Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1300 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,

Here's Céad Míle Fáilte to friend and to rover - that's a greeting that's Irish as Irish can be. It means you are welcome a thousand times over, wherever you come from, whosoever you be.

It's lovely to be back and we hope this week's issue finds you and yours as fit as a fiddle. As for ourselves, Russ' mom arrived safely on Monday night. She's now settled in, and almost in tandem came the end of the incredibly unsettled weather we've had since July 4th. A walk last evening around "the estate" revealed that for the most part, Mother Nature's temper tantrums had left the flora alone and everything's thriving; the impatiens (busy lizzies) seem to have doubled in size, the cornflowers seem pinker, the shasta daisies seem whiter and wider. All is well in the garden. We were very lucky. Many around us weren't so blessed - we'll keep you in our prayers.

Besides the change in the weather, one of the highlights of our week was Aireagal agreeing to to buy an ad in this week's edition. When we received their very first catalog a year or so ago, we immediately wrote to compliment them on a just gorgeous showcase of the finest Irish products - Magee Tweeds, Ferguson Linens, Heritage Crystal. Our goal has always been to share with you the best of Ireland - and here it was - all in one place. So, we're thrilled that Aireagal is one of today's sponsors and we do hope you'll take a look at their ad after our sig. A good response from our readers might persuade them to keep advertising with us and that will go a long way to keep these newsletters coming.

As always, we received several interesting links:
From Judith, a story called Something for Stevie. It's not Irish, but it's so sweet, we thought you might like to read it. Have the kleenex ready!
From Audrey - for all the animal lovers out there:
And for our Canadian readers - a great site that covers all the best pubs in Ontario: http://www.publovers.com/

In news from Ireland, it's with a great sense of relief that the parades commemorating the Battle of the Boyne appear to have passed off peacefully. We hope that all of our readers in the North are enjoying the events planned for this weekend - and, according to the forecast, the weather will be brilliant.

In Dublin, the Spire was officially unveiled last Monday and Mr. Dermot Lacey, the Lord Mayor, led the ceremonies which included burying a time capsule. Among the items in the capsule are the front page from Thursday's Irish Times, a till receipt from the bar in the Shelbourne Hotel, and a packet of 20 Major cigarettes.

In Co. Clare, attempts are being made to develop as a tourist attraction a cave which reputedly contains the largest free-hanging stalactite in the world - the Great Stal. Over the past 12 years, John and Helen Browne of Ardeamish, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, have made several bids to develop Pól an Ionáin cave in Doolin. They secured planning from both Clare County Council and An Bord Pleanála in 1991 but the five-year planning permission lapsed after they became ensnared in a long-running High Court battle over lands around Pól an Ionáin. We'll keep you posted.

Elsewhere, "Willie Week" - the 31st Willie Clancy Summer School, winds down in Miltown, Co Clare, and in Galway, the Galway Arts Festival gets underway next Monday.

In other news - Major Irish and Irish American recording artists have combined to take legal action against Green Linnet Music in a law suit unprecedented in the history of Irish music. The famed Irish groups Altan and Cherish the Ladies, nine time All-Ireland fiddle champion and musical star of Riverdance, Eileen Ivers, National Heritage Award winner Mick Moloney and All Ireland Champion multi-instrumentalist Joanie Madden have come together because they share a common outrage at the way they have been treated by one of the major recording companies in world music. We'll keep you posted on this one, too.

Besides the news, the mailbox brought interesting messages. Among them was this correction to last week's quotation by Samuel Beckett. According to Brendan Sharkie: Samuel Beckett actually said it about Portora Royal School, an elite Protestant grammar school in Enniskillen in N. Ireland. Beckett taught there for a few years; Oscar Wilde was a a former pupil and it is only in the past few years Wilde's name was restored to the school's Roll of Honour.

We also received a correction from Betsie who tapped us ever so gently on the wrist for getting the pope's name wrong. It's Pope John Paul II!

Thanks, Brendan and Betsie for helping to keep us accurate!

One other interesting tidbit and then we'll get on with the update:
A reader asked what the word "mavrone" means. You see it often in Irish poetry. As always, Aideen, our resident Irish speaker came up with the translation: " It's used in times of condolence. Literally it is Mo bhrón - muh vrone - my sorrow. If I was sympathising with you I would say 'Bridget, mo bhrón' in a very kindly and supportive way, rather than in a gnashing of teeth and wailing way, implying that your sorrow was mine also."

Enough of the blather....
Help support our efforts by visiting one of our favorite sponsors: Celtic Shamrock!
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A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
To someone who committed some small fault - 'Tis only a stepmother would blame you.'
This one came in from Hartson - thanks!

Next Of Kin
A man was brought to Mercy Hospital, and taken quickly in for coronary surgery. The operation went well and, as the groggy man regained consciousness, he was reassured by a Sister of Mercy, who was waiting by his bed. "Mr. O'Toole, you're going to be just fine," said the nun, gently patting his hand. "We do need to know, however, how you intend to pay for your stay here. Are you covered by insurance?" "No, sorry, I don't have any insurance," the man whispered hoarsely. "Can you pay in cash?" asked the nun. "I'm afraid I cannot, Sister." "Well, do you have any close relatives?" the nun persisted. "Just my sister in America" he volunteered. "But she's a humble spinster nun." "Oh, I must correct you, Mr. O'Toole. Nuns are not 'spinsters;' they are married to God." "Wonderful," said O'Toole. "In that case, please send the bill to my brother-in-law."
1. The first mummy to be seen publicly outside Egypt was displayed in Belfast in 1824? It is still there.
2. A holy tree on the Tyrone shore of Lough Neagh was said to bring good fortune to those who hammered coins into its trunk? It eventually died of metal poisoning.
3. On April 13th, 1829, the day the English Parliament gave the vote to Irish Catholics, the statue of George Walker - Protestant hero of the 1689 siege of Derry - which had stood quietly on the city's famous walls for more than a century, inexplicably crumbled?
"My Ulster blood is my most priceless heritage." James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States
The answers to last week's quiz:
1. When Summer's in the Meadow by Robert Longfield.
2. Summer Days - Stories from Childhood by B. R. Coffey (Editor)
3. Holiday Walks in Ireland - Connacht by Paddy Dillon.

Just a few entries this week - we hope it's because many people are on vacation! In any event, a round of pints for our four faithful Irish bibliophiles:

Helen Dowd
Many interesting stories and a myriad of writers can be found at Mission Magazine: http://missionmagazine.tdlofton-ministries.net. Check out the archives for hundreds of stories and articles on a multitude of subjects: children, recipes, pet lore, family, inspirational, Bible study, and much, much more. Need an angel today? Visit my website at: http://occupytillicome.online-ministries.com/ Helen Dowd.

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland, who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? The McKiernans of Irish Books &

Hartson Dowd
The Irish Internet Hub - Your passport to Irish locations on the Web

Judith Flynn
Decorate your home with a Celtic twist - visit one of my favorite places to shop: Celtic Attic!
NOTE: If you visit and decide to purchase anything, please include the code IC46 in the comment box; we earn a small commission. Thanks!

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

1. Cuchulain of Muirthemne - The Story of the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster
2. Passing the Time in Ballymenone: Culture and History of an Ulster Community
3. One Belfast Boy

1. Hint: All three titles can be found here:
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. 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
The answer to last week's is:
A useless, useful instrument,
Bought for money, cant be lent.
The man who owns it, 'tisn't his own
And the person it's bought for,
It carries him home. A casket or coffin.
Well done to all of you who figured it out. And now for this week's brain twister:
What always ends everything?
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. What the 12th means to me
3. Watching the Weather on St. Swithin's Day
4. Basic Irish Lesson: Bridget made a mistake last week - we've already done a lesson on Irish dancing phrases & words. So - given the time of year - this week's lesson is on words and phrases related to gardening
5. The Irish Kitchen - Darina Allen's Cucumber Pickle
6. July Trivia Contest
All entries must be in by midnight, July 31st, whatever time zone you're in
7. Circle of Prayer. We are in Novena #9 of this cycle and the last day is this Tuesday.
A new cycle will begin on Wednesday, July 16, and we'll post the schedule for all nine Novenas the day before. Prayer requests this week include Cindy & Gary; Cindy was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago; it's in remission and we are praying that it will remain so. We continue to pray for the safety of our military personnel in Iraq; also for little Sam in California, baby Christopher, Steve & Margaret who are having a very difficult time, and Gayla's brother-in-law whose cancer has returned. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us in prayer or meditation for these folks and so many others who find comfort in knowing that we are thinking of them http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html
8. Irish News: Headlines for the past week
9. This month in Irish History:

Bridget is putting the finishing touches on the Gregory Peck piece, and also Hungry July. Look for those early next week. As always, we'll post a new blessing on Sunday; on Wednesday, we'll have another quote, and the headlines and history will be updated daily. Since we gave Hartson the week off again, we promise you a recipe from his seemingly endless files.

So that's about it for this edition, except to say thank you to all of our new subscribers. If you've enjoyed your first copy of our weekly meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family and friends.

Until next time, may God shower you and yours with an abundance of blessings and may He hold you in the palm of His hand. And, and as they say in Ireland - mind yourself!

All the best,
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Please support our efforts by visiting our newest sponsor: Aireagal
Have you seen our on-line catalog? By way of introduction and for one week only, save a full 50% off every item featured - that's right, 50% off every item! We believe we have just the kind of products from Ireland you will value, products of the very highest quality, with good taste, great style - and a brilliant investment as each of them is fully guaranteed to last a lifetime. We offer these special prices to you now because our experience has shown that when you receive your first order from Aireagal, you will be so pleased, the chances are excellent you will order again. So, take a look - here is your opportunity to buy that rare and special Irish item at a price that will never be lower. Please click here:
http://www.aireagal.com/iSpecials.html and then click on Discover the Best of Ireland to enter the site. We look forward to your visit! Prefer to ask for more information or order by phone? Please call us toll-free at 1-800-838-9018.
Did you enjoy reading this edition of our newsletter? Voluntary donations to help keep us going are always welcome. Please send to: 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224. And many thanks for your kindness!
Know someone who could use a bit of cheering up? Say it with flowers!
Events & Classifieds
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com

The Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
July 14 to July 17
Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York
July 17-18
Newport, Rhode Island
Friday, July 18 to Monday, July 21
Providence, Rhode Island
For more details, please click: http://www.jeaniejohnston.ie/voyage.asp?id=3

Celtic Camp has begun!
The camp runs for 2 more weeks, ending July 25th. Campers may attend one or two weeks as suits your schedule. Camp activities are from 9-4, but we are open 8-6 to accommodate work schedules. The cost is $160 per week with a limited number of scholarships available. The location is the River Valley School in Regent Square, 1 block off the Parkway East. We are also offering a variety of other camps throughout the summer, you might consider joining us for King Arthur's Court, Colonial America, or Mythical Beasts. For information contact Peggy Dague at peigicsa@yahoo.com or by phone at 412-247-9133.

Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul US Tour Dates - July
July 17 - Ramapo NJ -Ramapo College
July 19 - Mashpee, MA - Boch Center
July 21 - Ocean City NJ - Ocean City Music Pier
July 29 - Cleveland OH - Cain Park Summer Arts Series

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Irish Fest 2003
Saturday July 26, Noon till 10:00 p.m
A Family Event Celebrating with Sioux Falls' Sister City of Strabane, Northern Ireland! For more event information call Jo at 605-334-2317 or email@irish.org

Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland
Festival of World Cultures - August 22-August 24
Arts festival celebrating cultural diversity through an extravaganza of internationally acclaimed acts including music, film, circus, theatre, dance performances, club nights, markets, exhibitions, workshops & children's activities.

Cultural Holidays on Inis Mór
Walking the Ancient Celtic Way - August 2-9 2003
For more information, please click: http://www.irish-culture.ch

Irish Writers Center, Dublin, Ireland
New Creative Writing Courses at IWC have been announced for the month of August, including Begin Your Novel, Writing Creative Non-Fiction, and Reading & Writing Poetry. A full programme of creative writing is also being planned for the Autumn/Winter and a brochure with full details will be available in August. For more information, please contact
Bernadette Larkin,
Development Officer,
Irish Writers Centre,
19 Parnell Square,
Dublin 1, Ireland.
Phone: (3531) 8721302 Fax: (3531) 8726282

A Celtic Pilgrimage to Sacred Ireland
Sept 30 - Oct 8 2003
Learn. Pray. Observe. Meditate. Eat. Explore. Experience the beauty and mystery of Ireland in a unique spiritual journey to the Emerald Isle's sacred sites. For more details, please click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
http://members.aol.com/manusclan/mcm2004.htm or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: