Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to going on 2700 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
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,

Happy Beltaine - the first day of summer! That's what May 1st is on the Celtic Calendar, but you wouldn't know it here in the Ohio Valley what with day-time temps in the 50s and frost warnings overnight. Oh well. It won't be long before we'll be complaining about the heat!

In any event, pinch punch, first day of the month, white rabbit - and the warmest of welcomes to everyone, especially our newest subscribers. Thanks for joining us and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with family and friends.

Planning on getting married this month? According to the old irish verse, "Marry in May and rue the day." Irish Catholics have always been very devoted to the Blessed Mother and the month of May is designated as Mary's Month; so it would have been seen as a sign of disrespect to take the focus off Mary by celebrating a marriage. Don't say we didn't warn you. In fact, our daughter changed her wedding date from May to April when she heard the verse. Not that it made any difference to the outcome. It was a lovely wedding, though.

On to other news. If you're in Ireland, we hope you are enjoying a safe and happy Bank Holiday weekend. We also wish a Blessed Easter to all of our Orthodox Christian friends (although our Irish speaker who lives in Cyprus is losing a lot of sleep over the fireworks!)

One photo just isn't enough! Since the last time we wrote, Russ has posted all of the photos his sister took of our son Scott's wedding. Can you believe Russ forgot our camera! Anyway, if you like looking at wedding photos, these should be fun to go through. The URL is private - you won't find it unless you get our newsletter:
One more thing and we'll get on with the update. Mother's Day in America is coming up fast which reminded Russ once again that he often wished he could buy his mom a fur coat and a diamond ring. Well, he no longer approves of fur coats but he is intrigued by this ring we found on amazon of all places. Take a look... http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0006USVPK/irishcultucus-20 <http://www.amazon.com/gp/r.html?R=L03SI39J645W&C=2HIQ3HI8Y3WXG&T=C&U=/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0006USVPK/irishcultucus-20&H=r0pJt9u83ht1ocZkh8zBGy7D8cQ=>

Help keep our newsletter coming - and going! Please visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
Mother's Day is imminent! Shop now and don't put it off to the last minute. All mother's are special and deserve a wonderful present. Choose from a wide variety of great gifts, including custom-made Celtic signs, gift baskets, scented soaps, intricate Celtic jewellery, and much, much more. Also enter their free contests during your visit and sign up for their great newsletter. Have fun exploring: https://secure26.prohosting.com/a0018922/merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=CA&Affiliate=Bridget
News from Ireland:
Record numbers of Irish travelling abroad
Irish people made a record 5.4 million trips abroad last year, with North America and mainland Europe among the most popular destinations.

Examiner book set to be mainstay on bestseller list
The Irish Examiner - 100 Years of News - has reached third position on the Irish bestseller list, just one week after being published.

Bewley's Grafton Street cafe to trade again
Bewley's cafe on Grafton Street is to reopen next month following the completion of a management deal between the Campbell Bewley Group and the owners of the Cafe Bar Deli restaurant chain.

History was made in Dublin last weekend when the GAA voted to open Croke Park to rugby and soccer. The decision to repeal the controversial Rule 42, which prohibits sports other than Gaelic games being played on the association's grounds, was taken following impassioned debate from both sides of the divide at the annual Congress.

From Around the Country
Antrim: Thirstquencher for Belfast
A drinking fountain which was erected nearly one hundred and fifty years ago is to be reinstated at Custom House Square. The Calder Fountain commemorated Francis Anderson Calder, who was a founder member of the Belfast Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Down: Exhibition marks anniversary
The one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Mercy is to be marked in Newry by the opening of an exhibition on the work of the "Walking Nuns". The order earned the name in Newry as they were the first order whose members left the convent to go out and visit the poor and sick in the town. The first convent was opened in Catherine Street, offering homes to destitute women and children.

Dublin: River Liffey gets new pedestrian bridge 
The second stage of the new pedestrian bridge on the River Liffey was put in place by the 'Mersey Mammoth', the largest marine crane in Europe.
The bridge links the north and south quays and will be officially opened next month.

Galway: Regiment to be honoured
A seminar to be held at the end of May in the Kingsvalley Hotel in Galway will honour the Connaught Rangers, many of whose members came from the west of Ireland. We'll try to get more details.

Limerick: The University of Limerick announces rowing scholarship
The Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship has been established through the generosity of the Dooley family. The family, who are from Limerick, decided to establish the scholarship in honour of their father, who captained the Irish Olympic eight, in the 1948 Olympic Games in London.

Offaly: A DIY man's dream
A man from Ballycumber will now be able to do all those jobs around the house that he's been wanting to do, after winning almost €50,000 on RTE's Winning Streak last weekend. Brendan Daly, who lives with his partner Amanda at the Bawn, Ballina, won €16,500 in cash, a Greek Cruise holiday and a Nissan X-trail.

Sligo: A sheepish look for Sligo town centre
A number of businesses around the town have agreed to join in a project co-ordinated by the Model Arts and Niland Gallery which will see a number of sheep-related pieces of artwork scattered around the town as part of the Sligo Solo Festival.

Tipperary: Clonmel butcher wins inaugural award
The first of the South Tipperary Entrepreneurial Awards have been presented at Bru Boru in Cashel, with the overall award going to a Clonmel butcher who is the fifth generation of his family to be supplying meat to the people of the town.

News from all over:
Canada: From Cavan to Toronto
Mayor of Cavan Councillor Paddy Conaty recently became the first mayor of the town to undertake an official visit to Toronto, having been invited by Eamonn Greenan of the Cavan Association in the Canadian city.

New England: Titanic survivor's watch to be auctioned
An 18th century gold pocket watch which was recovered from the Titanic and belonged to a County Limerick woman went under the hammer at an auction in Massachusetts.

Rome: People of Ireland . . . pray for me'
Shortly after being formally installed in office, Pope Benedict XVI greeted many of the dignitaries present at the Mass, including President Mary McAleese. During their meeting, the Holy Father asked that the people of Ireland pray for him. Day by day, the new Pontiff is making himself more and more endearing. For example, he loves cats and cookies!

From the mailbag:
Last week, a reader asked about the origins of Himself and Herself. Our resident native Irish speaker Aideen came through with the following:
"It's just one of those things we say but it's 'rooted' in the Irish language. That's why we have Sinn Féin - literally 'ourselves'. Himself and Herself are É fhéin and Í féin."
Jane Irwin, an Irish-American also wrote to tell us that in her family when she was growing up it was said as a sign of respect for her dad - the man of the house.

Links of the week:
New Irish Radio Station for Internet Listeners
A dedicated service where you send off an e mail and have your song played and name mentioned by our DJ in a matter of minutes! And you won't be asked to subscribe, register or for any fee of any kind. All they ask is that you give them a try:

Think you're smart? Mr. H. Dowd sent us a link to the classic IQ test:

A reminder: The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. 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:

Enough of the blather - on with the update....
Help us keep your newsletter free - please visit our good friend, Molly's Irish Imports:
As the days grow warmer and flowers begin to peek above the new-mown grass, it's time to celebrate the changing of the season, and sharing the joy of new life. There are several new items at Molly's Irish Imports to bring in this fresh time of year. Enjoy the exhilarating fragrance of Inis cologne, or show your love on Mother's Day with a Celtic cross pendant or basket of Irish scone mix, Barry's tea and raspberry jam or lemon curd. Come see what's popping up at Molly's Irish Imports.
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Writer's Quiz
The Week That Was
The Week Ahead
"A squall of softness" was a cloud formation which indicated bad weather and indeed a stranger to our countryside might think that a 'soft day' would be rather pleasant. It could be anything from mildly misty to extremely wet. From Superstitions of the Irish Country People by Padraic O'Farrell.
Lady Carteret, wife of the English viceroy in Ireland, was on friendly terms with Jonathan Swift. One day when she happened to remark on how good the air was in Ireland, Swift fell on his knees and besought her, "For God's sake, madam. don't say that in England, for if you do, they will surely tax it."
Sent in from our good friend AG who received it from a friend in Canada:
Paddy and Mick had emigrated from Ireland and worked together in an Ontario clothing factory. Both were laid off, so they went to the unemployment office. When asked his occupation, Paddy answered, 'panty stitcher'. I sews the lastic onta ladies' cotton knickers. The clerk looked up 'panty stitcher' on his computer and finding it classified as unskilled labour, he gave Paddy $80 dollars a week unemployment pay. Mick was next in and when asked his occupation, he replied, 'diesel fitter'. Since 'diesel fitter' was a skilled job, the clerk gave Mick $160 dollars a week. When Paddy found out, he was furious. He stormed back into the office to find out why his friend and co-worker was collecting double his pay. The clerk explained, 'panty stitchers' are unskilled and 'diesel fitters' are skilled labour. "What skill?" yelled Paddy?!  "I sews da lastic onta da lnickers. Mick puts dem over his head and says: 'Right ye are so, dese 'ull fit her.'"
Help keep our newsletter coming - please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
"Winter comes not till after New Year, nor Spring till after St. Patrick's Day."
With snow rare and summers temperate, Ireland has been called the "land of perpetual spring." Spring in Ireland is milder than in many European countries and is an excellent time to visit there. The days are getting longer and the temperature is on average between 5 and 15 degrees Celsius (41 - 59 Fahrenheit). March and April are known as the windy months with the prevailing winds blowing off the Atlantic Ocean. May can often be the hottest month of the year, signalling the beginning of the summer. If you can't get to Ireland this spring, we can bring a little Ireland to you. So please stop by our site when you get the chance and see what we've found - especially for Mother's Day. And while you are here, please stop by the Whistle page and enter Lolly's latest tin whistle contest:
Help us keep your newsletter going - please visit our loyal friends at The Irish Lottery.
According to old Irish superstition:
1. if a person sees the first young lamb of the year with his face towards him, good luck will follow? If his tail is towards him it means bad luck for the year.
2. If a person saw a new moon over his left shoulder and blessed themselves 3 times they would never get a toothache?
3. If a young woman is served tea and there are two spoons on her saucer, it's a sign of an approaching christening?
To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:
1. The Irish Comic Tradition by Vivian Mercier
2.  Irish Wit by Sean McCann
3. No Time for Work by George Ryan

As one ould Irish radio wag once said, "clap your feet for..."
Patricia Edwards
This is really beautiful, although not really a site - i.e it's - no good if you can't get animations/videos, etc.

Hartson Dowd
A Web Site of Great Interest:

Helen Dowd
For inspiration or relaxation, I invite you to visit my website: http://www.occupytillicome.com
(And please click on the book banner on the front page to see my recently published book. Thank you.)

Mary Sigrist
Visit and see Flash's new and very Irish pages! An Irish Fairy Tale
for All Ages: Kick back and visit The Kingdom of the Bald Ferns in Old
Ireland. Meet a group of young Irish cousins and their flying dragon,
Flash. Trips to a fairy village called Oolagilbie; a dragon wedding;
and a near escape from the trolls and ogres are just a few of the
adventures of Flash and his friends. Visit and sign my guest book to
hear from FLASH:

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" May 25 - June 8, 2005

Want to see your name on next week's list? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following books.
Hint: You'll find them all here:

1. Land of My Cradle Days
2. Motherland: Writings by Irish-American Women about Mothers and Daughters
3. I'll know It When I See It

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
Could this be the year you become a millionaire? There Are 42 Shades of Green - All you need are 6 to hit the Irish Millions! It's one of the most trusted lotteries in the world and drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. Best of all, 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! If you want to win it, you've got to be in it, so visit their totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details:

First off, the answer to last week's stumper, which turned out to be no problem at all for several brilliant solvers. A boy leaves home in the morning to go to school. At the moment he leaves the house he looks at the clock in the mirror. The clock has no number indication and for this reason the boy makes a mistake in interpreting the time (mirror-image). Just assuming the clock must be out of order, the boy cycles to school, where he arrives after twenty minutes. At that moment the clock at school shows a time that is two and a half hours later than the time that the boy saw on the clock at home. The Question: At what time did he reach school?
The difference between the real time and the time of the mirror image is two hours and ten minutes (two and a half hours, minus the twenty minutes of cycling). Therefore, the original time on the clock at home that morning could only have been five minutes past seven.
It was a toughie - at least we thought so - and first in with the answer was Hartson from Canada. Well done! Now for this week's think throttler:
It's always 1 to 6,
it's always 15 to 20,
it's always 5,
but it's never 21,
unless it's flying.
What is this?
1. Article: Now you're talking, so y'are. What's the difference between a ganch, a stuke and a glipe? Find out here:
2. Article Beltaine Bonfires and Nettle Soup :
3. Article:The May Day Dew - Should you roll naked in it?
4. Article: How to Prevent Mayhem
5. Article: May - The Month of Mirth and Merriment
6. The Irish Kitchen: Nun's Cake - do you think it's habit forming? (Groan)
7. Circle of Prayer - Our first Novena in this new cycle began on April 27 and ends on May 5. Some more people need our prayers or meditations: Mickey, Jen, & Catherine. Also continue to remember Bertha, Stephanie, Ben, Delaney, Mollie's son Casey, Pauline, Hartson, and Graine. We also hope you will offer your spiritual support for our military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world. We ask that you especially remember a local young man, Matt Maupin, who was captured ovrer a year ago, Paul and Ashley, the sons of friends and also the three grandsons of Mary Sigrist. We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer; we know that God listens and will answer.
8. May Trivia Contest. It has just been posted. All entries must be in by midnight on May 31 whichever time zone you live in.

9. Shop for Mother's Day, May 8th. We've updated our "Shop for Her" Page and there's still time to order - but not a whole lot.

With Mother's Day coming up, we'll be recycling a couple of articles relevant to the occasion. We also hope to publish The Humor is on me now - Music for an Irish Wedding Reception. Russ will be posting the dates for the latest cycle of Novenas; we posted a new Sunday Blessing this morning. We'll have another quotation on Wednesday and a new recipe on Thursday. As always, everyday we check the news and try to bring you something cheerful and fun to greet the day. Not always easy in this wild and whacky world we live in! Also, we publish the day in Irish history; you probably won't be surprised to discover that it was just as wild and whacky decades or centuries ago!

So that's about the size of it for another week. If you'll be celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, we hope it's a joyous occasion. Until next time,
God bless you is our prayer always, We're honored to call you "friend";
We pray the Lord will keep you safe, Until we write again.
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
We're still in dire need of your support, especially since our newsletter host has begun charging us for the service. Help us keep our newsletter and the web site free; please send whatever you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty. Our snail mail address is 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via PayPal. The Url is:
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
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. The group's postings go out every other Friday and Saturday, in five separate e-mails, covering Irish history, myths and legends, news, jokes, Irish (Gaeilge) lessons, recipes, and more. Organizations, please alert them about your upcoming events, e-mail events@thewildgeese.com, fax: 208-978-9998. Deadline: The third Wednesday of the month for the following month's edition. Also visit The Wild Geese at:

If you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

Puebla Lucia, Fuengirola, Spain - Roger Cummiskey's 2nd exhibition
Galeria LUCIA presents New ArtWorks, an exhibition of recent paintings by Roger Cummiskey (and Bettina Eriksen), on view April 16 through June 3, 2005. Cummiskey's new work continues his interpretations into the writings and wanderings of James Joyce and Miguel de Cervantes. In New ArtWorks, however, the artist articulates a search for an individual's identity stressing difference, solitude, and isolation through the depiction of figures and poetic interpretations. Roger is a generous sponsor of our monthly Trivia contests and we invite you to visit his site and learn more about this exhibit and others:

Dublin, Ireland - May 2
A new Roddy Doyle play, No Messin' With The Monkeys, opens in Dublin at The Ark, a cultural centre for children, on May 2, before embarking on a national Irish tour throughout the year. For more information, please send an email to:

Cincinnati, Ohio - May 6, 7, 8, 13, 14
The New Gate Celtic Theatre Company Presents Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel at the Columbia Performance Center, 3900 Eastern Avenue. This masterpiece by one of Ireland's best contemporary playwrights takes place in 1930's Ballybeg where the Mundy sisters try to cope with little money, a cantankerous Marconi radio, and bad news in an autumn that turns out to be the last they will spend together. For reservations or information, please e-mail new.gate@fuse.net or call 513-305-7958.

Halifax, Nova Scotia - June 2-4
Celtic Feis 2005
Combine Nova Scotia's rich Gaelic ancestry and culture with Halifax's contemporary, urban sensibility and you get the perfect ingredients to create a world-class Celtic celebration. The Halifax Celtic Feis celebrates our rich Irish and Scottish heritage and culture through music, dance, arts, language, and spirit of community. For more information on tickets, programming, events, and schedules please visit

Macroom, Co. Cork - July 16th & 17th
First ever Fleadh Cheoil, music festival - Macroom town center. For details, visit:


Know of a church in need of a vestments cabinet? Russ has totally restored one he rescued from a Cincinnati church that was being demolished. We've used it over the years to store posters other art work and flat files. (Ad agencies and architectural firms could also put it to similar use). If you're interested in learning more about it and seeing a photo, please send us an email - bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com

Church marquee copy received from Rick & Jini Watson and the Good Clean Funnies List"

"Don't give up. Moses was once a basket case."
"Prevent truth decay. Brush up on your Bible."
"The best vitamin for a Christian is B1."
"Under same management for over 2000 years."
"Soul food served here."
"Tithe if you love Jesus! Anyone can honk!"
"Beat the Christmas rush, come to church this Sunday!"
"Don't wait for the hearse to take you to church."
"Life has many choices, Eternity has two. What's yours?"
"Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due."
"Wal-Mart isn't the only saving place!"
"Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary."
"It's hard to stumble when you're down on your knees."
"What part of 'THOU SHALT NOT' don't you understand?"
"A clear conscience makes a soft pillow."
"The wages of sin is death. Repent before payday."
"Never give the devil a ride. He will always want to drive."
"Can't sleep? Try counting your blessings."
"Forbidden fruit creates many jams."
"Christians, keep the faith...but not from others!"
"Satan subtracts and divides. God adds and multiplies."
"If you don't want to reap the fruits of sin stay out of the
devil's orchard."
"To belittle is to be little."
"Don't let the littleness in others bring out the littleness in you."
"God answers kneemail."
"Try Jesus. If you don't like Him, the devil will always take you back."