Greetings & Blessings to all,
Welcome to our March/April  edition and a  belated Pinch Punch first day of the month White Rabbit! We hope this issue finds you and yours in fine fettlle and as fit as a fiddle;   and if you’re receiving the newsletter for the first time, go raibh maith agat for signing up. We hope you enjoy our musings and meanderings, and if so, please feel free to share them with your family and friends. 
Before we get on with it - for all the mothers in Ireland and the UK who celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend:
Happy Mother's Day
Irish: Lá an Mháthair faoi shona dhuit
Pronunciation: law ay-leh on waw-hirr fwee hun-ah gwitch
Much has happened since last we wrote. On the first of March, we hung up the Irish flag and put a garland of shamrocks around the spring wreath on the front door. We were ready to begin the celebrations. But, all that came to an abrupt halt when Russ’ favorite feline - the Ginger Man became strangely lethergic. Very unusual for him. We rushed him to the vet only to find out that he was critically ill and there was no cure. From being a healthy young adult cat Russ had rescued as a feral kitten six years ago, he would continue to go downhill - and fast.  All of you who love your pets as if they’re your children know full well how difficult the decicion we had to make was.  We are still trying to get over the loss, especially Russ. But we are blessed with many happy memories so that is some small comfort.  
On a much, much lighter note, we found out we are to become grandparents again. Not just once - but twice. Both sons announced that their respective spouses are due in November - around the same time. Russ is suggesting they make an effort to be in the same hospital so we can just go from room to room when we visit. 
Also on a lighter note: we are enjoying a very early spring in our Ohio Valley; daffodils in full bloom, magnolia trees heavy laden with buds, and the Bradford pear in front of the cottage about to burst into flower. It is a bit strange though, because just about the best of the springtime floral display will be gone before Easter!
Onwards. We hope you all enjoyed a very safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, Bridget was a bit under the weather so we missed out on the parade and the O’Flaherty’s annual Blarney Bash. That said, we did manage to enjoy a nice Irish-American Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner. Bridget’s Dad would roll over in his grave - what -  no boiled bacon?
We followed the patron saints holiday with yet another festive occasion - okay, we jest. Russ had his frst colonoscopy and now knows what Bridget’s been trying to tell him - getting ready for it is way worse than the procedure itself. We now await the results of biopsies on several polyps; lots of prayers and fingers crossed all will be well.
Did you get caught napping on April Fool’s Day? There were some pretty wild and woolly pranks pulled on people everywhere. We thought Ryanair’s offer of child-free flights was especially clever as was the report that the Dail pub had been turned into a smoothie bar. One thing we miss here in Cincinnati was a local radio station’s report of the annual April Fool’s procession complete with our Lady of Perpetual Motion Marching Band. We so looked forward to hearing that show every year, but as with all good things, alas it  went the way of the Swiss spaghetti harvest.
B-List Pub Quiz
Sad to say we couldn’t come up with a practical way to have readers participate. You’ll just have to come to the pub in person on some Tuesday night  and if you do, please let us know ahead of time. We’ll be there to stand you a pint. 
End of the Annual Appeal 
The mention of receiving just a few donations in the last edition resulted in a mini avalanche of contrbutions. Thank you all so much! By now, you should have received a small token of appreciation - and if not, please let us know. We still have plenty of shamrock bookmarks and lucky Irish coins on hand. Haven’t made a contribution this year? We are more than happy to accept the support of our readers at any time! Contributions can be made through PayPal at
Our account is this address:
Or donations can be sent to our snail mail address at 
5814 Bluespruce La
Cincinnati OH 45224.  
Many of you also took us up on the offer to put your birthdate in our history section. That offer still stands. What would be more interesting would be a place of birth and a connection to Ireland. 
Enough of the blather  - on with the update!
News: The County News for the past month  was  sent on March 31st. 
From the Mailbag
Quotes, Toasts, Curses & Blessings
Joke of The Week
A Bit of the Wit
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week That Is
Leave 'em Laughing
SPONSOR: Help support this newsletter and our web site by visiting our friends at The Celtic Attic:
Spring is here and what better time to give your decor a fresh new look with a Celtic twist! Come browse a wide selection of accessories for every room in your home - plus, take 5.00 off an order of $50 or more exclusively through Irish Culture & Customs. Just put the code IC01 in the add a gift card section! 
Contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
Tel: 1-360-286-2307
On line:
Kent Covey, Program Director of the Cincinnati Irish Cultural Center writes: 
Ah sure it was the Blessings of St. Patrick himself shining on the Irish Heritage Center this season! Thanks to one and all the Center was decorated to the tee, the friendships were strong, the music and song grand, the dance brilliant, the food lovely, the ‘Irish in Cincinnati’ exhibit marvelous, the book release of ‘Fear Not the Storm’ fabulous, the children adorable, and the gift of 101 year-old Margaret Mehan sipping a pint – priceless. 
This is what we are about – the gathering of friends with a common bond – a love for a homeland far away, remembered and celebrated for all of its wonders. God Bless Ireland!

ED. NOTE: Wish we could have been there. God willing, next year!

Tony  writes:
My wife and I are traveling to Ireland in April, almost six years from our last visit as newlyweds. I hope to do some genealogical research for my family while there but none of us have been able to find any records of our immigrant ancestor's life in Ireland or where he left from about 1800. A DNA study suggests we're from Tyrone or Derry. Are there any Flemings reading this who might be able to help us find the next clue?  Thanks!
Doris writes:
With regret we have to announce that The Irish Club London is going into receivership caused by the downturn in the markets, trading loss and the Credit Crunch.  However we are regrouping and starting up again under a new Constitution  We may be down but we are not out!
Doris M Daly
Hon Secretary
The Irish club London.
Kathleen wanted  to know to write Safe journey in Irish. As always, our readers did not let us down. 
Andi: Go dté tú slán (May you go safely) Slán abhaile (Safe home) .
Ethna: Safe home - slan abhaile.
Margaret: Safe home = slan abhaile  (slaan a walle)
or go dtuga Dia (God) slan abhaile thu/sibh  (May God bring you safe home
thu is the single  sibh is the plural
Connemara Gaelic - Safe journey : go n-neirogh an bothar leat or slan abhaile
Bill Smith   "Slán achar" (Slawn AKH-er) would be appropriate.
Slán abhaile (Slawn a-WALL-ya) 
ED. NOTE: Many thanks to all of you who took the time to send in an answer. 
Lora writes:
I am in need of someone fluent in the Irish language and knowledgeable in old to ancient Irish customs and culture. The reason is for a novel that I have written about a woman from Ireland who  speaks the language fluently. It is very important to me to ensure that all of the information and the language present in the novel is correct out of respect for the Irish before I send the work off for publication. If you or someone you know is able to assist in this matter or if you have any information for me that could help me at all, please contact me. It would be so helpful. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you very soon. My   contact information is below.
Best Regards,
Lora Sells RN, BSN
Correction to our couunty news
Many thanks to those of you who alerted us to the glaring error in our county news item item from Dublin  about  Thomas Lawless, a WWI soldier to be honoured. Here is a link to the full story - and the correct date!
ED. NOTE:  Did you write and your query or message isn’t here? Please mail us again - we get so much mail that yours may have been missed.  Thanks!

 Tribute to an Irish Mother 
 On March 16, 2006, the American Ireland Fund awarded Senator Joe Biden "The Distinguished Leadership Award." That evening, Senator Biden paid tribute to his mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden. Whatever your political leanings, swe encourage you to set them aside to read one man’s powerful praise  of who is traditionally the most important person in an Irish man’s life.  Please click
 It’s what mothers do
With many thanks to our daughter Catherine for sending us this sweet video about a pooch who took on the task of feeding a litter of kittens. Definitely an appropriate one for Mother’s Day!
Best ever April Fools Jokes
The Belfast Telegraph has compiled a collection of hilarious April Fool hoaxes. Enjoy!
Dublin St Patrick's Day parade 2011
The Irish Times captures the sights and sounds of possibly the world’s largest and most exciting parade  in celebration of our patron saint.. Watch the slide show here and be sure to have your sound on:
Mayo’s  Titanic village
Among the 2,223  passengers and crew were fourteen   emigrants from the parish of Addergoole in North Mayo. Eleven drowned when the ship went down.   This year, early on the morning of Friday the15th April 2011, they will once again be remembered by the ringing of the free-standing Timoney  Bell at St Patrick’s Church at precisely the time of the sinking.  For complete details, please click
Galway Bay - the book
As they say in Ireland, ‘Take your ease with this book.’ You'll need time for laughter and tears and pure magic.”  That’s what Frank McCourt said about this exceptional novel. Perhaps one of the most engrossing works about Ireland during the famine, it is now available in paper back AND producer Jean Doumanian, who has earned multiple Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, wants to make it a TV mini-series. To learn more about the book and its author Mary Pat Kelly, please click
The Irish Page - Red Haired Mary’s Foolish Son
This time around, Jack & Vivien Hennssey offer episode 4 of Amadán Mháire Rua - Red-Haired Mary's Foolish Son in which Sean sets out on his travels. Please click:
The Papisher & The Prod
For a long time, we didn’t know the author of this poem. Recently, Chris Peterson  wrote to us to let us know he had received confirmation from Trinity College that the author’s name is John McKearney. Thanks to Chris, we have now given Mr. McKearney the credit he deserves. If you haven’t read the poem or would like to read it again, here is the link:
Yvonne Healy -Irish Storyteller
She didn’t kiss the Blarney Stone; she swallowed it!  Yvonne crisscrosses the USA telling stories according to her family motto. Ná lig go deo don fhírinne seasamh sa mbealach ar scéal maith. - Irish for “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story."  To find out when she might be coming your way, take a look at her web site. It’s well worth a visit!
ED. NOTE: If you live in Ohio, Yvonne will be at the Dublin Irish Festival August 5-8 in the Spoken Word and Cultural Traditions Tent.
Cheap Flights with Subtitles
With many thanks to our good friend Joe McTiernan who sent us this hilarious video. A word of caution - if you are offended by Irish slang  and the  word  f***in’ , please don’t click through.
Cleaning for a Reason  
Many thanks to Pamela Boyd who sent us the following. (Please note that the URL has changed): 
If you know any woman currently undergoing Chemo, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE  housecleaning - 1 time per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service.
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:
ED. NOTE: Maria Eryaatz advises that free mammograms are also available in all states via the VNA (visiting nurses association).
Click on 'Find A VNA' for the your nearest location.
Free Pet Food!
Last but certainly not least - our ongoing 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!
Free People Food!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
The Gentle Barn
With many thanks to Karyn Hannigan who brought this one to our attention. This non-profit organization rescues animals from severe abuse and has been home and healer to hundreds of horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, llamas, dogs, and cats. To learn more, please click

God made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine,
And He moulded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks the fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.
Pat O'Reilly
“All her life she was to personify the best of her Irish heritage – a warm and generous heart, undauntable faith in her God, unswerving allegiance to the Democratic Party, heroic resiliency in trouble and always, always, an unquenchable sense of humor.” 
From “My Wild Irish Mother” by Mary Higgins Clark
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to squabble over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'" Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"
Your little brother came home from school yesterday crying. All the boys at his school got new suits, but we can't afford to buy him one. Instead we're going to buy him a new hat and just let him look out the window.
(Excerpted from an Irish mother's letter to her son)
1. Alfred Hitchcock’s mother was of Irish stock?  Her maiden name was Whelan.   
2. Oscar Wilde's mother, Lady Jane Francesca, wrote under the pen name "Speranza?"
3. Catherine McCarthy, known as the "jolly Irishwoman of the Lower East Side" was the mother of notorious outlaw Billy the Kid?
If you’d like to read more Irish Trivia, please click
First off, the answers to last month’s quiz:
1. Too Close For Comfort by Clara Dowling
2. Things We Do For Love by Roisin Meaney
3. Postcards From The Heart by Ella Griffin
Clap yout feet and stamp your hands for the following Irish bibliophiles:
Tom McGuire
Susan Murphy
Ann Hurley
Hartson & Helen Dowd
ED. NOTE; We are very pleased to let you know that Helen’s web site is maintaining her lead at  the top Christian sites. Well done, Helen! If you’d like to visit Helen’s site, here’s the URL: (It’s well worth a look!)
