Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to going on 2400 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,

The snowdrops are blooming and the daffs are up - God in His infinite mercy has once again decreed that spring should come to our Ohio Valley. But, while we are delighting in the hope of warm days ahead, both the west and east coast are still reeling from dangerous storms. If you live in those regions, we pray that you and yours are safe.

As always, its lovely to be back and we hope that this edition finds you fit as a fiddle and on the pigs back. We are especially happy to welcome quite a few new subscribers. Many thanks for joining us and if you find our musings and meanderings entertaining, please feel free to pass them along to family and friends. In the meantime, why not make yourself a nice cup of tea (or soemthing stronger!) steal a couple of minutes from your busy day, and escape for a while into the world of Ireland and the irish. It's grand to have you with us.
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, Lollysmith:
Lolly and the team invite you to take part in Lolly's Annual Whistle Contest celebrating Saint Patrick's Day 2005! Entrants must explain in 25 words or less: "Why I (you) should have the whistle instead of anyone else." All entries will be judged by us on the basis of originality, interest, humour, and imploring skill. Please feel free to beseech, charm, invoke, or pray, while keeping in mind it almost never helps to besiege, demand, pursue, or nag. What can you win? We will award the writer of the best submission: The First Prize of a Clare 2-Piece Tin Whistle in a Handsome Felt-Lined Wooden Case. Valued at $50.00. The writer of the second best submission: the Second Prize of a Feadog Green Whistle with Book and CD. Valued at $17.95. Hurry! The closing date for entries is Midnight 16th March 2005. For full details and rules, please click: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?lollysmith+wSpfhS+index.html
News from Ireland:
Irish PEN honours Nobel laureate for lifetime of literary achievement
"Owls perch in yew trees like strange gods," begins a poem from Tom Paulin's latest collection, The Road to Inver. But poets, it seems, can do a bit of perching too. Paulin and his fellow Northerner, Seamus Heaney were seen settled into the depths of a chintz-covered sofa in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin hours before Paulin was due to present Heaney with this year's Irish PEN literary award.

The McDonald's fast food chain is to announce that it will no longer allow Leaving Certificate students to work for it during the school week, in a move designed to address concerns about the effect this has on their exam performance.

From Around the Counties :
Cavan: There's gold in them thar hills
Richard Conroy, chairman of Conroy Diamonds and Gold, has confirmed that gold has been discovered in two seams on Slieve Gleadh, close to Cavan town, but has said that exploration work has only just begun and it will be a while before the company is in a position to say whether the find is commercially viable.

Cork: The beer belly a thing of the past?
Scientists at University College Cork have created a slimline Atkins-friendly stout with 60 percent fewer carbohydrates and a quarter fewer calories than a regular stout. Its inventors claim the lighter pint has the same consistency, taste and texture to its full-bodied equivalent.

Cork: One of the largest collections of Michael Collins memorabilia will become accessible to the public this week when the Minister for Defence, Mr O'Dea, opens a new €400,000 military museum at Collins Barracks.

Down: A Dromara woman is set to make history as the first woman from Northern Ireland to conquer Mt. Everest. Lynne Stark will head for Nepal in April to begin her ascent with partner Noel Hanna.

Dublin St Patrick's Day Parade To Reverse Direction
More than 75 years of St Patrick's Day Parade participants marching proudly through Dublin with the warm Irish sun on their backs has come to an end with the scrapping of the traditional parade route from St Patrick's Cathedral to Parnell Square. In the parade's biggest break with tradition yet, this year's march will run north-south, from Parnell Square, in order to accommodate the sunlight. In previous years photographers and cameramen were dazzled by the sun which caused difficulties in getting the best pictures of the participants, according to parade organisers.

Galway: From sliotars to sheep
Pearse Stadium in Salthill usually echoes with the clash of the ash during hurling matches, but in June, the venue will welcome the sound of two thousand sheep gathered for the a National Sheep-shearing Competition.

Galway: Galway student wins London fashion prize
A fashion student from Galway has won the top prize at London Fashion Week's student show. 28-year-old Sarah-Ann Creaven won the £1,000 prize for her print and collage dresses

Longford: Anniversary dinner for football club
A special dinner is to take place in the Park House Hotel in Edgeworthstown to mark the 80th anniversary of Longfordtown football club, one of the oldest in the country.

Louth: Replica of ancient instrument played for first time
A set of Wicklow pipes estimated to be 4,000 years and unearthed in the county two years ago has been replicated and played at a special concert by Simon O'Dwyer. We have yet to learn what the set of six pipes sounded like.

Waterford: Bobby's Bar's Brian best barman
Brian Sinnott, who works at Bobby's Bar, the former Mullane's bar in Newgate Street, Waterford, has been chosen as the county representative in the Guinness Best Bartender in Ireland competition. Guinness reported an entry of more than three thousand for the title and Brian emerged as the county winner from a shortlist of ten. He will now compete against representatives from neighbouring counties for a place in the final, which will see four barmen competing in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin at the end of March. The winner will receive a cheque for €3,000 with the runners-up receiving €500 each.

From all over:
California: Wexford- born Daniel O'Herlihy passes away RIP
The Oscar-nominated character actor whose 50-year career extended from the Irish stage to television and Hollywood movies, including RoboCop, was 85. He died at home in Malibu, surrounded by his family after suffering from an illness for a year. O'Herlihy was nominated for a best actor Academy Award in 1954 for his starring role in The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Marlon Brando won for On the Waterfront that year.

New York City: An Irish tenement apartment from the famine era is taking shape at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. It contains five stories with a basement, and was in 1864 designed to house 20 families.  This is a fascinating article brought to our attention by Kathleen, one of our subscribers- thank you! It's well worth reading the entire article which can be found here:

From the Mailbag:
Last week, we asked what's a "loy?" Three readers kindly explained that it's a long narrow spade used for digging stony ground. Many thanks to Leigh, Deiridh and Christopher.

Still 12 miles to Dublin town
Eric asked about the origins of a sign he saw in a Loony Toons cartoon. We think he has come up with the answer to his own question. He writes:
I also found a reference to an old story: "Two labourers set out from Wexford to walk to Dublin. By the time they reached Bray they were very much tired with their journey, and the more so when they were told they were still 12 miles from Dublin. "Be me sowl," said one, after a little thought, "sure it's but six miles apiece; let us walk on!"

Looking for a poster
Robert writes: Looking for the poster that says"It's a long long way to Tipperary"
and says sung by The Soldiers of the King. We've done a quick search - haven't found it so far.

Poetry query: No-one has yet come up with the words to Thoughts at The Trysting Stile by Francis Ledwidge. If you know, please, please send them in - Eoin is really anxious!

Links of the week:
Voices That Must Be Heard - The best of New York's Ethnic & Immigrant Press

Vivian & Jack of the Irish page sent us the 23rd Psalm with an Irish translation. Turn on your speakers as the background music is Luke Dillon by Carolan.

Betsie sends us a great game that will drive you crazy. Appears to work best in Navigator:

Irish/English dictionary - free download!

Ever been on a Weightwatcher's Diet? JG sent us a link to a series of genuine meal cards from the 1960s. Guaranteed you'll laugh out loud - or throw up!

Patricia Edwards in England shares the following:

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 blitherin' - on with the update....

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
There comes a time when you must take the bull by the tail and face the situation squarely. Irish saying.
Mary: Eileen, I wish you would go see how old Mrs. Murphy is this morning.
When Eileen returned:
Eileen: I went to see how old Mrs. Murphy is. She's 72.
Eight-year-old Moira brought her report card home from school. Her marks were good; mostly A's and a couple of B's. However, her teacher had written across the bottom: "Moira is very intelligent, but she has one fault. She talks too much in class. I have an idea I am going to try, which I think may cure her of the habit."
Moira's dad signed her report card, putting a note on the back: "Please let me know if your idea works on Moira because I would like to try it out on her mother."
Help keep our newsletter coming. Please visit our good friend, Molly's Irish Imports:
Find your heart's desire at Molly's Irish Imports, for the finest Celtic jewelry, woolens, gifts, books, music and foods. Molly's offers friendly, personalized service and guaranteed satisfaction. Come see the selection of brand new items available for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. Also- sign up for the FREE email newsletter, a monthly publication with interesting news, special product promotions, recipes and a Midwest Irish events calendar. Stop by the shop at:
ED Note: Molly is a real person and we subscribe to her newsletter - she does a brilliant job! ==================================================================

1. There is evidence to believe that St. patrick ended his days at Glastonbury and is buried there? The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Galstonbury Abbey.
2. Croagh Patrick is suposedly the place where St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland?
3. According to legend, St. Patrick introduced the Roman alphabet and Latin literature into Ireland? After his death, about 461AD, Irish monasteries flourished as centers of learning.

First off, the answers to our previous quiz:
1. Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles & Fools - Margaret M. Johnson
2. Trolleys and Squibs: A Golfer's Guide to Irish Links - Louise Miracle, Rick Miracle
3. Prayer Against Famine and Other Irish Poems - John Knoepfle

Hats off and congrats to our Irish bibliophiles:
Patricia Edwards
This is quite a good site for sending e-cards - and it's free.

Carol Feltman
I loved this site because it had a multitude of everything! Irish Fairies, Ghost Watch Music, Recipes (they were sounding very yummy!), Culture, Travel, and History. A really great site to visit and stay a while.

Mary Sigrist
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:

Patricia Edwards

Pauline Dewberry, Kent, UK
Devoted lap and cuddle agent to 6 delightful four legged companions:

Hart and Helen Dowd
Please visit Helen's website at:

Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

1. The Heroic Biography of Cormac Mac Airt
2, The Big Fellow: Michael Collins and the Irish Revolution
3. Wild Irish Roses: Tales of Brigits, Kathleens, and Warrior Queens

Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and a favorite in our library 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 - 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!)
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

To start with, the answer to our last poser:
Q. What's the difference between a penniless man and a feather bed?
A. One is hard up and the other's soft down.
This one proved to be very easy with lots of correct answers. However, Mervyn of Northern Ireland and Jim in the UK tied for first place. Well done. Also, an honorable mention goes to Owen in the USA who had a different but correct answer: : A penniless man is down and out,
while a featherbed has down within.
Now for this week's mind-mangler: If you turn your right-handed glove inside out and put it on your left hand, where will the palm of the glove be on your left hand?

Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish Lottery. Will this be the year you become a millionaire? There Are 42 Shades of Green - All you need are 6 to hit the Irish Millions! 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, 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! You can't win it if you're not in it, so come visit our totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details:
1. Home Page Welcome - this has actually been revised and updated for a couple of weeks now:
2. Music Review "Ronan"
3. Article - Mothering Sunday in Old Ireland
4. Article - A Powerful Woman
5. Kids' Ireland: The Gentle Giant
6. Article - Emblems of Ireland: The Shamrock
7. Basic Irish Lesson - The language of love
8. The irish Kitchen - Beef Hotpot Haggerty
9. Article - Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Old Ireland
10. Article - "I, Patrick, A Sinner"
11. Article - Croagh Patrick - He came to mock, but stayed to pray
12/ Circle of Prayer - Our second Novena in this cycle began on February 14 and ends on Tuesday, February 22. Our third Novena begins on Wednesday February 23. (You can see all the start and end dates on the Circle of Prayer page). Please join us in prayer or meditation for His Holiness, Pope Paul II. the victims of the Tsunami, 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 nearly 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.
BTW, Penny R. sent us the following - we think it's a terrific idea - we hope you do, too: I have a co-worker who has an envelope, regular business size, hanging open on the wall of his cubical. He hangs it by a push pin in the flap, front of the envelope to the wall. On the envelope he has written "S F G T D", and it is stuffed full of pieces of paper. SFGTD stands for "Something for God to Do", and on the pieces of paper are written prayer requests. During the day he adds prayer requests for coworkers and customers he works with, and it is always right in front of him, all the time.
13. Trivia Contest. This is the last full week for the February contest. We're offering your choice of great prizes from famed Dublin artist Roger Cummiskey and the Celtic Attic. Check them out here: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
14. Shopping for St. patrick's Day - the count-down is well under way. Visit our shops for parade gear, flags, party music and more!
15. JUST POSTED! Enter Lollysmith's annual Tin Whistle Contest. Take a look at our homepage to see what you could win.
16. Also making its debut on our poetry pages: Brian Merriman's The Midnight Court. Russ is not a 'typist', so this was defnitely a slow-going labor of love. What's amazing is how popular this often bawdy poem was three hundred years ago. Keep that in mind when you read it here:

We're still working on reviews of Celtic Woman and The Chieftains Live From Dublin (a tribute to Derek Bell). Bridget is researching an article on Lough Derg, and we have a nice personal memory of a trip to the Great Blasket Island by a contributor. As always, we'll have a new blessing on Sunday (posted) a new quote on Wednesday and we'll bring back the recipes for Spring next Thursday. In the meantime, to encourage you to visit every day, we update our news - please click:
And we keep a week's worth of history here:

So that's about the long and the short of it except to say that if you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other important event between now and then, we hope it's a joyous occasion!

Until next time, we leave you with this traditional blessing: May you have no frost on your spuds; no worms on your cabbage, may your goat give plenty of milk and if you inherit a donkey, may she be in foal. 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
Nobody needs to give a lot, but a lot of people need to give...
We're still in dire need of your support, especially since our newsletter host has recently begun charging us for the service. Help us keep our newsletter and the web site free; please send whatever you can to Bridget Haggerty. Our snail mail address is 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via PayPal. The Url is:
http://www.paypal.com 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:

and the site itself at www.thewildgeese.com.
If you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

Winston Salem - Now until March 3
Aisling: An Artist's Vision of ireland
Irish landscapes in oil, pastel, black and white photography by Amy Funderburk; Spine Gallery, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Dublin - Now until mid-March
"Toy Stories", An Exhibition of Toys, Dolls & Games from the Past is on display at the National Museum of Ireland

Houston Texas - February 24-27
UST Hosts The American Conference for Irish Studies
Southern Regional Conference. The first major event in 2005 for the Center for Irish Studies. The conference features nearly 100 presentations by Irish Studies scholars, students, and interested persons from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada and throughout the United States on Irish Studies topics, including literature, history, politics, art, culture music, and immigration. For more information or to register, please visit

Houston, Texas - February 27
McTeggart Irish Dancers 3rd Annual - St. Patrick's Day Celebration and Fundraiser
3-7PM At the newest of Molly's Irish Pubs~ Olde City Pub 14124 Steubner Airline. For more details, please click

Galway City - March 5
The sixth NUI Galway Gala Banquet http://www.nuigalway.ie/news/main_press.php?p_id=190 , to be held in the Radisson SAS Hotel in Galway, will have as its theme the university's mission in international education. At the banquet the annual Alumni Awards will be presented, the winners to be announced in the next issue of Alumni Links.

Bellevue, Kentucky- March 12
St. Patrick's Day Parade and gathering of particpants at our son's pub immediately after. Himself and Herself are invited to ride in/on the Guinness truck! More details to follow.

Los Angeles, California - March 12-13

Washington DC - March 9-12
First stop of the Bogside Artists Speaking Tour
Artists Kelly and Kevin Hasson will speak about their murals, 30 years of conflict in Ireland and the story of the bogside. For complete details, please visit:

Tallahassee, Fl March 12
St. Patrick's Day Brunch and Roast (to be held at Legion Post 13, Lake Ella) followed by the traditional St. Patrick's Day Parade around Lake Ella. The Brunch and Roast will begin 11:00am and end at 1:00pm. The Parade begins at 3:00pm. Sponsored by the Tallahassee Emerald Isle Society and The Tallahassee Sligo Sister City Program. For more information, you can call (850) 385-7469

Macroom, Co. Cork - July 16th & 17th
First ever Fleadh Cheoil, music festival - Macroom town center
Forhttp://www.all-ireland.com/misc/contactus.htm more info, click

There are still some periods available up to 9 July, if you would like to spend your holiday in my cosy house on the beautiful Isle of Inishmore.
or 0041-1-2520918

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

This came in from AG in California - thanks - we think!

It was fun being a baby boomer...till now. Some of the artists of the '60s are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers. They include:
Herman's Hermits  - Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker

The Bee Gees -  How Can You Mend a Broken Hip

Bobby Darin  - Splish, Splash, I Was Havin' a Flash

Ringo Starr  - I Get By With a Little Help from Depends

Roberta Flack  - The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face

Johnny Nash  - I Can't See Clearly Now

Paul Simon  - Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver

Commodores - Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom

Marvin Gaye  - I Heard it Through the GrapeNuts

Procol Harem -  A Whiter Shade of Hair

Leo Sayer - You Make Me Feel Like Napping

James Brown - Papa's Got a Kidney Stone

Abba - Denture Queen

Tony Orlando - Knock 3 Times on the Ceiling if you Hear Me Fall

Helen Reddy - I am Woman, Hear me Snore

Willie Nelson - On the Throne Again

Leslie Gore - It's My Procedure and I'll Cry if I Want To