Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to over 2300 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.
Greetings and blessings to all,

It's lovely as always to be back, albeit a bit late . The reason for the delay comes in the shape of a miniature human dynamo named Fievel, our grandson. He's fourteen months old and at that age where he's finally beginning to really communicate verbally. Please and thank you are quite distinct, but so is mine! Anyway, it's grand to be writing to you again and we hope this edition finds you and yours in good spirits, good health and good company. We'd also like to say a first hello to those of you who just joined and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to pass them along to family and friends.

It's always good to hear that when we publish an item in the newsletter, it gets a good response. However, after we mentioned last week that we had reconnected with Eileen, our professional geneology friend in Dublin, she was swamped with emails. While she will endeavor to answer a single simple, question without charge, she can't possibly read through a person's entire family history. So, please limit your queries to no more than a paragraph and send them to: nellie@heirsireland.com
She hopes you understand. We do, too.

It's the last week of our fund-raiser and it gives us great pleaseure to let you know that we have received several more contributions, Now it will be our joy to send out free Shamrock seeds to our generous supporters. We just received a fresh batch from Lollysmith, one of our favorite sponsors. We're always impressed with how fast they deliver as well. We had the seeds in hand two days after our order! So, while we haven't as yet had the miracle of bulging mailsacks being delivered to our door, we're very grateful to those of you who sent us a check or gift via paypal. One of you mentioned something interesting; she asked for our address because she didn't see it in the newsletter. It's at the end, but this is rather a lengthy tome and perhaps many of you don't get that far. In any event, should you wish to help us out, the address is 5670 Meryton Place Cincinnati Ohio, 45224. And please make those million dollar checks to Bridget or Russ Haggerty - or both. Paypal works too and all you need is the URL:
and this email address:
Thank you in advance for your kindness and enough about us....
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Did you know they now ship to Canada? Explore what they have on offer, including great items from Guinness, Hats of Ireland and Roundstone Bodhrans from Galway. They also stock authentic Irish whistles from the leading makers like Fádóg, Clare, Walton, Guinness & Clarke. One of the oldest musical instruments in Ireland. the Irish whistle is affordable, easy to learn and can be used to play music your entire family will enjoy - from haunting airs to lively reels. Come take a look - browse to your heart's content, and remember, when you buy from Lollysmith, you'll always enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.
News from Ireland:
There are now about 200 people 100 years of age or older in the State. (Republic of Ireland). Almost 200 people aged over 100 received special welfare payments worth
Euro 2,540 each from the President, Mrs McAleese, last year.

Small country pubs sold in wake of smoking ban
Pub licences are being bought out in remote rural towns and villages by supermarkets and business concerns who want to set up off-licences in busier urban areas instead. Publicans have complained that their trade is down by at least 25% as a result of last year's smoking ban legislation. Garage owners are also buying up the licences as they convert their premises into 'one-stop-shops' for food, drink, groceries as well as petrol. Ed. Note: This is an improvement?

From around the counties:
Antrim: The 60 or so Rathlin Islanders can now go to the cinema
For the first time ever, the tiny island now has a picture house thanks to a charity grant. The first film selected and screened in December was 'The Edge of the World' by renowned director Michael Powell. Filmed in 1937, it movingly depicts life on the remote Shetland Isle of Foula, and had particular relevance for the Rathlin audience. That was followed by the ultimate rural classic 'Whiskey Galore' and a special showing of 'Shrek 2' for the younger islanders.

Belfast: Irish medium schools in Northern Ireland receive a much-needed windfall
Eoin McKiernan, who died aged 89 last year (RIP), has left them a gift of $40,000 in his will. He was the founder of the Irish-American Cultural Institute and a regular visitor to Belfast. He was born in Manhattan to Irish parents but spent much of his childhood in Co Galway where he learned Irish. Promoting the language became a life-long passion. We first came to know of him and his contrubution to Irish culture through one of his daughters Ethna; she is Bridget's publisher and the owner of Irish Books and Media. Another daughter, Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler is a regular participant in our author's quiz. Justifiably, they and their seven siblings are proud of all their father's accomplishments.

Cavan: Cavan: Overhaul for College clock
The clock in the courtyard of Ballyhaise College is now marking time again. Said to date from about 1830, the Edward Smith clock is made mostly of brass and was probably put in place when the courtyard was built. It is said that students north of the river used to stand on the railing at the College gates to check the time so that they wouldn't be late for school.

Cork: 70 years a-ploughing
John Sexton, a local writer from Courtmachsherry launched his book recording the history of ploughing in Timoloeague at the 70th annual ploughing match.

Donegal: The lowest drinks in Ireland
To try and dissuade customers from going across the border where they can still smoke with their drinks, Seanie McEniff, owner Eddie's Pub in Bundoran, is charging the same low price for whatever you're having - just €2.50 for beer, wine or spirits with a mixer.

Dublin: Plans by Bewley's to develop its Westmoreland Street premises into a cocktail bar and restaurant as part of an extension to the adjacent hotel have been turned down by Dublin City Council, who are insisting that the premises may only be used as a café and restaurant.

Dublin: Art auction to help tsunami victims
A major auction and sale of Irish art with virtually all of Ireland's leading artists represented will take place on Tuesday 15th February 6.00 pm at the RHA Gallery, Ely Place Viewing 12th -15th. Details Fergus Ahern, +353 (0) 71 966 2215.

Kildare: St Brigid's celebrations
Kildare town has begun a week-long festival to celebrate the town's association with St Brigid. Féile Bride is taking place for the thirteenth time and this year it will feature an Afri conference, an organisation which for the past thirty years has worked for peace and justice.

Limerick: Foynes museum to celebrate flying boats
A donation from the Boeing Company and funding from the government will contribute towards the development of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, with the proposals for Phase One of the project having been launched last week.

Mayo: Legendary island for sale
Duvillaun Island, which lies off the southern tip of the Mullet Peninsula, has been put on the market. Noted for being the island on which the mythical Children of Lir spent their last three hundred years, the island was inhabited until the turn of the twentieth century but now the only occupants are a colony of grey seals.

Wexford: Local historians and genealogists have discovered evidence to suggest that President George W. Bush is a direct descendant of Strongbow who led the Norman invasion of Ireland.

From all over:
UK: Best business decisions
A survey of 100 MBA students in the UK revealed their choices for the best business decisions ever. Arthur Guinness's decision to sign a 9,000-year lease on New Years Eve 1759 for his Dublin brewery for an annual payment of £45 ($85), was ranked number 5.

Website spotlight:
From time to time, we feature the internet efforts of our subscribers - and there are a good many that are doing an outstanding job. So, please visit:

A lovely collection of photos from gifted photographer Jim Crotty who introduces his home-page with the quote: Art is man's nature. -Nature is God's art.

And do take a look at the paintings of Ireland produced by Amy Funderburk - really excellent

Links of the week:
Several weeks ago, a reader asked if Ireland had a national bird; since then, Bernadette has been trying to find out - without any luck. So, she nominates the wren, "the king of all birds" and in the course of her research, found the following site:

Vivian & Jack of the Irish Page sent us another catchy Carolan song composed in praise of the Maguires of Tempo, Co. Fermanagh who were one of the greatest and most ancient of the Irish Septs.. Click on the link at the next line to view the lyrics and hear the melody.

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 blather - 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
If Candlemas is wet or foul, half the winter has gone at Yule. If Candlemas is fine and fair, half the winter is to come and more. Irish Proverb
"I am between the devil and the Holy See... My task is to prevent the Californication of Ireland."
James Montgomery - on being appointed irish Film Censor, 1964. __________________________________________________________
This was adapted from one sent in by our friend AG in California:
An elderly Kerry couple is sitting together watching television. During one of 'those' commercials, the husband asked his wife, "Whatever happened to our sexual relations?" After a long thoughtful silence (and during the next commercial), the wife replied, "You know, I don't know. I don't even think we got a Christmas card from them this year.
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish Lottery. Will this be the year you become a millionaire? There Are 42 Shades of Green - All you need are 6 to hit the Irish Millions! One of the most trusted lotteries in the world, drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! You can't win it if you're not in it, so come visit our totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details:
1. In some parts of Ireland on St. Brigid's Day, fishermen would put shellfish in the four corners of the house to bring them good luck when they cast their nets into the sea?
2. According to old Irish folklore, if you wish to avoid a toothache, you should never shave on a Sunday? (According to Bridget's mother, it was also bad luck to wash your hair or cut your nails on the Sabbath!)
3. According to old Irish superstitions, it's unlucky to find a spider in the morning, but bodes good fortune to find one in the evening?
To start off, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. Almost There : The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman by Nuala O'Faolain
2. Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
3. Croke Park: A History by Tim Carey, & Micheal O'Muircheartaigh

A round of applause and pints for this week's literary sleuths:
Patricia Edwards
My very favourite site because I feel at home there: (aw shucks, Patricia)

Kristen Kenny

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

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

Carol Feltman
Here is an extraordinary site that I have been perusing and absorbing!

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

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

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

Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:
1. Wicked Irish
2. The Irish Face in America
3. Ah, Those Irish Colleens: Heroic Women of Ireland
Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and a favorite in our library here:

Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite - preferably Irish. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing.
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com

To begin with, the answer to last week's head banger:
Four couples are going to the movies. Each row holds eight seats.
Kate & Sean don't want to sit next to Mary & Patrick, and Mary & Patrick don't want to sit next to Moira & Kevin. On the other hand, Roisin & Conor don't want to sit next to Kate & Sean.
Q. How can the couples arrange themselves so that they all sit where they would like?
A. Mary & Patrick, Roisin & Conor, Moira & Kevin, Kate & Sean
Many of you wrote in and said if they didn't like each other, why not sit in separate rows - or why even go out together in the first place? . True enough. However, there is a "correct" answer and hats off to Shaun G. Lynch from Quebec who was first in. And now for this week's pesky puzzle which was sent to us by Jim in South bend, Indiana.
It seems that Ross was going to boil a nice 20lb ham for St Patrick's Day dinner. The recipe calls for using exactly 2 1/2 gallons of water in which to boil it. The only pots Ross has are 5 gallons, 2 1/4 gallons and 3 1/4 gallons. Using only these pots, how can Ross measure out the 2 1/2 gallons of water that he needs?
1. Article - Symbols and Emblems of Ireland - the Penny or TinWhistle
2. Celebrating a Name Day in Old Ireland
3. Article - Making St. Brigid's Crosses
4. Article - Brticle - Brigid of the Songs
5. Article - St. Brigid, the Giveaway
6. Article - Shrovetide - The Marrying Season
7. Article - Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day!
8. The Irish Kitchen - Irish Mist Scallops
9. Discovering Ireland - In NewYork
10. Circle of Prayer - Our last Novena in this cycle began on January 26 and ends on Friday, February 4th. A new cycle will begin on February 5. Please join us in prayer or meditation for tthe victims of the Tsunami, Mollie's son Casey, Pauline, Hartson, and Graine. We also hope wou will offer your spiritual support he ourmilitary personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world. We ask that you especially remember a local young man Matt Paupin who was captured nearly a year ago, and Paul and Ashley, the sons of friends. We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer and we know that God listens and will answer.
11. On-going - Trivia Contest. Time is running out; all entries must be in by January 31st, whichever time zone you live in. Please note that we have another sponsor - The Celtic Attic who are offering a lovely prize. Check it out here: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
12. Irish Shops: How about a pair of his & her great aprons? Check 'em out here:

With the first week of the month just ahead, we'll be busy coming up with a new Trivia contest, working on a new children's story, a new irish lesson, and sprucing up seasonal offerings. As always, we've posted a new blessing for Sunday, we'll have a new quote on Wednesday, and a recipe from Hartson next Thursday. And don't forget to check out our daily updates of news and history. For news, please click:
And we keep a week's worth of history here:

So there's the long and the short of it except to say that if you're celebrating a birthday or other special event between now and next time, we hope it's a joyous occasion! For good luck, we should also say "Pinch, punch, first day of the month, white rabbit!" And if you were married in February or perhaps are walking down the aisle in the next four weeks, here's the old Irish verse:
"When Ferbruary birds do mate, you may wed nor dread your fate.
Until next time, may the One who made us all watch over you and yours, keep you safe, keep you warm and keep you protected 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 send a dollar or more to Russ and Bridget, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH, 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
Our email address there is bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $5 and any thanks in advance for your kindness.
Events & Classifieds
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter or on the Wild Geese website. In fact, the Irish Heritage email group and the Wild Geese have joined forces to bring you a massive listing of Irish events all over the world! To subscribe to the list, send your e-mail address to group moderator George Trainor, at george@thewildgeese.com. The group's postings go out every other Friday and Saturday, in five separate e-mails, covering Irish history, myths and legends, news, jokes, Irish (Gaeilge) lessons, recipes, and more. Organizations, please alert them about your upcoming events, e-mail events@thewildgeese.com, fax: 208-978-9998. Deadline: The third Wednesday of the month for the following month's edition. Also visit The Wild Geese at:

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

Winston Salem - Now until March 3
Aisling: An Artist's Vision of ireland
Irish landscapes in oil, pastel, black and white photography by Amy Funderburk; Spine Gallery, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

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

Cincinnati OH - February 2
The great Irish super-group DANU will be here in concert this Wednesday, at the 20th Century Theater, 8pm. This concert is a fund-raiser for Cincinnati Folk Life, underwritten by Sherry and George Michael. For more information, visit

Cincinnati, OH - February 5
"Secrets of Celtic Art" taught by renowned artist Cindi Matyi at UC Communiversity, 10am-12 noon. The fee is $25 You must register by Wednesday of this week by calling 513-556-6932. Florida - February 6

TY Park, 12 noon - 5pm. Members are free & guests only $5!
For more info call 954-432-8292 or visit our web site:

Dublin, Ireland - February 9th-15th
Dublin will celebrate the Year of the Rooster with the second annual Dublin Chinese New Year Festival at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks.

Philadelphia, PA - February 14
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Love Park - 15th St. & J.F.K. Blvd. Organized by the
Philadelphia AOH / LAOH County Board and the
Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center

Atlanta, Georgia - February 18
John Hume, Nobel Laureate and MP for Foyle, will speak on the current political impasse in Northern Ireland at the following venues:
Georgia State University at 1:30 pm
Emory University at 4:00 pm
For more details, please contact Jim Gaffey:
Tel: 770.448.0685
email: jfgaffey@bellsouth.net

Hollywood, Florida - February 19
IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB Shepherds Pie dinner & dancing to Paddy Noonan
7p-11p Members $8; Guests $11
For more info call 954-432-8292 or visit our web site:

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

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

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

Los Angeles, California - March 12-13


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

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

This came in from Pauline in England:
Multi-tasking: I'm so old. I can laugh, cough, sneeze and pee all at the same time.