Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to going on 3,500 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:
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Greetings & Blessings to all,
We hope this somewhat overdue edition finds you fit as a fiddle and on the pig's back. We are delighted to welcome all of our regulars and say a special hello to those of you who have just signed up. Many thanks for joining us and please feel free to share our meanderings and musings with your family and friends.
It's been an eclectic period since last we wrote. We were all set to go to a very politically incorrect theme party last Saturday when we had to cancel because Bridget suddenly became ill; perhaps it was God's way of punishing us for being a wee bit over-enthusiastic about putting together appropriate costumes? Or make that inappropriate! In any event, the next day she was fine and we ended the long Labor Day weekend at the annual middle son's picnic. Overall, it was a good weekend and we hope all of our readers in the USA enjoyed the same.
Meanwhile, we're sure all of you must be as upset as we are over the untimely death of Australian icon Steve irwin. We have enjoyed watching his wild escapades for years and we will miss him very much - but no doubt, no-where near as much as in his native Australia where he is a national hero. To all of our readers down under, we are very sorry for your loss. The world sympathizes with you and especially with his wife and children.
On a lighter note, did it matter to us who won the hurling final last Sunday? Up to a point, most definitely. We're not from either county - Kilkenny or Cork - and we weren't raised with a hurley instead of a spoon in our hands. Never mind. What was fascinating was the history surrounding the two finalists. We didn't know, for example, that they are the most often matched teams in this last game of the season. In any event, just in time for the game, Bridget figured out how to tune it in live over the internet. Truly a riveting hour or so of commentators getting so excited they broke into Irish! In the end, Bridget didn't know who to root for. Could Cork make it three in a row? But how about those Kilkenny Cats and the jibes they'd been taking all week. Wouldn't that make them more than a bit dangerous? In the end, we just listened and tried to learn what it's all about. Perhaps next year, we'll have enough knowledge to make a better informed choice as to which is the better team.
As we suspected might happen, our decision to re-instate subscribers who, for a variety of reasons weren't getting the newsletter initially resulted in this huge spike in our numbers - close on 500! But then the bounce backs began. We're now where we think we're supposed to be; going on 3500. And we're going to permanently remove the ones that were "permanent errors." It's a sad reminder of the time we sent out a newsletter right after 9/11, 2001. There were dozens of undeliverables and when we checked back, we knew these were regular readers - people who had been signed up for a long time and now, all of a sudden had disappeared. Unless you tell us who you are and where you are from, it's very difficult to identify you by your email address. But, this was a group who had sent messages to us - however, we knew them only by nicknames and a few personal details. Just not enough to find them in the phone book. After that awful day, we sent out a barrage of messages - and never heard back. We can only assume the worst. All of us seem to have some personal connection with what happened on 9/11. So in our links section, you will find a URL that will connect you to a collection of tributes. It seems so hard to believe that it's been five years. But life goes on. Father Mychal of the NYC fire department, the son of immigrants from Louth, was the first officially recorded victim of the attacks. He once said "when you lose some one you love, we should just pray for everything they brought into our lives."
Father Mychal would not want us to be maudlin, he would want us to move on; and he would be the first to say, enough of the blather - on with the update.
You can help us keep our newsletter going with a visit to our good friends at the Irish Lottery
Two winners shared in last Saturday's 's drawing of nearly 3 million Euros. Was one of them you? And there were NO winners of Wednesday's drawing. It has always been one of our fantasies that a subscriber will scoop the big one - but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win it, if you're not in it. So enter today. It's incredibly easy to play, you don't have to live in Ireland, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! Click here for full details:
IN THIS ISSUE:
From the Mailbag
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week that was
The week that will be, God willing
Events & Classifieds
Leave 'em Laughing
ED NOTE: Did you know that we keep two week's of links to the latest news from ireland on the web site? What follows are the tidbits that don't always make the national papers. For those, read on. For links to today's stories, click here:
Go west. young man - or woman
A survey has revealed that 65% of those who wish to relocate to the West of Ireland are under 35 years of age; it has been hailed as a significant boost for the region.
Seattle's Starbucks has only been in Ireland since February 2005 and sales have exceeded all expectations. Its Dundrum Town Centre store on Dublin's Southside has averaged sales of $7,000 daily.
Val Joyce's last Late Date
Val Joyce, one of Ireland's most well known broadcasters presented his last 'Late Date' radio programme on RTÉ Radio 1 from 11.25pm last Friday. Joyce, who began his broadcasting career presenting sponsored programmes including the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes programme, has been presenting 'Late Date' for over fifteen years.
FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES:
Antrim: There's more to Ballycastle than dulse and yellowman
A big wheel to rival the London Eye was a feature of this year's Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, at least that's how locals view it as they have named it the Ballycastle Eye. What is believed to be the oldest market fair in Ireland had the town filled with horses, ponies and sheep, as well as street entertainers. Running for almost four hundred years, the Auld Lammas Fair is believed to originate from an order by Sorley Boy MacDonnell to celebrate his son's birthday.
Dublin: One of the capital's greatest traditions will make another splash this Saturday. Hundreds will take part in the largest Liffey swim in the history of the event which first took place on July 22, 1920. The 1923 race was immortalised in a famous painting by Jack B Yeats. It starts at 1pm from the Civic Offices. The finishing line is at the Custom House.
Galway: Sheen among first students to register at NUI Galway
The Hollywood actor Martin Sheen was among the first of 15,000 students to officially register as an arts student at the National University of Ireland Galway last Friday.
Kildare: There's more to life than golf
Another world-class sporting event is taking place in the county. On the Carton House estate in Maynooth the 2006 World Casting Championships are attracting more than two hundred competitors from twenty-five countries including the thirteen-times world champion, Steve Rajeff from the US. The event, for the first time being held in this country, is expected to attract some one hundred thousand spectators; it carries a 200,000 prize fund. A separate competition, the Emerald World Masters Youth Trout Fly Fishing Competition, is being run in conjunction with the Dublin Angling Initiative.
Kilkenny: Kilkenny fan hits the roof
John Delaney from Kilrush, on the Freshford to Urlingford Road, has gone one better this year in his support of the county hurlers. Each year John completely repaints his house in the county colours, but this year he has also painted both the roof and the chimney. In addition, the walls are adorned with the names of all thirty players on the Kilkenny panel, and John is now looking for an unbreakable mannequin to sport a jersey worn by Christy Heffernan in the final of 1982. All of John's eleven children are avid hurling fans and even the family pet, Rose the Alsation, has her own jersey to wear.
ED NOTE: Many of the above news items are from The Irish Emigrant. Space does not allow us to print them all. To read every item, please click
SPONSOR: You can help us help us pay the expenses for producing this newsletter when you visit our advertisers, including our good friends at Lollysmith:
With cooler weather on hand in the northern hemisphere, tweed caps from Donegal have once again become very popular and we expect that when the snow flies, Connemara socks will be the fashion in demand for the feet. To check out these authentic Irish products and many more - Please click
FROM THE MAILBAG
Eileen McTiernan sent us this warning about where women put their purses. While we may know what's inside our purses, do you have any idea what's on the outside? Purses were put to the test - for bacteria - with surprising results. Women carry purses everywhere; the office; public restrooms; the floor of the car; grocery shopping carts and so on. Test results showed that purses are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them was shocked.; nearly all of the purses tested were high in harmful kinds of bacteria that can cause eye infections, serious skin infections, and salmonella and e-coli found on the purses could make people very sick. So the moral of this story - your purse won't kill you, but it has the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on placeswhere you eat. Use hooks to hang your purse up at home and in restrooms,and don't put it on your desk, on a restaurant table, or on your kitchen countertop.
ED. NOTE: Our daughter has another good reason not to put your purse on the floor. According an old superstition (not necessarily Irish), it's unlucky. "Handbag on the floor, money out the door."
Damon & Ned wrote:
Love the website, lots of things of real interest on there. My father is from Fethard, Co. Tipperary and we sat and looked through this and many irish sights looking for a way of translating some English into Irish we were wondering if you could be of any help. The words we want to translate are "May your God go with you." This was an easy one for Aideen, our native irish speaker. It's Go n-eirí do Dia leat.
Pronounced: guh neye-ree dhuh yee-ah li-ath. Literally: may your God rise with you.
Have you ever heard, "she has 400 brains" or "Milk the hares and give the turtles a haircut"? What do they mean and what country do they come from?
ED. NOTE: We don't have the foggiest idea! Australian, perhaps? We're certain they're not Irish!
Your Own Ireland Podcast Contest
Bridget is on the edge of her seat as this is the week, the three winners of Your Own Ireland will be announced. Did you enter? If she isn't one of the winners, she's hoping and praying one of you will be. Click here on September 12th to find out who's going to Ireland
Enter the Tayto Song writing Contest
The competition is celebrating its 25th year and the search is on again to find Ireland's most talented songwriter!
New look for Galway International Oyster Festival web site
The 52nd festival is right around the corner and if you can't be there in person, here's the next best thing:
Confused about all the Oyster Festivals?
So were we - There are two! One in Galway City which takes place at the end of the month and the other one is in Clarenbridge which takes place this weekend. Here's the link for Clarenbridge:
And here's the link for our article about the Galway City festival:
Links of Heaven Guide to Golf
Ireland - there is, quite simply, no better place to play golf. We hope that this web site and the Links of Heaven Guide to Golf Journeys in Ireland will assist anyone who is embarking on the journey for the first time, rekindle the memories of those who have already been, and be of interest to anyone with a love for the game.
Top 7 FREE golf games on the internet
Here are some of the best free online golf games you'll find on the Web. Some require Shockwave, others are Java applets. Ranging from sophisticated to basic, they all have three things in common: They're fun, they're free and they're a great way to waste time.
Drive yourself crazy with this tennis link
If your golf game doesn't do it, this most certainly will! With many thanks, we think, to our dear friend Audrey, in California:
Halloween Horror Writing Contest
This one came in from Hartson - thanks! Write a horror or thriller story for this Halloween writing contest. The story can have a Halloween theme or you can use your imagination to create a story that will put your readers on edge. Cash prizes! For complete details, please click
The Irish seem to really enjoy Turkey
And we don't mean gobbling the bird. We heard from a gentleman in the country of Turkey who has observed that many Irish people spend a lot of time there. He handles some very nice looking properties and thought there might be some interest from our readers. If you would like more details, please click
or write to Feyiz at
Do you know of a woman who can't afford a mammogram? Here's how you can help. Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if they get enough clicks , they'll be able to donate at least one free mammogram a day to underprivileged women. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:
Last but certainly not least - our on-going gift to AG in California and all friends to animals, please click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal. Thanks!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
QUIPS, QUOTES , PROVERBS & TOASTS
Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick. ~P.J. O'Rourke
A BIT OF THE WIT & AN OCCASIONAL CURSE
I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles. ~G.K. Chesterton
JOKE OF THE WEEK
The Pope met with the College of Cardinals to discuss a proposal from Shimon Peres, the former leader of Israel. "Your holiness," said one of the Cardinals, "Mr. Peres wants to determine whether Jews or Catholics are superior, by challenging you to a golf match." The Pope was greatly disturbed, as he had never held a golf club in his life. "Not to worry," said the Cardinal, "we'll call America and talk to Jack Nicklaus. We'll make him a Cardinal, he can play Shimon Peres. We can't lose!" Everyone agreed it was a good idea. The call was made and, of course, Jack was honored and agreed to play. The day after the match, Nicklaus reported to the Vatican to inform the Pope of his success in the match. "I came in second, your Holiness," said Nicklaus. Second?!!" exclaimed the surprised Pope. "You came in second to Shimon Peres?!!" "No," said Nicklaus, "second to Rabbi Woods."
DID YOU KNOW
1. The Portmarnock Hotel was originally owned by the Jameson family, famous for their Irish whiskey? It's now better known for its world-class golf course.
2. County Sligo Golf Club is one of the oldest courses in Ireland? It was founded in 1894 on land leased from Henry Middleton, an uncle of W.B Yeats.
3. There' an Irish association for left-handed golfers? Yes, it's true! The Irish National Association of Left-Handed Golfers (NALG) was formed in 1986. to promote, encourage and foster the game of golf and in particular left-handed golf throughout Ireland.
DO YOU KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS?
To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:
1. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
2. The Irish Hedge School by Antonia McManus
3. Dare you ripple my pond: The autobiography of an Irish school boy by Louie Byrne
A round of pints and applause for our list of literary sleuths:
This time, I nominate: Wysiwyg's Irish Web Site for Irish Terriers, Irish Things, Notable Women of Computing, St. Patrick's Day and Instructions for Life.
I am doing some changes on my site. I've made a "Guest Author's" page. I'm not finished, but you can have a look if you'd like. Hit on the "Literary" tab at here
A house is not a home unless it is governed by a cat!
Rita Roche, Baltimore, MD, an avid reader
And now for this week's quiz - Who wrote:
1. Emerald Fairways and Foam-Flecked Seas: A Golfer's Pilgrimage to the Courses of Ireland
2. Golfing in Ireland: The Most Complete Guide for Adventurous Golfers
3. Emerald Gems: The Links of Ireland
Send in your answers and if you get two out of three correct, we'll list your name and web site (or your favorite Irish web site) in our next newsletter.
But first, the answer to our most recent craniun cruncher:
Q: Can you complete this sentence using words which are anagrams
of each other?
At the school recently, only the____students could solve
the ____ equation.
A: At the school recently, only the brainy students could solve
the binary equation.
Well done to Sue Dorr from Fallsington, PA who was first in. Honourable mentions go to Chris O'Flaherty for :
Only the smartest students could solve the mattress equation
Hannah Beck for
Only the ablest students could solve the stable equation.
There may have been a couple of others but we can't find them at the moment. Please let us know and we'll put you in for next time.
And now for our next noggin' nagger"
Robert and David played several golf matches against each other in a week. They played for a pizza at each match, but no pizzas were purchased until the end of the week. If at any time Robert and David had the same number of wins, those pizzas were canceled. Robert won four matches (but no pizzas), and David won three pizzas. How many rounds of golf were played?
THE WEEK THAT IS/WAS:
1. Article: Making a Match in Lisdoonvarna
2. Book Review: To School Through the Fields
3. Poetry Corner: Louis MacNeice
4. Article: Putting Out the Hare, Putting on the harvest Knots
5. Basic Irish: Revised & Expanded Back to School Words & Phrases
6. Irish Kitchen - Oysters
7. Kid's Ireland - Irish children learning through film
8. Jokes department. We now have seven pages of jokes. You can't have heard them all? Take a look and if you have one we don't, please send it in. Thanks!
9. Our new quiz for September is posted. All entries must be in by midnight September 30, whatever time zone you live in:
A drum roll please for our August winner, Dorothy Spackman, USA who selected the Shamrock print by Jim Crotty . To see more of Jim's wonderful works, please click
10. New Letter of the Month. This one came to us by way France. We love reading your letters, so please keep them coming; tell us about your selves and what you love - or not - about Ireland and the Irish:
11. Circle of Prayer: Our second Novena in this cycle began on September 4th and continues through September 12th. This past week we heard from Jack whose wife Jane has uffered three strokes and can't talk or walk. He sounds like a man of great faith and we ask that you remember him, his wife and their children in your prayers and meditations. Perhaps, God willing, they will be granted a miracle as did the family of Baby Joseph. Against all odds, he is home and appears to be doing well. Also coming home after six months in hospital and then in assisted living is our dear friend, Mickey. They still need our continued spiritual support: as do the relatives and friends of Joseph Peter, Heather, the Stout family, the George O'Connell family, Pauline Dewberry; Scott H; Jane Fitz; and George R who just went theough extensive treatment for skin cancer. And in this week leading up to the 5th anniversary of 9/11, we ask that you remember all of those who work night and day to protect us - our fire-fighters, police officers, health workers, and all of our men and women all over the orld who spend every waking moment in defence of our homelands, wherever that might be. Ultimately, we hope and pray that the Good Shepherd of us all will grant our world leaders the wisdom to find peaceful solutions to confrontations world wide. To visit our Circle of Prayer page, please click
12. New in the margin: Looking for something truly special to give your Soul Mate? Check out the "mon Anam Cara" Ring in the right-hand margin of the home page:
THE WEEK THAT WILL BE, GOD WILLING
We have lots of ideas up our sleeves; whether or not any of them make it on to the page remains to be seen; but for certain, we will be posting a new blessing on Sunday, and a new quotation on Wednesday. We will also be posting the major headlines every day and updating the history for the date.
So there you have it until we write again. Between now and then, if you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event may God grant that it be filled with joy. Also, for all of our grand readers in the USA who also happen to be grandparents, we hope you enjoy your special day this coming Sunday!
And please know that on Monday, September 11 which coincidentally happens to be Patriots Day, our thoughts and prayers will be with all of our our American readers. As always on this significant anniversary, the images of what happened are forever burned in our brains and still weigh heavy on our hearts.
May the Good Shepherd of us all wrap you and yours in the gentle mantle of his love 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!
WHEN MANY GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
We are very grateful for donations received recently from Jack & Jane Donahue, Pam Reily-Harvey and Angela Fahey - go raibh maith agat! We are thankful for whatever you can send; whether it's a penny, a dime or a dollar, Every penny does make a difference. Our snail mail address is
Bridget & Russ haggerty
5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
YOU CAN ALSO SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS IN OTHER WAYS:
We make a small commission on all products purchased through the advertisers on our site and in this newsletter. Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to click through the links and buy something!
We also make a few pennies when you click through Ads by Google. You'll see them in the right-hand margin of just about every page. Click through whatever interests you and at the same time, you'll be helping us keep the site and this newsletter free. Last, but certainly not least, if you know a business owner who would like to advertise with us, either in the newsletter or on the web site, we are always eager to promote any and all Irish-related products and services. Details can be found here: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Advertise.html
Again, many thanks in advance for your help!
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there we will be happy to list it here.
Philadelphia, PA - September 7, 8, 9
The Philadelphia Céilí Group presents its 32nd Anual Festival; Traditional Irish Music & Dance All Events at: "The Irish Center" Carpenter Lane & Emlen Street. Free parking Check it out at:
Temple Bar, Dublin - August 30-September 10
GÚNA NUA & CIVIC THEATRE In association with Origin Theatre Company, New York present TROUSERS OR PANTS By Paul Meade & David Parnell. For details, please visit:
Dublin, Ireland - September 8 through October 4
Dublin International Theatre Festival. As with the Fringe, there's just to much detail to do it justice here, so please visit their great web site:
NYC. NYSeptember 8-October 15
On offer right now: "John Ferguson," a play about a poor, pious Ulster farmer facing eviction. For more details, please visit
Cincinnati, Ohio - Beginning September 9
Riley School: Classes in Ballad Singing, Irish Language, Irish Singing. You can still register for these and other great classes in fiddle, tin whistle, bodhran, concertina, harp and more at:
Cincinnati Ohio - September 15
Silver Arm, one of the area's most popular Celtic groups will be performing at Dilly Deli in mariemont. For more details, please visit their web site:
Dublin Ireland - September 9 through September 24
Dublin Fringe Festival We have received an avalanche of press releases from the many groups performing at this year's festival. We don't have the space to print them all here, so please visit the official web site to learn what's happening:
Alora, Spain - September 11 through November 16
The Gallery in Casa Correos will be featuring the works of our very dear Dublin friend and world-renowned artist Roger Commiskey! For more details, please visit:
Hollywood, Florida - September 16
IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB - 6:30pm-10:30pm
American Legion Hall, 211 North 21 Avenue, Hollywood
Cold cuts buffet; Music by Jimmy Shannon
Call Patrick @ 954-522-4948 or Maureen @ 954-432-8292
Email Patrick @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ireland, September 13-October 8
Working Class heroes Tour starring Ronnie Drew, Don Baker and Finbar Furey
For complete details, please visit:
Lexington KY - September 30-October 1
Celtic Fest 2006. For compete details, please visit:
LEAVE THEM LAUGHING
Flannery was not much of a church-goer, as he played golf with the same foursome every Sunday. Father Reardon the parish priest, admonished him. Aw, Father," said Flannery, "All's I wants to know is if you think there are any golf courses in heaven." "I don't know, but I'll check with the Pope," said Father Reardon. The next day Father reported bck to Flannery. "My son, I've got good news and bad news for you. Here's the good news. The Pope says there are plenty of courses in heaven; beautiful fairways, greens smooth as silk, and it never gets dark, so you can play twenty-four hours a day." "That's wonderful!" exclaimed Flannery, "but what's the bad news?" Father said, "Well, you've got a tee-time tomorrow morning at 9:00!"