Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1400 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
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Greetings and blessings to all,

It's a brilliant Sunday morning here in Ohio. For the last few days, mother nature has given us an early harbinger of fall - even the leaves on the horsechestnut in the front yard have started to turn. While we don't relish the thought of winter just around the corner, we do welcome the cooler temperatures and the blessed relief from the humidity.

Our long Labor Day weekend was a lot of fun - especially the boisterous cookout at our son's new house. We were the old codgers in a group that included people we've watched grow up - many of them now married with children of their own. But we aren't ready for the rocking chairs yet! Anyway, we hope our readers in the USA and Canada had as good a time as we did.

As we write this, we're listening to Ciaran MacMathuna's morning show on RTÉ. It's our regular routine and a lovely way to begin the day. If you have speakers on your computer, you can tune in the program here: http://www.radio1.ie/weekend/mocheolthu/

In news from Ireland:
At the Hillsborough Oyster Festival in Co. Down, a Norwegian man ate 187 oysters in three minutes to smash the Guinness Book of World Records. Rune Naeri had to swallow more than one per second!

A life-size bronze sculpture of the legendary seanchaí, the late Eamon Kelly, whose art was "theatre of the fireside", was today unveiled by his widow Mrs Maura Kelly in his native village of Gneeveguilla, near Killarney, Co Kerry.

The new owners of Lissadell plan to restore the estate to "all its grandeur and finery, as it was at the turn of the century." The nine-strong crew of Cassidy Walshes, plus their Irish wolfhound and golden retriever, will be in Lissadell for the New Year, waking up to views of Sligo Bay, Knocknarea and Ben Bulben.

Fans of the silver screen blockbuster "The Quiet Man" are pressing to have an Irish language version of the film released. Fan club members will gather at Ashford Castle in Cong, Co. Mayo, at the end of this month to launch the campaign. Fans from all parts of Ireland, England and Scotland are expected to travel to Mayo. Already over 1,000 fans have signed up and people are joining daily on the website www.quietman/celebration.com

The Lost Bed And Breakfast: Three Italian tourists spent their Irish holiday with no luggage after they misplaced their Dublin B&B for four days. The three men, who are in their 20s, checked into a B&B before visiting the Guinness Store House and driving around to find a place to eat. After dinner, they realised they had no idea where their B&B was located. They were forced to sleep in their rental car for two nights, having failed to find a B&B with a green door across from a school on a street with no trees. Despite having lost their luggage, passports and airline tickets the tourists travelled to Kilkenny and Waterford for the next two days where they say they had a wonderful time. Meanwhile their plea to the Tourist Victim Support Office was linked with a report from the owner of the "missing" B&B about the luggage which had been abandoned in her home. The gardaí were, however, unable to contact the men since they had left their mobile phone chargers back at the B&B. By Thursday the men were located and reunited with their belongings. Their missing landlady, Sheila Prior of Charlotte House in Manor Street, offered them free accommodation until their departure on Saturday. The three are said to be already planning their next holiday, in Ireland.

In news closer to home:
Newfoundland Bishop Named 'Person Of Historical Significance.' Irish-born Catholic bishop Michael Anthony Fleming was one of 11 new designations announced by Heritage Minister Sheila Copps.

From the mailbag:
Lori writes: Are you aware of a tradition when drinking, to clink the shot glasses together, touch the table with the glass, then drink? Lori went on to say she was trying to find the origins of the custom. We're not familiar with it - anyone have an answer?

In response to our question about bathing in the ocean on the Feast of the Assumption, Mary writes: My contribution is that all through my childhood, my mother, my aunt and I always went down to Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY to go into the ocean "for the cure in the water." I think it was an Irish thing to do - all my relatives, including my parents were from Ireland - and really had faith in that old belief. However, one of the priests here in my parish had to go down to the Jersey shore to wet a towel for his father to wet his face. His father was born in Poland!

And in response to the warning about using a cell-phone at the gas pump, Jolene sent in the following link which apparently debunks the theory. But we're not taking any chances! Check it out for yourself:

Links of the Week:
Want to practise your Irish? The International Irish Language Meetup Day takes place on the first Saturday of every month. The next one is October 4th. For more details, please click

Cottage for sale in Sligo. Our friend Christy alerted us to the sale of her in-law's home. If you'd like to take a peek, click:
(Look for Carokil Lodge)

In the bargains for students department, a new Irish website is under construction which will offer coupons for savings and discounts on a wide variety of items. Click here:

Enter to win some great prizes here: http://www.visitdublin.com/competitions

And finally, click on this one for some interactive fun:
If you figure out how it works, please let us know.

Enough of the blatherin' - on with the update:
Help us keep this newsletter free - please contact this week's sponsor: Celtic Brands
We are delighted to spotlight the company that generously provides the prize to those winners of our Trivia Contest who choose the salmon. Currently, they have a great sale on a traditional Irish breakfast. To find out more, please click:
And tell them Bridget & Russ sent you.
A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
Sheridan was strolling along St. James Street one day when he happened to meet two scions of nobility. "I say, Sherry," commented one of them, "we have just been discussing which you were - a knave or a fool. What is your opinion?" Sheridan took each of them by the arm and replied: "You might say I am between the two!
This one's from Hartson - thank you!
A Catholic priest, a Protestant minister, and a Jewish rabbi were discussing when life begins. "Life begins," said the priest, "at the moment of fertilization. That is when God instills the spark of life into the fetus." "We believe," said the minister, "that life begins at birth, because that is when the baby becomes an individual and is capable of making its own decisions and must learn about sin." "You're both wrong," said the rabbi. "Life begins when the children have graduated and moved out of the house."
1. The medieval purgatory on Lough Derg, Co. Donegal was believed to be one of the two entrances to Hell, Mount Etna on Sicily being the other?
2. Squire Watson, an eccentric 18th century Kilkenny landowner, had such an unshakeable belief that he would be reincarnated as a fox that he had a luxurious marble den built in the grounds of his estate in anticipation of his return?
3. In 1922, at the height of the Irish Civil War, Free State Brigadier Patrick Paul escaped from his Republican captors in Waterford disguised as a mother superior?
This is so awful, we couldn't resist:
Flo was fond of Ebenezer
"Eb," for short, she called her beau.
Talk of tides of love, great Caesar!
You should see them - Eb and Flo. Thomas Daly (1871-1948) __________________________________________________________
The answers for last week:
1. Road to Lisdoonvarna - Charles De Lint
2. Savoring Ireland: Cooking Through the Seasons - Nuala Cullen
3. A Handbook to Lisdoonvarna and Vicinity - P. D

A round of pints and applause to our literary sleuths:

Marsha Hosfeld
Nominated site: http://www.hotirishman.com
Great product, nice people, irresistible advertising slogan: "Take Home A Hot Irishman"

Patricia Edwards
Another favourite site of mine (apart from your own of course) is
which gives a list of Irish Names - very handy for those new arrivals in the family!

Hartson Dowd
A good site with reference to our book titles: Burren Smokehouse, Ltd. Kincora Road Lisdoonvarna, Ireland. Direct from The Burren in the west of Ireland, you can order from their broad selection of organic and smoked Irish Atlantic salmon products and gourmet gift baskets.
Create your own hampers or food baskets by picking from a variety of gourmet products. They will gift wrap and deliver it to you or your choice of destination.

Helen Dowd
Need an angel today? Visit my website at: This link will open up to the choices of reading. Friends, I would love it if you would sign my guestbook.

Judith Flynn
O course you know, Bridget love, that your site is my favorite however if ye are too humble to toot yer own horn then feel free to put Hart's/Helen's site by my name (and didn't I enjoy the analysis of my colors last week!)

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland, the McKiernans of Irish Books & Media have the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland:

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts. Something for every name on your gift list! Featuring Babies, Children and Our Everyday Heroes

Norma Mackay
As usual, my favorite site is Irishcultureandcustoms.com; this week I choose as my other favorite, http://www.shopirish.com.

Pat Murphy
Biddy McGraw's the Pacific Northwest's only authentic Irish pub and the home 'O the "perfect" pint':

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

1. The Irish Way: A Walk Through Ireland's Past and Present
2. Down All The Days: The Life & Music of Shane MacGowan
3. It's A Long Way From Penny Apples

1. Hint: All three titles can be found here:

Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite. 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
Last week's answer is: Stable
As a whole, I am safe and secure
Behead me, and I become a place of meeting
Behead me again, and I am the partner of ready
Restore me, and I become the domain of beast
We received dozens of correct answers, but the first one was from Carina McCoy. Well done!

Now for this week's head-banger which was sent in by Eileen from New York. We think this one is a real toughie:
What is the only 11 letter word in the English language that ends with the same three letters it begins with?
Note to Bridget's brother, Christopher O'Flaherty - no, there isn't a prize for getting the correct answer to the riddle.
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. New: Article - The Old Lammas Fair
3. New: Article - "Spakes from Wicklow"
4. New: Culture Corner - Thor Ballylee
5. New: Basic Irish - words and phrases related to higher education
6. New: The Irish Kitchen - Beef braised in Guinness
7. New: Kids' Ireland - The Story of Finn
8. New: Kids' Ireland Culture Corner - Annie Moore
9. New: Video Library - My Left Foot, the story of Christy Brown who died in September, 1981
New: Trivia Contest. The winner of our August contest is Rocky Brooks of Canada. Contratulations, Rocky - we hope you enjoy your salmon. The September contest is posted and all entries must be received by midnight on 9/30, whatever time zone you live in.
Featured: Article - Making a Match in Lisdoonvarna
Featured: Article - The Galway International Oyster Festival
Featured Article - The Weavers of Donegal
Ongoing: Circle of Prayer. Our sixth Novena in this cycle ends today and the seventh one begins on 9/8. Eileen writes that her brother Bob isn't doing well; please remember him in your prayers as well as C.J., Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, Priscilla's family, and our military personnel stationed all over the world, especially in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us in prayer or meditation each day
On-going: Irish News: Headlines for the past week
On-going: This month in Irish History:

It's becoming apparent that most of our major site updates take place each weekend - we're just way too busy with income-producing efforts the rest of the time; however, we are going to try and get new articles and features prepared by the Friday or Saturday and then update the home page by Monday morning. Many on-line magazines appear to follow this schedule and it seems to work well. So, last week's promised articles on the Old Lammas Fair as well as the one on how they talk in Wicklow will make their appearance on the homepage tomorrow. In the meantime, Bridget is researching a piece on Ireland's Holy Wells. As always, we'll have a new blessing (posted today) and a new quote on Wednesday. A new recipe will go up next weekend.

That brings another edition to a close, except for the usual few bits and pieces. Happy Grandparent's Day, today! Read a book on International Literacy Day - 9/8, hug your favorite stuffed animal on Teddy Bear Day - 9/9, grill a few wieners on Hot Dog Day - 9/10, whip up a few shakes in celebration of National Chocolate Milkshake Day - 9/12, and indulge your passion for chocolate and/or peanuts on International Chocolate Day and Peanut Day - 9/13. It's also positive thinking day, so buy a lottery ticket:-)

Until next time, we hope this week'es issue finds you on the pig's back. We'd also like to thank all the new subscribers who signed up since last we wrote. If you've enjoyed our musings and meanderings, please feel free to copy and forward them on to your family and friends.

In the meantime, may you and yours enjoy a week filled with blessings and may God grant you the good health to enjoy them.

All the best - and as they say in Ireland - mind yourself!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Please help us keep this newsletter free by visiting the following affiliate: A Piece of Ireland
Located at Lissacreasig, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland Macroom Land Trust is offering1-foot square plots of land for sale. Each purchase comes with a certificate suitable for framing, photographs from the area, and a 4- page history. A perfect gift for weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays, A Piece of Ireland is also ideal for
promotional or business thank-yous. To learn more, please click here: http://www.apieceofireland.com/index.php?id=1083
Note: Many thanks to the twenty or so readers who have made a purchase!
Did you enjoy reading this edition of our newsletter? Voluntary donations to help keep us going are always welcome. Please send whatever you can to: 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224. Even a dollar will help - And many thanks in advance for your kindness!
Events & Classifieds
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click:
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com

The Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
She is in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada until 9/9. For more details, please click: http://www.jeaniejohnston.ie/voyage.asp?id=3

The Houston St. Patrick's Parade Commission Presents:
2003 St. Paddy's Irish Open - Monday, September 15, 2003
2PM Shotgun Start - Four Man Scramble & Green Ball Contest at Augusta Pines, 18 Augusta Pines Rd, Spring, Texas. For more details, please write: Irishmkk@aol.com

A Celtic Pilgrimage to Sacred Ireland
Sept 30 - Oct 8 2003
Learn. Pray. Observe. Meditate. Eat. Explore. Experience the beauty and mystery of Ireland in a unique spiritual journey to the Emerald Isle's sacred sites. For more details, please click

Aran Isles - Traditional Basket-Making - a journey into the past!
6 - 13 October 2003
You still can book for this last programme. October is a beautiful exciting month in Ireland, with wild seas, rainbows and ever- changing skies. For more details, please email Elizabeth Zollinger: info@irish-culture.ch

Samhain International Poetry Festival Friday 31 October & Mon 3 November in Gort a'Choirce, Co. Donegal. Email: info@samhainpoetrycompetition.com
or info@maggiedans.com

Wine Courses
Do you know a bit about wine but wish you knew more? The Wine Development Board of Ireland has announced its annual programme of wine courses for 2003/2004. In a major educational programme, the Board is facilitating the delivery of no less than one hundred separate courses, with more than half of these outside Dublin.For more information check out
http://www.wineboard.com <http://www.wineboard.com

Ancient Order of Hibernians Historical Tour of Ireland
January 27, 04- February 4, 04
In conjunction with Our Lady of Knock Division No. 2; Ancient Order of Hibernians, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, please call James V. Magee, Jr., President (513) 621-9660

Texas Dulcimer Cruise - February 5-9, 2004
Galveston to Cozumel on the Carnival Celebration. There will be workshops, jam sessions, talent show and more. These spots will go fast, so book early! Inside cabins are $430.80 pp, double occupancy and oceanview cabins are $480.80 pp, double occupancy. Delesandri Tours, booking agent for this trip Ask for Marcy: 281-535-5703 or e-mail marcy@delesandri.com

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
http://members.aol.com/manusclan/mcm2004.htm or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: