Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to more than 1400 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,

Lovely to be back! We hope this edition finds you all in good health, good spirits and good company - especially our readers on the east coast of the US. You were in our prayers as hurricane Isabel approached, threatening more than 50 million people in her projected path. We heard from several of you who took the time to let us know you were safe. Thank you - and God willing, the same can be said for everyone living in the affected areas. It certainly was a strange feeling to gaze up at the skies in our hometown, knowing that, as big a storm as she was, the clouds we were looking at were all part of the same system. Fortunately for us, we didn't get a drop of rain.

It was a busy week as always - starting out with a visit to see our new grandson; at 9lbs, he's a cuddly bundle who has already let it be known that he doesn't like his feet to be touched! At least for now, he's not taking after his Galway great-grandfather who paid his children a penny to tickle his toes.

In the entertainment department, we saw several great movies - not Irish, but good all the same. "About a Boy" with Hugh Grant is delightful; "The Majestic" with Jim Carey is one of his best; Snow Falling on Cedars is breathtakingly beautiful - and a great story, to boot. And, we finally watched Pearl Harbor. The special effects are phenomenal.

As for the website, lots of plans are in the works, including - and we hesitate to say it - a Christmas Shop. We're not trying to rush the season, but one has to keep in mind the time it takes to ship gifts from Ireland. We'll also be revamping our wedding page - new articles, products, and so on. And, we're excited about welcoming our first sponsor for this section - Anne Lanier Weddings; she specializes in coordinating and arranging ceremonies and receptions in Irish castles, country homes and cottages.

From the mailbag:
We were delighted to be informed that Pat Friend nominated our site and we won an award from http://www.allinfoabout.com/
We'll be posting the details on our awards page soon. Thanks for the nomination, Pat.

Carole Hayes sent us a photo of Ballybitt House (Ballybitt, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow is where some of Bridget's relatives live). The pic is an old black and white and it's not the first photo readers have been kind enough to share with us. That set us to thinking about creating a gallery featuring your photos; the criteria would be that they show your Irish ancestors. If we get enough positive responses to the idea, we'll move forward with it. What do you think?

In news from Ireland:
The Cranberries have announced they are taking a two-year break from recording and live shows. Sources say that, despite all the rumours, they are not breaking up for good.

There are far more frogs than people living in Ireland, a survey of the frog population has revealed. The Irish Peatland Conservation Council's (IPCC) 'Hop-to-it' Irish Frog Survey has established that there are frogs to be found in 77 per cent of Ireland's total land area.

The Heritage Council has warned that unless urgent action is taken, the only thatched houses left in the country will be in folk parks. The problem appears to be due, in part, to high insurance premiums. John and Mary Fenlon, who live in a two-storey thatched farmhouse outside Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford, pay 2,184 euros per year to insure it. "There was only one firm who would insure us, and they were in Donegal. We rang countless others and they would not even give us a quote," said Mrs Fenlon.

In Cork, a special stamp in honour of the internationally acclaimed writer Frank O'Connor was launched at St Patrick's Boys School on Gardiner's Hill - the school where he first put pen to paper. Available in most post offices around the country, the stamp can also be purchased on the Internet at

The oldest person in Northern Ireland has died, three weeks short of her 109th birthday. Margaret McLaughlin from Portrush lived in her own home until her final months, which she spent in residential care. In a recent interview, she said "My long life was 'the Lord's secret."

In news elsewhere:
Washington D.C - The Smithsonian American Art Museum is celebrating the completed restoration of "Robert Emmet" - a recently cleaned bronze sculpture of the Irish patriot by Jerome Stanley Connor. The sculpture, part of the museum's permanent collection, is located in Emmet Park, two blocks from the Embassy of Ireland at Massachusetts Avenue and 24th Streets N.W. in Washington.

Links of the week:
Judith sent us an amazingly comprehensive site:

Another subscriber - sorry, we can't find your name - sent us an equally informative site:

George, editor of the Irish Heritage newsletter is always putting in a plug for us; so, it's only fair to do the same for him - and besides, there's lots of great material here:

If you're an animal lover, please add the following to all of your email messages. Click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal.

And, just for fun, we found a lovely way to waste a bit of time. Can you piece together a puzzle featuring one of the "good folk?"

In last week's edition we mentioned a link sent in by Alex from Australia; we erroneously assumed that Alex was a female. Wrong! Our apologies, mate!
Enough of the blitherin'...on with the update:
Keep our newsletter free - visit this week's sponsor: The Irish Lottery
Remember the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes? It was replaced by the Irish Lotto in 1988. Since then it has become 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 and all winnings are tax-free. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and prove it! Please click here for full details:
A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is usually plain. Oscar Wilde
This one was sent in by Brendan from Belfast. Thanks, Brendan!
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to squabble over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'" Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"
1. There are documentary records of 9,724 shipwrecks around the Irish coast?
2. Ernesto Guevara Lynch, the father of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, was a descendant of a Galway woman, Ana Lynch y Oritz, who settled in Argentina in the 18th century?
3. Dublin's first bus route was inaugurated in 1919 by the Clondalkin Omnibus Company, using a wooden body from a horse-drawn vehicle on a five-ton chassis?
Source: The new Encyclopedia of Ireland
We haven't had a good Irish curse for a while; here's one that's a bit more benign than most:
May you be afflicted with the itch and have no nails to scratch with!
The answers for last week:
1. Families of Co. Donegal - Michael C. O'Laughlin
2. The Magdalen - Marita Conlon-McKenna
3. At Swim, Two Boys - Jamie O'Neill.

A round of pints and applause for our Irish bibliophiles:

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Something for every name on your gift list!
Featuring Babies, Children and Our Everyday Heroes

Patricia Edwards
I'm running out of sites as none are as good as your own - but here's another one well worth a look:
http://www.ireland.org/ it contains a good selection of Irish History, Surname Histories & Heraldic Gifts, Old Gaelic Proverbs, etc. Good Hunting!

Pat Murphy
Biddy McGraw's the Pacific Northwest's only authentic Irish pub and the home 'O the "perfect" pint':

Hartson Dowd
A good Irish Website is: The Irish Times. All the daily news and views from one of Ireland's top broadsheet newspapers. The site includes a genealogical gateway where you can discover the history behind many Irish surnames or you can embark upon a search for your own Irish ancestors
Ed. Note: Access to the full Irish Times is by subscription, but you can sign up for a free daily digest.

Helen Dowd
Feeling stressed? Pets are a good way to relieve stress. Let the cats tell you! http://www.occupytillicome.com/articles
Need an angel today? Visit my website at: www.occupytillicome.com/ http://www.occupytillicome.com

Dallas Hodder Franklin
Sell Writing Online Newsletter. Voted Best Publication Editor in the 2002 Preditors and Editors Poll. Sign up at:

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
Enjoy a personally escorted tour to Ireland with Dublin-educated and frequent visitor, Déirdre, who continues the family tradition of exploring "real Irish culture and history" - a tradition begun by her father, Dr. Eoin McKiernan, founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute. Take a look at the most recent tour itinerary:

Norma Mackey
As always, my favorite site is yourselves! (Again, many thanks, Norma, for all the nice comments)

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

1. Knick Knack Paddy Whack
2. The Young Wan - An Agnes Browne Novel
3. Smoke in the Wind: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

Hint: All three titles can be found 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. 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
Last week's head-banger:
My life can be measured in hours,
I serve by being devoured.
Thin, I am quick
Fat, I am slow
Wind is my foe.
What or who am I?
Answer: A Candle

Our most creative answer came from Owen Lorion who guessed it might be a newspaper. First with the correct answer was: Clara Byrne from Newfoundland. Well done, Clara. Now for our next puzzler. Carina McCoy brought to our attention that there's another English eleven-letter word that begins and ends with the same three letters. Appreciate you sending it in, Carina. Can you figure out what it is?
Important Note: Russ works on updating the entire site every weekend. Usually, by Monday morning, all new articles and features are in place. Maybe we should change our name to Ireland's Monday Magazine!
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. New: Article - Ireland's Holy Wells
This will be published over the weekend
3. New: Article - Music for Your Wedding & Reception
This will be published over the weekend
4. New: The Library - The Encyclopedia of Ireland
5. Featured: The Irish Kitchen - With the Galway Oyster Festival next weekend, why not check out our Oyster page which has about a dozen recipes.
Also, St. Michael's Day is on September 29, and it's considered lucky to dine on goose. Check out this great recipe from Darina Allen - Michelmas Goose with Potato & Apple Stuffing
6. Featured: Article - Michaelmas in Old Ireland
7. Featured: Article - The Galway International Oyster Festival
8. Featured: Article - Making a Match in Lisdoonvarna
9. Ongoing: Circle of Prayer. Our eighth Novena in this cycle began on September 17 and continues through September 25. The ninth one will begin next Friday. Please pray or meditate for Bob, C.J., Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, Priscilla's family, and our military personnel stationed all over the world, especially in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us each day
10. Trivia Contest. Time's running out. All entries must be received by midnight on September 30, whichever time zone you live in.
11. On-going: Irish News: Headlines for the past week
12. On-going: This month in Irish History:

We'll be very busy preparing for the first week in October. The blessing has been posted; we'll have a new quote on Wednesday, and in addition to the featured recipes on oysters and roast goose, we'll have a brand new recipe from Hartson.

So, that about wraps it up for another week except to say how much we enjoy writing to you, and how much we appreciate the many messages you send thanking us for your newsletter. Always makes the effort worthwhile. We'd also like to take this opportunity to welcome the dozen or more new subscribers. Many thanks for joining our list and feel free to forward our musings and meanderings on to family and friends. We'd also like to encourage everyone to spread the word about us - Bridget is yearning to reach 2,000 subscribers by year end. Go raibh maith agat!

Until next time, between now and then, our calendar tells us that September 21 is the Feast of St. Matthew; also known as the 'Devil's Nutting-Day', in old folklore, it was considered unlucky for anyone to gather nuts on this day! It's also the day we celebrate the International Banana Festival, Apple Festival, and National Pecan Cookie Day. For chocolate lovers, the 22nd is National White Chocolate Day. In Texas, on the 23rd, they celebrate the Corn Dog and in the northern hemisphere, it's the first official day of Autumn. The 24th is National Cherries Jubilee Day, the 25th is National Crabmeat Newberg Day, the 26th is National Pancake Day and also the Feast of Lamps in India. Finally, the end of the week brings National Chocolate Milk Day and, more importantly, Rosh Hashanah. So, Happy New Year on September 27th to all of our Jewish readers.If we have left out an important event in your country, please forgive us. Our choices each week are purely arbitrary. That is, if we have the info', we'll share it with you.

Seems like we only just did this, but we leave you with the hope that in the coming week, you and yours will enjoy an abundance of God's blessings and that He will enfold you and protect you from all harm.

All the best - and as they say in Ireland - mind yourself!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting the following A Piece of Ireland.
Located at Lissacreasig, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland Macroom Land Trust is offering 1-foot square plots of land for sale. Each purchase comes with a certificate suitable for framing, photographs from the area, and a 4- page history. A perfect gift for weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays, A Piece of Ireland is also ideal for promotional or business thank-yous. To learn more, please click here: http://www.apieceofireland.com/index.php?id=1083
Did you enjoy reading this edition of our newsletter? Voluntary donations to help keep us going are always welcome and can be sent to us via http://www.paypal.com
Our email address there is bnhaggerty@cinci.rr.com. And many thanks in advance for your kindness!
Events & Classifieds
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com

The Irish Software Association is seeking nominations for the Annual Industry Awards from companies who wish to have their business leadership and/or their sales and technical innovation recognised. Information and nomination forms are available at:
http://www.software.ie/awards2003 or mailto: sinead.hyland@ibec.ie

The Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
She is in Montreal until Monday, September 22. On Wednesday, September 24, she will arrive in Gross Isle for a ceremonial visit and from Thursday, September 25 to Monday, September 29, she will be in Quebec City. For more details, please click:

Houston, Texas
Monday, September 22, 2003
The University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies presents Dr. Donnchadh O'Corrain, Professor of Medieval Irish History at University College Cork, Ireland speaking on the early Irish Brehon Laws. For more information, contact the Center for Irish Studies (Lori Meghan Gallagher, Director) at 713-525-3592 or irishstudies@stthom.edu

12th Annual Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival
September 27-28, 2003
Historic Coney Island; I-275 and Kellogg Avenue (Exit 72)
For details, please click:

A Celtic Pilgrimage to Sacred Ireland
Sept 30 - Oct 8 2003
Learn. Pray. Observe. Meditate. Eat. Explore. Experience the beauty and mystery of Ireland in a unique spiritual journey to the Emerald Isle's sacred sites. For more details, please click

Aran Isles - Traditional Basket-Making - a journey into the past!
6 - 13 October 2003
You still can book for this last programme. October is a beautiful exciting month in Ireland, with wild seas, rainbows and ever- changing skies. For more details, please email Elizabeth Zollinger: info@irish-culture.ch

Samhain International Poetry Festival Friday 31 October & Mon 3 November in Gort a'Choirce, Co. Donegal. Email: info@samhainpoetrycompetition.com
or info@maggiedans.com

Wine Courses
Do you know a bit about wine but wish you knew more? The Wine Development Board of Ireland has announced its annual programme of wine courses for 2003/2004. In a major educational programme, the Board is facilitating the delivery of no less than one hundred separate courses, with more than half of these outside Dublin.For more information check out
http://www.wineboard.com <http://www.wineboard.com

Song and Silence: A Weekend with the Celtic Saints - November 21-23
Pendle Hills, Wallingford, PA
For more information or to register, please contact our registrar, Steve Jackson, at ext. 142, (610) 566-4507 or (800) 742-3150, or e-mail him at registrar@pendlehill.org. If you have access to the Internet, please check out our website:

Ancient Order of Hibernians Historical Tour of Ireland
January 27, 04- February 4, 04
In conjunction with Our Lady of Knock Division No. 2; Ancient Order of Hibernians, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, please call James V. Magee, Jr., President (513) 621-9660

Texas Dulcimer Cruise - February 5-9, 2004
Galveston to Cozumel on the Carnival Celebration. There will be workshops, jam sessions, talent show and more. These spots will go fast, so book early! Inside cabins are $430.80 pp, double occupancy and oceanview cabins are $480.80 pp, double occupancy. Delesandri Tours, booking agent for this trip Ask for Marcy: 281-535-5703 or e-mail marcy@delesandri.com

Cais Conference/Reunion - May 26-29, 2004
Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
The theme is "Mother Tongues: The Languages of Ireland."
For details, please click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
http://members.aol.com/manusclan/mcm2004.htm or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: