Greetings & Blessings to all,
Welcome to our February edition. We hope this issue finds you in good health, good spirits and good company! As for ourselves, we are eagerly anticipating one of our most favorite times of year - Irish Month! Tomorrow, we will be flying the Irish flag and there will be a wreath of shamrocks on the front door - the countdown to St. Patrick’s Day has begun! Now whether or not  Herself  can find a different green outfit  to wear on each of the 31 days remains to be seen - but she’s up for the challenge! Himself, of course, will take the easy way out and wear his Haggerty clutch pin on the lapel  of his Donegal tweed jacket and let it go at that. (He will be wearing trousers with the jacket!)  
Are you an Irish Angel?
In theatrical circles, they often refer to backers who finance a production as angels. And that’s how we like to think of the readers who send us a contribution to help pay for our out of pocket expenses.  Very simply,  if you enjoy what we do - whether it’s spending time on the web site or reading the newsletter, we ask you to consider making a small contribution to help keep us going. Any amount is welcome, but this year, for donations of $5 or more, the reward is a whimsical Irish angel clutch pin and for gifts of $10 or more, donors can request an Irish angel ornament. Alternatively, we  still have shamrock bookmarks , Irish blessing tokens and Irish flag pins. PLUS, every dollar donated receives TEN entries into our drawing for a signed copy of Michael Loynds popular book “All Things Irish.”  Thanks to Michael’s generosity, we have six copies to give away. 
If you’d like to support our efforts, you can make a donation through PayPal here:
 Our account  at PayPal  is this email address:
Or you can send your gift via snail-mail to:
Bridget & Russ Haggerty
5814 Blue Spruce
Cincinnati OH 45224
Go raibh maith agat in advance for your kindness.
The question of the moment is 
Of the top ten beers brewed in Ireland, what is your favorite? 
To participate in the poll. please click
ED NOTE:  Just so you know, Map Your Vote is a  site created by our nephew Ian and his dad Dennis -   proud descendants of the Shields clan in Sligo.
Many thanks to the several readers  who have bought the book and especially those who took the time to write a review. While sales are very slow, it IS selling and that’s without the usual major publisher promotional efforts. We’re going to be doing more PR ourselves, but ultimately, what often turns an unknown novel into a best seller is word of mouth - so please ask your family and friends to check it out at Amazon’s Kindle book store here: 
ED. NOTE: Don’t have a Kindle or compatible app? Russ is working on producing a print edition. Fingers crossed, it will be available before St. Patrick’s Day. To stay updated on progress, please click the book’s Facebook page:
Did you know that Irish Culture & Customs has a FaceBook page?  Neither of us is very savvy when it comes to social media so we still haven’t done much with it, but we’re hoping to improve on that. In any event, we’d like you to take  look and give us a “Like” - if you like what you see so far!


If, for whatever reason, you think you might not have received one of our previous newsletters, they  are all archived beginning with the newest one first. Here’s the link: 

Enough of the blather  .. except to say that if this is your first issue, many thanks for becoming a subscriber and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family and friends.


SPONSOR: Ireland’s Crown Ltd. 

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 

by owning a piece of  our patron saint’s land!

Heaven wasn't big enough, so God created Ireland - and now, Ireland's Crown LTD gives you the chance to become the proud owner of a piece of land located on Malin Head, in Co. Donegal - Eire's most northerly point and a region steeped in Celtic Mythology. For just $49.99 (€40) this unique package includes your treasured piece of Ireland as well as artwork by Irish artists, a tale of the mythological land, a boxed stone from Malin Head cliffs and maps of the area. For more details, please visit Ireland's Crown:

or look us up on Facebook

ED. The site is well worth a visit - very nicely done!



From the Mailbag


Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts

A Bit of the Wit

Joke of The Week

Did You Know

Know Your Writers


The week That Is



Along with contributions, we were delighted to receive some very nice comments - we hope you don’t mind us bragging a bit! 

Elise Williams: 

It is a pleasure to have these wonderful tidbits of news from home. Each month I look forward to the newsletter and relish it and chew on it like a dog would a juicy bone. How delicious! 


Pat Tyrrell-Johnson: 

Hello, I wanted to take a moment to tell you I have enjoyed these newsletters very much. My maiden name is Tyrrell which there has been many telling me we are English and I keep telling them we are very much Irish & I am proud of it. Keep up the good work

Maureen & Dave Harrington: 

Thanks again for a great site and all the work you put into it. 



Thanks for brightening my days! 



Whenever Herself gets down and thinks it’s all just too much of an effort, reading these comments are just what’s needed to get back up and keep going  Thank you to everyone who took the ime to tell us how much you appreciate what we do. 

We did have another message - this time a query from a Canadian reader who is looking for where she can buy a  wool coat made in Ireland with the label Henry White. We looked , but didn't come up with a source.  Anyone out there who can help?




Congratulations, Daniel Day-Lewis

In recognition of Daniel’s history-making third Oscar, here is a clip from Last of the Mohicans with Clannad singing one of the spectacular songs from the soundtrack. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s well worth renting or buying  - and the soundtrack is a must have! 


How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like an Irishman

There were some things we didn’t agree with in this video - as in pinching someone if they’re not wearing  green - but overall, it’s closer to how it used to be on St. Patrick’s in Ireland. 

Fancy nails for March 17th

This is really silly, but one of the attributes about the Irish is the ability to laugh at ourselves. What makes this even funnier is that the young lady is totally serious! So, here you go.

Irish History Podcast -The Great War of Ulster & Munster  Part 1

In 1090 Muirchertach O Briain, grandson of Brian Boru, faced the darkest moment of his rule as King of Munster. Defeated and vanquished by his rival the king of Ulster, Domnal McLochlainn, he faced two options; either accept his fate or try and claw his way back to power. To learn more, please click

The Irish Page - Colors

After a lengthy absence due to computer problems, Jack & Vivian Hennessey are back! This time around, the lesson is all about colors and how to pronounce each one in Irish. Please click


Spring Charm

Lovely Celtic music to herald the new season

Meadow Miniatures - Daffodils in Co. Sligo

We found the music a wee bit irritating but the video is lovely.


Croí na Teanga: It’s You! 

The Heart of the Language: It’s You! 

This is the official slogan of Seachtain na Gaeilge (“Week of the Irish Language”) which runs from March 4 through March 17 this year (yes, that’s longer than a week). As it happens, when the popularity of the celebration made it necessary to expand it to two weeks, it was decided that the brand Seachtain na Gaeilge was so well-known it would be a mistake to change it Thus, for this one time in the year, we have a two-week week! To learn more, please click Bite Size Irish

For our Scottish  readers - Road to the Aisles

Joe  McPartland and his lovely wife Marian have been longtime readers and supporters of IC & C. They are both talented singers and have many songs on YouTube for your listening pleasure. Here, Joe does a rousing version of a popular song from the Hebrides - almost makes Herself want to get up and do the Highland Fling!


SPONSOR:  The Irish Lottery:

In operation since 1988, it's one of the oldest online sites in the world. With subscribers in 89 countries it is also among the most reliable. Jackpots are never lower than US $1,500,000 and are frequently worth in excess of US $5,000,000 Here's the best part - you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are Tax Free! It’s always been a fantasy of ours that one of readers would scoop the big prize, but you can’t win it if you’re not in it. Play from the comfort of home here:



This quote is in honor of Irish mothers and Mothering Sunday in Ireland on March 10th :

God made a wonderful mother,

A mother who never grows old;

He made her smile of the sunshine,

And He molded her heart of pure gold;

In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,

In her cheeks the fair roses you see;

God made a wonderful mother,

And He gave that dear mother to me.

Attributed to Pat O'Reilly


The only mothers it is safe to forget on Mother's Day are the good ones.

Mignon McLaughlin,

The Neurotic's Notebook



With many thanks to Bill Crotty for sending us this classic:

John Bradford, a Dublin University student, was on the side of the road hitchhiking on a very dark night and in the midst of a big storm. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly, he saw a car slowly coming towards him.   When it  stopped, John who was desperate for shelter  got into the car and closed the door - Only to realize there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn't on. The car started moving again and when  John looked at the road ahead and saw a curve approaching. Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life. Then, just before the car hit the curve, a hand appeared out of nowhere through the window, and turned the wheel. John was paralyzed with terror, but when  saw the lights of a pub appear  he jumped out of the car and ran to it. Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he had just had.  A silence enveloped the pub when everybody realized he was crying... And wasn't drunk.  Suddenly, the door opened, and two other people walked in. They, like John, were also soaked and out of breath. Looking around, and seeing John Bradford sobbing at the bar, one said to the other. “ Look Paddy - there's that fookin’ eejit  who got in the  car while we were pushing it





1. Dividing the Meat, Selling the Pig and Catching the Herrings are all traditional games played at an Irish wake?

2. Every spring, more than twenty million eels swim into the River Bann to breed?


3. Donkeys were useful in Ireland because of the way they put down their hooves? They do it in a pattern different from horses which allows them to traverse bogland in a gliding movement.


SPONSOR: The Celtic Attic

St. Patrick's Day Is just around the corner - really. it is! Just about 2 weeks or so  for shipping until the wearing of the Green! We have hats, sunglasses, tee shirts and a wide variety of fun products plus a ton of great products for your shopping pleasure. We are offering 1/2 off on shipping now.  And, exclusively for Irish Culture and Customs readers, take 10% off your order and get FREE shipping on orders over $50!   The discount will be removed AFTER you place your order.  Just put the code IC01 in the ‘add a gift card’ section! Last but certainly not last, we are giving away two free tickets to the Rhythm of the Dance at the Comcast Arena in Everett WA on 19th of March 2013. Just go to 

 and enter our Free Giveway and you are automatically entered to win the tickets. This event features the National Dance Company of Ireland.

You can contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and please tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!

Tel: 1-360-286-2307 

On line:



To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:

1. St. Brigid, Patroness of Ireland by Joseph A Knowles


2. Life of St. Brigid, Abbess of Kildare by Jane G Meyer & Zachary Lynch


3. St. Brigid's Well  by Jessie Russell & Ronald Cohn


A round of pints and applause to the following  Irish bibliophiles:


Patricia Edwards


Deirdre Mckiernan Hetzler 

National Board Member, Irish American Cultural Institute

Author, Irish America Reawakening:The Eoin McKiernan Story

Now available  here:

Maureen Murphy


Kate O’Connor

Ed Morrison


nd now for our next quiz - Who wrote:

1. Echoes of a Savage Land
2. A Course Called Ireland
3. The Book of Killowen

Please send your entries to:

It would be very helpful to put Book Quiz in the subject line. Thanks!





To begin with,  the answer to our previous Noggin’ Niggler


Give it food and it will live

Give it  water and it will die


Q. What is it?

A. Fire


As always  our Riddle People were fired up and hot to be first in with the correct answer, but the winner of that distinction goes to Mike H in New Jersey USA. Well done, Mike!  


And now for next  Head Banger:


I have one, you have one.

If you remove the first letter, a bit remains.

If you remove the second, bit still remains.

After much trying, you might be able to remove the third one also, but it remains.

Q. What is it? 


Please send your answers to Bridget at the following email address



It would be helpful if you put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks.



SPONSOR:  Lollysmith

Mothering Sunday in Ireland, St. Patrick’s day worldwide and Easter just about everywhere - find the perfect gift for these occasions and many others at Lollysmith! Choose from a comprehensive collection to mark every milestone event including baptisms, first communions, weddings and more! Stop by soon and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello.



1. Shopping Section: Naturally, we hope you and yours will do all of  your shopping through Irish Culture & Customs and and the advertisers in our newsletter - not just at the holidays - but all year round. For every sale, we make a small commission which goes a long way toward helping us cover the expenses of maintaining the web site and sending the newsletter. Many thanks in advance for your kindness! 

ED. NOTE: Many thanks to all of you who did some or all of your shopping through Irish Culture and Customs throughout the holiday season. Our main shopping page is now featuring gifts for Valentine’s day. Here’s the link:


2. County News: The bits and bobs that used to come by mail are now on line here on the first Saturday of the month. The next edition will be published on March 2nd.:


3. Daily Headlines: We keep two week’s worth of headlines and links here: And we try to keep it all positive:

ED. NOTE: In the right-hand margin on this page, you will also find a link to the time and weather in Ireland.


4. Trivia Contest:  All entries for the February Contest must be in by midnight on February 28th  whatever time zone you live in

January’s  winner was Linda Ellis, USA who chose for her prize the Celtic Warrior pendant generously provided by  the Celtic Attic. 


5. Article:  Aran Isle Sweaters - how a dropped stitch gave rise to a popular myth.


6. Article: Emblems of Ireland - The Shamrock

7. Article: In My Father’s Time


8. Article: Francis O'Neill - The Man Who Saved Our Music 


9.  Article: A Visit to St. Patrick’s Well


10. Poetry Corner: Thomas Moore


11.  The Irish Kitchen: Recipes for the Lenten Season  


12. Basic Irish:  St. Patrick’s Day:


13. Kids’ Ireland:  St. Patrick from Slave to Saint

14. Music Review: Finbar Furey 

This time around, our resident reviewer William Ramoutar  takes a look at the career of a legendary  Irish piper, singer - and even actor!

15. Circle of Prayer

The third Novena in this cycle began on February 25th and continues through March 5th. Since last we wrote we learned that a good internet friend and avid supporter of all things Irish, Jay Dooling, has been diagnosed with stage four cancer; it’s very difficult  for us as well as his family and friends to grasp the gravity of his situation - he has always been so upbeat and full of joy - and amazingly, still is! Whatever your spiritual leanings please keep Jay and his wife Bert in your prayers or meditations as well as those still suffering from the affects of super storm Sandy, the families of all those so cruelly cut down at the school in Connecticut, those who lost their homes during the fires in Australia, Kim D from Canada who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, Kevin Donahue, Susan Schupp, Hartson Dowd, his wife Helen and their family, the family and friends of the McTiernans, all those who are struggling with serious health and financial problems, and last , but certainly not least, all the men and women serving in the military all over the world. Please God, keep them safe and bring them home soon.

The Week That Will be

God willing, we will be publishing a new home page on Monday, March 4th.

So there you have it until, we write again around around St. Patrick’s Day.  If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, we hope it’s an occasion filled with love, joy and laughter. And if you were married in March  or plan on tying the knot next  month, here is your special verse:

If you wed when March winds blow

Both joy and sorrow you will know.


And don’t forget - Mother’s Day in Ireland is called Mothering Sunday and this year it falls on March 10th. Might we suggest sending flowers through our site or perhaps a gift from one of our sponsors ? And whatever title you use -  Mam, Mum, Ma, Mammy or Mom.  we know your message of love and appreciation will go to the 'Best Mother in the World!

We’ll take our leave with this lovely Irish blessing  


May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow.

May the soft winds freshen your spirit.

May the sunshine brighten your heart

May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you.

And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

 And as they say in Ireland, mind yourself! 


Until next time, pinch punch first day of the month white rabbit.!


Slan agus beannacht 

Bridget & Russ

Get down on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet. 

Téigh ar do ghlúine is bí buíoch le Dia go bhfuil tú fós ar do chosa.



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Irish Abroad lists many events taking place all over the world. Check them out here:


If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.



Patrick O’Dea, president of the Irish American  Ceili Club  sent us a listing of events on the club’s calendar for March: 

March 1 - Scottish Ceilidh at Maguires Hill 

March 2 Scottish Fest at Snyder Park

March 8 9 10 15 16 17 - Irish Theatre of Florida presents   "Here we are again still” Tix only $15 !

Call 561-491-5719 

March 9 - Ceile at the club with Tommy & Sharon      Call 954-460-5000 for info 

WE ARE MARCHING 2 Parades: FtL 3/9/13

Hollywood 3/10/13

Meet @ 12 noon Dixie & Monroe

wear the colors !

For more details, photos and more, visit the club’s FaceBook page:

IRISH  Facebook Link:


Family Day, a national celebration of the diversity of families  will be held at Iveagh Gardens with song, dance, music, magic, arts and crafts workshops, sports, storytelling, face painting, games and festivities for children of all ages. A complementary pampering area for grown-ups provides a relaxation haven, while a food village offers flavours from around the globe. Family Day is presented by One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, and EBS. For more details, please visit the official site:


'Tis the Gathering of the Great Norther Clans  - the biggest in 400 years! The Ancient Clan O'Neill of Tyrone call on all O'Neills and their fellow Celts to help them celebrate the living re-enactment of the inauguration of Hugh O'Neill which will take place on Saturday 25th of May at on the ancient site of Tulach Óg just outside Cookstown in County Tyrone. For more details, please click

Or write to Dan O’Neill:





From Bodran Classes to Irish Fiddle sessions and much, much more, there is always something going on to celebrate Ireland & the Irish. For complete details about all events, please click



Friends of Ireland of Southern California Monthly Breakfast. Events are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Please call in RSVP to one of the contacts below one day in advance so we can accommodate you.

Barbara Walsh (714) 739-4195 Kathy Wisdom (714) 572-8277

Tom Kennedy (562) 425-2636 Jim O'Dea (626) 965-0307



First Friday of the month Céilís and ongoing Tuesday night Céilí and Sean Nós dance classes. Our season runs from October through June and next season we may be moving the dances to Saturday rather than Friday nights. For more details, please click


The Irish love making puns or plays on words- especially  headline writers. We’ll leave you with a few gems gathered from all over.

Patient At Death's Door - Doctors Pull Him Through

Latin Course To Be Canceled--No Interest Among Students, et al.


Antique Stripper to Display Wares at Store

War Dims Hope For Peace

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last A While

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?

Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious 

Child's Stool Great for Use in Garden

Dealers will Hear Car Talk at Noon

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax

Eye Drops Off Shelf

Robber Holds Up Murphy’s  Hosiery

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Shot Off Woman's Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66

Grandmother of Eight Makes Hole in One

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Panda Mating Fails - Veterinarian Takes Over

British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands

And a few word plays: 

The Irish should be rich because their capital is always Dublin.

 I couldn't quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but eventually it came back to me.


I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.


For plumbers, a flush beats a full house.

The best way to communicate with a fish is to drop it a line.

Her company distributes gift-boxed cashews, and she has a delivery guy that drives her nuts.

St. Patrick’s day is right around the corner - . Should I work on my Irish accent?

No, if it ain’t brogue, don’t fix it.


When Irish boys carry their little brothers, they get a Pat on the back.

And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at  least ten of the puns would make them laugh.

No pun in ten did.