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Greetings & Blessings to all!

We hope this last edition of the summer finds you and yours in fine fettle and fit as a fiddle. And, if you’re a new reader, thanks for joining us. God willing, (and if we’ve done our homework) you will enjoy our musings and meanderings and if so, please feel free to share them with you family and friends.

Homework? Did that dreaded word really appear in the second line of our intro? Indeed, during this past week, another sound has joined our usual morning chorus of doves, finches, , geese, squirrels and crickets - the school bus picking up the student at the top of our dead end street. It arrives, boards its passenger and then starts an infernal beep beep beep until it’s turned around and can head back down our street. Oh well. We count our blessings - at least we don’t live next to a hospital or fire station! In any event, we do wish all students a year of high marks and great reports. We also hope that all those who recently received their senior year final exam results passed them with flying colours. We wish them all well in the future. Onwards.

We hope all of our readers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland enjoyed a safe and happy bank holiday this past weekend and we wish the same to our American cousins this coming Labour Day. It’s hard to believe summer is over although we can honestly say that here in our Ohio Valley, except for a few days here and there, we were spared the usual stifling heat and humidity. Not so these last couple of weeks in Maine where Bridget just returned from her annual retreat with old friends. Last year it was too cold to go to the beach. This year it was too hot! No problem. . As an islander, she was by the ocean and that’s fine by her whatever the weather. One of the highlights of the trip (besides being able to buy lobster for $5.00 a pound! ) was taking the train from Boston to Old orchard Beach which is close to the final destination of Scarborough. The contrast is dramatic as Old Orchard is very much like a Blackpool or Atlantic City atmosphere and Scarborough is simply lquiet and quaint! But back to the train ride. The “Maine Downeaster” really is the way to go if you’re not in a tearing hurry to arrive. The trip takes about two hours and there’s a club car where you can sit and enjoy a meal and a drink. All very relaxing - and very inexpensive which is unusual for New England. We’ve often entertained the idea of moving back there, but ultimately, we have to face the fact that it’s out of reach financially. But God only knows what could happen. Russ’ mystery novel could become a best seller and he makes millions, especially when he sells the movie rights. Of course he has to finish it first.

Before we get on with the update, we’d be remiss if we didn’t make a mention of Senator Ted Kennedy’s passing. When Bridget emigrated to the US in 1963, it was a few months before JFK’s assassination. Since then, we’ve witnessed an amazing number of historic events involving what can only be described as a dynasty. While it is sad to see this particular part of the Kennedy family story come to an end, it was also a joy to see how much good can come about if one is married to the right person. It’s obvious that Vickie brought out the best in Ted kennedy these past 17 years. And it’s also obvious that while the man made some horribly tragic mistakes in his earlier life, he later tried his best to become a good servant of the American people. We were particularly impressed with the eulogies given by his sons at the funeral and it was comforting in a way to feel that the charisma of the Kennedys will continue.

Another passing gave us goose bumps, but received little attention. Have you ever heard of Ellie Greenwich? If you’re like us, we were astonished when we learned what she had accomplished in her relatively young life - she was just 68 when she died following a heart attack last week. Ellie was one of the biggest song writers in the sixties and co-authored huge hits like Goin’ to the Chapel, leader of the Pack and many other chart toppers. Perhaps it’s a combination of her being not much older than us and recalling firsthand all the tunes she wrote that made us feel such a profound sense of loss. Just as American politics lost a giant in Ted Kennedy, so has pop and rock music lost a giant in Ellie. May she also rest in peace.

Enough of the blather - on with the update ...
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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 Is
Leave 'em Laughing
What follows are news clips from around the counties and elsewhere. Links for more news stories can be found on our web site where we post the latest headlines from Ireland every morning and we keep two week's of previous news: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html
And more county news can be found here

GENERAL: Ireland's top 'silver surfers' sought
An advocacy group for older people is looking for Ireland’s top ‘silver surfers’ – those who use the internet and information technology for leisure, learning or enterprise. Age Action’s award scheme aims to celebrate older people who are enthusiastic users of information technology, such as computers, internet and mobile phone.
Whether they are new learners or more experienced IT users, Age Action wants to hear their stories. For more details, please click

Antrim: Open Day at Belfast Cemetery
For the first time in its one hundred and forty year history Belfast City Cemetery held an Open Day last weekend to encourage both Catholics and Protestants to visit their family graves. In addition, staff gave visitors an overview of the many famous people buried in the Falls Road cemetery.

Armagh: Last Saturday for Killylea
For the first time in ten years the Last Saturday demonstration is taking place in Killylea, with the Royal Black District Chapter celebrating its centenary year. Up to six thousand will be attending the parade, with each of the seventy Royal Black Preceptories being accompanied by a band.

Carlow: Mary will represent Carlow in Castlebar
Mary O'Toole, a beef, sheep and tillage farmer from Kilbride, will find herself in the minority when she represents the county at the eleventh annual FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition next week as she is the only female contestant among the twenty-six county representatives competing for the title.

Carlow: Golden Jubilee of grotto to be marked
This weekend the Golden Jubilee of Our Lady's Grotto in Balloon will be marked by Mass and Benediction followed by refreshments in the Church Yard. The grotto, based on that at Lourdes, was officially opened by Father Patrick Brine, Father Tom Donohoe and two missionary preachers. The land on which it stands was donated by Sean Nolan and the construction was largely carried out by Thomas macrocell, his wife Patricia who was principal in the local girls' school, and Annie Nolan from Chapel Gate. Funding for the grotto came mainly from Mr. McCardle though some money was raised through the collection of waste paper.

Cavan: Celebrations for 1959 Cavan team
A reception in the Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell in mid-September will be just one of the events arranged to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the county minor team which won the Ulster title in 1959 and narrowly lost the All-Ireland final the same year. Among the guests at the reception will be Mick Higgins, who played for Cavan during the 1940s and 1950s.

Cavan: Muff holds annual fair
The annual horse fair at Muff, said to be the oldest traditional fair in the country and dating from the twelfth century, took place during the week. What was once a week-long event is now confined to one day at the Crossroads in the hamlet close to Kingscourt. Stallholders arrive from all over the country to offer their wares on the approach roads to the fair, though where once many would have arrived in horse-drawn caravans, now the mode of transport tends to be mobile homes. Muff Fair is primarily an opportunity for selling horses and ponies.

Clare: Richard Harris house in Kilkee sold
The Billows was bought by the Limerick actor forty years ago recently sold at auction for €580,000. Although he owned the house for five years, it appears that Harris only ever stayed there on one occasion.

Clare: Ali invited to Ennis
Muhammad Ali has accepted an invitation from Ennis Town Council to visit the town and to explore his Irish roots. The boxer's great-grandfather, Abe Grady, from the Turnpike Road, left Cappa Harbour in Kilrush in the mid-nineteenth century and settled in Kentucky. Mohammad Ali is due in Ireland later this month and is reported to be  anxious to include a visit to Ennis during his time here. September 1 is the expected date for the visit and Mayor of Ennis Frankie Neylon has proposed that the Town council host a Civic Reception in the boxer's honour. He is also to propose that Ali be named as the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis Town.

Cork: Australian welcome for Cobh cruise ship
Last weekend the three thousand Australian passengers on the Dawn Princess cruise ship arrived into Cobh to a welcome from the town, which held an “Australia Day” in their honour.

Derry: Priest fears loss of Columba name
Father Roland Colhoun of St Columba's Church, Long Tower in Derry city has issued a plea to new parents to choose the name Columba for  their babies in order to commemorate the city's patron saint. Father Colhoun, who says many boys choose the name at Confirmation or are given Columba as a second name, is happy for variations of the name, such as Colmcille or Colm to be used. He is also planning to hold a novena of Masses in Latin towards the end of the year for all babies baptised Columba during the year, since 2009 marks the centenary of the Long Tower church.

Donegal: Ambulance staff member 'launches' island service
It is only a week since Arranmore Island took delivery of its own ambulance, with islanders Jane Murphy and Nora Flanagan having undergone ambulance training on Co. Galway. While the new service was officially launched on Friday by Pat 'The Cope' Gallager, it had actually transported its first patient earlier in the week, none other than Nora Flanagan herself. Suffering anaphylactic shock, she was taken by ambulance to the life boat and then met by another ambulance which took her to Letterkenny Hospital, where she made a full recovery.

Donegal: Blessing of boats at Killybegs
Among the more than thirty-five boats in the port of Killybegs over the weekend was the Irish Naval vessel the LE Ciara which was there at the invitation of the Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation. Taking place at the weekend was the annual Blessing of the Fleet, attended by representatives from the Navy and the fishing community. It was preceded by an ecumenical service in the auction hall on the pier. Following this each individual boat was blessed. Also arriving in the port at the weekend was a cruise ship, the Marco Polo, which brought more than five hundred passengers and crew to the town

Dublin: Star named in memory of astronomers' mother
Dave Grennan from Raheny, an amateur astronomer, discovered a new asteroid last October which was provisionally given the designation 2008US3 by the Harvard-based Minor Planet Centre. Now he has been cleared to name the asteroid after his mother, Catherine Grennan, who died five years ago, though he had to use her maiden name since protocol does not allow him to use any part of his own name. And so the asteroid, which is the first to be discovered in Ireland and named after an Irish person for one hundred and sixty years, is officially known as (215016)Catherinegriffin.

Galway: Inis Mór to have seaplane
A seaplane service, the first in Ireland, is to be established between the docks in Galway and the Aran island of Inis Mór, beginning in February of next year. The service is to be established by the world largest seaplane airline, Harbour Air, which has received planning permission to construct a pontoon off the island's main port at Cill Rónáin. The seaplane will be able to carry up to nineteen passengers. After the launch of this inaugural service Harbour Air plans to roll out further routes including Dublin to Galway, and Cork-Limerick-Galway.

Galway: Waterways race on Corrib this past weekend
What is recognised as the oldest waterways race in Europe began as a round trip from the Royal Galway Yacht Club to Ashford Castle in Cong in 1882 is now undertaken from Cong to the Quincentenary Bridge,. All boats stopped at Kilbeg for lunch before completing their journeys.

Kerry: Real fountain discovered in Tralee
Historian Maurice O'Keeffe claims to have located the original fountain mentioned in “The Rose of Tralee”. According to Maurice, who has been searching for the source for a number of years, it is located at Skehanagh crossroads on the Tralee to Castlemaine road and only two hundred yards from the home of the song's writer, William Mulchinock. Local residents, in collaboration with the Murcor construction company, plan to clean the site of the spring and restore the fountain, which was apparently a popular meeting place for lovers in the nineteenth century.

Kerry: John and Aoife on way to Finland again
John O'Shea from Caherdaniel and Castlecove resident Aoife Desmond will once again be representing Ireland at the World Wife Carrying Championship in Sonkajarvi, Finland next year. The couple earned their place in Finland by winning the All-Ireland Wife Carrying championships held as part of the Sneem Festival last weekend. A total of thirty-one couples entered the contest and John and Aoife won in a time of one minute four seconds. Aoife had to be weighted with four extra kilos as she didn't meet the minimum weight requirements for the contest.

Kildare: Joe made good use of his lottery win
Joe Fennelly from Castledermot, who was one of sixteen people who won €18.9m in the National Lottery last year, was able to indulge his passion for engines with his winnings. Joe bought two Fowler BB1 Steam Ploughing Engines, which date from 1871, and he plans to take one to the Gowran Vintage Rally to be held next weekend. Joe will not divulge how much the two engines cost him but does admit he has spent all his Lotto money. He now keeps them housed and believes they are certainly the oldest pair of such engines in Ireland and there are only one or two in England that would have an earlier date.

Kildare: Barrel in bog reveals surprise
An oak barrel found in Gilltown bog, between Timahoe and Staplestown, by John Fitzharris and Martin Lane was found to contain butter which has been estimated to be some three thousand years old. The two Bord na Móna workers were harrowing the bog when they came across the barrel, which weighs almost thirty-five kilos. They put it in a black plastic sack and brought it out of the bog in the cabin of their tractor. It was collected by Pádraig Clancy from Monasterevin, one of the keepers at the National Museum in Dublin, and is now undergoing a  preservation process.

Louth: Dolphin saved at Annagassen
One of the first council officials on the scene was Gerry McDonald, who said it was the first time they had responded and found a live dolphin. Helped by local fishermen it was replaced in the water and then encouraged to swim out into the deep channel and on out to sea. It was then the turn of the Civil Defence and River Rescue to monitor the shoreline to ensure that the dolphin did not beach itself again.

Louth: Saint links two towns
Last weekend a delegation arrived from the German town of Lamspringe to meet with local representatives and officials, including Drogheda's mayor and representatives from the tourist and financial sectors. The common denominator between the two towns is Saint Oliver Plunkett, whose relics were taken to the German town by a fellow prisoner in London who later became abbot of Lamspringe, a Benedictine foundation. The German delegation hopes to forge closer links between the two towns, using as the starting point the connection with Saint Oliver Plunkett.

Mayo: Cross to come back to Cong
The renowned Cross of Cong is to come back to the county for a period next year when it will be on temporary exhibition at the National Museum of Country Life in Castlebar. Dating from the twelfth century, it was last in Mayo at the end of the nineteenth century when the parish priest of Cong, Father Pat Lavelle, took it from the Royal Irish Academy after it had been lodged there against the wishes of the people. It subsequently found a permanent home in the National Museum in Dublin. The oaken cross, covered with copper plates, was at one time believed to contain a piece of the True Cross.

Mayo: Success after sixty years for Tom
Tom Ketterick from Castlebar has been trying for sixty years to qualify for the World Cup Trout Angling Championships, and this year he made it at the age of ninety-five. Tom, who only retired from his job as a salesman five years ago, lives in Ballina with his daughter. In addition to being one of the founding members of Castlbar Celtic FC in the 1920s, he is a supporter of Sligo Rovers and also manages to play cards four times a week. For the competition he drove the eighty-mile round trip from Ballina to Ballinrobe to take part in Friday's heat on Lough Mask. And while he failed to catch any fish, he has vowed to return for next year's competition.

Meath: 89-year-old climbs Reek
Eighty-nine-year-old Clarence Corrigan from Trim is almost certainly the oldest person ever to have reached the summit of Croagh Patrick, and he made the climb under his own steam accompanied by a group of friends and family members. The retired mechanical engineer and farmer had a special reason for undertaking the climb, he wanted to raise money for St Joseph's Hospital in Trim where his wife Kathleen who suffers from Alzheimer's has been living for the past two years. It is not the first time Clarence has climbed the Mayo mountain, more familiarly known as the Reek, and he said this made the climb easier.

Meath: Locals involved in Bective dig
The archaeological dig which has been ongoing at Bective abbey for the last month has included among its volunteers a number of locals as a way of linking archaeology to the community. The dig was inaugurated by the blessing and turning of the first sod by the Abbot of Mellifont, Father Augustine McGregor, at the beginning of July, and among the most interesting finds uncovered are a mediaeval defensive ditch and the remains of the abbey's guesthouse. The Cistercians at the abbey, founded in the mid-twelfth century, farmed up to four thousand acres of land and were the first order to become self-sufficient.

Offaly: Another record for Tullamore
During last weekend's Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Tullamore an attempt was made to break a record set last year, when 2,852 musicians took part in a mass session in the town's Market Square. This year the organisers were hoping that more than three thousand would take part, and in the event 3,457 musicians played for over an hour.

Roscommon: Rededication of Holy Well
During the week a ceremony of rededication was carried out at St Patrick's Holy Well, situated adjacent to the old cemetery at Kiltoom. The ceremony was led by Very Rev. John Cullen, the parish priest of Kiltoom and Cam, who celebrated Mass at the site. St Patrick's Well has been restored by the Kiltoom Heritage Group and follows the reopening of the Church of The Risen Christ in Kiltoom two years ago. This celebration was marked by the publication of a booklet by Father Cullen which gave a short history of the church and detailed the events that took place to mark its blessing and reopening.

Tipperary: Sheepdog trials at Ballylooby
The Bank Holiday weekend saw the holding of the Irish sheepdog trials on the farm of Jim English at Rehill, Ballylooby. The sheep for the event were provided by Brian Casey from Burncourt and one hundred and fifty top handlers from all over Ireland and the Isle of Man took part in the contest. The aim for each contestant was to be selected for one of the fifteen places on the Irish team which will compete in the International Trials in Cumbria in September.

Tyrone: Expansion plans for Folk Park
The Government has granted funding to the Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh for the development of a series of American frontier landscapes on an additional thirty acres. The £2.4m will enable the construction of original houses built by settlers from Ulster on their arrival in America, including a log house built by Richard McCallister in Virginia in 1827. The museum chronicles emigration from Ulster to America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and will, according to the North's National Museums chief executive Tim Cooke, have even more to offer the visitor when the new section opens in 2011.

Westmeath: Kilbeggan whiskey marks canal anniversary
In August 1959 CIE decided to end the use of the canals for transporting goods and, to mark the occasion, two specially selected casks of Locke's whiskey will be transported along the Grand Canal from Kilbeggan to Dublin. Bottles of the whiskey, labelled Locke's Grand Crew, are to be presented to the forty former canal workers still living in Ireland. The shipment will be taken along the bank of the dry canal from Kilbeggan to Ballycommon in Co. Offaly, where it will be loaded on to the 1930s canal boat 107B for the remainder of the journey.

Wexford: Mary finally closes the gates
When Mary Kelly closed the barriers at the Edermine Ferry rail crossing last week it brought to an end her family's connection with the job over three generations. Tom Kirwan, her grandfather, was employed on the railway as was her father, Mick, who was station master at Edermine Ferry. The family lived in the station house, where Mary's mother still lives. Mary herself took over the manual closing of the gates from her mother twenty-seven years ago and ten years ago a second operator was employed. Now the opening and closing will be controlled from Mallow in Co. Cork using the latest high-tech equipment.

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We were deighted to receive a lovely thank you note for our newsletter from Gerard Carden whoich was accompanied by a very generous donation to help with our costs. “JC” mentioned that he was sending his contribution in early as we usually ask for donations at the end of the year; but we are always glad for your gifts at any time. So, raibh maith agat “JC” and we hope you have received youe lucky Irish coins to show our appreciation.

Marie writes: I was glad to hear that your stay in Hagerstown with the car repair went well. I live in Hagerstown, so it was neat to read of your experiences. Also Baltimore is near and dear to my heart. I did my BA in Baltimore at The College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Great catholic women's college. Another Irish restaurant you might want to try in Baltimore, - The James Joyce Irish Pub. It is near Aliceanna Street, we ate there during Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church. The shepherds pie is awesome.

And another reader from Hagerstown writes:
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your story about your trip home from D.C..  I live near and work in Hagerstown, Md and it did my heart good to hear about your wonderful experience with the locals there. I am a part time travel agent and my specialty is custom trips to Ireland.  I have a driver based in Shannon that I use  -- and when I am 'selling' Ireland -- not that I have to do very much selling -- one of the things I stress and what my clients come away with is that the Irish make the trip.  The country is beautiful as is a lot of other countries, but the Irish make the trip. so it is so nice to know that the wonderful people of Western Maryland treated you in the same manner.

In response to J. Bilger’s request for a translation into Irish of Our Wee Cottage, we had a couple of responses:

Bill Smith writes:
Ár Teachín Beag is my guess.
    Ár = Our
    Teachín = Cottage (Little House, literally)
    Beag = Little
It seems, to my English ears, repetitious, but then I have come to realize that Irish must not be translated literally. I hope this helps,

Donal Kelleher suggests
"Our Wee Cottage" = Ár dTeachín Beag
Another reader, John B, wanted Fallen Friend” translated into Irish. Here’s what we heard back on that:
Donal helped with this one as well. He writes:
"Fallen Friend" is a bit more difficult. The word for 'fallen' is marbh. Most people would translate 'marbh' as dead and so "Cara Marbh" could be translated as a 'dead/fallen Friend'. An alternative would be "Cara Caillte". This means 'a friend who has died' Some would take issue with that because "Caillte" also means 'Lost'  
And Jayne who is writing a novel wanted to know about Irish wakes in Northern ireland. We received a very interesting answer to that one!

Here’s what “jdesto” had to say: Jayne asked about Irish customs for wakes and funerals for her novel. I hope the following will help her.  Somewhere I remember reading - I don't remember what it was, but I'm pretty sure I didn't dream it--that in some remote parts of Ireland there's a custom that a wake is held in the deceased's - be it ever so humble - house.  And now comes the interesting part (and it seems SO Irish): accommodations are arranged for a pair of lovers to meet during the wake,  either inside the house itself, or elsewhere on the property thereof, for the purpose of (hopefully) bringing new life to replace that which has departed.  A worthy custom, no?  If Jayne keeps to her stated plot, there might need to have three couples involved; but that could add interest, if nothing else. I hope that Jayne keeps us advised about the progress and publication of her novel.

Pamela Boyd found three web sites that might help Jayne (and be fun for all of us to check out) Maybe they will help Jayne in her book.



A new request for assistance from Peter Gavin:
When I was a boy my parents made several trips to Ireland. Always bringing home beautiful gifts. When they returned from their final trip my brothers and I were given colorful knitted belts that tied around the waist and hung down the leg, like a sash. We were told that these were " Irish fisherman's belts" and that each fishing family had a specific pattern. Partly so that if someone were to be lost at sea they could be identified by the pattern of their belt. Now, I don't know if this is true or not but nonetheless, the belts were beautiful. I have searched high and low and cannot find them or any reference to them online or anywhere. I would love to find them to purchase again for my children, grandchildren and myself. They were very colorful and I always felt a little special wearing mine. Any information or leads you could provide would be very much appreciated.

Nan McGlynn has a B & B recommendation:
Just wanted to let you know about a great B&B in Donegal Town.We stayed there in June of this year for a week. The owner's name is Marie McGowan and she runs The Waters Edge, Glebe, Donegal Town,Co.Donegal. The phone number is:
Tel:074 97 21523
ED. NOTE: Thanks, Nan!

ED. NOTE: Did you write and we didn’t respond? Please write again. We do our best to keep up with questions we think our readers may help to answer. So, if you sent in a query - or an answer - and it’s not here, please let us know. Thanks!

Ted Kennedy Jr.’s eulogy for his father
We were very moved by his words; we were also impressed with Patrick Kennedy’s speech. That video can be accessed on the same page:

Have I told You Lately by Van Morrison
In honour of his birthday - August 31 - here is the great man himself performing one of our favourite songss:

Happy birthday Louis MacNiece
He was actually born and died in September. His birthday is September 12 and he passed away on September 3. This link will give you the poet reciting his Prayer before Birth:

The Irish Page
This time around, Jack and Vivian Hennessy offer us a poem called  "My Girl of the curls flowing free". 

Free Mammograms
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:
ED. NOTE: Maria Eryaatz advises that free mammograms are also available in all states via the VNA (visiting nurses association).
Click on 'Find A VNA' for the your nearest location.

Free Pet Food!
Last but certainly not least - our ongoing 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!

Free People Food!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
In a literature class in Dublin some years back, students were given an assignment to write a short story involving all the important literary ingredients — Nobility, Emotion, Sex, Religion and Mystery. The winner was: "My God!’ cried the Duchess. ‘I’m pregnant. Who did it?"
At Trinity Law School, the professor asked a student if he knew what the Roe vs. Wade decision was. He sat quietly, pondering this profound question. Finally, after giving it a lot of thought, he sighed and said, "I believe, sir, this was the decision George Washington made prior to crossing the Delaware."
It’s back to the books for most students - except may be for the McCarthy brothers. School had been in session for a week and already, the McCarthy’s had been late or absent or hadn’t done their homework. On the last day of the first week, they sauntered into class an hour late. “So what’s your excuse this time,?” the teacher asked. Sean Mccarthy quickly answered “Mam had a flat tire and we helped her fix it, Miss Murphy.” I see, said the teacher. Well, it’s unfortunate that you missed the test, but that’s all right, you can make it up. With that, she directs the boys to sit as far apart as possible. “Now then,” she says, “here’s your first question. Which tire was flat?
1. Irish scientist Mary Ward died on 31 August 1869 when she fell out of her cousins' steam car and was run over? She is believed to have been the world's first motor vehicle accident fatality.
2. The largest Irish dance involved 10,036 participants at the Dublin Irish Festival organised by the City of Dublin in Dublin, Ohio, USA on August 4, 2007?*
3. The record for the fastest time to pluck a turkey is held by an irishman? Vincent Pilkington of Cootehill, Co. Cavan, plucked a turkey in 1 minute 30 seconds on November 17, 1980. *
Source: Guinness Book of World Records
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
As always, they’re constantly looking for, finding, and adding new gifts to their pages including the Feadog Irish Pro 'D' Tin whistle, and a new range of food, including Flahavan's Irish Porridge as well as Gluten and Trans Fat Free Raspberry Golden Crunch Irish Cookies! And for those who haven't been or would just like to reminisce, the Over Ireland DVD takes you on a tour of the Emerald Island in a whole new way --from above! Get a unique look at The lush green landscapes, from rugged seaside cliffs to smooth pastureland across endless rolling hills, over medieval castles, ancient churches, sprawling countryside and bustling ports. A breathtaking experience without leaving your home!
Please visit the shop and have a look around at our other latest items. Enjoy the rest of the summer and until next time, thanks for stopping by and kindest regards.
First off, the answers to our previous quiz:

1. The Book of Evidence by John Banville
2. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
3. Tarry Flynn byPatrick Kavanagh

A tip if the hat and a pat on the back to the following Irish literary sleuths:

Ruth craig
Enjoy looking searching the info on these Irish writers.

Helen Dowd
A favorite Irish site -The ONE, the ONLY - Irish site is:

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all who have voted for my site. Because of your votes we have made it to the # 1 spot on the Christians Unite voting site.
ED. NOTE: To keep Helen in the top spot, please visit her site and vote every day:

Hartson Dowd
An interesting web site "Along the Liffey Valley." Only a few miles west of Dublin city centre, the Liffey Valley becomes heavily cloaked with woods, as it probes its way inland towards the heart of the central lowlands

Hannah Beck
Favorite site: Irish Culture & Customs
ED. NOTE: Go raibh maith agat, Hannah!

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
Personalized Tours of Ireland:
Imagine you’re in the country of your dreams with your favorite people. It could be your closest colleagues through the years from work, or your extended family, for a once-in-a-lifetime gathering.  Instead of being herded onto a huge tour bus of strangers, you’re together in a small van getting a personalized tour of Ireland. To learn more, please click

Roger S. Weist
Beyond the Pale Radio
Cleveland, Ohio

Dónal Kelleher.
My favourite site is D altaí na Gaeilge (Students of Gaelic). It's marvellous for learning and improving your Irish. The grammar is presented in an attractive way using colour to clarify points. It has quizzes, including hangman and  an inter-active crossword, stories, jokes and a self assessment questionnaire.   There is also a blog section where students help each other.
ED. NOTE: We checked this one and we just LOVE this site. Go raibh maith agat, Donal!

If you’d like to see your name in our Irish bibliophile’s list, tell us who wrote the following:

Love and Summer
Not Untrue & Not Unkind
ED. NOTE: There is a common link to these titles. Can you figure out what it is?

Please send your answers to Bridget:
Don't forget to nominate a favorite Irish site and it would be helpful if you put "Know Your Writers" in the subject line of your email. Thanks!
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic;
How to give your life and your home a unique Celtic twist? Take a look at more than 2500 items gathered from all corners of the Celtic Realm! And don't forget to enter their monthly give-away - they always have wonderful prizes! Enter here:
Order on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
Order by phone: Tel: 360-765-0186
Order on line:

Last - but certainly not least: Celtic Attic is pleased to announce its New Tours to Ireland program. To have details forwarded to you, please click
First off, the answer to our last And now for our next hair-puller:
Q. A word I know, six letters it contains. Subtract just one, and twelve is what remains. What is the word?
A. Dozens.

True to form, we had at least a gross of correct answers, but first in was Trish O’Connell. Well done, Trish!

And now for our next head-banger:

What’s white when it’s dirty?

Please send your answer to:
It would be helpful if you put riddle answer in the subject line. Thanks!

SEARCH FUNCTION: Have you tried it out? You can find the search box in the banner on the left-hand side. Simply key in whatever word or words you wish and if they’re on the site, Google will find them!

2. SHOPPING SECTION: Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries...whatever the occasion, find the perfect gift in our shopping section where you'll discover a selection of the best Irish and Celtic shops on the internet - or anywhere else:
ED. NOTE: Every purchase through our shop links, helps support our efforts. Many thanks in advance.

3. Movie Review: The Tiger’s Tale
Set in modern day Dublin, Brendan Gleeson delivers a powerful performance playing both roles in one of those stolen identity type thrillers.

4. Article: The Rose of Tralee Festival. Did your favourite win? This piece is about the history. of the competition.

5. Article: The Rose of Tralee - How the Ballad Came to Be. You may have heard it or sung it a hundred or more times, but do you know the story behind the song?

6. Counties of Ireland - Antrim

7. Article: In tribute to Liam O’Flaherty

8. Urgent Appeal: Campaign to save a legendary Irish Music School

9: The Irish Kitchen: The Ould Lammas Fair may have come and gone, but “Yellowman” lives on:

10. Basic Irish Lesson: Back to School

11. Kids’ Ireland: The Salmon of Knowledge]

12. Music Review: Our resident reviewer William Ramoutar recommends The Hammers from Canada! (Look for a new review in the next week or so)

13. August Trivia Contest: The August contest is over and a new one will be posed asap. August’s winner will be announced in the next newsletter.

14. Circle of Prayer: The 6th Novena in this cycle began on August 30 and ends on September 7. Since last we wrote, we heard that Linda, the aunt of our friend Carlos was just diagnosed with advanced breast cancer; whatever your spiritual leanings, we ask that you remember Linda as well as so many others, including Russ who is having a prostate biopsy tomorrow; Jeff Minnick’s 3-month old son in the hospital with meningitis, Ronnie Kennedy and Joe Colum, Hartson Dowd, Burnett McManus’ friend who recently underwent surgery for lung cancer, Christy Banik, Joe Colum, Patricia's daughter Heather, the family and friends of the McTiernans, Pauline Dewberry, Laureena Blankenship, Sierra Mitchell, Katie Lacinak and so many others as well as all those who are suffering from the financial hardships of the economic downturn. And please don't overlook our military personnel serving their countries at home and abroad. Dear Heavenly Father, please keep them safe from all harm and bring those away from home back to their loved ones soon.

So that’s the very long of it until we write again. ‘Til then, pinch, punch first day of the month, white rabbit! Getting married or tied the knot in September? here is your special verse:

”Marry in September’s shine
Your living will be rich and fine.”

And if you or a loved one are celebrating a birthday, or other special event we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness.

We'll take our leave with this lovely old irish blessing:

God keep you safe, God keep you warm. God keep you and yours from all harm.
May He bless your kith and kin, the hearth, the house and all within.

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!
Celtic Blessing - sung by the St. Coca's Choir, from Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link:
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.

Los Alamitos, California -1st Tuesday of every month
Friends of Ireland of Southern California Monthly Breakfast. Events are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Please call in RSVP to one of the contacts below one day in advance so we can accommodate you.
Barbara Walsh (714) 739-4195 Kathy Wisdom (714) 572-8277
Tom Kennedy (562) 425-2636 Jim O'Dea (626) 965-0307

Portland, oregon - 1st Friday of the month
Ceili of the Valley Society - First Friday of the month Céilís and ongoing Tuesday night Céilí and Sean Nós dance classes. Our season runs from October through June and next season we may be moving the dances to Saturday rather than Friday nights. For more details, please click

In observance of all the children returning to school, we hope the following will evoke a few giggles:

1. The kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw photos of the 10 most wanted people. One of the children pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. "Yes," said the policeman. “We want him very badly." “So,” . the child asked "Why didn't you keep him when you took his picture?"

2. The teacher asked the class of seven year olds "If here were a dozen sheep and six of them jumped over a fence. How many would be left?" "None," answered Liam. "None? Liam, you don't know your arithmetic."
"Teacher, you don't know your sheep. When one goes, they all go!"

3. The child comes home from his first day at school. Her mother asks, "What did you learn today?" The child replies, "Not enough. I have to go back tomorrow."

4. A teacher was walking about her classroom of five year olds while they were drawing. As she got to one little girl she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." The little girl replied confidently , "They will in a minute."

5. A wise school teacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of school: "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I'll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home.

6. A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school. Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest. He had no trouble with discipline that term.

And last but certainly not least, kids say the darndest things. Here are some supposedly true examples provided by teachers:

The future of "I give" is "I take."
The parts of speech are lungs and air.
Define H2O and CO2. H2O is hot water and CO2 is cold water.
A virgin forest is a forest where the hand of man has never set foot.
The general direction of the Alps is straight up.
Most of the houses in France are made of plaster of Paris.
The spinal column is a long bunch of bones. The head sits on the top and you sit on the bottom.
One of the main causes of dust is janitors.
One byproduct of raising sheep is lambs.
The four seasons are salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.
The climate is hottest next to the Creator.
The word trousers is an uncommon noun because it is singular at the top and plural at the bottom.
Syntax is all the money collected at the church from sinners.
The blood circulates through the body by flowing down one leg and up the other.
Iron was discovered because someone smelt it.
A person should take a bath once in the summer, not so often in the winter.