Greetings & Blessings to all,
Mea Culpa - We are so very late with this edition. It was supposed to go out  at the beginning of April, but without going into a litany of excuses, the  best laid plans gang aft agley. Our apologies if we caused any of you to be concerned about our well being. Himself does have a miserable cold, but other than that, we’re fine - just tardy is all.     Onwards:
Easter, Passover and the Hindu Festival of Colors -  whatever you celebrated, we hope it was a safe and happy occasion. That also goes for our Scots cousins  who observed  Tartan Day on April 6th - wha hae!  
As for ourselves,  here in our Ohio Valley, we are SO ready to celebrate spring! Definitive harbingers of the season are making a welcome return  - daffodils and our Bradford pear tree are in full bloom, the forsythia on the corner - old, but doing its valiant best - and Canadian geese in significant gaggles on the banks of a nearby lake. Even after a relatively mild winter, it seems to have dragged on for far too long - but we fared much better than Ireland. If you read the headlines that we publish every  day, you already know how harsh Mother Nature has been recently. Eighteen foot drifts? Massive by even Swiss Alps or Rocky mountain standards. If you live in the hardest hit regions, especially in the north, we hope and pray  you  and your neighbors have recovered from what is already being called one of the worst spring blizzards on record. Ironically, about this time last year, the headlines were all about the heat wave! 
We are thrilled to announce that a print edition of Potion, Pope & Perfidy is now available on Amazon here:
And on Creative Space here: 
Of course, we hope all of our faithful readers will buy numerous copies for family and friends. Or at least talk it up. You never know - Oprah’s always on the lookout for a good read - and in the humble opinion of your editor, it most definitely is!
This year’s appeal is over and we would like to thank all of the very special Irishangels  who responded to our request for help. We’re not sure why, but just less than 1% of our subscribers sent us a donation this year - and many familiar names from past years are missing. Maybe we didn’t ask loud enough? In any event and whatever the reason, we’ll muddle along somehow and just hope for the best. Think positive - it’s always the best approach. The good news is that we selected the names of six lucky winners entered in the drawing for a signed copy of Michael Loynd’s popular book All Things Irish. Michael has names and addresses in hand and the books should be on their way very soon.  They might even be there already!
 They are building a new bridge over the river Liffey in Dublin and Dublin council is asking the public to name it. What do you think it should be named for - a person, a place, something else?  Voice your opinion on our latest Map Your Vote poll:
You can also vote on our home page - the poll is in the right-hand column
We’re moving this feature further up in the newsletter because we are getting so few entries. Just may be it was being missed in previous issues. In any event, all entries for the April Contest must be in by midnight, April 30th whatever time zone you live in. You will find the contest here:
February’s winner was Mary Mosler USA who chose for her prize the James Joyce print  generously provided by  Dublin artist Roger Cummiskey
And our winner for March was Anita Lock who chose for her prize the Penny Whistle generously provided by Lollysmith
Well done to both of  you! So now, is it your turn? Enter today - just may be, we’ll be putting your name in our Winner’s Circle and here in the newsletter.  
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: 
  .. 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: Please visit our friends at the Celtic Attic
Can you believe we are almost into May, wow… Soon will be Mum's Day, Dad's Day and Graduations. With that being said I have one high school graduation and two college graduations to attend in two days in June… Busy, busy, busy, but our families are the most important things in our lives. Hold them close and if they are far, send them light and love often. With that being said, we are more than a little bit behind on our web site remodel. We are giving the old Celtic Attic a facelift and a brand new shopping cart. You are gonna love it.  Meanwhile, it’s business as usual and we hope you will stop by soon!
ED. NOTE: Exclusive offer just for I C & C readers: 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!You can contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and please tell them Bridget & Russ said hello! 
Tel: 360)813-1113
9am - 5pm PST On line:
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
Lave ‘Em Laughing
Linda Logan writes: 
I just wanted to tell you that I got outright teary when I opened your package and especially the precious glass angels with the green shamrocks. I love those and will display them, cherish 'em. A precious elderly friend years ago gave me her angel collection, and she almost audibly wished me a Happy Birthday - which is today. So the timing was awesome and the sentiment so sweet.
Thanks for what you do. Its good to 'know' you via Facebook and your awesome newsletter!
Heidi writes
I look forward to every newsletter you send - each one is packed with latest news and the shopping links are an added bonus.  The last time I had written you, Hurricane Sandy had hit us along the Jersey Shore (Toms River/Seaside, NJ area) pretty hard - but not the Irish community - I'm happy to say that clean up efforts have been successful, the 'checkpoints' have been lifted and all shoreline businesses (especially the bars and pubs) will be open in time for St. Patrick's Day not to mention the big parade! Now that's something to jig about!
Explore your Irish family history on line
The Irish government’s Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has recently introduced a new search facility to explore a number of on-line sources of genealogical information in addition to the Church records which were already available on the site.
Ireland Reaching Out
Ireland Reaching Out is a voluntary Irish government-sponsored initiative to connect people of Irish heritage to their ancestral parish - FREE of Charge!
Several oft-forgotten Irish songs
These are on our Facebook page. We hope you enjoy them!
Top ten places to see in Dublin
Dublin Castle to Temple Bar,  Phoenix Park to Trinity College plus six more attractions to help you plan your next visit:
Bloomsday Reenacted 
Our friend and sponsor Roger Cummiskey is selling prints of his famous Bloomsday Reenacted work. Click through the link if you think you might be interested. Very inexpensive! 
Ave Maria sung by an angel
We hope you will enjoy this very moving rendition sent to us by a dear friend, Mr. William Crotty
The Gathering 2013
This very special year in Ireland now has a Face Book Page.
Send Your Message to Space for The Gathering 2013!
Upload your photos, videos & messages to a digital time capsule on and they will be sent to space for The Gathering 2013! Full details at World Irish:
The Irish Language Banned Once Again
This report came in from Eoin at Bite Size Irish - undoubtedly the best site on line for learning Irish in manageable pieces!
Irish Tribes
With many thanks to BJ for sending us this link to a site that specializes in Seanchas  - the Ancient Genealogy, History, and Brehon Law of  Gaelic Ireland:
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:
The wedding season is upon us...if you’re called upon to make a toast, here’s one from Bridget’s book The Traditional irish Wedding:
May the roof above you never fall in
And the friends gathered below never fall out.
To keep the wedding theme going, here’s a classic bit of Irish wit:
“A man in love is incomplete until he has married - then he is finished.”
We’ll complete our nod in the direction of weddings and marriage with this oldie but goodie:
The newlyweds were on their way to Dublin. The shy  bride was a bit embarrassed they might seen as  honeymooners. So when she and her husband pulled into the station, , she asked him if there was any way that they could make it appear that they had been married a long time. He responded, "Sure. You carry the suitcases!"
(Courtesy of Weddings on Line Ireland)
1. Handel's Messiah made its debut in Dublin on April 13, 1742?
2. It was on Easter Monday, April 18, 1949, that Éire became officially known as the the Republic of Ireland?
3. Ireland’s longest serving altar boy was Tommy Kinsella of Bray in Co Wicklow who began serving Mass in the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Bray, in April 1917 and continued in the same church for 81 years until his death in 1999?
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
1. Echoes of a Savage Land by Joe McGowan
2.A Course Called Ireland by Tom Coyne 
3.The Book of Killowen by Erin Hart
As one Irish wag once said, please clap your feet for....
Patricia Edwards
Cathy Conover
Lee Peterson
Frank O’Halloran (howdy, neighbor!)
Deirdre Mckiernan Hetzler  
National Board Member, Irish American Cultural Institute Author, Irish America Reawakening: The Eoin McKiernan Story Now available  here: Maureen Murphy
And now for our next quiz - who wrote:
1.When history was made - the women of 1916
2. Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion
3. The Rising: Ireland: Easter 1916 
To begin with,  the answer to our previous 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?
A. Habit 
As always, our Riddle People didn’t let us down - we had a slew of correct solutions, but Wyllie from London. UK was first in - well  done, Wyllie!
And now for our next Brain Bruiser:
I. A man in hospital  has a visitor. Afterward a nurse asks the man who the visitor was. The man replies: "brothers and sisters I have none, but that man's father is my father's son." What's the relationship between the man and the visitor?
Please send your answers to Bridget at the following email address
ED. NOTE: It would be helpful if you put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks.
SPONSOR: Lollysmith
Mother’s Day, Graduations, First Communion, Weddings - there’s always an important date in an irish calendar! Find  find the perfect gift for these occasions and many others at Lollysmith! Choose from a comprehensive collection to mark every milestone event! Stop by soon and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello.
ED. Note: Yearning for an authentic blackthorn walking stick? Owen at Lollysmith just wrote to say they’re expecting a new shipment. Might even be in stock already!
Here are the articles currently on our homepage:
1. Shopping Section: Naturally, we hope you and yours will do all of  your shopping for things Irish or Irish related  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!
2. County News: The bits and bobs that we used to send by e-mail are now published on the web site on the first Saturday of the month. The April edition has been published:. 
3. Article:  April Fools Day
4. Article: The Borrowed Days
5. Article:  The 1916 Proclamation
6. Article: Landmarks commemorating The 1916 Rising
7. Book Review: 50 things you didn't know about the 1916 uprising by Mick Farrell
8. Poetry Corner: Padraic Pearse
9. The Irish Kitchen - Medallions of Lamb with Creamy Cabbage
10. Basic Irish: Spring Cleaning
11. Kids’ Ireland: The Bewitched Kerry Cow
12. Circle of Prayer
The eighth Novena in this cycle began on Aprill 11 and continues through April 19th.  As we reel from the impact of yet  another senseless act of terrorism  in Boston, we ask that whatever your spiritual leanings, you keep all the people of that great city in your prayers and meditations - particularly the little Irish dancer who lost  a brother and a limb and whose mother suffered severe brain injuries. .  It doesn’t get much sadder than that.
On a much lighter note, a family friend - Rocky - appears to be recovering from a series of strokes and seizures in a rehab facility  Please think of him as well as those still recovering from the affects of super storm Sandy, the families of all those children  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. 
So there you have it until we write again next month. If you’ll be celebrating a birthday or anniversary between now and then, we hope it’s an occasion filled with joy and love. And if you plan on tying the knot or were married in April here is your special verse:
Marry in April if you can,
Joy for maiden and for man.   
We’ll take our leave with an adaptation of a prayer sent to us   by Gloria Woods who received it from SR Margaret McStay of Belfast.
Circle us Lord
Keep protection near
And danger afar
Circle us  Lord
Keep hope within
Keep doubt without
Circle us Lord
Keep light near
And darkness afar
Circle us Lord
Keep peace within
Keep evil out.
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. 
Téigh ar do ghlúine is bí buíoch le Dia go bhfuil tú fós ar do chosa.
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The Wild Geese lists events here:
And irish Abroad does, too, on their site here:
To list an event not featured in either of those locations, we’re more than happy to list it here:
Spain - April 3rd to May 31st, 2013.
El y Ella galería restaurante Lucia, Calle Maestra Angles Aspiazu, 10, Fuengirola.
A new exhibition featuring two Andalusian International Artists members, Dolores and Roger Cummiskey originally from Dublin, Ireland. For more details, write to Roger:
or visit his web site
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
Some more funny puns...Enjoy!
Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery.
A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.
Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.
I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.
Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
Without geometry, life is pointless.
When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.
Reading whilst sunbathing makes you well-red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.