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Greetings and blessings to all,

Has it really been more than a fortnight since we wrote? We have begun this newsletter a half dozen times - and then stopped. It would seem that a weekly missive becomes almost impossible given the day to day inconveniences of ordinary life combined with the once in a lifetime aftermath of "America's tsunami."

In the first week, we tried dealing with new software that didn't work, and a move to the third floor that has been much more work than we anticipated. Site down. Updates delayed. Corridors crowded with boxes. Four very tired people. Seven very confused cats.

We're managing. And considering the disaster down south, our hitches and glitches are mere hiccups. In a way, the lateness of ou latest missive is a good thing. For example, we're able to give you a link to the latest updates on how Irish-America is rallying to help:

We can give you a link that will tell you about O'Flahertys Irish Channel in New orleans. At first we heard it had escaped unharmed. But we have since learned that it was severely damaged. Learn more here:

We can tell you that Graine Rowland, our story teller who is from Mississippi is okay. Her nephews in Gulfport lost their homes, her sister lost a rental property. Small potatoes. They're all alive.

The steamboats will be back. Because of Bridget's copywriting work with the Delta Queen Steamboat Co., we have many ties to New orleans and we have been told that key personnel and their families are safe. The wedding cakes on the water will return; we just don't know where or when.

It's been a harrowing two weeks. We could go on endlessly about friends and friends of friends who have stories to tell - such is the extent of this catastrophe. We don't know anyone who has not been personally affected in one way or another. We don't know anyone who isn't enraged about how this disaster has been handled by the powers that be. But out of rage comes outreach. Victims will become victors. Not our words. Just our hope and our prayer that it may be so.

We thank you for your patience and now we'll get on with it. Out of deference to our friends on the Gulf Coast, we're dedicating parts of this edition to the Irish in the South. It's a heritage that goes back a long, long time.
Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox every week - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
Almost every household in Ireland is expected to buy a ticket for tonight's Lotto draw, which has the biggest jackpot in a year. The jackpot will be over €6m, and if there is a single winner of the grand prize, that person will become the second biggest winner of a Lotto prize since the game began in 1988. All you need are 6 numbers to hit the Irish Millions. 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 - and best of Irish luck to you!
News from Ireland
News from around the counties:

Cavan: 'Ireland's Cleanest Town'
Cavan has been declared the cleanest town in Ireland for the sixth time, according to the latest survey from the Irish Business Against Litter group. A record 13 towns and cities across the Republic have achieved litter-free status.

Clare: Parking at Poulnabrone
The proposed car park will be of modest size but before a definite location can be selected archaeological tests in the area have to be carried out.

Cork: The return of Boomerang
For the fifth year in succession the humpback whale known locally as Boomerang has returned to the waters of west Cork. First seen in these waters back in 2001 and with a total of eighteen recorded sightings to date, Boomerang's presence was noted this year by Colin Barnes of Whale Watch.

Derry: Ship's bell for Harbour Museum
The bell is from the Osseo, the largest and last purchased ship of the McCorkell Line, built in 1889 by Charles Biggar. Made of steel, the Osseo was used as a cargo vessel between Derry and Glasgow, and America, but went down near Holyhead in Wales on New Year's Eve 1894.

Donegal - Island Outpost Finally Switched On
One of the last outposts to be left untouched by rural electrification, Gabhala, or Gola island off the coast of Donegal, has been connected to the ESB national. The island, a 10-minute ferry ride from the Donegal coast near Bunbeg, was connected via a 2km undersea cable.

Galway: Massive crowds expected for hurlers' homecoming
More than 70,000 people are expected to pack into Galway city on Monday night next for the homecoming of the Galway hurling teams, 24 hours after the senior and minor teams do battle for All-Ireland honours at Croke Park. GO GALWAY!

Leitrim: Keshcarrigan memorial for Fr. Mychal Judge
He died in the September 11 attack on the twin towers and he is to be commemorated by a memorial in a peace garden which has been constructed on land once owned by his father's family in Keshcarrigan. Father Mychal's father emigrated to the US where he met and married Mary Fallon from Drumkeerin. Their daughter, and the priest's twin sister, Dymphna Jessich, will travel from the US to perform the unveiling of the memorial on the anniversary of her brother's death tomorrow. She will be accompanied by Father Mychal's successor as chaplain to the New York City Fire Department, Fr Chris Keenan.

Louth: Dundalk find to be included in seminar
The discovery of archaeological remains during work on a new road scheme in the county will be included in a seminar which is to take place in Dublin in mid-September. The significant find of a burial site, with an estimated one thousand bodies, was confirmed just north of Dundalk along the route of a new cross-Border motorway.

Tyrone: Busy needles knit up record
Kathleen Hoynes from Strabane has been officially named as Ireland's fastest knitter, after entering a competition run by the Women's Weekly magazine and attending a knitting and stitching show in Dublin. Kathleen, who has been knitting since she was five years old, completed two hundred and forty stitches in just three minutes to win the title.

Westmeath: Abbey or no abbey?
Trenches are being dug in the Blackhall car park in Mullingar to determine finally whether it covers traces of an abbey; if the archaeological investigations prove positive the progress of a new development in the town will be seriously disrupted. It is believed that a thirteenth-century Dominican abbey lies beneath the car park and some of the site has been designated as a national monument.

Wexford: Greenland geese cleared for landing
A dispute over the maintenance of the Sloblands in Wexford has been resolved in time for the arrival of the Greenland white-fronted geese next month. The State purchased the Sloblands for the express purpose of feeding the large numbers of geese which winter in the area - half of the global population of the geese winter in Ireland each year. Lee Strand Co-Op Creamery, which rented the lands, has now agreed to remove weeds from the fields which will then be ploughed and reseeded in time for the arrival of the birds. Last year approximately eight thousand geese arrived on the Slobs and stayed for the winter.

From around the world:
Houston, Texas: Dr Kieran Smart from the Falls Road in Belfast , is a key member of the disaster management team treating up to 25,000 victims packed into Houston's Astrodome. If you'd like to read the full story, please click

Los Angeles. California: Monsignor Patrick Joseph O'Brien, RIP, the revered Irish priest who led the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura for 24 years, was memorialized at a Requiem Mass attended by the archbishop of Los Angeles and more than 1,000 other mourners.

Miami, Florida: Limerick-born Fr John Noonan has been installed as Auxiliary Bishop of Miami. Bishop Noonan is the son of John Noonan and Margaret Purcell. John Noonan Snr had lived in New York for many years before returning to Limerick and marrying Margaret. He died when his son was seven.

Help us keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox. Please visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all the victims, their families, friends and relatives of Hurricane Katrina. Our family is fine and we have heard from them. This Hurricane has touched all our lives. We will be donating a proceed of all sales through the month of September to the American Red Cross. Also you can make a donation directly to the Red Cross via the banner on our website:
From the mailbag:
From Molly of Molly's Irish Imports
Wow - your response to my Webshop closing has been overwhelming. Thank you very much for your kind words and many orders. The shop is now closed. However, friends and customers have encouraged me to keep the website going with news and links to Irish-related websites. So, you can look forward to occasional newsletters and check the website for updates about Irish events in the Midwest. Again, thank you very much for your patronage over the past almost three years of business. This has been a lovely adventure. To visit Molly's site and sign up for her newsletter, please click

Donna writes: Hi, love your newsletter and website. One question for you - are there any traditions for anniversaries? We will be celebrating our 19th and of course 20th next year. Wondering if there are any traditions, poems, blessings, whatever to do with anniversaries.

Ross is looking for a cotton Irish flag - we can find nylon but no luck so far with cotton. Anyone have any clues?

In our last newsletter Joan asked about any information relevant to her great-grandfather's involvement with the St. Louis Fenian Brotherhood - The " WolfTone" Circle?" In response, Marylynn writes:
Although I don't have any information to offer immediately, I will most likely have something by the end of the semester if not sooner. I'm an anthropology student (with an archaeological interest) over at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, and in the beginnings of doing research for my senior thesis. Thanks to my advising professor, and to my Irish ancestors, I've been pointed into the firm direction of researching the wave of Irish immigration as it came into St. Louis before, during, and after the Great Famine. No doubt I will be crossing paths with the Fenians in St. Louis, and whatever I learn I'd be happy to pass on.

Also in our last newsletter, Angie asked about Irish wells that might be known for curing cancer. Amy writes:
the Ogulla well in Tulsk is said to cure cancer, among other things. She can also check the website http://www.slaine.ie/ which lists the wells by county.

And Gloria writes: I'm trying to trace my childhood friend Una Furlong (formerly McDade) of Dublin who emigrated to Canada with her husband Jim, daughter Tara and son Anthony in approximately 1973, possibly a bit later.
ED. Note: Perhaps one of our many Canadian subscribers might have a clue?

Links of the Week:
Katrina is the storm everyone prayed would never happen. Now that it has, cash donations are desperatly needed. If you would like to help, please click

Save the pets! We have received dozens of emails asking us to spread the word about the efforts taking place to save the faithful friends who had to be left behind: Please click:

A wonderful story brought to our attention by our friend Audrey in California:
Thibodaux church sheltering pets (Scroll down almost to the last story)

A chord of comfort
We have all witnessed so much death, homelessness, and desolation in New Orleans and elsewhere in the Southern USA this past week that Jack & Vivian have picked out a song of comfort for this week's IrishPage. As always it is in Irish and English. They hope it strikes a cord of comfort in all of us. Please click on the link below:

Sacred Space revisited
We've featured this link before - and Hartson was kind enough to remind us of it again. The site was created by Irish Jesuits and you can read the prayers in many languages - including Irish (Gaeilge). We can't think of a more appropriate time to visit:

Ag cothú na scríbhneoireachta is ag scaipeadh an dea-cheoil
Promoting literature and bringing good music to the world
This is a company located in Connemara which is publishing books, primarily in Irish, and traditional Irish music.  On the site you can buy books and music albums, find more information about the company, CIC authors and musicians, and the latest news:

Lovely photos of Ireland
Willie Walter has finally finished uploading photos of his October 2004 trip; he granted us permission to share them with you:

Adam's Guestbook
Adam is the grandson of Mary Sigrist, one of our loyal subscribers. He was killed in Iraq last month. If you would like to see the book and perhaps sign it with a few words of support and sympathy, we know Adam's family will be most appreciative:

Memorial to a girl who never grew up
We have many readers in Canada and several in St. John's Newfoundland. We came across this story and thought you might enjoy it: http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/global/main.jhtml?xml=/global/2005/08/29/elmemorial.xml

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 blitherin' - on with the update:
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Writer's Quiz
The Week That Was
The Week Ahead
The following has been around for a while, but we think it's worth repeating. We don't know who wrote it; if you know the author, please let us know so that me give an attribution:
What shall I say about the Irish?
The utterly impractical, never predictable,
Something irascible, quite inexplicable, Irish.
Strange blend of shyness, pride and conceit
And stubborn refusal to bow in defeat.
He's spoiling and ready to argue and fight,
Yet the smile of a child fills his soul with delight.
His eyes are the quickest to well up in tears,
Yet his strength is the strongest to banish your fears.
His faith is as fierce as his devotion is grand
And there's no middle ground on which he will stand.
He's wild and he's gentle, he's good and he's bad,
He's proud and he's humble, he's happy and sad.
He's in love with the ocean, the earth and the skies,
He's enamored with beauty wherever it lies.
He's victor and victim, a star and a clod,
But mostly he's Irish and in love with his God.
JOKE OF THE WEEK The true stories are often the funniest. The following is from our good friend William Ramoutar who currently resides in Florida and presents an Irish show on WFCF Flagler College Radio 88.5 FM every sunday 11 a.m. Eastern standard time. It's online at:
I was on the 7.45 a.m bus over thirty years ago, one miserable monday morning on the way to work after catching the first bus half an hour earlier which brought me in to O'Connell Bridge in Dublin through the torrents of rain to get on this one soaking wet. Well upstairs (which was in those days the smoking deck, as you might remember), I sat down next to a window and looked out the window only to see the darkness of another horrible early morning traffic jam with the cars and lorries all trying to get out of Dublin. I was training to be a watchmaker out in Blanchardstown. Anyhow with the rain pouring down and the heavy pall of cigarette smoke hanging over the packed upper level of the C.I.E bus you could hear a pin drop as everybody was thoroughly dejected at another dismal trip out to, as Americans would call it, "The Boonies".You could also see the steam rising off the occupants of the bus as the heater at full blast was now drying out some of the passengers who had been on the longest. Which made you at least realize, you were actually better off on the bus than trudging through the rain to wherever you needed to go! Well as I said it was extremely quiet and all that could be heard were the smokers exhaling into this growing fog. There were two Country fellas as we would call them in Dublin behind me and one said to the other, "Mick, were you at the match in Croke park yesterday?". Mick said just a flat "No" and the other fella whose name heard was Brendan said, "all the fellas in his work thought that people who liked hurling were proper eejits!". There was silence for the next 30 seconds or so until Mick said matter of factly, "Isn't it gas all the same Brendan, how they can get 80,000 eejits at one time in the one place." I laughed all the way out to Blanchardstown. over 45 minutes - Mind you not too loud, they were also bigger than me at the time. =================================================================
Help us keep your newsletter free. Please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
The always too short and hectic Summer is done; vacations are over; the children are back to school; it's time to do some shopping! Welcome to Irish Gifts at LollySmith.Com. Here you will find a wide range of Irish and Celtic gifts imported directly from Ireland. From Irish Jewelry and Shamrock Seed to Connemara Marble, Tin Whistles and Irish Bodhráns, and much more. Please stop by our internet shop, we're always open. We also offer Irish and Celtic themed gifts from American companies such as Russ Berrie Angel Cheeks, Silver Moon Jewelry, and Dorfman Pacific Hats. And definitely take a look at our authentic Blackthorn and Hazel Walking Sticks from Ireland. Please click:
1. Many Irish emigrants came over on boats they thought were going to New York but instead, they ended up in New Orleans? And stayed?
2. The majority of workers who built the original levees on the Mississippi were Irish? It was very dangerous work and slaves were considered much too valuable!
To begin with, the answers to last week's quiz:
The Sea: John Banville
A Long, Long Way: Sebastian Barry
This is the Country: WIlliam Wall
NOTE: What they all have common is that they are the only Irish authors long-listed for the 2005 Booker award. Two of them - John Banville and Sebastian Barry have made it to the short list of just 6 writers!

A round of applause and a pint to our latest Irish literary sleuths:
Hartson Dowd
An excellent Irish Website for sending Post Cards from is

Liezl Maartens, South Africa

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" - View this year's itinerary:

Helen Dowd
Thank you, everyone who voted for my site this week. I hope you will find something interesting again in the pages of the site and will vote for me again.

Want to see your name in our next newsletter? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following:

1. The Irish in New Orleans, 1800-1860
2. New Orleans Irish - Famine Exiles
3. The irish in the South

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
But first off, how did you do with our last brain bruiser??
Four jolly men sat down to play,
And played all night till break of day.
They played for cash and not for fun,
With a separate score for every one.
When it came time to square accounts,
they all had made quite fair amounts.
Now, not one has lost and all have gained -
Q. Tell me now, this can you explain?
A. They were musicians. As always, our "Riddle People" were in fine fettle and we had a slew of correct answers; however, first in was Bill Wilson, originally from Belfast and now living in Florida. Well done, Bill! Also, an honorable mention goes out to Bill Smith in NC who has played in his share of trios, quartets, quintets, pit and chamber orchestras, etc. and amused us with this terse verse:
I remember this from a year, or so.
The answer is quite clear to know.
The four weren't playing cards, I'll bet,
But was a musical quartet!

And now for our new mind-mangler:
If you have six men and they each had six baskets. Each basket has six cats inside and each cat has six kittens. Assuming all are whole and healthy, how many legs are there?
THE WEEK THAT WAS - or should we say the two weeks that were? While there haven't been many changes, there are a few :
1. Article - The Transition Years; All about the evolution of the showbands:
2. Article: Making a Match in Lisdoonvarna
3. Article: The Holy Wells of Ireland
4. Article: Who Are the Irish?
5. Article: God Between Us And All Harm
6. Article: Letter from America
7. Article: The Galway International Oyster festival
8 Basic Irish Lesson - Oysters!
9. Irish Kitchen: Oysters!
10. Letter of the month - scroll down to the end of the home page
11. September Trivia Contest. The new contest has been posted - and as they say in Ireland, you can't win it if you're not in it. So give it a go and send us your entry by midnight, September 30 , no matter which time zone you live in.
We have a winner for the August contest - her name is Barbara Levengston from the U.K. Well done Barbara - your shamrock print is on its way!
12. Circle of Prayer: Our 7th Novena in this cycle began on September 9th and continues through the 17th. Please join us in prayer or meditation for all those affected by Katrina.

We're due for a new children's story a new culture corner and a new recipe. Plus, we have plenty of fodder for a ton of new articles. As always, we will update the home page at the beginning of the week, post a new blessing on Sunday, a new quotation on Wednesday and whatever else we can think of to keep you coming back. Keep in mind that we do update the news every day and we also post the history for the date.

So there you have it until we write again. If you'll be celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event in the coming days, we hope it's a joyous occasion. We're a bit late but Pinch punch first day of the month, white rabbit, and if you're to be married this month or tied the knot at this time of year, here's the old Irish verse:
Marry in September's shine,
your living will be rich and fine.

We leave you with a prayer written by Father Mychal, the Irish priest who perished on 9/11. :
Lord, take me where
you want me to go;
Let me meet who
you want me to meet;
Tell me what
you want me to say, and
Keep me out of your way.

We found this on the Catholic Greetings site and we will probably "borrow" it for Sunday's home page. It's hard to believe it has been four years since 9/11. it's hard to believe it's only been two weeks since Katrina. http://www.catholicgreetings.org/Create.asp?card=653

Slan agus beannacht - and , as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
This feature will return next week.
If you enjoy our newsletter and the website, please give us a hand and help keep them free. Imagine if 2700 people each sent us a dollar? Please send what 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 this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness
LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING - We can certainly all use a giggle or two: This is one of several one-liners from the Edinburgh festival sent to us by our friend Patricia Edwards:
You have to remember all the trivia that your girlfriend tells you, because eventually you get tested. She'll go: "What's my favourite flower?" And you murmur to yourself: "***t, I wasn't listening... Self-raising?" Addy Van-Der-Borgh at the Assembly Rooms