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Greetings and blessings to all,

Pinch punch, first day of the month, white rabbit! Did you survive the mischief of the "good people"? According to old folklore, you're not out of the woods until noon on May Day That certainly proved to be the case for us this past week and this morning. Last Wednesday, our cable company installed something called "quams" -whatever they are! In any event, it weakened our signal to the point where our internet connection was on and then off for a couple of days. Incredibly frustrating. They came out and installed an amplifier, so we're now back on line without interruption.

With that hurdle overcome, we were totally unprepared for more May mayhem when Russ had a minor car accident this morning. The roads were wet and when he came around a blind bend, he was confronted with the scene of a really bad pile-up that had just happened. To avoid becoming part of the melee, he swerved, skidded, and ended up hitting a utility pole, stuck in the mud. Thank God, Russ is fine - but the car had to be towed to a garage. We're now without wheels for a while as the mechanics can't get to it until Monday. Initial damage is a flat tie and a broken tie rod; God willing, it won't be worse than that because we can ill-afford even minor car repairs.

On the bright side, our daughter decided to cheer Dad up with a bag of goodies that included his favorite potato chips, coffee ice cream, Kit Kat mini-bars and a bar of Cadburys Fruit & Nut! Even when things seem totally bleak, you have to count your blessings, and our kids are among the most precious we have.

So. it's afternoon - and we're halfway through another May 1st. In the heyday of Gay Byrne's popular morning radio show, May Day was heralded with an evocative rendering of Queen of the May by Canon Sidney McEwan, something that people looked forward to. It was confirmation that summer had arrived. However, a word of caution from Bridget's mother - 'cast not a clout till May is out.' This meant keeping our woolies and wellies handy, because inevitably, a warm sunny day would give way to a few last icy blasts from Old Man Winter.

Which reminds us that it's a Bank Holiday weekend in Ireland and Gt. Britain. According to one wag, the three-day weekend was created because it's impossible to cram all the bad weather into two days. Seriously, what with all the European Union celebrations going on across the Republic, as well as other gala events elsewhere, we hope and pray the weather is fair. We also wish you and yours a safe and happy three-day break.

In the USA, it's Derby Day in Kentucky. We're not big horse-racing fans, but this is one occasion when we switch on the TV right before the Run for The Roses. Traditionally, they sing My Old Kentucky Home and it never fails to make Bridget get all mushy. If you'd like to hear the song and read the lyrics, please click
It's also a good thing that we're not ones to play the ponies. Bridget grew up in Wimbledon, and for sure she would have placed what's left of the family fortune (which is precious little) on a horse by that name which was slated to run. It was scratched on Friday! Oh well.

Enough about us. A warm welcome back to all of you. We hope this week's edition finds you in good health, good spirits and good company. We'd also like to say a special hello to all the new subscribers. We hope you enjoy reading your first issue and will like it enough to pass on to family and friends. Thank you.

With that, on with the update:
Help keep our newsletter free - please visit the Celtic Attic:
To all our Irish Mothers - lá mháthair shona dhuit - God bless you on mother's day, May 9. Buy now for Mum's Day or the Summer! Order over $100 and receive a $5.00 gift certificate good off any future purchase at the Celtic Attic http://www.celticattic.com/treasures/home_decor/mums_day_gifts.htm
Does your mum have a sweet tooth? Do you? Try our new Butler Chocolates Irish Truffles, Jameson Toffee or Milk Truffle Bars. These are the Best of Irish Chocolates!:
Have you entered our April Giveaway yet? This month the prize is a welcome to spring collection which includes flowers, seeds, relaxing tea and a tea cup to sip it in, candles, potpourri and a Celtic suncatcher - Value of this Gift is $25.00. Enter now! http://www.celticattic.com/contact_us/free_giveaway.htm
Note: If you do place an order - and we surely hope you will - please mention the code IC46 in the comments section on the order form. This will earn Irish Culture and Customs a small commission. Thank you!
In news from Ireland:

It's a great day for the Irish and the European Union as the Day of Welcomes takes place in just about every county from Dublin to Waterford. RTÉ has a great listing of events here:

Co. Kildare - Thousands are expected to take part in this year's Bealtaine Festival in Newbridge over the Bank Holiday weekend. Festival highlights include performances by the Irish Modern Dance Company, The Crooked House Theatre Company and the Outreach Drama.

Co. Offaly - The County Arms Hotel is to retain its eighteenth-century façade while expanding to the rear of the building to accommodate a further sixty-two bedrooms and a new bar and restaurant. Also included in the extension is a leisure centre featuring a twenty-metre pool.

Co. Roscommon - In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of songwriter, entertainer and painter, Percy French, a unique exhibition of his original water colours is being presented at King House, Boyle from May 1 to May 9.

Co. Tyrone - The Ulster History Park, located north of Omagh, which opened in 1990, has been put on the market following its closure last year. Developed on a forty-seven acre site, the park includes replica prehistoric villages, a monastic enclosure complete with church, a round tower, a castle and a manor house.

Co. Sligo - The first skyscraper hotel soaring 15 storeys high is on the cards and future guests at the hotel could enjoy a bird's eye view of the home of Westlife star, Shane Filan. The 144-bedroomed, Maeve Hotel with an underground car park is to be located just north of the Carraroe roundabout, two miles south of Sligo town.

Co. Limerick - The prestigious Castletroy Park Hotel, standing on over 15.2 acres, has been put on the market and is expected to achieve a price of around €17m.

Co. Meath - In Ardsallagh, just north of the River Boyne, archaeologists have found an early pre-historic cemetery on the route of the M3 motorway, including evidence of traditional burial, cremation pits and contemporary pottery. The Save the Tara-Skryne Valley Group, which is campaigning against the M3, said the find came as no surprise as the area around Tara has been Ireland's "national graveyard" for centuries.

Co. Cavan - Twelve-year-old wins Granard Harp Festival, again:
Victory is even sweeter the second time around, as Cavan's Kavan Donohoe discovered when he won the prestigious Granard Harp Festival for the second year in a row. The Traditional Harp Festival, founded in 1981 to honour the blind harper Turlough O'Carolan, attracts the best the country has to offer and is on a par with the All-Ireland Fleadh Ceoil when it comes to talent and high standards.

Dublin City - After thirty-two years of running the business started by his father, Bill Coyle is to retire from his hat shop in Aungier Street and sell the shop and the three-storey house overhead, which is a protected structure. Coyle's was established in 1925 and Bill started work there after doing his apprenticeship at Pims of South Great George's Street. What passers-by may miss the most is Bill playing his Stradivarius every morning before the shop opens.

In news from all over:
Houston, Texas: The Perfumed Killers, an RTÉ television documentary on the kidnap and torture of a Cork-born worker-priest, during the height of Argentina's "Dirty War", won first prize in the religious programmes category at the 2004 WorldFest Film Festival.

From the mailbag:
Eulice sent us "The Idiot Test." It's a bit lengthy, so we put it at the end. How smart are you?

Links of the week:
From Hartson, the official site for Lough Derg, Co. Donegal
With historical information and details of one day and three day retreats.
http://www.lochderg.org <http://www.iol.ie/~lochderg

Aideen sent us one of those "how's that again headlines?"

Hysterically funny ad on Ebay (fingers crossed the item isn't sold)
With many thanks to AG!

AG also sent us "How tax-friendly is your state"? If you live in the USA, take a look:

The Breast Cancer site is still 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 less than a minute and doesn't cost you anything:

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 blitherin' and 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
Please forgive us if this is a repeat - but even if it is, it's worth repeating:
"A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: Duh."
Conan O'Brien
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:
This one came in from Penny R. Thanks, Penny!
Mrs. O'Reilly returned home from a vacation to France where she had taken a cooking class. She tells her husband Paddy she is going to prepare him a special meal and he is to go down to Sean's Market and buy two dozen escargot, which she explains to Paddy are snails. Mrs. O'Reilly admonishes Paddy to come right home, no stops at the pub, because she wants to have escargot for dinner. Paddy buys the snails and is on his way home but alas, his route takes him right by his favorite pub. Just one he tells himself. Well, perhaps another he says after having the first pint. The company is good, the tales are tall, and Paddy finds himself having three or four. As Paddy heads home he realizes it has become dark and knows his lovely wife will be waiting and sharpening her tongue for him. As Paddy opens the gate to home the porch light comes on and he hears the door begin to open. Paddy empties the bag of escargot on the ground and says in a loud voice "Come on now lads! You're almost there."
1. Steeplechasing began in Ireland in 1762?
2. According to old Irish folklore, if you can cover three daisies with your hand, summer is here?
3. The World's oldest New Testament, dating from the 2nd century, is in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin?
A wet and windy May fills the barn with corn and hay. Irish proverb
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Don't forget - Mother's Day is right around the corner - May 9th! Come take a look at our wide range of lovely gifts - from Bewley's coffee and tea (just for the talkin') to beautiful gold and silver jewelry reflecting the artistry and craftsmanship of Irish designers, ancient and modern. 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.
First off, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. 1916 Rebellion Handbook - Declan Kiberd
2. When History was Made: The Women of 1916 - Ruth Taillon
3. The 1916 Poets - Desmond Ryan

A pat on the back for this week's Irish bibliophiles:

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Something for every name on your gift list!
Featuring Graduation and Mother's Day Specials

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" - May 25 - June 8, 2004
View this year's itinerary:

Helen Dowd
Please visit my website at:
http:www.occupytillicome.com/ Helen Dowd

Hartson Dowd
A pleasantly presented site providing current news from the Co. Mayo town of Foxford and featuring its amenities and history:

Patricia Edwards
If (like me) you enjoy looking up a 'quote' of the day, I just found this site which I think is rather good:

Rosetta Tunis-Nybro
Let's here it for Peter O'Meara of Tipperary who won an award for portraying an Englishman in an 1890s American Western Series!

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy (and this will be the last trio of books on the Easter Rising. Our apologies if we had any repeats during the past month!) Who wrote:
1. The Brendan Voyage
2. Norman Invasion of Ireland
3. The Irish Book of Arms, Genealogy & Heraldry

Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and a great book on Irish families here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=irishcultucus-20&path=tg/detail/-/0940134098/qid%3D1083425276/sr%3D1-5

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 with, the answer to our last brain-bruiser:
Five hundred begins it, five hundred ends it,
Five in the middle is seen;
First of all figures, the first of all letters,
Take up their stations between.
Join all together, and then you will bring
Before you the name of an eminent king.
Q. Who is it?
Congrats to Bill Smith who says "I had to take a day off to get a chance to be first!"
And now for this week's skull-cracker:
Q. What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps?
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:
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. Republished - Article: May, the month of Mirth and Merriment http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/MayMonth.html
3. Republished - Article: Beltane Bonfires and Nettle Soup
4. Republished - Article: The May Day Dew
5. Republished - Article: Bright Flames of May
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/MayFlames.html5. New 6. Republished - The Irish Kitchen - Rhubarb Crumble
7. New - Basic Irish Lesson - Words and phrases related to appearance
8. Featured - Article: How To Prevent Mayhem
9. Featured - Article: Emblems of Ireland - The Harp
10. Featured - Article: Counties of Ireland, Antrim
11. New - May Trivia Quiz. We posted the new quiz this morning and Russ drew the name of the winner. Congratulations to Sandra Rooke!. As they say in the Irish Lotto, you can't win it if you're not in it, so send your entry before May 31. All entries must be in by midnight, whatever time zone you're in.
12. On-Going - Our sixth Novena in this cycle began on April 29 and continues through May 6. Our 7th will begin next Friday.This past week we received prayer requests for Mary Jo Maucher and Jane Leo. Also, 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: 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, Lindsey, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and the Mulligans.
13. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for today and the past week. Note that we do our best to find the "good news"!
14. On-going -This month in Irish History:
15. New product on our home page: First Communion Hanky. It's in the right-hand column underneath the great-looking tweed cap and it's also in our Children's Shop here:
16. Flowers for Mother's Day. This is a gift that most mams and moms love. Click here for many wonderful arrangements from one of the world's most trusted florists, FTD

For all of you looking forward to Grainne's new story for children, our apologies; we will post it asap. Per the usual routine, we'll publish a new blessing tomorrow, refresh the home page on Monday (new recipe as well) and post a new quote on Wednesday. News and history will be updated daily.

So that's the long and the short of it for another week except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - most of em' frivolous, but some serious: Today is May Day. Kentucky Derby Day, Loyalty Day, Mother Goose Day, Save the Rhino Day, and Space Day. Tomorrow, we observe Astronomy Day, Baby Day, Brothers and Sisters Day, and International Space Day (started in 2001 by John Glenn). On Monday, it's Lumpy Rug Day (?) and Hug Your Cat Day. On the 4th, we observe National Candied Orange Peel Day and Renewal Day. Then on 5/5, it's the last day of Cinco de Mayo, National Hoagie Day and Oyster Day. It's also Bonza Bottler Day - an excuse to celebrate. This happens every month when the day and the date are the same number. Finally, on Friday, it's the National Day of Prayer, National Nurses Day, National Tourist Appreciation Day, and No Diet Day.
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:

Before we forget, the wedding verse for this month is Marry in May and Rue the Day. When our daughter found this out, she changed the date to April! May is the month of Mary and it's considered an unlucky month to marry in several countries besides Ireland. Which reminds us that the 2nd edition of Bridget's wedding book is at the printers and should be out in a couple of weeks - we're taking orders!

Until next time, may Mary, the mother of God, wrap you and yours in her sweet mantle of love, care and maternal protection. 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.com
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:

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

Dublin, Ireland - May 4
Celebrating 21 years of journalism at DCU. This is an invitation, particularly to graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Journalism and the Masters in Journalism, to the DCU Media Round Table and a reception afterwards. For more details, visit:
To book a place please contact Mary Nulty at +353-1-7005220 or mailto:mary.nulty@dcu.ie

Houston - University of St. Thomas - May 6
The Irish American Cultural Institute Irish Perceptions Series presents "An Integrated History of the Uilleann Pipes" with Peter Browne. He will perform and present a history of the Uilleann Pipes from its first appearance in Ireland to the present day. For more details, please click

Delray Beach, Florida - May 8/9
The Inishfree Irish Theatre will perform Eclipsed at the Crest Theatre. All seats $20. For discounted tickets for IACC members, call Harry Cussen direct at 561-368-7325

Boston, Mass - May 8
Irish Genealogy Seminar sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Several speakers will lecture on genealogy topics and the husband of one of our readers, Sean O'Duill, is coming from Dublin (with Eileen, our reader) to present his talk on Matchmaking and Marriage customs in 19th century rural Ireland. The URL for further information is:

Hollywood, Florida - May 15
The Irish American Ceili Ckubast presents its last Ceili before summer! American Legion Hall, 211 N. 21 Avenue, Hwd-Fl
For more details, call Maureen [954-432-8292] or Dorothy [954-920-4583] or visit our website:

Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey - May 22
The Irish Federation of Monmouth County, New Jersey is holding a Spring Dance from 8PM - 12AM at the VFW on Cliffwood Ave, Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey. $20.00 per person. Music by Irish Band "Round the House." For more information, please contact Gail at Roscom1lass@aol.com

Aran Isles - The Celtic Way", 15 - 22 May 2004
There are still a few places left in this fascinating and beautiful programme which introduces you to the ancient culture of the Celts and the "Celtic Church." in Ireland). For more 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

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:

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

Fishtown/Philadelphia - June 12
2nd Support Our Troops Rally sponsored by the A.O.H/L.A.O.H Division 51 will take place at noon in Penn Treaty Park.
For more details, contact PHBowdrenSr@aol.com

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:

How smart are you really? Take the Idiot Test and find out
Answers & Scoring at the end.

1. Do they have a 4th of July in England?
2. How many birthdays does the average man have?
3. Some months have 31 days; how many have 28?
4. A woman gives a beggar 50 cents; the woman is the beggar's sister, but the beggar is not the woman's brother. How come?
5. Why can't a man living in the USA be buried in Canada?
6. How many outs are there in an inning?
7. Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow's sister? Why?
8. Two men play five games of checkers. Each man wins the same number of games. There are no ties. Explain this.
9. Divide 30 by 1/2 and add 10. What is the answer?
10. A man builds a house rectangular in shape. All sides have southern exposure. A big bear walks by, what color is the bear? Why?
11. If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do you have?
12. I have two US coins totaling 55 cents. One is not a nickel. What are the coins?
13. If you have only one match and you walked into a room where there was an oil burner, a kerosene lamp, and a wood burning stove, which one would you light first?
14. How far can a dog run into the woods?
15. A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half hour. How long would the pills last?
16. A farmer has 17 sheep, and all but 9 die. How many are left?
17. A clerk in the butcher shop is 5'10" tall. What does he weigh?
18. How many two-cent stamps are there in a dozen?
19. What was the President's name in 1950?
20. How many members of each type of animal did Moses take on the ark?


1. Yes
2. One
3. All of them (12)
4. The beggar is her sister.
5. He can't be buried if he isn't dead.
6. 6
7. No - because he is dead.
8. They aren't playing each other.
9. 70
10. White. The house is at the North Pole so it is a polar bear.
11. 2
12. 50-cent piece and a nickel. (The other one is a nickel)
13. The match.
14. Half way. Then he is running out of the woods.
15. 1 Hour
16. 9
17. Meat
18. 12
19. Same as it is now.
20. None. Moses didn't bring any animals onto the ark, it was Noah.

Scoring guide:
20 correct - Genius
17 correct - Above Normal
15 correct - Normal
8 correct - Nincompoop
6 correct - Moron
3 correct - Idiot