Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to nearly 2300 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 unsubscribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.
Greetings and blessings to all,

We hope this issue finds you and yours on the pig's back and fit as a fiddle. If you're new to the list, many thanks for joining us and please feel free to pass along our meanderings and musings to your family and friends. In the meantime, a warm welcome to everyone, and whereever you might be, we hope it's milder than it is here (current wind-chill is 8 degrees below zero F).

And the snow is back. Yuch.

After a week of rain and balmy temperatures in the 60s, Old Man Winter has let it be known that he's still got a few punches left before we can begin thinking about spring any time soon. The good news is that we're expecting just a couple of inches which is enough for the kids to have fun but not too much to make getting around a problem. Of course, in our area, many folks still have to deal with the flooding earlier this week and with more to come as the Ohio River goes through a second crest today.

Of late, it seems that the weather is the main topic of conversation, but in all her years in the USA, Bridget doesn't remember a winter like this one, what with the mud-slides in California, the snow in Hawaii (no kidding), the avalanches in Utah, and raging rivers all over the map. The British Isles and Ireland didn't escape either what with the terrible storm of last Tuesday when they had wind gusts of 80 to 100 miles an hour. We've heard from friends living in areas where they've had extreme weather and thank God, everyone is safe. We certainly hope and pray that's true for you and your loved ones as well.

On a lighter topic, it's time to count down to St. Patrick's Day! Hard to believe we're just a few weeks away. Right now, we're busy working on a special web-site page featuring all the gear you'll need for the parades and parties. We'll let you know as soon as it's launched.

Our annual fund-raiser is off to a slow start with just a couple of donations so far. We really need your help, so if you belong to an Irish club or organization, please pass the hat. We're also taking a leaf out of Bridget's mother's book; she'd walk by someone holding out his hand for money, but she'd stop and make a purchase if the person was "selling" a flower (like a poppy) or take look if it was a child asking for "A penny for the grotto." So, for gifts of $10 or more, we're offering our collection of jokes from previous newsletters - about 150. Please note - these aren't in book form; we'll simply gather them up and email them to you after we receive your gift. If you'd rather have our collection of quotes, or a bit of the wit, we can do that, too. Just let us know - and thank you in advance for your kindness. (Donations may be sent to 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224 USA). Oh, and please makes those million dollar checks out to Bridget Haggerty or Russ Haggerty.
Enough about us....
Help keep our newsletter free - please visit our friends at Molly's Irish Imports
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READER DISCOUNT! Irish Culture and Customs readers are invited to take 25% off all clothing and woolen items at Molly's Irish Imports from Jan. 15-31, 2005. Please write "code 25" in the comment section of your order to receive the discount. Your new order total will be emailed to you. See what's in store for you at Molly's Irish Imports, online at:
News from Ireland:

Irish Among The Happiest People On Earth
First, the Economist deemed Ireland the best place in the world in terms of quality of life; now a survey has identified it as the second happiest place in the world. Forget about corruption, sky-high prices and a backlogged medical system - this "great little nation" is behind only Denmark, Malta and Switzerland (who are joint first) as the happiest place on earth according to research carried out by Dutch sociologist Prof Ruut Veenhoven at Erasmus University in Rotterdam over a twenty-year period.

Belfast: TG4 Soon To Broadcast From Belfast
The British and Irish governments plan to begin broadcasting TG4 from Belfast in the spring to extend the reach of the Irish-language channel to Northern Ireland's 167,000 Irish speakers.

Dublin: Forget happy hour.
Dublin pubs have introduced happy days, weeks, months and even years in a bid to claw back business in the wake of the smoking ban and successive price hikes. Now some of the capital's bars, traditionally considered the most expensive in the country, have decided to undercut the national average price for drinks in a bid to revive their business. In some cases, charges are lower even than
those charged in rural pubs.

Galway: On January 7 Mayor of Galway Catherine Connolly officially opened a new exhibition at Kenny's Gallery entitled "Galway - A Portrait". Some 70 artists were invited to produce work showing their own impressions of Galway city, and responded in oils, watercolours, bronze and wood. Among the well-known artists participating were John Behan, Kenneth Webb, Gertrude Degenhardt and John Coll, while the youngest participant was secondary school student Aisling Joyce. The exhibition can be viewed at http://www.kennys.ie

Kerry: A tragic loss - A thatched cottage thought to be the oldest in the country, has burned to the ground. The cottage was situated in the village of Finuge which is associated with traditional music and dance and the National Folk Theatre.

Kildare: 70m Redevelopment Plan For Curragh
The new-look Curragh will cater for 50,000 additional spectators and the current stand is to be demolished and replaced by a three-tier grandstand. Plans also include a new 72-bedroom hotel.

Limerick: Garryowen man hits the heights
A Garryowen man whose career began as a boy soprano has had two albums in the Irish Classical Charts. Derek Moloney won the RTE Search for a Tenor competition last year and fittingly, given where he grew up, one of his albums features Ireland's Rugby Anthems while the other was a tribute to James Joyce.

Mayo: New hotel for Ballinrobe at last
The first sod has now been turned for a new hotel for Ballinrobe, a facility of which the town has been much in need for a number of years, particularly during the holding of last year's World Cup Fishing competition. The twenty-four bedroomed hotel in Rathredmond townland will be named Rathredmond House Hotel.

Meath: Committee Receives 2,000 Submissions Against Tara Motorway
Heritage campaigners have delivered 2,000 submissions to the Oireachtas Transport Committee opposing plans to build a motorway through the historic landscape surrounding the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.The submissions were collected by the Save Tara-Skryne Valley group at various locations throughout Ireland last weekend.

Monaghan: The County Council has decided that it will name the new Carrickmacross bypass, which is on the main Dublin/Londonderry N2 route, as 'The Kavanagh Way' in an effort to perpetuate the memory of the poet, who was born in Co Monaghan village of Inniskeen. The road-opening ceremony is due to take place on January 24.

Tyrone: Down on the farm for postman Stephen
Stephen Kelly, a postman from Strabane, has paid a visit to Barrontop Fun Farm near Dunamangh to play his part in the launch of Royal Mail's 2005 stamp programme. Postmen have been visiting a number of different farms all over the North, including working farms, dairy farms and sheep farms, to launch this year's ten first class stamps which all feature farm animals. Among the animals featured on the special edition are a British Saddleback and piglets, a Khaki Campbell duck and drake, a Clydesdale mare and foal, Dairy Shorthorns, a Border Collie puppy, Chicks, Suffolk sheep, a Bagot Goat, a Norfolk Black Turkey and Embden geese.

News from all over:

Manchester, England: First details have been announced of events planned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Manchester Irish Festival - sixteen action packed days of Irish Music, Song, Dance and Culture. The annual event which is now established as one of the biggest Irish Festivals in Europe, will be launched on Friday 4th March and runs to Sunday 20th March 2005. For full details, click

USA: ABC News named Irish immigrant Jerry Quinn their Person of the Week after he donated $100,000 to Franklin Pedra for the cost of a kidney transplant. Quinn grew up on his father's farm near Galway in the west of Ireland. "It's hard work," he recalled. "Your father will have you milking and cleaning out from under the cows. When you're younger you love it, when you're older you want to get away from it." As a young man, Quinn came to America on a vacation and, like a lot of the Irish, he simply stayed. He became a bartender. He did pretty well and finally got his own place, which serves Asian food and Irish beer. To read the complete story, please click

USA: Geraldine Hughes' "Belfast Blues" opens in New York
Actresses Anjelica Huston and Carol Kane have joined forces to present Geraldine Hughes' solo play "Belfast Blues" at The Culture Project, in New York. The play, starring the Belfast-born actress, will open January 20 at the 45 Bleecker Street Theatre

From the mailbag:
Audrey writes: Can the dead communicate with the living? Many people have stories of extraordinary happenings in their lives relating to deceased relatives or friends that are inexplicable. It might be the appearance of a deceased loved one, the discovery of a lost and precious item belonging to a deceased person or a song with particular meaning, heard in a place of special significance. The possibilities are infinite. I am currently researching the topic with a colleague for a book to be published in Europe and the USA. I would be grateful if any of your readers might share any such experiences with us, with a view to publication. All correspondence will be dealt with the utmost respect and confidentiality.
Anyone wishing to share an experience with us can write to the following address: -
Audrey Healy 3 Canal Close, Longford, Co. Longford, Ireland.
Alternatively email to yourstory@eircom.net

"Tiger Forde" writes: Hello from the UK. Please can you help me. 5 years ago I inherited an earthenware round 2 part pot, with a bottom and a top, the smaller part is glazed I think this is the bottom part, the slightly large part is not glazed, but on the outside on the top are the words MOSES IRISH BREAD BAKER. As I now make my own bread, would really like to know how to use this item, as it came to me from my life long friend who passed away 5 years ago, I think she left it to me as a tease, as until 3 years ago I could never master the art of bread making (I am now 70) who says you're never too old to learn. If you could help me I would be very grateful as I hate to see it sitting in the cupboard looking very unloved and neglected.
Kind regards & Gods Blessing to you.

Reader's web site spotlight
Fr. McGowan sent in an entry to our Irish writer's quiz and nominated his orphanage in Japan as a favorite URL. We took a look and while the text is all in Japanese, we loved looking at the children. We thought you might, too.

Links of the week:
Road Etiquette in Ireland. Jay from Irish Aires tells us this has been around for quite a while - but it was new to us and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope you do, too.

Only in Ireland. Aideen sent us this series of pics. We can't remember if we published this link already. Just in case we haven't, here it is. We're pretty sure the photos were taken in Galway. BTW, we couldn't open this is in Explorer, but had no problems with Netscape:

Jack & Vivian Hennessey of the Irish Page sent us a link to another song in Irish and English about a roaring mad puck goat - Poc ar buile. The jig music is enjoyable and they hope that you like it.

Our friend Audrey G sent us "Do You Remember These"? We've published it before but it's worth doing again - especially if you are American.

Along the same lines, Alan sent us:

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:

Last but certainly not least - our on-going gift to AG in California and all friends to animals, please click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal. Thanks!

It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:

Enough of the blitherin' - on with the update....

Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Writer's Quiz
New This Week
The Week Ahead
We don't stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing. George Bernard Shaw _________________________________________________________
Kathleen says to Mary: "Good mroning, Mary. And how is everything?"
Mary: "Am I not having a great time of it between the husband and the fire. If I keep my eye on one, the other is sure to go out."
Adapted from The Good Clean Funnies List

The rich American couldn't undertand why the Irish angler was lying lazily beside his boat on the beach, smoking a pipe. "Why aren't you out fishing?" asked the American. "Because I have caught enough fish for the day," said the fisherman. "Why don't you catch some more?" "What would I do with them?" "You could sell them and make more money," was the American's reply. "With that you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would make enough to buy nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats . . . maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me." "What would I do then?" asked the fisherman. "Then you could really enjoy life." said the American. "And what do you suppose I might be doing right now?" said the Irishman, smiling and puffing away on his pipe.
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish Lottery. Will this be the year you become a millionaire? There Are 42 Shades of Green - All you need are 6 to hit the Irish Millions! 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, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! You can't win it if you're not in it. Please click here for full details:
1. If you're of Cork blood, ancient Irish statute forbids you from kissing the Blarney Stone - that would be double dipping the gift of the gab!
2. According to old folklore, some wool taken from a black sheep, and worn constantly in the ear, is a sure remedy for earache.
3. It's an old superstition that if you want to prevent an uwanted guest from returning, you should sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.
To start off, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. Dublin Pub Life: Kevin C. Kearns
2. McCarthy's Bar: Pete McCarthy
3. The Story of the Irish Pub: Cian Molloy

A round of applause and pints to our literary sleuths:
Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May." To preview May 25 - June 8, 2005.view this year's itinerary, please visit

Barbara Levingstone
Lancashire UK

Hart & Helen Dowd
For easy-read stories, poems, Bible studies, odds'n ends, devotional, inspirational and missionary articles, we invite you to have a look at: http://www.occupytillicome.com/literary.html
(easy link to the literary list.)
Or please visit

Denis McGowan, C.P.
I have no personal Web Site, but there is a nice Web Site for my kindergarten. The text is in Japanese, so the text will be scrambled for someone who does not have Japanese software. But by clicking through on the icons to the left you can see photos, including one of Himself with his lovely children.

Dallas Franklin
The 'GOD ezine' is published monthly, sent out on the 1st of each month. Always something to help you expand your psychic awareness and connect you to your spirit.

Mary Sigrist
An Irish Fairy Tale for All Ages: Kick back and visit The Kingdom of the Bald Ferns in Old Ireland. Meet a group of young Irish cousins and their flying dragon, Flash. Trips to a fairy village called Oolagilbie; a dragon wedding; and a near escape from the trolls and ogres are just a few of the adventures of Flash and his friends. Visit and sign my guest book to hear from FLASH:

Patricia mEdwards
Gt. Britain

Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

1. The Names Upon the Harp
2. The Book of Irish Families: Great & Small
3. The Complete Book of Irish Family Names

Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and a favorite in our library 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 - preferably Irish. 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

To begin with, the answer to our last brain drain:
Q. In the NBA how many men are on the basketball court for each team?
A. Five men on each team. Congrats to Brenda Ross of Massachusetts who was first in with the correct answer. And now, especially for those of you who complained that the last one was way too easy, Russ has found a real thinker stinker: Bags and Beads. You are given 5 bags. There are 10 beads in each of the bags. In four of the bags, the beads each weigh 10 kilograms.  In the remaining bag,  each bead  weighs only 9 kilograms. All the bags and beads look identical. You must  find out which bag has the lighter beads. The problem is that all the bags look identical and all the beads look identical. You can use a scale, but it has to be a single-tray scale, not a two-tray balance scale.  Also, you may use the scale only once.
Q. How can you find out which bag has the lighter beads?  
THE WEEK THAT WAS - Sadly, the last vestiges of the Christmas season have disappeared...
1. Article - Discovering Ireland - In NewYork
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMisc/IrishRootsNewYork.html Article: 2. Article - The Holy Wells of Ireland
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ALandmks/HolyWells.htmlOiche na
3. Article - A Bit of the Blather
4. Article - A Brief History of Irish Crystal
5. The Irish Kitchen - Basic Irish Scones
6. Aerticle - Gaoithe Moire - The Big Wind
7. Main Culture Corner - The Cork Butter Market
8. Kids' Ireland Culture Corner - The Cork Butter Museum
9. Library: The Last of the Donkey Pilgrims - Home Page, right margin.
10. Irish Shops - religious. We again spotlight St. Ita whose feast day is January 15. Anachron is located in the right margin on the home page
11. On-going - Circle of Prayer: Our 7th Novena in this cycle ends on January 16 and our 8th begins on Monday. Please join us in prayer or meditation for the survivors and the victims of the Tsunami; also for Susan's dad who is very ill; for the family of Pfc. Kenneth VonRonn 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, aka Fighting 69th, who died Jan. 6, along with six soldiers from a Louisiana National Guard unit. He is the 4th member of NY's Fighting Irish to die in Iraq. for Matt Maupin who has now been missing or held hostage in Iraq for going on nine months; for the safety of Paul and Ashley, the sons of personal friends and for all military personnel stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all over the world. Please also remember Mollie's son Casey, Mary from NY, Pauline recovering from surgery; and Graine We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer and know that God listens and will answer.
12. On-going - Trivia Contest. The new quiz for January has been posted. All entries must be in by January 31st, whichever time zone you live in. Please note that we have another sponsor - The Celtic Attic who are offering a lovely prize. Check it out here: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
We have a winner for December but they still haven't contacted us. We'll give them another week. If we don't hear from them, we'll pick another name.

With St. Brigid's Day, Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday looming quickly, we have lots of existing material to review and reprint. Bridget is also chewing on all kinds of new content possibilities - but isn't making any commitments or promises. As always, we'll post a new blessing on Sunday, a new quote on Wednesday, and we have a new recipe from Hartson. In general, we'll do whatever else we can to keep you coming back for more. And don't forget our daily updates of news and history. For news, please click:
And we keep a week's worth of history here:
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Did you know they now ship to Canada? Explore what they have on offer, including great items from Guinness, Hats of Ireland and Roundstone Bodhrans from Galway. They also stock authentic Irish whistles from the leading makers like Fádóg, Clare, Walton, Guinness & Clarke. One of the oldest musical instruments in Ireland. the Irish whistle is affordable, easy to learn and can be used to play music your entire family will enjoy - from haunting airs to lively reels. Come take a look - browse to your heart's content, and remember, when you buy from Lollysmith, you'll always enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.
So that's the long and the short of it for another week except to say that if you're celebrating a birthday or other special event between now and next time, we hope it's a joyous occasion!

Until next time, may you and yours be abundantly blessed and may the Good Shepherd of us all keep you in the palm of His hand - but not close His fist too tight on you. And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!
and 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 send a dollar or more to Russ and Bridget, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH, 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
Our email address there is bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $25 and any thanks in advance for your kindness.
Events & Classifieds
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter or on the Wild Geese website. In fact, the Irish Heritage email group and the Wild Geese have joined forces to bring you a massive listing of Irish events all over the world! To subscribe to the list, send your e-mail address to group moderator George Trainor, at george@thewildgeese.com. The group's postings go out every other Friday and Saturday, in five separate e-mails, covering Irish history, myths and legends, news, jokes, Irish (Gaeilge) lessons, recipes, and more. Organizations, please alert them about your upcoming events, e-mail events@thewildgeese.com, fax: 208-978-9998. Deadline: The third Wednesday of the month for the following month's edition. Also visit The Wild Geese at:

and the site itself at www.thewildgeese.com.
If you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

Dublin - Now until mid-March
"Toy Stories", An Exhibition of Toys, Dolls & Games from the Past is on display at the National Museum of Ireland

Houston, Texas - January 19 and every Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm
Ar mhaith leat Gaeilge a labhairt? Would you like to speak Irish?
Beginning Irish Conversation Brian O'Neill's 5555 Morningside This Irish class is tailored to the beginning student who has had no prior exposure to Irish.
If you have any questions please contact Tim Theisen (tyson) at
Jeaniebotl@aol.com or phone me at (713) 263-9691

Philadelphia January 21 - Stand Up For Life
Philadelphia City Hall - Courtyard West
Noon - 1:00 P.M. For more information, please contact PHBowdrenSr@aol.com

New York City January 22 - Northern Aid Testimonial Dinner
It will take place at the Southgate Hotel, 7th Avenue and 31st Street, Manhattan. For more details or information please call 212-736-1916 or Noraid1971@aol.com. Tickets may be purchase online through the Homefront Store at http://www.inac.org/homefront/product_info.php?products_id=61

Co. Sligo - January 28-30
The Yeats Winter School returns!
The aim of the weekend is to provide a basis for reading, exploration and thinking about Yeats' work. The Winter School is organised by the Yeats Society Sligo and full details can be found at

Houston Texas - February 24-27
UST Hosts The American Conference for Irish Studies
Southern Regional Conference. The first major event in 2005 for the Center for Irish Studies. The conference features nearly 100 presentations by Irish Studies scholars, students, and interested persons from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada and throughout the United States on Irish Studies topics, including literature, history, politics, art, culture music, and immigration. For more information or to register, please visit

Houston, Texas - February 27
McTeggart Irish Dancers 3rd Annual - St. Patrick's Day Celebration and Fundraiser
3-7PM At the newest of Molly's Irish Pubs~ Olde City Pub 14124 Steubner Airline. For more details, please click

Galway City - March 5
The sixth NUI Galway Gala Banquet http://www.nuigalway.ie/news/main_press.php?p_id=190 , to be held in the Radisson SAS Hotel in Galway, will have as its theme the university's mission in international education. At the banquet the annual Alumni Awards will be presented, the winners to be announced in the next issue of Alumni Links.


There are still some periods available up to 9 July, if you would like to spend your holiday in my cosy house on the beautiful Isle of Inishmore.
Information: http://www.celticexperience.net
or 0041-1-2520918

Know of a church in need of a vestments cabinet? Russ has totally restored one he rescued from a Cincinnati church that was being demolished. We've used it over the years to store posters other art work and flat files. (Ad agencies and architectural firms could also put it to similar use). If you're interested in learning more about it and seeing a photo, please send us an email - bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com

Edited and adapted from a verse by anonymous and sent to us by Hartson - thank you!

T'was The month After New Years, and all through the house nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibble, the eggnog I'd taste, all the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales, there arose such a number! When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I remembered the marvelous meals I'd prepared; the gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared...
The wine and the rumballs, the bread and the cheese And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt And prepared once again to battle the dirt...
I said to myself, as I only can "You can't spend a winter dressed like a man!" So...away with the last of the sour cream dip, Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip.
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished 'Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie, not even a lick, I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or cornbread, or pie, I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore...
But isn't that what January's for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot
Happy New Year to All and to All a Good Diet.