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Greetings and blessings to all,

Grand to be back once again and we hope this edition finds you all in good spirits, good health and good company. After one of our uncomfortable hot and humid spells, the last few days have been near perfect. It's lovely to be able to go outside without wilting.

As usual, it's been a very hectic week in the Haggerty household, but enjoyable all the same. Russ redid the index on the site and we hope things are a bit easier to find. We're also experimenting with something called "ad sense" - a program created by Google. So far, it's not making much sense at all. They're supposed to put ads on our pages that match the content, but we've seen ads for Claddagh jewelry on the Clay Pipe article and other strange combinations. We'll leave it for a while and see how it goes.

Well, here we are at the last week in August and we have forgotten to mention the Irish rhyme for those getting married this month:
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.
We'll try to remember to include the rhyme for September a bit earlier in the month!

We continue to watch movies with Russ' mother in the evening; the outstanding one for this past week was The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. We thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation starring Colin Firth, Judi Dench and Rupert Everett; it's well worth renting or borrowing from the library.

In news from Ireland:
Holy smoke! While we acknowledge that smoking can be hazardous to one's health, it seems to us that an Irish minister is going overboard when he voiced concern about the effect of the smoke from incense on alter servers. Dr Jim McDaid said that the health of altar boys and girls is being put at risk from the use of burning incense, particularly at funeral services.

As of this coming Monday, motorists in Ireland will be heavily fined if they or their passengers are caught without their seatbelts on. Heavy fines will also be levied for anyone caught over-indulging and, in what we think is a dumb idea, happy hour has been made illegal. Anyone else starting to feel that Ireland is getting as bad as the USA with all these new laws and regulations?

On a happier note - in Clifden, Co. Galway, thousands flocked to the International Connemara Pony Show, in Mayo, a huge crowd showed up for each day of the annual Novena at Our Lady of Knock Shrine; in Clonmel, 150,000 are expected to attend Fleadh Cheóil na hÉireann 2003, the international Traditional Music show this weekend, and in Tralee, it's been several days of apprehension and excitement for nearly 30 hopeful colleens. We should know who the 2003 Rose of Tralee is very shortly.

Hard to believe, but Co. Leitrim, the county with the State's smallest population, and smallest traffic volumes, is set to have its first traffic lights in Carrick-on-Shannon. We don't think the sheep will pay attention!

In news closer to home
Forest fires in British Columbia have again forced thousands from their homes; we have many Canadian subscribers and we hope and pray you and your fellow country-men are safe.

From the mailbag:
Last week, we included a warning about hydroplaning. Bill Smith from North Carolina writes: "Curiously enough, I also experienced hydroplaning when I landed an airplane after a heavy shower at the airport. It was my first - and last - water landing. First indication of trouble was when the airplane started to drift downwind across the runway. My response was, of course, to deflect the rudder to the upwind side of the plane, thus correcting the track until the runway was actually contacted. It was, though, the smoothest landing I'd ever made!"

And here's another auto-related word of caution from Stu Fralick who is the host of the Irish Show on WYOS in Binghamton NY, every Sunday from 9:00 am to 11 am. "Laws have been passed in several states regarding the use of hand-held cellular phones while behind the wheel of an automobile or truck. However, there have been several claims around the country which have been the result of cellular phones in the area of refueling. Do not carry your cellular phone on your person while putting gasoline in your tank. Should the phone ring - well you can imagine a conflagration. Gasoline fumes are extremely volatile and a tiny spark - even from static electricity, can ignite gasoline vapor and then the gasoline in the tank itself."
Thanks for the tip, Stu - and also for offering to send us a donation. In fact, we should take this opportunity to thank Mary, Eileen and James for helping us out as well. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.

Subscribers Debbie and Hartson both sent in news of an upcoming celestial event. On August 27, Mars will appear as big as the moon. Astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years. (After Bridget's recent mistake with telling you about a solar eclipse that took place several years ago, you can be sure this item has been checked and double-checked).

Anne wants help with naming her new horse-farm. It's a small operation - just 12 stalls - but she'd like our suggestions for an appropriate name. She didn't specify whether or not it should be Irish or Irish-related, but we're fairly certain she'd like ideas along those lines.

Irene writes that His Holiness Pope John Paul is specifically requesting that we pray for him in the knowledge that his time among us is limited. He made this request about 3 weeks ago when praying the Angelus before the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. Irene asks that in addition to praying for His Holiness, we forward the request on to our family and friends.

And Audrey sends in this perspective on the word billion. A billion seconds ago, it was 1959. A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive. A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes at the rate Washington spends it!

Link of the week: Just for fun, visit this site, enter your name and then you'll find out who your magic "good person" is; Russ' is Fire Saturnfrost and she's a troublemaker! Bridget's is Field Reedfrost and she's a panpipe player and enchantment singer. What's yours?

Enough of the blitherin' and blatherin' - on with the update:
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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
Me darlin' was sweet, me darlin' was chaste
Faith, an' more's the pity.
For though she was sweet an' though she was chaste,
She was chased all the way through the city.
Anonymous Irish verse, circa 1790
This one was sent in by Eileen in NY. It's not Irish, but it did make us laugh, so we're making an exception. Thanks, Eileen.
A company, feeling it was time for a shake-up, hires a new CEO. This new boss is determined to rid the company of all slackers. On a tour of the facilities, the CEO notices a guy leaning on a wall. The room is full of workers and he wants to let them know he means business. The CEO walks up to the guy and asks, "And how much money do you make a week?" Undaunted, the young fellow looks at him and replies, "I make $200.00 a week. Why?" The CEO then hands the guy $200 in cash and screams, "Here's a week's pay, now GET OUT and don't come back!" Feeling pretty good about his first firing, the CEO looks around the room and asks "Does anyone want to tell me what that lazy lout did here?" With a sheepish grin, one of the other workers mutters, "Pizza delivery guy from Domino's."
1. Scotland's capitol, Edinburgh, is named after the Irish nun Edana who founded a convent there in the 6th century?
2. In 1986, a 900 year old cheese was found perfectly preserved, in a Tipperary bog?
3. Cahirciveen in Kerry was once so inaccessible from the rest of Ireland that it was quicker to send newspapers and mail from Dublin via New York?
"I was born on a storm-swept rock and hate the soft growth of sun-baked lands where there is no frost in men's bones."
Liam O'Flaherty
Last week's quiz:
1 The Speckled People - Hugo Hamilton
2. Haunted Ground - Erin Hart
3. Round Ireland with a Fridge - Tony Hawks

A salute to this week's literary sleuths:

Patricia Edwards
It's difficult thinking of a favourite site as I don't really go into many - apart from your own of course! (Thanks, Patricia!)
How about this one:
which is a wonderful site to look at quotes, poems, nature, etc.

Helen Dowd
Many interesting stories and a myriad of writers can be found at Mission Magazine: http://missionmagazine.tdlofton-ministries.net
Check out the archives for hundreds of stories and articles on a multitude of subjects: children, recipes, pet lore, family, inspirational, Bible study, and much, much more. My website: http://occupytillicome.online-ministries.com is undergoing a change, but it is still visible at this link for now.

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland, who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? The McKiernans of Irish Books &

Norma L Mackay
My favorite sites are:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms (of course) and http://www.celticattic.com
Norma writes that she thought the quiz was a bit too easy this time; hope we've made the next one a bit more challenging!

Hartson Dowd
An absolutely fascinating site of myth, folklore, and stories containing heaps of esoteric material. Did you know that 'caisean uchad' was a kind of Celtic pass-the-parcel game in which a burning sheep's head was passed around a group of revelers? (No, Hartson we didn't know that - and you're right - it is a fascinating site! Well worth a visit!)

Niamb Flanagan
Irish American Cultural Institute - Coming Events, Programs & Opportunities, Chapters:

Christy Shanahan
Whether you are an experienced golfer or would just like to try some golf on your next visit to Ireland, this site will help you make the most of your trip

Michael O'Connor
If you don't understand the news about the north of Ireland, read the full story here:

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

Maureen Sweeney
I found Irish Culture and Customs through Doras; if you're looking for an Irish site, this is the place!

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. Skerrit
2. Connemara Pony
3. Our Lady of Knock

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:
I have two arms, but fingers none. I have two feet, but cannot run. I carry well, but I have found, I carry best with feet OFF the ground. What am I? A wheelbarrow.
Bill Smith was first with the answer; that said, many of you wrote to say it was too easy. So - we hope this week's will be a bit more of a stumper:
Four men sat down to play,
They played all night 'till break of day.
They played for gold and not for fun
With separate scores for everyone.
When they came to square accounts,
They all had made quite fair amounts.
Can you this paradox explain,
If no one lost, how could all gain?
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. New article: The Connemara Pony
3. Featured Article: John Feeney - the "other" Irish tenor
4. Featured Article: Meet Oliver Sach - New Zeland's #1 Irish Dancer
5. Featured Article: The Rose of Tralee - How the Ballad Came to Be
6. Featured Article: A Tribute to Liam O'Flaherty
7. The Irish Kitchen - Freckle Bread and Irish Marmalade
8. Basic Irish: We're already done horse-racing, so this time we focus on horse-shows: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/3Focloir/1Home.html
9. The Library: Our featured book this week is Artemis Fowl, a best-seller in Ireland
10. Circle of Prayer. Our fifth Novena in this cycle continues through August 29. The sixth one will begin next Friday. We haven't received any new requests this week, however we hope you will continue to keep Eileen's brother, Bob, in your prayers; C.J. who had a special operation, 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. Knowing that we hold all of these people in our thoughts and hearts is, of itself, a great comfort to them
11. Irish News: Headlines for the past week
12. This month in Irish History:
13. Trivia Contest. Time's running out! All entries must be in by midnight, August 31, whatever time zone you live in

Bridget's working on a piece about the shrine at Knock in Mayo. Time permitting, we'll try to catch up with other promised articles as well. The blessing for the week is posted, there'll be a new quote on Wednesday and a new recipe from Hartson on Friday. Each day, we'll update the news and headlines.

So there you have it for another week. We hope you've enjoyed this edition and do feel free to pass it along to your family and friends. Just a few odds and ends before we take our leave. We had another nice surge in new subscribers. A warm welcome to our list and many thanks for joining us.

It's a bank holiday weekend in the British Isles - if you live there, we hope you have fun and if you're on the road, safe journey!

We didn't receive any answers to our reader's question about the custom of going for a swim in the ocean on August 15 - the Feast of the Assumption. We'll keep looking.

On the outs with a loved one? You have the chance to make amends on August 25th which is designated Kiss and Make-up Day.

Until next time, an Irish blessing for you and yours: May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow. May the soft winds freshen your spirit. May the sunshine brighten your heart. May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you. And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

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
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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
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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. And many thanks 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: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html
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 Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada until Monday, August 25. Her next port of call will be Halifax, Nova Scotia, from August 29 to September 2. For more details, please click:

Dublin, Ireland
August 13-August 30
The Other Side -Project Art Center, Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
This is an exciting new play by award winning theatre company ReadCo. A unique theatrical experience, it divides not only the characters on stage but the audience as well so that we can only see and hear things from the perspective of just one character. So bring a friend to The Other Side but don't sit together. You'll have a lot to talk about later. For more info, please contact Bernadette Larkin:
bernadette@writerscentre.ie or http://www.writerscentre.ie

Let Me Take You To the Island 2003
The Rathlin week-end will take place on the 5th -7th September

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

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: