Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to nearly 2100 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,

As always, it's grand to be back writing to you. We hope this edition finds you and yours in fine fettle and fit as a fiddle. We'd also like to say a special thank you to our newest subscribers. Welcome to our group and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends.

It's Wednesday, mid-week and we were wondering if we shouldn't hold off on our next go round until this coming weekend. We vetoed the idea, thinking that you'd rather have your newsletter late than not at all. So, herewith, the latest - literally!

How about them Red Sox! What a week it's been. And what an amazing feat if they wrap it up tonight. Here in the Queen City, we also had a tremendous win when the Bengals beat the Broncos for all diehard fans to see on Monday Night Football - the first time our team has been featured in fifteen years. Not so good news for Notre Dame last Saturday; with less than a minute to go, D.J. Fitzpatrick's final 55-yard field goal attempt fell short and our Fighting Irish lost to BC by one point. Talk about heartbreak.

Our granddaughter Caity turned 7 last Thursday and her mom surprised her at school with a visit from Boomer, a lovely black labrador who is a drug dog with the Canine Corp. Boomer and his owner/trainer, Officer Bernie enthralled Caity and her school mates with an mazing demonstration of how they find "the bad guy", i.e. hidden drugs. We surprised Caity by being there for the show as well and it didn't hurt our feelings one little bit that she was more interested in Boomer than visiting with "Gumpa and Nana."

This past weekend, our friends in Ireland enjoyed a Bank Holiday - we hope you all had a safe and enjoyable time. We also hope and pray that you will be safe from the severe weather that's predicted for today and tomorrow; we read that you could have wind gusts up to 80 miles an hour which is the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane.

Speaking of hurricanes, Russ' sister Renee took some photos of the damage to mom's shed and another location in Barefoot Bay. You can see them here:
As Candee, one of our subscribers who lives practically next door in Vero Beach wrote,"...we still, as you know, haven't recovered and it will be a long time until we do."

On a lighter note, here's a great storm-related cartoon Renee also sent:

And in a spooky vein - are you ready for tonight's "blood moon" rising?
A total lunar eclipse will be visible from most locations and what makes it so eerie is that at this time of year, as the eclipse progresses, the moon goes from a cold pale color to orange and then to red. It's also called a hunter's moon because hunters literally used to hunt by the light of the moon. Maybe they still do. To find out more about this unusual celestial phenomenon, please click:

Enough about the moon and sixpence...we mean and us...
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at 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, 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:
In news from Ireland:


EU life is good for health and wealth
According to an item in the irish Times, Irish people today live six years longer than they did before the State joined the European Union. Also, the average Irish person earns €514.84 a week and they spend a fifth of their income on services like foreign holidays, entertainment and meals out.

Belfast - Crafty Women Using Skills To Boost Local Businesses and Tourism
Enterprising women from the Short Strand in east Belfast are using their creative skills to produce and market craftwork in a bid to boost local businesses and encourage tourism. For complete details on this story, please click

Cork - Spooks in the second city
This week sees the fourth All-Ireland Scientific, Therapeutic and Educational Ghost Convention/Festival taking place at various venues around Cork City. Events include a convention to be held at the Cork City Gaol Heritage Museum in Sunday's Well, a building which is reputed to be one of the most haunted in Europe. (We're going to look into this tidbit!)

Derry - Derry: Old school marks anniversary
St Eugene's Primary School in Derry City has embarked on a year's celebrations to mark the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of its opening. Originally named St Columba's National School Number One, it was given over to the Sisters of Mercy in 1845 by the then Bishop Francis Kelly. Former pupils include actress Roma Downey, former education minister Martin McGuinness and writer Eamon McCann.

Donegal - One family, one team
A family of brothers from Inver believe they have set a new record by forming a soccer team to play against a group of friends and neighbours in the village last weekend. The Kennedy brothers came home to Donegal from all over Ireland and the UK and they were cheered on by their mother Eileen and their aunts, Mary and Anne, while their father Jim played the bagpipes at half time with the St Naul's pipe band. All the support was to no avail, however, as the brothers lost the match 4-2, but they did manage to raise a total of €10,000 for the Donegal Hospice. Unfortunately their record does not qualify for the Guinness Book as that volume only accepts records that might be beaten at some time in the future.

Galway: Short of a record but huge nevertheless
Ben Conneally and his father Paddy, from Boyounagh in Glenamaddy, recently discovered a giant mushroom in a field in Williamstown. Although six inches off the world record, the mushroom weighed thirteen pounds and measured forty-eight inches in diameter

Kerry: Kerry native helps bog fundraiser
Somewhat appropriately a Kerry Bog Pony is to be sold at auction to raise funds for the provision of a national centre for peatland education, conservation and research at Lullymore in Co. Kildare. Ballycleave Heather has been donated by John Mulvihill of the Kerry Bog Pony Society who is based at the Kerry Bog Village in Glenbeigh. There are at present approximately one hundred of this endangered breed of pony, which was traditionally used for carrying turf on a wheel-less slide cart, and it has been awarded the title of Ireland's Heritage Pony. The auction is due to be completed by December 1 and bids can be placed at http://www.ipcc.ie

Mayo - Whales ahoy!
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has pronounced as significant the sighting of a number of fin whales some three to five miles off Clare Island and Achillbeg over the past week or so. The mammals were spotted feeding on herring by the owner of an angling charter vessel, Johnny King from Cleggan, Co. Galway, while working with Bord Iascaigh Mhara on tagging bluefin tuna south-east of the Bill Rocks, and he reported the sighting to the Whale Watch Group. According to the group's Pádraig Whooley, whales and dolphins are a common sight off the coast of Cork at Galley Head, but sightings in Mayo are considerably less frequent.

Tipperary - Locals to block the block?
The residents of the lakeside village of Garrykennedy are up in arms over a plan to locate a new public toilet and shower block for tourists in what they believe is a too prominent position. The block proposed by the county council, which will include changing units and a laundry, will overlook Lough Derg, will be particularly noticeable from the lake and will, according to residents, detract from the look of the scenic village.

Irish language TV station TG4 will be capable of being beamed into nine out of ten Ulster households next Spring. For more on this story, please click http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/film_tv/story.jsp?story=574558

Wexford - Ireland's 'Grandest Folly' Restored
The Browne-Clayton monument in Carrickbyrne, Co Wexford - described by architectural historians as Ireland's grandest folly - has been fully restored. The 95 ft (29 metre) granite column, a local landmark visible for miles around, had been in "severe danger of collapse" after being struck by lightning in December 1994. It is located off the N25 roughly half-way between Wexford and New Ross.

News from all over
Grafton Street is 5th highest on rent list
A survey of the world's most expensive shopping streets has shown that Grafton Street in Dublin is the fifth most expensive for rents in the world. Fifth Avenue in New York topped the list, followed by Paris's Champs Elysees, Hong Kong's Causeway Bay, and London's Oxford Street.

Boston, Massachusetts - Boston Irish Film Festival
"We no longer believe there is one vision of Ireland," said Peter Flynn, co-curator of the Boston Irish Film Festival. Flynn, a Dublin-born professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, said that the BIFF recognizes not only the country's fledgling film industry but also the pluralism of Irish culture for the new millennium. "No bucolic hills or Catholic Nationalists who stay at home with their mothers until they're 42. This festival opens up what it means to be Irish." For details on this story, please click

From the mailbag:
Bill writes: "Like many Irish on this side of the ocean, I have many videos of the Irish "folk singers" but they are 20 years old or older and are stretching and fading and I'm looking for a place to find if these groups have been redone on DVD. Groups like the "Dubliners", the "Dublin City Ramblers, the "Wolftones", "Paddy Reilly" etc., etc. I hope you can help or send out a message to someone who can help."

Links of the week:

Vivian & Jack Hennessey of the Irish Page have another O'Carolan offering to share with you:
They hope you enjoy this music.

Spooky...and not for the faint-hearted!

A fun one for the kids - do you dare hit all the numbers on the pumpkins?

And another fun one for kids of all ages - fair warning - this is harder than it looks!

Need a little stress relief? Try this link sent in by Denise:

Our friend Pauline in England thought this would make you smile:

Is this what happens to your computer desktop when you're not looking?

It had to happen. We went looking to see if the irish ghost in a bottle had sold. Among the new listings is the following

Save $5.00 on your favorite foods from Ireland
Click on the link, order what you want and then write in Halloween on your order.

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 blather- 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
In celebration of Oscar Wilde's birthday on October 16, we are featuring some of our favorite "Oscarisms" each week of the month.
"She who hesitates is won."
"He was always late on principle; his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time." Oscar Wilde
This one is edited and adapted from one sent in by Penny R. Thank you, Penny!
A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively >mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that, if any mischief occurred in their village, their sons were probably involved. The boys' mother heard that the local vicar had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The vicar agreed, but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8-year-old in first that morning; with the older boy to see the vicar in the afternoon. The vicar, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?" The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide eyed. So the vicar repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God!!?" Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the vicar raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD!!!!?" The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dived into a cupboard, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the cupboard , he asked, "What happened?" The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing - and they think WE did it.!" =================================================================
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Explore what we have on offer, including our great selection of 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.
1. For centuries, an unholy ringing sound coming from a gnarled old oak tree on windy nights terrified the people of the County Down village of Kilbroney? In 1885, the tree was blown down and the source of the ghostly noise was discovered - a golden bell hidden in the hollow of the trunk by a monk hundreds of years before.
2. Kilkenny's long association with cats stems from the fearsome, wild felines which once inhabited the Dunmore caves in the north of the county?
3. "Sweeney's Gun" is a complex sea of caves on Lough Swilly? Every day, Atlantic rollers rushing into the caverns create a bang so loud that in the days before the motorcar, the noise could clearly be heard on the streets of Derry more than 30 miles away.
To start off, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. True Irish Ghost Stories by John D. Seymour, Harry L. Neligan
2. Brendan Kennelly: A Host Of Ghosts (Contemporary Irish Writers Series) by John McDonagh
3. The Irish Witch by Denis Wheatley

A round of pints and applause for our literary sleuths:
Patricia Edwards
I'm running out of sites to offer, but as it's coming up to Halloween how about this one:

Pauline Dewberry, Kent, UK
Devoted lap and cuddle agent to 6 delightful four legged companions:

Hart and Helen Dowd
Please visit Helen's website at:

Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following. (We assure you, it's really easy) Who wrote:

1. Celtic Mysteries: Classic Ghost Stories for Today's Readers
2. Banshees, Beasts & Brides from The Sea - Irish Tales of the Supernatural
3. Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns & Goblins - An Encyclopedia
All correct entries will be listed in the next newsletter in the order in which they are received. Hint: All 3 titles can be found here: (This one is going on Bridget's Christmas list)
Back in Print!!!!
The Traditional Irish Wedding. Updated, expanded and revised 2nd edition now available:
To begin with, the answer to our last belfry baffler:
Forward I am heavy, but in reverse I am not.
Q. What am I?
A. The word ton. This one was way too easy! We had hundreds of correct answers; so many that we don't have time to send out a personal well done, but sorry you weren't the first. However, we hope that doesn't stop you from trying again. Meanwhile, congrats to Brenda Ross who was first with the correct answer and who lives in Massachusetts when she isn't in Ireland. And now for a trio of groaners in celebration of the season:

1. What happened to the man who couldn't keep up with the payments to his exorcist?
2. How do canine scavengers in Africa find their way in the dark?
3. Why was the vampire fired from the blood bank?

Halloween continues to dominate our web-site offerings. Added to the home page this week are:
1. Article - Irish Halloween: Part 1
2. Article - Irish Halloween: Part 2
3. Article - A Triple Treat for Halloween
4. Irish Kitchen - Barm Brack, the traditional Halloween bread
5. Ongoing - October Trivia Contest. Hurry - time's running g out! To enter the contest, please click http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
All entries must be in by midnight, October 31st, whatever time zone you live in.
6. New - Halloween Decor: "Moon & Pumpkin". A really cute slate from Celtic Attic:
7. New - Sunday Blessing
8. New - Wednesday Quote
9. On-going: . Circle of Prayer; Novena #8 in this cycle began on October 17 and ends on October 25. Our 9th Novena begins on October October 26 and ends on November 4. Please keep kidnapped Irish aid worker Margaret Hassan in your prayers; also Mary from NY, Hartson & Helen, Aideen, Graine, Barbara G's mom who just had a stroke, Cheryl, little Sebastian, Matt Maupin still being held hostage; (it is now 6 months since he was taken); the families of those hostages who were so brutally murdered; the sons of personal friends Paul and Ashley, who are serving in Iraq, and all of our military personnel stationed in Iraq and all over the world.

The end of one month, the beginning of another - and a very special time in the Celtic calendar - Samhain! May we take this opportunity to be among the first to wish you and yours a Happy Celtic New Year on November 1st. Also, we will be doing a new basic Irish lesson, new recipe, new children's story and more, as well as the usual Sunday blessing, Wednesday quote and the daily headlines and history. Just so you know, we keep two weeks worth of headlines which you can read here:
And we keep a week's worth of history here:

So there's the long and the short of it except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - many of em' frivolous, but some serious:
October 23: Mole Day; TV Talk Show Host Day; Samuel Beckett wins Nobel Prize for Literature (1969)
October 24: United Nations Day; Mother-In-Law's Day 2004 (Didn't we already list this one?); National Bologna Day (USA); Peace Treaty Day (Cambodia); Swallows leave Capistrano Day
October 25: Punk for a Day Day; Labor Day Holiday in New Zealand; Bank Holiday in Ireland
October 26: Make A Difference Day; Mule Day
October 27: Navy Day
October 28: Chocolate Day (Bridget likes this one!); Plush Animal Lover's Day
October 29: Tell A Story Day (Scotland); Hermit Day; National Frankenstein Day
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 wild and wacky holidays are on tap for the rest of October? Check out:

Until next time, may God hold you and yours in the palm of His hand and keep you from all harm - and as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.

Slan agus beannacht...and go Red Sox!

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 bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.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:

Seattle Washington - October 29
The annual Memorial Mass in Gaelic for the deceased members of Seattle's Irish community is Friday, October 29, 7:30 PM, at Sacred Heart Church, 205 2nd Ave N (beside the Seattle Center). Mass Booklets in Gaelic and English will be provided, and musicians and singers are invited to volunteer by calling Mary Kelly at 206-528-1988. Call Catherine at 425-438-8554 to submit names of people who have died in the past year, or email CatherineM@irishclub.org.

Covington, Kentucky, October 29
Silver Arm at will be playing at Jack Quinn's Irish Alehouse, 4th and Court Sts, Covington, 8-11pm. They hope you will stop by and support them so Quinn's will continue to have more live Irish Music! They also have open Irish sessions on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. Also, Silver Arm's website has been renewed and updated so please pay them a visit sometime at

Tallahassee, Florida - October 30, Tallahassee Celtic Festival
Advance tickets now sale at all Blockbuster Locations in Tallahassee, Panama City, Thomasville & Valdosta. For more details, please click

Boston, Massachusetts - October 29 & 30
Patrick Kavanagh Centenary Conference & Celebration. Sponsored by Sir Anthony O'Reilly with Special Guest Speaker, Nobel Laureate Séamus Heaney. For more details, please click

Houston, Texas - November 3
One of Murder By The Book's favorite debut novelists of 2003, Erin Hart, will sign & discuss her new Irish mystery novel, Lake of Sorrows, Wednesday, November 3, 6:30 p.m. 2342 Bissonnet St. Event includes traditional Celtic music performed by Erin's husband, Paddy! His website is: http://www.chulrua.com/tunehome.htmlIf you need any more information on the event, please don't hesitate to contact David at (713) 524-8597 or david@murderbooks.com

New York City - November 7
In Ireland Once Upon A Time - A performance by Kitty Sullivan at the Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51 Street. One show only at 3pm on Sunday November 7th.
Tickets are $20.00 by calling Smartix at 212-868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com.
For press information and interviews please contact Daly Communications at 212-772-0852 or anitadaly@yahoo.com.
For more details about Ms. Sullivan, please click:

You may not know that many non-living things have a gender. For example:

1) Ziploc Bags -- They are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

2) Copiers -- They are Female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm them up again. It's an effective
reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.

3) Tire -- Male, because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.

4) Hot Air Balloon -- Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it and, of course, there's the hot air component.

5) Sponges -- Female, because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.

6) Web Page -- Female, because it's always getting hit on.

7) Subway -- Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

8) Hourglass -- Female, because over time, the weight can shift to the bottom.

9) Hammer -- Male, because it hasn't changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.

10) Remote Control -- Female. Ha! You thought it'd be Male. But consider this -- it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.
Received from Thomas S. Ellsworth.
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: