Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1200 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 unsubcribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.

Greetings & Blessings to Everyone,

For you're as welcome as the flowers in May...whether you're in dear old Donegal or anywhere else on the map, it's lovely to welcome you back to this week's edition of our Haggerty meanderings, ponderings and blatherings.

We hope that you and yours enjoyed your Easter holiday, and for those of you who will be celebrating Easter this weekend, we pray that you will also enjoy a safe and happy celebration. Aideen, the lovely lady who provides all of our Irish translations and pronunciations tells us that the festivities in Cyprus are amazing!

Call it whatever you want... (just to name a few)...Flower Month, Foot Health Month, Asparagus Month, Egg Month, Better Sleep Month, National Barbeque Month, Family Support Month, Hamburger Month, or Strawberry Month, the merry month of May in the Celtic calendar kicks off with Beltaine, the first day of the Celtic summer, on May 1st. So, happy first day of summer to everyone in the Northern hemisphere. In the meantime, we heard from Beth, a subscriber in New Zealand who tells us that they're experiencing lots of heavy showers interspersed with fine beautiful autumn weather - at least in the north. In the south, where most of their electricity is generated, they're having a draught which may lead to power shortages this winter. Hopefully, that won't happen.

As for ourselves, here in the Ohio valley we've enjoyed several lovely days but the nights have been unseasonably cold; even had a bit of frost on the fuscia one morning! Overall, it was a very productive week, (except that we've had more than our fill of hard-boiled eggs and chocolate!) One hitch to an otherwise pleasant period happened when Russ turned on his monitor last Monday morning and discovered that the color red had disappeared. Poof...overnight, the electronic gremlins had made off with the red. While the budget is extremely tight, one can't work with a color monitor that's missing a primary color. So, as much as we can't afford it, we had to get a replacement right away. Oh well. If you know someone who is color- blind and could use a relatively new monitor which is fine in every other respect, we can let him or her have this one at... ahem...a red-icu-lessly low price!

Our mailbag brought in the usual mountain of messages - so, if you haven't received a response from us yet, please be patient. We do get some odd requests. A lady in Alaska is opening a shop with a Celtic department and asked us how it should be decorated! Our best advice was to tell her to avoid the dancing leprechauns and signs that say begorrah or top o' the mornin! Another message was a request for a link to a Dublin company specializing in Irish hotel bookings. This, we were glad to provide and the link should go live this weekend. Could be very helpful to any of you planning a trip. We especially liked that you can call them toll-free from the UK and the US. The one message we were very happy to receive - (and the one that confirms to us that we really are becoming an internet family) was from Anne Mulvey, the subscriber who we told you last week was having a baby. Not only did she send us an annoucement, it was a accompanied by the cutest picture of Catherine - Katie. Thanks, Anne! (In-between feedings and nappy-changings, Anne still managed to send in an entry to this week's writer's quiz. Now that's dedication for you!)

Well then, here we are approaching page two of the newsletter and we haven't yet said thank you to all the new subscribers - a good dozen or so since last we wrote. We really appreciate you signing up and if you're enjoying your first copy of the newsletter, we hope you'll forward it on to family and friends.

With that, enough of the jawing and on to the juicy bits!
Mother's Day is imminent! Yes, we know we mentioned Mother's Day not that long ago, but that was for when it's celebrated in Ireland. Now, May 11 is looming for Mother's Day in the USA and many other countries. We invite you to visit our Shop Ireland page for a wide range of tradtional Irish products:
Or, take a look at the special gifts we have listed in the margin of our article Mothering Sunday in Old Ireland:
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
Sign on a farm-house gate in Kerry:
Horse Manure: 50p per pre-packed bag. 20p - do it your self.
This one is adapted from one sent in by Eileen Mc. in NY.
A curious fellow died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the pearly gates into Heaven. Others though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning pit. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss a soul off to one side into a small pile. After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow's curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan what he was doing. "Excuse me, Prince of Darkness," he said. "I'm waiting in line for judgment, but I couldn't help wondering, why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?" "Ah, those ...Satan said with a groan. "They're all from Ireland. They're still too cold and damp to burn."
1. Dublin's O'Connell Bridge was originally made of rope and could only carry one man and a donkey at a time? It was replaced with a wooden structure in 1801. The current concrete bridge was built in 1863 and was first called "Carlisle Bridge".
2. One of the great gaffes in social history took place at Stormont in the 1920s? During an important function, Northern Ireland minister Dawson Bates - who was in attendance with his wife and son - entered the main hall. As the party made their way towards the gathered dignitaries, they were grandly announced "the honourable Dawson Bates, his wife, Lady Bates, and their son Master Bates." (We're not kidding - this really happened!)
3.The Irish alphabet has only 18 letters? J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y and Z are not used.
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his. Oscar Wilde
The answers to last week's quiz:

1. The Dancers Dancing - Eilis Ni Dhuibhne
2. Toss The Feathers - Pat Murphy
3. A Handbook of Irish Dances - J.G. O'Keeffe

A bow to our Irish bibliophiles:
Anne Mulvey
We had our baby! A little girl we called Catherine - we call her Katie and she is adorable and very good!
Ed. Note: We're certain that every recipient of this newsletter will join with us in congratulating Anne and wishing her family all the best.

Sean Patterson
Irish Insight - if you're tracing your ancestors, check out their A to Z of Irish genealogy.

Maureen M.
Lovely photos of Ireland - can't wait to go back!

Helen Dowd
Need an angel today? Please visit my website at:

Hartson Dowd
A good Irish gardening site for folks looking for gardening tips and ideas - check out: http://www.gardencentre.ie/newsletter.htm

Judith Flynn
A very nice couple own this shop. I discovered them at the Euclid Irish Festival last August.

Deirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
Who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland it's the McKiernans of Irish Books & Media:

John Keely

T. McCarthy
What can I say - I'm a fan!

This week's quiz - who wrote:
1. Halfway Home - My Life 'Til Now
2. Because They Never Do
3. Four Letters of Love

Hint: All three titles can be found on amazon - please click 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!)
Hint: All three titles can be found on amazon - please click here:
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. Article: A Tribute to Jimmy Kennedy - Irish songwriter who composed Red Sails in the Sunset and many other standards
2. Article: May, the Month of Mirth and Merriment
3. Article: Marry in May and Rue the Day
4. Article: Bantry Bay Mussels in May
5. Basic Irish - phrases for when you're eating out
6. The Irish Kitchen - Avocado and Boilie Salad
7. Irish Trivia Contest. Time's running out! All entries must be in by next Wednesday, April 30, midnight, EST
8. Circle of Prayer. We begin a new cycle of Novenas today. To help you keep track of the next nine beginning and end dates, please click
9. Travel Resources. We've made the travel rollover in the index live so that you can now click on it and be taken directly to the page. We're still working on this section but we thought if you might be planning a trip home, we should make the information that is available easy to access.

With a new month always comes a new trivia contest, new tale for children and a new feature in the Culture Corner. Didn't we just do all of this? In any event, May is going to be busy since it's the month of Mary, first communions, and, of course, all of the mayhem associated with the month's debut - Beltaine. So, look for Bridget to hopefully finish the piece on Synge before April is out and then some new articles related to a brand new summer season.

Until next time, we hope this edition has found you in good health, good spirits and good company. We also pray that the Good Lord will keep you and yours sheltered and safe in the mantle of His gentle love and care. And as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.

All the best,

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
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Many of you have written to say how much you enjoy our newsletter and the website. We've tried to support our efforts with affiliate programs and, on very rare occasions, we've even had an advertiser who actually pays us. The bottom line is that we aren't making enough to justify the effort involved. The catch-22 is that we want to continue, but common sense says that to keep going as we are is financially insane. So, here's how you can help - if you want to. This is a purely voluntary request for a donation. The newsletter won't stop coming if you don't contribute - and, God willing, we'll keep the site going as long as we can, no matter what. Want to help? Our snail mail address is 5670, Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224. And we also have a PayPal account if that is more convenient. http://www.paypal.com
Any amount is welcome and we'll take a portion of whatever you send and donate it to the Northern Ireland Children's Project. Many, many thanks in advance for your support!
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link:
Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
The replica of the famine ship will be visiting the following USA ports:
West Palm Beach, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Trenton, New Jersey, Bristol, Pennsylvania, New York, New York, Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York, Providence, Rhode Island, Boston, Massachussetts.
For dates and details, please click

Paintings of Ireland in Boston
The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College is hosting a highly-acclaimed exhibit entitled Eire/Land, which explores Ireland's landscape with artifacts ranging from medieval manuscripts to contemporary mixed-media items. Open until May 19, the exhibit comprises roughly 100 manuscripts, archaeological artifacts, early maps and prominent Irish landscape paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin and the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, as well as private collections.

NUI, Galway alumni event in Los Angeles
President O Muircheartaigh and members of the University community are travelling to Los Angeles for the Gala launch of the NUI, Galway Huston School of Film & Digital Media and on Thusday May 1, Dr O Muircheartaigh will be hosting a gathering for university alumni in the Barefoot Restaurant, 8722 W. Third Street, Los Angeles from 7.00pm to 9.00pm. Those planning to attend are asked to confirm with Betsy Kilkenny at mailto:alumni@nuigalway.ie by Monday April 28.

Celebrating Celtic Culture
A weekend celebration of Celtic culture is set for Burke, Virginia with the 10th annual Potomac Celtic Festival on June 14 and 15. All 1200 acres of Morven Park's international equestrian center will be transformed into a hub of continuous music and dance on eight stages, a craft market with 50 Celtic art and crafts exhibitors, reenactments of Celtic history from the 1st Century B.C. through modern times, and Celtic import and specialty vendors. For more details on the Potomac Celtic Festival call 1-800-752-6118.

Live in San Antonio?
Project Children and Habitat For Humanity have teamed up on a program called "Building Bridges". They will bring 12 young Irish lads (18-21 yrs) to San Antonio from 3 May until 29 June 2003. While staying with Host Families in the area, they will work 5-6 days a week at Habitat, building houses for needy families in San Antonio area. This is one of the "Peace and Reconcillation" programs of Project Children, a 29 yr old Irish-American charity that works with the people of Ireland and Northern Ireland. If you would like to cook a meal, host a party, or just meet them, please contact Pat Kelly at jpkelly3@earthlink.net.

Re-Imagining Ireland
A ground-breaking international conference and festival will be held May 7-10, 2003 in Charlottesville, VA. Major arts events will include concerts by "De Dannan" and "The Green Fields of America" and by "Solas" and "Cherish the Ladies." For more information, please click http://www.re-imagining-ireland.org/

The Brazos Valley Celtic Association meeting on Tuesday May 13 will feature Keltic Cross-Fire doing a presentation consisting of traditional Celtic dance tunes, vocal stories and original music. As always, the meeting will be held at 7:00pm at Carney's Pub, located at 3410 S. College in Bryan. Open to the public - No need to be a member to attend meetings or to be Celtic to be a member. The BVCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the appreciation of all Celtic Cultures. For more information, please contact Claire Byrne - bvcelt@alpha1.net

Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society
Cumann Éire san Ochtú Céad Déag
2003 CONFERENCE - Dublin, 2-4 May
Religious and Political Identity in Eighteenth-Century Ireland

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:

Like to write? Our Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival has just announced a brand new writing competition. If you're interested, you can get the rules and other details here: http://home.fuse.net/cfl/festival.html