Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1300 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,

A warm welcome back and we hope you'll forgive the lateness of this issue. While the past week ended pleasantly enough, at some point on Saturday, the phone service providing telecommunications lines to our server experienced a major hiccup; thus, the site was down for a good many hours and, off and on, we couldn't receive or send email. So much for our goal of trying to get this edition out on time. Oh well.

Other than that bothersome glitch, we enjoyed another fun week with mom who has become a great excuse for watching movies. This past week's offerings included "Gangs of New York" which Bridget was very surprised to see already available at the library. The film is very well done and Daniel Day-Lewis is brilliant - but the violence really put us off. Perhaps we're getting a wee bit squeamish in our old age.

Weather-wise, it turned hot, sticky and humid again, but the flowers love it. In full, glorious bloom are mouth-watering raspberry ornamental phlox; we also have white ones, as well as a pink/white combo. Truly, a lovely flower with a heavenly scent that permeates the air, especially in high humidity. There's always a silver lining, right?

But enough about us. Many thanks for signing up to all of our new subscribers - welcome to our list and if you enjoy this first, albeit tardy edition, please feel free to forward it on to family and friends.

In the mailbox department, we heard from the reader who is trying to find the rest of the words to the poem that begins "Pick the primroses." It seems she had the wrong name - it's not sister Kate, but sister Sue. She apologizes for sending you off on a the wrong path - but hopes that something may turn up, now that we have the right name. At first, we thought to ourselves that Sue didn't sound very Irish, but then we remembered seeing it (and Susan) many, many times in genealogical records. So...good luck with the search for Sue!

News from Ireland
Parents of toddlers travelling to the United States later this year will have to buy individual passports for their children under new regulations being introduced by Washington. For complete details on this important story, please click:

FastPour Guinness scrapped. The traditional draw has triumphed!
In a bid to launch a quick-pouring Guinness, the idea flopped after the latest tests in 30 busy UK outlets proved that drinkers and bar-staff prefer the traditional two-part pour. Sláinte!

Two Irish pilots have entered the record books by becoming the first from this country to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft. Paul Ryan from Mayorstone, Limerick and Alan McMahon from Dun Laoghaire, touched down in Shannon one week ahead of schedule after a thrilling but exhausting trip around the world in 70 days.

Courtesy titles used by descendants of the high kings of Ireland and chieftains to signify their erstwhile status are to be no longer recognised. In what might yet prove to be the Government's most obscure decision, the descendants of former royalty are no longer recognised by the State. This means that individuals such as the O'Connor Don of Roscommon and O'Brien of Thomond can no longer depend on the State to validate their titles. Such recognition conferred no benefits, which are disallowed under the Constitution, but it was a mark of family lineage dating from before British rule in Ireland.

Despite berating towns like Portadown, Larne and Carrickfergus in this year's Rough Guide Ireland, West Belfast got the thumbs up from the travel book as a fascinating destination. The new edition of the book says the West is "completely safe for visitors to stroll around in" and notes Conway Mill as "revitalised by a concerted community effort spearheaded by local activist Fr. Des Wilson. Our cherished Cultúrlann Mac Adam Ó Fiaich is hailed as "a cultural centre for Irish speakers, housing an extensive bookshop, excellent café and thriving theatre, often host to musical events."

Bargain Irish books - Read Ireland's having a terrific sale - check out what's available here: http://www.readireland.ie

In other news, the Irish Language community in America was dealt a severe blow with the passing of Barra O'Donovan. He wrote the Irish language column "Macalla" in the Irish Echo for years. While he still could, he would be heard weekly on Fordham's radio station, reading excerpts of his column on the only program in gaeilige, "Mile Failte" with Dr. Seamas Blake. As of this writing, he has been sent to his final resting place in Co. Cork. RIP.

Bridget's an O'Flaherty by birth so it was of great interest to read about Galway's latest mayor. To wit: Seattle's Sister City of Galway set a new political record when a daughter succeeded her mother as mayor, the first time that has ever happened in Ireland. Bridie O'Flaherty was Mayor of Galway in 1986 when she visited Seattle and signed the document formalizing the Sister City relationship between Seattle and Galway. Now Bridie's daughter, Terry O'Flaherty, is Galway's new mayor and will serve until July 1, 2004.

We're late enough as it is, so enough of all the blither and blather...
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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
"My way of joking is to tell the truth. it's the funniest joke in the world." George Bernard Shaw.
An elderly woman died last month. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, "They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead."
1. The milk drawn from a hazelnut kernel, when added to mead or honeyed water, was once used to help cure a cough?
2. Dublin's West-Link bridge lanes are the busiest in Europe, possibly even in the world? Each lane handles 20,700 vehicles a day, compared to 10,800 per lane at New York's George Washington Bridge.
3. Most likely, the oldest pub in the world is in Ireland? The Guinness Book of Records confirms that Sean's Bar in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, built in the year 900, is the oldest pub in Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales, and is probably the oldest pub in the world. Sean's Bar was built 300 years before Athlone Castle across the street and the building still contains a section of the "Clay & Wattle" wall with which it was originally built. The Brazen Head in Dublin has long claimed to be Ireland's oldest pub, but it is in fact 700 years junior to its Athlone counterpart.
We haven't done much with Irish curses, so here's a classic:
"Lord, confound this surly sister,
Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
Cramp her larynx, lung and liver,
In her guts a galling give her."
Curse created by John Millington Synge on a friend's sister who had criticized "The Playboy of the Western World."
The answers to last week's quiz:
Magpie Cottage - Mary Yanaga George
St. Therese in Ireland - Audrey Healy and Eugene McCaffrey
Protest in Arms - Sean Cronin

As one Irish emcee once said, "please clap your feet" for our usual faithful sleuths plus the delightful surprise of new names to our list:

Mary Lou Brooks
I don't have a web site of my own, but one I am highly recommending lately is
She offers critiques of manuscripts to writers of fiction -- novels or memoirs. From personal experience I can assure you she is very good. And, of course,
she's Irish. (So you just knew she'd be good, right?)

Dallas Franklin
Voted Best Publication Editor of 2002 - Subscribe at site above!
Promote up to 5 Books at the SWO BOOKSTORE! - One Full Year only $10.99

Charlotte de Stoppelaar
Three-time Eurovision Song Contest winner Johnny Logan is known and respected for his great talent as a singer and songwriter. The Official Website:

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

Hartson Dowd
In-depth history of Ireland and the Irish Race. Cuchullain, the Great Famine, Cromwell, Daniel O'Connell, Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, the Easter Rising, and more... http://www.ireland.org

Helen Dowd
Many interesting stories and a myriad of writers can be found at Mission Magazine: http://missionmagazine.tdlofton-ministries.net
Check out the archives for hundreds of stories and articles on a multitude of subjects: children, recipes, pet lore, family, inspirational, Bible study, and much, much more. Need an angel today? Visit my website at: http://occupytillicome.online-ministries.com/ Helen Dowd.

Judith Flynn

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland, who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? The McKiernans of Irish Books &

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. Dancing at Lughnasa
2. Faces at the fair : a photographic essay on the "Ould Lammas Fair" at Ballycastle, Co Antrim
3. Bitter Harvest - An Anthology of Contemporary Irish Verse

1. 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
The answer to last week's is:
When is a pillow like a pint of Guinness? When it has a head on it. Way too easy - but many thanks to everyone who sent in the answer.
We hope this week's is a bit more challenging:
How quickly can you find out what is unusual about this paragraph? It looks so ordinary that you would think that nothing is wrong with it at all - and, in fact, nothing is. But it is a bit odd. Why? If you study it and think about it, you may find out, but I am not going to assist you in any way. You must do it without any coaching. No doubt, if you work at it for long, it will dawn on you. Who knows?
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. Article: In tribute to George Bernard Shaw whose birthday was 7/26
3. Article: He came to mock but stayed to pray. 7/27 was "Reek Sunday"
4. Article - The Galway Races. This is the week to be in Galway!
5. Article: Celebrating the Harvest. August 1st marks the Feast of Lughnasa
6. Article: Putting out the hare - putting on the harvest knots
7. Basic Irish - This time the words and phrases are all about weddings
8. Poetry Page - Russ put up The Galway Races by Yeats
9. The Irish Kitchen - it's harvest time and this week's recipes are all focused on that "kernel of wisdom" - the hazelnut, contributed by Hartson
10. Circle of Prayer. Our second Novena in this cycle began on July 25 and will continue through August 2. This week, we have received requests for Priscilla and her family who are struggling with many serious health problems; Therese Reilly who is battling cancer and pneumonia; she's fighting hard, but it's wearing her down. And then there is still little Christopher - just a few months old with a brain tumor; five-year old Sam in California battling cancer; and Steven and Margaret in NY who desperately need our support and encouragement. And, as always, our Novenas are dedicated to the peaceful resolution of the many conflicts we face; so , whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us in prayer or meditation each day. Knowing that we hold all of these people in our thoughts and hearts is, of itself, a great comfort to them
11. Irish News: Headlines for the past week
12. This month in Irish History:
13. Trivia Contest. Time's running out - All entries must be in by midnight on July 31, whatever time zone you are in
14. Music Review - Wall of Tears. We know we mentioned this last week, but just in case you didn't get a chance to read it, here it is again. (And besides, we get to make our list come out at 14 and not that other unlucky number!)

A new month always brings with it a flurry of extra activity; we'll be posting a new quiz, new culture corners, new story for children and more. Time permitting, Bridget is still hoping to resurrect the article on the Irish Horse; we may also do a piece on Ladies Day at the Galway Races and a guest perspective on climbing The Reek. Daily, we'll update the news and history. We posted a new blessing for Sunday, on Wednesday, we'll have a new quote and toward the end of the week, we'll have recipes for more dishes traditionally served around harvest time in Ireland.

Until then, "Pinch, punch, first day of the month - white rabbit," Happy Lughnasa, and beannachtaí na féile dhibh - blessing of the festival to you all. May God shelter and protect you and yours within the mantle of His love, and for those of you who will be enjoying a long bank holiday weekend between August 1 and August 4; we hope and pray it will be a safe and pleasant time for you and your families.

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
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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

Villa Hills, Northern Kentucky
July 31st beginning 7:30 pm until ???
House Concert & Irish Music Session featuring the music of world renowned concertina player, Noel Hill
Contact Info: Wally and Jackie Carrol - 859-426-5746 or wally@sligoroad.com

The Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
Boston, Massachusetts
Friday, July 25 to Sunday to August 3
For more details, please click: http://www.jeaniejohnston.ie/voyage.asp?id=3

Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul US Tour
July 29 - Cleveland OH - Cain Park Summer Arts Series

Dublin, Ohio Irish Festival
Friday Aug. 1 through Sunday, August 3
For more information, please click:

Cultural Holidays on Inis Mór
Walking the Ancient Celtic Way - August 2-9 2003
For more information, please click: http://www.irish-culture.ch

William Carleton Summer School - Monday 4 August- Friday - 8 August
Corick House, a 17th century house mentioned in Carleton's writings and situated in the Clogher Valley. For further information log onto www.williamcarletonsummerschool.org

The Brendan Kennelly Summer Festival 7-10 August 2003

Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland
Festival of World Cultures - August 22-August 24
Arts festival celebrating cultural diversity through an extravaganza of internationally acclaimed acts including music, film, circus, theatre, dance performances, club nights, markets, exhibitions, workshops & children's activities.

Irish Writers Center, Dublin, Ireland
New Creative Writing Courses at IWC have been announced for the month of August. For more information, please contact Bernadette Larkin: bernadette@writerscentre.ie

Let Me Take You To the Island 2003
The Rathlin week-end will take place on the 5th -7th September

The Houston St. Patrick's Parade Commission Presents:
2003 St. Paddy's Irish Open - Monday, September 15, 2003
2PM Shotgun Start - Four Man Scramble & Green Ball Contest at Augusta Pines, 18 Augusta Pines Rd, Spring, Texas For more details, please write: Irishmkk@aol.com

Scriobh Literary Festival, Sligo 11 & 14 September 2003
Tel. +353 71 41405

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

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

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: