Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to going on 1800 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...

Well, it's been and gone - all over, except maybe the hangover for those who began their celebrations as early as 7:00 am at Happs Pub here in town! From all reports, St. Patrick's Day, 2004 was a great day for the Irish everywhere. The sun shone on most parades, and even half a million people in the capital didn't cause any major problems. Said one garda, "it wasn't too bad - about like your usual Saturday night in Dublin." There were some negative happenings in the north, but there are always hooligans who relish the idea of trying to ruin things, Fortunately, as far as we know, they didn't succeed.

We hope your celebration was as much fun as ours. We did the usual very unauthentic Corned Beef and Cabbage which we shared with our daughter Catherine,(who brought the soda bread), her partner Jonathan and our granddaughter Caitlyn. The next day, we then had the pleasure of looking at our website statistics.

Last week we were hoping to make 1700 readers by the 17th. It was a phenomenal week for visitors to the site - over 12,000 just on St. Patrick's Day alone. Another milestone was reached as we surpassed our record of over 50,000 visitors in one month (with another week yet to go). The upshot of all the activity was close to 100 new readers. Many thanks to all of you who signed up - and please fee free to pass along our musings and meanderings to your family and friends.

Happy first day of spring and Happy Mother's Day to our readers in Ireland, the UK, and wherever else it's celebrated tomorrow. Some of our daffs are blooming and the grass is starting to turn that amazing shade of green you see only at this time of year. Of course, Himself takes one look at it and immediately thinks about the months of cutting it that lie ahead.

All in all, it's been a great week and we hope this edition finds you and yours in good health, good spirits and good company. However, we do have some very sad news. Many of our readers in the Houston, Texas area will have heard of Lloyd Gibson. Tragically, LLoyd was killed in a car accident on St. Patrick's Day. A mainstay at the Mucky Duck sessions with his guitar and his fiddle, he was a founder of Bandstore.com which features recordings from many regional Celtic performers, and he also founded the Houston chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, the Irish music society.  He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. A memorial page has been set up and if you'd like to visit, here's the link:
RIP Lloyd.

On with the news from Ireland...
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reveals a wealth of information.

In news from Ireland:
Co. Antrim - The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which is removed every winter, has been put back in place for the season. The new £14,000 bridge was erected by a team of abseilers, climbers and cliff walkers and is made from wire rope and Douglas fir timber by Belfast-based Heyn Construction.

Co. Kerry - Corran Tuathail remapped: A new Ordnance Survey map of Ireland's highest mountain has just been issued, with all the names appearing in Irish for the first time. As well as showing contour lines, ridges and dips, the map also features a number of archaeological sites.

Co. Dublin - Gusts of 50 miles an hour forced the cancellation of a free concert and a hot air balloon event at the St Patrick's Festival in Dublin lat weekend. However, breaking with tradition for a second year running, it did not rain on the parade. Spectators enjoyed a day of sunshine, which fitted nicely with this year's festival theme, "Glorious".

Co. Dublin - Maybe Bewleys isn't going to close after all? Bewley's Oriental Cafe in Dublin's Grafton Street is to become a wireless broadband business hub, following the announcement last week of a deal with Esat BT to install a public wireless local area network (WLAN). The BT Openzone technology, to be deployed in the cafe's James Joyce Room, will allow people on the move to access the Internet and corporate networks without plugging in to phone lines. A Bewley's spokesman said that the service will attract custom to the city centre cafe by making it a desirable venue at which to meet or to work between meetings. Check it out here:

Co. Dublin - New airlines seem to be announcing flights from Ireland's shores with increasing frequency and latest to enter the market is Jetgreen which will offer daily services from Dublin to Alicante and Malaga from May 4 onwards.

Co. Dublin - Parts of Croke Park's recently demolished Hill 16 terrace are to be sold as souvenirs. The rubble originally used to create the Dublin stadium's terrace came from Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street) following the 1916 Rising, hence the name "Hill 16". Fans will soon be able to buy specially commissioned items from Hill 16 and the GAA expects them to prove popular, in particular with the Dublin fans for whom Hill 16 is their spiritual home.

Co. Kildare - An ancient craft has been on show in Naas over recent weeks with the rethatching of the town's last remaining thatched house. Lauristina Cottage, now owned by Dan Trundle, has been rethatched by a family of thatchers from Suncroft, John Brereton, his brother Gerry and his son Paul. The house is said to be around 300 years old.

Co. Offaly - A large crowd, including some three hundred children, gathered on Tuesday morning last to watch the demolition by controlled explosion of two landmarks which have dominated the Offaly skyline for more than forty years. The children had been given time off school for the event and happily joined in the countdown to the explosions of the two cooling towers of Rhode power station.

Co. Waterford - Prince Charles and his partner, Camilla Parker Bowles, are visiting Lismore Castle this weekend for the 60th birthday bash of Lord Harrington.

In news from all over
Texas, USA - Since 1983, members of the Texas Army have gathered on March 17 to honor past soldiers with Irish roots by "greening" the Buffalo Bayou and firing off muskets in a 27-gun salute.

Portland, Maine - Margaret P. (Sheehan) Linehan, was born in Co Cork 110 years ago. Not content to stay on the farm in Cork, she wanted to set sail for America and become a nurse. Margaret had her heart set on a trip to America on the Titanic, however when she traveled from Cork to Queenstown to book her ticket, the Titanic was full. Instead, she purchased a ticket for Titanic's sister ship, the Mauritania. She trained as a nurse and married Dan Linehan in 1923. Margaret recently passed away 89 years after the Titanic went down.

Canada/USA - Cecilia Ahern, the daughter of Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister), is on a two-week tour of the US and Canada to promote her book, PS I Love You, which is ranked No. 5 in the British Original Fiction table and No. 18 in the New York Times list. She is a first-time author and her book has been the No. 1 bestseller in the Irish Original Fiction category for the past four weeks.

Have you links with Donegal, Sligo or Leitrim?
Your skills and experience could be of value. If you're interested, you are invited to log onto
The idea is to help create a database of the Diaspora from these counties. All names registered by April 30, 2004 will be entered into a draw for a choice of weekend breaks in the North West.

From the mailbag:
Mike wrote: "I have a Capitol record by John McCormick that has My wild Irish Rose on one side and is completely blank on the other. When I say blank I mean a smooth surface; is there anything you can tell me about this record? It has a number 64426."
Any one have any info' on this for Mike?

Many thanks to all of you who sent us St. Patrick's Day greetings; we received so many, we may not have time to say go raibh maith agat to each of you. But, we'll do our best.

Links of the week:
Food Network - Tasting Ireland - this weekend
Chef Bobby Flay journeys to Ireland, home of his ancestors, for the very first time. From small town pubs to the busy Dublin restaurant scene, to the history of Guinness you can join Bobby on this whirlwind tour

The Irish Mind Abroad - from David on our Donegal list
A survey taken on Irish Emigrants. A history of Irish Emigration is also given.

William Francis Thomas Deegan - known better as Bill to one and all, sent us a link to a lovely story about an Irish musician friend of his, Marty:

Maurice in Graceland!
Our friend Maurice Colgan who lives in Dublin and is an Elvis fanatic sent us a series of photos he thought you might enjoy:
http://community.webshots.com/album/125575887CUAXue photos

Interesting statistics on Irish-Americans

Two great links sent in by Hartson - thank you!
St. Patrick's Day page
Calculate your life expectancy

Visit the Saintly Site
Experience the sights and sounds of the St Patrick's Day parade in Downpatrick, drive the snakes out of Ireland and much, much more! Click here BBC.

Just for fun: "Phenomenal Woman" sent in by Patricia in England - thanks!

For all cat lovers - this one is from Betsie - thanks! Move your mouse around and the cat will interact. Very clever!

More for those with feelings for felines. The Irish edition of the Cat's Meow. This is from Dale - thank you!

And 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 blatherin' - 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's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody. Brendan Behan
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting the The Irish Lottery:
Did you know that 34 Millionaires were created by the Irish lottery in 2003? You could be next! 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 find out! Please click here for full details:
This is adapted from one sent in by Pauline - thank you!
A pompous priest was seated next to an Irishman on a flight home.
After the plane was airborne, drink orders were taken. The Irishman asked for an Irish whiskey. The attendant placed the drink on his tray and then asked the priest if he would like a drink. He replied in disgust," I'd rather be savagely ravaged by brazen hussies than let alcohol touch my lips."
The Irishman then handed his drink back to the attendant and said "Me
too. I didn't know we had a choice!"
1. Cairbre, the lion used to introduce Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer films, was born at the Dublin Zoo? (On March 20, 1927)
2. In the old folklore, sore eyes could be soothed by rubbing them with boiled daisies?
3. In some parts of old rural Ireland, it was considered lucky to sow potatoes on Good Friday?
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Come browse to your heart's content and if you buy, you'll enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service
"Too young to die. Too drunk to live" Renee McCall of the Daily Express on the passing of Brendan Behan on this date in 1964 at the age of 41.
To begin with: the answers to last week's quiz:
1. Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland" Tomie De Paola
2. Hooray for St. Patrick's Day! Joan Holub
3. It's St. Patrick's Day! Rebecca Gomez

A round of pints and applause for our Irish bibliophiles:
Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" - May 25 - June 8, 2004 View this year's itinerary:

Hartson Dowd
There are five generations of Uilleann Piping in the Rowsome family. Here is a web site dedicated to Leo Rowsome:

Helen Dowd
Check out this site: http://missionmagazine.tdlofton-ministries.net/mag/index.php

Donna Lillis-Lynch

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. Confessions of an Irish Rebel
2. The Complete Works of O'Carolan
3. Lawrence Bloomfield in Ireland
Hint: You'll find all the titles 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!)
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 off - the answer to last week's poser:
Q. It wasn't my sister, nor my brother, but still was the child of my father and mother. Who was it?
A. It was the one talking! Hats off to Jessica Gawne who was first in with the answer. We deviate a bit from our usual single head-banger to bring you several Irish groaners:
What do you get if you cross a four-leaf clover with poison ivy?
Why did St. Patrick drive all the snakes out of Ireland?
What do you call an Irishman who keeps bouncing off walls?
Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?
Help keep our newsletter free - visit Go Ireland:
Go Ireland are delighted to offer a very wide range of Walking and Hiking Tours in Ireland, in some of the most scenic, historical and culturally rich regions on this beautiful island of ours. Enjoy the natural beauty, the cultural diversity and the Heritage of Ireland and everything else which makes Ireland so special - the people, the humour, the hospitality, the unforgettable scenery, the history and yes - the passion, the poetry, the creativity. Check out:
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. Republished - Article: In honour of Mother's Day, Mothering Sunday in Old Ireland
3. New - Video Review: Northern Ireland - a wonderful armchair tour!
4. New - Article: President's St. Patrick's Day Message - 2004
5. New - Basic Irish: With so much to celebrate in Ireland, this lesson focuses on words and phrase related to festivals:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/3Focloir/1Home.html4. Republished - Article: Is Your Shillelagh a Sham?
6. New - Updated Circle of Prayer Page. A new cycle of Novenas began this week and we've updated the page to give you the beginning and end dates for all nine.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html Please continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Debbie's friend Bertha, Rita, Lindsea, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, the Mulligans and our men and women in the military, especially Paul and Ashley serving in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us each day:
7. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for the past week
8. On-going -This month in Irish History:

Bridget's still working on the wrap-up of the St. Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin and around the world. We'll then move on to the run up to April and Easter. As always,we'll have the usual blessing on Sunday, a quote on Wednesday and - we promise - a recipe from Hartson!

That's about the long and the short of it - except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - most of em' frivolous, but some serious: Today is Barbie Doll Day, Quilting Day, Proposal Day & Extraterrestrial Abductions Day (we do not make these up!); the 21st is Mother's Day in Ireland and the UK (may be some other countries as well); it's also the Spring Equinox and the official founding of Earth Day. (It's not April 22 as most people think); it's also Flower Day and Fragrance Day; the 22nd is Goof-Off Day & National Sing out Day; the 23rd is National Chip and Dip Day and Near Miss Day; March 24 is Chocolate Covered Raisins Day, March 25 is Pecan Day and also Waffle Day (In Sweden, the feast of the Annunciation, Our Lady's Day, has come to be known as Waffle Day and traditionally falls on March 25, nine months to the day before Christmas) and March 26th is Prince Kuhio Day in Hawaii. Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and yours! Can't wait to find out what's coming up for the rest of the month? Check out: http://www.butlerwebs.com/holidays/march.htm or

Until next time, may the good shepherd of us all keep you and yours safe 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
Are you a loyal reader of our newsletter? Your voluntary donation will help us keep sending it around the world each week. Please give whatever you can to Russ and Bridget, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH, 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
Our email address there is haggertyr@primax.net
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $25! 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:
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - 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:

New York City - Through March 21
The Irish Arts Center is presenting the show "An Evening with Ronnie Drew (formerly of the Dubliners) and special guest Mike Hanrahan." The Irish Arts Center is located at 553 West 51st, New York, NY 10019. Tickets are $35/$40 and may be purchased from Smarttix at 212- 868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com.

N. Wildwood, NJ - March 26
Irish Balladeer, Pete McDonald will perform at the Thunderbird Inn at 5:00 pm. For complete details about Pete and upcoming shows, please click

Galveston, Texas - March 28
Galveston 1894 Grand Opera House - James Galway, flautist. More details coming.

Zurich - April 3 & 4
Irish Set Dancing Workshop with Pat Murphy (Westport) and Tony Ryan (Galway) For more information, please visit our website:

Parsippany, NJ - from April 15 to18
Traditional Irish Weekend - Each year Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in North America holds a Traditional Irish Weekend in a North American city. The location this year is The Hilton in Parsippany, NJ, about 45 minutes outside of New York City. The event attracts over 3000 people, many staying the entire weekend to attend music sessions, ceilis and music/language workshops. Renowned traditional musicians, many All Ireland Champions, will be conducting the music workshops. For full details, please visit our websites:
http://www.ccenorthamerica.com or http://www.Comhaltas.com
You can also contact Jim Madden at NewJerseyIrish@aol.com

Day of Welcomes from April 19 to May 1
The 'Day of Welcomes' on Saturday 1st May marks the historic day when 10 new countries join the 15 current member states of the E.U. For more details, click

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 from 1 April 2004 to 31 August 2004. For more details, click

Nova Scotia, Canada - May 26 to 29
Cais Conference/Reunion, Saint Mary's University, Halifax. 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
For full details please visit our website at:
or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

June 7th through 14th - 100 Years of the Abbey Theatre in Galway and Dublin. Trip includes 3 nights in Galway and 3 nights in Dublin. For more information, contact Kathleen Dixon Donnelly, Ph.D., at kdonnellycom@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th
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: