Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to nearly 2800 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/pupubchive.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,

We hope this edition finds you and yours in fine fettle and fit as a fiddle. As for ourselves,as Bridget' s mother would say, it's been "horrible" hot and so damp, you could grow mushrooms in your shoes. Unfit weather for man, beast, or machines; so we took a bit of time off from our normal routine. hence the tardiness of our latest tome. We didn't receive any worried about you messages, so it would seem that you are all getting used to our somewhat erratic schedule - God bless you.

Despite the lack of communication and/or changes to the website, we continue to add to the subscriber list. Quite a few new readers since last time and we're now up to nearly 2800 members. If this is your first edition, many thanks for joining us and please feel free to share our ramblings and writings with family and friends.

It's hard to believe that many of the children are headed back to school this coming week and some are back already. We wish all the students who are returning a successful year. And how about those who are leaving? How did you do on your exams? The leaving certificate results came out this past week and we hope and pray you all did well and are accepted at the university or college of your choice. Well done to you in any case for all your hard work.

When she should have been working on the newsletter, Bridget was having too much fun listening to midwest radio out of Mayo.
A request came in for a Boxty recipe and Herself sent in the one we have in our Irish Kitchen. Imagine how tickled we were when the presenter Brendan read the recipe in its entirety on the air - including that great old verse:
"Boxty on the griddle.
Boxty on the pan,
If you can't make boxty,
you'll never get a man."

That was followed up with a witty woman from California who sent in the following:
"No boxty on the griddle,
No boxty in the pan,
I learned to make a tortilla
and I won my Spanish man.

If you think about it, you could make all kinds of substitutions that would work just as well, e.g.
I learned to make a French baguette
and won my Parisian man.
We're sure you'll think of many others!

Have you visited for Helen Dowd's web site yet? She and Hartson are two of our most loyal subscribers and great contributors to our newsletter. Helen has a very inspiring site that has dramatically moved up through the rankings, thanks in part to many of you who have voted for her. We asked about multiple votes from the same people and you can vote as many times as you want - as long as you wait a respectable amount of time in-between. So please do visit:

Enough of the blather - on with the update!
News from Ireland


Law Updates: Despite periodic updating, the Irish government has decided that about 1,500 old laws on the books need to be repealed and replaced with modern simplified versions. Some Irish laws are almost 1,500 years old; a few still allowing criminals to be put in stocks or whipped in public as punishment and the Lands of Idiots & Lunatics Act which dates from 1325 allows property to be seized if you are committed to an insane asylum. A new Bill to completely reform the statute books is expected to become law this autumn. Hmmm...the Lands of Idiots and Lunatics Act might be a good one to keep judging by what's happening around the Hill of Tara these days.

Hurling: Kilkenny vs Galway
Only in Ireland could a newspaperman wax this poetic:
Old men with leathered faces and eyes which have seen everything twice, stood and gazed out at the turf upon which the tribes were dancing. The best game ever, they said, the best game ever.
To read about this magical clash of the ash, please click

From around the counties

Antrim: Fiddler on the wall
A black and white mural of fiddler Sean Maguire has been unveiled at Iveagh Parade off Belfast's Falls Road. The launch was part of the West Belfast Festival and was accompanied by musicians from Ceoltoiri Loch Lao. Sean Maguire's widow, Maureen, came over from Liverpool for the unveiling.

Cavan: Lughnasa Festival in full swing
Ballyhugh House, Arts and Cultural Centre is the main venue for the annual Lughnasa Festival, at which the highlight to date has been the appearance of Martin Hayes, the Clare fiddle player, who was accompanied by the American guitar player Dennis Cahill in a concert last week.

Galway: Cruinniú na mBád Festival
Up to 100 unique Irish boats, the Galway Hookers, once the workhorses of the coast of Connemara and North Clare gathered for a weekend of racing and celebration at the Gathering of the Boats festival in Kinvara, Co. Galway. Since its revival in 1979, the festival has become one of the most unique and successful weekend festivals in Ireland.

Kerry: Ponies highlight Kenmare Fair
After last year's event people in Kerry and West Cork requested that the fair include small horses for children to look at and ride, with a view to purchase by their parents. Hundreds of ponies answered the call and the fair was flooded with an equine army. The ponies were enjoyed and even sold during the day. The fair also coincided with reunion day in Kenmare, where people who used to live in the area during the 1960s returned home.

Wicklow: Rare sighting off Bray
In what is an unusual occurrence for the north of the county, a single dolphin was spotted recently in the waters off Bray Head. When the dolphin was noticed , a large crowd gathered to watch it swimming between the Harbour Wall and Bray Head. For much of the time it was only a few hundred metres away and it remained in view for some thirty minutes, after which it made its way back to deeper waters.

From around the world:
Cologne. Germany: More than 1500 Irish young people and no fewer that eight Irish bishops attended this years Catholic Youth rally.

New York: Seen up and down the fashion runways for this fall is Kelly Green for the ladies and tweed jackets with elbow patches for the fellas. While
wearing green on St Patrick's Day has become de rigueur, you won't see too many Irish people wearing it because it's said to be unlucky. But, the tweeds and patches sound right on (if it's a genuine Donegal tweed, that is!)

From the mailbag:
Mary sends an invitation to the Irish Book Club which meets at Ireland's 4 Provinces at 6:45 pm at 105 W. Broad St., the first Mon. or Tues. of the month to discuss a pre-selected history or fiction book. Tues. Sept. 6 we are discussing As I Was Going Down Sackville St., by Oliver St. John Gogarty. We would like to start a second group at Mary's Backyard Restaurant, 729 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Bethpage, LI, NY.
Email me for details: mvburke2@yahoo.com.

Jesper writes: We have been informed that there has been shot a movie at Loftus Hall, seemingly called "Loftus Hall". We are a danish band recently home from a tour in Ireland, and we would be delighted if you could help us with some information on this or even how to obtain a copy of this! We are looking forward to hearing from you:-)

Joan writes: I am inquiring about my Great Grandfather, Alexander Laurence Morrison ( A.L.). Do you have any information on his involvement w/ The St. Louis Fenian Brotherhood? The " WolfTone" Circle?

Angie writes: Do you happen to know of any wells in Ireland that are said to cure cancer? Thanks.

Brian writes: I was trying to research if there was a celtic symbol for trust. I came across a symbol which was an upside down celtic trinity knot. Here is the link where I found the symbol:
Is that accurate and if not, is there an Irish symbol for trust?

Maurice, our diehard King fan from Dublin tells us that a Kerryman, the Emerald "Elvis", is to headline the Rose of Tralee TV Show, he will be singing Elvis songs! (That's Presley - not Costello)

Martha writes: I had a chuckle when I was reading this last newsletter, thinking about the "Siege of Ennis". I lived in rural West Cork for three years and was a member of the Allihies I.C.A. At one of our many nights out I was enjoying the dancing but I was a bit confused about the "Siege of Venice". Darn, I thought, I know the Irish emigrated everywhere but this is the first time I ever heard about them laying siege to Venice!

Links of the Week
The Story of Poitín

From the Irish Page - Poetry by Anthony Raftery
He was blind like Carolan was as he lost his sight due to smallpox. He traveled around and was always welcome at the big houses who were wanting entertainment. He wrote in Irish but here are a couple of his poems translated for you:

Are you from Wicklow?
Co. Wicklow inspired John Millington Synge, gave refuge to freedom fighters, welcomed lovers to its hills and valleys and continues to provide tranquillity, peace and relaxation to its many visitors. The loves, battles, disputes and matches of the Garden County have been commemorated in songs (some almost forgotten), which have long been part of the oral tradition of mountain men and mountain women. To celebrate and preserve the songs and the stories behind them, it has been decided to mark the upcoming four hundredth anniversary of Wicklow with a project that will endeavour to remember honour and preserve some of its precious stories and ballads. But donations are needed to fund and complete the project. To learn more, please click
http://www. mattielennon.com

Scam the spammers!
Can anyone afford not to check this one out? We received this link from several readers; it's all about scamming the scammers :

A reminder: The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:

Last but certainly not least - our on-going gift to AG in California and all friends to animals, please click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal. Thanks!

It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:

Enough of the blitherin' - on with the update:
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Writer's Quiz
The Week That Was
The Week Ahead
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Mo Mowlam. RIP
A popular figure in Blair's government when his Labour Party swept to power in 1997, she won universal acclaim for her perseverance in working towards the Good Friday agreement that set out a blueprint for power-sharing between Protestants and Catholics in strife-torn Northern Ireland. The achievement was magnified by the fact that she was recovering from treatment for a brain tumour at the time. Who could ever forget during the tortuous discussions leading up to the signing of the agreement, Mo Mowlam relieving the tension by famously removing her wig. Outspoken and often brutally honest, she told the Rev., Ian Paisley to **** off, she called McGuinness 'babe, and she once said she carried two wigs with her because she was always losing one. Mo Mowlam - will we see the likes of her again?
You can't kiss an Irish girl unexpectedly. You can only kiss her sooner than she thought you would. ______________________________________________________________________________
JOKE OF THE WEEK Thanks to Hartson for this week's good laugh:
Have you ever told a white lie? You are going to love this -- especially all the ladies who bake for church events.

Alice was to bake a cake for the church ladies' group bake sale, but she forgot to do it until the last minute. She baked an angel food cake and when she took it from the oven, the center had dropped flat. She said, "Oh dear, there's no time to bake another cake." So, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake. Alice found it in the bathroom ... a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and covered it with icing. The finished product looked beautiful, so she rushed it to the church. Before she left the house, Alice had given her daughter some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the minute it opened, and to buy that cake and bring it home. When the daughter arrived at the sale, the attractive cake had already been sold. Alice was beside herself. The next day, Alice was invited to a friend's home where two tables of bridge were to be played that afternoon. Before the game, a fancy lunch was served, and to top it off, the cake in question was presented for dessert. Alice saw the cake, she started to get out of her chair to rush into the kitchen to tell her hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, one of the other ladies said, "What a beautiful cake!" Alice sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say, "Thank you, I baked it myself."

Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox every week - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
There was no winner in last Saturday's Lotto jackpot of €1,954,504. Wednesday's jackpot is heading for€2.5m. The numbers were 15, 1, 18, 30, 38, 28 (bonus 21).

The Irish Lotto It's one of the most trusted lotteries in the world and all you need are 6 numbers to hit the Irish Millions. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! If you want to win it, you've got to be in it, so visit their totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details - and best of Irish luck to you!
1. On August 21, 1791, Richard Daly, a theatre proprietor in Dublin, made a bet that within 48 hours he could introduce a new word into the English language? After the evening performance, Mr. Daly distributed cards to all the staff with the word written on it, and instructed them to write it on walls all over the city. Thus 'quiz' entered the language.
2. The making of poitín (put-cheen) was once considered to be such a terrible sin that it could be confessed only to a bishop?
3. It's considered unlucky to point a finger at a boat? But, it's acceptable to use a thumb or the whole hand!
First off, the answers to our last one:

1. Dyke Duffy and the Dog Days of Killarmon by Jo Belle Coffman
2. The Islandman by Tomas O'Crohan
3. Handy Andy - A Tale of Irish Life by Samuel Lover

A round of pints and applause for our literary sleuths:

Patricia Edwards

Helen Dowd
Whether or not you like spiders, you may enjoy this: A Lesson From the Spider:

Hartson Dowd
Please vote for Helen; thank you.

Catherine White - Toledo, Ohio
I would like to recommend the website www.midwestirishradio.com http://www.midwestirishradio.com You can listen to radio broadcasts from Ireland right on your computer. They also have their weekly schedule and you can request songs right from the comfort of your own home. It's wonderful to listen to the DJ's and you even get the local news from around the area. (We heartily agree, Catherine!)

Thank you again for a lovely newsletter with great insight and interesting bits of information. I must tell you that I've been chosen as a contestant to appear on the South African version of the Weakest Link, however in my audition I had 2 Ireland related questions, and in all honesty, it's things I've learned through your newsletter that helped me ace those 2 questions.

Want to see your name in our next newsletter? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following: Hint - all books are in our library:

1. A Long, Long Way
2. The Sea
3. This is The Country
Get an extra entry in the Trivia Contest if you know what these books and/or their authors have in common.

ED. NOTE: Many books have the same title; please keep in mind that we are looking for Irish authors or Irish-related books.
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite - preferably Irish. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
But before we get to that that, did you work out our last noggin nagger?
There was a green house. Inside the green house there was a white house
Inside the white house there was a red house. Inside the red house there were lots of babies.
Q. What is it?
A. A watermelon.
Once again, our riddle people were in great form, but first in was Ms. Marshall. Good job!
And now for this week's brain bruiser:
Four jolly men sat down to play,
And played all night till break of day.
They played for cash and not for fun,
With a separate score for every one.
When it came time to square accounts,
they all had made quite fair amounts.
Now, not one has lost and all have gained -
Tell me now, this can you explain?
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. Please click:

1. Article: Haymaking In Ireland Long Ago
2. Article: Season of the Corn
3. Article: The Annual Novena at Our lady of Knock
4. Article: In Tribute to Liam O'Flaherty
5. Article: Lughnasa - Celebrating the Harvest
6. The best movie of all time? This still proving to be a popular topic. Have you sent your vote in yet? The Secret of Roan Inish heads our poll at the moment. What's your favorite?
7. Basic Irish - Weights & Measures
8. Kids' Ireland - A Wolf Story
9. The Irish Kitchen - Fraughann Fool
10. Letter of the Month - a new selection for July - scroll down to the bottom of the home page.
11. Circle of Prayer - Our 4th Novena in this cycle began on August 13 and will continue through August 21. The fifth one begins today. For your convenience, we have posted the starting and end dates for all nine Novenas on the Circle of Prayer page.
In addition to those we have listed recently, please include the names of Sr.Eithne O'Casaide, the family and friends of Phil Connelly RIP, and also the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we ask that you join with us in prayer or meditation for all who need our spiritual support, especially those in uniform all over the world - the military, police officers, firemen, and so many others. We know first-hand the power of prayer - it does work!
12. August Trivia Contest. As they say in Ireland, you can't win it if you're not in it. All entries must be received by midnight, August 31st , no matter which time zone you live in. We still have not heard from the winner of the July contest. We'll keep you posted (or have another drawing!)

A new month looms. As soon as we recover from being total laggards, we'll get right on new content. In the meantime, please do visit the site every day to read the latest headlines from Ireland - all positive news - no murder or mayhem allowed. We also post the history for the day - sorry, we can't guarantee there won't be anything negative there! As always, we've posted a new blessing, we'll have a new quotation on Wednesday and we'll be reprinting our recipe for yellowman - irish Toffee, in honour of The Oul Lammas Fair which is coming right up.

So that's the long and the short of it until next time. If you'll be celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event in the coming days, we hope it's a joyous occasion. And for all of you, may God bless you and yours, keep you from all harm and wrap you in the mantle of His ever-lasting love.

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
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:

Los Angeles An Claidheamh Soluis/The Celtic Arts Center
For tickets or more information, please visit
http:// www.celticartscenter.com.

July/August 2005 - Dublin Ohio
Aisling: An Artist's Vision of Ireland. A solo show by Amy Funderburk. For more details, please click

Cincinnati, Ohio - August 26-28
Celtic Retreat - Sisters of Charity Motherhouse, 5900 Delhi Road, Mt. St. Joseph.
For more information, please call 513-347-5449 or visit the website: http://www.srcharitycinti.org/spirit.htm

Dun Laoghaire 26, 27, 28 August 2005 - Festival of World Cultures
Now in its 5th year the Festival, a Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council event, carves a special groove on the global world music circuit and is Ireland's foremost intercultural event. With more than 160 events in 40 venues and featuring artists from 50 countries the Festival entertains audiences in excess of 160,000 with its diverse and expanding programme of music, circus, theatre, dance, club nights, markets,
exhibitions, workshops and activities for children.

Pittsburgh Irish Festival September 9 -11
For a complete schedule of events, please click

Ireland - September 4-15
Workshop: Dear Artists and Art Supporters: We have had a spot open up for the upcoming workshop to Ireland, so it's not too late for artists or art supporters to take advantage of this rare and exciting opportunity! For further information and photographs, go to
http:// www.AmyFunderburkArtist.com
and follow the link.

Los Angeles - September 4
An Claidheamh Soluis/The Celtic Arts Center Celebrating 20 Years in Greater Los Angelesproudly presents GAELIC STORM in a special one-night-only concert at the Ford Amphitheatre. local musicians Ken O'Malley & Dan Conroy, and Ciúnas open.For details, please click

Washington State - August & September
The "International Joyce" exhibition on the life and times of James Joyce, is on display during August and September at the University of Washington's Suzzallo Library (Kane Hall end). The UW exhibition, organized by the Irish Heritage Club and the Seattle-Galway Association, will be accompanied by a display of the UW Library's Joyce Holdings.

Washington State - September
Basic and Intermediate classes in the Irish language will start in September at 12600 NE 85th Street, Kirkland, Washington. For details, call Aidan Maher at 425-823-1553 or email thepaycock@juno.com.

Houston, Texas - Sept 12 - St, Paddy's Irish Open
Cost is $125 per person and $500 per foursome, which includes lunch, dinner, and green fees. For information, call Sean Kearns at 832-978-4192 or Email Irishmkk@aol.com

Houston, Texas -October 29th And October 30th
Learn Irish Folk Songs In Their Original Language. Taught By Award-Winning Vocalist, Jonquele Jones. Contact Pat At 713-271-0784 or patpmcmahon@aol.com
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.
This has been in our files for ages - we're not sure who sent it to us; whoever you are - go raibh maith agat! Especially the groaners!

1. Two peanuts walk into a pub. One was asalted.
2. A jumper cable walks into a pub. The publican says "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."
3. A sandwich walks into a pub. The publican says, "Sorry we don't serve food in here."
4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
5. A man walks into a pub with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."
6. Two aerials meet on a roof, fall in love get married. The ceremony wasn't much but the reception was brilliant.
7. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"
8. "Doc, I can't stop singing 'The green, green grass of home.'" The Doctor says, "That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome." "Is it common?" says the patient. "It's not unusual."
9. Two cows standing next to each other in a field, Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," said Dolly. "It's true," exclaimed Daisy, "No Bull."
10. Two hydrogen atoms walk into a pub. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive.."
11. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bs before.
12. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.