Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week or so and sent out to more than 3,700 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 unsubscribe, instructions are at the very end - but we do hope you'll stay with us. And if you need to update your info' or change your email address, you can do that at the end too.
Greetings and Blessings to all,

Snow! We have about three inches of the white stuff on the ground. It's our first major storm of the season and it's nice that it happened on the weekend because most of us could stay indoors and just look out the window while the kids finally got to use those snowboards and sleds they received at Christmas.

Compared to other places, we've had an incredibly mild winter so far; we hope and pray all of you who live in those areas affected by the snow and ice storms earlier this week are safe. And we hope our subscriber and friend Jim Crotty made it home okay. He emailed us to say he was stranded in San Antonio on his way back to Cincinnati. We also heard from Bridget 's brother in London. He and his partner are safe following what was for all intents and purposes a major hurricane in the British Isles and on the Continent. We watched footage from the BBC and have never seen anything like it for that part of the globe.

We digress. Despite the shenanigans with the weather, we hope this edition finds you and yours in good spirits. good health and good company. The warmest of welcomes to everyone and a special hello to all the new readers. If you are reading your first issue and enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family and friends. And if they'd like their own subscription, they can sign up here:

As for ourselves, it's been relatively calm and peaceful in the Haggerty household. And that's fine with us. We just don't have the stamina anymore for madness and mayhem. That said, we do have a bit of exciting news to report. Our granddaughter Caity came up with a cute phrase which is now gracing a T-shirt we're fairly certain will be carried by Creative Irish Gifts and which we hope to also sell on our web site. The caption is I'm an Irish Diva, you're just a girl and it's accompanied by a pair of lips shaded in green. We think it will have great appeal to tweens, teens and possibly even a mom or two - especially on St. Patrick's Day.

Hard to believe it's just a few weeks away! As usual, Bridget's brother, Chris O'Flaherty and sister in law Therese will be hosting a huge blarney bash which we are really looking forward to. If previous years are anything to go by, it turns into a real Irish hooley and hope to make it even livelier by asking guests to say Irish wrist watch three times fast.
Go ahead - give it a try. You know you can't resist.

Enough of the blather. On with the update!
SPONSOR: Help us keep your newsletter coming. Visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
Happy St. Brigid's Day! February 1st is just a week or so away and you can honour one of Ireland's most beloved saints by displaying an authentic St. Brigid's cross in your home. These are hand-made in Ireland of rushes gathered from the fields. The Cross is traditionally placed over the door to protect all within from illness or bad luck. It was also believed to help protect against fire, storm and lightening. Don't delay - order yours as soon as you can so you will have it in time.
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 Is
Leave 'em Laughing
Plaque unveiled to 'forgotten woman' of 1916
A memorial plaque in honour of one of the forgotten women of 1916 has been unveiled n Dublin's south inner city. Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell, a member of Cumman na mBan played a full and active role in the Rising and accompanied Padraig Pearse when the official surrender was handed over to the British forces at Moore Lane.

Flight of the Earls: The Government plans to announce full details in the coming weeks of a major commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls in 1607. We'll keep you posted as plans unfold.

New Dart Schedule: A new rail schedule on all intercity, DART and Commuter services went into effect on January 14th. Rail passengers can pick up copies of the new timetables at their local stations or on-line here:
The new schedule includes hourly services in both directions between Dublin and Cork and more Limerick to Dublin services.
There will be more commuter services into Dublin city from Kildare and Maynooth and new services from Mayo.

High-Speed Trains Link Cork And Dublin
The weekday services between the country's largest cities are operating between 7am and 9pm as part of Irish Rail's new timetable. The fastest journey on the Dublin-Cork route, a distance of 160 miles, will now take just under two-and-a-half hours.

Irish-Language Newspaper Launched
Lá Nua will be produced from west Belfast and the Donegal Gaeltacht and published five days a week. It will offer podcasts, an online version and entries on YouTube, a website offering home videos. The print edition will be stocked in newsagents but copies will also be distributed to Irish-speaking offices across Dublin and the top 300 schools using the language.

Famous First Words: Gaeilge Makes its EU Debut
The honour of delivering the first official cúpla focail in the chamber went to the Munster MEP Brian Crowley. His words were interpreted by Eoghan Ó Loinsigh, a freelance Irish interpreter who had been brought to Strasbourg for the occasion. For the record: what Brian Crowley said: "Uachtaráin Is mór an onóir dom labhairt I mo theanga dúchais anseo tráthnóna inniu. Ba mhaith liom buíochas ó chroí a ghabháil le rialtaisí uilig an Aontais Eorpaigh agus le feisirí an tí seo, as ucht a gcuid tacaíochta chun stádas oifigiúil oibre a bhaint amach don nGaeilge.
Tá cur chun cinn teangacha rí - thábhachtach ó thaobh forbairt iomlán a dhéanamh ar Aontas na hEorpa. Tá ceangal láidir idir éagsúlacht Cultúir agus Co-Oibriú Eacnamaíochta san Eoraip, agus creidim a Uachtaráin Borrell gur éirigh leat an dá aidhm seo a bhaint amach le linn do théarma in oifig an Uachtaráin."
So what did he say?

Bad news for tea drinkers?
While the Irish have embraced Starbucks lattes, we're still passionate about our traditional morning cup of tea with milk and sugar. However, a new German study shows that adding milk reduces the health benefit of helping arteries to relax or dilate, thus enabling a smoother flow of blood. To read the full report from the European heart Journal, please click

Ireland competing at Women's World Cup of Golf for first time
Ireland will be one of 22 nations participating at the Women's World Cup of Golf commencing Friday January 19 in South Africa. 44 golfers will compete for national honour and a prize fund of $1.2 million at the Gary Player Country Club, Sun in the North, West Province. To find out how we're doing, please click

Developer joins U2 stars in €150m Clarence project
Dublin's Clarence Hotel, owned by U2's Bono and the Edge, in partnership with property developer Paddy McKillen, is to be redeveloped at a cost of €150 million as "one of the most spectacular city hotels in Europe".

Clare: Brendan Grace pub provides minibus for regulars
Brendan Grace's pub has introduced a successful transport service for its regulars. The popular pub located in Killaloe and owned by comedian Brendan Grace opened four years ago. Recently customer numbers had declined because of the clampdown on drink driving, which includes random breath-testing. Amanda Grace, Brendan's daughter, who runs the pub with her husband, introduced the mini-bus service in December. For €10 a month customers living within a three-mile radius of the pub can use the mini-bus as often as they like and receive a free drink upon their tenth visit.

Clare: Clare County Council has confirmed that An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern T.D. will officially open the new Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre project on 8th February 2007. The project, which is expected to generate over 100 new jobs, includes substantial cliff edge improvement works and a visitor centre building.

Cork: First time win for Traveller as person of the month
January's Cork Person of the Month Award has been presented to Mary O'Sullivan, the first member of the Travelling Community to receive the prize. Mary, of Kinsale Road in the city, is a mother of five who has promoted and coordinated Traveller culture, education and community development over the past fifteen years. Stella Cherry of Fitzgerald's Park museum nominated Mary, because of the impressive project Mary ran involving one hundred and fifty Travellers. The main creation on display is a full-sized, colourful wagon. Mary also promoted health, leadership and development as secretary of the Cork Traveller Women's network.

Galway: Mass exodus from the city
Cheaper house prices in rural County Galway are causing a mass exodus of people from the city. In Tuam alone, it is estimated that 20% of house sales are to first-time buyers from Galway city.

Galway: The Castle penthouse
Dublin-based businessman who has offered to restore Menlo Castle at a cost of 12 million euro in return for a luxury penthouse on the top floor is to address a meeting of Galway City Council in March.

Galway: First cod presented
The first cod hatched, reared and grown to market size in Ireland has been presented to a select few & including Gaeltacht Minister, Eamon Ó Cuív & at a function in Connemara.

Kerry: Salmon rivers closed To anglers
Some well known salmon and sea trout rivers, which would normally have been opened by now will remain closed this year in the southwest, as part of new salmon conservation measures. Among those barred to salmon and sea trout anglers are the Maine and Flesk rivers near Killarney. However, trout fishing on these rivers can go ahead when that season opens in February. Other salmon rivers which would ordinarily open in February such as the Sheen, will also remain closed for 2007. Some 20 salmon rivers will remain closed in Kerry, as well as a small number in Cork including the Upper Lee and the Glengarriff.

Kilkenny: Order of Australia Medal for Kilkenny man
An Order of Australia Medal has been awarded to a retired Kilkenny man living in Australia for nearly thirty years. Michael Nolan, Honorary Consul General for Ireland in Western Australia, received the award for his outstanding service to the Irish community in Western Australia. He met and helped thousands of Irish ex-pats in Australia while based in his Perth office. The seventy-five year old, who left Kilkenny more than fifty years ago, received the position of Honorary Consul General for Ireland from the Governor General. Michael's brother is Pat Nolan, a well-known face in Kilkenny, who was tourism officer there for many years and is Chairman of the Celtic Festival.

Limerick: Brass band bound for Boston
The Irish population of Boston is in for a real treat this St Patrick's Day. St John's Brass and Reed band will the first Limerick band ever to participate in the St Patrick's Day parade in Boston. The band played recently for actor Russell Crowe who visited West Clare. American businessman Billy Higgins invited the band to play in American's second largest St Patrick's Day parade and has arranged the trip for March 14. The group will also play in various other Boston concerts. St John's was established over one hundred years ago and consists of forty-two band members, who are looking forward to their trip.

Longford: No meat, no drink, no cigarettes leads to a long life
According to her daughter Bridgie Galvin, the secret to Mary Brady's long life was that she lived on a diet of porridge and potatoes and never drank or smoked. Mary, who is now a resident of St Joseph's Hospital in Longford town, celebrated her one hundredth birthday earlier this month. The youngest of the five children of John and Mary Brady of Lisoarty, Aughnacliffe, she attended Corratober national school, between Arva and Gowra. She spent most of her life working the farm in Aughnacliffe, moving to live with her daughter in Farnagh thirty-five years ago; she had one son, Francie, who died in 1999.

Longford: Marathon book from Longford engineer
Tom Higgins has published a book on the history of Irish tennis which is to run to three volumes. A lecturer in civil engineering in Sligo, Tom began writing the history of tennis in Sligo but he soon realised that nothing had been written on a national scale so he decided to fill the gap. During his research he unearthed a set of rules from Longford Tennis Club dating from 1896 which had been printed by Turners, the very company which has printed "History of Irish Tennis".

Louth: Gate Lodge to be transformed into pub
A planning application has been submitted to create a pub out of the Gate Lodge at the front of Boyne Valley Hotel. The protected structure was built in the 1880s and had once been used for extra accommodation by the hotel. Most recently the structure was left idle and the owner of the building, Michael McNamara, has put in an application to Drogheda Borough Council to convert it and extend the rear of the lodge to use it as a neighbourhood pub. Plans show that one single storey will be demolished and a pedestrian entrance and ten car parking spaces will be created. The pub will serve the area around Stameen and the Dublin Road and hotel customers.

Meath: First female garda qualifies for Olympics
Caroline Ryan (27), from Enfield, Co Meath, and based at Pearse Street station, has been selected for the Irish single scull rowing squad and is the first female garda to qualify for the games.

Sligo: Queen Maebh's grave spoiled by removal of stones
The top of Knocknarea mountain has been covered with names and messages spelled out in stones that belong to the legendary Queen Maebh's grave. Experts say the climbers have caused serious erosion to the four-thousand-year-old national monument. Heavy foot traffic and rain have also caused a deep scar on the mound. The grave is said to contain Queen Maebh's body, which was buried upright and faced Ulster. According to archaeologist Tamlyn O'Driscoll the site could even collapse in on itself. She believes erecting bilingual signs that explain the site's significance could help solve the problem.

Waterford: Memorial to Great War's youngest victim
A memorial statue to a young Waterford boy is to be erected on the south quays in the city and will be funded by the Port of Waterford. John Condon, from Wheelbarrow Lane off Ballybricken, was just fourteen when he was killed during the second Battle of Ypres in May, 1915, becoming the youngest Allied soldier to die in the First World War; his grave is one of the most frequently visited on the former Western Front. The memorial, which will stand at the junction of Henrietta Street and the Quay, has been designed by artist Pat Cunningham and architect Anne Harpur.

Westmeath: Collinstown resident tries out his Irish
Manchán Magan, a documentary maker from Collinstown, is featuring in an interesting television series which set out to test the figures given in the census for Irish speakers. "No Bearla", on TG4, saw Manchán travel all over the country endeavouring to conduct his life entirely through Irish, with varying results. In Galway, where one would suppose there might be a greater understanding of Irish, he was able to get away with singing vulgar lyrics while busking on Shop Street, and it was only in the Meath village of Rath Cairn that he met schoolchildren who were able to converse fluently with him, though their parents had difficulty understanding what was going on.

We have received a few more donations and we are very glad to have them. But overall, our fund-raising effort is floundering. All we are asking is for each reader to send us a dollar to help cover out of pocket expenses. If everyone did that, it would be such a big help. So please give if you can. You can make a donation in any currency safely and securely through PayPal: http://www.paypal.com
and to this account:

or by snail mail to:
Bridget & Russ Haggerty
5670 Meryton Place
Cincinnati, OH 45224.

Go raibh maith agat in advance for your generosity and kindness.
Ethna McKiernan, owner of Irish Books & Media sends her heartfelt thanks for all the orders, at least two dozen! The sale is still going on and will continue until everything is gone. You can select from hundreds of titles, but quantities are limited. So don't delay. Visit Irish Books & media as soon as you can and if you do decide to buy something, Ethna asks that you put Haggerty subscriber in the comment section so she knows where the order came from.
Then click on Clearance Sale in the left-hand column.

In relation to Irish Books & Media, Baidra writes
Thank you for the news, today & always. And especially for the news regarding Irish Books & Media. I travelled to Ireland in 1985 with the Irish Way program of IACI. I had never heard of Irish Books & Media, I am sorry to say, but will visit their site now & see what treasures I can find. I have to say, my trip to Ireland with the Irish Way program was a major influence on my life. I enjoyed it tremendously & still now, 20 years later, find myself recalling much of what I learned on that journey. I have been fortunate enough to travel back to the Old Sod a few more times but that trip will always been a fond memory. Many thanks to IACI and Eoin for creating such a wonderful experience.
ED. NOTE: "Eoin" is the late Eoin McKiernan RIP, Ethna McKiernan's father and the founder of the American Cultural Institute (ACI) as well as Irish Books & Media and and the organizer of group trips to Ireland. Ethna's sister, Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler now carries on that tradition. If you're interested, you can check out the itinerary for the 2007 tour here:

Chris Bowdren Lopez writes:
This past August my husband and I went to Ireland where I met cousins for the first time who live there. One of them took us to St. Colman's to see the cathedral. My great-grandfather was a stone mason and worked on St. Colman's. What a thrill it was to connect with our past! When I saw that a photo of it was on your website, I just had to write and share my connection. Thanks for triggering this happy memory.

Joe Bassler writes: I was at a funeral a few years ago and the priest said that there is an old Irish saying" You die three times, first when your heart stops, second time when they lay you in the ground, and the third time when your family and friends stop telling stories about you."
I thought it was an excellent and quite true saying, and I have been looking for it, or the source of it. Do you know of this saying?  Is it Irish? I'm not sure of the exact wording regarding, the first and second time you die. Any information is helpful.

Lee patterson writes:
Thank you once again for your interesting newsletter. Also like to thank you for the information on Lilian Spence. My husband remembers the Fish & Chip shop very well. We use to walk passed it when we lived the Cregagh Road not far from Beersbridge Road. What a fantastic age.

Donna Hardin asks: I am not Irish and I was wondering if there some history about Irish Blessings?  I LOVE reading them. Any information would be great. Thanks - and I LOVE your site.
ED. NOTE: Coming from someone who isn't Irish, that's nice to hear. Thanks, Donna. We don't know exactly where Donna is located, but we were curious as to where the majority of visitors to our web site come from You might be as surprised as we were at our top five:
1. UK
2. Canada
3. Ireland
4. Australia
5. USA

All week long, Peter O'Toole has been on the talk circuit in the United States. As might be expected, the NPR interview is outstanding. O'Toole's recitation of a Shakespearean sonnet in from the movie Venus is sublime - and there's a bonus link to him reciting yet another sonnet. Bridget has listened several times, imagining that he is saying it just to her.
NPR Interview:

The Today Show also did an interview. It's a bit hard to find. Click on the link and then look on the right hand side for a column that says Friday's Videos. Scroll down until you get to "Peter O'Toole on latest role" and click on that.

Bernadette Flynn - solo performance from Lord of the Dance
If you haven't seen this, you're in for a treat. Fingers crossed the link will work.

Center for Irish Cultural Studies
Echoes of mystical voices. Treasures of ancient civilizations. The vitality of cultural tradition in the modern age.  This is the Gaeltacht: the Ireland that excites the mind and feeds the soul.  And in the heart of it all is Sacred Heart University's Center for Irish Cultural Studies. Please click

Brigid's Cloak
With St. Brigid's Feast Day just a week or so away, we thought you might be interested in visiting this site which explains the custom of setting outside the brat bhríde, or Brigid's Cloak before sunset on the eve of Brigid's feast day, 1st February, and bringing it back in before sunrise. There's a lot of fascinating information here!

Sengoídelc - Quotations from early Irish
An incredibly rich resource presented in both the Irish and English. We came upon it quite by accident

Gaelic Life
If Gaelic Games are your passion, then this is a must have magazine!

Cnoc Suain,
An enchanting pre-famine hill village of thatched and slated stone cottages dating back to 1691 and situated in an Irish speaking region in the wild and beautiful Connemara landscape, Galway, Ireland.

Inspiring Ireland
Luxury travel with Celtic soul. If that sounds tempting, take a look here:

Images of Ireland
Video showing images of Ireland to the tenor voice of Michael Londra singing Danny Boy from Look Around Ireland

Live ireland
Many thanks to Pam Smith who brought this great site to our attention. In her message she says: This site comes live and straight from Dublin.  It has a choice of stations. I play Channel 1, trad & folk. I have heard so many Irish singers and groups that I have never heard before.  I have bought several CDs and have downloaded such songs as: "So here's to You", "Crazy Man Michael", "Barna Hill", and "From Clare to Here". The downloads came from iTunes. I really recommend that those who love Irish music give it a shot.  The craic of the DJs is wonderful.  They give me a feel of actually being in Ireland.

Airegal is back as An Curragh
Sandra Kelly wrote to let us know that one of our favorite web sites which went under a several years ago has returned as An Curragh, a not for profit trade co-operative of 60 traditional hand-weavers, basket makers, jewellers and knitwear designers whose purpose it is to preserve the traditional skills unique to ireland by bringing their products to new markets.The writing isn't as interesting as it was before, but the quality of the products remains intact. Take a look:

Keelan's Larkson Music Service
For nearly twenty years the the Keelan Family & Friends have shared their talents and time to benefit many different community charitable organizations. They invite you to explore their web site and enjoy learning more about them and their music:

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:

Free Pet Food!
Last but certainly not least - our ongoing 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!

Free People Food!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
We still can't believe Larry Gogan is gone form RTÉ. But he leaves behind a remarkable legacy. The responses to his one minute quiz have been proliferated all over the internet. But here's one you may not have seen:
Larry: What do you call a vessel that holds ashes?
Listener: An ash tray?
And the classic of all time:
Larry: What is the name of the village associated with Shakespeare?
Listener: Hamlet?
"I hate light. I hate weather. My idea of heaven is moving from one smoke-filled room to another." Peter O'Toole
This one was sent in by our dear friend Judith. It's called Irish Alzheimer's and it must be making the rounds because it came in from several others. Thanks, to all.

Murphy showed up at Mass one Sunday and the priest almost fell down when he saw him. Murphy had never been seen in church in his life. After Mass, the priest caught up with Murphy and said, "Murphy, I am so glad you decided to come to Mass, what made you do it?"
Murphy said, "I have to be honest with you Father - a while back, I misplaced me hat and I really, really love that hat. I know that McGlynn had a hat just like me own, and I knew that McGlynn came to church every Sunday. I also knew that McGlynn had to take off his hat during Mass and figured he would leave it in the back of church. so, I was going to leave after Communion and steal McGlynn's hat."
The priest said, "Well, Murphy, I notice that you didn't steal McGlynn's hat. What changed your mind?"
Murphy said, "Well, after I heard your sermon on the 10 Commandments, I decided that I didn't need to steal McGlynn's hat."
The priest gave Murphy a big smile and said; "After I talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' you decided you would rather do without your hat than Burn in Hell,?"
Murphy shook his head and said, "No, Father, after you talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery' I remembered where I left me hat."
In anticipation that Peter O'Toole just might be nominated for his 8th Oscar - and perhaps win this time, our Irish Trivia is all about one of our favorite actors:
1. Peter O'Toole holds the record along with his friend the late Sir Richard Burton for the most Oscar nominations without a win? (Seven)
2. He named his son Lorcan - which is Irish for Lawrence?
3. He has resided in Clifden, Galway since 1963?
First off, the answers to our last quiz:

1. The Emigrant's Farewell by Liam Browne
2. The Sailor in the Wardrobe by Hugo Hamilton
3. The Winner of Sorrow by Brian Lynch
A round of pints and applause to the following Irish literary sleuths:

Caryn Shiel
An Irish site to visit for purchasing Irish gifts, clothing, jewelry, decorations etc. is Creative Irish Gifts. The company was founded with the purpose of giving financial support to activities of the Irish Children's Fund of which we have been a part of for over six years.
ED. NOTE: We have also had a relationship with them for many years and we are proud to be an affiliate partner - plus they always have the greatest selection of gifts! Take a look:

Helen Dowd
Thanks to everyone who have been voting for my site.  We are now over the 27,000 mark.

Patricia Edwards
I just love Ireland's Myths & Legends and there are certainly a lot to explore on this site:

Pam Murphy
I continue to explore Find It Ireland which has a huge directory of more than 6.000 web sites. http://www.finditireland.com/

Kathleen O'Connnor
Looking for O'Connor ancestors? You might find them here:

Want to see your name and favorite web site in our next newsletter?
Who wrote:
1. Rites of Brigid, Goddess & Saint
2. Brigid of Ireland
3. The Story of St. Brigid of Ireland
Send in your answers and if you get two out of three correct, we'll list your name and web site (or your favorite Irish web site) in our next newsletter.
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish Lottery:
There was NO winner of Saturday's draw. That means Wednesday's jackpot will be about € 6.5 Million Euro. But you can't win it if you're not in it. 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! Please click here for full details including a compilation of stats based on previous draws which could improve your chances of winning!
 To begin with, the solution to our last cranium cruncher:
Q: What is so special about the following sequence?
8 5 4 9 1 7 6 10 3 2 0

A. The numbers are in alphabetical order. As always our brilliant Riddle People were up the challenge but Sue Dorr from Fallsington PA was first in. Well done. And now for our next noggin' noodler.
Q. What word can be spelled backwards and forwards and look the same right side up or upside down?
1. Article: Counties of Ireland: Carlow
2. Article: St. Brigit, the Giveaway
3. Article: Celebrating Candlemas in Old Ireland
4. Article: A Taste of Ireland: Guinness for Strength!
5. Kids' Ireland: Making St. Brigid's Crosses
6. The Irish Kitchen: St. Brigid's Oat Cakes
7. Basic irish: Lesson of the Month - A New Year, A New You
8. Circle of prayer - Our 8th Novena in this cycle began on January 16 and continues through January 25. While we haven't received any new prayer requests, we did want to share with you that our good friend Aideen, our native irish speaker, is recovering from not one but TWO falls! Also, Pauline Dewberry is in the hospital preparing for a bone marrow transplant. Many of you know her through her web site and "newsletter" which are devoted to cats. If you haven't visited her internet pages and you're a feline fancier, you'll enjoy all the warm fuzzies you'll find at:
So please keep Pauline in your prayers and meditations as well as Heather, the daughter of a dear friend who is enduring extreme chemo to shrink a tumor. Also Mickey, Hartson Dowd, Helen Dowd's sister who is a missionary in India, little Emma Josephine, Fiona Mary's mother, baby Joseph, Jane Fitz., and Scott H and so many others who need our spiritual support - especially our men and women in the military serving their country all over the world God willing, they will all be home safe and sound soon.
11. Trivia Contest. Time's running out - just a little over a week left . All entries must be in by midnight on January 31st no matter which time zone you are in.

So that's the long and the short of it until we write again. If you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then,  we hope it's filled with joy, laughter and love. 

Meanwhile, may the Good Shepherd of us all watch over you and yours and keep you safe and warm in the mantle of His love.
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!
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there we will be happy to list it here.

Hollywood, Florida - February 10
From 7:00 pm until 11 pm The irish-American Caeli Club will be celebrating its 35th anniversary with a deluxe steak, salmon or chicken dinner music by Paddy Noonan and Kathy Durkin. To reserve your tickets please call 954-432-8292 by January 31st. Or for more details, please click
Cincinnati, OH - March 10
"Sacred Relics" - The History of the Irish in Cincinnati. Hibernian Hall, 3926 River Road from 12 noon to 6:00 pm. For more details please call (513) 245-9299 or email Patrick Mallory 

Sligo - March 18
A School Reunion will be held in St. Joseph's Secondary School, Gurteen, Co. Sligo, Ireland. Mass will be celebrated at 5pm in St. Patrick'sChurch, Gurteen, followed by a reunion dinner in "Teach Murray" at 8pm. Names and Addresses of past pupils from September 1954 to June 1968 and copies of photographs would be greatly appreciated by the committee. Please contact Nicholas Ryan at 071 9182289, Nuala O'Dowd at 071 9182114, Ita O'Rourke at 071 9182089 or alternatively email:
orourkeita@hotmail.com or cphannan@yahoo.co.uk 

Ennis, Co. Clare- March 2nd-4th  
This year's Ennis Book Club Festival features  number of internationally renowned authors including playwright and novelist Patrick McCabe, author of 'The Butcher Boy' and 'Breakfast on Pluto' and Edna O'Brien, a County Clare novelist, short story writer, playwright and screenwriter. For complete details, please visit:

Vocabulary additions for the workplace and elsewhere. Most of these are from our good friend AG in California and the rest are from the Irish Independent. If you'd like to add to the list, please send us an email. Thanks!

Useful at work:

404 : Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error Message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested site could not be located.

ADMINISPHERE : The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

ASSMOSIS : The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard

BLAMESTORMING : Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

CROP DUSTING : Surreptitiously passing gas while passing through a Cube Farm.

CUBE FARM : An office filled with cubicles.


LET'S SUNSET THAT: Bad idea which will never see the light of day.

GETTING DOWN WITH THE KIDS: trying to interact with junior staff.

OPEN UP YOUR KIMONO: Put your cards on the table.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE : The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again. 

PRAIRIE DOGGING : When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

SALMON DAY : The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

SEAGULL MANAGER : A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

THOUGHT GRENADE: An explosive good idea

XEROX SUBSIDY : Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

Useful in general

GENERICA : Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

IRRITAINMENT : Entertainment and media spectacles that are Annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them.

MOUSE POTATO : The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

SITCOMs : Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What Yuppies get into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

STRESS PUPPY : A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

SWIPEOUT : An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

WOOFS : Well-Off Older Folks. The opposite of POOPS - Poorly off older people who use a lot of depends:
Depends on Social Security
Depends on Medicare
Depends on tea, toast and soup for "fast food."
Depends on adult children to drive them to Mass.
Depends on the weather if they go or not.
Depends on grandchildren for entertainment.