Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to going on 2700 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,
As always, it's lovely to be back - albeit a bit late. It's been another roller-coaster week in the Haggerty household, so we hope you'll be patient with us because the next few weeks, and possibly months, are likely to be unpredictable.

Since last we wrote, we've learned that Russ' mother has stage 4 cancer which is about as bad as it can get. Miraculously, she appears to be very comfortable and in no pain. On Thursday, the oncologists will meet and then, next Monday we will learn what their recommendations are as to a course of treatment. She's in her eighties so we're praying that whatever they suggest will be as gentle as possible given the probable outcome. Ultimately, of course. it will be her decision; while her physical condition isn't good, her mind is still sound and we expect that she will have something to say about her treatment.

In the meantime, our youngest son went down to Florida to pick up valuables from his grandmothers home - including her car which he is driving back here. It's all part of a process that so many of you have experienced and it's never easy to close doors on the life of a loved one. But we are very grateful for being a family that pulls together when needed - and that goes for our circle of friends as well. Anyway. not to belabor the point; suffice to say, our letters may get delivered a bit more sporadically than usual (if that's possible!) We know you will understand and we thank you for all of your prayers and support. Many of you wrote to say that you agreed we shouldn't try and force mom to quit smoking - and we didn't have one reader chastise us. Thank you for that, too.
Onwards. We hope all of our friends in the USA, Northern Ireland and Britain enjoyed the long holiday weekend. And we hope that everyone in the Republic will enjoy the bank holiday coming up. Wouldn't it be grand and most definitely more convenient if the whole world celebrated long holiday weekends at the same time?! As for ourselves, we spent a quiet weekend close to home and the phone as we wanted to maintain close contact with Benjamin to make sure all went well. For the most part, it did, thank God.

Since last we write, nature has outdone herself as she always done, particularly during an Ohio Valley early summer season. The climbing roses by the garage are coming into full bloom - Bridget's mother would approve! The Catalpa tree is also blooming, as are the clematis vines, the Canadian primroses and a host of other trees, shrubs and flowers. If we have time, we'll try to post some pictures on our private page so you can see for yourself (but only after Bridget does a bit more weeding!).

Before we get on with the update, we'd like to mention the guilt trip we've been on since Bridget's computer crashed at the beginning of April. We still have hundreds of emails to answer and it's been very slow-going. But please be assured that we do try to respond to every message eventually. So, a couple more things and then we'll get on with it.

We hope this edition finds you and yours in good health, good spirits and good company. We'd also like to say a special hello to our new subscribers. If you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family and friends. We'd also like to encourage all of you to visit our website as often as you can. The summer doldrums have begun setting in and our stats are way down. We'd appreciate it if you'd drop by often; as most of you already know , we do update the news everyday and we always try to find just the good reports from Ireland.
Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox every week - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
There was no winner last Saturday - enter now for Wednesday's drawing! All you need are 6 numbers to hit the Irish Millions in one of the most trusted lotteries in the world. 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! If you want to win it, you've got to be in it, so visit their totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details - and best of luck to you!
News from Ireland

Traditional place names will be retained in addresses when the new post code system is introduced, the communications regulator has said. Honestly now, do we whole-heartedly believe this?

A surrender letter handwritten by Pádraig Pearse at the time of the 1916 Rising has sold for Euro700,000 at auction - 10 times its guide price. The letter was written by Pearse from his prison cell on 30 April, 1916, days before his execution by firing squad

Charity wristband inspired by late pope's message
A new charity wristband has been launched which encourages Leaving and Junior Cert students to "Be Not Afraid". This biblical phrase was often quoted by the late Pope John Paul II, most notably in his final days.

News from around the counties

Antrim: West Belfast to become a eurozone
Fáilte Feirste Thiar (Welcome to West Belfast), the tourism initiative of the West Belfast Partnership, is to introduce the euro to the area to make it a dual-currency zone. To date some one hundred and twenty businesses have signed up for the scheme, including the Belfast black taxis, and more are expected to follow.

Antrim: Bum's Rush For Nude Statue
Councillors in Belfast have been plunged into a major controversy over
plans to erect a 70ft-high sculpture of a NAKED female in the grounds
of the City Hall. One councillor branded the proposal "a bare-faced cheek".
And another predicted that the sculpture - by internationally renowned
artist David Mach - would be given the bum's rush.

Clare: New Monthly Magazine Is Launched
The first of two glossy monthly magazines aimed for markets in the
midwest has been launched in Ennis. Inside Clare is the first of two publications being produced by Dublin-based New Century Publishing. Inside Limerick is to follow later this summer.

Dublin: Bewley's is back!
Six months after it closed, Bewley's Grafton Street Cafe took another step towards full reopening last Saturday when its theatre returned to action. The Dublin landmark began a phased comeback last week when a branch of the restaurant chain Cafe Bar Deli started operations, along with a separate fish restaurant, Mackerel.

Dublin: Campaign to save Ballyfermot's only historic monument
Residents in Ballyfermot are campaigning to save what has been described by city archaeologist Dr Ruth Johnson as the only historic monument in the Ballyfermot area. The residents want Dublin City Council to acquire the Raheen Park site, which is privately owned and which has been the subject of a number of planning applications. The site, known as The Lawns, contains the remains of the fifteenth century Ballyfermot Castle, which was used as a school for a number of years before being demolished in the nineteenth century. An old church and graveyard on the same site were still in use up to the early years of the last century.

Galway: Pope Benedict appoints Dr Martin Drennan as new Bishop of Galway The new Bishop of Galway has been named as Dr Martin Drennan, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin. Dr Drennan (61), originally from Kilkenny, is a fluent Irish speaker and was ordained as a priest in 1968.

Kerry: Writers' Week Begins In Listowel
More than 50 events are scheduled over the five days, including readings by Carol Ann Duffy, Roddy Doyle and Colm Tóibín, and "a crime- writing event" by Lawrence Block and Ken Bruen. Journalist Robert Fisk will deliver this year's Dr Séamus Wilmot memorial lecture and the late west Limerick bilingual poet Michael Hartnett will be remembered in a poetry symposium on Saturday.News from all over:

Kildare: Old Mill on the market
A mill dating back eight hundred years, which has been host to a number of music gigs under the present ownership over the last twelve years, is to be auctioned at the Ambassador Hotel in Kill next week. The mill, standing on two and a half acres at Victoria Bridge four miles from Naas on the Rathangan road, has been restored both inside and out and is now a protected structure.

Limerick: Pub invasion of the red shirts
The Spotted Dog pub in Janesboro became a sea of red lsdt Wednesday when the extended family of Liverpool footballer Stephen Finnan gathered to watch the European Champions League match taking place in Istanbul. The Spub was filled to capacity with the footballer's parents, aunts, uncles and cousins for the nailbiting occasion and all enjoyed the celebrations after the dramatic victory.

Louth: Battle site for development
Over the next three years some Euro15m is to be spent on developing the site of the Battle of the Boyne on the Oldbridge Estate near Drogheda. The estate was acquired by the government six years ago and opened to the public in the summer of 2002.

Mayo: Plaque to honour Knock priest
Fr. Joe Taafe, a native of Knock who spent many years ministering to emigrants in Birmingham, was honoured in his home town last week when a plaque was unveiled in his memory. The unveiling was carried out by Councillor Michael Nangle, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, who was accompanied to Knock by some fifty Irish emigrants who were welcomed to Mayo by the Mayo Emigrant Liaison Committee.

Mayo: Island Off Mayo Coast For Sale
An uninhabited island is being put for sale by its owner - with a
£750,000 price tag.
Duvillaun Mor, off the coast of Mayo in the Irish Republic, is a 177-
acre island which has been uninhabited for more than 100 years.
The last people to live on Duvillaun Mor were three Galway families
who moved after the Famine to farm there. However, they were evicted around 100 years ago by the landlord and now only the ruins of their stone cottages remain.

Meath: There were brave smiles as communities prepared for the funerals of five young girls. As they filed slowly into the tiny pre-Famine church in Rosnaree, mourners stopped to look at a montage of photographs of the girls killed in Monday's school bus crash in Navan.
ED. NOTE: We usually avoid sad news, but this is such an enormous loss, we are making an exception. Our sympathy goes out to all the families and friends.

Waterford: Wadding statue almost home
Ever since the statue of scholar Luke Wadding was removed from the Mall more than a year ago, the "Honour Luke Wadding" committee has been campaigning to have it re-erected. Now the city council has confirmed that it will soon be back on display, outside Greyfriars Church where work is almost complete.

News from all over
Seattle: President cheered by Microsoft Irish
From the cheers and whoops that erupted when President Mary McAleese arrived in the crowded convention hall at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, it was as if the Irish had taken over the world's most famous software company.

From the Mailbag:
Would like to now if there are any Irish Grammars still available in the old
Irish language, with the old alphabet and lettering used in the schools during
the 1930/1940/1950 years.

Last week, Marilyn asked for sites where she might be be able to download traditional Irish music. True to form, our readers were a big help. Many thanks to Carol Feltman for the following:
This next URL is a site for general Irish music on the internet. It gives a ton of sites to go to for music:

And also to Alex Gilmore who sent in:

JoAnn writes: I've been searching the web for weeks for lyrics to a traditional Irish song that children might sing. This is for a screenplay I'm writing, and I'm stumped. A nursery ryme or lullaby is what I'm looking for. The time-frame is the 16th century and the place is the Aran Isles. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hello my name is Patrick I am E-mailing you today about learning to speak the Gaelic Irish language as I am in new Zealand and there are no Gaelic language teachers here that I know of. I was hoping you could help point me in the right direction of a teacher or an internet course with sound to help me with pronunciation of the words This would be very much appreciated

In response to Laney O'Leary's request for for humorous Irish wedding reception music, Colleen A. Breen suggests the fight scene tune from The Quiet Man; she says " that will make 'em laugh" - we couldn't agree more! Thanks Colleen. Anyone else want to jump in?

We still need help with the following:
Grace writes: My Sister recently had a girl child. The nurse held her up and said " I have nothing to give you, but the Irish curse of Nakedness." My Mother went through the roof! Would you be able to help me to understand what this curse meant? Any help would be appreciated.

Links of the week - and Blogs, too!
Introduction to the Directory of Murals
by Dr Jonathan McCormick
Within these pages are brief details of over 2,000 murals across Northern Ireland. The Directory contains a brief description, information on location, and status of the mural. The Directory is based on information supplied by Dr Jonathan McCormick. Dr McCormick has been photographing murals in Northern Ireland since 1996. The albums mentioned in the web pages refer to photographic albums that he holds at home.

Hartson sent us this intriguing puzzle:

And also a neat stress reliever:

A reminder: 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 blithering - on with the update...
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Writer's Quiz
The Week That Was
The Week Ahead
A new broom sweeps clean, but the old brush knows all the corners.
Irish Proverb
Both your friend and your enemy think you will never die.
Old Irish saying.
Edited and adapted from a joke on the Good Clean Funnies List.
Two Kerry factory workers were talking. "I think I'll take some time off from work." said the man. "How do you think you'll do that?" asked the blonde.He proceeded to climb up to the rafters and hung from them upside down. His supervisor walked in, saw the worker hanging from the ceiling, and asked him what on earth he was doing. "I'm a light bulb," answered the man. "I think you need some time off," said the supervisor. So, the man jumped down and walked out of the factory. The blonde began walking out too. "Where do you think you're going?" demanded the supervisor. The blonde answered, "Home, sir. I can't work in the dark."
================================================================= DID YOU KNOW
1. Ivan Beshoff, the former owner of Beshoff's fish and chip shop in Dublin, was the last survivor of the famous 1905 mutiny on the battleship Potemkin? He died in 1987 aged 104.
2. The prehistoric tombs at Newgrange in Co. Meath are older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt?
3. Carrigeen moss, a seaweed gathered on beaches in Connemara, is valued worldwide as an aphrodisiac? The locals use it to cure sore throats.
To start off, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. Distant Drums: Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies by Dungan
2. The Wild Geese: The Irish Brigades of France and Spain by Mark McLaughlin
3. The Wild Geese: The Irish Soldier in Exile by Maurice N Hennessy

A round of applause and pints to this week's Irish bibliophiles:
Mary K. Ruggiero
(Mary - please send us the URL for your web site - we lost it in the cyber bin - sorry)

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May"
May 25 - June 8, 2005
To view this year's itinerary:

Hartson Dowd
A legendary family-owned Galway bookshop, specializing in books of Irish interest, as well as works of painting and sculpture:

Pauline Dewberry
No joy explained, no love complete,
Than to see a kitten playing at my feet.

Liezl Maartens
So. Africa (thanks for all the nice comments. Liezl!)

Catherine White
I have discovered a website that has everything Irish, especially about history and mythology:
I also enjoyed the book review about McCarthy's Bar. I bought and read the book while I was visiting some friends in Ireland last September and I enjoyed reading about places I had actually visited myself. I highly recommend this book; it's great.
ED:NOTE: If you'd like to read our review, here's the URL:

Helen Dowd
Please visit my website and vote for my site. Thanks!

Pat Edwards
Not exactly an Irish site, but this has some wonderful fantasy cards:

Want to see your name on next week's list? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following?
1. West of Ireland Summers
2. Magpie Cottage: Summers in Ireland
3. When Summer's in the Meadow

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!)
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
THIS WEEK'S RIDDLE: First off, the solution to last week's mind-mangler:
A hunter arose early, ate breakfast, and headed south. Half a mile from camp he tripped and skinned his nose. He picked himself up, cursing, and continued south. Half a mile farther along he spotted a bear. Drawing a bead, he pulled the trigger, but the safety was on. The bear saw him and headed east at top speed. Half a mile later the hunter caught up, fired, but only wounded the beast, which limped on toward the east. The hunter followed and, half a mile later, caught and killed the bear. Pleased, the hunter walked the mile north back to his camp to find that it had been ransacked by a second bear.
Q: What color was the bear that tore up his camp?
A: The bear was white.
As always, "the riddle people" came out in droves and an honorable mention for creativity goes to Betty Oliver who said the bear was yellow because he ran away, and also from "Bahareh Adham" who suggested that it wasn't his camp that the bear tore up; he needed to go another mile west to get to his own camp. First in with he correct solution, however, was Bill Smith of North Carolina - well done. By the way, he and his wife Becky will be going to Ireland in June for their first-ever visit. The Smiths will be on a choir tour, singing only American music (some Shaker tunes, some Blues, some Negro Spirituals) in places like churches, schools, pubs, and you name it. It promises to be a full nine-days, with lots of concerts and pub-crawling to do. They are armed with a new Sony Digital Cam-Corder (DVD's, not tape), and will likely fill all available media immediately upon their arrival. Bill goes on to say that they plan to test the waters with their less-than-commanding knowledge of the Irish language, purchase some memorabilia, like clothing and other typically Irish fare. "I got the delightfully irreverent idea to purchase underwear (do h-eadach) there, rather than take much of my own. That way, I can keep Ireland close to my heart (the heart of my bottom - er - gabh mo leithscéal!)
And now for all of you who have waited so patiently for this week's cranium cracker, here it is:
What question can't be answered by yes?
Help keep our newsletter coming - please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
Father's Day is just around the bend - June `9 - then, of course there are all those Graduation Days; who could forget the people who helped make them all possible? The Teachers, the Coaches, and the Bus Drivers! This is their busy time, they need more caffeine! You can do your part by giving them a special thank you coffee mug, or maybe an Angel to calm their nerves would be a better idea. After all of that, you may deserve a little something for yourself! So please stop by when you get the chance and see what we've found. And while you are here, visit our Whistle page and enter Lolly's latest tin whistle contest:
http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?lollysmith+wSpfhS+index.html ==================================================================
1. Memorial Day Tribute - Home Page
2. Article - The Irish Soldiers in the Civil War
3. Article - It's a Long Way to Tipperary
4. The Irish Soldiers in World War I
5. The Irish Kitchen - Aunt Hettie's War Cake
6. Music Review: No Irish Need Apply
7. Circle of Prayer - Our 4th Novena in this cycle ends on May 31 and the fifth one begins on June 1. Please continue to pray or meditate on behalf of Russ' mom, Pauline in England, Hartson, Bertha, the husband of a subscriber who has neurological problems, Jen, Stephanie, Ben, Delaney, Mollie's son Casey, and Graine. We also hope you will offer your spiritual support for our military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world. We ask that you especially remember a local young man, Matt Maupin, who was captured over a year ago, Paul, Jason & Ashley, the sons of friends and also the three grandsons of Mary Sigrist. We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer; we know that God listens and will answer.
8. May Trivia Contest. It ends at midnight today whichever time zone you live in. So give it a whirl - you just might win.
9. Library - Ration Book Cookery. Rationing was introduced into Ireland & Britain in the early years of the Second World War and lasted for nearly a decade after it was over. This fascinating book offers a detailed "taste of the time."

A new month always has us even more busy than usual, what with a new trivia quiz, new basic Irish lesson, and trying in vain to catch up on all those articles we said we'd publish and just haven't finished yet. Please be patient - there's just the two of us and one half of the duo just isn't as quick as she used to be. In any event, we'll post a new blessing (already there), we'll have another quote on Wednesday and we hope to add another recipe as well. Each day, we look for positive Irish news from all over, and we highlight the history of the date.
So, that's about the long and the short of it until we write again. If you'll be celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, we hope it's a joyous occasion. Also, "Pinch punch first day of the month white rabbit!" -Getting married in June or that's when you tied the knot? Here's the Irish verse:
Marry when June roses blow
Over land and sea, you'll go.

Slan agus beannacht and , as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
If you enjoy our newsletter and the website, please give us a hand and help keep them free. Imagine if 2700 people each sent us a dollar? Please send what you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is:
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
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:

If you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

Dublin, Ireland - June 16 Special Altan Bloomsday concert
Their only Dublin date this year; presented by the Improvised Music Company, at
Vicar Street in. For details, please contact Christine Monk
t: + 353 1 670 3885
m:+353 87 675 5329

Covington, KY, now through June 26
The Endless Spiral: contemporary Celtic Paintings by Cynthia Matyi
Covington Cathedral Art Gallery, located next to the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, 1140 Madison Ave. Show Hours Daily 10am-4pm
For more details, contact the artist: matyi@fuse.net

Puebla Lucia, Fuengirola, Spain - now through June 3
Roger Cummiskey's 2nd exhibition at the Galeria LUCIA; presenting New Art Works, an exhibition of recent paintings by Roger Cummiskey and Bettina Eriksen. Roger is a generous sponsor of our monthly Trivia contests and we invite you to visit his site and learn more about this exhibit and others:

Halifax, Nova Scotia - June 2-4
Celtic Feis 2005
Combine Nova Scotia's rich Gaelic ancestry and culture with Halifax's contemporary, urban sensibility and you get the perfect ingredients to create a world-class Celtic celebration. The Halifax Celtic Feis celebrates our rich Irish and Scottish heritage and culture through music, dance, arts, language, and spirit of community. For more information on tickets, programming, events, and schedules please visit

Leesburg, VA - June 6 through June 11
Potomac Celtic Festival. For more information, please visit

Macroom, Co. Cork - July 16th & 17th
First ever Fleadh Cheoil, music festival - Macroom town center. For details, visit:

Aran Isles Celtic Spirit Tours
There is still time to book for two fascinating programmes:
Programme A: Traditional Echoes in Song and Dance, July 20 through July 29
Setdancing, Gaelic Singing, session and party with Islanders, guided walks, boat trip around the Island, fishing and a lot of splendid scenery. In cooperation with Tony Ryan, dancing teacher, Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, singer
and many other Islanders.
Programme B: Walking the Ancient Celtic Way July 29 through August 8
Celtic heritage: holy places, ancient rituals, early Celtic church, walks
and lectures with recognized scholars on Celtic heritage, myths and legends
with the well known storyteller Niall de Búrca
For full details, please visit
or send an email to Elizabeth:
info@irish-culture.ch or call:

A pair of crystal champagne flutes embellished with a gold claddagh motif and a copy of Bridget's wedding book, signed and inscribed. Best offer over $75.00. Free shipping.

House to let on Inishmore from 25 June to 2 July 05
My house on the Island is available again for the week from 25 June - 2
July because of a cancellation. Details: www.irish-culture.ch (house to let)


A Trinity College physics professor was explaining a particularly complicated concept to his class when a pre-med student interrupted him.

"Why do we have to learn this stuff?" one young man blurted out.

"To save lives," the professor responded before continuing the lecture.

A few minutes later the student spoke up again. "So how does physics save lives?"

The professor stared at the student for a long time without saying a word. Finally the professor said, "Physics saves lives, because it keeps certain people out of medical school."