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Greetings & Blessings to all,

It's lovely to be back and we hope this edition finds you and yours in fine fettle and fit as a fiddle. Is this your first issue? If so, many thanks for signing up and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family and friends.

As for ourselves, we're starting to really notice the change in seasons. It's not so much the blaze of color on the trees or the delightful crunch of leaves underfoot as it is the amount of clothing we're now donning for the morning walk! One has to wonder what we'll do in December if Russ is already referring to Bridget as a hand-grenade. You can blame a sleeveless vest for that. A very expensive gift from a store in Maine, it's forest green nylon filled with goose down and "wicked good" for warmth!

As always, it's been a very busy week which got off to a grand start with wins from all of our favorite teams, Notre Dame, the Bengals, and our granddaughter Caity's Cheetahs. Well, em, the Cheetah's didn't actually bring home the soccer league championship - but for a team who started out very poorly and ended up becoming true contenders, all of us who watched their progress think of them as winners. It all came down to a playoff which ended in a draw. It was then five minutes sudden death - which ended with no score. And then it was five kicks each on goal. Bridget was as excited as when we watched the World Cup! In the end, it was too much pressure for our goalie and the Cheetahs lost. But no matter, these girls played their hearts out and they're champs in our eyes. God bless 'em. Enough of the blather - - on with the update...
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From the mailbag
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week that is/was
Leave 'em Laughing

The boss in Britain is probably Irish
A study of official UK Labour force figures has found that Irish men have overtaken British white men in gaining access to professional or managerial positions in the workplace. So it seems that in reality, the average David Brent, as portrayed in the BBC comedy The Office, is more likely to hail from Dublin or Galway rather than the London suburb of Slough. Oh dear.

Taoiseach supports high-rise waterfront for Dublin?
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said he is "broadly supportive" of plans to relocate Dublin port and to intensively develop the waterfront area as a Manhattan-style gateway to the capital!

Surprise Guest: sevengill shark found in Irish waters
An aggressive shark normally found in the Pacific or off the warm waters of Africa at this time of year has been caught in the nets of a Kerry fishing vessel off Fastnet Rock. Its predator? The Great White!

An Daingean votes for bilingual name
An overwhelming majority have voted to change the name of the Gaeltacht town of An Daingean to the bilingual Dingle Daingean Uí Chúis. In spite of the decisive result of the plebiscite, there was legal uncertainty about the effect of the vote.

It's cheque out time for paper
First it was vinyl records, followed by video recorders and 35mm cameras which were forced to give way to the digital age. Now the beginning of the end has been signalled for the humble cheque. Esso service stations are the latest retail outlets to announce they are no longer accepting cheques. From this month, all service stations owned and operated by Esso will only accept cash or credit cards.

Antrim: A first for Antrim hurling team
The Antrim hurling team, winners of the Christy Ring Cup, has become the first team to be accorded a civic reception by Lisburn City Council. The team, led by captain Karl McKeegan, had already received a similar honour from Belfast City Council. The trophy was on display in the centre and Karl McKeegan signed a hurley for the Lisburn mayor.

Armagh: Group form to save model village
The people of Bessbrook have formed the Bessbrook Heritage Group after it was learned that the land on which the old mill building stands has been zoned for housing, retail and leisure use in a government review of the area. The village was founded in 1845 in tandem with the establishment of a linen mill owned by the Richardson family, and Bessbrook Mill subsequently became an army base. Now that the army is about to leave the area local residents fear that the mill building, which is not a protected structure, may be demolished in the course of development.

Armagh: Craigavon musician wins major title
Craigavon-born Eimear McGowan was named this year's Clandeboye Young Musician of the Year at the classical music festival, and was the star of the final night's concert, with Barry Douglas and Camerata Ireland, the chamber orchestra.

Carlow: County treasures, but no place to keep them
A number of documents, some dating back to the 17th century, have been handed over to Carlow resident Michael Purcell as there is as yet no archivist in the county and he would prefer not to give them to the National Museum. The documents relating to the Browne-Clayton family were given to Michael by Robert Browne-Clayton, a direct descendant of the man who was granted lands by Cromwell in 1650. They include a hand painted book on vellum which lists the names of prominent businessmen in Carlow town in the mid-19th century, and parchments from the time when castles and land were acquired by the family, and signed by the Earls of Thomond and Ormond.

Derry: National honour for school governor
The title of "School Governor of the Year" was awarded to Paddy Hume, brother of John Hume, at a ceremony in London last weekend, where Paddy was accompanied by his wife Bridget. Paddy has for the past 12 years been a governor of St Cecilia's College in Derry, which four of his five daughters attended, and for four years he has held the post of Chair of Governors. Mrs Kathleen Gormley, principal of the school, said governors were unsung heroes of schools and she was delighted that the contribution of the man known as "No problem Paddy" had been recognised. It was Róisín Lynch, one of the vice-principals of St Cecelia's, who nominated Paddy for the award.

Donegal: Dungloe to celebrate its famous son
A number of cultural events are to take place in Dungloe over the coming weekend to celebrate the life of Peadar O'Donnell, who died 20 years ago. O'Donnell, regarded as one of the major radical figures of the twentieth century in Ireland, was a socialist, republican and trade union organiser who also edited "The Bell" magazine in the mid-century. He fought in the Spanish Civil War and the weekend is to be officially opened by Bob Doyle, the last surviving member of the Fifth International Brigade. An exhibition will also be mounted giving details of men from the north west who took part in that conflict.

Kilkenny: Jenkinstown House bought, but not for a song
Although the new owner of Jenkinstown House, just north of Kilkenny city, is a songwriter, he did not buy the house for a song. Rather, Corkman Jimmy McCarthy bought the house after it failed to sell at auction, for a sum believed to be in the region of €1.5m. He is to use the house as a home and has plans to convert a small church hall wing into a recording studio. The 19th century house, which has its own deer park, was most famously where poet Thomas Moore wrote "The Last Rose of Summer", and a small garden has been established to commemorate the fact.

Monaghan: Kavanagh family working to preserve family farm
Members of the Kavanagh family now living in the United States have set in train the preservation of the family farm in Mucker, Inniskeen, and there is a possibility that it will eventually become a literary retreat similar to Annaghmakerrig, the former home of Tyrone Guthrie.

Tipperary: Centuries old church is new home for tourist office
An eight-hundred-year-old church in Clonmel has become the new home of the Clonmel Tourist Office. The new office is located in a stone room behind the altar of St Mary's Church.

Tyrone: Drumquin comes to life over the Bank Holiday weekend
There will be no shortage of music in Drumquin over the coming Bank Holiday Weekend when the eighth annual Hills Above Drumquin Festival takes place, organised by Drumquin Wolfe Tone Gaelic Football Club. The festival will be officially opened by the chairman of Omagh District Council, Sean Begley, and will begin with a traditional night that will include the 2006 All-Ireland Under 12 singer Cathaoir McElholm. A Vintage Rally, storytelling and dancing will take place on Saturday while Sunday will feature a cycle tour, a tug-o-war, football matches and a Festival Dance.

Waterford: Horses and ponies take to the road in Ballyduff
Horses and ponies will feature in a Fun Run taking place this Sunday in Ballyduff, organised by Lismore Harriers Hunt in collaboration with the parents' association of St Michael's National School. The two-hour ride will begin in the area at the bottom of the school hill near the old Glanbia yard and the route will take riders through Marston, Shean, Cooladoody, Aglish and Glenbeg, finishing at Ballyduff Bridge. After the trek, which will be carefully marshalled throughout and is suitable for all ages and abilities, soup and sandwiches will be served to all those who take part.

Massachusetts: US tourists to target Dingle
More American visitors are expected to visit the Dingle Peninsula next year, arising from the presence of a marketing group from the area at a recent trade show in Springfield, Massachusetts. Several Dingle companies were represented at the two-week show, which was attended by more than 1.5 million people.

New York: Sandyford woman addresses UN
Nan O'Brien, a mother of nine who is unable to either read or write, has addressed the United Nations in New York, having been invited by international human rights organisation ATD Fourth World. In addressing the UN on behalf of "everyone who is poor and doesn't have a voice", Nan made history by becoming the first Traveller to address the world body. She works part-time and is a volunteer with the Southside Traveller Action Group in Sandyford and she was accompanied to New York by the co-ordinator of the Irish Traveller Movement, Dan Peelo.

Last week, Teresa asked about a children's book and a story called "A Week of Sundays". Many thanks to Marilyn from upstate NY who found it! The book is Favorite Stories Old & New and the tale is by Margaret Baker. Used copies are available. If you're interested, please send us an email.

Joan Kearney asks: Could you please tell me where the saying "you took the soup" originated from? Several people sent us the origins of this phrase and as we suspected, it was from famine times. Eileen from Dublin writes: Accusations of "taking soup" were levelled against Catholics who accepted famine relief from Protestant charities which expected the recipients to convert. Other religious denominations such as the Quakers set up soup kitchens without the pressure to convert but there was definitely a connection between famine relief and the expectation that the starving Catholics would convert.

Pádraigín in Scotland added a more contemporary dimension to the saying: Nowadays it is a term of derision for those people who have forgotten or choose to ignore their Irish roots or go over to "the other side." Many thanks to both Eileen and Pádraíg for their help with this query.

Our third question last time came from Frank who was asking about a book based on a story of an Irish immigrant who deserted the US Army to fight with the Mexicans. Eileen helped with this query as well:
I think he may be talking about the San Patricios Brigade formed in the Mexican Army during the Mexican War. Not all of the Irish were deserters from the American Army, some had been captured and some, it is believed simply wandered off from the American encampment in search of Mass when they heard mission bells. There are a good few websites devoted to the brigade and several books. A good write up by Brian McGinn can be found at:

Bill Ashe offered the following: There is a book out called "The Rogue's March - John Riley and the ST. Patrick's Battalion 1846-1848. The author is Peter F. Stevens. There is also a video called The San Patricios  by Mark Day
ED. NOTE: Unfortunately this isn't the book as it's too recent but we thought you might be interested in it and we aappreciate Bill sennding us the info.

And David C wrote: I don't have any information about that book in particular or any other but there is a very good movie about the same subject called "One Man's Hero" with Tom Berenger. ______________________________________________________________

Hallowe'en Photo Essay
See pictures from Hallowe'en in Galway last year:

Four great games for the season that's in it
Including: Bone Crusher, Remove the leaves, Find the Candle and Halloween Blast!

Real ghost photos - Real ghost stories
Hollow Hill is one of the Internet's oldest and most respected sites for ghost hunters. They specialize in haunted sites that you can visit. http://www.hollowhill.com/

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Do you know of a woman who can't afford a mammogram? Here's how you can help. Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if they get enough clicks , they'll be able to donate at least one free mammogram a day to underprivileged women. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:

Last but certainly not least - our ongoing 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:

The following is supposed to be a real epitaph from an Irish graveyard:

Beneath this stone lies Murphy
They buried him today
He lived the life of Reilly
While Reilly was away
Paddy was walking through a graveyard when he came across a headstone with the inscription "Here lies a politician and an honest man."
"Faith now," exclaimed Paddy, "I wonder how they got the two of them in one grave."
Here's one that's as old and musty as we are - but it's funny all the same - and seems appropriate a few days before Hallowe'en:

Paddy, Sean and Seamus were coming home from the pub late one night and found themselves on the road which led past the old graveyard. "Come have a look over here," says Paddy, "It's Michael O'Grady's grave, God bless his soul. He lived to the ripe old age of 87." "That's nothing," says Sean, "here's one named Patrick O'Toole, it says here that he was 95 when he died."! Just then, Seamus yells out, "Good God, here's a fella who was 145!" "What was his name?" asks Paddy. Seamus lights a match to see what else is written on the marker, and exclaims, "Miles fromDublin."
1. The crypt of St. Michan's Church in Dublin contains the almost perfectly preserved remains of corpses dating from the Middle Ages? The reason for their incorruption appears to be the limestone walls of their tombs.

2. For centuries, an unholy ringing sound coming from a gnarled old oak tree on windy nights terrified the people of the County Down village of Kilbroney? In 1885, the tree was blown down and the source of the ghostly noise was discovered - a golden bell hidden in the hollow of the trunk by a monk hundreds of years before.

3. Ireland had its own werewolf legend? These creatures were believed to be the souls of the damned who had rejected the teachings of St. Patrick.
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good good friends at The Irish Lottery:
There was NO winner in Wednesday's drawing. Which means that the estimated jackpot this Saturday will be about € 2 Million Euro. But you have to be in it to win it. Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday, so enter now. 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! Please click here for full details including a compilation of stats based on previous draws which could improve your chances of winning!
To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:

1. Irish Haunted Houses by Peter Underwood

2. A Haunted Land: Ireland's Ghosts by Bob Curran

3. The Lively Ghosts of Ireland by Hans Holzer

Hats off to our latest batch of brilliant Irish bibliophiles:

Cathleen Toft
My website is Patrick Kavanagh whose birth was 102 years ago in October and who died in November 1967.

Marjorie Cunningham
Check out Frank McNamara's newest album - "Mary Lowe - Jazz Diva" with the Frank McNamara Big Band!

Pat McCarthy
Whatever Irish link you're looking for, you'll find it here, from art to sports:

Teresa Clarke
My ancestors are from Co. Cavan. One day I would like to go there. Until then, I visit on the internet:

Hartson Dowd
The amputation of both legs didn't stop this Irish tenor from winning gold medals in the Paralympics, earning a medical degree, and singing for the Yankees!
 ED. NOTE: Always loyal to us,Hartson sent in his answers despite taking a nasty fall; we've added him to our prayer list and we hope you will think of him as well.

Helen Dowd
Thanks all, who have been voting for my website: I invite you to drop in for a visit. Click on the Literary and choose your favorite category. Lots of good reading!

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland"
May 24 - June 7, 2007 watch for this year's itinerary: http://www.tours2ireland.com
or http://www.irishbook.com/tours.htm 

And now for our next quiz. Who wrote:
1. The Banshee: The Irish Death Messenger
2. The Devil, the Banshee and Me
3. Banshees, Beasts, and Brides from the Sea
Send in your answers and if you get two out of three correct, we'll list your name and web site (or your favorite Irish web site) in our next newsletter.
SPONSOR: Help us keep your newsletter free when you visit our our good friends at Lollysmith:

Here's a delightful idea if you like to take walks with your children or grandchildren - give them their very own walking stick!This idea came from a customer who said her six-year old grandson was always telling her he needed one. Imagine your child or grandchild sporting their very own tweed caps - and now their own walking sticks as well! These are authentic traditionally handcrafted walking sticks and are faithful in every way to the full sized; all of the same hardwoods were used to produce them. To take a look at Wee Folk Walking Sticks for children and see our Hanna caps as well, please click: http://www.lollysmith.com/weefowast.html
First off, the answer to last week's noggin noodler:
Two thieves rob the local bank. They hop in their car and scurry off to their hideout 20 miles away. When they get there they realize that one of their tires had been completely flat the whole time.
Q. How did they get to their hideout without noticing?
A. The tire was in the spare in the trunk/boot.
Well done to a record breaking number of brilliant Riddle people who sent us the correct solution, but first in was Marilyn from Binghampton NY. Congratulations!
And now for our next skull scratcher: It's a bit of a pun/groaner and the kiddies may get it before you do:
Q. What is a banshee's favorite dessert?
With Hallowe'en still a few days away, we're featuring one more homepage filled with related articles. To help you find them all, Russ has added a list of hot links at the end of each one.

1. Article: How the Irish invented Hallowe'en
2. Article: An Irish Hallowe'en - Part 1
3. Article: And irish Hallowe'en Part 2
4. Article: Article: Protect Yourself & Your Property - Make a Parshell!
5. Story: The Legend of the Churchyard Bride
6. More stories: A Triple treat for Hallowe'en
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/TripleHalloween.html7. Article: Samhain - The irish New Year
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/Samhain.html 9. 8.
8. Article: All Soul's Day
9. Press Release: Imagine - Waterford Arts Festival 2006
10. The Irish Kitche - Colcannon - another traditional dish served on All Hallows
11. Basic Irish: Words and phrases related to Hallowe'en
12. Kids' Ireland: The Fairies by William Allingham
13. October Trivia Contest: Time's running out; all entries must be received by midnight, October 31st, whatever time zone you're in.
14. Circle of Prayer. Our 7th Novena in this cycle began on October 18th and ends today. We begin our 8th one tomorrow. This week we ask that you remember Hartson & Helen Dowd in your prayers or meditations. Your spiritual support is also needed for Anne Daly, Pauline, Heather, E.Mct; Ben & Sarah, Scott & Kristina, Cathy & Jonathan, Jane F. Mickey C. , and so many others facing health problems, financial challenges and other hurdles. We also ask that you remember our men and women serving in the military all over the world - especially Paul, the son of a friend who has just gone back to Iraq for a second tour of duty. http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html

The beginning of the month means lots of changes; look for a new trivia contest, Irish lesson, children's story and more. And, ever so slowly, we'll start hinting at the holiday material. hard to believe, isn't it? We feel as if we only just took the decorations down!

Well, that's the long and the short of it until we write again. Until then, we wish all of our friends in the Republic of Ireland a safe and happy bank holiday weekend; Oiche Shona Shamhna! Happy Halloween to our readers all over the world; And if you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion - we hope it's filled with joy.

Meanwhile, may God shower you and yours with a cornucopia of blessings 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!
We are thankful for whatever you can send; whether it's a penny, a dime or a dollar, every penny does make a difference. Our snail mail address is
Bridget & Russ Haggerty
5670 Meryton Place,
Cincinnati OH 45224.
Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there we will be happy to list it here.

USA - Grainne Hambly Tour September - December
Her dad Michael is a lovely man who runs the Out of Mayo web site which many of you probably know about. His daughter Grainne is an incredibly accomplished traditional harpist. She is now touring the USA and fingers crossed, she may be playing at a venue near you! For tour details, please click

Los Angeles - October 6 through November 12
An Claidheamh Soluis/The Celtic Arts Center presents Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney at the Celtic Arts Center, 4843 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Studio City. For c complete details, please click

Alora, Spain - Now through November 16
The Gallery in Casa Correos will be featuring the works of our very dear Dublin friend and world-renowned artist Roger Commiskey!  For more details, please visit:

Dublin, Ireland November 2nd - November 18
The world premiere of This Is Not A Life written by Alex Johnston and
directed by Jimmy Fay Project Arts Centre.
For more details, please click

Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati, OH - November 3 through November 30
The Perfect Anomaly: an exhibit of over 40 original oil paintings which focuses on the versatility of artist Cindy Matyi. For additional information and directions to the Cathedral, call 513/621-1817 or visit  http://www.christchurchcincinnati.org/

Hollywood, Florida , November 11
IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB Dinner & Dancing at the American Legion Hall, Post 92
 211 North 21 Avenue, Hollywood MUSIC:  Donegal Shores Admission $10 [members] Guests [$12]. Call 954-432-8292 / 954-522-4948
 Email:  irish32@aol.com
 Or visit

Thomas More College, Crestview Hill KY -December 8 & 9
THE IRISH -.and How They Got That Way!!Written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt and performed by the Irish American Theater Company, this is a moving, uplifting, eye-opening musical celebration of all things Irish.
Tickets and information: 513-225-6915 IrishAmericanTheaterCo@fuse.net
Driving in Ireland has become incredibly hazardous. Perhaps what's needed to stop the carnage is something along the lines of the following:

Farmer O'Malley lives on a quiet country road. But, as time goes by, the traffic slowly builds up at an alarming rate. The traffic is so heavy and so fast that his chickens are being run over at a rate of three to six a day.

So Farmer O'Malley calls the gardaí and says, "You've got to do something about all of these people driving so fast and killing all of my chickens."

What do you want us to do?" asks the garda. "I don't care, just do something about those mad drivers!" So the next day a garda is sent out to put up a sign that says:

Three days later Farmer O'Malley calls the gardaí and says "You've got to do something about these drivers. The 'school crossing' sign seems to make them go even faster." So, again, a garda goes out and puts up a new sign:

That really speeds them up. So Farmer JO'Malley calls and calls and calls every day for three weeks. Finally, he tells the gardaí "Your signs are doing no good. Can I put up my own sign?" Exasperated, the garda says "Alright then, put up your own sign." He was going to let the Farmer do just about anything in order to get him to stop calling.

The gardaí received no more calls from Farmer O'Malley. Three weeks later, curiosity gets the best of them and they decide to give Farmer O'Malley a call. "How's the situation with those drivers. Did you put up your sign?"" Indeed I did. And not one chicken has been killed since. I've got to go. I'm very busy." He hung up the phone.

The gardaí are really curious and they all agree, "We'd better go out there and take a look at that sign... it might be something that WE could use to slow down the drivers."

So the gardaí drive out to Farmer O'Malley's and their jaws drop the moment hey see the sign spray-painted on a sheet of wood:
Go slow and watch out for chicks !