately. From wildfires in Texas to blizzards in Michigan and tornadoes in-between, it's been unbelievable.

While we've had as much as four inches of rain, once again we dodged the big bullet and experienced comparatively 'mild' weather compared to what other states have gone through. We hope and pray if you live in these regions that you and your loved ones are safe and sound. It's a bit early for all of these tornadoes. God willing it isn't a harbinger of things to come.

On a lighter note, and as in previous years, we are getting a huge increase in visitors to the site (which will make our advertisers very happy!) It always happens at this time of year - and wouldn't you know it, Corned Beef and Cabbage is the number one article!

We've also had a nice uptick in new subscribers - we're now well over 3100. If you just joined us, many thanks for signing up and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends.

Enough of the blither and blather - on with the update!

Please help us keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox and visit:

IRISH ABROAD.COM - Connecting the global Irish community
IrishAbroad.com is the largest online Irish community website with over 200,000 members worldwide. Dedicated to all people who have an interest in anything Irish and Ireland, IrishAbroad.com provides a wealth of content, including Irish-related news and features from around the world, genealogy, history, culture, recipes and more. Also an interactive site, it allows users to get involved in discussions, add their own photo albums, add events, search for other members in their area, buy gifts, and send e-cards. IrishAbroad.com wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's day. You should check out our special St Patrick's Day section to find out everything about Saint Patrick and St Patrick's Day worldwide - events, e-cards, Irish quiz, history, and much more.
Connect with Ireland and Irish people on http://www.irishabroad.com

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 was
The week that will be
Events & Classifieds
Leave 'em Laughing


Antrim: Portrush clock destined for the US
Unless a purchaser can be found for the clock which once stood on Portrush railway station, it will be shipped to America to its new owner. The seventeen and a half foot grandfather clock, built by Belfast company Sharman D. Neill, stood at the station for one hundred years until 1975 and it has recently been restored in Ballymena. At present it is in the possession of Mark Singleton from Fleetwood but it is owned by American collector Rick Cooley, who has said he would like it shipped to the US unless local interest is shown in it. The clock is now believed to be valued at some £10,000.

Cork: Plans to build on historic cemetery protested
Campaigners have vowed to fight controversial plans to build on one of only two historic Huguenot cemeteries left in Europe. Cork restaurateur John Murphy is again seeking planning permission to build on the tiny, derelict cemetery to the side of his former Table 8 restaurant on Carey's Lane. But the recorded monument contains the remains of at least one former Lord Mayor of Cork.

Cork: Sonar monument for Penrose Quay
Recognising the thousands of emigrants who left from Cork in the 1940s, '50s and '60s is the idea behind a new monument to be erected at Penrose Quay. Four three-metre high stainless steel listening posts, each topped by a beacon which will shine out to sea, are to be erected at intervals along the quay. The posts, designed by Johnny Hanrahan and Daphne Wright, will feature a twenty-four-hour loop of recordings of interviews of emigrants to England during those years. Listening grills will be placed at heights suitable for adults and children, who will also hear sonar soundings taken from the sea bed.

Cork: Museum asks for WWII memorabilia
Cork Public Museum has appealed to the public to donate any World War II items languishing in their attics which tell the personal story of life in Ireland during the Emergency. The exhibition will be on display in Cork Opera House during the upcoming production of a new play, Lifeboat. The exhibits will later be added to the museum's permanent collection.

Derry: Papal medal for Limavady man
Jim Loughrey, who has devoted sixty-six years of his life to the St Vincent de Paul Society, is to be presented with the Bene Merenti medal on Friday of this week; the papal medal recognises a significant contribution to the Catholic Church. Jim, who lives in Roemill Gardens in Limavady, will receive his medal from Bishop of Derry Dr Seamus Hegarty during Mass at St Mary's Church. According to parish priest Father Michael Collins who petitioned the Vatican for the award, a major part of Jim's achievement was that the society in Limavady now caters for more non-Catholics than Catholics.

Donegal: Rectory for sale - with resident ghost
A rectory in Newtowncunningham which is believed to come complete with its own ghost has been put on the market. Sharon Rectory, which has been the subject of major restoration work during its ownership by Vincent and Lisa Tully, was the scene of a double murder in 1797. Magistrate Dr William Hamilton took refuge in the house when he was unable to return home, and a group of United Irishmen attacked the house. Unfortunately they also killed the woman of the house, Mrs Waller, and it is she who is said to haunt the rectory to this day. Vincent and Lisa enlisted the help of a psychic and an exorcist eight years ago but apparently to no avail.

Down: Archaeologists have learned how early Christians in Co Down protected themselves from raiders - they went underground.
A 1,000-year-old tunnel system discovered at Rooneystown near Raholp would have been built so that families could take refuge with their valuables when threatened by Vikings. The mysterious stone tunnel was uncovered by a builder working on new housing after the ground gave way beneath his digger.

Dublin: Bidding frenzy on tiny petrol station
Located on the Merrion Road near Tara Towers Hotel and given its residential zoning, the station is expected to fetch £6m from developers seeking to boost the apartment boom.The price translates to nearly 4,000 euro per square metre for the half-acre site in one of Dublin's most sought after development areas.

Galway: Football-mad priest finds substitute
Fr Gerry Jenning who sent out an SOS for a replacement to look after his church so that he could go to the All-Ireland club finals in Croke Park on St Patrick's Day, has been successful. He put an article in the parish newsletter in Salthill, looking for "a sub" to come in and look after the church so that he could follow the Galway champions in their quest for All-Ireland glory. Salthill/Knocknacarra are bidding for their first All-Ireland club football title when they take on Antrim champions, St Gall's, at Croke Park on Friday. Fr Jennings, parish priest at Christ the King Church in Salthill, has been following the fortunes of the seaside club for years.
"I put a notice in the parish newsletter, looking for a sub. I was overwhelmed by the response. "There were parishioners on saying they had relatives who were retired priests in such and such a place and they would get on to him." Fr Jennings has now lined up a replacement and will be heading to Croke Park.

Kerry: Funding needed to restore castle
The Government have announced that some of the €148,000 ear-marked for heritage projects in Kerry will be used to stabilise what remains of Ballybunion Castle. But, Kerry County Council estimates restoration costs could amount to €500,000. Overlooking the Shannon estuary, Ballybunion Castle, which was severely damaged by lightening during Christmas 1999, is the most recognisable landmark in the north Kerry seaside resort. The castle also forms the logo of the internationally-famous Ballybunion golf club.

Louth: To Carlingford in search of famous ancestor
A Paris-based descendent of Thomas D'Arcy Magee was in Carlingford with his son last weekend to visit the birthplace of his illustrious ancestor. D'Arcy Francis Quinn is the great-grandson of Mary Euphrasia, the Canadian statesman's daughter. He grew up in San Francisco where he qualified as a lawyer and he now lives in Paris. He and his son Rodolphe D'Arcy Quinn were given a guided tour of the Carlingford area and shown D'Arcy Magee's ancestral home, which dates from 1825. A participant in the 1848 Young Ireland rebellion, D'Arcy Magee escaped to America and moved on to Canada where he became an MP before being assassinated in Ottawa in 1868.

Mayo: Admiral loses out to nun
In the debate over the naming of a new road in Foxford Admiral William Brown, founder of the Argentine navy, has lost out to Mother Agnes Morragh-Bernard who was the founder of the Foxford Woollen Mills in 1892. The question of naming the new link road was raised twice at council meetings and it was eventually decided to leave it to the community to make the final choice.

Tipperary: Friars' departure to benefit elderly
The departure of the Franciscan order from Carrick-on-Suir is to benefit the elderly of the area, since the order is donating its Friary Church to the Respond Housing Association. The Franciscan Friars have had a presence in the town since 1306 and their departure has been caused by the drop in vocations and the age profile of the order members; the Franciscans in Clonmel will also be leaving before the end of 2008.

ED NOTE: Most of the above news items are from The Irish Emigrant. Space does not alllow us to print them all. To read every item, please click


Eton, England: Ulster mum shatters old Eton tradition
Ulster mother-of-two Dr Jane Grant has shattered a 566-year tradition after she was appointed the first female housemaster at public school Eton. The school's 35-year-old head of history has been appointed Master-in-College, taking charge of Eton's most illustrious house. She will be responsible for the welfare of the 70 King's Scholars, young students who win a scholarship at the age of 13 to one of England's most famous schools.


Bonnie writes: In the 1960's my parents received a St. Patrick's Day card from a friend in Ireland. She had enclosed several live sprigs of shamrocks and I will never forget the scent!
Is it possible to purchase live shamrock plants or parts of a live plant? I'm trying to find that fragrance again.

Are you a native Irish speaker? Someone who learned the language at your mother's knee and grew up speaking it? If so, and you now live in the US, you may be able to assist a voice-over talent in LA who is doing the reading for an audio novel which includes about 30 or 40 Irish words. Mind you, some of the words don't look Irish at all. Send us an email if you think you can help.

Smather? Ever heard of it? Apparently, Gerry on Midwest Irish Radio is running a contest and the winner will be the person who comes up with the correct definition. Three readers have written in asking for help and so we turned to our resident speaker, Aideen. In her book, it's a derivation of slather - and might possibly be used to describe what you have when you take a piece of bread and pile on the butter and jam. That said, Brigid wrote to say that it's a vegetable dish served in Lent. We haven't a clue- do you?

Seamus Cashman, former owner of Wolfhound Press in Dublin (and publisher of Bridget's book in Ireland) is an award winning author, editor and poet in his own right and he has just written an intriguing booklet called Step Together - From Pillar to Spire. It's a proposal for a "Citizen's Day" - an alternative to re-introducing a military parade as an Easter Rising Commemoration. It's a fascinating reminder of what the core values of a Republic should be - and recommended reading for all those who agree that the Constitution of a Republic "is not the property of government; it belongs equally to every citizen, individually and jointly."

If you are interested in buying a copy, you can send an email to cprojectsltd@eircom.net
The cost is just 3 Euros ($3.58) plus postage and handling.
Name that beer!
Two entrepreneurs are seeking a name for Galway's first ever craft beer which they are planning to brew in local pubs in Galway city by summer. First cousins Ronan Brennan and Aidan Murphy from Athenry are running a website competition to come up with the perfect name for an exciting new style of beer which will be pale in colour like a standard lager but have a full well balanced hop flavour and aroma like an ale. How creative are you? The website, which will only be running for the next six to eight weeks, has been set up to allow the public to vote on various aspects of the beer, including what type of glass it should be served in and what it should be called.
Get those creative (beer) juices flowing - click here:

Read all the latest news and features about St. Patrick's Day Festivities!

Great for the kiddies - St. Patrick screensavers, pictures to color and more can be found here:

Free e-cards from Dublin Tourism:

Free mammograms
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:

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:

A few favorites to use when you're bending your elbow this Friday:

'Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!' (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here's a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again!

Here's to one for the road - if you know the road!

And the last one is a verse from The parting Glass.
Of all the money ere I had, I spent it in good company,
And all the harm I've ever done, alas was done to none but me
and all I've done for want of wit, to memory now I can't recall
so fill me to the parting glass, goodnight and joy be with you all.

To hear the song and learn the lyrics, please click

I know that the White House was designed by James Hoban, a noted Irish-American architect, and I have no doubt that he believed by incorporating several features of the Dublin style he would make it more homelike for any president of Irish descent. It was a long wait, but I appreciate his efforts.
John F. Kennedy
This one is from our friend Judith. Thank you!

Brendan was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up the drink." Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Brendan looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish
There was NO WINNER of last Saturday's drawing! That means this Wednesday's winnings will be THREE MILLION or more. What a way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! So enter now - 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! You can't win it if you're not in it, so go visit their totally re-vamped web site! Please click here
for full details:
1. In the USA, nearly 94 million people say they will wear green on St. Patrick's Day?

2. The first traffic lights in Dublin were installed at the junction of Merrion Square and Clare Street, on August 27, 1937, and the first parking meter on Wellington Quay on January 14, 1970?

3. The first Irish Saint wasn't Saint Patrick? It was Saint Abban, who preached in Southern England in the 2nd century.

(Or books on Irish-related topics?)
Here are the answers to our last quiz which seems like a century ago!

1. Ronald Reagan & The Isle of Destiny - Matthew J. Culligan
2. One of Ourselves: John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Ireland - James Robert Carroll
3. American presidents of Ulster descent - George McBride

A round of pints and applause to our Irish bibliophiles:

Rita Roche
Baltimore Md

James Dossey

Marjorie Cunningham
Michael Londra, lead voice of Riverdance on Broadway & Passion of the Christ Symphony, has released a new album entitled "Celt"

Cathie Toft
Some of my family tree sites: Genes Reunited, or Irish Family History Society

Hartson Dowd
A favourite website:
 The Irish Internet Directory
From A to Z & answers with regards Ireland
And for For a delightful slideshow on Galway Bay + A nice Bed and Breakfast  to stay at:

Helen Dowd
Many thanks to all of you who continue to vote for my web site. Please visit and vote every day if you can.

ED NOTE: We are thrilled to report that Helen is just 2500 votes away from reaching #3 on the Top Christian sites listing. The Dowds are very dear people to us and also a great help - so we do urge you to support their efforts. Thank you!

Want to see your name and favorite web site on our literary sleuth list?* Who wrote or edited the following:
1. The Island of St. Patrick: Church of RulingDynasties in Fingal & Westmeath 400-1148
2. Patrick, the Pilgrim Apostle of Ireland: St. Patrick's Confession & Epistola
3. St. Patrick of Ireland : A Biography

* Did we leave you off the latest list? It's quite possible as Bridget is on a new computer and having a divil of a time finding things! Our apologies if we omitted your name - please let us know and we'll add you to the next one.

Help keep our newsletter free - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
Explore what they have on offer,including great items from Hats of Ireland and Roundstone Bodhrans fromGalway. They also stock authentic Irish whistles from the leading makerslike Fádóg, Clare, Walton, Guinness & Clarke. One of the oldest musical instruments in Ireland. the Irish whistle is affordable, easy to learn and can be used to play music your entire family will enjoy - from haunting airs to lively reels. Come take a look - browse to your heart's content, and remember, when you buy from Lollysmith, you'll always enjoy great prices,quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.
First off, the answer to our last pate poser:
Q: Q. What 5 letter word typed in all capital letters can be read the same upside down?
This one appeared to present a real challenge for a change as we received very few entries and even fewer correct answers. So hats off and well done to Shannon from Detroit, Michigan.

And now for our next mind mangler:
The same five letters can be anagrammed into four different
words that fill in the blanks in the sentence to make
(somewhat) good sense.
What are the missing words?

The farmer with hundreds of _ _ _ _ _ , deeply _ _ _ _ _ about
the amount of rainfall, and _ _ _ _ _ around with artificial
watering systems when the ground is dry enough to _ _ _ _ _ him
about the possibility of crop failure

1. Article: Who was behind the Doors of Dublin
2. Article: Sleabhac: Manna from the Seashore
3. Article: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Old Ireland
4. Article: O'Reilly introduces the Russians to a St. Patrick's Day Parade
5. Article: Sure and begone and begorrah to Oirish Greeting Cards
6. Article: Kids' Ireland: St. Patrick - From Slave to Saint
7. Irish Kitchen: Corned Beef & Cabbage - The Feeding of a Myth
8. Basic Irish - St. Patrick's Day
9. Circle of Prayer. Our 9th and last Novena in this cycle began on March 8 and ends on March 16. So many need our prayers - family and loved ones who are ill, in the hospital, going through so many different situations and difficulties. We ask that whatever your spiritual leaning, you count your blessings and ask God to hear your prayers and intercessions for those less fortunate. And please don't forget to ask the Good Shepherd of us all to watch over our men and women serving in the military all over the world. To join us every morning or whenever time permits, please click
10. Trivia Contest . Have entered yet? It's hard to win if you're not in. All entries must be in by midnight, March 31st. Please click

The Week That is and will be, God Willing
We already have an article up on the St. patrick's Festival in Dublin and Galway. We'll also be recycling some other St. Patrick's material. And, if there's time, Bridget has in mind to finish a piece on the faith of St. Patrick which was very different from the Roman Catholic faith of today. As usual, a new blessing was posted last Sunday, we'll have a new quote on Wednesday and we'll update the headlinesdaily as well as post the history for the date. Please visit often to see what's new.

Until next time, did you know that if you pray for St. Patrick's
intercession on his feastday, your prayers will be answered? Herewith, an adaptation of a lovely prayer attributed to the good saint himself and said for God's Protection and Christ's Presence:
"As you arise today, may the strength of God pilot you, the power of God uphold you, the wisdom of God guide you. May the eye of God look before you, the ear of God hear you, the word of God speak for you. May the hand of God protect you, the way of God lie before you, the shield of God defend you, the host of God save you. Amen."
Be safe, have a wonderful time this Friday (and weekend) 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
We're in dire need of your support, especially since our newsletter
host has upped the ante 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 Merino Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via payola.
The Url is:
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Many thanks in advance for your kindness.

This feature will return next time. For the moment, check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events, including all of the St. patrick's Parades and festivals still to come:

'Tis the season of abstention, so we hope you enjoy this favourite classic:

An Irishman walks into a pub in Galway and orders three pints of Guinness and sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more. The bartender asks him, "You know, a pint goes flat after I draw it; wouldn't you rather I draw fresh pints for you one at a time?" The fellow replies: "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is now in America and the other, in Australia. When we all left home, we promised we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together." The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there. The fellow becomes a regular in the pub , and always drinks the same way: He orders three pints and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and orders two pints. All the regulars notice and fall silent, speculating about what might have happened to one of the absent brothers. When the fellow goes back to the bar for a second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss." The fellow looks confused for a moment and then a light dawns in his eye and says: "Oh, no, everyone's fine. You see, it's just that I've given up the drink for Lent."