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Greetings and blessings to all,

Throughout the world, 'tis the week of Paddywackery. A time when otherwise sane adults bring out the "authentic" shillelagh they bought at Shannon airport, sport a kilt and/or tie in their county tartan, drink Guinness or green beer at the crack of dawn, and wear variations of the tricolour from head to toe. And it seems as if everything starts with o (as in o' no, o'dear, 'my god, and o'please!)

Oddly enough, it's only been in recent years that Ireland has joined in on all of the Oirish fun and foolery. Leave it to the Americans to lead the way with dyeing the rivers green, dressing up like leprechauns, and putting on parade every cliche they can get their clutches on. When we begin getting e-mails asking us if throwing green beans from a float has any foundation in Irish tradition you know that we've lost all hope of ever again having an authentic Irish celebration - whatever that might be. In new Orleans, for example, they throw cabbages and potatoes! Oh well - 'tis all in fun and certainly, a welcome respite from dreary winter weather and Lenten austerities. So, if you're guilty of wearing a Kiss me I'm Irish button or shamrock dooley-boppers, don't feel bad - you're among literally millions of folks who will be following suit, and many of them nary a drop of irish blood in their veins. Come March 17th, they're ready to celebrate. So check your head at the door - and enjoy!

That's what we did last Saturday when we skipped riding in the Guinness truck at the Bellevue, KY parade and headed straight for our son's pub. Later on, we met the Grand Marshal, mad Annie from Sligo who must be in her 70s, but you'd never know it. We had a grand time - especially debating with some of the local Hibernians what's worn under their kilts. To paraphrase Spike Milligan. "Nothing, it's all in working order!"

Enough about us....
IrishAbroad.com is the largest online Irish community website with over 180,000 members worldwide Dedicated to all people who have an interest in anything Irish and Ireland, IrishAbroad.com provides a wealth of content, including Irish-related news and features from around the world, genealogy, history, culture, recipes and more. Also an interactive site, it allows users to get involved in discussions, add their own photo albums, add events, search for other members in their area, buy gifts, and send e-cards.
IrishAbroad.com wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's day. You should check out our special St Patrick's Day section to find out everything about Saint Patrick and St Patrick's Day worldwide - events, e-cards, Irish quiz, history, and much more.
News from Ireland:
Cheers! St Patrick's Beer launched in St Patrick's Country
Strangford Lough Brewing Company has just launched its most recent brand 'Saint Patrick's Gold' in America in time for the st Patrick's Day celebrations.

Derry - Official opening for Draperstown school
Although it has been up and running since last September the Irish-speaking primary school in Draperstown recently celebrated its official opening. Gaelscoil na Speirini has eight pupils and has developed from Naiscoil na Speirini which opened five years ago.

Down - Catering for diversity
Last week we reported on the Limerick Leader writing a column for its Polish-speaking community. This time around it's the turn of the Newry Democrat which has begun publishing a weekly column in Russian. Natasha Stokes, a Ukranian-born translator living in the town, is writing the column and hopes the feature will inform and entertain the eastern European community in Newry and Mourne.

Dublin - Four of Ireland's international aid agencies - Concern, GOAL, Irish Red Cross and Trocaire & have been appointed Grand Marshals of the 2005 St. Patrick's Festival Parade in recognition and appreciation of the Irish people's overwhelming response to the recent Asian tsunami.

Kerry - Debut at 82
Retired garda Denis O'Sullivan from Lahesrough, Ballybunion, recently made his debut as a storyteller in the famous Rambling House run weekly in the home of Sonny Egan in Garrynagnore, Abbeydorney. Sonny has been opening his home to friends and neighbours each week for some twenty years; they gather round the open fire to perform or just enjoy the music, dance, recitation and storytelling which takes place, and all accompanied by tea and cakes during a break in the evening's proceedings. Among the regulars at the Rambling House are Tom Costello from Lixnaw, Tom O'Connell from Glenoe and John Flaherty from Abbeydorney.

Mayo: End of an era
A month earlier than expected the last of the old peat-powered stations in Ireland has shut down. The Bellacorick plant used up the last of its peat supplies and some hours later the turbines finally became silent, signalling an end to peat-fuelled electricity generation in this country.

Tipperary man jailed for hurling false eye at garda
No, we're not kidding. Last June, pub owner Jimmy Grace had a snoot-full and for whatever reason, entered the local garda station at 1.05am, took out his false eye, placed it on the reception counter, and started roaring. He then threw the eye at Garda Dan Maher. Unless he wins on appeal, he will spend 4 months in jail.

From all over:
USA - Celtic Woman on PBS
The station brings five exceptional young Irish stars to the screen in a spectacular performance recorded live at Dublin's prestigious Helix Centre. The program airs on PBS as part of the March 2005 pledge drive. Find your local affiliates through www.PBS.org

Canada - Margaret Healey leads the parade
For the first time in its 81 year history, Montreal's St. Patrick's Day Parade will have a woman as its Grand Marshall. And, in keeping with tradition, Healey will be sporting a top hat. Healey has been heavily involved in community affairs for 50 years, and her father, Thomas Patrick Healey, a former city councillor and Liberal member of Parliament in the 1940s and '50s, was parade marshal in 1947.

From the mailbag:
In answer to a reader's query about photos or statues of St. Oliver Plunkett, Karin writes: ... here is a website with a picture of him: http://www.avalon.nf.ca/speditions/UnaVoce/plunket.htm
His head is encased on the altar of St. Peter's Church in Drogheda. I have a photo of it as I was there when I was young. It can be found on websites like:

And Alex in Oz sent us the following:

Gaynor writes: I belong to a Scottish Gaelic learners' group on the internet and someone has just asked if anyone knows whether there are any Irish waulking songs, like the ones the Scottish Gaels used to sing when hand-shrinking the woven wool. Do you know if there were any such songs in Ireland? If there weren't, perhaps you could suggest why not?

Does anyone know how to get in touch with the poet Derek Mahon? If so, please email us - a relative is trying to reach him.

Pam writes: I wanted to know if you could hook me up with a lady of my age or there abouts of 47 who I could corroespond with over the internet....would love to keep up with what's current in Ireland.

Subscriber site spotlight:
Ireland House,GA has established a website to assist it in continuing its outreach to the broader southeast community. The website address is: http://irelandhousega.com/

Links of the week
Continuing their Lenten series. Vivian and Jack sent us another psalm to share with you:

An addictive putting game from Hartson

How long will you live? Hartson sent us the following:

For the kids:

From Pauline in England, a parody of Who's on first? Be sure you have your speakers turned on:

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....
Help us keep our newsletter free - visit our good friend, Molly's Irish Imports
Welcome to our favorite holiday - St. Patrick's Day ! Celebrating our Celtic heritage and the creative talents of our scholars, writers, musicians, dancers, and artisans is something we do EVERY day of the year. Get past the shamrock boxers and souvenirs with authentic Celtic jewelry, fine Irish woolens, and high quality gifts that you can share or wear with pride from Molly's Irish Imports. Enjoy FREE shipping on orders over $25 through March 17. Also- sign up for the FREE email newsletter, a monthly publication with interesting news, special product promotions, recipes and a Midwest Irish events calendar. Stop by the shop at:
ED Note: Molly is a real person and we subscribe to her newsletter - she does a brilliant job!
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
May your troubles be as few and far between as my grandmother's teeth.
Never buy anything with a handle on it - it means work.
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK - We tried to make a point of sparing you all the awful St. Patrick's Day jokes you're bound to be hearing in the next few days.

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible; Psalm 23.  She gave the youngsters a month to learn the verse.  Little Sean was excited about the task.  But, he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Sean was so nervous that when it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my shepherd and that's all I need to know."
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish Lottery. Will this be the year you become a millionaire? There Are 42 Shades of Green - All you need are 6 to hit the Irish Millions! One of the most trusted lotteries in the world, 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! You can't win it if you're not in it, so come visit our totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details:
1. St. Patrick is also the patron saint of Nigeria?
2. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, our patron saint was born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387?
3. He had for his parents Calphurnius and Conchessa. The former belonged to a Roman family of high rank and held the office of decurio in Gaul or Britain. Conchessa was a near relative of the great patron of Gaul, St. Martin of Tours.
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, Lollysmith:
Lolly and the team invite you to take part in Lolly's Annual Whistle Contest celebrating Saint Patrick's Day 2005! Entrants must explain in 25 words or less: "Why I (you) should have the whistle instead of anyone else." All entries will be judged by us on the basis of originality, interest, humour, and imploring skill. Please feel free to beseech, charm, invoke, or pray, while keeping in mind it almost never helps to besiege, demand, pursue, or nag. What can you win? We will award the writer of the best submission: The First Prize of a Clare 2-Piece Tin Whistle in a Handsome Felt-Lined Wooden Case. Valued at $50.00. The writer of the second best submission: the Second Prize of a Feadog Green Whistle with Book and CD. Valued at $17.95. Hurry! The closing date for entries is Midnight 16th March 2005. For full details and rules, please click: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?lollysmith+wSpfhS+index.html
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
Irish Saints & Sinners: Marlene Ekman, Joanne Asala
Knights of God: Patricia Lynch
Lives of the Irish Saints: Charles Plummer

A round of applause and pints to:
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
view this year's itinerary:

Patricia Edwards
I've been tracing my ancestry and this site has been invaluable in my

Brenda Ross
Join a small group of women and an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide for a week of hill walking, village life and "craic" on the Iveragh Peninsula.

Catherine White
I would have to nominate as one of my favorite irish websites as
http: www.st-patricks-day.com

Gina Hardy
"This is your life and it/'s ending one minute at a time"

Caye Skidmore
I listen to this all the time, just love it:

Pat Owen

Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:
1. The Real St. Patrick
2. The Life of St. Patrick and His Place in History
3. Perceptions of St. Patrick in 18th century Ireland

Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and a favorite in our library here:
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite - 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!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing.
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com

To begin with, the answer to last week's cranium-cruncher:
Q. Moira is facetious. She is also abstemious. And she gets pneumonia. Given those clues, what is the only American tree she will like?
A. Sequoia
As always, we had a slew of answers, but Clara Byrne was first in. Well done! An honorable mention also goes to Michael and several others who pointed out that more than one North American tree could qualify The Southern Magnolia, Quaking Aspen, Russian-Olive (which is in North America), and Euphorbia (it might) all have all five vowels too and are North American. I admit that the Southern Magnolia and Quaking Aspen are two words, and the Russian-Olive has a hyphen, but I see no reason for not including the Euphorbia. I hope that you at least mention these in the answers for the logic riddles.
And now for this week's brain bruiser:
A long, long time ago, two Egyptian camel drivers were fighting for the hand of the daughter of the sheik of Abbudzjabbu. The sheik, who liked neither of these men to become the future husband of his daughter, came up with a clever plan: a race would determine who of the two men would be allowed to marry his daughter. And so the sheik organized a camel race. Both camel drivers had to travel from Cairo to Abbudzjabbu, and the one whose camel would arrive last in Abbudzjabbu, would be allowed to marry the sheik's daughter. The two camel drivers, realizing that this could become a rather lengthy expedition, finally decided to consult the Wise Man of their village. Arrived there, they explained him the situation, upon which the Wise Man raised his cane and spoke four wise words. Relieved, the two camel drivers left his tent: they were ready for the contest!
The Question: Which 4 wise words did the Wise Man speak?
1. Music Review - The Celtic Woman
2. Press Release -  March Declared Irish-American Heritage Month in U.S.
3. Enter Lolly's Annual Whistle Contest! Time's Running Out!
4. Latest Updates - Jump up, join in, 'party on' at the 2005 St. Patrick Festival!
5. Basic Irish - St. Patrick's Day
6. Article - A Step Back in Time: My trip to the Great Blasket Island
7. Article - Corned Beef & Cabbage - The Feeding of A Myth
8. Article: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Old Ireland
9. Article: I, St. Patrick, the Sinner
10. Article - Emblems of Ireland: The Shamrock
11. Kids' Ireland: Three in honour of St. Patrick http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/1Kids/1Home.html
12. The irish Kitchen - Beef Hotpot Haggerty
13. Circle of Prayer - Our fifth Novena in this cycle began on March 13 and ends on March 21. Please keep His Holiness, Pope Paul II in your prayers and meditations and also the victims of the Tsunami, 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 nearly a year ago, Paul and Ashley, the sons of friends. Also the three grandsons of Mary Sigrist. We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer and we know that God listens and will answer.
14. The March Trivia entries are pouring in! All entries must be in by midnight on March 31 whichever time zone you live in and we wish all of those with correct solutions good luck in the drawing.
15. St. Patrick's Anachron - featured in our rioght-hand marging and also on our spiritual page:
16. Shopping for St. Patrick's Day? The count-down is well under way. Visit our shops for parade gear, flags, party music and more!
(Note that we have added Cashs of Ireland to our roster of top-notch merchants)
17.Poetry Department - Russ has found more poets & poems from the Irish Times top 100. These were all originally written in the Irish but Russ has found translations into English:
a) An tEarrach Thiar by Máirtín Ó Direáin
b) nois Teacht an Earraigh by Antoine Ó Raifteirí
c) Caoineadh Áirt Úi Laoghaire by Eibhlín Dubh Ní `Chonaill
You'll find the entire list here:

What with the celebration that's in it, we're hoping to bring you a fun week on the site. A new Chieftain's CD waits in the wings, as does the newspaper clipping about the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Russia. As always, we'll have a new blessing on Sunday (posted) a new quote on Wednesday and we hope to have a new recipe on Thursday. In the meantime, to encourage you to visit every day, to read our headlines (no murder or mayhem - we promise!) Please click:
And we keep a week's worth of history here:
March 14-March21

So that's the long and the short of it for another week except to say that if you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other important event between now and then, we hope it's a joyous occasion! We also wish you and yours Lá le Pádraig dhuit/dhaoibh. Happy St. Patrick's Day! And, until someone comes up with a better card, you can view our favorite one here: Just copy and paste the link into the address line of your Web browser. Sorry about the length - we tested it and it does work.


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 recently 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:
and the site itself at www.thewildgeese.com.
If you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

Greater Cincinnati- St. Patrick's Week
Renowned Celtic Band Silver Arm will be playing at the Campbell County Library, Cold Spring, KY on March 15 7-8pm
Cincinnati Public Library, Downtown Main Library lobby, on March 17 11:45 with the McGing Irish Dancers
Jack Quinn's Irish Alehouse, 4th and Court, Covington on March 17 3:30-9pm
For details and updates, visit:

Hollywood, Florida - April 16, 7p-11p
Dinner & Dancing to Marty McAndrew & Black Diamond. Call 943-432-8292 / 954-522-4948 or email Patrick - irish32@aol.com

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
Forhttp://www.all-ireland.com/misc/contactus.htm more info, click

There are still some periods available up to 9 July, if you would like to spend your holiday in my cosy house on the beautiful Isle of Inishmore.
or 0041-1-2520918

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

The Guys' Rules
At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down We always hear "the rules" from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note... these are all numbered "1"

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon
or the changing of the tides.
Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport.
And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want.
Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!
Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it.
That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem.
See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days..

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are.
Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something
or tell us how you want it done.
Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit.
We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched.
We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

1. Thank you for reading this.
Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

Pass this to as many men as you can -
to give them a laugh.

Pass this to as many women as you can -
to give them a bigger laugh!!