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Greetings and blessings to all...

The warmest of welcomes to everyone, especially our newest readers - many thanks for signing up and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends.

We hope and pray this week's edition finds you in good health, good spirits and good company. As for ourselves, we're thrilled to have just learned that in the Six Nations Rugby Tournament, Ireland has ended their 19-year wait for a Triple Crown in champagne style at Lansdowne Road with a win over Scotland 37 to 16. While it's not enough to win the Six Nation's title, we're certain the players and fans are over the moon.

Hard to believe that April's almost here. While it seems to be catching us by surprise this year, Mother Nature is right on schedule; the lilac bush is leafing, the daffs are in full bloom and all around us, you can feel spring in the air. So, "Pinch, punch, first day of the month, white rabbit!" And for all of you getting married this month or who tied the knot in April, here's the old Irish verse:
"Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man!

On with the newsletter:

In news from Ireland:
Summertime arrives! Just a reminder that on Sunday, you need to set your clocks forward one hour. Just about everyone in the world, with a few major exceptions like the USA and Canada, (except Saskatchewan), will be going to daylightsavings time this weekend. To check for your country, please click

Irish speakers on the increase: More than 1.5 million people living in the Republic can speak the Irish language, according to 2002 census figures published by the Central Statistics Office. The figure represents an increase on the 1.43 million Irish speakers identified in 1996.
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reveals a wealth of information.

Co. Dublin - The city of Dublin has been ranked seventh in the latest survey of international locations for office space costs. At $69.63 per square foot per annum, the Irish capital was behind London, Tokyo and Paris, but -
somewhat surprisingly - ahead of New York, Moscow and Frankfurt.

Co. Clare - The Fitzpatrick Bunratty Shamrock Hotel is building thirty-nine holiday cottages which will mirror the nineteenth century village street at the nearby Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. According to the hotel's Paul Fitzpatrick, the street has been designed to blend in with the Folk Park's street and it will also include some retail units.

Co. Cork - The Government has granted €60 million for the construction of a new School of Music

Co. Dublin - On Wednesday, A mass was held in Dublin's St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in memory of those killed in the Madrid bombings. The memorial service was organised by the Spanish embassy and was timed to coincide with the one taking place in Madrid.

Co. Fermanagh - Kesh is the location for the first ever Shaolin Martial Arts Academy to be opened in the country. The Academy has been established by Italian Kung Fu master Danny Khalid who trained with the Shaolin monks in Singapore and it is situated in a gym owned by local man Tyrone Monaghan.

Co. Limerick - Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa visited a number of areas of the county during St Patrick's week prior to his more formal visits to University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology. He was greeted by crowds in both Kilmallock and Kilfinane and when he attended a traditional Irish night in the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare on St Patrick's night he was given a standing ovation.

Co. Waterford - Native son, Vince Power, who owns Mean Fiddler, has announced plans to enter the emerging market for online music sales with an electronic download service to go live next month. The website is now under development - http://www.meantunes.com

In news from all over:

Canada - If you're a Canadian resident, here's your chance to
win two tickets to Ireland! Air-Canada's conducting a sweepstakes where the grand prize winner and a companion will be flown on Air Canada's new summer service to Dublin or Shannon! The contest draw will take place on April 15, 2004. Enter here:

Vienna, Austria - A pub which was transported brick by brick from the village of Churchtown in north Cork to Vienna has just been named as Europe's best Irish bar. Flannery's was once owned by author Maeve Binchy's grandparents and eight years ago it was dismantled and re-erected in Vienna, acquiring the name of Flanagan's pub. A search sponsored by Expedia.com had student Che Murphy visiting pubs all over Europe where the test was to see which Irish staff could best pour a pint of Guinness and create a shamrock decoration on the top, while at the same time singing the national anthem. Flanagan's is owned by Alan Field and had a queue of two hundred outside its doors on St Patrick's Day.

Canada - A Memorandum of Understanding for bilateral scholarship exchanges between Ireland and Canada, inaugurating the scholarship awards programme for 2004, was signed in Ottawa by the Ireland Canada University Foundation and the Ireland Fund of Canada. For details about the program, click: http://www.icuf.ie

Gozo, Gibraltar's sister island - Thanks to the son of a subscriber, Maire Daly, the island celebrated its very first St. Patrick's Day event! Maire's son Sean is half-owner of a pub and threw himself into arranging an outstanding evening that will be long remembered by family, friends and all in attendance.

From the mailbag:
Gordon McCleary writes:
I am going to be coordinating a "Taste of Ireland" fair in Cairo, Georgia on June 27th. My website gives somewhat of an idea of what I am planning. http://ajmacproductions.com/toc.htm
Gordon is looking for musicians, entertainers, and educators. "This is a paying gig!" He's also interested in hearing from vendors. You can visit his website or contact him by email: gordomac44@yahoo.com

Last week, Mike wrote: "I have a Capitol record by John McCormick that has My wild Irish Rose on one side and is completely blank on the other. When I say blank I mean a smooth surface; is there anything you can tell me about this record? It has a number 64426."
In response, John Phillips writes: Tell Mike that the old large 78 records that played on large victrolas that you wound up only had one side to them. THese were still common in the 1930's but most came from the 20's and before. I remember fondly winding up the old single record victrola and playing Irish records on it. Most Irish families had one. Tell Mike to take extremely good care of that record as it is never to be found again. (Thanks, John!)

Warning from "Emeraldbanshee": Going around the internet. May or may not be true, but worth reading. A woman was approached in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and asked what kind of perfume she wears. Then they asked if she'd like to sample some fabulous scent they were willing to sell her at a very reasonable rate. She probably would have agreed had she not received an email some weeks ago warning of a 'Do you want to smell this neat perfume?' scam. THIS IS NOT PERFUME...IT IS ETHER! Sniff enough of it, and you'll pass out. Then they'll take your wallet, your valuables, and heaven knows what else.

Kathleen wrote to us about the proposed extension to the highway very close to the Hill of Tara. We've mentioned this several times before, but it's so important that we think it's worth mentioning again. She suggests e-mail/write/call Bertie Ahern, T.D. Taoiseach and ask that he re-direct the M3 highway around the Tara/Skryne Valley and to designate the Tara/Skryne Valley as a sacred world heritage site according to the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, signed by Ireland in Paris in 1972.
Mr. Bertie Ahern, T.D. Taoiseach, Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings, Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2 IRELAND
E-mail: taoiseach@taoiseach.irlgov.ie
Phone: 353 1 6624888
Lo-Call No. 1890-227227
Fax: 353 1 6789791

For more about this proposed disastrous project, we suggest also visiting:

Links of the week:

Penny R sent us a new and exciting online guide to downpatrick, Co. Downdown (thank you!)

Thanks to Jack, owner and creator of the Irish Page, you can listen to a great tune by Turlough O'Carolan - and learn about a trick that was played on him. Please click:

Need to vent some frustration? Need a chuckle?
Click on the penguin to make him jump, then click on the snowman at the bottom to make him swing his bat, then see how far you can make the penguin fly.
http://home.kabelfoon.nl/~hopha/penguin.swf (Thanks, Hartson!)

Hartson also sent us the following - but fair warning, it's addictive:

This will blow you away - we don't know how it's done, but it works every time. Thanks to Audrey for sending us:

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 blatherin' - 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
Don't know if the following is true or not - but, we enjoyed it all the same:
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."
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Coming soon, a new line of quality Guinness items: caps, shirts, bar clocks, wallets, shoe laces, socks, and more! We also have a terrific selection of authentic Irish walking sticks, from truly elegant to plum pug ugly! And don't forget - Mother's Day is right around the corner - May 10th! Come explore a wide range of great gifts for her, and for every other special occasion. Browse to your heart's content and remember, when you buy from Lollysith, you'll always enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.
This one's adapted from one sent in by our friend AG - thank you!
The first priest says, "You know, since the warm weather started, I've been having trouble with mice in my church. I've tried everything - noise, cats, spray, nothing seems to scare them away." The second priest says, "My church, too. There are hundreds of them living in the cellar. I've set traps and even called in an expert exterminator. Nothing has worked so far." The third priest says, "I had the same problem. So I baptized them all and made them members of my parish. Haven't seen one of them since."
1. Ten percent of Co. Roscommon's population is Brazilian? The samba is danced in one local club on "Brazil Nights", and on Friday evenings, one local radio station broadcasts in Portuguese!
2. The word bard is derived from the ancient name for a Celtic poet?
3. The first three days of April are called the "Borrowed Days" and are traditionally associated with bad weather?
You can't kiss an Irish girl unexpectedly. You can only kiss her sooner than she thought you would.
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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 answers to last week's quiz:
1. Confessions of an Irish Rebel by Brendan Behan
2. The Complete Works of O'Carolan by Donal O'Sullivan
3. Lawrence Bloomfield in Ireland by William Allingham with Robert L. Wolff

As one Irish wag once said, "clap your feet" for this week's literary sleuths:

Hartson Dowd
If you ever wanted to know all about the bodhran, this is the site!

Helen Dowd
New on my site: http://www.occupytillicome.com/inspiration/messages/99.html

Kathryn L. Pascoe
Nationwide Disaster Restoration Services - "We're Putting Your Business Back In Business"

Claire McManus
Check out this site for Irish Roots, Irish music & culture, Irish property and other websiteson tourism and business in Ireland including a links section for every county in Ireland:

Neal Groghan
"Best of Irish Websites" from Co. Kildare

Nancy Riordan
For readers down under, here's my favorite link to Irish-Australian sites:

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. Cathleen Ni Houlihan
2. The Bit 'O Writin' and Other Tales
3. The Garden Lover's Guide to Ireland
Hint: You'll find all the titles 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!)
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
First off, congrats to Hartson Dowd who was not only first with the riddle answers, but also with the answers to our literary quiz. Well done on both counts!
Here are the answers to last week's groaners:
Q. What do you get if you cross a four-leaf clover with poison ivy?
A. A rash of Irish luck
Q. Why did St. Patrick drive all the snakes out of Ireland?
A. He couldn't afford the air-fare
Q. What do you call an Irishman who keeps bouncing off walls?
A. Rick O'Shea
Q. Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?
A He's always short
Enough of the silliness - we're back this week with what we hope is a good cranium-cracker:
A man was found shot dead in his study. He was slumped over his desk and a gun was in his hand. There was a cassette recorder on his desk. When the police entered the room and pressed the play button on the tape recorder they heard, "I can't go on. I have nothing to live for."Then there was the sound of a gunshot. How did the detective immediately know that the man had been murdered?
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Go Ireland are delighted to offer a very wide range of Walking and Hiking Tours in Ireland, in some of the most scenic, historical and culturally rich regions on this beautiful island of ours. Enjoy the natural beauty, the cultural diversity and the Heritage of Ireland and everything else which makes Ireland so special - the people, the humour, the hospitality, the unforgettable scenery, the history and yes - the passion, the poetry, the creativity. Check out:
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. Republished - Article: Tribute to Turlough O'Carolan
3. Republished - Article: April Fool's Day
4. Republished - Article: A Bit O' The Blather
5. Republished - Article: Emblems of Ireland - My Pipe of Irish Clay
6. New - The Irish Kitchen: Shared Recipes of Paul and Jeanne Rankin
7. New - Book Library: Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball
8. Revised - Advertise with Us; we have revised our advertising page to reflect a significant decrease in rates. Please spread the word!
9. On-Going - Our second Novena in this cycle began on March 24th and ends next Wednesday. Please continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Debbie's friend Bertha, Rita, Lindsea, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, the Mulligans and our men and women in the military, especially Paul and Ashley serving in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us each day:
10. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for the past week
11. On-going -This month in Irish History:
12. On-going - March Trivia contest. Time is running out. All entries must be received by midnight, March 31st. You can't win it, if you're not in it!
Help keep our newsletter free - please visit the Celtic Attic:
Easter's just a couple of weeks away - April 11. If you're hunting for the perfect Irish gift to put in the Easter baskets, see our grand selection of Rosary Beads and other religious gifts here:
And, to all our Irish Mothers - lá mháthair shona dhuit - God bless you on mother's day! Come visit our special "Mums Day" page and see our wonderful collection of gifts: http://www.celticattic.com/treasures/home_decor/mums_day_gifts.htm
Purchase any Mum's Day gift in March and receive a FREE GIFT just for you! Place in the comments section of the Shopping Cart that the purchase is great gift for your dear Mum.
Note: If you do place an order - and we surely hope you will - please mention the code IC46 in the comments section on the order form. This will earn Irish Culture and Customs a small commission. Thank you!
With Easter in just a couple of weeks or so, we'll be dusting off our seasonal articles as well as making every effort to bring you fresh material. Since it's the beginning of the month, we'll have a new trivia contest posted on Wednesday and hopefully, another story for children from Grainne. By the way, Hartson brought to our attention several stories and reviews that somehow went missing in our index. We've added them back in and suggest you check those pages to see if there are any you may have missed. One story is still "lost", but we're doing what we can to recreate "Kate's Ancient Gift." As always,we'll have the usual blessing on Sunday, our bi-weekly Irish lesson on Tuesday (this one's related to travel), a new quote on Wednesday and a recipe from Hartson towards the end of the week.

That about wraps it up - except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - most of em' frivolous, but some serious: That just about wraps it up - except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - most of em' frivolous, but some serious: Today is national"Joe" day (we have no idea what this means!) Equally bizarre are tomorrow's Something on a Stick Day and Monday's Smoke & Mirrors Day! A bit more sensible is Doctor's Day on March 30, only to be followed on March 31st with Bunsen Burner Day and National Clam on the Half Shell Day. April Fools Day is next (which is also National Tatting Day) followed by Children's Book Day, Reconciliation Day and National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day on April 2nd. Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and yours! Can't wait to find out what's coming up for the rest of the month? Check out:
http://www.butlerwebs.com/holidays/march.htm http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/march.htm

Until next time, may God send you and yours spring blessings in abundance and keep you 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.net
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $25! Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
Events & Classifieds
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click:
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - 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:

Cleveland, Ohio - March 28
Brendan Grace, who is known as Ireland's "ambassador of comedy," will show how he earned the title at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the West Side Irish American Club, 8559 Jennings Road, Olmsted Township. Tickets are $15. Call 216-251-0711.

Galveston, Texas - March 28
The legendary James Galway plays at the Grand at 3 pm. Ticket prices range from $72 to $18.50, with special discounts for groups and senior citizens. For more information visit http://www.thegrand.com

Shreveport, Louisiana - April 2
Eileen Ivers plays the Strand Theatre, 619 Louisiana Ave. For more details about this performance and many Celtic music events in Louisiana, East Texas, and Mississippi, please click

Beaumont, Texas - April 2
"A Night of Celtic Music and Fare" with Danny O'Flaherty
Beaumont Country Club, 5355 Pine Street. For more details, please click

Zurich - April 3 & 4
Irish Set Dancing Workshop with Pat Murphy (Westport) and Tony Ryan (Galway) For more information, please visit our website:

Parsippany, NJ - from April 15 to18
Traditional Irish Weekend - Each year Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in North America holds a Traditional Irish Weekend in a North American city. The location this year is The Hilton in Parsippany, NJ, about 45 minutes outside of New York City. The event attracts over 3000 people, many staying the entire weekend to attend music sessions, ceilis and music/language workshops. Renowned traditional musicians, many All Ireland Champions, will be conducting the music workshops. For full details, please visit our websites:
http://www.ccenorthamerica.com or http://www.Comhaltas.com
You can also contact Jim Madden at NewJerseyIrish@aol.com

Hollwood, FL - April 17
Irish American Caeli Club April Ceili with Noel Kingston
For details, check our website:

Cincinnati OH - April 17
Silver Arm, one of the area's most popular Celtic music groups, will play at the Dilly Deli, 6818 Wooster Pike. Please check their web site for more details about their performances: http://www.silverarmmusic.com

Day of Welcomes from April 19 to May 1
The 'Day of Welcomes' on Saturday 1st May marks the historic day when 10 new countries join the 15 current member states of the E.U. For more details, click

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 from 1 April 2004 to 31 August 2004. For more details, click

Nova Scotia, Canada - May 26 to 29
Cais Conference/Reunion, Saint Mary's University, Halifax. The theme is "Mother Tongues: The Languages of Ireland." For details, please click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st
For full details please visit our website at:
or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

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

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: