Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to about 2700 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.

Greetings and blessings to all,

Pinch, punch, punch, first day of the month, white rabbit! We hope this edition finds you on the pig's back and fit as a fiddle. The warmest of welcomes to everyone, and a special hello to our newest readers - we hope you enjoy your first issue and please feel free to share it with family and friends.

Scorching, sizzling, steaming and sultry - a review of the latest Maeve Binchy romance? Would that it was, but alas, it's what the weather has been like in the Ohio Valley this past week, with more of the same until we get a bit of a break this weekend. That's when the temperatures will drop into the 80s as opposed to the mid-90s of the last few days. Oh for some of that Irish 'soft weather.'

It seems hard to believe that we haven't put out a "regular" edition for over month. But then again, our heads are in a whirl what with all that's been going on and schedules don't seem to be all that important at the moment. Not that we've ever been strict about adhering to a regular routine. Of, course, our advertisers would rather that we were more timely - please help us out and help keep them happy by clicking through the ads featured this time around. Go raibh maith agat!

As most of you already know, Russ' mother is gravely ill, but the good news is that she is comfortable and happy to welcome visitors. As we write this, our daughter Catherine, her partner Jonathan, and granddaughter Caity have just returned from spending several days with her. Next up is our son Scott, his wife Kristina and our grandson Fievel who will be going to see her right before we go back out ourselves for three weeks. The strategy is to give her something to look forward to, but even with that, she is sleeping a good deal of the time. Such is the way this insidious illness often manifests itself; but better that than what it could be.

It never rains but it pours. In doing a major upgrade to our computer system, we appear to have "lost" a large number of emails and other documents that go back quite a few weeks. For example, June trivia contest entries have gone missing. So, with our apologies for the inconvenience, please resubmit your entries. And if you haven't entered yet, now's your chance! We'll hold up on posting the new trivia contest until Tuesday. We've also lost solutions to our last riddle as well as answers to the Irish Writer's Quiz. We think it best to just start over. We hope you won't mind and, if you've asked us for help with something, please re-send your message. Thanks.

Anyway, here we are back again, and hopefully we can stay somewhat on track for a while. We really appreciate your patience during what has been a very tumultuous time for our family; we're also very grateful for all the prayers.

Enough about us... (except that Russ bought a flag with the number of stars that would have been on a banner flown when our house was built. That was in 1887 and we had just 38 states back then. There's really no way to tell unless you look at it up close. Oh wel. - it's still a nice unique tribute we can gab about when people come visit.)
Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox every week - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
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News from Ireland
Tennis as Gaeilge has been an unexpected smash hit with Irish sports fans. Figures show they have abandoned the BBC in favour of TG4 which took a gamble in securing the rights for Wimbledon for the next three years.

Nano Nagle voted Ireland's greatest woman
the 18th century nun who established girls' education in the State and founded the Presentation Sisters in 1777, was given the accolade following a phone-in poll on RTÉ.

Number of Irish wine drinkers doubles in 15 years
According to a new survey, wine drinkers have risen from 730,000 in 1990 to 1.5 million last year. Australian wine is the most popular, while the 25 to 35 age group represented the largest percentage of wine drinkers.

News from around the counties
Derry: St Columb's College invited a special guest for its 125th anniversary: President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin were in the city to unveil a statue in honour of the occasion.

Derry: Fiddle contest highlight of Derry festival
The world renowned LondonDerry air will once more be the centre of attention this summer when the inaugural Danny Boy Festival is celebrated in Limavady, in August. A fiddle competition with a prize of £5,000 will be the highlight of the three-day festivities. Limavady is considered to be the cradle of the tune when Jane Ross first noted it down in 1851.

Donegal: The Rory Gallagher Theatre paid tribute to the legendary blues guitarist after whom it is named when his brother Donal unveiled a plaque at a festival in Ballyshannon. The theatre was renamed as the highlight of a festival marking the tenth anniversary of Gallagher's death.

Down: St Colman's Church just outside Hillsborough celebrated its two hundredth anniversary with a special service and a tree planting ceremony. The church was constructed in 1805, after the original building burnt down in 1745. During the time the people had no building to gather for Mass, they celebrated the services round a tree, still known as the 'Mass tree' and this was blessed during the ceremony.

Dublin: Book release celebrates UCD literary alumni
To mark the 150th anniversary of University College, Dublin, Dr Anthony Roche has compiled a collection of 28 original essays by renowned UCD graduates as a tribute to 28 celebrated UCD writers. "The UCD Aesthetic: Celebrating 150 Years of UCD Writers" includes essays on the works of Cardinal Newman, James Joyce, Flann O'Brien and Mary Lavin. Among contributors are Colm Tóibín, Joseph O'Connor, Declan Kiberd and Caroline Walsh.

Fermanagh: Inishcorkish, the sixty-one acre island in Lough Erne close to Lisnaskea, has been sold to Enniskillen man Pat O'Doherty . Meanwhile, a second island has gone onto the market; Edergole comprises seventeen acres with the only building being the remains of an old house.
Galway: No more boarders in Tuam college. A two-hundred-year-old tradition is ended, as the last sixty-one boarding students of St Jarlath's College in Tuam are leaving their school within the next two weeks. The school will still be open to day pupils.

Kerry: Red setter is the bridesmaid of honour
A Tralee couple departed from the usual tradition by giving pride of place in the wedding party to the bride's much-loved pet. Rua, a red setter belonging to Orla Keane, was first pick as the bridesmaid of honour for herself and Kieran Campbell when they were married in St John's Church. The well-behaved setter was dressed in a frock coat to match the bride's dress.

Laois: Celebrations for county's oldest resident
With her 105th birthday this past week, Nellie Troy, resident of the St Vincent's Hosptial in Mountmellick, is the county's oldest inhabitant. Ms Troy was born in 1900 in Bracklone Street, Portarlington. Her recipe for a long life is hard work and eating plenty of fruit.

Meath: Summer solstice wedding on Tara
The longest day of the year was a very special day for Dawn Arrington from Arizona. During the Summer Solstice Festival at the Hill of Tara she was married to her fiancé, Partholon MacPhárlain, in a traditional hand-holding ceremony carried out by her druidic circle.

Monaghan: New all-Irish school opens in Carrickmacross
Mary Hanafin, Minister for Education and Science has officially opened the new all-Irish school Scoil Rois in Carrickmacross. It is the first all-Irish school in the region.

Sligo: New walkway for Lough Talt
The walkway will allow visitors an uninterrupted route around the lake. Information on the history of the lake as well on its flora and fauna has also been incorporated into the project.

Wicklow: The country's tallest trees in Wicklow
It's official: Co. Wicklow has the tallest trees in the country. The fifty-six metre tall Douglas fir in Powerscourt Gardens, Enniskerry, half the height of the Dublin Spire, is the country's tallest tree, three Douglas firs in Avondale are in second, fourth and fifth places and Shelton Abbey and Glendalough are proud to have Sitka spruce trees in the eighth, ninth and tenth places.

News from all over:
New York - The World Monuments Fund has named the "Wonderful Barn" in Leixlip, Co Kildare, as one of the world's 100 most endangered monuments. The Barn, built in 1743, is an unusual conical shaped building with the stairs ascending upwards around the exterior. It stands 73 feet high with 7 floors. The grain was hauled up through a circular hole in the centre of each floor. It was then spread out on these floors to dry and was later packed into sacks for winter storage. A flight of ninety four steps winds round the exterior of the structure. Built by the widow of Speaker Connolly, Laura Catherine Connolly, in 1743, it was constructed primarily to provide employment for the poor. Secondly, to store grain for the O'Byrnes and O'Tooles who would come down from the Wicklow hills to steal and forage for food.

New York: Harrington wins Classic title
The Dubliner holed an epic putt of over 60 feet to eagle the final hole to seal a one-shot triumph in the Barclays Classic at Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y. What a great round it was to watch. Well done, Padraig!

From the mailbag:
Maura writes: I am seeking knowledge of an old Irish structure. I believe it is called "The Archway of Flaa", built in 1466. Can you shed any light where I might find a picture and more information? Thank you kindly.

Eileen O'Shea writes: I am looking for the author of an Irish proverb I found while reading Tales From Old Ireland by Malachy Doyle. "A tune is more precious than birdsong, and a tale more precious than the wealth of the world."

Edie Cavanaugh is still trying to find a poem or saying. A friend was shopping and was looking at a bowl, with the bowl was a slip of paper with an "Irish Wedding Legend" that is to be given with the bowl. I have been trying to find the "Irish Wedding Legend" do you know the poem/saying or where I can find it. My friend said it was quite lovely.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Bernadette O'Leary Enzmann writes: My grandfather's name was Joe O'Leary & he was born 1888 in Baltimore, Maryland. I believe his family was from Cork. He married my grandmother Mary Tuite. They have both since passed on but I was wondering if the lady Laney O'Leary, who asked about Irish music was related to my grandfather in any way. I would appreciate any information of any kind. Thanks!

Links of the week - and Blogs, too!
Att: Seniors - save on trips to Ireland and elsewhere

Thanks to our dear friend Hartson, here are four great links to share with you:

An Irish Blessing-Pass it on...and on

Your longevity
This is pretty interesting. Watch the age prediction at the top left of the screen change as you answer each question.

Ireland's Eye
This is a very interesting site with lots to cover, so hang on tight, for this whirlwind ride. In the middle of the page there are articles of interest. Then on the side menu there is a ton of interesting subjects.

Kiddie Records Weekly
Welcome to Kiddie Records Weekly, Classics from the Golden Age. Their purpose is to share those classic stories with you and your children, or your grandchildren. Come here to listen to these classics with them. This site is a treasure, don't you think it is time to go treasure hunting?

Fiddler's Retreat - a unique holiday experience
Week long courses with daily tuition on Irish music; participants will also be escorted on http://www.fiddlersretreat.com

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 blithering - on with the update...
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
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. George Bernard Shaw
Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.
George Bernard Shaw
This is from our good friend Eileen McTiernan - thanks , Eileen!
A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up. In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies. The head monk, says, "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son." So, he goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot. So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall, and
wailing, "We forgot the "R", we forgot the "R" His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old abbot, "What's wrong, father?"With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, "The word was 'celebrate'."
Help us keep your newsletter free. Please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
We've recently combined all of our reader's contributions on to one page. The Perfect Pot of Tea, Pour the Perfect Pint, Growing Shamrocks, etc. We invite you to submit your own story relating to Ireland (humorous, factual or imaginative), reminiscence or fond memory. We are always looking for traditional poems, toasts, proverbs, blessings, or song lyrics. Family recipes and traditions are also appreciated. Thank you to all who have contributed to our page over the years!
In the meantime, we hope you are enjoying the Summer so far. We also hope you'll stop by and see what's new, including a smart new design of the Guinness Pint Glasses as well as two types of Irish Wildflower Seed direct from Dingle, Co. Kerry. Both great for the summer season. Please click:
http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?lollysmith+wSpfhS+index.html ==================================================================

1. On July 4, 1921, Eamon De Valera ordered the Stars and Stripes to be flown over Dublin? It was to "emphasize the principle for which we are fighting."
2. On the eve of July 4 in the Centennial year of 1876, an in Irish couple in New York named their new-born American Centennial Maloney?
3. On July 4 in 1905, the equestrian bronze statue of Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher, leader of the Irish Brigade in the Civil War and later secretary and acting governor of Montana was unveiled on the Capitol grounds in Helena?
Want to see your name in our next newsletter? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following:

1. West of Ireland Summers
2. Magpie Cottage: Summers in Ireland
3. When Summer's in the Meadow

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
And now, riddle people, here's a repeat of our last cranium cracker: What question can't be answered by yes?
Molly's Irish Imports will be closing up shop on July 31, 2005, so that Molly can spend more time with her family. We sincerely appreciate all of the wonderful friends we have made through Irish Culture and Customs and will remain loyal readers, just like you. Please help Molly move her remaining inventory of authentic Irish jewelry, gifts, woolens, books and music. All purchases over $25 receive free shipping with lots of items on sale. Check out the fine driving caps for men. Or get a set of official Guinness beer glasses. There are lots of great gift ideas but hurry before they are gone! Stop in today at www.irishmollys.com <http://www.irishmollys.com> .

1. Article - Lords of the Curragh Ring
2. Article - The Galway Races: Where the Pint is the Unit of Currency
3. Article - Ladies' Day at the Galway Races
4. Article - What the Twelfth means to me
5. Article - Watching the Weather on St. Swithin's Day
6. Letter of the month
7. Culture Corner - Glendalough
8. Circle of Prayer - Our 8th Novena in this cycle began on June 29 and ends on July 7th. Please continue to pray or meditate on behalf of Russ' mother, Kristy and Steve, Pauline in England, Hartson, Graine, Molly, and so many others who need our spiritual support. We also hope you will remember our military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world. We ask that you especially think of a local young man, Matt Maupin, who was captured well over a year ago, Paul, Jason & Ashley, the sons of friends, and also the three grandsons of Mary Sigrist. We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer. This time last year, many of you will recall that Bridget was critically ill in the cardiac ICU with heart failure and a stroke. Forty days later, she was home and on the mend. God listens and He answers.
9. June Trivia Contest. Due to cyber gremlins wreaking havoc with our emails, we have extended the deadline to Tuesday, July 5th at midnight. Have you seen the wonderful shamrock photo being offered as a prize? It's by one of our subscribers, Jim Crotty, who is a professional photographer. We loved it so much we bought one for ourselves - especially when we found out that he had grown the shamrocks from seeds we had given to him because he had made a donation (and the seeds were from Lollysmith, one of our favorite sponsors. How's that for serendipity?! Take a look: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
10. Irish Incense - a brand new product in our Shops ireland; now you can recall the memory of "a turf fire in the cabin" - or the pub. Check it out:

We'll be dusting off a piece that Bridget wrote a few years back about July 4th picnics at the Haggerty homestead; we'll also be reprinting the article on that Yankee of a doodle dandy, James M. Cohan. Other bits and pieces are in the work, too. A new recipe, new blessing, new quotation and more. The lesson for the month is a re-run as well with words and phrases all about summertime. As always, we'll be posting the good news from Ireland every day, and we'll post the history for the day. In general, we'll do whatever we can to keep you coming back to visit. Our stats are way down which isn't surprising at this time of year, but you can help us improve our numbers with just a quick visit every day. Go raibh maith agat!

So there you have it until next time. If you'll be celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, we hope it's a joyous occasion. Also, if you're getting married in July or that's when you tied the knot, here's the Irish verse:
"They who in July do wed
must always labour fro their bread."

To all of our friends in the United States, we hope you enjoy a safe and happy J4th of July. To all of our friends everywhere in the world, 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
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.
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter or on the Wild Geese website. In fact, the Irish Heritage email group and the Wild Geese have joined forces to bring you a massive listing of Irish events all over the world! To subscribe to the list, send your e-mail address to group moderator George Trainor, at george@thewildgeese.com. The group's postings go out every other Friday and Saturday, in five separate e-mails, covering Irish history, myths and legends, news, jokes, Irish (Gaeilge) lessons, recipes, and more. Organizations, please alert them about your upcoming events, e-mail events@thewildgeese.com, fax: 208-978-9998. Deadline: The third Wednesday of the month for the following month's edition. Also visit The Wild Geese at:

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

Dublin, Ireland - through July 9
Galloglass Theatre Co's new production of The Sanctuary Lamp by Tom Murphy is in Dublin as part of its national tour until July 9 and then continues around Ireland to complete its tour until July 23. The play has stellar cast which includes, Douglas McFerran and Frank Kelly (who played Father Jack in the Channel 4 TV comedy Father Ted, has been promoted to monsignor in this explosive play.).
For more details, contact Conleth:

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

Studio City CA - Saturday, July 9 at 8pm or Sunday, July 10 at 2pm
An Claidheamh Soluis / The Celtic Arts Center
4843 Laurel Canyon Blvd (one block north of Riverside Drive)
"The Beauty Queen Of Leenane is an absolute cracker. The extraordinary achievement of this play is that it is wildly funny, deeply affecting and grotesquely macabre all at the same time. During it's most potent scenes you don't know whether to laugh, cry or gasp with horror." Charles Spencer, the Daily Telegraph
For details, please click

Ronan is back on tour in the USA!
July 9 - Ocean Grove, NJ - The Great Auditorium
July 10 - Cohasset, MA - South Shore Music Circus
July 19 - Westbury, NY - Westbury Music Fair
July 23 - Tampa, FL - Ferguson Hall
For more details and the latest news about Ronan, please click

Midlothian Texas, Oct 28-30
O' Flaherty Irish Music Workshop s - instruction on traditional Irish instruments such as Tin Whistle, Bodhran, Flute, Bouzouki, Guitar, Fiddle, Uilleann Pipes, Harp, Hammered Dulcimer, Concertina, and more, There are also classes on Gaelic Singing & Dancing. "Master classes in fiddle will be taught by Liz Carroll, drop-D guitar by
John Doyle, Uilleann pipes by Jerry O'Sullivan and Irish Bouzouki by Roger
Landes, four of the most accomplished Irish musicians living in America..."
For more details, please click


These are from one of our most prolific contributors, Hartson - God bless him!

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.

A backward poet writes inverse.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.

What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.

She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.

A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.