Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to about three short of 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:
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubcribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.

Greetings & Blessings to Everyone,

After a week of balmy temperatures, we woke up to more of the white stuff! Just a dusting, mind you, but it was a bit of a shock when we've been able to go out in our shirtsleeves! Oh well, in like a lamb and out like a lion is typical of March in the Ohio Valley.

We hope this newsletter finds you all healthy, happy and in good spirits. A warm welcome back to you - and to all of our new subscribers. Thanks for signing up and please spread the word about us among your family and friends.

Despite best efforts by the media to distract us with the latest reports from Iraq, we managed to pull ourselves away long enough to get some work done on the site - i.e. Bridget actually did some writing! We hope you enjoy the new articles. Russ has been working on putting all of the daily Irish history in one location, so if you're curious about what might have happened on any date in the year, you can just click on the month and it will display each day. He hopes to have that finished early next week. Eventually, we hope to expand on important days in the Irish Calendar.

Other than that, with the exception of what's going on overseas, it was a relatively quiet week in the Haggerty household. Makes a refreshing change from the usual chaos!

So...enough of the blather and on with a very late update - our apologies for that; oldest daughter had a birthday today and her mother got sidetracked making a favorite dinner!
Please help us keep this newsletter free by visiting the following sponsor:
FTD Florists. It's not too late to send your mother flowers for Mothering Sunday which is Match 30 in many parts of the world. So, whether your mother's in Ireland, or elsewhere, tell her you love her in the nicest way on Mother's Day and every day, with a lovely spring bouquet. Please click http://www.ftd.com/4629/catalog/category.epl?index_id=product_flowers_spring
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
Sir Boyle Roche MP was the Member for Tralee, County Kerry, in the Irish House of Commons in the latter part of the 18th century. There is nothing very remarkable or memorable about that; the vast majority of such men have long since been forgotten. But not so the Honorable Member for Kerry. Why not? Because Boyle Roche has become immortalized, in the annals of Irish and British parliament-speak, as "the Father of the Irish Bull." (Bridget can see the possibilities of an article here!)
The wit bit: It has been said of Sir Boyle Roche, that he only opened his mouth to change his feet!
Here's why: On one occasion he told his audience that "the cup of Ireland's misery has been overflowing for centuries and is not yet half full." And then there was his response to another member's appeal for some measure because it would benefit posterity. "Why, Mr. Speaker," Sir Boyle asked, "should we do anything for posterity? What has posterity done for us?"
The antics of Miss O'Leary, never married and near ninety, will grace this spot on occasion, until we run out of fuel, fodder and/or other folderlol.

While impatiently waiting for a table in a restaurant, Miss O'Leary says to Mrs. Clancy, "If they weren't so crowded in here all the time, they'd do a lot more business."

1. In 1931 Ernest Walton, who was born in Dungraven, Co. Waterford, split the atom for the first time? This scientific landmark was achieved with an accelerator built to his own design. Walton and his partner John Cockcroft received the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics for their efforts.
2. Leinster House in Dublin was originally built as a private home for the Duke of Leinster? At that time, the most fashionable part of Dublin was the North Side and he was asked why he was building on the South Side. He said "Where I go, fashion follows me" To this day the most fashionable part of Dublin is the South Side.
3. Andrew Jackson is the only U.S. president not to have been born in America? He was born in the middle of the Atlantic in 1767 on an emigrant ship taking his parents from Carrigfergus.
From a reader - thank you!
When my older brother was very young, he always walked up to the church altar with my mother when she took communion. On one occasion, he tugged at her arm and asked, "What does the priest say when he gives you the bread?" Mom whispered something in his ear. Imagine his shock many years later when he learned that the priest doesn't say, "Be quiet until you get to your seat."
The answers to last week's quiz:
1. Dancer - Calum McCann
2. Newgrange and the Bend of the Boyne - Geraldine Stout
3. Rory and Ita - Roddy Doyle

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Featuring Easter-Spring http://namelygifts.com/Easter%20Spring.htm
Our Everyday Heroes http://namelygifts.com/OtherIdeas%20Heroes.htm

Fun and interesting, twice weekly ezine giving you links to the best sites on the web, with a **New** Scavenger Hunt every Monday. Subscribe info on the site. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EzinesEtc-WT/?yguid=135192422

Helen Dowd
See: Purrfect Trust - Baby's Story, a touching story about a special cat named Baby and her friends. Baby was a champion-bred kitten, but she was born blind. Through the love of two caring people, she lived a happy and worthwhile life. You'll find inspiration in this story of devotion between a pet and her "people." (Indeed! We read this story and loved it. Well done, Helen!)

Hartson Dowd
Very often, Hartson sends us write-ups on the books we select. When we don't have time to bone up on the latest literature from Ireland, his entry addendums are always a welcome bonus! Thanks, Hartson! We'd post them here, but it would make a long newsletter even longer. Drop us a line if you'd like to read them.
BookView Ireland/Irish Emigrant Publications Galway, Ireland

Dallas Franklin
Voted Best Publication Editor of 2002 in the Preditors and Editors poll! Subscribe to the SWO newsletter and discover Writers Markets, Help Articles and a chance to promote your Website in every issue.

Mary Anderson
This site has some very good basic information on a lovely breed of horse, the Irish Draught. I hope it will work even though it is a pdf. Thanks!

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 &

Jay Dooling
My favorite web site might sound self-serving. However, it is the site I use most frequently. It is the Irish Aires links page. It can be found at:
There are about 1,000 links there to a variety of Irish sites. It is a long page, but you can search it by holding down the "Ctrl" and tapping on the "F" key. Then insert the word you want to search and hit the enter key.
(We're delighted to welcome Jay to our circle of literary sleuths. And we really encourage you to check out the Irish Aires web site - long one of our favorites!)

Judith Flynn
A lovely site featuring magical stories about angels in our lives

NOTE: Did we leave you out? Sometimes, we goof up - did we say sometimes? If, for whatever reason, we didn't list you, please let us know - we'll put you in next week's.

This week's quiz - who wrote:
1. St. Therese in Ireland
2. I'll Come Back in the Springtime
3. And All The Saints

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. The Man who Saved our Music
2. Tribute to Turlough
3. The Irish Kitchen: Memories of Tea Time
4. New Irish Lesson. This one has words and phrases related to mothers and Mother's Day
5. Circle of Prayer: Our sixth Novena in this cycle began on March 21 and ends today. Our seventh one begins tomorrow. This past week, we received a request for a little boy in California; Sam is just 5 years old and is battling cancer. His mother asks you to remember him in your prayers or meditations. And, of course, please remember all those who are fighting other battles just as life-threatening. Now, more than ever, we need the power of prayers for peace. Eileen, our subscriber in New York (who was instrumental in beginning our daily Novena) also sent us a message. Her husband Joe wants to remind us that during World War II, Winston Churchill asked the British people to stop whatever they were doing at 9:00 pm and say a prayer. So whether you take a moment or two at 9:00 am, 9:00 pm, or anytime at all to join us in prayer, please click:
7. Think You're Irish? Time's almost out for this month's trivia contest. This Monday is the last day for entries. All entries must be in by midnight, EST. To enter. please click:
By the way, we followed up on February's winner to make sure she had received her gift from Celtic Brands. Sure enough, she did receive a lovely side of salmon which she gave to her folks. Seems that they don't get out very much anymore because her mother is going through chemo. But now, they're enjoying "cocktail hour" with Irish smoked salmon on crackers with cream cheese. We love hearing these stories!

The beginning of the month always brings an extra flurry of activity. We'll be posting a new quiz, a new story for children and another short piece for the Culture Corner (that has been getting a lot of reads - thanks!). Regular features will make their appearance on the appropriate days - Wednesday quote, Sunday blessing, and so on. As for the recipe, we decided that it's easier for us to post the recipe over a weekend, so look for this week's offering tomorrow (does that sound like an Irish Bull, or what?) We're also looking at all of the contributions you've sent in and hope to begin publishing these in the near future. Thanks for your patience!

A few more bits and pieces and then we'll take our leave of you for another week.

In the last newsletter, we suggested visiting the new Bushmills site because they had a great contest going where some lucky person could win a search for their ancestors. Seems that we didn't have all the info' and the contest is open only to residents in the USA (i.e. North America. Canada and US territories such as Guam are not eligible) We apologize for any waste of time! However, if you'd still like to visit the site, the URL is: http://www.bushmillsheritage.com

Don't forget that if you're in the European Union, you need to put your clocks forward one hour tonight. While the USA doesn't begin daylight savings time until next weekend, about 70 countries around the globe start it on the last Sunday in March.

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

We're also beginning to get an influx of events from various organizations. We have no problem with including these in the newsletter but since they're so location specific, we've decided to put them at the end. So, take a look below to see if something's going on in your neighborhood. Also posted below, a letter from a dentist in Australia. We didn't get this personally - it was forwarded by Judith F., one of our earliest subscribers and someone who has become a dear friend. In today's world of country bashing, people bashing, et al, ad nauseam, this seemed to be worth reprinting. We hope you agree.

Until next time, Lá an Mháthair faoi shona dhuit to all mother's celebrating their special day tomorrow. And for all of you, we pray that God will keep you and yours from all harm. May you also be showered with an abundance of blessings - 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 help keep this newsletter free by visiting the following sponsor:
Baby Names Of Ireland. Actually, they're not a sponsor yet - we're giving them a test ad to see if they get enough visitors to justify advertising with us. This is a really well done site - you can even hear Frank McCourt say the names! They also have a great selection of Irish gifts, just for children. So, please visit them at:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link:
Tuesday April 8 -- Brazos Valley Celtic Association invites anyone interested in Celtic Culture to an open meeting featuring local band Heartsease with a presentation of the origins of Celtic music. Never a cover charge or the need to be a member to attend meetings, which are held on the second Tuesday of each month at Carney's Pub, located at 3410 S. College in Bryan at 7:00pm. The BVCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the appreciation of all Celtic Cultures through music, dance, language, history, sports, literature, lectures and the arts.

Letter forwarded to us:
Kill An American
You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote the following to let everyone know what an American is, so they would know when they found one. (Good on ya, mate!!!!)

An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Filipino, Asian, Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses. An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the least.

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

Please pass this around the World