If you’d like to see your name on our list of Irish bibliophiles, write and tell us who wrote the following: 
 Hint: They are all on  Eason’s best-seller list.
1. Talk to the Headscarf
2. In My Mother’s Shoes
3. My Journey with the Angels
 Please send your answers to Bridget at:
But first, the answer to our previous mnd mangler:
Q. What do these seven words all have in common? 
1. Banana
2. Dresser
3. Grammar
4. Potato
5. Revive
6. Uneven
7. Assess
A . If you take the first letter from each word and put it at the end of the word, it spells the original word backwards.
As always, were were inundated with responses from our Riddle People - but first in was Ethna Tutt. Well done, Ethna! 
  And now for our next  Cranium Cruncher: 
Often held and sometimes tied; 
always wet but never rusts; 
often bites but is seldom bit, 
to use me well you must have wit. 
What am?
Please send your answers to Bridget at:
It would be helpful if you put riddle answer in the subject line. Thanks!
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
Whether decorating yourself or your home in celebration of spring and Easter, or looking for the perfect gift for any occasion, you are sure to find what you’re looking for at Lollysmith! Stop by soon and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello.
1. Article:  Mothering Sunday in Old Ireland
2. Article:  Poems & Lyrics in Honour Of Irish Mothers
3. Article: A Powerful Woman
4. Article:  April Fool’s Day
5. Article: An Old Custom That Still Exists
6. Article:  In Search of Ancestors
7. Article: Irish Linen - The Cloth of Kings
8. Article: Emblems of Ireland - The Book of Kells
9. Article: A Little Bit of Heaven
10. The Irish Kitchen:  The Wild Mushrooms of Ilreand
 11. Basic Irish: Spring Cleaning
12.  Kids’ Ireland:  The Remarkable Rocket
13.  Trivia Contest: The April contest is posted.  All entries must be in by midnight, April 30th whatever time zone you live in. Please send your entries to Bridget:
ED. NOTE: It would be very helpful if you put Trivia Contest in the Subject line. Thank you!
Our  winner for the March Contest is  Tim Younger  - congratulations, Tim!  Tim chose  the Tin Whistle set generously provided by Lollysmith. To view the prizes and the contest for April, please click: 
14.  Circle of Prayer
 The seventh Novena in this cycle began on March 31st and continues through April 9th. in this cycle began on  and continues through  For your convenience, a complete list of Novena dates is on our Circle of Prayer page:
Since last we wrote, the massive earthquake and tsunami took place n Japan. Please keep the Japanese people in your prayers and meditations as they try to recover and rebuild. We are especially concerned about one of our readers - Fr. Denis McGowan who runs an orphanage in Ikeda. We have written to him,but thus far, have not had word.  
Whatever your spiritual leanings, please remember them and also the following:  the people of Christchurch NZ, a close family member going through chemo,  Cyndi Foley, Stephanie Spinoza   
Caitlyn’s Aunt Judy, Hartson,  little Isabella,  Mickey,  Tara H; Patricia's daughter Heather, the family and friends of the McTiernans,  and so many others,   especially those in Australia who lost so much in the recent floods; families struggling with job losses and  severe financial hardship; and also our military personnel serving their countries at home and abroad. Dear Heavenly Father, please keep them safe from all harm and bring those away from home back to their loved ones soon.
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
In operation since 1988, it's one of the oldest online sites in the world. With subscribers in 89 countries it is also among the most reliable. Jackpots are never lower than US $1,500,000 and are frequently worth in excess of US$5,000,000 Here's the best part - you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are Tax Free! It’s always been a fantasy of ours that one of our readers would scoop the big prize, but you can’t win it if you’re not in it. Play from the comfort of home here: - and the best of Irish luck to you!
So there’s the long and the short of it until we wrtite again. In the meantime,  for all of you celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now  and then,  we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness. And before we forget - did you get married in March or April? Here are  your special verses:
If you wed when March winds blow,
Joy and sorrow both you’ll know.
Marry in April if you can,
Joy for maiden and for man.

We’ll take our leave with this blessing adapted from a much longer one by Fr. Andrew Greeley:
As the plant to its seed
As the grass to the dew
As a babe to its mother
May God be near you.
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!
Celtic Blessing - sung by the St. Coca's Choir, from Kilcock, Co. Kildare
And this is for our dear friend Mary O’Hara who asked us to bring this phrase back:
May you be seven times better, a year from today!!
 in the Irish
Go mba seacht bhfearr a bheas tu bliain o inniu!!
 Are you a loyal reader of our newsletter? 
Your voluntary donation will help keep it going around the world. Please give whatever you can to Russ and Bridget, 5814 Blue Spruce, Cincinnati OH 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
Our account there is this email address:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
NOTE: All donations of $5.00 or more will receive a green ribbon bookmark  featuring metal brass-colored shamrock charm. Alternatively, we still have lucky Irish Blessing coins available.
You can get your own copy if you sign up by sending an email to:
or click on this link:
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
Irish Abroad also has a comprehensive listing:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.
Cincinnati OH - April 8, 9, 10
The Irish American Theater Company presents the North American Premiere  of Tom McIntyre’s What Happened Bridgie Cleary?  Friday & Saturday, at 7:30 pm; Sunday matinee at 1 pm. For details or to book tickets, please call (513) 533-0100  or visit the web site: 
"Session Night", Second Wednesday of every month 3905 Eastern Avenue, Columbia-Tusculum featuring both an instrumental session and traditional singing session in two separate rooms from 7:30-11pm.  Plenty of free parking behind the building. Come with your talents, tunes and stories. The bar will be open and there will be room for respectful listeners as well. For details, please click:  
First Tuesday of every month   at 7 PM. All levels of speakers welcome! Irish Heritage Center of Cincinnati. 3905 Eastern Ave Cincinnati, OH 45226. Call for more details: 
Stay up to date with all the upcoming events and click here:
Or call 754-281-7202 / 954-432-8292
Celtic Spirit Culture Weeks are very carefully and sensitively designed to share with you a true and authentic Irish Celtic Experience, with most activities guided by the islanders themselves. To learn more, please click:
Friends of Ireland of Southern California Monthly Breakfast. Events are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Please call in RSVP to one of the contacts below one day in advance so we can accommodate you.
Barbara Walsh (714) 739-4195 Kathy Wisdom (714) 572-8277
Tom Kennedy (562) 425-2636 Jim O'Dea (626) 965-0307
First Friday of the month Céilís and ongoing Tuesday night Céilí and Sean Nós dance classes. Our season runs from October through June and next season we may be moving the dances to Saturday rather than Friday nights. For more details, please click
This time we have two jokes for you - one for Lent and the other for all the long suggering wives and mothers in the world (wel’ll do the same for the husbands and dads when it’s their day!) 
Joke 1
Each Friday night after work, Jim would fire up his outdoor grill and cook chicken.  All of Jim's 
neighbors were Catholic and  since it was Lent, they refrained from eating meat on Friday. 
The delicious aroma from the grilled chicken wafted throughout the neighborhood causing so much frustration for the Catholic  faithful that they finally talked to their priest. 
The Priest came to visit Jim  and persuaded him he become a Catholic. After  several classes and much study, Jim was baptized.  As the priest 
sprinkled holy water over him, he said, "You were born a Protestant and  raised a Protestant, but now you are a Catholic." 
Jim's neighbors were relieved, until Friday night arrived, and the wonderful  aroma of grilled chicken  again filled the neighborhood. 
The Priest was called immediately by the neighbors.  He rushed over to Jim's place clutching a rosary and prepared to scold him. When he arrived he stopped dead in his tracks and watched in  amazement.  There stood Jim , clutching a small bottle of holy water which he carefully  sprinkled over the grill, saying : "You were born a  chicken  you were raised a chicken  but now you you're a salmon."
Joke 2
For 50 years, Paddy left the box alone, until his wife Moira was old and dying. One day, when he was putting their affairs in order, he found the box again and thought it might hold something important. Opening it, he found two doilies and 82,500 pounds in cash. He took the box to her and asked about the contents. "My mother gave me that box the day we married," she explained. "She told me to make a doily to help ease my frustrations every time I got angry with you." Paddy was very touched that in 50 years she'd only been vexed with him twice."What's the money for?" he asked.
"Oh, well that's what I've made selling the Doilies."