Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1200 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
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubcribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.

Greetings & Blessings to Everyone,

A warm welcome back to all of you - and a special hello to our new subscribers.
We hope this Derby Day edition finds you and yours feeling well and in a contented frame of mind. If you celebrated Easter this past week, we pray it was a safe and joyous celebration. And, for those among us looking forward to a long bank holiday weekend, please be careful on the roads. There have already been several bad accidents since Thursday evening and with the weather "lashing buckets," driving on Irish roads is going to require even more caution than usual.

Here in the Ohio Valley, it's a somewhat dreary and overcast day; however, we're looking forward to watching the Run for the Roses on television later this afternoon. We're not big horse-racing fans, but there's something very nostalgic about the Kentucky Derby - especially when the crowd sings My Old Kentucky Home right before the race. It's the same kind of soul-stir you get listening to a stadium full of football fans singing The Fields of Athenry. Anyway, enough of all that - we have lots of news to share with you this time around.

It's been a bit of a topsy-turvy kind of week - the highs and lows seeming to compete with each other for first place. The low point was after we sent out last week's newsletter. We received several unsubscribes. Perhaps it was due to that tasteless bit of Bates family trivia. We didn't intend to offend. But, perhaps the loss of readers had more to do with our request for donations.

Truth is, our first fund-raiser was almost a total dud. We say almost because we did receive two responses. One reader wrote to tell us they'd sent something. It hasn't arrived. But then, yesterday, we learned of a generous contribution from a dear subscriber in New York. It made our day. To top that off, we had two sponsors commit to several weeks of advertising in the newsletter. So, a week that looked progressively gloomier and gloomier has ended on a positive note, which makes us very happy indeed. By the way, the sponsors are Old Irish Prints and Celtic Attic. When you see their ads, please show your support by clicking through on the link - and if you like what you see, don't be shy - by all means, buy!

As for the fund-drive, Himself is of a mind that our site and the newsletter should strive to emulate PBS. A worthy goal. And so, as with PBS, we'll bring this year's call for contributions to a close and we won't mention it again until 2004.

A new month always brings a ton of work on the web site and despite our best efforts, we ran late with a lot of features. However, we did get the new Trivia quiz up on May 1 and we hope you enjoy the departure from our usual format. Irish Music International is generously sponsoring the prize this month which saves us a good bit on the book and postage - so we really appreciate that! Much to our surprise, in the year or so we've had the contest, just two winners have chosen the smoked salmon! Ah well, 'tis a good book!

Russ finished doing his fiddly bits on the History Section and if you like, you can now choose any date in the year and see what important Irish events took place. Speaking of which, it was on this date in 1916 that Patrick Pearse, Thomas McDonagh and Thomas Clarke were executed. And tomorrow is when another Irish patriot, John McBride was shot. May 4 was also the day that Bobby Sands died. Indeed, a very tragic weekend in Irish history. If you're interested, Bridget has written an article about Bobby; and Russ has a bio as well as several Patrick Pearse works in the poetry section. It's hard at times to comprehend the loss of these men.

On a lighter note - how was your first day of the Celtic summer? We hope your May 1st came and went without any "good people" pranks or mischief! Thankfully, ours was uneventfully pleasant. Outside, the spring-time parade of blooms continues with honeysuckle and phlox now taking the place of faded daffodils and tulips. After such a harsh winter, we have been truly blessed with a brilliant spring! Of course, it won't be long before we start moaning about the heat and humidity.

Have we put you to sleep yet? Fair enough, we'll stop with the palaver and get on with the update!
Please help us to keep this newsletter free by visiting the following sponsor:

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary gift for Mother's Day? Why not get her a quality framed print of the county or town in Ireland her ancestors came from, or just an area she is fond of in Ireland? The Old Irish Print Company has framed prints of old Ireland starting at $35. Include the code 333 with your order and receive free shipping in the US, 50% off outside the US. Go to: http://www.oldirishprints.net
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
Sign on a Kinsale shop: Out for lunch. If not back by five, out for dinner also.
Miss O'Leary, our favorite ninety-year old, once again gives us fodder for a giggle.
The man from the window company called Miss O'Leary on the telephone. "Miss O'Leary, he says, you haven't made a single payment on your new windows. Is there something the matter?" Bristling with annoyance, Miss O'Leary replies. "I may be up in years, but I still have my wits about me. Wasn't your man after telling me those windows would pay for themselves in a year?"
1. Mulgrave Street in Limerick, which contains two hospitals, a prison and a lunatic asylum, is known as 'Calamity Avenue' by the locals?
2. The sinister sounding Bloody Foreland in County Donegal owes its name to its magnificent sunsets?
3. Every spring, more than twenty million eels swim into the River Bann to breed?
We can't win at home, we can't win away. As general manager, I just can't figure out where else to play. Jock Brown - Celtic General Manager.
The answers to last week's quiz:

1. Halfway Home: My Life 'til Now -- Ronan Tynan
2. Because They Never Do -- Patrick Erin Monaghan
3. Four Letters of Love -- Niall Williams

A salute to our literary sleuths:

Janet Smekar
The Voice of An Angel - Darren Hayes A site dedicated to the former lead singer of Australian duo Savage Garden

Judy Skapik

Cher Grady Fitch

Deirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
Who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland it's the McKiernans of Irish Books & Media: http://www.irishbook.com/tours.htm

Anne Mulvey
This is my link as you have a book written by Ronan who is one of the great huntsmen in Kilkenny!

Helen Dowd
If you would like some relaxing or inspiring reading, please visit my website at: http://occupytillicome.online-ministries.com

Hartson Dowd
Ireland's National Tourism Database has extensive information on camping, hostels, castles, car rentals and more; accessible by county and region, it also includes good information on Northern Ireland

Judith Flynn

John Keely

T. McCarthy
What can I say - I'm a fan!

This week's quiz. Who wrote:

1. The Water Horse
2. The Irish Derby
3. Racing and The Irish

Hint: All three titles can be found on amazon - please click 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!)
Hint: All three titles can be found on amazon - please click here:
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. Article: The Bright Flames of May
2. Article: Beltaine Fires and Nettle Soup
3. Article: Should You Roll Naked in the May Day Dew?
4. Article: How To Prevent Mayhem
5. Culture Corner:The Celtic High Cross
6. Kids' Ireland Culture Corner: Hurling
7. New Book: Haunted Ground. It's in the right hand column on the home page. A terrific read so far. Bridget can't put it down!
8. NewTrivia Contest. We're trying something different this time around. Take a look and let us know what you think.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html April Winner: Congratulations to Pat Battles of Canada. Your book will be in the mail on Monday, Pat!
9. Circle of Prayer. We continue with our first Novena in this cycle until tomorrow. Novena #2 begins on Monday. We've had several requests for prayers: Sam, who is just 5 yrs old and has cancer; also, Gayla's brother-in-law, Durell, who beat leukemia nine years ago, but now has malignant spots on his lungs. If you would like to include them along with your own intentions, please join us in prayer and meditation every morning at a time that is convenient for you
10. New History Page: check out the fancy new rollover buttons Russ has created for each month. Now you can check on important Irish events for any day of the year. As we find them, more events will be added.

The week got away from us and so, not only are we late with this newsletter, we're also behind with a recipe and the children's story. They will be published over the weekend. And, even though Aideen, our Irish speaker and translator, is leaving for Ireland tomorrow, she still managed to send us the next Irish lesson - God bless her and safe journey! Watch for that next Tuesday or so. In the meantime, Synge is still incomplete (as is Co. Cork!) What's the old saying, the hurrier we go, the behinder we get? Of course, the Irish answer to that one is God made time and man made haste! In any event, we're playing catch-up as always. But, look for the daily news and history as usual, a new blessing tomorrow and then a new quote next Wednesday.

Until next time, may all your horses win whatever race they're in, may good company shorten the road, and may the laughter of children lighten your load. We also pray that the Good Shepherd of us all will watch over you and yours and keep you safe from all harm. And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.

All the best,

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Everyone can use a little Irish luck in their lives, which is why we're pleased to bring you Paddy Magic, a little bear from Ireland who has a magical way of making people happy - and lucky! This Mother's Day, why not give her the luck of the Irish? Click here to take a look at one of the cuddliest little bears we've ever seen: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?paddymagic2003+rEa2zW+index.html
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link:

Continuing the series of events in which writers discuss their work, Poet and Broadcaster, Gabriel Rosenstock will be interviewed by Literary translator, Hans Christian Oeser. Come along and enjoy a glass of wine in the reading room here at the Irish Writers Centre on Thursday May 8, at 7pm. Admission: 5 Euros (including wine)
Bernadette Larkin, Irish Writers Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Ireland.
Phone: (3531) 8721302 Fax: (3531) 8726282

Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
The replica of the famine ship will be visiting the following USA ports:
West Palm Beach, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Trenton, New Jersey, Bristol, Pennsylvania, New York, New York, Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York, Providence, Rhode Island, Boston, Massachussetts.
For dates and details, please click

Paintings of Ireland in Boston
The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College is hosting a highly-acclaimed exhibit entitled Eire/Land, which explores Ireland's landscape with artifacts ranging from medieval manuscripts to contemporary mixed-media items. Open until May 19, the exhibit comprises roughly 100 manuscripts, archaeological artifacts, early maps and prominent Irish landscape paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin and the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, as well as private collections.

Celebrating Celtic Culture
A weekend celebration of Celtic culture is set for Burke, Virginia with the 10th annual Potomac Celtic Festival on June 14 and 15. All 1200 acres of Morven Park's international equestrian center will be transformed into a hub of continuous music and dance on eight stages, a craft market with 50 Celtic art and crafts exhibitors, reenactments of Celtic history from the 1st Century B.C. through modern times, and Celtic import and specialty vendors. For more details on the Potomac Celtic Festival call 1-800-752-6118.

The Brazos Valley Celtic Association meeting on Tuesday May 13 will feature Keltic Cross-Fire doing a presentation consisting of traditional Celtic dance tunes, vocal stories and original music. As always, the meeting will be held at 7:00pm at Carney's Pub, located at 3410 S. College in Bryan. Open to the public - No need to be a member to attend meetings or to be Celtic to be a member. The BVCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the appreciation of all Celtic Cultures. For more information, please contact Claire Byrne: bvcelt@alpha1.net

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:

Like to write? Our Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival has just announced a brand new writing competition. If you're interested, you can get the rules and other details here: http://home.fuse.net/cfl/festival.html