Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to well over 1100 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 & Blessings to Everyone,

Lovely to be back - albeit, a wee bit bleary-eyed. A good night's sleep was interrupted by a local harbinger of spring in these parts - the tornado alert going off around 3 am! Fortunately, it turned out to be just a watch; conditions were right, but no funnel clouds formed. Can't make up our minds whether we'd exchange the possibility of a tornado with the surprise snowstorm that hit many parts of the country yesterday! On second thoughts, looking out the window at the daffodils, tee-green grass and the plum trees coming into full bloom, we'll put up with a spring thunderstorm!

Welcome back to all of you - we hope this newsletter finds you in the best of health and in good spirits. Writing the newsletter is one of the highlights of our week - but, and maybe we're just getting on - it does seem as if Saturday mornings are rolling around a lot more often than they used to!

We'd also like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new readers - many thanks for subscribing and we hope you enjoy your first edition. And, by all means, if you like the content, please spread the word about our weekly meanderings among your family and friends.

Many of us have more than Irish blood in the veins, and for those of you with a bit of the Scots in your background, Happy National Tartan Day, tomorrow. Did you know that over eleven million Americans claim Scottish and Scots-Irish roots? That makes them the eighth largest ethnic group in the United States.

As is usually the case, the past week was a busy one at Toad Hall (our pet name for the old mausoleum we call home). That doesn't mean we were working on the web site. Sorry to say, what with the good weather and all, it took a back seat to Russ working on rebuilding yet another box-gutter in the back. As for Bridget, she has a freelance project that will put money in the bank. So, we had to shift our priorities a bit. Hopefully, we'll be paying more attention to the site in the next week or so.

While we didn't do much in the way of adding new content, the end of a quarter is when we have the pleasure of adding up revenues from our various affiliate programs. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have helped support our efforts during the past three months; we had our best quarter ever on amazon and we did quite well with our other programs. Not to say that we can live on this income, mind you! Our hope is that someday, as our subscribers increase, the site will become a profitable venture for us. But, we're a long way off from that. So, if you have a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion coming up, please try to think of us and do your browsing and shopping through any of the merchant links we have posted. There's a really good assortment of traditional Irish products on our Shop Ireland page:
Looking for something in particular? Let us know what it is and we'll do our best to find it for you.

How was your April Fool's Day? Hopefully, you weren't taken in by too many tricks! Bridget "The Gullible" fell for what sounded like a genuine free vacation offer. It came via one of our most trusted and respected readers (we won't say who!). So, while she felt a bit foolish afterwards, she also felt justified in checking it out. Somewhat wistfully, we had to recognize that all of our children are grown up and busy with their respective lives. For the first time, not one of them tried anything on us.

Speaking of wistful, Bridget noted that today was the running of the Grand National at Aintree. She remembers well how much her dad enjoyed placing a few shillings on the races. Not that he ever won very much. Ah, but there was one memorable occasion when he won the pools. The only problem was that it was the week when everyone won the pools, so the prize money amounted to just enough for new school uniforms. Wonder how the nuns would have felt if they'd known that Bridget's jaunty straw breton and lovely blue blazer were as a direct result of betting on football?

Enough of the blather - on with this week's update....
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Spring is in the air and to celebrate, Irish Shop is offering a free shipping coupon. The special code is FSA3 and to use it, you just add your items to your shopping cart; when you check out, enter the special code in the box provided on the shipping information page. To visit this excellent merchant, please click http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?irishop+FvBdxj+index.html
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
Dublin University contains the cream of Ireland - rich and thick.
Samuel Beckett
The spring bank holiday was over and the teacher asked the class how they had spent the time. Kevin eagerly put up his hand. "We visited our cousins in Carrigaline!" "Well, Kevin," says the teacher, "that sounds like a brilliant vocabulary word - can you tell the class how to spell Carrigaline?" Kevin furrowed his brow, chewed on his lip, and then said with a big grin, "Em, well now, come to think of it, we went to Cork!"
1. John Ford, father of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Corporation of America, emigrated to America after being evicted from a small holding in Ballinascarty Co. Cork in 1847?
2. Billy the Kid, born Henry McCarty, was the son of Irish immigrants, Michael and Catherine McCarty?
3. There are five areas in Dublin whose names end in the letter 'O'? Fewer than one Dubliner in 20,000 can name them off by heart. They are: Rialto, Marino, Portobello, Phibsboro and Pimlico. 
Come, fill the cup, and in the fire of spring
your winter garment of repentance fling;
The bird of time has but a little way to fly -
and the bird is on the wing. Edward Fitzgerald (Omar Khayam)
The answers to last week's quiz:
1. St. Therese in Ireland - Audrey Healy
2. I'll Come Back in the Springtime - Maurice N. Hennessy
3. And All The Saints - Michael Walsh

As one Irish wag once said, "clap your feet" for:

Helen Dowd
If you feel like SPRING, and want to read cheerful spring poems, go to the poetry section of my website. This link will take you to the first poem: http://occupytillicome.online-ministries.com/poetry/messages/157.html....... Links to other Spring poems are at the bottom of this one.

A good Irish website is:
Whatever your interests and passions, Co. Fermanagh has something for everyone. It is world famous for the vast array of scenery it possesses and the fishing in Lough Erne and Lough Melvin is a paradise; it is also home to the world famous Belleek pottery.

Mary Anderson
This is a lovely website devoted to John William Waterhouse, a marvelous Pre-Raphaelite painter. Take a look at some of his work!

Judith Flynn
This site looks like a good one. As you might have already figured out I entered the Bushmills Heritage contents (love Bushmills) and clicked on this part of their site.

Deirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
Who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland it's the McKiernans of Irish Books &

This week's quiz - who wrote:
1. Almost There - The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman
2. Somewhere in Ireland, a Village is Missing an Idiot
3. Ireland on Three Million Pounds a Day

Hint: All three titles can be found on amazon - please click 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!)
To visit our Home Page, please click: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com
1. Corner Culture - Dunguaire Castle
2. The Irish Kitchen: Appetizers
3. Circle of Prayer: Our seventh Novena in this cycle began last Sunday and ends on April 7th. Our eighth one will begin on Tuesday. At this tumultuous time in our world, your prayers or meditations for peace are needed more than ever. To join us, please click:
4. Think You're Irish? The new quiz for April has been posted - and, as of yesterday, with a correction to the answers for question #6. With thanks to a reader in So. Africa who brought the error to our attention - and with apologies to any of you who may have been tearing your hair out trying to find the correct answer - all puns intended! All entries must be in by midnight, EST on April 30. To enter. please click:
Our winner for March is Helen Dowd. We were delighted that Russ drew her name - and it isn't surprising that she'd win eventually. Always a faithful entrant into our Trivia Contest, Helen does the weekly writer's quiz, too. So, she ends up with a slew of bonus entries. Congratulations, Helen!

Regular features will make their appearance on the appropriate days - Wednesday quote, Sunday blessing, and so on. Headlines and history will go up each day, we'll post a new recipe over the weekend, and a new Basic Irish lesson will be published early next week. As for new articles - much depends on Bridget's schedule. We'll do the best we can.

So that about wraps it up for our first newsletter in April. Coming up soon is our two-year anniversary on April 14th. It's hard to believe it's been that long. Guess we've been having way too much fun! Until next time, try to tear yourself away from the news on telly or in the papers. Curl up with a good book, instead; or go for a walk in the park. (Herself will also endeavor to take our own advice!). Oh, and before we forget to mention it, there are a few events listed at the end, as well as this unusual request from a young college student in Europe:

"I'm an undergraduate on the BSc agriculture course which lasts five years. As part of my training, I have to carry out farm practice at the end of my second year in addition to the course we follow. On the one hand, it aims at immersing us in the farming world and making us put what we learn into practice. On the other hand, it's an occasion to travel to other countries with different habits from the ones we know. I'd like to discover the way the Irish farmers work and particularly a cheese-making process. So I am writing to you in order to know whether you happen to know a farmer who would need a student during the next summer holiday to help him."
Know of an Irish farmer who could use an extra pair of hands? Please email us!

'Til next Saturday, may God's grace be about you, may He keep you and yous from all harm, 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
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Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link:
As part of the New Orleans Film Festival, Bloody Sunday will be shown Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St. Tickets are $7, $6 for festival members. Tickets maybe purchased in advance by calling the theater at 891-2787. For
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Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society
Cumann Éire san Ochtú Céad Déag
2003 CONFERENCE - Dublin, 2-4 May
Religious and Political Identity in Eighteenth-Century Ireland

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:

Like to write? Our Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival has just announced a brand new writing competition. If you're interested, you can get the rules and other details here: http://home.fuse.net/cfl/festival.html