Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1900 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
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Greetings and blessings to all,

We hope this edition finds you as fit as a fiddle and in fine fettle; a warm welcome back and a special hello to our newest readers. Many thanks for subscribing - and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with family and friends.

For our friends in Ireland, we hope you enjoyed a safe and happy bank holiday last weekend. This weekend is also one of fun and festivities as Dublin and many other places all over the world pull out all the stops in celebration of the 100th anniversary of BloomsDay. The poet Seamus Heaney is to read excerpts from Ulysses in Dublin today, tomorrow there's to be a free breakfast (mercifully, it will be a lot more palatable than the one Joyce describes) and from now until the end of August, "ReJoyce Dublin" will continue its five-month festival in the author's honor. We wonder what he'd make of it all; there's a lovely anecdote where twenty years after the first Bloomsday, he was in hospital, received flowers from friends on June 16, and is supposed to have said "I wonder years from now will anyone remember this date?"

Here on the homefront, it's been a hot and humid week - but no storms to report, TG. The cicadas seem to be winding down - but perhaps we're just getting used to their chitter and chatter. The stargazer lilies are in full bloom, as are the daylilies. It's a splendid splash of color we look forward to every year. However, we've had to fight off the deer again, but we have found what we think is an effective cure - cheap, too! Take a couple of eggs, whip them up in the blender with a couple of cups of water and then pour the mixture into a gallon container; top it off with more water and spray whatever the deer are munching on; so far, it seems to be working.

We know many of you are interested in tracing your Irish roots, which is why we're surprised that we're getting very little response to our free genealogy Q & A feature. Perhaps you missed it? Check it out here and do send in your questions:

It's summer and most people have better things to do than sit glued to a computer; which is why we think our visits to the site have gone way down. You can help us improve our stats simply by visiting our news and history each day; if nothing else is updated, those two features are, and if all of you paid a visit, it would make a huge difference. And besides, when all the news seems to be bad, we offer a bit of tranquility with headlines we hope are positive. The Irish history isn't as uplifting, but it is fascinating.

Along the same lines, there were certainly some visits from readers who answered our plea for click throughs to amazon. Thank you so much to everyone who made purchases through our site this past week; we now need just 22 sales by June 30 to make that coveted bonus. So, if you're looking to shop for Pop or for any other special occasion, please keep us in mind. For example, here's a gift idea for those dads who relish their pint of plain and might also enjoy brewing their own - a starter home brewery with organic Irish stout ingredients:

As is probably the case with many people, our week was dominated with watching the events surrounding President Reagan's passing. We've had the opportunity just a couple of times to witness the pageantry of a state funeral and this one was most definitely an occasion to remember - from the procession of the casket to the Capitol accompanied by the riderless horse, to the moment when Nancy finally shed tears at his final resting place in California, we watched all of the coverage. We think the media did an excellent job, although we wondered why Irish president Mary McAleese wasn't mentioned among the dignitaries at the Cathedral? Perhaps we missed it. We were also confused that the other two Irish tenors didn't show up anywhere. It had been reported by the Irish Examiner they would be there. Where? In any event, Ronan was magnificent as always. Now, we're trying to find out the name of the piece that was played as the casket was carried out of the cathedral. Anyone know? Overall, the week was a wonderful tribute to a man who endeared himself to everyone. One thing we hoped would show up somewhere was his white stetson. Perhaps his boots (and they were his) backwards in the stirrups said it all.

Enough about the week that was...
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In news from Ireland:

General - 56,000 students begin their Leaving Cert last Tuesday. Our best wishes and much success to them all.

The troubled Irish mushroom industry was boosted this week by the news that Monaghan Mushrooms and Carbury Mushrooms are to merge, forming the largest European company operating in the category. The merged company will operate from seven Irish and six British sites, and will trade under the name Monaghan Mushrooms.

Derry - A concert to be held at the end of August to raise funds for a Joseph Locke sculpture will be headlined by another Derry musician, Phil Coulter. The concert, to be held at the Millennium Forum, will also feature the Celtic Tenors.

Dublin - Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, led the tributes to Mrs Máirín Lynch, the widow of the late Taoiseach Mr Jack Lynch (RIP) who died in Dublin on Tuesday at the age of 87.

Dublin - Chewing gum causing massive litter problem. The City Council removed 180,000 pieces of gum from Grafton Street alone last month at a cost of nearly €25,000. Now there are calls for the Irish government to implement a gum levy, similar to the levy that reduced the use of plastic shopping bags in Ireland by 93%, eliminating over 1 billion plastic bags annually.

Galway - The city's newest art gallery, Bold Art, has opened its doors. Gaillimh, the second solo exhibition by Elena Mikhailova will open on Friday June the 18th and run until June the 26th.

Galway - Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology lecturer Eugenie Regan from Rahoon is one of eight Irish academics to earn a Fulbright scholarship for further study in the United States this year. The Fulbright funding will allow Eugenie to travel to the US and compare the turloughs of Ireland with the wetlands of Louisiana.

Galway - Archaeologist Michael Gibbons has reported the sighting of a golden eagle in the Twelve Bens in Connemara. This is the second sighting of the bird in the past two years and it is believed that it could be one of a pair that was introduced into Glenveagh National Park in Co. Donegal from Scotland.

Kilkenny - Duiske Abbey in Graiguenamanagh, has celebrated its eight hundredth anniversary. The Catholic primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Sean Brady, spoke at Sunday's celebration and paid tribute to the life of prayer and reflection cultivated by the Cistercian order.

Tipperary - To mark the late president's death, a Book of Condolences is to be opened in Ballyporeen, the village from which Ronald Reagan's ancestors emigrated. In addition, the Community Council are sending a wreath to the American Embassy in Dublin, and a religious service will be held in the Church of the Assumption, which the former president and his wife Nancy visited when they were in the village in 1984.

Wicklow - Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin last weekend traveled to his former diocese to open a retreat centre in Glendalough. Dr Martin, who was titular archbishop of Glendalough before his Dublin appointment, blessed St Kevin's hermitage retreat centre which comprises a meditation garden, five cillíns and a converted coach house where Mass was celebrated. The coach house is located beside the parish church of St Kevin's which has been recently restored.

In news from all over:
Ellis Island, NYC - Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley, has received the highest honor awarded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations at a gala event on Ellis Island. Flatley was honored for his achievement in earning worldwide show business success, while promoting and preserving his cultural heritage through the medium of Irish dance.

Cambridge, Mass - Harvard University has teamed up with Irish Universities to establish a major new international research center in Athlone, Co Westmeath. The center will have two principle concerns: generating research on urban regeneration and offering "executive type" short courses on local and regional development.

Cambridge, Mass - Trevor J. McGill, MCh, FRCS, FRCSI, who graduated from University College Dublin Medical School in 1967, has been appointed Professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School.

From the mailbag:
Jim Gaffey brought to our attention that Emory University in Atlanta launched an Irish Studies program this past spring. To learn more, please click

Theresa is going to Lisdoonvarna during the Match-Making Festival; she'd like to know if anyone has been and can give her information and/or insights.

Eileen from NY sent in a warning about plug-in fragrances; apparently, they have been the direct cause of many house fires; she checked urban myths and so far, this one is "undetermined."

We were shocked to learn from Sandra Kelly that Aireagal has closed its doors. Both the on-line and hard-copy versions of their catalog were the classiest of all the Irish catalogs we've ever seen. You can view their farewell here and, if you're not familiar with them, you'll get an idea of what we mean by class:
It's a real shame - and presents Sandra and probably many others the problem of tracking down the merchants who were represented. Specifically, Sandra is looking for Henry White sweaters; O'Neil of Dublin skirts, and Studio Dungal blankets. Fortunately, we found the home page for Henry White, but haven't as yet found direct links for the other two. Can anyone help?

Links of the week:
Heading for Dublin? Make the most of your trip with a Dublin Pass, the passport that gives you free entry to over 30 favourite attractions! From the minute you arrive in Dublin Airport, you can avail of this pass by travelling free to the city centre with Aircoach. From there, experience the delights Dublin has to offer for a fraction of the cost.To learn more, please click:

Last week, we forgot to give Ceal credit for also sending us the Singing Man page. To make up for the oversight, we found the following on the same site.

This is one we've featured before, but well worth mentioning again; thanks for reminding us, Eamonn.

An uplifting site with inspirational thoughts for the day, ecards, blessings, more!

This is a repeat, but it's so much fun, we couldn't resist. Don't hold the mouse down, just move it; and, can you make the cool black cat purr?

Another link for cat lovers from Hartson:

Like jigsaw puzzles? Judith Flynn sent us:

Last, but definitely 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!

Enough of the blather - on with the update:

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
It would seem appropriate this week to draw from the many witticisms made by President Reagan (RIP)
But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.
This is adapted from one sent in by Hartson (thank you!)
An Irish lady goes to the bar on a cruise ship and orders a Jameson with two drops of water. As the bartender gives her the drink she says, "I'm on this cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday and it's today." The bartender says, "Well, since it's your birthday, I'll buy you a drink. In fact, this one is on me." "Well, thank you kindly, sir" says she. As the woman finishes her drink, the woman to her right says, "I would like to buy you a drink, too." The old woman says, "Thank you. Bartender, I'll have a Jameson with two drops of water." "Coming up," says the bartender. As she finishes that drink, the man to her left says, "I would like to buy you one, too." The old woman says, "Thank you. Bartender, I'll have another Jameson with two drops of water." "Coming right up," the bartender says. As he gives her the drink, he says, "Ma'am, I'm dying of curiosity. Why the Jameson with only two drops of water?" The old woman replies, "Ah, lad, when you're my age, you've learned how to hold the hard stuff. Holding your water, however, is another matter entirely."
1. Mike Quill from Co.Kerry was the founding president of the Transport Workers Union of America?
2. The word hubbub is derived from the ancient Irish war cry abu!?
3. The longest geographical name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia in Co. Galway?
I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting. President Reagan (RIP)
Keep our newsletter and website free - send a buck to Bridget for her birthday.
In lieu of flowers, chocolates and other luxuries, our Flag Day baby is requesting donations to help defray the costs of sending the newsletter and maintaining the website.If you would like to donate, you can go through PayPal - our email address there is bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com. Our snail-mail address is 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Go raibh maith agat!

To start off - the answers to last week's quiz:

1. My Time in The War - An Irish Woman's Diary by Romie Lambkin
2. Neutral Heart - Irish Poetry & World War II by James McCabe
3. Irish Men & Women in the Second World War by Richard Doherty

As one Irish emcee once said, please clap your feet for this week's Irish bibliophiles:

Hartson Dowd
Is something bothering you, but your doctor can't find a cause? Try going to this site, where you can type in your symptoms and get back a list of possibilities:

Helen Dowd
I am happy to report that my website is back in operation: Please visit and click on "Literary" tab for the categories of writing:

Patricia Edwards
I really love this site as it brings back memories of school when we were taught these folk songs.

Pauline Dewberry
A wonderfully warm, witty website written by a wonderfully warm, witty woman about her wonderfully, warm witty kitties:

Sean Lavin
An interesting page of information on the once-popular musical instrument, the Irish melodeon:

Katie Donahue
Doras is a great directory - so is this one:

David Buchanan
Interesting site that covers the early Irish saints:

Maggie McCormick
IrishNet is dedicated to helping the Irish abroad and those with Irish interests to get in touch with Irish communities and resources around the world:

Ciara Thomas (née Kelleher)
Another great site offering chat rooms. Slow to load, but worth the wait:

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. The Cistercian Abbeys of Tipperary
2. The Rajah from Tipperary
3. Fr. Browne's Tipperary

Hint: Click through the following link to find all of the above titles; the link itself is related to Tipperary:

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!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing. NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
For the Dads, Grads and Lads on your list, come take a look at our wide range of handsome gifts - from great-looking Guinness gear to genuine blackthorn walking sticks! The man of the house might also enjoy one of our new Irish Mustards made in Co. Tipperary, or how about an Ireland Licence Plate? Come explore what we have on offer - browse to your heart's content, and remember, when you buy from Lollysmith, you'll always enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.
To start off, the answer to last week's mind-mangler:
Q. If two hours ago, it was as long after one o'clock in the afternoon as it was before one o'clock in the morning, what time would it be now?
A. 9:00 pm
Once again, we had dozens of correct answers - what a brilliant group! However, a tip of the hat to Brenda Ross who was first in - well done!
And now for this week's head-banger:
Always old, sometimes new, never sad, sometimes blue. Never empty, sometimes full, never pushes, always pulls.
Q. What am I?
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. New - The Irish Kitchen: Irish Fraughan Sunday Cake with Fraughan Cream
3. New - Basic Irish: This week's lesson focuses on words and phrases related to summertime
4. Republished - Article: Danny Boy
5. Republished: Article: St. Columcille of Iona
6. Republished - Article: A tribute to Jimmy Kennedy
7. Ongoing - Free Genealogy Q & A. Have a question about your Irish roots? Get an answer for free from a professional genealogist in Dublin
8. Featured - Article: It's a long way to Tipperary
9. Featured - Article: The Irish Soldiers in World War I
10. Featured - Article: Uisce Beatha - The Water of Life!
11. On-Going - Our second Novena in this cycle begins today and continues through June 20. Please continue to remember Keith Matt Maupin being held hostage in Iraq and all members of our military serving there and all over the world, especially the children of personal friends, Paul and Ashley. We also ask that you continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Meredith and her family; Debbie's family, Mary Jo Mauchen, Jane Leo, Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Bertha, Rita, Lindsey, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and the Mulligans.
On-going - June Trivia Contest. As they say in the Irish Lottery, you have to be in it to win it, so enter soon! All entries must be in by midnight, on Wednesday, June 30, whatever time zone you're in
12. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for today and the past week. Note that we do our best to find the "good news"!
13. On-going -This month in Irish History:
14. Father's Day is coming up fast; come browse our Men's Shop where we have a handsome collection of gifts just for the most important men in your life
15. In honor of St. Columcille's feast day on June 9, we are featuring another beautiful anachron on our home page. There are more of these meticulously detailed works of art featuring Ireland's favorite saints on our spiritual pages:

As usual we'll follow the routine of posting a new Sunday Blessing, updating the home page on Monday, and we'll post a new quote on Wednesday. News and history will be updated daily. Grainne has sent us a new tale and we'll also be publishing another recipe from an Irish grandmother by way of Hartson.

So that's the long and the short of it for yet another week except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - many of em' frivolous, but some serious:
Saturday, June 12 is Independence Day in the Philippines and in Russia; it's also Machine Day and Open Window Day; Sunday, June 13, is Corpus Christi, the feastday of St. Anthony of Padua, Race Unity Day and W. B. Yeats birthday; it's also the date when Molly Malone reputedly "died of a fever." Monday, June 14 is Flag Day, World Juggling Day, the Rice Planting Festival in Japan and John McCormack's birthday. Tuesday, June 15 is Admission Day (Arkansas), Smile Power Day, Fly A Kite Day (Celebrating the anniversary of Ben Franklin's kite experiment in 1752), and Justice for Janitors Day. Wednesday, June 16 is Youth day in So. Africa, National Hollerin' Contest Day, and Bloomsday; it's when James Joyce had his first date with Nora Barnacle; ultimately, it became the date on which everything takes place in his masterpiece Ulysses. Thursday June 17 is Independence Day in Iceland, Eat Your Vegetables Day and the birthday of poet Emily Lawless. It's also the birthday of John Gregg from Co. Monaghan, publisher and inventor of the Gregg shorthand system. Lastly, but not 'leastly', Friday, June 18 is National Splurge Day, Evacuation Day (Egypt), International Picnic Day, and the birthday of Dublin-born playwright, Denis Johnston. Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and your loved ones! Can't wait to find out what's coming up for the rest of the month? Check out:

Until we "meet" again, may the Good Shepherd of us all bless you and keep you and yours 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
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Our email address there is haggertyr@primax.com
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Events & Classifieds
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com
And, if you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

ReJoyce Dublin 2004
Celebrating the centenary of Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce's masterpiece "Ulysses" is set. Ireland is planning a world-class, five-month festival lasting until 31 August 2004. For more details, click

Dundrum, Dublin - June 1-June 20
Noted Dublin artist, Roger Cummiskey, invites you to an exhibition of his paintings based on the writings and wanderings of James Joyce. Exhibition will be held at The Airfield Trust, Upper Kilmacud Road. For more details, visit Roger's website at:

Dundrum, Dublin - June 18
Film Preview: A Stroll Thro' Ulysses. A fast paced documentary film based on James Joyce's Ulysses. Directed by Noel Duffy and narrated by Roger Cummiskey. For more details, visit Roger's website at:

Seattle, Washington, June 16
2004 marks the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, immortalized by lovers of James Joyce's Ulysses, the world's most highly acclaimed novel. Seattle's Bloomsday Centenary Celebrations will consist of two performances - Wednesday, June 16th, at 7.30 PM and Saturday, June 19, at 3 PM - at the UW's Brechemin Auditorium. For more information, contact Kieran O'Malley at 206 351-8607 or kieranom@u.washington.edu.

Baltimore, Maryland - June 23
Frank McNamara, Ireland's beloved Maestro, will be conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance with his newest venture, The American Tenors, at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. For more details, please click

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

Co. Sligo, Ireland - September
The Sligo Heritage and Genealogy centre is hosting a 4 day international conference on Irish genealogy, heritage and culture. Even if you come from another county, this conference will be of interest as experts in various fields of study from all over Ireland will be speaking on a wide range of topics. Preliminary details of the conference are available at:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: