Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1900 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,

We hope this week's edition finds you and yours in good spirits, good health, and good company. A warm welcome back, and a special hello to our new subscribers. Thanks for signing up and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to pass them along to family and friends.

For all of our readers in the USA, we hope you enjoyed a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend - also our friends in Gt. Britain who were celebrating the spring Bank Holiday. This weekend, it's Ireland's turn - if you'll be out on the roads, safe journey, and we wish you fair weather throughout the holiday; (we'd love to be in Dublin to see the Tall Ships!)

Here in the Ohio Valley, fair weather was not the order of the day early in the week; our area finally got a taste of tornadic conditions and not far from us three people died; however, once again, we were spared any serious damage. Molly from Lincoln, Indiana wrote to tell us that a town near her had been wiped out; and Grainne, who lives in Northern Mississippi spent 30 minutes under a mattress in the hallway due to a tornado sighting 4 miles out of town. Fortunately, the bad weather that has plagued the plains and midwest in the past couple of weeks seems to have abated. God willing, tornado season is over for another year.

Following the bad weather, we have had several perfect summer days - mid-70's, low humidity and lots of sunshine. But, we've also had lots of distractions, some good, some not so good. We spent several hours babysitting our grandson on Thursday which was a lovely diversion; not so lovely was the proofing on Bridget's book. It's been a real headache. However, a second set of proofs arrived yesterday and fingers crossed, this will be it.

Other negative distractions include trying to find a new wheel for our old Toyota - the one that was in the accident a while back. It's so old (1983), they just don't make them anymore and we can't afford to replace all four wheels; it's a real conundrum. Fortunately, it's still okay to drive as long as we make short trips - which we usually do.

We took a break from writing the newsletter (which is one of the reasons it's so late) to watch footage on Ronald Reagan; while he wasn't one of our political favorites, there were so many moments when you couldn't help but like the man (as in the time he was shot and as they're wheeling him into the operating theatre, he asks if the surgeons are Republicans!. He was told, "Today, we are.") We then switched the channel to watch the Belmont Stakes and root for Smartie Jones. What a disappointment - we felt sure he was going to win.

We haven't seen it, and if you haven't, you might be interested in knowing that Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ will be available on DVD and you can pre-order it here:
Note: Thanks so much to all of you who have been buying books, CDs and other merchandise through us. The quarter ends on June 30 and we need 40 more sales to earn a 5% bonus. So, please remember us when you're looking for just about anything from toys to jewelry. As long as you click through our site, we get credit. And it may help us pay for those wheels!

Enough about us...
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
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In news from Ireland:

The Irish golfing world mourns the loss of their greatest amateur golfer. Joe Carr died last Wednesday, aged 82, after a short illness. In the book Breaking 80, which chronicled his life, there's a story of the time when Joe was asked to play a round of golf with the US president, Dwight D Eisenhower, at Portmarnock Golf Club. We don't know whether he did or not.

According to Irish Transport Minister Seamus Brennan, the number of taxis on the Republic's roads has increased by four times to nearly 13,000 since the trade was liberalised four years ago. The cabs total has shot up from 2,700 to more than 9,300 in Dublin alone.

This is the week Irish students have been dreading - the Leaving Certificate Exams begin on June 9th and go through June 25th. We pray you do well and wish you every success.

Cavan - One hundred and twenty two years of family service ended this past week when Eileen Briody turned the key to her rural Crosserlough Post Office, where she has worked since 1966, for the very last time. The Briody family has served the community since 1882, when John Briody, who held the positions of both Post Master and postman, first opened the facility.

Cork - "The name is Dr Bond, Dr James Bond." Predictable, perhaps, but then Pierce Brosnan was every inch the elegant and consummate gentleman some 500 or more fans expected him to be when they gathered on the quadrangle of University College Cork on Friday to watch him be conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Laws.

Derry - The historic emigrant replica ship, the Jeanie Johnston, is to sail into Derry's port as part of the port's one hundred and fiftieth anniversary. Along with Cobh in Cork, the port of Derry became one of Ireland's foremost points of embarkation for those emigrating. Thousands left through these ports on their journey to America and the Jeannie Johnston was notable for never having lost a passenger.

Dublin - The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) has announced plans for a 475 million euro scheme to redevelop a pivotal site in the Grand Canal Docks, including an "iconic" 2,000-seat performing arts centre.

Kilkenny - From the close of this academic year, Ireland's first Catholic boarding school for boys, St. Kieran's College established in 1782, will no longer be accepting students for boarding. It will remain open as a day school.

Louth - A group of Poor Clare sisters has established a traditional Celtic monastery in Faughart with a little help from a local nun, Sr Briege McKenna, who gave the sisters the land, and 250,000 euros from an anonymous donor.

Sligo - The new owners of Lissadell House, which opens to the public next week, are planning to spend 5 million euros on restoring the building to its original state over the next five years. Barristers Mr Edward Walsh and his wife Ms Constance Cassidy say they will also convert part of the building into a shrine to Countess Markievicz and W.B. Yeats.

In news from all over:

Normandy, France - Hundreds of Irish veterans will be joining thousands of others from all over the world to celebrate the 60th anniversary of D-Day. We salute them and all of our military personnel for their bravery.

Norway - Norway has followed Ireland's lead by becoming the second country in the world to introduce a nationwide smoking ban in public places.

From the mailbag:
We've heard that native Dubliners can sometimes be a bit brusque, so it's always good to hear compliments. John O'C sent us the following brief message from a friend: "Just returned from Dublin; my daughter has bought a home in Lucan which is about 15 miles from the centre of the city. I do not know if you have visited lately but what a vibrant city; the shops are full of people and it has the feel of prosperity; the big difference to England is the attitude of the people; everybody we had contact with were so polite and helpful; it was a pleasure."

Along the same lines, we heard from a reader who is visually impaired. She was visiting Muckross House where there are apparently many signs that say Do Not Touch; her Irish guide made sure she was able to touch the exhibits; he went out of his way to make her trip much more enjoyable.

From our Dublin artist friend, Roger Cummiskey:
"Two of my paintings are currently on display at 411 Gallery, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, Peoples Republic of China. This is a first for me as I had to get out the atlas to find out where it is. And, guess who are running the show? Two guys from Limerick! Sorta one side of the world to the other if you take Ireland as the centre!" To view Roger's works, please click

Links of the week:
In honor of D-Day, this is a wonderful tribute to our troops sent in by HD. Thanks!

Congratulations to our friend John Cutliffe who owns and runs the Jig Time International website. In May, he had over a million hits! To see why the site is so popular, click:

This one is focused on Americans, but there were icons that Bridget recognized; it's a fun page! Thanks, Hartson!

And last, but definitely 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!

Enough of the blitherin' - on with the update:

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
This one came in from Penny R. Thanks, Penny!
Irish whiskey was first developed for its medicinal benefits. It's just lucky for the rest of us that the Irish are such a sickly bunch.
This one isn't Irish, but it's so funny, we've adapted it. Thanks to Maureen Carberry for the best blonde joke we've heard in ages.

An Aer Lingus flight is on its way from Shannon to New York, when a blonde in economy class gets up, walks to the business class section and sits down. The flight attendant watches her do this and asks to see her ticket. She then tells the blonde that she paid for economy class and she will have to go back to her proper seat. The blonde replies, "I'm blonde, I'm beautiful, I'm going to New York, and I'm staying right here." The flight attendant goes into the cockpit and tells the flight crew that there's a blonde sitting in business class who belongs in economy and won't move. The co-pilot goes back to the blonde and tries to explain that because she paid for economy she will have to leave and go back to her seat in economy. The blonde replies, "I'm blonde, I'm beautiful, I'm going to New York, and I'm staying right here." The co-pilot tells the pilot that he should probably have the police waiting when they land to arrest this blonde woman who won't listen to reason. The pilot says, "You say she's blonde? I'll handle this - I'm married to a blonde; I speak blonde." The pilot goes back to the blonde and he whispers in her ear. The blonde say, "Oh, I'm sorry." She then gets up and goes back to her seat in economy. The flight attendant and co-pilot are amazed and ask him what he said to make her move without a fuss. "I told her business class isn't going to New York."
1. According to old Irish folklore, the cuttings of your hair should not be thrown where birds can find them? They will take them to build their nests, and then you will have headaches all the year after.
2. If you take sheep's suet and the rind of the elder tree and boil both together, the mixture will cure a burn without leaving a mark?
3. When taking possession of a new house, every one should bring in some present, however trifling, but nothing should be taken away? Also, a prayer should be said in each corner of your bedroom, and some article of your clothing be deposited there at the same time.
Source: Irish Cures, Mystics Charms & Superstitions" by Lady Wilde
God gives the gifts where He finds the vessel empty enough to receive them." C.S. Lewis
To start off - the answers to last week's quiz:

The Irish Brigade in the Civil War - Joseph G Bilby
Distant Drums: Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies - Myles Dungan
Clear the Confederate Way: The Irish Army in Northern Virginia - Kelly O'Grady
And the link takes you to: The Faces of Irish Civil War Soldiers by Joanna M McDonald.

A round of applause and pints for this week's literary sleuths (and it's lovely to see a few new names!) BTW, our faithful regular, Déidre McKiernan Hetzler is in Ireland until June 8. We hope she's having a glorious time and wish her a safe journey home.

Hartson Dowd
Irish folk music on the net. Just click on the song you want and see the lyrics appear before your very eyes; sit back and sing along.

Helen Dowd
Occupy Till I Come:
Mission Magazine:

David Buchanan
Interesting site that covers the early Irish saints:

Pauline Dewberry
A wonderfully warm, witty website written by a wonderfully warm, witty woman about her wonderfully, warm witty kitties:

Sean Lavin
Great site that lists the most popular names for Irish children:

Katie Donahue
If you're looking for an Irish website, this one lists hundreds in their directory:

Maggie McCormick
Planning a visit to Dublin? This site has a wealth of information:

Ciara Thomas (née Kelleher)
If you enjoy chat rooms, this site is worth checking out:
The Virtual Irish Pub

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. My Time in The War - An Irish Woman's Diary
2. Neutral Heart - Irish Poetry & World War II
3. Irish Men & Women in the Second World War

Hint: Click through the following link to find all of the above titles; the link itself is for a book you may be surprised to learn was written by a Dublin-born novelist:

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!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing. NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at the The Irish Lottery:
Did you know that 34 Millionaires were created by the Irish lottery in 2003? You could be next! One of the most trusted lotteries in the world, drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are tax-free. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! Please click here for full details:
To begin with, the answer to last week's brain-bruiser - which turned out to be the challenge we'd hoped it would be; well done to those of you who solved it and congratulations to Marilyn who was first in.
Q. What six-letter word in the English language contains ten other words without rearranging any of its letters?
A. Spared: Spa, Spar, Spare, Pa, Par, Pare, Pared, Are, Re, and Red
And now for this week's mind-mangler which we hope is just as challenging:
If two hours ago, it was as long after one o'clock in the afternoon as it was before one o'clock in the morning, what time would it be now?
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. New - Article: The Irish Soldiers in the American Civil War
3. Republished - Article: It's A Long Way To Tipperary
4. Republished: Article: The Irish Soldiers in WWI
5. Ongoing - Free Genealogy Q & A. Have a question about your Irish roots? Get an answer for free from a professional genealogist in Dublin
6. New - The Irish Kitchen - a new recipe will be posted asap
7. Featured - Music Review: No Irish Need Apply http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Libr/zNoIrishNeedApply.html
8. Featured: Emblems of Ireland: The Harp
9. Featured - Article: Whitsuntide in old Ireland
10. New - June Trivia Contest. All entries must be in by midnight, on Wednesday, June 30.
Note: We have a winner for May. All we know is that they are from Canada - they haven't claimed their prize yet. Hopefully, we'll be able to give them a mention by name next week.
11. On-Going - Our first Novena in this cycle began on Friday, June 4 and continues through June 12. Please continue to remember Keith Matt Maupin being held hostage in Iraq and all members of our military serving there and all over the world, especially the children of personal friends, Paul and Ashley. We also ask that you continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Meredith and her family; Debbie's family, Mary Jo Mauchen, Jane Leo, Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Bertha, Rita, Lindsey, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and the Mulligans.
12. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for today and the past week. Note that we do our best to find the "good news"!
13. On-going -This month in Irish History:
14. In honor of St. Kevin's Feastday on June 3, we are featuring a beautifully crafted anachron on our home page, in the right-hand-column. If you'd like to see a lovely collection of anachron's for many popular Irish saints, please click
15. Father's Day is coming up on June 20; come browse our Men's Shop where we have a handsome collection of gifts just for him http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Shop/1Men1.html

There's an old saying that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans! We're beginning to feel the same way about making predictions for the coming week. We have a lot on our plate right now, but we'll do the best we can to give you something interesting to read. As usual we'll follow the routine of posting a new Sunday Blessing, updating the home page on Monday, and we'll post a new quote on Wednesday. News and history will be updated daily. We will also have a new Basic Irish lesson on Tuesday; for the moment, we're leaving the A-Z food vocabulary and focusing on words and phrases associated with summer. Our resident story-teller has said she'll be sending in the tale for June; and Hartson has sent us a delicious-sounding summer dessert. We'll also be updating the Circle of Prayer page to include the start and end dates for our new cycle of Novenas.

So there you have it for another week - except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - many of em' frivolous, but some serious:
June 5 celebrates the First Hot Air Balloon flight by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783. It's also World Environment Day and James Connolly's birthday. June 6 is D-Day; National Cancer Survivors Day, and Bonza Bottler Day. (An excuse to party when the day is the same number as the month) June 7 is Jefferson Davis Day in Alabama, Liam Neeson's birthday and also National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. June 8 is Best Friends Day and Upsy-Daisy Day. June 9 is Donald Duck's Birthday (he'll be 70!); in the liturgical calendar, it's St. Columcille's Feast Day; it's also the day when the Leaving Certificate Exams begin in Ireland. June 10 is Corpus Christi in the liturgical calendar; it's also National Yo-Yo Day and the anniversary of when Jimmy Kennedy, composer of many popular songs including "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" and "Did Your Mother Come from Ireland", is inducted posthumously into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Finally, June 11 is King Kamehameha Day in Hawaii, the start of Take a Kid Fishing Weekend in Minnesota and the birthday of Mary Lavin, generally acknowledged as one of Ireland's greatest short story writers.
Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and your loved ones! Can't wait to find out what's coming up for the rest of the month? Check out:

Until next time, may God smile upon you and yours and keep you safe from all harm. 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
Are you a loyal reader of our newsletter? Your voluntary donation will help us keep sending it around the world each week. Please give whatever you can to Russ and Bridget, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH, 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
Our email address there is haggertyr@primax.com
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $25! Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
Events & Classifieds
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com
And, if you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

ReJoyce Dublin 2004
Celebrating the centenary of Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce's masterpiece "Ulysses" is set. Ireland is planning a world-class, five-month festival lasting until 31 August 2004. For more details, click

Dundrum, Dublin - June 1-June 20
Noted Dublin artist, Roger Cummiskey, invites you to an exhibition of his paintings based on the writings and wanderings of James Joyce. Exhibition will be held at The Airfield Trust, Upper Kilmacud Road. For more details, visit Roger's website at:

June 7th through 14th - 100 Years of the Abbey Theatre in Galway and Dublin. Trip includes 3 nights in Galway and 3 nights in Dublin. For more information, contact Kathleen Dixon Donnelly, Ph.D at kdonnellycom@aol.com

Summer Fun with Silver Arm
One of the Greater Cincinnati's most popular Celtic bands will be playing at Dilly Deli, Mariemont, on June 11 from 7:30pm to 10:30pm

Fishtown/Philadelphia - June 12
2nd Support Our Troops Rally sponsored by the A.O.H/L.A.O.H Division 51 will take place at noon in Penn Treaty Park.
For more details, contact PHBowdrenSr@aol.com

Seattle, Washington, June 16
2004 marks the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, immortalized by lovers of James Joyce's Ulysses, the world's most highly acclaimed novel. Seattle's Bloomsday Centenary Celebrations will consist of two performances - Wednesday, June 16th, at 7.30 PM and Saturday, June 19, at 3 PM - at the UW's Brechemin Auditorium. For more information, contact Kieran O'Malley at 206 351-8607 or kieranom@u.washington.edu.

Baltimore, Maryland - June 23
Frank McNamara, Ireland's beloved Maestro, will be conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance with his newest venture, The American Tenors, at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. For more details, please click

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:

Co. Sligo, Ireland - September
The Sligo Heritage and Genealogy centre is hosting a 4 day international conference on Irish genealogy, heritage and culture. Even if you come from another county, this conference will be of interest as experts in various fields of study from all over Ireland will be speaking on a wide range of topics. Preliminary details of the conference are available at:

Just for fun, we thought you might enjoy the following sent in by Hartson.


Every day there are news reports about more deaths
Every night on TV there are photos of death and destruction.
Why are we still there?
We occupied this land, which we had to take by force, but it causes us nothing but trouble.
Some of our children go there and never come back.
Why are we still there?
Their government is unstable, and they have an unstable leadership.
Many of their people are uncivilized. The place is subject to natural disasters, which we are supposed to bail them out of.
Why are we still there?
There are more than 1000 religious sects, which we do not understand.
Their folk ways, foods and fads are unfathomable to ordinary Americans.
We can't even secure their borders.
Why are we still there?
They are billions of dollars in debt and it will cost billions more to rebuild their infrastructure, which we can't afford.
Why are we still there?
It is becoming clear to us all...

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