Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week or so and sent out to nearly 3,200 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.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.

Greetings and Blessings to all,

Well , here we are back again, and if you've been worried about where we've been for the last couple of weeks or so, our apologies. We upgraded Bridget's computer and she being of very low wattage when it comes to new technology has been tearing her hair out trying to learn a new word processing program as well as find things. We've decided not to wait any longer and send what we have.

Of all the months not to be in regular contact! Nevertheless, if nothing else, we Irish are tenacious and Bridget is determined to get through this period of "Mac and Fries as in fried brain, whatever it takes. Russ is getting sizes on a straitjacket and making sure there are no guns lying around as he was the one who threw her in the deep end.

Thanks for your patience and we do appreciate those of you who wrote to ask if we're okay. Your care and concern is much appreciated. Onwards.

We hope this edition finds you and in yours in fine fettle and fit as a fiddle. We'd also like to extend a warm welcome to all of you who joined us in the past fortnight - more than fifty. Thanks so much for signing up and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends,

As for ourselves, if you don't count the computer challenges, we've had a very interesting time of it. Bridget was interviewed by Mary Caroll of Tipp FM Radio about Mothering Sunday (which is on March 26th this year in Ireland and the British Isles) Mary is an excellent interviewer and although Bridget was a bit nervous at first, she settled down and they had a nice ten-minute chat which you'll be able to hear on-line Monday evening, March 20th. The URL is:
and the name of Mary's show is Mind, Body and Soul. It's on the program schedule as Evening Extra. Hope you get to hear herself blathering away!

We also went to see David Quinn do a reading and signing of his book It May Be Forever. David began his presentation by playing the beautiful ballad Kathleen Mavourneen. By the time it was over, Bridget had goosebumps and she's certain that in a room filled with mostly "bold Fenian men," many had tears in their eyes, and why not indeed - you can hear the song and then read they lyrics here.

David tells us that the singer is John Gary and it was was featured on an RCA album issued in the mid-1990's called Ireland's Greatest Hits. We did a search on Amazon and found it ! Just click through any CD in our library and do a search on Ireland's Greatest Hits. (that way we earn a small commission if you buy it)

It turns out that David chose the title of his book based on the lyrics. He then went on to explain in great depth how he researched the story of his great great Uncle Michael who left Ireland during the famine and made a new life for himself in America - several in fact! We hope to do a review for the web site in the next month - but if you can't wait to read all about the book and the author, please click
BTW, Bridget just loves Uncle Mikes mustache and is trying to Get Russ to grow one just like it. He says all right - as long as it doesn't get in the way of his Guinness! But we digress. David Quinn's next stop is NYC on Thursday evening. at the American Irish Historical Society.For details, please click
and tell David we said hello!

Before we go any further a VERY belated "pinch punch first day of the month white rabbit! Did you have a good Pancake Day/Mardi Gras? and what did you give up for Lent. Supposedly, the majority of Irish men are giving up swearing and for the women, it's sweets. We're fairly certain we know which gender will tstick it out! BTW, if you gave up the drink, don't forget you are released from your Lenten sacrifice on St. \Patrick's Day!
Enough of the blatherin' - on with the update.
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St. Patrick's Day is just over a week or so away! Shop now and get all your gift items for your Irish Friends and Family. A Free Gift will be included with each order. To browse for St. Patrick's Day Gifts, please click:
From the Mailbag
Links of the Week
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
Joke of The Week
A Bit of the Wit
Did You Know
Irish Author/Book Quiz
The Week That Was
What is & Will Be, God Willing
Leave 'Em Laughing
Irish people 'have worst linguistic skills in Europe'
An EU study has reportedly found that Irish people have poorer linguistic skills than the citizens of any other member state. Reports this morning said two-thirds of Irish people questioned as part of the research admitted they could only speak English and few believed they should bother learning any other. (This inspired our jokeof the week!)

Antrim: At 49, could Jessie be the world's oldest pony?
A remarkable equine Co Antrim resident, who is still going strong after 49 years, could well be in the running for the Guinness Book of Records.Jessie, a small Shetland-type mare pony, has been living with owner Mervyn Matthews from near Ballymoney since he purchased her at just three-years-old in 1960!

Cork: Rumours of sale denied by owner
William O'Callaghan, who has run Longueville House near Mallow since the retirement of his parents, Michael and Jane O'Callaghan, has denied the truth of rumours which have been circulating that any part of the estate is for sale. With parts of it dating from the early eighteenth century, Longueville House and its five hundred acres have been owned by the O'Callaghan family since 1938.

Derry: Free Derry Corner to become live event
For five days Free Derry Corner will be the site of a public art event featuring text and email messages sent from all over the world in a number of different languages. One of Derry's major tourist attractions, the Wall will be used "to promote new discussion, dialogue and debate". They are asking people to send text and messages and in particular they will welcome contributions from minority ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The messages will be continuously updated and for four evenings over the St Patrick's weekend they will be projected live onto the Wall.

Donegal: New school opens on Tory
For the first time since the middle years of the nineteenth century a new school has opened on Tory Island. Since 1999 principal Mary Clare McMahon and her fifteen pupils at Colaiste Phobal Cholmcille have been housed in the local community hall, but last week they moved into new premises which includes a technology suite and science and home economics laboratories. The last new school on the island was built in 1849 and until seven years ago all secondary students on Tory had to travel to the mainland to continue their education. Now all eligible students on the island opt to stay there for their schooling.

Kilkenny: More books for Graighuenamanagh
In addition to having run the "Town of Books" festival each September for the past three years, the town of Graiguenamangh is to further its association with literature by holding a Graiguenamanagh Readers and Writers Festival next week. It will comprise book launches and readings, workshops on publishing books and on local history and a pub-based storytelling competition to find the Greatest Liar in Ireland. An unusual feature, and one that will help self-published authors to widen the appeal of their work, will be the Sign and Sell room set aside for local authors to meet the public and sell signed copies of their books.

Meath: Slane wants bridge in place for anniversary
With the approach of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the village of Slane as an estate village, a local councillor has called on the National Roads Authority to give dates for the start and completion of a new bridge over the River Boyne. Councillor Ann Dillon Gallagher believes that, in order to plan other works and events for the anniversary, the residents need to know thae status of the one hundred metre bridge; they wish to reclaim their village as a tourist destination and not just as a venue for major concerts in Slane Castle.

Monaghan: Castleblayney landmark removed
A building in Castleblayney which housed both army volunteers and played host to a number of local showbands has been demolished to make way for a new development. The Sluagh Hall was originally constructed in the mid-1930s for the use of army volunteers, the body which later became known as the FCA. At the same time it was also used as a venue for dances where a number of local bands provided the music for the hundreds of people who attended. Among the bands who played at Sluagh hall were the Melotones, the Regal, the Mc Guigan Band, the Maurice Lynch Band, the Emmett Ceili Band, and Big Tom and the Mainliners.

Offaly: Another celebrity wedding for Kinnity?
With the impending wedding of Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, rumours are now circulating in the county that the couple may have chosen Kinnity Castle for the ceremony, although a spokesman for the castle has refused to comment on the speculation. Fuelling the rumour is the belief that Pitt and Jolie, who are to marry within the next three months, visited Ireland in the last few weeks to finalise details for their wedding.

Roscommon: Castlerea almost complete, Hyde Park due to close
Minister for Sports and Tourist John O'Donoghue was in Castlerea last week for the official sod-turning ceremony for the third phase of development at Castlerea Celtic Football Club. The first and second phases saw the installation of dressing rooms and a snooker club, and the development of the astro turf pitch respectively. The third phase will see the leveling, draining and reseeding of the pitch. Meanwhile Hyde Park is due to close later in the year for maintenance of its pitch, which suffered considerably from the torrential rain experienced last year. If funds are forthcoming from the central body the ground will close in September.

Tipperary: A split - but in a good cause
The Cashel-based dance company Bru Boru is to split in two this month so that its members can accept two invitations to dance overseas for St Patrick's Day. The first invitation came from Tim Mawe, the Irish Ambassador to Latvia, for the company to dance in Riga on St Patrick's Day. Almost immediately Ireland's Consul General in Shanghai, Nicholas O'Brien, invited the troupe to their St Patrick's Day celebrations.

Tyrone: No more 'stand-offs' at border bridge
The days of congestion and forced reversing at Clady Bridge, which links the county with Donegal at Cloughfin, is coming to an end with the proposed installation of traffic lights at either end. The single-track bridge over the River Finn, one of the country's oldest bridges, is too narrow to allow two cars to pass comfortably, and a campaign was launched five years ago to alleviate the problem. The pillars which will carry the lights are already in place and it is expected that the lights will be installed once the responsible contractor has completed another project in Belfast.

Waterford: Ring student's work for exhibition in US
Siobhán Ni Mhuirithe from the Ring Gaeltacht has won the inaugural competition in glass design organised by Waterford Institute of Technology. The competition for first-year secondary students was open to schools in the southeast and to students in Washington State in the US. The thirteen-year-old, a student at Meanscoil San Nioclas in Ring, spent three days at Waterford Crystal while her design was created and it will now go on display in both Waterford and Washington. This year's competition will also be open to schools in Venice and on the island of Murano, renowned for its Venetian glass.

Cincinnati, OH: Rumour has it that an Irish Cultural Centre may be on the horizon for the Queen City. This past Sunday, several key members of the local Irish community including Maureen Kennedy (a loyal reader and Director of the Irish American Theatre Company) took a walk-through of a property that could be ideal for performances, lectures and so on. We'll keep you posted on progress.

Newport, KY: We don't what happened but we just heard that the Claddagh Pub has pulled the plug on funding the Irish Festival - which means it's cancelled. It's really a shame because they left it to the last minute making it too late to get another sponsor. We say let's pass the hat and try to raise the money from all of us who want to keep it going. We'll keep you posted on this story as it develops, too.

Speaking of stories, we do publish the major headlines from Ireland and elsewhere on the site every day We try to find the good news so that you can start your day with something a wee bit different from the usual murder and mayhem! The URL is
Generally, we don't repeat the news in the newsletter or on the web site unless it's of major import.


Please help keep our web site free and visit our good friends at Lollysmith!
St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, is remembered every year on March 17th, the national feast day of Ireland. As part of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations parades and parties are held around the world. To help celebrate the day we've got some great gifts for friends and family; and a few for yourself as well...
Happy Saint Patrick's Day! In Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit . Pronounced: La ale-lah pwad-rig son-ah dwitch


We've recieved many messages, most asking where we went, but a few that didn't!

Has any one heard of a verse or saying that talks about girls who love roses and girls who love daisies? A reader's dad used to say this to her when she was young. He passed away last RIP, week and she can't find the quote. We've looked. but so far, we've come up empty.

Jeffrey wants to know how to say that lovely phrase I am of Ireland. Our native speaker, Aideen came though as always with:

Is dÉireann mé
iss dhay-run may (accent on dhay)

We do get many requests for pronunciations and translations and Aideen has always been really good about helping us out - so we'd like to take this opportunity to thank her in public: Go raibh maith agat!
And for those of you who may not know, we have nearly 70 basic Irish lessons on the web site. The URL is:

There were other messages "from the mailbag" but Bridget's still trying to find them. Watch for more next time. _______________________________________

From our friends Jack & Vivian of the Irish Page
...the Christian World started a special season with Ash Wednesday.  I chose a special air by Enya, Ireland's best known new-age singer which she wrote in honor of her deceased grandparents Hugh and Mary Duggan whom she loved very much.  This is the first of several airs by the Donegal singer once a member of Clanaad before she began her solo career.  In the future we will publish more of her music on IrishPage.Turn the sound up on your computer as there is background music.

More links bext time, as soon as we sort them out!
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:

May you never make enemies,
when you can make friends
unless you meet a fox
preying on your hens.


A European tourist is lost and stops in an Irish village to ask for directions. He sees two old men sitting outside the pub enjoying their Guinness. "Parlez-vous Francais, he asks. The old men look at each other and shake their heads. "Sprechen sie Deutsch?" Again, the old men shake their heads. Beginning to get a bit irritated, the tourist asks "Habla Espanol?" The men once again shake their heads. Totally exasperated by now, the tourist asks "Parla l'italiano?" The men once again look at each other and then shake their heads in puzzlement. The tourist is so disgusted that he drives off. One old man sais to the other, "You know, Sean, perhaps we should learn another language." "Ah get on with yeh; look at him, he knows four and it didn't do him a bit of good."

Charles McCabe, until he left us in the early 1980s, was an engaging and admired columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. His column had this title: "Himself," which is in itself delightfully Irish. And so, too, was McCabe who once wrote about a woman at a party in Dublin who asked a Gaelic scholar, "Do you have in the Irish language a word that is equivalent to the Spanish mañana?" "Yes, ma'm," the scholar replied, "we have 27 but none of them conveys the same sense of urgency."
1. In 1671 the British Crown Jewels were stolen by an Irish adventurer Colonel Thomas Blood? He was arrested soon after in a tavern while trying to barter one of the precious jewels for ale. Charles II was so impressed that he gave Blood a full pardon, and rewarded him with an estate in Ireland.

2. It was a crime in medieval Waterford to refer to someone as 'an Irishman?

3. The grandmother of the famous revolutionary, Che Guevara, was from Galway?


Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery!
There was NO winner in Saturday's drawing! Which means the jackpot this Wednesday will be at least 3 million Euros. Have you ever played? Check out all of the advantages: You don't have to live in Ireland to enter, 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 - and best of Irish luck to you!

This feature will return next time - so if you haven't sent in your entry to our last quiz, there's still time.
ED. NOTE: Many books have the same title; please keep in mind that we are looking for Irish authors or Irish-related books.
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 - preferably Irish. 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
To begin with, the solution to our last head banger:
A man was digging and found a block of ice with two perfectly preserved people in it. Immediately, he knew it was Adam and Eve.
Q. How did he know?
A. They didn't have a navel.
As always, our Riddle People didn't let us down, but first in was Jack Doherty of Oakland, New Jersey. Well done!
And now for this weeks's pate poser:
Q. What 5 letter word typed in all capital letters can be read the same upside down?
Love the aroma of a turf fire? Experience the next best thing with Irish Incense, the peaceful, nostalgic scent that will transport you back in time and place. The perfect gift for any occasion, order now. And when you mention that you heard about Irish incense in the Irish Culture and Customs newsletter, you'll receive an extra pack of incense for FREE ! Please click

1. Article -Shrovetide, the Marrying Season
2. Article - Shrove Tuesday: Pancake Day!
3. Article - Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season in Old Ireland
4. Article - What if you were still single by Ash Wednesday
5. Kids' Ireland - The Nightingale and the Rose
6. Article - Emblems of Ireland: The Shamrock
7. Irish Kitchen - Recipes for Shrove Tuesday
8. Basic Irish - Spring Cleaning
9. Letter of the month - we selected the one for February. Is it one you wrote? It's near the bottom of our homer page:
10. New Trivia Quiz - The march quiz is posted. All antries must be in by March 31st, whatever time zone you live in.
February's winner: Congratulations to Hannah Beck, USA! We had a mountain of entries this time around and we thank all of you who took the time to answer the questions. We hope you enjoyed it and will try again. You can't win it if you're not in it.
11. Circle of Prayer: Somehow, we got out of sequence with our Novena dates. Our eighth Novena (not our ninth) in this series began on February 27 and ends today. Our ninth and last Novena in this series will begin tomorrow. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we ask that you remember all those who are seriously ill, undergoing treatment, recovering from surgery or experiencing any number of difficult situations. We also ask that you remember the men and women in the armed forces all over the world - that God will bring them home to their family and friends safe and sound. To join us, please visit our Novena page:
12. Library - How long has it been since you took a look at the books on offer. Our latest is the Sea by John Banville which just one the Booker prize as well as the inaugural Irish Fiction 2006 award. We also plan to add a few more this week including David Quinn's It May Be Forever.

We've already posted a couple of new articles - one called Manna from the Sea by Joe McGowan and another on The Doors of Dublin. This latter piece came about in part because the two people who came up with the very first poster back in 1970 have brought it out of retirement. We have a copy of the new edition and it's spectacular!
We've also received some great new music to review just in time for your St. Patrick's Day Festivities - so be on the look out for that as well as anything else we can think of to keep you entertained and coming back to the site. We're now averaging close to 3,000 unique visitors a day which makes us look very attractive to advertisers - and that will keep this newsletter coming to you completely fr*e of charge.

So there you have it for another week - or may be less! We'll see if we can untangle our current computer knots and God willing, we'll be back to writing on weekends. In the meantime, between now and then, if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event, we hope it's a joyous event - and if you were married in March or plan on tying the knot this month, here's the Irish verse
If you marry when march winds blow
Joy and sorrow both you'll know.

Until next time, may St, Patrick and all the saints in heaven intercede on behalf of you and yours and ask God to smile upon you trhis week and always. 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

To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter or on the Wild Geese website. In fact, the Irish Heritage email group and the Wild Geese have joined forces to bring you a massive listing of Irish events all over the world! To subscribe to the list, send your e-mail address to group moderator George Trainor, at george@thewildgeese.com. Or visit The Wild Geese at:

Bellevue Kentucky - every Sunday at 10 pm
The B List pub owned by our son Ben haggerty is hosting Impromptu Irish music sessions. All are welcome. For more details, contact Ben at:

Philadelphia, March 11
Starting At Philadelphia Art Museum. All proceeds from the Leprechaun Run/Walk benefit the Special Olympics in the Philadelphia area. For more details, please click
or contact
Colleen A. Breen, ACS

Hollywood, Florida - March 25
Noel Kingston, "The Life of the Party" will be on stage at the IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB, American Legion Hall, 211 North 21 Avenue. Tickets @ $15 IN ADVANCE ONLY @ 954-432-8292
Info? Email Patrick @ irish32@aol.com
http:// www.irishamericanceiliclub.com

Houston, Texas - March 30
Role Of Irish Americans In The History Of American Catholicism- A Lecture By Dr. David O'Brien For more information, contact Lori Gallagher, Director ! of the Center for Irish Studies, at 713-525-3592 or irishstudies@stthom.edu

Zurich, Switzerland April 8-9
Set-dancing Workshop in with Pat Murphy and Tony Ryan For more Information, send an email to
or call: 0041 44 252 09 18

Leesburg, Virginia - June 17th & 18th
The Potomac Celtic Festival in Leesburg VA is changing the June 2006 show date from heat (2nd weekend) to rain (3rd weekend) and competing with Father's Day. Come on out anyhow. For more details, please click:

Inishmore, Galway
Celtic Spirit Culture Weeks on Inishmore
Check out the progammed for 2006 http://www.celticexperience.net
If you just enjoyed reading our latest missive, you can help us keep it going by sending whatever you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is:
and our email address is:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness!
NOTE: All donations over $20.00 receive a package of Irish shamrock seeds.

For those who en joy toying with the English language...

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.

A backward poet writes inverse.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

Practice safe eating - always use condiments.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.

What's the definition of a will? It's a dead giveaway.

In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.

She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

You will be stuck with your debt if you don't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.

A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.