Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week or so and sent out to more than 3,100 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.ymlp.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 great to be back and we're sorry this edition is so late. But we had good reason. We decided to take some time off to celebrate Valentine's Day and we're only just now catching up on all the emails, chores and so on. Of course, this means that it would seem a bit silly to make this a second issue devoted to St. Valentine's Day now that it's nearly a week gone by. So, since Presidents Day is this Monday and a national holiday in most of the USA, we'll make that our theme and save what we were going to do for the saint of romance until next year.

Meanwhile, we hope our latest missive finds you and yours in good health, good spirts and good company. We also hope that our friends in the States are getting over the wild and wintry weather of the past week. It really has been extreme. A couple of days ago it was near 70 degrees in the Ohio Valley and this morning we woke up to snow, ice and temperatures that will continue to drop until we'll be in the teens or even lower by tomorrow morning. The problem is that, as mild as it has been, all of the spring bulbs are up and trees are budding as well. Fingers crossed we won't loose too many blossoms and blooms.

In any event we wish our subscribers in the USA a safe and happy President's Day weekend. Speaking of subscribers, we are over 3100! If you are new to our list, thank you so much for joining us and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends.

Enough of the blather and on with the update.
Help us keep the newsletter coming. Please visit our newest sponsor: Celtic Spirit Journeys

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September 9-20th, 2006

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NOTE: If you would like to read our review of Ms Freeman's book, "ReKindling the Celtic Spirit," please click:
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From the Mailbag
Links of the Week
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
Joke of The Week
A Bit of the Wit
Did You Know
Irish Author/Book Quiz
The Week That Was
What is & Will Be, God Willing
Leave 'Em Laughing
P. J. O' Connor Awards 2006
Entries are currently being accepted for the RTÉ P.J. O'Connor Radio Drama Awards 2006. Closing date for entries is Wednesday 1 March 2006. Rules of the Competition, Entry Forms and further information can be found here:

Puppy love delivered straight to your door
Love is... an elegant Irish Setter gazing up at a couple embracing on a deserted beach. Well, that's how An Post saw St Valentine's Day this year. The postal organisation has selected the colourful image as the theme for its special 48c stamp for lovebirds on February 14. And the setter is also included as part of An Post's celebration of the Chinese Year of the Dog.

Antrim: Construction of tallest building begins
Ground-breaking for the The "Obel" overlooking the Lagan has taken place. The building which will consist of a twenty-six-storey residential tower is expected to transform the face of Belfast.

Antrim: Landscaping unearths Bronze Age remains
Peter McCurdy, the owner of McCuaig's pub on the north coast of Rathlin Island, was undertaking landscaping which involved the removal of some large stones. It was under these that he discovered a skull and some bones. Archaeologists confirmed that it was a cist burial dating back some four thousand years.

Carlow: Yet another accolade for garden centre
The Arboretum Lifestyle and Garden Centre in Leighlinbridge has been named as the county's first ever five-star garden centre. In addition to the Five-Star Award, the Arboretum was also named as the All-Ireland Garden Centre of the Year; a third accolade for the centre was the title of the Bord Bia Garden Centre of the Year.

Cork: Cremation facility gets go-ahead . . . but not in Ovens
Ireland's first major crematorium outside Dublin is to be built in Cork - but not at the village of Ovens as was suggested several years ago. An Bord Pleanala has ratified Cork Co Council's decision to grant planning permission for a high-tech new €2.5m crematorium at Rocky Island in Cork harbour at a former British navy arsenal.

Dublin: Historical tours for Dun Laoghaire
A new programme of historical tours has been initiated by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Entitled "Eye-opener", the first tour featured a Viking man and woman, a Mediaeval Archer and Healing Woman, all actors from Deilg Inis Theatre Company.

There may be rivalry between the counties on the sporting field but when it come to matters of the heart, more men from Galway than any other county in Ireland tried their luck at love in Mayo, new figures released by the Knock Marriage Bureau this month show.

Kerry: Listowel memorial finally unveiled
A memorial to the writer Bryan MacMahon was unveiled last weekend in Listowel. The sculpture, has been placed in Listowel Town Square which the writer visited frequently. The life size statue was sculpted by Hugh Hanratty, whose past works include the bust of Kerry literary figure Con Houlihan in Castleisland.

Clare: No horseplay over dung
Killarney's famous jarveys have been told to get off their high horses - and clean dung off the streets of the popular tourist town. Town manager Tom Curran said: "It is no longer acceptable to have horse droppings all over the streets in the 21st century."

Kildare: Buckley House saved
Emmet Stagg has won his appeal against plans to develop a four-storey block of student housing near an eighteenth century building in Maynooth. The building, known as Buckley House and located on Parson Street, was once the home of Donal O' Buchalla, the last governor general of the Irish Free State.

Limerick: The city is to embrace its poetic heritage by erecting plaques bearing the eponymous five-line poems on the city streets. The Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Diarmuid Scully, has decided to hold a public competition to choose which poems will be put on the plaques. For further details contact: 061 407100 or visit
The competition ends on February 27.

Tipperary: Summer school for a fictional character
A fictional character associated with Cashel is to have her own summer school, organised by the Cashel Arts Festival in September. The three-day Féile Fidelma 2006 is based on the heroine of Peter Tremayne's series, the Sister Fidelma Mysteries, set in the seventh century and so far published in twelve languages.

NYC: Famine Church Can Be Destroyed
St. Brigid's Church in Manhattan's Lower East Side , which was a refugee for Famine Irish immigrants and has a prominent role in New York immigrant life, is being sold by the Catholic Church to developers after a court ruled that the church can be demolished and replaced with luxury apartments. Efforts to save the church are far from over. "We're going to keep fighting. This beautiful building could be an Irish center, an Irish museum or an immigration museum. To knock it down to build luxury apartments is a real shame," said Patti Kelly, a member of the Save St. Brigid campaign.

USA: Exhibition for embroidery worker
Ann O'Brien, a native of Mountmellick, is to stage an exhibition of her embroidery in New York for the entire month of March. Mountmellick Work is the only form of nineteenth century embroidery which is wholly Irish in origin and design. For more details, please click

Holland: Donegal skater on Dutch team
While a handful of Irish athletes toil away at the Winter Olympics in Turino with scant hope of a medal, a Donegal woman who is among the fastest ice skaters in Europe, isn't even on the team. However, Clare Scanlon from Killygordon is set to be a leading contender at next year's World championships in Calgary, Canada, skating for Holland. he said The Dutch have asked me because I live here in Holland and I am their champion", she said. "But I really would like to represent Ireland."
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Helen wrote to let us know that Hartson, our resident recipe collector came through his replacement knee surgery with flying olours and would like to thank you all for your prayers.
ED. NOTE It has been a long haul for Hartson and we are thrilled that all went well. Helen's problem will now be keeping him from trying to do too much too soon!

Deanna writes: I have an unusual request. I have just imported two gorgeous horses of Irish descent to Canada, an Irish Draught and an Irish Cob. I am trying to find a name to call my "stable" that will reflect their Irish heritage in Canada. I'm looking for a name that starts with "S" as I currently have Sunnybrook Stables and I am hoping to discover a super Irish name so people know these horses are from your Emerald Isle! So far I've come up with Shaunagen Stables. After much research I have discovered that this is no easy task as you do not have many names that start with "S" Also, I am looking for a blessing about riding.. Thank you so much.

Last time, Patricia wanted to know the rest of the inscription on the base of the James Larkin statue in Dublin.. In response, Mary McDonough Harren writes: "as a faithful follower and admirer of Jim Larkin , let me tell you the only inscription on the base of his statue on O'Connell Street is: "The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise."

Lesley asks: I am trying to find the original version (if there is such a thing as it may be apocryphal) of the quote about the traveller who asked an Irish man for directions for a journey and received a response along the lines of 'If I was going there, I wouldn't start from here.'

Kathleen writes: I am researching Aoibheall and would very much like to find any information known about Her. I am researching Aoibheall specifically as an example of a hereditary ancestral Bean Sidhe in Irish &and specifically Munster traditional folk culture, and how that all relates to the concept of nativity to/of place. I am also looking for any reference that can elaborate on the nature of the goddess Mumu for whom Munster is named.

A while back, Carol was looking for an Irish Christening blessing. Laney sent us:
A Gaelic Christening Blessing
Dearest Father in Heaven,
Bless this child and bless this day
Of new beginnings.
Smile upon this child
And surround this child, Lord,
With the soft mantle of your love.
Teach this child to follow in your footsteps,
And to live life in the ways of
Love, faith, hope and charity

Thanks, Laney!

Eye/Hand coordination Test
Another addictive game sent in by Hartson. Supposedly this one is used by the military to train pilots. It's really. difficult If you canst 18 for 18 seconds or longer, they say you're brilliant!

If You were President of the USA
A neat game for kids. http://www.scholastic.com/kids/president/

Free mammograms
Do you know of a woman who can't afford a mammogram? Here's how you can help. Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if they get enough clicks , they'll be able to donate at least one free mammogram a day to underprivileged women. 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:

"The Irish - be they presidents, poets, or peasants, they're a people of great worth, They keep company with the angels, and bring a bit of heaven here to earth." Unattributed. If you know who said it, please email us. Thanks!



Clinton, distraught and contemplating his latest scandal was walking through Washington looking for any kind of guidance. He walks up to the Washington Monument, looks up and says, "George, you were always wise, what should I do?" Low and behold, a voice comes down from above and says, "ABOLISH THE I.R.S. AND START OVER."

Clinton, amazed that he is talking to the past President thinks he'll try it again. He walks over to the Jefferson Memorial and utters the same request to America's author of the Declaration of Independence and one of its great early philosophers. "Thomas, you never had these kind of problems, what can I do to rally people behind me?" Again a voice from above answers, "WELFARE, IT'S NOT WORKING, ABOLISH IT, START OVER."

After hearing this Clinton is so excited he is planning to go to all the historic sites for guidance. Next he goes to the Lincoln Memorial for guidance from the President who met his untimely death after winning the Civil War and keeping the country unified. "Abe, I need your help, people are losing confidence in me and they no longer trust me what should I do?" After a substantial pause Abe responds, "TAKE THE DAY OFF, GO TO THE THEATER."

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the USA. Supposedly, Debrett's Peerage has traced his ancestry back to the 11th-century Irish King Brian Boru.
1. One-third of all US Presidents had their ancestral origins in Ulster?
2. The ancestors of James Knox Polk, the 11th US President, emigrated from Coleraine and became a powerful political family in North Carolina?
3. Since John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, every president bar one (Gerald Ford), had or has some Irish blood?
Please help keep our web site free and visit our good friends at Lollysmith!
See what's new! For your convenience, we've combined our latest arrivals from throughout our shop on to one page. You may also find them each under their usual categories. From the cutest baby bibs to luxury Irish Pride scarves, shop now for St. Patrick's Day!

To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:
1. Danta Gradha by Tomas O Rathile
2. The Darling of My Heart by Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, ed. by Laurance Flanagan
3. Remembered Kisses by Louis Bell

A round of pints and applause to our brilliant literary sleuths:

Brenda Ross
The ultimate source for creative, customized travel planning to Ireland. "Luxury travel with Celtic soul."

Pauline Dewberry
A nap, a snooze; a lap, with mews; life without a cat Is not a life.

Hartson Dowd
Welcome to Images of Ireland.

James Dossey

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
"Tour Glorious Ireland June 28 - July 12, 2006". To view the proposed itinerary, please click:

Rita Roche
A favorite place to shop on line is Blarney Woolen Mills:

Helen Dowd
You might like to take a look at some of the stories submitted by my grand-niece, Hannah Hart in the Children's section of my website: http://www.occupytillicome.com/children/ I am amazed at the imagination of a 12-year old. Once again, thanks for all of you who have helped my website climb in the ranks at Christians Unite http://topsites.christiansunite.com/
ED. NOTE: Helen is less than 10 votes or so away from moving up another notch!

Want to see your name on our literary sleuth list? Who wrote or edited the following:
1. Ronald Reagan & The Isle of Destiny
2. One of Ourselves: John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Ireland
3. American presidents of Ulster descent

ED. NOTE: Many books have the same title; please keep in mind that we are looking for Irish authors or Irish-related books.
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
To begin with, the solution to our last noggin' nagger:
Assign every letter of the alphabet its numerical value: A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on, up to z=26.
Q. Can you think of a familiar 7 letter word whose letter values total only 21?
Hint: It's a popular Irish edible.
A. Cabbage. As always, we received a mountain of emails, all with the correct solution. You're brilliant! However first in kudos go to Jim Turley. Well done. And an honourable mention goes to Bill Smith who sent us the following:
'Twas right on the tip of my tongue,
And my least favorite food when I's young.
So I spit out the lint
And followed your hint,
And found cabbage with victory sung!

Of course, now, I can't expect firs',
And I know, though it's far from the wors(t)',
Sure, I can't expect glory
For a Limerick so gory,
But I thought I might put it in verse!

And now for our next head banger:
A man was digging and found a block of ice with two perfectly preserved people in it. Immediately, he knew it was Adam and Eve.
Q. How did he know?
Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery!
There was NO winner in last night's drawing! Which means the jackpot next Wednesday will be at least 2 million Euros. Have you ever played? Check out all of the advantages: You don't have to live in Ireland to enter, 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! I Please click here for full details - and best of Irish luck to you!
1. Article - The Irish Link to St. Valentine
2. Article - The Irish in Love
3. Article - The Irish in Love Part 2
4. Article - The Irish in Love: Still Waters Run Deep
5. Kids' Ireland - Yje Nightingale & The Rose
6. Article - The Legend of The Claddagh Ring
7. The Irish Kitchen - A Romantic Menu
8. Basic Irish - The Language of Love
9. Culture Corner - The Irish God & Goddess of Love
10. Circle of Prayer: Our eighth Novena in this series began on February 16 and ends on February 24. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we ask that you remember all those who are seriously ill, undergoing treatment, recovering from surgery or experiencing any number of difficult situations. We also ask that you remember the men and women in the armed forces all over the world - that God will bring them home to their family and friends safe and sound. To join us, please visit our Novena page:

Do you have a poster called The Doors of Dublin? It's become almost an icon of Ireland and Have you ever wondered who or what was and is behind those doors? Bridget is hoping to have the answers this coming week. We will also have a new recipe, the blessing's already posted and we'll have a new quotation on Wednesday. St. Patrick's Day looms, so we'll be sorting out all of our March 17th offerings. Meanwhile, each day we'll update the daily news and post the history for the day. So, keep coming back - we'll try to make your visit as entertaining as we can.

So, until next time, if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion, may it be a joyous event.. 'Til we write again, may God bless you and yours, 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
Love the aroma of a turf fire? Experience the next best thing with Irish Incense, the peaceful, nostalgic scent that will transport you back in time and place. The perfect gift for any occasion, order now. And when you mention that you heard about Irish incense in the Irish Culture and Customs newsletter, you'll receive an extra pack of incense for FREE ! Please click
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. Or visit The Wild Geese at:

Bellevue Kentucky - every Sunday at 10 pm
The B List pub owned by our son Ben haggerty is hosting Impromptu Irish music sessions. All are welcome. For more details, contact Ben at:

Cincinnati, OH - February 19
Marathon Musicians' Benefit for Cincinnati Folk Life 3:00-10:00pm. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Rd on Oakley Square.Suggested donation: $10 per person. Some of Cincinnati's best acoustic folk bands are donating their time and considerable talent: Silver Arm, Lagniappe, Elberon, Greg Jowaisas, Dark Moll and Puck Doyle as well as promising young talent (The Hooley Band and The Riley School Ceili Band) Contact: Cincinnati Folk Life: 513-533-4822, cfl@zoomtown.com
http:// www. CincinnatiFolkLife.com

Washington D.C. - February 19th, 2006, 4 - 7 PM
Andy Stewart benefit Concert. The finest Scottish songwriter of our generation has been incapacitated by illness and is recuperating after an operation. He will be unable to work for more than six months. His DC friends are getting together to help Andy during this very lean time. Nanny O'Brien's Pub, 3310 Connecticut Ave, NW. Washington DC. 20008. 202-686-9189. For advance ticket sales or to send a donation contact: Danny Doyle, 10836 Moore Dr. Manassas, VA 20111. 703-361-8884.
E-mail: www.dannythedoyler@cs.com

Houston, Texas - February 26
Gathering of the Celts sponsored by The Celtic Chorus of Houston in conjunction with St. Andrew's Celtic Festival - Houston Heights. For more information, please contact

Crestview Hills, Northern Kentucky - March 1
As part of the on-going Tapestry Series sponsored by The Fenians of Northern Kentucky and Thomas More College, author David Quinn will dramatize the facts of the Irish Diaspora in It May be Forever, a novel he based on the wanderings and adventures of his great, great uncle, A book signing will follow.  For complete details, please click:
or send an email to: david.ebacher@thomasmore.edu 
ED. NOTE: David has graciously invited us to meet him at this event - and we have marked it on our calendar. If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area, we do hope you'll also consider attending - it will be a great opportunity for us all to meet!

Philadelphia, March 11
Starting At Philadelphia Art Museum. All proceeds from the Leprechaun Run/Walk benefit the Special Olympics in the Philadelphia area. For more details, please click
or contact
Colleen A. Breen, ACS

Hollywood, Florida - March 25
Noel Kingston, "The Life of the Party" will be on stage at the IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB, American Legion Hall, 211 North 21 Avenue. Tickets @ $15 IN ADVANCE ONLY @ 954-432-8292
Info? Email Patrick @ irish32@aol.com
http:// www.irishamericanceiliclub.com

Houston, Texas - March 30
Role Of Irish Americans In The History Of American Catholicism- A Lecture By Dr. David O'Brien For more information, contact Lori Gallagher, Director ! of the Center for Irish Studies, at 713-525-3592 or irishstudies@stthom.edu

Zurich, Switzerland April 8-9
Set-dancing Workshop in with Pat Murphy and Tony Ryan For more Information, send an email to
or call: 0041 44 252 09 18

Leesburg, Virginia - June 17th & 18th
The Potomac Celtic Festival in Leesburg VA is changing the June 2006 show date from heat (2nd weekend) to rain (3rd weekend) and competing with Father's Day. Come on out anyhow. For more details, please click:

Inishmore, Galway
Celtic Spirit Culture Weeks on Inishmore
Check out the progammed for 2006 http://www.celticexperience.net
If you just enjoyed reading our latest missive, you can help us keep it going by sending whatever 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:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness!
NOTE: All donations over $20.00 receive a package of Irish shamrock seeds.
We have great respect for the position of President of the United States. However, there are times when the occupants of the Oval Office make verbal goofs and gaffes that can make one cackle or cringe. Our space is limited, so we selected just a few:

John Kennedy's announcement to the people of Berlin, "Ich bin ein Berliner!" JFK thought he said, "I am a citizen of Berlin!" What he *really* said was, "I am a jelly doughnut!"

"I am not a crook." Richard Nixon

"I am not asleep." Ronald Reagan

"Wow! Brazil is big." -George W. Bush, after being shown a map of Brazil by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 6, 2005

"I tried to walk a line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now realize that I did not fully accomplish that goal ." Bill Clinton

"I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself." Ronald Reagan

"I can only speak to myself." G. W. Bush

"I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican." Dan Quayle

"There's an old saying in Tennessee-I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee-that says, fool me once, shame on-shame on you. Fool me-you can't get fooled again." G. W. Bush

"It is not Reaganesque to support a tax plan that is Clinton in nature." G. W. Bush

"Well, I learned a lot....I went down to (Latin America) to find out from them and (learn) their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries" Ronald Reagan

"Well, I don't have much job security." &Bill Clinton, in 1992, on why he still plays the saxophone.

And to prove how much politics can make mush of your brain, we'll end with this classic by Richard M. Daley Sr. former the Mayor of Chicago:
"No man is an Ireland."