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,

We're back! In retrospect, of all the times to be out of touch with you, this was probably as 'convenient' as it gets, what with the Pope's passing RIP, our eldest son's wedding, an appraiser looking our house, over, tax day, and many other distractions. Miraculously, Russ managed to save much of the newsletter material (Bridget has nominated him for sainthood once again). But, even with that stroke of luck, we're not taking any chances; we've spent a great deal of time making back-ups and re-organizing the files, Fingers crossed we'll be okay - for a while anyway.

A couple of days after Bridget's computer crashed, Pope John Paul died; it was with great sadness that we mourned his loss, but also with great joy that his suffering had come to an end. To all of our readers who claimed him as their spiritual father, we are so very sorry for your loss. We also ask that you join us in prayer for the repose of his soul and extend your prayers for God's blessings and guidance on his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. Despite his dogged adherence to Catholic doctrine, which can often be perceived as exclusionary, - it would seem that he is willing to continue in Pope john Paul's footsteps in reaching out to all people and all religions. Even the Italian news papers who once called him the German Rottweiler are now referring to him as the German Shepherd. May it always be so.

The following week, our eldest son married his long-time partner Kristina, It was one of those lovely spring days in the Ohio Valley; temperatures in the 70s, gentle breezes, and cloudless blue skies. Our grandson Fievel was the ring-bearer and our granddaughter was the flower girl. After a beautiful ceremony, family and friends enjoyed a jubilant celebration which didn't end until midnight. Russ has posted a particularly nice photo of the newlyweds and their ring-bearer here:

We don't think we've mentioned the Irish verse for a wedding in April. Just in case we haven't, here it is: "Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man."
Of course, if you live where we do, you also have to hope that the weather will hold. Just two weeks after Scott & Kristina tied the knot, the mercury plummeted to below freezing and we had snow. Fortunately, it was just a bit of a dusting, but north of us they had a foot or more!

It would make for an edition a book long if we tried to catch up on everything. Suffice to say we're very happy to be writing to you again. Before we forget, we'd like to thank all of you who made purchases on amazon the last week in March because we made it to the next commission plateau. Also, new subscribers continue to join us and we truly appreciate you signing up. If this is your first newsletter we hope you will enjoy it - and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with family and friends.

One more thing before we put an end to the the blitherin': we now owe a slew of "make-goods" to our advertisers. Please help us make it up to them by visiting their sites and perhaps making a purchase or two. Ta very much.

In the meantime, we hope this edition finds you and yours in fine fettle and on the pig's back.
On with the update...
Help us keep your newsletter free - please visit our good friend, Molly's Irish Imports:
As the days grow warmer and flowers begin to peek above the new-mown grass, it's time to celebrate the changing of the season, and sharing the joy of new life. There are several new items at Molly's Irish Imports to bring in this fresh time of year. Enjoy the exhilarating fragrance of Inis cologne, or show your love on Mother's Day with a Celtic cross pendant or basket of Irish scone mix, Barry's tea and raspberry jam or lemon curd. Come see what's popping up at Molly's Irish Imports. http://www.irishmollys.com
News from Ireland:
Microsoft Office is set to be available "As Gaeilge" very soon.
A translation firm here has been contracted to translate around 300,000 words into Irish for use in the office software. Eight full time translators are working on the project.

From around the country:
As one of the few towns in the country to have a street named after Pope John Paul II, Cavan should have a permanent memorial according to the Chairman of Cavan Town Council, Paddy Conaty. He has proposed that a plaque in commemoration of the late Pontiff should be placed at John Paul Avenue in Cavan town.

Cork: Blackrock Castle nears completion
The nineteenth century castle at Blackrock in Cork, which was bought by the city council three years ago, has been restored and is expected to be opened to the public in September.

Cork: Remembering a Cork craftsman
A craftsman from Innishannon is to be commemorated in his home town. Billy Connell, the fourth generation of the Connell family to be a master blacksmith, is to be remembered by the erection of a life-size sculpture on a site where the family forge is to be reconstructed. Billy, who died thirteen years ago, worked in the forge in Innishannon and the initiative to erect the statue has involved the best-selling author Alice Taylor, a resident of the town, in co-operation with the local Tidy Towns Committee.

Donegal: Legendary rock almost lost
Council workers engaged in the widening of the coastal walk at Ned's Point in Buncrana inadvertently removed a stone that has great local significance. Known as the horseshoe rock, it is said to date from the Penal times when a Father Hegarty was chased by the Redcoats and his horse is believed to have left the print of a hoof on the stone in the priest's escape attempt; he was eventually captured and beheaded at the point overlooking Lough Swilly now known as Father Hegarty's Rock. Councillor Philip Diggin said the workmen have promised to restore the rock when the road widening project is finished.

Dublin: Plans announced for Dun Laoghaire site
The Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has announced plans for a €140m development of the site of the old baths which date from 1843 and closed in the 1980s. Plans include a €30m underground waterworld and a new breakwater and promenade joining the Forty Foot bathing area to the East Pier.

U2 have confirmed that they will play a third show at Croke Park this summer, to take place on Monday, June 27th. The band's two other shows on June 24th and 25th sold out within moments of being announced earlier this year.

A week ago last Wednesday, conductor Proinnsias Ó Duinn led Our Lady's Choral Society during the annual outdoor performance of extracts from Handel's Messiah in Fishamble Street. The world-famous oratorio made its debut in Dublin on April 13, 1742 .

Kerry: Record price for Kenmare site
In Kenmare almost 19.5m euros was paid for a little over thirty-nine acres of development land, believed to be one of the largest prices paid for a land bank in a provincial town in Munster.

Meath: Campaign to save Ledwidge school
Plans put forward by Father Joe Deegan, the parish priest of Slane, to demolish the old national school and build a new parochial house on the site have met with opposition from both the Slane Heritage Support Group and the Boyne Valley Trust. Their members point out that the school, which was built at the height of the Famine in 1847, numbers among its ex-pupils the poet Francis Ledwidge and the artist John Cassidy. Members of the two groups would like to see the old school, which is located within the grounds of a protected structure, incorporated into any new buildings.

Sligo: Beltra estate goes under the hammer
Dowager Lady Sally Crofton will be the last member of her family to live in Longford House in Beltra, after their five-hundred year link with the estate. The house where Lady Sydney Morgan wrote her most famous novel, "The Wild Irish Girl", has an estate of thirty-one acres and, according to the estate agent charged with the auction, interest in the sale has been phenomenal. Poet and novelist Lady Sydney Morgan, who was then Sydney Owenson, was employed as a governess to the Crofton children in the early years of the nineteenth century.

Wicklow: Reunion of miners in Wicklow
The men who used to work in St Kevin's Lead and Zinc mines in Glendalough during the 1950s had their fourth annual reunion last week. Beginning with a Mass in St Kevin's Church in Laragh, celebrated by Father O'Toole, the former miners enjoyed dinner in the nearby Lynham's Hotel. There are now only seventeen of the original miners still living; the past year saw the deaths of both John Joe Driver from Rathdrum and Matthew Lawlor from Arklow. The reunion was organised by former miner Joe Carter who arranged the first one in 2002 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the closure of the mines.

From all over:
Wisconsin, U.S.A:
President McAleese has accepted an invitation to join the 25th anniversary celebration of Milwaukee's IrishFest The Irish government has been a major partner in programming and funding for the Fest, sponsoring the participation of more than a dozen lecturers, artisans, and craftspeople in 2004. For more details, visit:

Johannesburg, South Africa:
The South African Irish Pipes and Drums have been invited to appear at the 2005 Edinburgh Military Tattoo to be held August 5th through 27th. This will be the first time in the history of this great event that an Irish military regiment other than those from the British Army will be attending. For more details about the Tattoo, visit:
And to learn more about the band who call themselves the "Guardians of the irish Spirit", we encourage you to visit their site:

From the mailbag:
Go raibh maith agaibh to all of you who wrote to offer sympathy when Bridget's computer crashed. We really appreciate the good wishes for a speedy recovery!

Eileen O'Shea writes: I am looking for the author of an Irish proverb I found while reading Tales From Old Ireland by Malachy Doyle. "A tune is more precious than birdsong, and a tale more precious than the wealth of the world."

Livná sent us this fascinating anecdote about potato rings. She writes:
Did you know that in Ireland they used silver rings on the table when dining? They were crafted in Dublin around the 18th- 19th century and they were used so that the potato wouldn't roll all over the place. There are some very nice crafted ones with all sorts of decoration, too.

A reader would like to know if anyone can tell her the words to the Legend of the Irish Wedding Bowl. We think it accompanies a bowl made by Cavan Crystal but so far, we've been unable to track it down. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

We're still scratching our heads over the following query:
Eileen Tierney writes: Can you tell me what the origin is of Tis Himself and Tis Herself? How did that come to be that people started referring to others as himself or herself?
Does anyone on the list know?

Links of the week:

Avidly interested in Irish history? You will love this site:

This week, Jack and Vivian share with us a song by Turlough O'Carolan called Faerie Queen. Have your speakers on and enjoy!

In our absence, Jack and Vivian also posted a special page in memory of Pope John Paul RIP:

Also, if you're planning a wedding, check out the music Jack & Vivian have put together for an Irish celebration:

Our congratulations to Helen Dowd, one of most faithful subscribers from Canada, who just had a book published. For more details, please click

Two wonderful time-wasters from Hartson - thank you...we think!

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....
Help keep our newsletter coming - please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
"Winter comes not till after New Year, nor Spring till after St. Patrick's Day."
With snow rare and summers temperate, Ireland has been called the "land of perpetual spring." Spring in Ireland is milder than in many European countries and is an excellent time to visit there. The days are getting longer and the temperature is on average between 5 and 15 degrees Celsius (41 - 59 Fahrenheit). March and April are known as the windy months with the prevailing winds blowing off the Atlantic Ocean. May can often be the hottest month of the year, signalling the beginning of the summer. If you can't get to Ireland this spring, we can bring a little Ireland to you. So please stop by our site when you get the chance and see what we've found - especially for Mother's Day. And while you are here, please stop by the Whistle page and enter Lolly's latest tin whistle contest:
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
An old broom knows the dirty corners best
The man with the boots does not mind where he places his foot.
A group of Kerry engineers is trying to calculate the height of a flag pole. They try to measure its height by lining up their thumbs and then turning the thumb 90 degrees and marking a spot on the ground. Then they try to use its shadow and trig functions, but no luck. An engineer from Dublin comes by and watches for a few minutes. He asks one of the Kerry engineers what they're doing. "We're trying to calculate the height of this flag pole." The Dublin engineer watches a few minutes more and then, without saying a word, he walks over, pulls the pole out of the ground, lays it down, measures it, writes the measurement on a piece of paper, gives it to one of the Kerry group. The Kerry man looks at the paper, snickers and says to the others: "Isn't that just like a Dubliner? We're trying to calculate the height and he gives us the length."
Help us keep your newsletter going - please visit our loyal friends at The Irish Lottery.
Could this be the year you become a millionaire? Next Wednesday's Lotto Jackpot is heading for €2.5m. There was no winner of Saturday's top prize of €1.9m. The numbers drawn were 9, 19, 20, 24, 37, 38. The bonus number was 12. There Are 42 Shades of Green - All you need are 6 to hit the Irish Millions! It's one of the most trusted lotteries in the world and 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! 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:
1. It's unlucky to bring an old broom into a new home?
2. It's bad luck to bring lilac into the house?
3. Strewing primroses across the threshold will guard against unwelcome visits from "the good people?"
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
1. Toss the Feathers by Patrick Murphy
2. Flowing Tide by Agnes Short
3. Flying Feet A Story Of Irish Dance by Anna Marlis Burgard

A round of pints and applause to:
Patricia Edwards
I have just joined a new site which looks very interesting:

Mary Sigrist
Visit and see Flash's new and very Irish pages! An Irish Fairy Tale
for All Ages: Kick back and visit The Kingdom of the Bald Ferns in Old
Ireland. Meet a group of young Irish 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:

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" May 25 - June 8, 2005

Helen Dowd

Hartson Dowd

Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following books from April's Irish best-sellers list:
1. The Irish Comic Tradition
2. Irish Wit
3. No Time for Work

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
Help keep our newsletter coming - and going! Please visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
Mother's Day is just around the corner. Order until April 30th for Mum's Day delivery. Start your shopping now and don't put it off to the last minute. All mother's are special and deserve a wonderful present from you. Choose from a wide variety of great gifts, including custom-made Celtic signs, gift baskets, scented soaps, intricate Celtic jewellery, and much, much more. Also enter their free contests during your visit and sign up for their great newsletter. Have fun exploring: https://secure26.prohosting.com/a0018922/merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=CA&Affiliate=Bridget

It's hard to believe that the last riddle offering was the group of Easter groaners. To make up for those turkeys, here's one that Russ found which we hope will challenge even our most brilliant solvers:

A boy leaves home in the morning to go to school. At the moment he leaves the house he looks at the clock in the mirror. The clock has no number indication and for this reason the boy makes a mistake in interpreting the time (mirror-image). Just assuming the clock must be out of order, the boy cycles to school, where he arrives after twenty minutes. At that moment the clock at school shows a time that is two and a half hours later than the time that the boy saw on the clock at home.
The Question: At what time did he reach school?
1. Article: Give Me Your Hand - Music for an Irish Wedding
2. Article: The Legend of the Claddagh Ring
3. Article: Artisans of Ireland-Maureen McKervey
4. Article: The Irish in Love
5. Article: The Borrowed Days
6. Our Lady of Knock - Place of Mystery & Miracles
7. Kids' Ireland: Culture Corner - Birds that like to visit Ireland
8. Culture Corner: Furze
9. Basic Irish - Words & Phrases related to spring cleaning
10. The Irish Kitchen: Sunday Dinner - Medallions of Lamb with Creamy Cabbage
11. Video Review: Irish Country Calendar - Ireland Through the Seasons
12. Circle of Prayer - Our ninth Novena in this cycle began on April 18 and ends on April 26. We will begin a new cycle next Wednesday. We have had several new prayer requests: Bertha, Stephanie, Ben, Delaney and several others. Please add them to your list and continue to keep the following loved ones in your prayers or meditations: Mollie's son Casey, Pauline, Hartson, 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 ovrer a year ago, Paul and Ashley, the sons of friends. Also the three grandsons of Mary Sigrist. We have personally experienced first-hand the power of prayer and we know that God listens and will answer.
13. The April Trivia Contest - just a few days left! All entries must be in by midnight on April 30 whichever time zone you live in.
14. Shop for Mother's Day, May 8th. We've updated our "Shop for Her" Page - check it out here:

With the first of the month looming, we'll be busy with a new Trivia contest, new basic Irish lesson and articles appropriate to the merry month of May (which can also mean mayhem!) As always we'll have a new blessing (already posted) a new quotation on Wednesday and a new recipe on Thursday. Each day we update the daily headlines and post what we have for Irish history, So we hope you'll visit us often. (This past week we made it to a major milestone - over a million visitors!)

Until next time, we leave you with this lovely blessing sent in by Carol Feltman
May angels gather round you at the break of every day,
May they shield you and protect you when trouble comes your way.
May they take away your troubles and make your burdens light,
May they kiss you on the forehead and watch over you at night.

As they say in Ireland, mind yourself, and...
Slan agus beannacht!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
We're still in dire need of your support, especially since our newsletter host has begun charging us for the service. Help us keep our newsletter and the web site free; please send whatever you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty. Our snail mail address is 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, 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:

Puebla Lucia, Fuengirola, Spain - Roger Cummiskey's 2nd exhibition
Galeria LUCIA presents New ArtWorks, an exhibition of recent paintings by Roger Cummiskey (and Bettina Eriksen), on view April 16 through June 3, 2005. Cummiskey's new work continues his interpretations into the writings and wanderings of James Joyce and Miguel de Cervantes. In New ArtWorks, however, the artist articulates a search for an individual's identity stressing difference, solitude, and isolation through the depiction of figures and poetic interpretations. 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:

Lincoln, Nebraska - April 29 & 30
Celebrate Lincoln is an exciting world tour! Enjoy the sounds of African drums, Irish bagpipes, Cajun accordion, Latin salsa and much more. Taste the flavors of Greek gyros, Czech kolaches, or Japanese sushi. Explore the wonderful activities and crafts that share cultural beauty and traditions. Molly's Irish Imports will be there with a wide variety of authentic Celtic jewelry, beautiful gift items, Irish scone mix and tea. Please come by to see me! Can't make it to Lincoln? Then please come visit me on the web at:You can also visit me on the internet at:

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

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


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

The following was sent in by John O'. Supposedly, these are the unedited answers to a test about the old and new testaments given to kids in bible school. We don't think it could be all the same test and we're not even sure it's for real. But it is hilarious. Enjoy!

1. In the first book of the bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world so he took the sabbath off.

2. Adam and Eve were created from an Apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark and the animals came on in pears.

3. Lots wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.

4. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic Genitals.

5. Sampson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.

6. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.

7. Moses led the Jews to the Red sea where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.

8. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to get the ten ammendments.

9. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.

10. The seventh Commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

11. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.

12. The greatest miricle in the bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.

13. David was a Hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar. He fought the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in bibical times.

14. Solomon, one of Davids sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

15. When Mary heard she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.

16. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.

17. St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.

18. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which say to do unto others before they do one to you. He also explained, a man doth not live by sweat alone.

19. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels. The epistels were the wives of the apostals.

20. One of the oppossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan.

21. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity, he preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage.

22. Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.