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Greetings & Blessings to all,

Surprise, surprise - we're quite a bit early owing to Bridget leaving town for a week tomorrow. She'll be with two very old friends at a tiny cottage on the coast of Maine - hopefully away from the heat and humidity. At least, that's the way it usually is "down east" at this time of year. Ah-yah!

In the meantime, we hope this edition finds you in good spirits, good health and good company. And, if this is your first issue, we hope you will enjoy our musings and meandering; please feel free to forward them on to family and friends. They can also sign up for their own copy here:
And no, that is not a picture of himself at the top!

Enough of the blitherin', on with the update...

SPONSOR: You can help us help us pay the expenses for producing this newsletter when you visit our advertisers, including our good friends at Lollysmith:

A Very interesting development: Lolly and her elves have been working with a man in the South who has rediscovered a long, lost grove of Blackthorn planted by his great great grandfather in the early part of the last century. He remembered the old ways of curing and finishing the sticks using hemp and resin; he also uses no paint but rather covers the stick in soot from burning blackthorn and then applies a thin coat of poly. That's the only bow to modern methods. If you want one of these truly unique one of a kind sticks, you have to hurry as collectors are buying them up. Reserve yours today! Please click
From the Mailbag
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week that was
The week that will be, God willing
Events & Classifieds
Leave 'em Laughing
ED NOTE: Did you know that we keep two week's of links to the latest news from ireland on the web site? What follows are the tidbits that don't always make the national papers. For those, read on. For major stories, click here:

Irish tourism set to smash records this year
Tourism chiefs have predicted 2006 could be a record year for the industry. US and British markets, in particular, are showing notable increases with total visitor figures for May up 14% over last year.

Survey shows we're taking more, but shorter, holidays
Irish people are taking more but shorter holidays at home and abroad, with increasing numbers preferring to stay in their second homes, according to Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures.

Off to Dublin for the weekend
We are continuing to spurn provincial tourism centres and are instead flocking to Dublin for weekend breaks, according to new figures.

Average house price to hit €400,000 by end of the year
This figure is much higher than earlier reports had predicted.
In Dublin, the average house price is now forecast by Bank of Ireland to rise to €532,000.

Dublin: Tallaght tops globe pizza-lover poll
Outstripping even American outlets in the same chain, Domino's Pizza in The Square sells more pizzas than any of the other 8,000 outlets around the globe, knocking out a record-breaking 200 pizzas an hour - or three pizzas a minute, 12 hours a day.

Longford: New fish species found near Ballymahon
A species of fish has been spotted in the River Inny downstream from Ballymahon which has not been recorded in this country before. During a survey undertaken by the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board and the Central Fisheries Board the chub, a freshwater coarse fish, was found at a number of locations on a two-kilometre stretch of the river. More than thirty specimens of the species, both male and female, have been identified. However the arrival of chub is not good news for the country's fisheries as the species, which can grow to eight pounds in weight, is both competitor and predator of native fish such as trout.

Louth: Dundalk sale goes ahead, but purchaser is unnamed
The auction of the freehold to the town of Dundalk went ahead as planned last week, but neither the price paid nor the name of the new owner has been revealed. The only clue as to the purchaser's identity came from Lord Roden, the previous owner, who said the person had "strong Dundalk connections". The freehold, which has been in Lord Roden's family for three hundred years, includes the rights to a number of ground rents and to four vacant lots around the town which could be used for development. The auction was conducted by local firm McArdle Auctioneers.

Mayo: An unseasonable festival for Hollymount
Visitors to Hollymount over the Bank Holiday weekend could be forgiven for thinking they had perhaps missed out on a whole season, as the village will be decorated for Christmas rather than high summer. Not only will there be Christmas trees on display, fully decorated, with other Christmas decorations also prominent, but Santa Claus has also been persuaded to pay an out-of-season visit to the area. And as if Santa Claus was not enough, an Elvis impersonator will also be arriving to entertain the crowds. Derek McEvoy will be accompanied by a fifteen-piece orchestra for his Elvis-inspired concert.

Meath: Kildalkey welcomes new residents
Margaret Masterson, who has been living in the village of Kildalkey for the past fifty-five years, thinks the more than seventy per cent increase in population in the last four years is a welcome development which has brought new life into the area. Her only regret is that the post office has closed, despite the burgeoning population. According to Michael Mulvany, who owns the Village Inn pub, in a short period Kildalkey has gone from having one shop and one pub to its present total of two pubs, two grocery shops, a chippie and a hairdresser's.
And one new resident, Dave Banim, thinks living in the village is sufficient compensation for his one-hundred mile round trip to work in Dublin each day.

Offaly: Festival committee puts final touches to arrangements
The members of the committee responsible for the Daingean Festival are at present putting the final touches to arrangements for the event which takes place over four days next weekend. A golf competition at the Castle Barna club, a slow bicycle race and an Irish short films presentation in Seery's are just some of the opening events, while the selection of the Queen of the Festival will take place on Friday next. The winner of this competition will then take pride of place at the parade on Sunday. The final day of the festival will see raft-racing on the canal, go-kart racing and traditional music and dancing.

Roscommon: Northerners flock to Boyle Festival
This year's Boyle Arts Festival has attracted a significant number of people from the North of Ireland this year as it is the first time in one hundred years that the Royal Ulster Academy has held an exhibition outside Belfast. The festival, which comprises a mixture of art, music and theatre, runs until the end of this week. Among the sixty-seven members of the Academy whose work is on exhibition are Basil Blackshaw, Rita Duffy and Simon McWilliams; their work is complemented by the work of forty-five other invited artists from all over Ireland.

Waterford: Coast Bonfires Mark 200 Years Of Signal Towers
A series of bonfires have lit up the Waterford coast to warn of a possible attack from the French in a ceremony to mark the 200th anniversary of an invasion that never happened. The fires were lit at signal tower sites in the coastal areas of Bonmahon, Ardmore, Ballymona, Ballyvoile Head and the Island of Kane. The ceremonial fires are to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the construction of 80 signal towers, built around the Irish coastline between 1804 and 1806, as a warning mechanism against a possible French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars. The British, fearing an invasion similar to that of 1796, decided to build signal stations and flagstaffs in west Cork as the French had entered Ireland through Bantry Bay during this invasion. Towers lined the shore from Malin, down the western shoreline to Kerry, along the south coast and north to Dublin, Antrim and the Derry shorelines.
A system of semaphore signalling was established so that each tower could be visible from another. The semaphores, fitted to the top of the towers, mimicked a person's outstretched arms, flag held in each hand.
A signal at Blackball Head in Co Cork, for example, could have been seen in Sheep's Head to the south and be passed on to Dublin relatively quickly. However, it is understood that Ireland's harsh climate often rendered the system useless. Other fortifications, known as signal stations, did not have towers and sent their signal by flag waving.
The towers were abandoned following Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo but were used as look- out posts again during the first and second World Wars. Many are no longer in existence.
Bonfires were set alight in Bonmahon, Ardmore and Brownstown Head while on August 20th at 3pm, fires will be lit at all signal tower sites around the country. Organiser of the ceremonial fires at Tranamoe in Bonmahon, Co Waterford, Margaret Cosgrave, said the towers are an important part of our cultural heritage. "The anniversary, particularly the event on August 20th, helps to tie all the coastal community together," she added.

Westmeath: Monster barbecue will help finish work in progress
The annual Boxer's Barbecue held in the Lough Ree Inn last week was a joint occasion involving two Fianna Fáil cummans and the Coosan Residents Association. Attended by Minister Noel Dempsey and with music provided by T.R. Dallas, the event raised funds towards continuing work begun last year to enhance the Coosan area. The Coosan Arches and monument will commemorate three boundary arches which marked the townlands of Coosan in the mid-nineteenth century, and the initiative for their development came from the community, former curate Father James McKiernan and the present curate, Father Declan Shannon.

Wexford: Park to honour victims at sea
A new memorial park to honour those lost at sea off Ireland's southeast coast is to be opened in the village centre at Rosslare Harbour, Co Wexford, on Saturday. The park will be jointly opened by author Patricia Scanlon, whose grandfather Paddy Scanlon, a lighthouse-keeper, died when a drifting mine struck Tuskar Rock during World War Two; and David O'Beirne, whose father was the pilot of the Aer Lingus Viscount, the St Phelim, which crashed in 1968 with the loss of 61 lives. The centrepiece of the park is a granite sculpture in the form of a boulder depicting the portholes of the Viscount.

ED NOTE: Many of the above news items are from The Irish Emigrant. Space does not allow us to print them all. To read every item, please click

Judy writes: a favour to ask from Australia. I will be coming to Ireland in September and will be visiting major cities as well as countryside. My father's family - MORAN - came from Ireland and I believe they had a sizeable store in Dublin (I think) selling maybe Manchester items (not sure on this ). My father's cousin told me a few years ago that when he went to Ireland for a visit, the family's name was still over the old shop front. So if I came to Dublin...and it's still there I'd love to see it. Unfortunately my father and his older relatives have passed away and I cannot check this with them. Perhaps one of your readers would have some clues tracking this one down for me and I'd be muchobliged, or perhaps you could put me in touch with the historical

In response to Mary's request for must sees on her trip, Pádraigín writes:
Cork is a fabulous county. You must visit Clonakilty - a beautiful village in West Cork (the birthplace of Michael Collins). There is a beautiful statue of MC which was unveiled by Liam Neeson a couple of years ago. visit the Michael Collins Centre (details from Tourist Office in main street). Bandon is a lovely town, full of history. Get into all the museums that you can - a visit to Cobh (pr. Cove) is worth while - where famine victims sailed to America. Cork City is lovely, plenty of parks, museums, art galleries and best of all - pubs with ceol and craic! Visit Macroom, Dunmanway, Béal na mBlath (where MC was killed), Kinsale - the list is endless. Enjoy!
ED. NOTE: Again, we must also recommend a great news forum: All Ireland Travel. You get hands-on info' from participants who love Ireland and either live there or are regular visitors. For more info, or to sign up, please click

Galway Arts Festival in pictures

Farewell to Summer - Pictures you can hear
Jim Crotty lives right up the road from us and we're very proud that he is one of the sponsors for our Trivia Contest because he is one of the best photographers we know. He also does this memorable slide show accompanied to music from the movie "A River Runs through It." We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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 the horns of your cattle always touch heather.

"Under the English legal system you are innocent until you are shown to be Irish."
 Ted Whitehead
An elderly woman had just returned to her home from church when she was startled by an intruder. She caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables and yelled, "Stop! Acts 2:38!" (Repent andbe baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sinsmay be forgiven.) The burglar stopped in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done. As the officercuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar, "Whydid you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you." "Scripture?" replied the burglar. "She said she had an Axe and Two 38's!"
SPONSOR: Please help us keep our newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish Lottery.
There was 1 winner of Wednesday's drawing. Was it YOU? It's been one of our fantasies that an Irish Culture & Customs newsletter subscriber will scoop the big one - but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win it, if you're not in it. So enter today. It's incredibly easy to play, you don't have to live in Ireland, 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! Click here for full details:
The 2006 Guinness Book of World Records includes the following entries:
1. Irish pet owner Anne Kellegher, who lost count when her pet dog Tia gave birth to 24 puppies in one day, making their place in the book as the Largest Dog Litter.
2. The Flahertys who got an entry by breaking the Guinness World Record for the Most Siblings to complete a marathon when 11 family members entered last year's London Marathon.
3. And Finian Maynard rocketed into the book claiming the Guinness World Record for the Highest Speed Under Sail on Water reaching a whopping 54mph on his windsurfer.
W ehave had just a couple of entries, so we'll continue with the same titles until the next newsletter.

Who wrote:
1. The Last of the Celts
2. The Atlantean Irish: Ireland's Oriental and Maritime Heritage
3. Baptised in Blood: The Formation of the Cork Brigade of the Irish Volunteers 1913-1916
The common thread is that they can all be found on Read Ireland:

Send in your answers and if you get two out of three correct, we'll list your name and web site (or your favorite Irish web site) in our next newsletter.
To begin with, the answer to our latest mind mincer:
Thousands lay up gold within this house, but no man made it.
Spears past counting guard this house, but no man protects it.
Answer: A beehive. First in was Clara Byrne - well done!

And now for a new brain bruiser:
My first is in kendo but not in Olympics.
My second is in hurdles and in hunting.
My third is in bowman and in bowling.
My fourth is in cycling and in golf.
My fifth is in flying and not in swimming.
My last is in running and not in dancing.
My whole is a sport.
What am I?

Russ is in the midst of revamping the home page. By the time we send out this newsletter, the following should be posted, re-arranged, or it's still being worked on:

1. The Galway Races - Ladies' Day
2. Putting Out the hare
3. Celebrating the harvest
4. Puck Fair - One of Ireland's Oldest Festivals
5. Preview: The Whitethorn Woods - a new novel from Maeve Bicnchy
6. Our Lady of Knock Novena
7. Basic Irish - Going on Holiday
8. Irish Kitchen - Fraughan Fool
9. Kid's Ireland - Irish Kids having fun with film
10. Jokes department
11. New Trivia Contest for August. It's up and running. Here's the best part: we have yet another sponsor. This time it's Midwest irish Radio who are giving away one of their coveted T-shirts. As with the lottery, you can't win it if you're not in it. All entries must be in by midnight, August 31st.
We have a winner for the July contest: Congratulations to Gael Hill from New Jersey who chose the gorgeous print by Dublin artist Roger Commiskey.
12. Circle of Prayer: The seventh Novena in this cycle began on July 30 and continues through August 7. We have had quite a few more additions to the prayer list: Stephanie, Jessica, George O'Connell, Paul Heilbock, Linda Showers and Lauren Sommer. Please also continue to remember Heather and all of those suffering in the Middle East - especially the children; also, baby Joseph, our good friend Pauline Dewberry. And please don't forget to ask the Good Shepherd of us all to watch over our men and women in the military all over the world. To visit our Circle of Prayer page, please click
13. In the margin:
a) Dancing at Lughnasa - the movie
b) Dancing at Lughnasa - the soundtrack
c) A set of three Maeve Binchy books
14. In the shops: We have a unique sewrvice on offer - Listen & Learn Irish - take a look:

With Bridget away, Russ willl endeavor to find a suitable new blessing on Sunday and new quotation next Wednesday. As always, the news and history will be updated daily - but please have patience; Russ is doing double duty - especially on the news as Bridget usually does the research.

So there you have it until we write again. If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, may God grant that it be filled with joy. May God also grant that all of our friends in Ireland enjoy a safe and happy Bank Holiday weekend. In fact, Safe, journey, safe home in all your comings and goings wherever you are, 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!
Every penny does make a difference, so 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.

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Again, many thanks in advance for your help!
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there we will be happy to list it here.

Dublin, Ohio, August 5 & 6
New Gate Celtic Theatre Company, Cincinnati's premier Celtic theatre group has been invited to the Dublin, Ohio Irish Fest for the second year in a row. This year's one-act stars local stage veteran Dee Dunn in the title role of "Lady Gregory's Ghost" presented Saturday, August 5 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, August 6 at 3p.m. For more details about the Dublin Ohio Irish Festival, please click

Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland, August 10
Gráda perform at the Temple bar Music Centre. They are filming the event to make a much awaited DVD and live album. The band is being joined by several guests for the occasion, including Danish master percussionist RasmusSkovmand, and Gráda's newest member: fiddle player Colin Farell.
For more details, please click

Temple Bar , Dublin, Ireland August 10-26
The irish Premiere of Mother Teresa is Dead by acclaimed playright Helen Edmundson. Presented at the Focus Theatre. For more details, please contact Conlath Teevan:
email: conlethteevan@eircom.net

Milwaukee, Wisconsin August - 17 - 20
The biggest Irish festival in the world! If you can make it, don't hesitate. It's an incredible experience. For complete details, please click
Be sure to have your speakers turned on.

Houston, Texas - August 19th
An Irish Summer Picnic with the St. Patrick's Parade Commission
at the West Alabama Ice House from 1 to 6 PM. This is a fundraiser benefiting the 48th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2007. Plan ahead! There will be a Picnic Food Competition. Cooking teams may enter 3
categories: Picnic Entree, Cold Salad/Side, & Dessert. Each category has a
$25 fee. All 3 categories, $65. Call Doc Dougherty at 713-446-8724 or Email Mary Kearns at Irishmkk@aol.com to arrange registration/payment.

Houston, Texas - August 20th
The Irish Society & The Irish Aires Show presents An Afternoon Of Songs & StoriesFor The Whole Family With The Irish Balladeer Danny O'Flaherty from 2:00 to 4:00pm At The Jones Hall On The University Of St. Thomas, 3910 Yoakum. For how to get there, lease click
For more about Danny, previously the proprietor of O'Flaherty's Irish Channel in New Orleans, has literally taken his Connemara Irish culture around the world with his songs & stories, please click

Dun Laoghaire, Ireland - August 25, 26, 27
Festival of World Cultures
Anyone who still believes that Ireland is mono cultural needs look no farther than Dun Laoghaire at the end of summer to see how global the country has become. For those that cannot make it to Dun Laoghaire, highlights of the Festival will be broadcast on RTÉ Two sometime in September.The full programme will be announced in July 2006. For further information visit

Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland - September 8, 9, 10
Are you a fan of Fidelma? Ireland's international best selling fictional detective will be celebrated at a weekend convention in her "hometown." For complete details, please click

As always, our dear friend Hartson can always be counted on for a giggle!

EXERCISE .... the true facts!
It is well documented that for every minute that you exercise, you add one minute to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. Now she's 97 years old and we don't know where the hell she is.

The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks and Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there.

I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

And last but not least: I don't exercise because it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.