Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to nearly 2600 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 warmest of welcomes from a somewhat soggy and sodden Ohio Valley where it's been raining off and on for the last few days. We hope it's drier and sunnier where you are and we also hope you are enjoying the long Easter weekend. As for ourselves, between time off for St. Patrick's Day celebrations followed so closely by Easter frivolity, it's proving to to be very difficult to get back to our normal routine - whatever that might be! For example, we're blaming the lateness of our newsletter on the lovely time we had on Easter Sunday.

We gathered for a superb dinner at the home of our long-time friend Jane FitzGerald who always out-does herself in the kitchen - barbecued lamb roast, marinated asparagus spears, roast potatoes and a savory bread pudding that was a huge hit. It's an Emeril recipe and just incredibly good, especially when it's prepared by someone like Jane who truly knows her way around the pots and pans. In fact, Jane now has a great little sideline called FestiviTeas wherein she will do all of the work involved with putting on a very special high tea - perfect for the bride to be, and also very appropriate for an elegant retirement party or other Miss Manners style genteel event. If you'd like to know more, send us an email.

Beyond the bunnies, bonnets and daffodil buds, this very early Easter also presages the end of the first quarter - and one of our most successful in sales at amazon. As of this writing, we need just 11 more purchases to jump to the next commission tier. It's not anything huge, but every little bit helps. So, if you need to do some shopping before Friday, please consider clicking through any of the books, CDs or videos on our site - and keep in mind that once you arrive at amazon, you can then then go anywhere else on their site, including stores like Target and Toys R Us and we get credit for it. In the meantime, many thanks to all of you who have already shopped through us - not just at Amazon, but also all of our our other affiliates.

Speaking of thanks and lest we forget, the last couple of weeks have seen a lovely surge in new subscribers. We truly appreciate you signing up and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family and friends. Go raibh maith agat!

Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, Lollysmith:
They received hundreds of entries into the first annual St. patrick's Whistle Contest and one of our subscribers, Mary Sigrist, came in second and the cousin of another subscriber, Clara Byrne, came in first. How about that! To find out what persuaded Lollysmith to choose them, please click on the following URL and then click on whistles: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?lollysmith+wSpfhS+index.html

News from Ireland:
RTÉ's Evening Prayer programme may soon feature photographs of missing persons, if proposals from a support group get the go-ahead.

Irish people have contributed almost €75 million to nine aid agencies which have been collecting money for tsunami relief since December 26th last. A further €20 million has been contributed by the Government.

Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív has rejected Opposition claims that the Irish language could be dead in 100 years. He also staunchly defended the decision to make it mandatory to translate official documents into Irish.

Belfast - h Almost 4,000 children in Northern Ireland learning through Irish
A ten year plan for future development of Irish medium schools in Northern Ireland, launched three years ago, outlined plans to develop up to 60 Irish medium schools and nurseries. That plan is currently being revised and it is expected that the target figures for new schools will be revised upwards.

Carlow - Hacketstown marches to a different tune
While many towns and villages around the country hold their own St Patrick's Day parades, Hacketstown waits for its celebration with an Easter Parade on Easter Sunday. This year is no exception. The fourteenth Easter Parade will include the Arklow Marching Band, the Killeshin Pipe Band and competitions for the best Easter bonnet and the best fancy dress outfit.
Cavan - Dhuish past pupils to gather
A reunion has been arranged to mark the one hundred and thirtieth anniversary of the opening of Dhuish National School, Killann, to take place at the end of next month. The two-teacher school closed thirty years ago when the pupils moved to St Patrick's National School in Shercock, and the building has remained empty since that time.

Clare - Taking the floor in the Olympics of Irish dance. - Thousands of dancers from all over the world are in Ennis to to compete in "the Worlds."Fifty per cent of the competitors in the championships now come from the United States, following in the dancing steps of Michael Flatley who won the boys' under-17 crown in 1975. He was the first US-based competitor to bring the title of All-World Irish Dancing Champion to the US.President of the dancing commission Peter Smyth said: "This is one of Ireland's premier cultural events."

Cork: Two weeks of chess in the city
As part of Cork's year as Capital of Culture, the European Union Chess Championships are taking place in the Gresham Metropole Hotel. Attracting more than one hundred top players from twenty-two countries and the largest competition ever held in Ireland, the championships were brought to the city with the help of the Cork Chess Club.

Derry - Asculpture commemorating the life of one of the city's most famous sons, tenor Josef Locke has been unveiled in Derry's city centre.
To see photos, please click http://www.spatty.demon.co.uk/unveil.htm

Derry: Stained glass celebrates women
A stained glass window recently unveiled in the office of Age Concern celebrates the contribution of women to Irish history. The glass was designed by a group during a series of workshops led by Derry artist Bridget Murray in co-operation with the Shared City Project.

Down: Railway museum on track
The Belfast and County Down Railway Museum Trust is optimistic that a project which would see more than five miles of railway track reinstated and transformed into a Working Railway Museum will come to fruition. The project involves a route of just over three miles between Ballynahinch and Saintfield, along with a two-mile stretch of the former main line between Ballynahinch Junction and Saintfield.

Dublin - The madness of the King George III turf bucket
It's old, it's mahogany and it's brass bound but it's a bucket nonetheless. Still, it's now among the world's most expensive buckets having sold for €145,000 at auction in the James Adam Salerooms in Dublin.

Dublin - Taoiseach celebrates anniversary of smoking ban
Bertie presented a birthday cake to a baby born on the day the smoking ban was introduced; he also planted a tree in St Stephen's Green, Dublin. No, it wasn't an ash - it was a horsechestnut!

Dublin - More than half a million spectators turned out on what was one of the warmest, sunniest days this year to attend the country's biggest St Patrick's Day parade. The St Patrick's Festival came to a sizzling end with Ireland's biggest barbecue at a children's carnival and family day in Dublin's city centre.

Dublin - Irish Channel to Launch on Cable and Satellite in U.S.
Ireland's Anner Media Group (AMG) plans to launch The Irish Channel America in the U.S. on cable and satellite. The channel will offer a mix of lifestyle, travel, arts, documentaries, film, music, shopping and sports programming. It also plans to feature live two-way link-ups between Ireland and the U.S. designed to help Irish Americans connect with their ancestral country.

Fermanagh: Florencecourt restoration marked
The fiftieth anniversary of the restoration of Florencecourt House after it was extensively damaged by fire is to be marked by a commemorative exhibition. During the fire most of the paintings and a good number of the books within the house were salvaged and these will form part of the exhibition, which will run until October.

Galway - Re-enactment of Christ's Passion
Members of St Nicholas' Collegiate Church and the Faith Christian Fellowship in Galway staged a re-enactment of Christ's Passion in the city centre on Good Friday. Lynch's Castle was the setting for the meeting of Jesus and his Mother while the crucifixion was re-enacted in the church grounds.

Galway - The village of Carna which witnessed the loss of four fishermen last September has united to raise •250,000 for a lifeboat station in the area. to learn more about what's being planned, please click http://www.triathlonchonamara.com/

The earliest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country got under way in Dingle, Co Kerry at exactly five minutes before 6am when musicians, and marchers with the Dingle Fife and Drum started out from Dingle Hospital to parade through the sleeping town. What a lovely way to wake up!

Laois: Togher Wood saved
The campaign to save Togher Wood from being developed as a motor sport facility has been successful, with the area saved for the best part of seventy years. It emerged last week that the owners of the land, Coillte, are not in a position to sell the lease of the land for any purpose other than forestry.

Leitrim: Further success for Carrigallen actors
In the five regional drama festivals used as qualifiers for the All-Ireland Drama Finals in Athlone, the Corn Mill Theatre Group from Carrigallen has been placed first in three and runner-up in two. With their production of "Stolen Child" the drama group won in Tubbercurry, Kiltyclogher and Shercock and came second in Ballinamore and Cavan Drama Festivals.

Limerick: One small school - half a Munster team
Although Meenkilly National School near Abbeyfeale is ninety years old and is the smallest school in the county, it has provided half of the Munster under 12s table tennis team for the national championships in Dublin next month. The school has only one table for the sport acquired five years ago but, according to teachers Dónal O'Connor and Benie Leonard, all the pupils participate in the sport.

From all over:
England - Ireland's best-ever Cheltenham festival ended as it began, in triumph, when Kicking King justified favouritism to win the Gold Cup.

From the mailbag:
Patty Daniels writes: I have a saying my mother used to say, & no one on the planet has ever heard it besides our family. Thought I'd check with you, since it sounds kind of Irish, as was my mother: Said to someone going out in bad weather, or about to do something risky: "You'll die the death of a rag doll!" Ever heard that one?

D. Driscoll writes:
I am in search of the irish soda bread poem or a "story" of the history of making of the bread that relates to the struggles of the Irish people that is recited at competitions by some. I have not been able to find a copy on the web and was hoping to get some info here. Thank you.

John writes: I would like to ask your readers if they know any thing about Thaid Gowran, or Timothy McGovern a Kerry Poet and Ballad Writer who lived at Knocknagoshel near abbeyfeale. I think he was born in 1868 and died in 1927, my mother Joan Bardsley nee Flaherty 1925- 2003 was his Grandaughter. I know he wrote many ballads one being called " The Yorkshire Pig" I would be grateful for any information.

Subscriber site spotlight: Pot'OGold in Painesville
Congrats to Tome & Debra Fitzgerald whose B & B was recently featured in Cleveland Magazine; if you'd like to read the article, here's the URL. You have to register, but it's no big deal and it's free:

If you'd just like to visit Tom & Debra's site, please click:

Links of the week
Spring and Easter links from several readers; the first two are from Jack and Vivian of the irish Page who bring their Lenten series to a joyful conclusion:

A riveting poser for our riddle people with thanks (we think!) to our friend Dallas Franklin!

AllAboutIrish: Explore Irish Culture in the wonderful and engaging Irish world that lives not just in Ireland, but throughout the Irish Diaspora. http://www.allaboutirish.com/library/recipes/rec-farls.shtm

A wonderful stress reliever from Hartson:

Help reduce dolphin drownings Patricia Edwards

Another slightly addictive game thanks to Pauline!

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 blather - on with the update....
Help us keep your newsletter free - please visit our good friend, Molly's Irish Imports:
As the days grow warmer and flowers begin to peek above the grass, it is time to celebrate the changing of the season, sharing the joy of new life. There are several new items at Molly's Irish Imports to bring in this fresh time of year. Enjoy the exhilarating fragrance of Inis cologne, or show your love on Mother's Day with a Celtic cross pendant or basket of Irish scone mix, Barry's tea and raspberry jam or lemon curd. Come see what's popping up at Molly's Irish Imports. http://www.irishmollys.com
ED Note: Molly is a real person and we subscribe to her newsletter - she does a brilliant job!
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
A wild goose never reared a tame gosling. Old proverb.
A beautiful blonde of Kilbride
went along in a bus for the ride.
The conductor's "Your fare"
was said with a glare.
"No, I'm not," she just grinned. "I've been dyed."
Adapted from one sent in by Hartson - Thank you!
Father Murphy was playing golf with a parishioner. On the first hole, he sliced into the rough. His opponent heard him mutter "Hoover!" under his breath. On the second hole, the ball went straight into a water hazard. "Hoover!" again, a little louder this time. On the third hole, a miracle occurred and Fr. Murphy's drive landed on the green only six inches from the hole! "Praise be to God!" He carefully lined up the putt, but the ball curved around the hole instead of going in. "HOOVER!" By this time, his opponent couldn't withhold his curiosity any longer, and asked why the priest said 'Hoover'. "It's the biggest dam I know," said the priest.
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. According to old folklore, if you wear an iron ring on the fourth finger of your left hand, you'll never have rheumatism?

2. If you want to win at cards, you should wear a crooked pin in your lapel?

3. And if you want to get rid of freckles, you should dab each one with bull's blood?
To start off, the answers to our last quiz:

1. The Real St. Patrick by J. Holmes
2. The Life of St. Patrick and His Place in History by John B. Bury
3. Perceptions of St. Patrick in 18th century Ireland by Bridget McCormack

Hats off and congrats to:
Patricia Edwards
... I nominate your wonderful site - there's none better!
ED. NOTE - Go raibh maith agat, Patricia!

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" May 25 - June 8, 2005

Mary Sigrist
Visit and see Flash's new and very Irish pages! 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:

Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:
1.Toss the Feathers
2. Flowing Tide
3. Flying Feet

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 begin with, the answer to last week's cranium-cruncher:
A long, long time ago, two Egyptian camel drivers were fighting for the hand of the daughter of the sheik of Abbudzjabbu. The sheik, who liked neither of these men to become the future husband of his daughter, came up with a clever plan: a race would determine who of the two men would be allowed to marry his daughter. And so the sheik organized a camel race. Both camel drivers had to travel from Cairo to Abbudzjabbu, and the one whose camel would arrive last in Abbudzjabbu, would be allowed to marry the sheik's daughter. The two camel drivers, realizing that this could become a rather lengthy expedition, finally decided to consult the Wise Man of their village. Arrived there, they explained him the situation, upon which the Wise Man raised his cane and spoke four wise words. Relieved, the two camel drivers left his tent: they were ready for the contest!
The Question: Which 4 wise words did the Wise Man speak?
Q: A: "You should trade camels." (or anything with "trade camels")
As always, our riddle regulars didn't let us down and we had a slew of correct answers, but it was Joesph M. Clifford of Los Angeles who was in first. Congratulations! And now, in honor of Easter here are some easy groaners:
Q: How do bunnies stay healthy?
Q: What do you call a bunny with a large brain?
Q: What do you call ten rabbits marching backwards?
Q: How do you catch a unique bunny?
Q: Do you know how bunnies stay in shape?
Q: What's the difference between a bunny and a lumberjack?
Q: How should you send a letter to the Easter Bunny?
Okay, okay, for those of you who would like a more egg-acting challenge, don't forget to take a look at the link we mentioned earlier.
1. Article - Good Friday Haircuts & Seaweed for Dinner
2. Article - Easter Saturday & a Funeral for a Fish
3. Article - The Dance of the Sun
4. Article - Easter Monday & Mirth at the Market
5. The Irish Kitchen - A Tasty Menu for Easter
6. Basic Irish - Words & Phrases for Lent & Easter
7. Book Review - Something beginning with P. A poetry book for kids that Russ likes a lot! What does this mean?
8. Article - Emblems of Ireland: The Shamrock
10. Circle of Prayer - Our sixth Novena in this cycle began on March 22 and ends on March 30. Please keep His Holiness, Pope Paul II in your prayers and meditations and also 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. For example, the son of our friend Debbie is safely home from Iraq and will be staying in the US as a recruiter; he's not happy about it, but his family sure is!
11. The March Trivia Contest - just a few days left! All entries must be in by midnight on March 31 whichever time zone you live in and we wish all of those with correct solutions good luck in the drawing.

The beginning of a new month is always a busy time for us; watch for a new Trivia contest, new children's story, our article on April Fools Day in old Ireland and more. As always, we'll have a new blessing on Sunday (already posted), new quote on Wednesday and we hope to have a new recipe on Thursday. In the meantime, to encourage you to visit often, we update the news headlines every day. our headlines No murder or mayhem - we promise! Please click:
And we keep a week's worth of history here:

So there you have it for another week except to say " Pinch Punch, first day of the month, White Rabbit!" And 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, may God watch over you and yours and keep you from all harm and may He wrap you in his love and keep you safe and warm.

Slan agus beannacht!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
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 or Russ Haggerty. Our snail mail address is 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via PayPal. The Url is:
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:

Gaiety Theatre - Dublin Ireland
Mozart's The Magic Flute
April 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.
For complete details, please visit:

Hollywood, Florida - April 16, 7p-11p
Dinner & Dancing to Marty McAndrew & Black Diamond. Call 943-432-8292 / 954-522-4948 or email Patrick - irish32@aol.com

Halifax, Nova Scotia - June 2-4
Celtic Feis 2005
Combine Nova Scotia's rich Gaelic ancestry and culture with Halifax's contemporary, urban sensibility and you get the perfect ingredients to create a world-class Celtic celebration. The Halifax Celtic Feis celebrates our rich Irish and Scottish heritage and culture through music, dance, arts, language, and spirit of community. For more information on tickets, programming, events, and schedules please visit
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


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

Hanging Baskets - sent in by several subscribers - Thank you!
The teenage granddaughter comes downstairs for her date with this see-through blouse on and no bra. Her grandmother pitched a fit, telling her not to dare go out like that! The teenager tells her "Loosen up Grams; These are modern times. You gotta let your rosebuds show" and out she goes. The next day the teenager comes downstairs, and the grandmother is sitting there with no top on. The teenager wants to die. She explains to her grandmother that she has friends coming over and that it is just not appropriate. The grandmother says, "Loosen up Sweetie,if you can show off your rosebuds then I can display my hanging baskets."